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portable digital music players

On Apr 8, 2004, at 8:52 AM, D.E. Chadbourne wrote:

> Derek Martin wrote:
>> Since recently I have some extra money in my pocket, I'm interested in
>> buying some sort of portable music player...
> if you're in the mood to play around;
> -eric.

I own an iPod. It came cheap with my PowerBook, otherwise I wouldn't 
have bought it. Its too expensive and uselessly-trendy for me. However, 
since I use (and happen to really like) iTunes, it works out for me.

I'm really excited about iPod Linux, however, as far as I can gather, 
even the latest release can't yet play mp3's or oggs at full speed. I'm 
not sure if there is even an aac player yet, which would be an issue 
for me, though from what I understand the iPod can dual boot, which is 
sweet. It also doesn't seem like there is a unified media-player 
application for the iPod linux. Ideally there would be a linux distro 
that boots right into a unified media-player interface that just works. 
I'm not sure that exists yet.

In addition, despite what all the apple-lovers out there might say, the 
iPod interface SUCKS. Its designed to be intuitive, with the smallest 
learning curve possible. Unfortunately, the result is an interface 
designed for people with one finger, and an music collection of about 
10 songs. Specifically, let me break it down for you:

1) Touch sensitive panels are cool and sell gadgets, but turn out to be 
stupid: You get no tactile feedback that your press registered 
anything, and since most of the face of the ipod is button, its too 
easy to brush your hand against a button while reaching for the ipod in 
your pocket or desk and accidentally change a setting.
2) the simulated jog dial is cute, but when you are browsing an 
alphabetical list of 1000 songs  for something that starts with 'R', 
you have to spin your finger around the stupid circle a million times. 
A sony-style variable speed jog dial would be a miracle worker on the 
iPod. There's only so fast you can spin your finger, and the motion is 
repetitive (RSI anyone?)
3) It also bugs me that volume and song-browsing are controlled by the 
same dial. Do people never browse their songs and feel the need to 
change the volume at the same time? Mode switching makes sense 
sometimes, but on the iPod, its just annoying.

Oh yeah, and the song title scrolling on the screen is a cute idea, but 
it flickers so bad you can never read it, and unlike most 
computer-based media players, it doesn't even pause for a second in one 


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