Re: Ipod: when you touch me (I can't stand myself)

1

Bet it will sell though, to the same kind of weenies who thought the i-phone was the best phone ever despite being awkward, big and lacking features taken for granted in other, much cheaper phones.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 6:50 AM
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Yeah, I don't get what the big development of the Touch is. I bought my new 80G iPod Classic during the same week they also released the Touch, and while the extremely reasonably priced, visually stunning iPods sat all lined up in boxes, they kept selling out of Touches. Do people just want it because it looks kind of cool?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:03 AM
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1: That's an odd way to spell "despite being self-evidently a brilliant piece of design; an enduring credit to a group of highly motivated people, all of whom spent several years working at the top of their game".

The 'iPod touch' version will probably end up with buttons of some sort. Or maybe squeezable sides. It's very convenient to be able to change tracks with the thing still in your pocket.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:06 AM
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Fuck Apple. Twice now (Macbook, 30GB video ipod) I bought something about two weeks before the new model came out that would solve something I didn't like about what I bought (crappy power cord that frays and almost sets my couch on fire, lower capacity, respectively.) Yes, I checked all the Apple fanboards to try to figure out rumors of what was coming out when, but nothing is ever clear from those. Also- they lied to me about the capabilities of airport express- can't do IP printing over its ethernet port.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:12 AM
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I think the appeal of the Touch is going to be that it's a half-way house to the iPhone, something almost like a palmtop computer. Unlike the iPhone, it has a video-out port, which makes all kinds of applications possible.

I don't have one, though.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:14 AM
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4: That sucks. My erstwhile coblogger did that, bought a Classic two weeks before the new ones came out. My past few Apple purchases have been quite fortunate in their timing.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:17 AM
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I bought something about two weeks before the new model came out

With the rate at which Apple has been releasing new/updated products over the past five years, this is likely to happen no matter when you buy it.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:19 AM
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Also, thanks for reminding me of Christina Amphlett.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:21 AM
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Nah, laptops and ipods are about once a year in any product line, in terms of major upgrades (video to classic/touch, ibook to macbook); I meant to say in 4 that I bought an ibook G4 just before they switched to macbook. In that case it was becuase our old powerbook died, it's almost like it got a signal to die at that time so I'd buy another model just before that one became obsolete...


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:23 AM
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8: I was thinking of James Brown, slol. Yet again we see the vast yawning gulf between us. PS am wearing pleats as I write this.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:25 AM
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People love to complain about Apple because there are all kinds of screaming Apple fanboys/girls on the internets and in the world. So, the ante gets upped, because Apple fans act as though the products are a cure for cancer, a self-regerating delicious cheeseburger, and a magic vagina that fucks you at will. This is extremely annoying. Thus, anyone who has a bad experience with a product, or decides they don't like Apple, then decides "Apple is awful, everything they make sucks, they have horrible customer service and are purposely trying to deceive you, and they are evil."

Whereas in reality, it's an above-average company trying to make some innovative products, with the help of some excellent industrial designers, and the same draconian policies and incompent service people like every other company in the damn world.

On the other hand, no one ever seems to be surprised when the Windows machine/other device they buy crashes, gets fried, dies, and gives you the blue screen of death, or is generally a piece of shit.

These companies design highly sophisticated, extremely complicated pieces of very precise electronic equipment, mass-produce the fuck out of them, and try to make them as cheaply as possible so shitloads of people will buy them.

That's basically a recipe for occasional (if not frequent) disaster, and dissatisfaction, no? I'm surprised people don't quickly get used to it.

I guess being so zen about all this means I'm definitely not a dude.



Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:25 AM
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I just got the Touch too. (I'm actually on it right now.) My last iPod was 80gb, and I'm not finding the switch to 16 all that bad.

I'm convinced the reason it lacks physical controls is so you have to take it out and endure humiliation when people ask, "Is that an iPhone?"


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:26 AM
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I was thinking of James Brown

Intentional fallacy. Besides, who would you rather be reminded of, especially this early in the morning?

