I finally caved.
After years of trying to avoid the iPod, because a) everyone has it, and b) I thought it sounded like crap, I finally gave in and got one. Why? Well as I was running out of space on my trusty, ugly, great-sounding Rio Karma, Apple was announcing that their new iPod plays video. This seemed like a no-brainer transition because, as an aspiring filmmaker, I could load full-framerate H.264 video on the iPod and show it to anyone, anytime. And while I thought the biggest part of Apple's announcement was not the new iPods themselves, but rather the fact that you could purchase TV shows for $1.99 apiece--a significant shift in the revenue stream for television networks, and film content as well--the new iPod nevertheless inspired a bit of involuntary consumer lust in me. Especially since it comes in black, which I can plug a regular pair of headphones into, and thus avoid looking like a walking ad for the early 2000's (which is what the ubiquitous white headphone cord will be remembered for). Or headphone cords at all, for that matter--it's only a matter of time before we have high-quality wireless headphones. But the white cord is a particularly egregious offense. No shit. I understand you are listening to music. Why are you not breakdancing this very minute?
I was worried that the new iPod hadn't improved in sound quality since the early models I'd listened to, which sounded canned and bass-deficient, but that fear was assuaged by some of the audiophiles on various sound quality and headphone forums.
Thus I became the one-billionth person to order an iPod last week. The Fedex tracking number Apple sent me Wednesday night said it was coming straight from Shanghai. I had selected "free shipping," so I expected it to take a week or so. Then, Friday I logged onto Fedex.com to see where in the world my shiny object was, and it said "2:32 PM-- Left at front door. Package delivered to recipient address. Release authorized." What?! I'm sitting right here! No way. So I go downstairs, open the door, and there it is, sitting on the front porch. It took less than two days to get here from China. The globe is getting smaller. The World Wide Web is closer than my front door. Crazy.
I often wonder what my kids are going to say one day when I tell them that I had no internet, no e-mail, no instant messenger, and no cell phone growing up--all of the connectivity they couldn't imagine living without, I didn't have. Of course by the time I have kids (which will not be for a long, long time if I can help it), who knows what other developments there will have been. By the time they reach adolescence, I'll be telling them "we had to sheath ourselves in latex to have sex! Latex!" And they'll look at me as if they can't believe their father is talking about sex--gross! And then I'll say, just to piss them off, "your mom and I are still fucking like rabbits. In every position you can imagine, and then some."
Or maybe I'll be divorced already. Or maybe I'll never get married--I'm still not sure what I think of that whole institution. As a twentysomething, it's an issue you are either ultra-conscious of, or ultra-conscious of avoiding.
Anyway, back to the fingerprint magnet. iTunes asked me to name my iPod, which made me wonder how many people in the world named their iPods i[Something], and patted themselves on the back for being clever. I couldn't resist the temptation either, but since self-awareness is half the battle, I went with iConform. And patted myself on the back.
My reel looks decent on the 2.5" screen, although the iPod is only 65,000 colors, so the color gradations on the intro and outro animations are not at all smooth. Also, there are no brightness/contrast/saturation controls whatsoever; this is either because Apple wants to keep things simple, or because they want to save those controls for the widescreen, DVD-resolution iPod Movie, which you know is coming out in a year. Or less.
But it sounds good. Really good. Not good enough to make me do this, though.