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October 21, 2006


Marc Orchant

Jon - I never did succumb to the iPod spell and have alsways used my Treo to staisfy my connectivity/productivity/entetainment needs. I've tried MobiTV (not enough programming I want to watch) and have ripped some video now and again. The Pocket Tunes app bundled with the Treo is plenty good enough and I have a 1 GB card I use exclusively for listening to music or podcasts. It works just fine.

So I just received an iPod Nano as a speaker gift from the Office 2.0 Conference and have been playing with it for a bout a week. The best things about it? It's really small, the screen is very bright and easily read, and the scroll wheel interface is very nicely implemented. The worst thing about it? iTunes. I absolutely refuse to put it on my XP laptop. So I can only configure my iPod from my wife's iMac where the software is part of the OS and not a parasitic life form that tries to take everything over from the incumbent parasitic life form that already owns my machine (that would be Windows Media Player 11 for those of you keeping score).

AFter a full week of having the iPod at my disposal the verdict is... I think I'm going to give it to my wife to go with her iMac. I have a 30 GB Creative Zen jukebox (an older and admittedly clunky design) that works great as both a portale external USB drive and a music/podcast player when I travel. I think I can declare with confidence that I remain immune to the iPod spell.

Jon Strande

Marc, yeah, the connectivity aspect of the Treo is very cool... you were online with your treo while the rest of us were struggling with the WiFi at FOWA... (could you see me turning green w/envy?)

I'm not a huge fan of iTunes either, and I don't care for the fact that I have to have it installed just to copy music to my iPod. It isn't really bad software per-se, it just serves no purpose for me other than a transfer mechanism for my iPod, so I'm with you...

What's really nice is that my Toshiba Laptop (my Tablet) has both an SD and a CF slot, so getting music over is super simple!

That is nice that you are passing the Nano along!

Thank you for the comment!



Just an FYI. Some of the advantages you list of the PDA over the iPod are not true advantages as they CAN be done on the iPod.

1. Watching DVDs. I would argue that the iPod with it's superior storage would be a better platform. There is the free program iSquint (http://isquint.org) that will convert dvds to be viewed on an iPod. There are also free tools like Handbrake, Handbrake lite, and for pay (visualhub) tools that also do the same thing.

2. PDF viewing. With PocketMac iPod http://www.pocketmac.net you can transfer unread emails, PDF files, Word documents, Rich text documents for reading on the road.

3. Voice recorder. There are many different companies making voice recorders for the mac. Here is one example:

4. Games -- while the selection is currently small (9 games). I can only imagine that the number of games available to play on the iPod will grow to quite a large number.

So, in conclusion, the list of advantages for a PDA become much shorter.

If Apple ever decides to do an iPhone/iPod, some of the other advantages will melt away (e.g. mobile email, internet browsing, etc.)

Jon Strande


Yeah, great points. My iPod is still the last one that had the black and white screen, so movies aren't an option for me (it is 2 years old). One of things that prompted this line of thought for me was seeing the new 80gig iPod and wondering if it was time to upgrade? The new ones look very nice - enhanced browsing, color screen, etc.

I was unaware of the PDF veiwing, that is very cool! Thank you for the tip. I did know about the voice recording and I guess I could easily add some type of speakers to my iPod (that whole market is booming).

Good call on the "if they ever make". It will be interesting to see what they do.

It's funny, I've poured a ton of cash into my PDA (memory cards, extra battery, etc) and I think using it as my primary device is partially trying to rationalize all the money I've spent! ;-)

Thank you for the comment!


Annika Lidne

I've had much the same experience as you. I bought a LifeDrive about half a year ago and it's too convienient with everything in the same machine, especially since I connect to the internet from anywhere I am via bluetooth and my 3G phone.

I've owned three iPods but currently I mainly use my iPod when I'm out jogging or as a musicplayer connented to the stereo at home.

I do wish Palm would freshen up their OS though. It works, but it feels years behind! And syncing is a nightmare. Since I'm a Machead, the other PDA brands don't work at all as far as I know. One can always hope Apple finally releases the killer PDA everyone has been speculating about for years.

Jon Strande


I've seen the LifeDrive, it looks very cool. Yeah, having everything in one place is the main draw for me as well. Having the all the options available is really nice.

I'm using my iPod much the same way - when I'm doing things around the house, cutting the grass, etc.

Thank you!


Christopher grove

Don't actually have an iPod (bought one, it didn't work, was very disappointed and changed it for a Sony) but I've actually got 2 MP3 players. A 512Mb flash player that I use for when I'm out in town, and a 20GB hard drive player.
The 20 GB player (more or less the equivalent of the iPod) is what I want to put most of my music collection on (or at least that was the idea, but I'm now way over the 500 CD estimated limit for 20 gigas, so...). It is meant to be a static player (for me), but it also means that my collection is portable enough for when I go on vacation, etc. What I love about it is that:
1: I've got loads of CD singles that I hadn't listened to for a while, and that I listen to more now that they're on the player.
2: the random play feature, which makes for interesting listening.

Personally I don't care about video on MP3 players, but I can understand why people go for that. I just want to be able to stock my music and listen to it. Maybe I'm wierd in that I want to do just that and nothing else. I mean, if I want to play games, I'll get a console, I'll get a DVD player to watch films... I must be a bad target for the marketing departments of consumer electronics companies...

Jon Strande

Chris, yeah, most products are filled with feature bloat and that was the initial reason why I kept using my iPod as my main music player... it is sort of like cameras on cell phones, it's hard to find a phone without a camera and for the longest time I never used mine.

I still carry my iPod with me every day, and still listen to it. I'll probably keep using it for the exact reasons you state... it's got a ton of great stuff on it and it is all available to me whenever I want! :-)

Thank you!



You can synchronize music with windows media player. It is very easy to do. Also I am writing this on a Palm TX with a foldable wireless keyboard. Can you do that with an iPod? I forgot to write a paper for one of my classes so I pulled out my palm and keyboard wrote it before class and printed it on a bluetooth enabled printer. Can you do that with an iPod? I also put all three Lord of the Rings on an SD card and watched them on a long car ride. I also have about 1200 songs on my palm and that is plenty for me. One of my favorite things to use is all of the games and apps. I have Monopoly, Battleship, GTS Racing, Warfare Incorporated, Bejeweled 1 & 2 , Omni Remote, and over a hundred more.


Using RockBox (an alternative mp3 player OS) on my iPod video allows me to get a number of PDA-like applications without too much trouble i.e. Ebooks, Photo's, Games, etc. Plus, as a music player it is probably better than the built in Apple OS, supporting far better sound and a wide range of codecs.

The biggest advantage however is that iTunes isn't ever required (I also took one look at iTunes and went 'Urgh!!') - which is nice!

Of course this solution is totally useless for document creation or internet, but as a portable entertainment device when I commute it really is fantastic.

Jon Strande


Thank you for the comment! I'll have to check out RockBox! Thanks for the tip!


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