iPod March 26, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in Hardware.
Last week, I suggested I would start sharing new software tools and toys on the Sunday blog. I usually like to talk about free things, the great applications you can find online that cost nothing. This week, however, I have to admit that I purchased an iPod for my wife for her birthday. I am not sure why I held off purchasing such a fascinating tool for so long, but I believe the truth is something to which I have already alluded. I don't like to spend money. I spend my days trying to stretch the technology penny for faculty and students and try to make wise and economical purchases whenever possible.
I suppose it really should come as no surprise to me that I have not purchased an iPod for the same reason. I keep thinking there must be an inexpensive way to download and play MP3 music and podcasts. I should note that there are many ways to download and play music on your computer already. Therefore, even though I know it is possible for students to simply click on a link and download a podcast, I have been trying to find a way of making sure students can listen to these podcasts easily and without the need for an iPod or some other expensive tool.
Now that we actually have an iPod in the House, I find the process of updating podcasts and downloading them on to my, I should say my wife's, iPod are making me feel like I'm partaking of a guilty pleasure from using this new toy.
Yesterday, while reviewing grants for Hewlett-Packard, that is another story, I transferred almost 30 CDs from my wife's collection to her iPod. Most of the CDs transferred well, but I did find that some of the older ones were not reading as well on my computer I thought it must've been a version issue. It turns out in four of the five cases, that somebody, probably the five-year-old who used to live in this house and who is now an 11-year-old used the CDs for an art project and severely scratched them. I think it will not be too difficult to find James Taylor's Greatest Hits somewhere or other. He is still a popular singer. I stacked the CDs in the living room so my wife would have a visual of just how much music was stored on her iPod.
It is a strange blend of hands-on and high-tech tasks when one sets about transferring an entire CD collection over to an iPod. There is the physical routine of inserting the CD into the computer and clicking the appropriate buttons and waiting. There is the knowledge that you are transferring millions and millions of bits of data soundlessly and weightlessly across wires and into a machine that will play in these sounds back for your entertainment purposes. I am not sure why I am still so in all of that process. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am an early adopter of many new technologies, not all of them, but for quite a few technologies when I think they can be useful to my life or work.