PS I am wearing pleats today too. Don't tell.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:26 AM
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In case there is any confusion about what "self-regerating" was supposed to be, it's "self-regenerating", not "self-refrigerating". Because refrigerated cheeseburgers are gross.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:27 AM
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One thing that does annoy me about Apple-directed consumerism is that it has produced and sustained a crowd of people, two deep, surrounding the iPod touch table at the Regent Street store. This self-selecting group has been shoulder to shoulder for a month. As soon as a gap appears, someone slides in while trying to look uninterested (i.e. not like a pig at a trough). The effect is smarmy and appalling.

But this is not Apple's fault.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:29 AM
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a self-regerating delicious cheeseburger

I didn't even catch the typo, so taken was I by the idea of a self-regenerating delicious cheeseburger.

Mmm, cheeseburger.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:31 AM
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You know, sometimes I write a comment, and I am lazy, so I want to post it on my blog. Is that bad?


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:31 AM
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I guess being so zen about all this means I'm definitely not a dude

What does it mean that I'm not?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:33 AM
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Slol: Tim! Help me out here, Tim! Show me how you walk that thing! So good, so weird.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:35 AM
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I guess being so zen about all this means I'm definitely not a dude.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:36 AM
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Yeah, I saw that, and remember the wonderful period of good feeling it inspired here; I'm just in the mood to push back against "guys do/feel this, girls that."


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:39 AM
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1 is right, 3 is crazy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:41 AM
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I was only referring to the other post, not endorsing it. My impression is that basically all people get pissed off when their electronic devices fail them.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:42 AM
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I'm kind of wanting one of those nintendo gameboys with the new Zelda games. Would I play this thing if I bought it?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:44 AM
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I've got an iPhone and really, really like it. I'm a very visually-oriented learner and thinker so I find the user experience of it to be far, far superior to flip phones with smaller screens and more textual interfaces. EDGE isn't great but it beats nothing and my experience with a 3G phone was that I tended to lose the 3G signal a lot anyway. I do sincerely believe it's a pretty significant step up from other phones I've had, even really nice phones that I really loved when I had them. That's a purely subjective assessment, I know, but so is the assessment that I am necessarily a "weenie" for having one in the first place or thinking it's the best phone I've ever had, ass.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:48 AM
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24: Not to be the devil on your shoulder but the DS does do Wi-Fi very well and runs a customized version of Opera. Works a treat.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:49 AM
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While fanbois may be tiresome, the trouble with complaining along the lines of #1 is that you sound like Mrs "I could make that myself at home for nothing" in Goodness Gracious Me.

I just got the Touch too

Apple should totally advertise using that song, "You Got the Touch," that Dirk Diggler and his loser friend record in Boogie Nights, at the part where they're trying to escape the porn industry.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:52 AM
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Just so you know, the iCal not taking in dates on the phone or touch is apparently a bug that Apple said it will fix in the next software update for them.

http://www.macrumors.com/2007/10/08/ipod-touch-calendar-to-get-add-edit-functionality/

So there is yet hope!


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:53 AM
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Thanks, R McMP. Does the playstation equivalent with the cool-looking Star Wars game do the internet, too? All else being equal (both of those games look cool to me) I'd pick one that allowed me to pick up the internets when I'm traveling.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 7:55 AM
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Not this Alex.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:02 AM
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Man, if I could edit the calendar that would RULE.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:10 AM
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m. leblanc gets it exactly right in 11. I am apparently not a dude, either.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:11 AM
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That's basically a recipe for occasional (if not frequent) disaster, and dissatisfaction, no? I'm surprised people don't quickly get used to it.

