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Friday, January 4, 2008

Queen MAB's Consumer Reports

If there were ever cause for me to acquire a new career, I'd be well suited for research. I don't mean the kind of research where you donate your body to science---my kind of research is historical, or marketing, or investigative, or whatever you want to call it. Throw me a topic or issue and I will inductively study to provide a comprehensive conclusion. It's a gift. And it's why I want to be a travel writer. But I digress...

My gift is also a curse. While I am incredibly decisive in matters of spontaneity, I am also inclined to take my sweet time in making important decisions----such as, purchasing an iPod.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted and needed a portable music device, and I began a fund for acquiring said device. However, at the time, I was also saving for a new laptop, and several planned vacations. The coveted gadget slid to the bottom of my list---but as of December it's back at the top.

So here I am, beginning the Socratic process. And here you are to join me in my endeavor. Please humor me. Lay it on me folks: I am in the market for an iPod and would LOVE your uncensored feedback and recommendations about your own experiences, trials, tribulations and successes with the little biddies.

My needs/wants: Primary use will be for my daily commute and a soundtrack to my work-day. I also want to use the iPod during my workout, and for lengthy travel periods. I need durability, a large amount of storage, and appropriate accessories. Currently, I have approximately 4,500 songs in my music catalogue, all of which I want at my fingertips at any given moment. I also need room to grow.

My questions/concerns:

a) Where should I purchase my iPod? As far as I've been able to research, there's no price break for shopping at stores like Target or Best Buy. And Amazon deals are not substantiative or consistent. What are the benefits from purchasing from the Mac store? Engraving?

b) Have you ever had any problems with your iPod? Did you purchase a warranty, or have any issues with repair or replacement?

c) If you have a PC, ever run into any compatibility issues?

d) My iPod will likely spend some time in my purse. Some of you have seen the suitcases I carry around on my shoulders, and the weight and dimension of their contents aren't iPod friendly. So, I need a case/holder/reinforced steel shell that will protect my purchase from rigorous wear-and-tear.

e) Which brand of car-kit do you recommend? Any particular car-related accessories? Note: my only means of using an iPod in the Cubmobile are through the cigarette lighter. I would prefer an inconspicuous cord, but I can entertain other options.

f) For work, I will primarily use a USB cable and my computer speakers to broadcast. For home use, I need a dock with speakers. What brands? What kinds? Best value? Best sound? Most portable?

g) Because the iPod basically serves as a mini-hard drive, I'd imagine that it's not incredibly workout friendly (exception being the mini, Nano, shuffle, etc.). Please tell me how to make my iPod compatible with my workout (treadmill/elliptical/free weights/yoga/pilates).

h) Ear buds: do they come standard, or do I need a pimped-out set? What about a charging device?

i) Any worthy reading materials and/or websites that might help with my research? Em's already passed along ilounge.com and it's been super helpful. I'm also familiar with c-net.com.

j) Any closing thoughts/recommendations/warnings you'd like to contribute to Queen MAB's version of Consumer Reports?



Blogger Rhonda said...

Mary Anna,
Mr. Hendricks here.... The first thing you need to do is wait until the 15th, because apple is coming out with new products that day and they almost always update their ipods.

A) I bought 2 ipods from the mac store online and got the engraving on one. It's great for personal benefit, but sucks when you need to sell it and it says "Follow your heart Joe"

B)I've never had a problem with both my 20gig ipod and my shuffle.

C)Never a problem on pc, though the software starts up faster on a mac.

D)http://www.iskin.com/ this link will take you to "iskins" and they are very durable.

E)Does your radio have an audio input (little hole that looks like a headphone jack) on it? If so, get the chord, because it will always be 100% clear. I've had a radio transmitter for my ipod and I hated it, especially on long trips where you lose your radio stations every once in a while.

F)BOSE!!! I've had my wave radio for 14 years and it still sounds amazing! Bose is the real deal and they let you upgrade years later when they come out with new products ;) It also chargers your ipod as it sits in the dock and comes with a remote control.

G)I'm a big fan of the shuffle for working out, because it clips on your shirt and you don't have to worry about hurting it, but you sound like you might be better off with the Nano 8gb. You can buy an armband that lets you control everything from outside the band and it looks cool.

H)The ear buds that come with are fine for working out. I would not spend alot of money on anything that going to get sweaty.

I)macrumors.com is the place to find out about the future products coming out. They might be saying something about the 15th and ipods here soon.

J)WAIT TILL THE 15th. There might not be any new ipods, but it's worth waiting to see.
I think you should go with a nano, just because it's more durable, but hopefully it will get upgraded on the 15th.

Sorry this was so long,
Mr. Hendricks

10:04 PM

Blogger Kristen said...

Don't know anything IPODs my dear. Got a cheapie off-brand mp3 player for Christmas--love it so far.

BTW, Lucky magazine has devoted one of their shopping sections this month to Nashville and Franklin. Thought you'd like to check it out!

RYC-I really enjoyed Hilary in the movie, but I am suffering from an overdose of pregnancy hormones, so...you'll have to see what you think and let me know. I thought she was pretty darn good.

12:07 PM

Blogger Sarah said...

Um, I was going to comment on your points, but after reading Rhondonkulous' very, very comprehensive answers I don't think I can add much of anything. She's quite the authority.

BUT, I will offer up my own affirmations that ipods are fairly indestructible. I've had mine for two years and, even though it's somewhat outdated, I have never had any malfunctions or dings that left it inoperable. I will get another one with more memory as soon as funds are available.

I have a nano and love its size, but the larger ones are certainly still workable for exercising. They make armbands for every size of ipod, even iphone.

Speaking of...I got Braden an iphone for his bday/Christmas gift. It's pretty fabulous. The technology is the same on the iTouch, and it's cool. BUT I personally wouldn't spend the money on an iTouch when it doesn't have the phone function of the iphone AND the ipods have the same functionality for less cost. Just my two cents...

If you can't afford Bose, check out Logitech for speakers. Could be an option.

YAY, IPOD!!! You will so happy with your decision, no matter which one you choose. I can't imagine not having one.

xoxoxo to you! And good luck, Queen of the Consumer Reports.

10:50 AM

Blogger Sarah said...

Annnnd, I just realized JOE was "talking" above. Sorry, Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks! But..."go, Joe!" Good advice.

10:51 AM

Anonymous photojoe said...

BTW, The ipod Nano is now being sold in PINK!!!

7:42 PM


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