I was very pleased to see the capacity of the iPod hard drive increased to 10GB, but not because I could put an extra 1,000 songs in my pocket. For me, as a frequent traveler, the magic of the iPod is in its diversity.
As most travelers can attest, when you go on a road trip you pack the essential computing equipment first, then luxury items. More often than not, I would make my trips without any kind of music player because taking a backup of my essential files on a hard drive was more important than listening to music in the airport while waiting for my flight.
The introduction of the iPod changed all of that for me. Now I can take my music, a backup of my email database, story files, research documents, contacts and hundreds of other files, all on the same device.
No longer does my knapsack look like a spider’s web of cables and wires when I get to my hotel room. I have my PowerBook and cable, iPod and cable, assorted recovery disks and my mouse.
Of course, as a music player the iPod is incredible. Easy to use and with its FireWire connection to your Mac, the iPod can sync hundreds of songs with iTunes in a matter of minutes.
Currently, I have about half of my iPod filled with music that spans many musical genres from Chopin and Bach to Jazz great Chet Baker, Blues legends Eric Clapton and Robert Johnson and Heavy Metal favorites like Ozzy, Metallica and Megadeth.
The iPod is a constant companion on my nightly walks with my dog and I have yet to find a night that I couldn’t find something I really liked listening to.
Apple has been expanding the capabilities of the iPod with software updates. The most current software available for the iPod is version 1.1, which added a number of features.
With version 1.1 users gained the ability to download and store contact lists with up to 1,000 names and addresses. Apple has also added 20 equalizer presets ranging from R&B to Classical, which allow you to adjust the iPod’s dynamic range to better match the kind of music you like to listen to.
In addition, users wanting to add a custom look to their iPod can now get them custom-engraved with laser etching. The etching on my iPod looks really good and hasn’t chipped or changed in appearance in the time I have been using it.
If you’re a business traveler, the iPod is a must-have device — it just does it all in a compact functional design. Somebody that walks or exercises on a daily basis and has stopped taking music because of the indecision about what to listen to today, will enjoy features like shuffle. You can shuffle all songs, all artists or just one artist you choose.
I found the ear bud headphones fit nicely, for the most part, and had a wonderful sound. I find on longer walks I need to push the ear buds in my ear a couple of times, but not enough for them to be so annoying that I would buy another pair in a different style. The one thing I find aggravating was the foam protectors that go over the ear buds — they were ripped to shreds just trying to get them on. In the end, I threw them away and use the ear buds without the foam pieces.
The rest of my family dislikes the ear buds so much they won’t use them. My wife bought a couple of pairs of Sony headphones for her and the kids to use because the ear buds just pop out when they try to use them.
In the end, the iPod works for me. It covers all of my needs from being a backup hard drive on my travels to accompanying me every time I go out of the house when I’m not driving. The biggest problem you may have with your iPod is keeping it away from the rest of your family so you can use it — this I have experienced firsthand. I now have a clever hiding spot that my nine-year-old daughter has yet to locate … but she will.