People have had to get used to relying on devices that they can't begin to understand. When said device, which is completely unrepairable by the user, breaks down, it always feels like something that should never happen.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:13 AM
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And you have to admit it's embarrassing that there are still devices with qwerty keyboards in production. The thing isn't great at full scale, let alone miniaturised and wedged into a mobile phone casing. Most of those look like they belong in the Victorian Inventions book.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:15 AM
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Does iTunes in the touch support shared libraries and the Airport Express? Because that thing would make a fantastic remote for a music library. It would surprise me, in fact, if that ended up being its most compelling use, as a coffee table based home network widget.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:20 AM
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11: Could we have a Windows-bashing thread?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:22 AM
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This is it. Damned out of their own mouths.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:24 AM
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38

I imagine the Mac/PC conversation is not unrelated to the masculinity/femininity conversation. Masculine qualities are explained through a presence, femininity is explained through (the acceptability, at least, of) absence. "Hey, it's okay that you're not physically strong! Men are!" or "Men are the kind of people who do X; women are the kind who don't necessarily do X."

The Mac/PC marketing, on both sides, has been trying to take control of which side has the virtues and which has the lack--which is masculine, and which is feminine, in a sense. PCs were businessy, powerful, serious, and Macs were not necessarily those things. Now Mac is controlling the narrative by saying in it's commercials that PCs do a pretty good job, but they just lack the sort of creative power and masculine simplicity of a Mac--the features not of the traditional male, but of the New Urban Bourgeois Man.

Both discourses are formed on separatist lines that present themselves as not antagonistic ("We don't hate women! We want to protect them from having to live up to male standards they don't all meet!" "PC is good for businessy work things, and that's fine, if you like sitting at a desk all day, but some people happen to enjoy using our brains by making movies and slideshows of our actual lives!"), but they're both functionally hostile because they market narratives of difference whose causalities start to enter one's conception of the inherent truth of those things.

Okay, there's a big difference between using these narratives for commercial purposes and for sexism, but I think the Mac/PC commercials might demonstrate what some of us find so fucking annoying about "men do this; women do that" conversations. They treat as truths things that are only provisional and local, and present assumed lacks as potentially "good" things, even while making it obvious that they are lacks.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:26 AM
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Windows certainly is a bitch.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:29 AM
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Now Mac is controlling the narrative by saying in it's commercials that PCs do a pretty good job, but they just lack the sort of creative power and masculine simplicity of a Mac

The rest of 38 was neat, but not sure I buy this.

In other news, Windows is really, really shitty software. It continues to amaze me that so many people depend on it for so many things.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:36 AM
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39: So nice.

And I like Windows, Sifu. You misogynist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:40 AM
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29: I've has very little time with a PSP so I can't speak from experience but it does have a web browser that's generally well-reviewed. All things are not equal, though; the PSP also has a great deal more functionality than a DS: music, movies on a (shitty) custom format disc, USB connectivity, etc. The DS' library runs more to my personal tastes and I'm unlikely to use the non-game functions of a portable gaming device so my preference is the slightly cheaper DS. Also, y'know, ♥ Nintendo in general. I would strongly recommend that you go to a store where you can try both of them. Gamespot.com has what I consider the best product reviews and I'm sure they've gone on at even greater length about the features of each if you want detailed information. I don't feel I know enough about the PSP or you to steer you towards one or the other in specific but I do want to point out that they are very different devices.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:49 AM
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40: I don't think it's beside the point that PC in the commercials is played by a likable, but essentially weak, supercilious, desk-bound-looking male who can't make the same kind of sexy connection with the desirable, female Japanese camera, while the Mac is played by a hipper, sexually confident, slightly condescending, but ultimately Nice-Guy-style thoughtful male character who says, basically, "Hey, PC, it's okay that you are who you are, but I'm just sorry you are experiencing the problems you have."

Map that onto ladies complaining that they're trying to make it in a man's world and can't seem to measure up no matter what they do, and dudes responding, "But it's just not in your nature to succeed in this way, and that's okay because you have... uh, good things, too!"


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:50 AM
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#27: a small aubergine, surly?

I have to confess to having an ipod nano, but only because it was given away for free during a job interview.

I don't like Apple because it has replaced proper geekdom amongst far too many people with just another form of consumerism where buying a bloody imac is enough to make you a geek.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:55 AM
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1 iPhone is, like the Mac was in 1984, the first device of its type good enough to criticize.

