Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 06 2007

Too many choices

Apple’s announcement of its new line of iPods hasn’t made my quest for the perfect device any easier. Instead, it’s become more convoluted, as no single version of the iPod really meets all the criteria I have for a decent all-around device. Many people were looking forward to a multi-touch iPod, but the one Apple came up with has only 16Gb of space on it. My first thought was that 16Gb would hardly do, with the iPod Classic having ten times that amount in space. But then I thought, exactly how much music do I have on my ailing iRiver? I connected it only to find that after years of adding to it, I have a mere 7Gb of music on it’s 20Gb drive. And that’s my entire mp3 collection (how would cover flow work with no cover art? I wonder). But as that gorgeous widescreen demands videos, that only leave 9Gb for videos, which amounts to around 10 hours of video. So much for having entire runs of ones favorite TV shows on hand.

But then again, realistically, how much time would I spend watching videos? I tend to read books when I’m out and need a diversion. This may be because videos have never been available in such a format to me before, of course. But I certainly wouldn’t be watching them when I’m walking around, 0nly when I was trapped someplace like the subway or…well, the subway. Even on a real train I tend to spend my time looking out the window rather than wishing I had that one episode of “Seinfeld” where George does that thing.

I suppose I could wait for the iPhone to reach our golden shores, preferably in 16Gb or even (gasp) 32Gb form, but there’s no word on that, and the thing still lacks GPS and 3G connectivity.

When it comes down to it, there still just isn’t one device that covers all the bases. The iPod Touch has the web, music, some video, a (so I hear) semi-usable keyboard and great screen, but lacks a camera, GPS, HDD and phone capabilities. The iPod Classic has the space and does music and video, albeit on a smaller screen (do you really want to spend all that time peering at a 2.5-inch screen? Can’t be good for your eyes), but lacks everything else. The iPhone, with only 8Gb of memory, would be hard-pressed just to hold my music collection. Similarly the 8Gb Nokia N95, which has GPS and Internet, but no touchscreen or keyboard. I’m not listing devices like the Archos video player, the Creative Zen Vision and the HTC Shift that won’t fit in my pocket, btw.

So maybe my question should instead be: Which two devices offer the most complementary and comprehensive range of features? I’d say either the TyTN II and the iPod Classic, though this would mean sacrificing the widescreen videos, or the TyTN and the iPod Touch, which would mean going without all that HDD space. There’s also the issue of mixing and matching between the Windows OS and the Apple OS systems, which sounds complicated at best. And there’s the issue of the traditionally poor iPod sound quality, as well as having to deal with iTunes, which I’d rather not have to do. I far prefer the drag-and-drop simplicity of the iRiver. And frankly, the iRiver’s sound quality rocks. I’ve heard good things about Creative’s sound quality, but I’d have to hear it for myself to make sure. Creative’s offerings seem more like the last-generation of iPods, though. If I go that route, I might as well go for the 160Gb of iPod Classic goodness.

So phone-wise, the HTC TyTN II still has my vote for the phone side of things. On the media side, iRiver, which isn’t offering any equivalent player at the moment, is fresh out of new batteries for my discontinued H320, but I still might be able to find a resupplier if I want to pay for it and wait for other choices to become available. When the actual new iPods make it here, I’ll mosey on down to the store to cop a feel and see if I can’t come to some kind of conclusion on the matter.

posted by Poagao at 11:46 am  

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