Monday, August 6

Should iPod or Not?

For the past several weeks, I've been obsessing about getting myself an Apple iPod. In particular, I'm eyeing the latest Generation 5.5 80GB model, which is video-capable. As anyone who reads here regularly would know, I am so into mobile video. It's a hobby and pasttime of mine, as well as a way for me to kill time or combat boredom whenever it rears its ugly head. I actually passed on the first video-capable pods since I read that the battery life was lacking; it certainly would be useless to have The Lord of the Rings movie in your pocket when the device can't even play it to its entirety. Well, the latest generation pods now boast improved battery life (the 80GB model has been timed to have up to 7 hours of video playing time) as well as other tweaks like a brighter screen to make watching vids pleasurable.

Some would ask me, why would I need an iPod for watching videos when I already have my XDAIIi? Yes, my pocket pc phone playes excellent video via DIVX and the thoroughly amazing TCPMP app, and I do have a ton of space thanks to a 4GB card. But the thing is, my XDAIIi is, after all, first and foremost a PHONE. I must always take care to keep juice in the battery at all times and that impedes my total enjoyment of other features unless a power outlet and charger are within easy reach. A dedicated media player, which gives me hours and hours to appreciate both video and music, is paramount especially during times when I have to be on standby for extended periods of time.

Certainly other options have been considered. I have my AV700, which is technically a portable media player- but it is too large to bring along unless I have a bag, and thanks to an apparent battery defect, it can take only about an hour of video playing before the power dies unless plugged to an outlet. So, it's basically rooted to The Sanctum, serving primarily as a DV Recorder and occasional hard drive. I've considered other devices, such as the Creative Zen Vision M and the Microsoft Zune (which boasts a large, 3" screen), but the iPod outclasses them in style, ease of use, storage space and just plain cuteness.

If and when I get a pod, I do fully intend to use the 80 Gigs of space. I've already started grabbing music and podcasts for watching, and I've earmarked my favorite shows and series for bringing along. Avatar. Mythbusters. Futurama. The Simpsons. Ghost Hunters. Tons of Discovery Channel specials. About a gazillion anime series. There's no shortage of stuff I can stuff into a Pod. I'm not really thinking of having actual movies since the screen is just too small to appreciate wide-screen flicks. But hey- I'm a guy who was once happy and used to seeing vids on the dinky screen of a Nokia 6600. I'll make do with what I have and be happy as a clam.

Anyways, nothing is really set in stone yet... I've got about this whole week to finally decide and go through with this. Till then, I'll be reviewing my options and considering stuff before I finally become, technically, one of the Pod People.

My only fear though is that if I do get an iPod, what if Apple suddenly announces a new, widescreen (design based on the iPhone), true Video iPod? Nah...


Charles said...

The 5.5 iPod 80 GB seems to be a solid contender in a lot of aspects (bat life to price). My only concern is if it's okay with you spending lots of time converting your avi's to mp4s. As long as that's not a concern, then you should go get it.

The 60 GB Creative Zen Vision M, while more expensive and has less storage space, lets you what DivX files (although there are some DivX avi's which I still can't watch in my player). Additional features which the iPod doesn't have is a voice recorder and radio (if you won't use them, don't bother). Also the 60 GB model has a slot if I remember correctly so you can view photos directly from say, a camera. You also might want to look into the Zen Vision: W is you want wide-screen goodness.


Hey, Charles!
The strange thing about me is... I enjoy converting files. Well, at the very least, I don't mind doing it. On the other hand, I don't see myself converting my whole AVI/DIVX library- there are vids that I will leave exclusively for my XDAIIi. For my (soon-to-be-purchased) iPod, I am getting separate MP4 files and video podcasts for viewing. In any case, I treat converting videos like winemaking... I don't mind the time, and I enjoy it when the results come out sweet.

As for the Creative Zen Vision M, the thing is, yeah- it's more expensive AND has less space. I don't care about FM radios or voice recorders, and have little care for pics. As for the Zen Vision W, I think it's too big for me.

Anyway, I'll still be considering stuff up to the very second I purchase. Thanks for the comment, Charles! Much appreciated!