40 If you ask me, Windows was really shitty software. It's gotten pretty damn solid in Win2000 and WinXP, yet everyone still visits the sins of its fathers on it.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:57 AM
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Oh and 3 if "despite being self-evidently a brilliant piece of design; an enduring credit to a group of highly motivated people, all of whom spent several years working at the top of their game" was actually true, it would actually look like something I'm not embarassed to be seen in the street, not like an ugly brick slightly too big to be comfortable to use or carry.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 8:58 AM
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Apple should merge with Williams-Sonoma.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:00 AM
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The irony of the PC/Mac ads is that the PC guy is ten times more likable and, I'd bet, the only reason the ads have done well.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:01 AM
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44 is weird. iPods are well designed and useful. If you can't get over the signifiers for long enough to realize that it's plum nifty to have a huge amount of music easily available at any time, then I'm not sure you should accuse other people of shallowness in their geekdom.

What's that about, anyhow? Was there some pure time when everybody hand-built their Altairs and listened to music on tube preamps they bought from kits? Of course not. "Geekdom," as a quality, is hardly some great personal virtue. A slightly precocious and obsessive awareness of emerging trends in technology was, and is, fun, but we're not talking about the death of valor, here, we're talking about people enjoying gadgets. It just doesn't seem to me like something to get worked up over.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:02 AM
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Sifu shops at Williams-Sonoma.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:03 AM
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45: it's still ugly a kludged together. Vista seems less ugly, but the security model is possibly the most absurd example in computing history of what backwards compatibility and feature design by committee buys you.

48: plus he went to my high school.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:04 AM
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Wisse's just longing for that old traditional masculinity, before it started having to get its back waxed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:04 AM
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50: only for whippits.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:05 AM
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re: 49

The iPod is pretty nice although I'm generally happy to use my phone [with a memory card] purely because it saves me carrying two devices.

The iPhone, on the other hand, seems significantly over-priced and over-hyped given its feature-set and in comparison to similarly spec'd phones available much more cheaply. This latter may be more applicable in the UK mobile phone market where the iPhone is extremely uncompetitive to say the least and where similarly spec'd phones are, effectively, free with a many contracts.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:06 AM
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iPods are nice, but seem better than they are because everything else in that category is a total clusterfuck.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:08 AM
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I hope you didn't leave any of those in your storage locker.


Posted by: neil | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:08 AM
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iPods are nice, but seem better than they are because everything else in that category is a total clusterfuck.

Nah. I have a several-years-old Rio Karma that's been great.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:09 AM
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54: I can't speak to the UK phone market, but I mostly agree. On the other hand, the price has already been cut in half, and what's really going to make it awesome (what already is making it kind of awesome) is 3rd party software. The multi-touch display (while not new) is really a pretty groundbreaking tool for interface design, and I don't think developers have really even begun to explore what you're going to be able to do with it.

Also, visual voicemail is just so blindingly obviously better than the old way of doing things that it astonishes me it took this long.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:11 AM
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re: 55

I have a super-cheap chinese player that takes SD cards that's great. It's the perfect size and has a built in mic and FM radio. It's a bit fussy about which SD cards it reads, unfortunately, so it's not perfect. But the basic UI on it is excellent.

I still end up using my phone, though, which has a perfectly decent MP3 player and FM radio in it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:11 AM
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I don't like Apple because it has replaced proper geekdom amongst far too many people with just another form of consumerism where buying a bloody imac is enough to make you a geek.

I see the weasel words there, but I still question the statement. In my world everyone got super-excited a few years ago when Macs suddenly became Unix laptops that weren't a pain in the ass. Cory Doctorow, my storm-petrel of consumer-fetishist-as-geek, has already moved on to Ubuntu, but that's another story.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:14 AM
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I must admit to being sort of obsessed with using the "Coverflow" feature on my new iPod. So sexy, flipping through them like records! Those of you who post playlists without including the album name for each song, I Google it so I can flip through it as an album.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:15 AM
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Windows Vista is waiting for Hamilton, with a rubber truncheon.

