Monday, January 28, 2008

iPod Update

Behold our timeline of iPods! Left to right: iPod 2G (10 GB, late-2002), iPod 3G (10 GB, mid-2003), iPod Shuffle (1 GB flash, early 2005), iPod Shuffle 2G (1 GB flash, spring 2007, not pictured), iPhone (8 GB flash, Aug 2007), and the newest addition, the iPod Classic (80 GB, yesterday).

What's a person need with all this stuff? Well, the last two are replacements for the first two; the middle one is mostly for gym use. Hilary was able to rock out 5+ years from her iPod, which, as a 10 GB model in late 2002, cost about $500. My, what five years has wrought! Yesterday we picked up Hilary's (interim) replacement iPod, and 80 GB model that's less than half the thickness, and about half the price, of her original. I say interim because Hilary really has her sights set on a 16 GB iPhone, which don't exist outside of a Cupertino laboratory right now.

"What," I hear you asking, "is someone going to do with an 80 GB iPod? Who has 80 GB worth of music?" I nod my head in understanding, and add, "especially when the computer it is syncing with only has a 40 GB harddrive itself?" The answer, at the moment, is that you simply don't use it all - we've filled only about 24, about half of which is Hilary's music collection. The other half, and what will probably fill the bulk of the rest of the device, is video. With a bit of slightly illicit software, one can rip their DVD collection just like their CD collection, albeit as a much slower speed. With an external harddrive and some understanding of how iTunes syncs up, it is possible to not have to keep all that stuff locally on one's laptop in order to also have it on the iPod. A two-hour DVD can be compressed and formatted for the iPod into about 1 GB. At that rate, it can not only hold Harry Potters 1-7 in unabridged audio book form, but also movies 1-7 (or, as of now, only 1-5), and not break a sweat. It currently also holds the entire extended edition of Lord of the Rings, about 11.5 hours' worth, in about 1/10th of its hard drive. There are plans to rip and add some portion of Hilary's collection of Gilmore Girls, and possibly some Buffy: The Vampire Slayer. This will make this iPod an excellent traveling companion, even if Hilary gets herself a new iPhone.

On the open market, neither of the first two have much value, not even on eBay. In fact, my old iPod, second from the left, died some months ago (which motivated, in part, my move to the iPhone). I wasn't too fussed about its demise - I got and a sweet $200 rebate deal when I bought my laptop 4-1/2 years ago, and got plenty of use out of it. I was a little bummed that it died when it did: a senseless death, really, by a short drop when the hard drive was working.

So, now that we have these new fangled gadgets, what to do with the old ones? It would be unconscionable to just toss them, so Hilary and I will probably send them back to Apple to be recycled. I only hope that their recycling program is legit, and not just a rape of the third world.

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