iPod Video for... $90

Friday, 2006-08-04; 00:35:00

New iPod video through an educational promo

So... I kind of have two iPods now. In addition to my click-wheel, non-photo, 20 GB iPod, I just got a new 30 GB iPod video. What color you ask? Well.... OK I ADMIT I GOT A BLACK ONE! YES I FELL FOR THE NEW NEW BLACK. I ADMIT IT! ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?

Jeez. At least I didn't get suckered into paying $150 just for a black MacBook. My black didn't cost anything extra.

Actually, the whole iPod cost me $90. My brother's old Titanium PowerBook G4 finally crapped out (it does the self-test at the start and makes one beep, indicating that no RAM was installed). Obviously there was RAM installed, so I'd bet this is a logic board failure. The Apple Store said that it would cost $350 flat to repair anything, not including cosmetic damage. (The thing has a few cracks in it, after having been dropped on it's corner more than once before. The first time, it cost something like $500 -- through educational channels -- to repair including cosmetic damage.) At this point, paying $350 to get a five year old, banged up laptop into just working order (not good looking, working order) was kind of not worth it. He decided to splurge and get a MacBook Pro.

Since I'm a grad student at Stanford, we went to the bookstore on campus so that he could get the educational discount. It's quite hefty, actually. Normally, the model he got -- the base 15" model -- cost $1999. The educational price is $1799. The bookstore offers it for $1620, provided that you also buy an AppleCare protection plan with it, which was $183, if I remember correctly. So you can practically get the MacBook Pro at educational price with a free extended warranty.

Then, of course, there's the free-iPod-nano-or-equivalent-price-applied-towards-any-iPod-model promotion, which is why I got an iPod video for $90. (Still haven't sent the rebate in, though. Blah on rebates -- last year when I got my iMac G5, my dad was able to get a 4G iPod photo for $90 through the same promotion, but the rebate was immediate.)

First impressions: thinner, which is nice. The included carrying case is all I'll need -- I've never seen the need for ridiculously huge hard cases. The volume limit feature is nice: no more accidental blasting of my ears. :)

The larger screen (and higher resolution?) is much nicer, because I can get around 11 things on the main menu rather than only 7. Not only that, but you can see much more info on the screen at once when browsing contacts, and it's much easier to discern cards when playing Solitaire (especially the 3 and the 8 -- not easy to distinguish on a scratched up, smaller, black-and-white screen). The drawback of the color screen is that it's ridiculously hard to read when not in the right lighting conditions -- I have to use the backlight much more often, now.

A few lame things: the latest update apparently nixes the hold-down-menu-to-turn-on-backlight feature, but since the backlight needs to be on more often, I just have it automatically activate now. Finally, the screen lock feature is kind of pointless, since connecting it to *any* computer will unlock it. I would've thought that it only would unlock if you connected it to the computer to which it is currently synched.
Random question: is it spelled "synced" or "synched"? And do you pronounce it with a hard 'c', or with a true 'ch' sound? I think I waffle back and forth on this. On the one hand, synced makes sense because you definitely say "sync" and not "synch" -- e.g.: iSync. But on the other hand, synched also makes sense, because it's spelled "synchronization", not "syncronization". But "synced" looks weird, and spelling it "synched" is just bizarre if you pronounce it with a hard 'c'. So which is it?

Also, I think the iPod videos don't support FireWire at all anymore, which sucks. Has anybody tried connecting a FireWire cable to an iPod video and a computer -- does it do anything? Does it charge it? The reason I'm wondering is because my iMac G4 at work only has USB 1.1 ports. Will the iPod video charge via USB 1.1? If not, that's a significant drawback: I'd only be able to charge it at home.

Finally, to the most important feature: video. I thought having the ability to play video was kind of a gimmick before (especially since you can only play 2 hours on one charge), but it's actually kind of fun. I guess that doesn't really mean that it's not a gimmick, though. I carry around Rocketboom video podcasts as well as the last 2 months of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, in addition to all my checked music and thumbs of all my photos, and I still have ~8.5 GB left over. (The increased capacity is nice.)

So... in conclusion, my iMac G5 is now no longer the fastest computer in the house, but I now have the best iPod in the house. :) And our house has started to be taken over by Mac users' former chipmaker nemesis. :P (Although, I have to say, what with the Core 2 Duo launch and availability, the switch to Intel was 100% the right decision by Apple.)

Technological Supernova   Rants   Older   Newer   Post a Comment