You don't realise how shit it is until; you change from an (old) Mac to a brand-new WinVista PC; you change from WinVista to Linux.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:15 AM
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In my world everyone got super-excited a few years ago when Macs suddenly became Unix laptops that weren't a pain in the ass.

Exactly!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:16 AM
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38 & 43 seem very smart to me.

To buy the argument and analogy you have to believe that shall we say the "end user" differences are not nearly as important as the ad implies. Sifu balked at this wrt PC/Mac;some might balk at it wrt gender differences while conceding that the presentation is just what she says.

With that caveat, I like it.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:16 AM
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I'm fairly OS-neutral. I use OS X at work on a variety of Intel and PPC based Macs. I use XP at home but with cygwin and some other tools installed so I can still use a lot of 'nix stuff. I've used Linux in the past.

Pre-2000/XP Windows was indeed a total nightmare. Since then, it's fine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:18 AM
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I have a super-cheap chinese player that takes SD cards that's great.

I'll have to try those Chinese players. I tried a Rio and a couple others, and all were crap. Rio's interface wasn't terrible, but it broke after only a couple months.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:19 AM
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As a rhetorician, I have to admit that I'm only thinking about the similarity of the style of argument here, not whether anything either argument has to say is "true" or not.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:19 AM
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saying in it's commercials

!

My old iAudio was pretty great, gswift.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:19 AM
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68 to 64


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:20 AM
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I read an interview a few months (a year?) ago with the actor who plays the Mac, and he was surprised that the series is still running. He may even have credited Goodman (?), the PC guy, with their longevity.

You know, people have made this observation for quite awhile now - usually with the implication that this is because Macs are inherently obnoxious - but I wonder if this is the secret to their success. After all, who is Apple selling to? PC users. Kind of makes sense to tell the PC users that they're nice and likeable, but a bit put-upon. It's not so much telling PC users that they should aspire to being the hipster Mac guy, but that they could have some of the stuff that he has that is desirable. After all, lots of stuff that hipsters have/do/appreciate trickles down to mass culture, without mass culture actually lionizing hipsters.

I might also add that, in a very gentle context, the ads highlight some very solid, practical advantages of the Mac (some are also purely cutesy/brand-building) - most notably the brilliant Security ad. This is a neat trick for any consumer product, esp. one as technical as a computer.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:22 AM
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Wax nostalgic about old-school geekery all you like but I've never really known a time when there was a gold standard of geekery and the process mattered more than the results. The people I know whom I would classify as geeks do tend to have Macs when they run a commercial OS; more of them run Linux than anything else (and there are Windows-only geeks among my friends!) and there's a lot of overlap amongst all three of the major OSes in any case.

I do get what you mean, to some degree - the people who think running a Mac makes them superior but aren't capable of defining or explaining why beyond a purely end-user perspective - but I also don't have a problem with that. Utility is utility. End users really are the whole point and whatever pleases them is best judged a success.

Has Apple tried to market to a smug crowd to feed the faux geekery? Sure. AWB's analysis above is spot-on and something I had never noticed but I cannot begin to question or criticize what I think are brilliant conclusions on her part. On the other hand, my iPod is more useful to and more easily used by me than any other music player I've ever owned. The same is true for my iPhone when compared to other phones I've owned. I care about that way more than what some dude at the coffeeshop thinks of how it looks or how I look using it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:23 AM
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re: 66

My little chinese player is a bit flaky now, but I've had it for 3 years and it's been abused. I sometimes have to reinsert the SD card a few times before it reads it. But it has a little LCD display that displays proper tag information including title and artist. The FM radio in it is decent, and it's about the size of a USB memory stick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:28 AM
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Why doesn't every device include a radio? It's 50s technology, it must cost on the order of dollars to include it. Not necessarily HD radio, but just so you can pick up ballgames, news, etc.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:32 AM
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I have a cellphone with an FM radio (not using it at the moment because it has a crappy calendar) and it's really a wonderful feature.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:34 AM
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I've never really known a time when there was a gold standard of geekery and the process mattered more than the results.

