I’m Buying Music Again – Choosing an ipod

It has been about six years or longer since I last bought a significant amount of music before this year. For the most part I stopped listening to the radio and have been mostly consumed with the dull work-a-day life. That is until I started seriously considering getting my first ipod. Since I started working third shift intermittently I noticed that several of the other employees were plugged into their own ipods. Since third shift is where I want to be full-time it seemed to be a good idea to ask for one for Christmas. Now that I have decided on getting a mp3 player should I consider anything other than an ipod? Well, other mp3 players are supported generically as a simple filesystem device but the ipod is different in that there is software and a matching library dedicated to supporting the ipod specifically.

Given that Linux support is paramount above all other concerns the ipod is a no-brainer. So what characteristics do I require in the ipod of my choice? In order of importance:

  1. Easily hidden on my person.
  2. To be useful the ipod would have to hold at least 8 hours of audio. To make it through a work day without repeating.
  3. I’m going to be recharging the ipod from my laptop so a short recharge time is necessary.

The ipod Shuffle fills all of these requirements, but not without a few disadvantages.
ipod Shuffle Pros

  • The Shuffle is obviously the smallest ipod ever and comes with a handy dandy clip.
  • From my personal collection, one gigabyte is about 12 hours. For 64Kbps, speech only podcasts this grows to 34 hours of audio.
  • The Shuffle has a battery life of 12 hours and will fully recharge in four hours.

ipod Shuffle Cons

  • There is no screen and no way to choose specific songs.
  • Many of the third party ipod accessories are intended for the ipod classic and won’t work.

During the several years that I wasn’t buying music I felt that there were really no opportunities for me to unplug from the world. Even during my breaks at work it is still required for me to respond to pages I hear for myself or my department. At home, I still live with my parents (sigh) I’m not alone there either. However, now I think the Shuffle is an excellent way to kill 10, 15, or 20 minutes while I’m waiting for something to happen. The key is for it to be small enough that I can have it on me at all times.