I bought a new iPod

So, after 5 years of hard use my venerable old 40-gig 4th-gen iPod finally went teats up (in the Canadian rockies, on vacation… great timing). It was the best music player I ever owned, and there have been many (anyone wanna buy a gently used minidisc player?). Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the iPod let me haul around a sizeable chunk of my music collection and it looked good doing it. With an iTrip it also became a portable radio station – which came in pretty handy on several vacations. But it started stuttering and hanging up on me (kinda like an old girlfriend), requiring a sharp rap to bring it back to its senses (also much like, oh, never mind…) But I digress. The 4-G has been retired in favor of a new 160-gig iPod Classic – which will haul around my entire music collection and then some. Now THAT’S cool.

I almost went with the new iPod Touch because I’m a gadget guy and they are just sexy and cool – plus they use flash memory so no moving parts! But for me, the cons outweighed the pros… the Touch has a max capacity of 64 gigs and was $150 more than the classic. And in spite of all its zoomie coolness, I really just need a music player and the other features would be wasted on me.  As it is, the Classic plays videos and I can’t forsee I’ll ever use that feature, but never say never I guess.

So now I have a silver Classic and it’s loaded up with all my tunes, plus album art. I had to recreate my playlists, but it had to be done. Oh, and I also got a Contour hardshell case for it. It’s rugged, nicely rubberized, and opens clamshell-like for easy ‘pod removal. I had a similar case for my old iPod case and it was great.

Lastly, I dislike iTunes for many reasons, not the least of which is that I already have enough bloated, bossy, overweight applications on my machine (thank you Microsoft) and there is an excellent, totally free  replacement…. good old WinAmp. It supports the Classic right out of the box, but it’s even better once you add the ml-iPod plugin (also free, btw). 

So now I’ve used it for a couple of weeks and the only knock I have against it is that the volume doesn’t go low enough. Before you start flipping out on me let me add that a good chunk of my listening is in bed… it works as well as Ambien and it’s way better for you. For that though, you want volume loud enough to hear but not so loud it keeps you awake. The Classic crosses that line – the volume control goes from silence to just a bit too loud. What I need is a nice set of ‘phones with an in-line volume control I guess – if such a thing exists. Please let me know if you hear of something (no pun intended) that fits the bill.

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