The besetting vice of faux-geekery is elevating process over results, and thinking that a computer is a device the purpose of which is to be tinkered with and constantly updated. Nothing wrong with this as such -- cf car nerds who trick out their low riders. But a large number of computer nerds do believe that a lack of interest in fscking around with the OS is equivalent to being stupid. My favorite counterexample is seeing the home-office of a physics nobel prize winner, where his (beautiful, satisfyingly heavy) nobel medal sat next to a Mac SE from 1992 or somesuch.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:36 AM
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Most Nobelists are overrated, second-millenium deadwood.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:37 AM
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Okay, from my well of absolute ignorance about your fancy music-technology (why, just last night I was working on a cassette mix tape) I have none the less decided that I should get one of those music-player thingies. But I don't want an iPod--too expensive and too flash. And I know so little about fancy music-related technology that when I look at that anythingbutipod site I can just barely tell the things that play music from the things that don't.

Recommendations? (For preference, about the object-to-be-purchased, not "recommendations about how Frowner really needs to get over her precious, affected ignorance")

Also, I assume that I can do whatever magical process one does to put one's CDs onto one's computer and then by some other magical process transfer them onto this theoretical device, right? The starting point for this was my reflection that I always manage to scratch my CDs and that my previous, irreplaceable Dog-faced Hermans CD is in bad shape.

Go ahead, be as patronizing as you like--it will be almost impossible to oversimplify on this topic.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:38 AM
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My favorite counterexample is seeing the home-office of a physics nobel prize winner, where his (beautiful, satisfyingly heavy) nobel medal sat next to a Mac SE from 1992 or somesuch.

OTOH, this was in 1991.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:38 AM
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77: Oh, I was going to include a begging-ish apology for being somewhat off-topic.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:39 AM
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I kind of liked Windows 3.0 and was reasonably well served by 3.11 in college. (My Gateway tower was enormous.) In high school and college I felt somewhat oppressed by the dominance of Apple computers in education, since they were so much more expensive. High school was dominated by Apple IIes, although they went with Macs my Senior year. I'm not sure why the non-GUI computers lasted so long. (I was in highschool from 89-93, and the macintosh had been out for a while.) Macs had a cool GUI for logging onto the campus network. I had to use weird third-party apps, if I didn't want to logout of Windows or somethign else that was kind of a pain.

I think that I prefer the interface of Windows XP to the new VISTA one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:39 AM
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77: iPods aren't all that expensive, and it sounds like ease of use might be important to you. But I'm sure there's lots of other swell music players out there; I just don't know about them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:42 AM
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79: Apologizing for being offtopic at this place? But I'm no help -- it sounds as if you want what ttaM has.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:42 AM
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80 was to 66. A whole lot of comments got posted while I was typing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:44 AM
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77 -- do you want something that you can listen to while traveling, or just something that you can take somewhere and listen to.

I've used a portable CD player for listening at work for several years and it's worked well for me (except for the fact that it's a barier to listening to all of the fabulous mixes that people have been posting on unfogged).

If you can find a Sony ej-1000 on e-bay it's going to have better sound than anything else you can find for the price (around $40 used).

Of course if you're trying to migrate away from CDs, or if you want something you can use while jogging that won't help, but I just wanted to remind people that portable CD players still exist and can sound quite good.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:44 AM
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77: I love anythingbutipod. I think it depends on a lot on your needs. If you're looking for something small (in memory and size) and cheap, I seem to recall recommendations for one of the Cowon products. In fact, if you're looking for something big and expensive, I think they also have some recommended Cowons for you.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:45 AM
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75: Exactly. The posturing of 'one true path of geekery' geeks is to me as off-putting as the posturing of the unwashed at the iPod trough in the Apple store. Any suggestion that my own attitude is self-evidently its own kind of posturing will be met with hurt feelings and flouncing of the worst sort.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:46 AM
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re: 77

Well, your computer will rip [the usual verb] the music from the disc to the computer. It can store the file in a number of formats but the commonest is the MP3 file [hence MP3 players]. There are other file formats which have their advantages and disadvantages but the MP3 is the one that pretty much all players will be compatible with.

