Unwrapping the iPod

I’ve had my iPod (4G, 20GB) for a year now, and it has proved to be a fabulous purchase. I love music, and the combination of iPod and AllOfMP3.com has had me listening to more music than ever. It has got me listening to podcasts, too, although I haven’t found many that I like, and that have stayed enjoyable over time. (I mostly tune in to diggnation, Ebert & Roeper’s movie reviews, and The Movie Blog (although their move to a near-daily schedule has–curiously–meant that I listen to it less often).

Via podcasts I’ve checked out a few video podcasts, and it’s these little slices of video that have convinced me that mobile video is actually pretty cool. I never used to think that I’d enjoy–or even use–a mobile video device, mostly because I had only been thinking about watching films on a portable device. For me, a film is something that I take time out for to sit down and watch, either at home or at the cinema. But video podcasts (vodcasts, vlogs, whatever) and TV shows are things that I am happy squeezing into whatever niche my day provides–usually in the background while I’m doing other stuff in the evening.

So when the video iPod appeared last month, I was rather excited. They’re gorgeous things, and I would easily choose one over the PSP, which, despite having a better and large screen, suffers from a lack of storage, and doesn’t have the small and sexy form factor of the iPod.

Seeing the new iPods, and drooling over their clean lines and smooth surfaces, made me think about the iPod that I have right now. Although its tactile nature was one of the reasons I bought it, I had actually been carring it in a bulky protective plastic case for most of the year. The case did a great job of protecting the iPod from the bumps and grinds of daily life, but it also took away the sensual pleasure of just holding the thing. I had been so concerned about keeping it pristine that I had lost sight of why I had bought an iPod instead of any other MP3 player: because I simply loved its design.

iPod naked
With case

iPod in its case
Without case

I’ve been using it without the case for a month or so now, and although it has gathered a bunch of scuff marks, it still looks great. And it feels great. I’ve rediscovered the sheer joy of picking it up and twirling my thumb around the clickwheel to change the track or playlist.

The other effect that unwrapping my iPod has had, is that my craving for one of the new 5G video iPods has (mostly) disappeared. I wouldn’t kick it out of bed for eating crackers, but I don’t need one. The extra capacity of a 60GB model would be nice, but now that I’ve got a strategy for managing my playlists, I’m managing fine with 20GB. Photos and video would both be fun, but the main reason I have and use an iPod is for listening to music, and even with a new model, I don’t think that would change. Basically, I’m happy now with the one I have.

(That doesn’t mean I’m taking it off my wish list, any more than I’m scrapping the idea of buying a Porsche…just that it remains in the “wish” category instead of “need to buy this next time I’m down the shops.” If we win the lottery, you’ll know where to find me.)

4 Replies to “Unwrapping the iPod”

  1. If you wanna fill it up with crazy videoblogger movies, check out http://mefeedia.com/.. it has almost 2000 videobloggers listed today (I just checked), there is so much video out there it’s just not nice anymore. And a lot of it is actually quite good, personal, non-commercial, *real* people, and not just home movies..

  2. What are the differences between an I pod Shuffle and a regular I Pod?
    Thank you.
    Please send an e-mail reply.

  3. I so know what you mean about unwrapping the iPod. I’ve kept it in a protective case for the better part of the year, too. I was so afraid of damaging it that I didn’t even touch it until after I got the case. Then a few months ago, for some reason, I decided to get rid of the armor. The level of enjoyment has significantly increased since.

    I also bought the new video iPod a few weeks ago (gadget lust, what can I say?), and it’s just really really cool. Unlike the 4G iPod, I didn’t even bother buying a case for this one. It’s still pretty pristine, although I tend to just put it in my front jeans pocket. Although the video capability is very nice, it’s still primarily used for music. I end up watching the video podcasts on my powerbook instead.

  4. I took my pocketpc out of its leather holder when I read this article, you know, it’s not that big! it looks sleek but I just can’t leave it without the case, I’ve dropped it a few times and it’s bounce back up coz of that cows hide!

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