Thursday, September 06, 2007

The 160GB iPod - My Music World in My Pocket

Woo-hoo! I am so delighted by today's announcement that I don't know where to put myself. I thought Apple had stalled at 80 gigs, and the others seemed to be pulling back from the brink. When I read about the Archos 605 Wi-Fi 160GB player this morning &ndash the first personal media player with more than 100GB that I know of &ndash I nearly signed up on the spot, even though it's primarily a video player and my favourite movies would all fit on a single DVD.

I'm no fan of the iTunes Music Store, as is known by anyone who's spent any time around here with their sarcasm-radar switched on. But then I don't like either, and that hasn't stopped me buying – let me see – four Creative Zen players to date. I also don't get on at all with the iTunes application — it seems aimed squarely at those who don't want to think about how their songs get strung together as long as they're wall-to-wall, with playlist functionality shoved into the Picky Bugger Annexe.

But my poor old 60GB Zen Xtra, though I love it dearly, has been overflowing for months and is subtly corrupted in some bizarre way that means it no longer synchs properly. (I am having to recreate its contents on my new network drive from scattered archives, as I can't actually find a way to reliably copy all its files in one go. Although it uses Microsoft's own MTP transfer protocol – it stands for Mutie The Pig, right? – Windows gives up totally; two Linux utils cheerfully start the job but both fall over after a few hundred files.)

And there are now alternative iPod tools for all platforms, not to mention accessories, and even alternative firmware which I'm keen to try once it catches up with these new models. It's time to go with the flow, and finally have the storage capacity my enthusiam demands.

This moment is one I've dreamt of since I first heard of MP3 players. I wasn't exactly an early adopter. Many times in the early Noughties I'd pop into a gadget vendor to gaze dreamily at the various audio oferrings, but sigh at the salesgeeks' inability to convince me that 64 megs was all I needed. How I would have hated having to choose my hour's worth of music for the day each day over breakfast. Happily we now have solid state players with capacities measured in the gigabytes, but I need more: my world of music in my pocket, no less.

Lefsetz' price rant hits the nail on the head - digital music's high pricepoint is holding it back. But for now, no philosophising from me. In the immortal worlds of Marty DeBergi: "Enough of my yakkin'. Let's Boogie!"