Then, as you say, the computer can transfer the stuff back to the MP3 player. Lots of cheap MP3 players just show up on your machine like another disc [in the same way as USB data storage does] and you can just drag the files onto it or use software like WinAmp to do it instead.

You can often rip CDs that are quite heavily scratched as error correction kicks in.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:48 AM
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The player I have isn't really good value any more. For $40 or so you can buy players with colour screens and the ability to play back video as well.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:51 AM
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84: I think the time has come to make a few feeble gestures toward moving away from CDs. I do have a sort of a discman thing for greyhound trips, but that requires hauling CDs along.

87: Error correction! Boy, that's exactly the type of feature I need. CDs are the absolute worst medium for a forgetful, fumble-fingered person.

More memory rather than less, I think...if there's one thing I'm not short of, it's music.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:56 AM
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CDs are the absolute worst medium for a forgetful, fumble-fingered person.

Vinyl is pretty nasty for that too. Most of the vinyl I have [not that much, less than 100 records] has been mistreated by some idiot in the past.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 9:59 AM
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The amount of memory you need depends on how you intend to use it. As a way of carrying around all your music, you'll need a HD based player. Personally, I am quite happy using a 2GB memory card and just dumping a dozen or so albums on it. I switch them around so I've got stuff I've been meaning to listen to on it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:01 AM
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Vinyl is pretty nasty for that too. Most of the vinyl I have [not that much, less than 100 records] has been mistreated by some idiot in the past.

Probably someone not unlike me, alas. That's why I often copy my records onto cassettes, which is rather pathetic now that I think about it. Although with records, you simply don't end up hauling them around as much, and it's a lot more counterintuitive to leave them in a big jumbled heap. Also, I enjoy the act of putting on a record far more than putting on a CD, and there's a ritual satisfaction to putting the record tidily away that merely snapping a CD back into its case can't touch.

Cassettes--so practical, so easy to use--have no mystique at all, neither high technology nor sufficiently retro.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:07 AM
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Wait, what about these "memory cards"? Would that just be one more thing to lose? On the other hand, if I lost the whole device itself...?

The future has clearly already happened. This is frustrating, because I thought it would be a lot more glamourous and less confusing.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:09 AM
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84: I think the time has come to make a few feeble gestures toward moving away from CDs.

You implied that in your original comment, but I just wanted to speak up for the old ways.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:11 AM
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Most of the vinyl I have [not that much, less than 100 records] has been mistreated by some idiot in the past.

We aren't idiots, we just have different priorities. Don't impose your archaic tribal value-judgements on others, [insert ethnic slur for Scotsman here]!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:14 AM
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I thought it would be a lot more glamourous and less confusing.

But you don't want an iPod. Go figure.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:18 AM
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62: I see Vista waiting there, which is why my current and near-future computers will be running XP. I'll switch to Vista after a couple of service packs are out.

54: If you count "user experience" as a feature, there is simply no such thing as a similarly-spec'd phone to the iPhone. Saying so is like looking at a reversible-tip manual screwdriver and a Makita and saying "well, look, either one will drive a Philips head or a straight-head screw into the wall, why pay more?"


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:26 AM
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93: I'm wondering if what you want isn't a 'last-year's model' Ipod off ebay -- something with a lot of storage, but far enough back off the cutting edge that it wouldn't cost much. I don't know model names enough to identify exactly what you want, but I bet there's some 2006 model with a big hard drive new in the box that you could get for fifty bucks because anyone who wants an Ipod wants the newest shiniest whatever.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:34 AM
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96: I didn't want it to be glamourous. I want to live in imaginary-1960s-My-Neighbor-Totoro-Japan. I just figured that the drawbacks would all be sort of William Gibson drawbacks rather than silly-klutzy-Frowner drawbacks. I thought I'd be fleeing international corporate police through a zero-g environment by now, my only companion my trusty, witty-yet-sorta-nihilistic AI.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:38 AM
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Kobe has the bands come and play for him when he wants to hear something.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:39 AM
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I was lying in bed the other day, thinking that if back in my high-school dystopian SF reading days, you'd told me that in 2007 I'd be bitching about the global warming that was making us run the air conditioners in October, while the Arctic ice cap disappeared and New Orleans was destroyed, I would have been so freaked out I'd have hid under the bed for a week.

This is the future, all right. I liked the one with Moon colonies better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:41 AM
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98: I'm thinking the same. I don't have an Ipod and it would be nice to have one. What should I watch out for?

Related, when I listen to music off my Mac the sound quality is so-so and not adjustable except for volume. WHat can be done about this? (I have original-issue earphones which seem cheapo.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:41 AM
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102: there is an EQ built into iTunes, accessible via the "View" menu. As far as old iPods go, the only issue really is that the hard drives eventually die , which means you would want to (a) get a good price and (b) definitely look for new-in-box OR (c) get a nano or mini that doesn't have a hard drive. Other than that, and aside from capacity (oh, and I suppose the ability to watch videos or look at photos) they're pretty much all the same.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:44 AM
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103: The batteries also go eventually, which means replacing the battery, which means 'turn your back for a second because our magical battery removal process is switching your iPod for a new one of the same model.' That would be my main concern with an older one.

I like my iPod mini a lot, and I think they were around $150, which is expensive, but not insanely so.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:50 AM
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re: 102

Decent headphones, probably. Digital music with no fiddling about [EQs and the like] should sound good through a decent amp and speakers or decent headphones. There's not a lot to go wrong.

re: vinyl. I buy most of mine second hand. It's a good source of cheap classical music and jazz. However, some people seem to have done something odd to it. Flawless looking discs that sound a bit crap, or least relatively noisy compared to my own old vinyl bought new which looks like a cat's played with it but which still sounds OK. Some sort of needle-damage thing, I assume.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:51 AM
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Something like this? There's one fifteen dollar bid on it, and the listing says 20 gig, brand new. I bet if you looked for listings like this, you could pick up an Ipod with a lot of storage for maybe 30, 40 bucks in a couple of weeks of lurking around eBay.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 10:55 AM
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104: I've swapped two batteries myself, for $12 or so a pop.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 11:03 AM
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106: That sounds like a good plan, actually. I'll look around.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 11:05 AM
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98- That's what I have, except I paid full price for it.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 11:09 AM
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FWIW, I've heard that the new HD iPods (iPod Classics, I guess) sound a little tinnier than previous models, since they replaced the Portal Player chips with Samsung. Also, Frowner, ever since the Zaibatsu Takeover of 2004, they no longer support running Dixie Flatline as your copilot when you jack into cyberspace.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 11:10 AM
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I just discovered that Google Docs has a mobile version. Truly, this was a wothwhile investment.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 10-24-07 11:58 PM
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Mini's have hard drives. But the cool thing is they are standard microdrives, so you can get a used mini off of eBay or Craigslist or somewhere and one of these and then have an 8GB mini! Fits in your pocket, made of sturdy aluminum, and oh-so-cool.

You could also probably swap in an 8GB compact flash card (which are apparently now even cheaper than microdrives) and get better battery life out of the whole thing.


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 10-25-07 12:18 AM
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I love people who think 16gb isn't that much storage. What do you plan on keeping on there for gawd's sake? These aren't meant to be permanent storage, that's why they synch with your computer.


Posted by: fred | Link to this comment | 10-25-07 11:57 AM
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113: I assume the problem is video. Although I do like haveing 20 for music, much smaller would probably be annoying. Or just require me to change the way I do things, I guess.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 10-25-07 12:00 PM
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