Sunday, February 22, 2009

Entry 3599 I, Too, iPod

I just finished listening to "Sequestered in Memphis”, by The Hold Steady.

Great song...and, any half-decent sounding song that can successfully include both the words "subpoenaed" and "sequestered" meaningfully in the lyrics, and tell a pretty good story about a one-night stand gone horribly wrong--AND do so in as little as three minutes and thirty-two seconds--well, that's some kind of a song.

And, just one of 6800 ever-increasing works of music and media found on my new iPod.

"Well", you say, "I thought you didn't like the iPod? I thought you wrote several years ago that you looked at the available options and liked your prized iPAQ better?"

Okay, okay, fine...hoist me on my own petard, here. Yes, I DID say that...and well, it's time for a couple of somewhat shocking revelations.

One--I was wrong about that...the whole iPAQ vs. iPod thing. More on that in a minute.

Two--I, uh...well...I couldn't, uh...OKAY WELL I'LL SAY IT. I couldn't, uh, figure out how to use the iPod.

Please understand that it pains me TERRIBLY to admit that...a device that a four-year-old child could operate, I could not. (And this was made even more painful when I watched a four-year-old child, while sitting on a bench waiting for her mother, do just that.) I consider myself to have above-average knowledge of nearly all things technical...but....

I've said this before...I overthink things...more so before than now, thankfully. I used to think about EVerything..."why is this like that?" "What is the meaning of this?" I have slowly taught myself to "dumb down"...accept some things simply as they are, face value.

So it was with the click wheel of the iPod...I didn't realize that you could move all around it, three hundred and sixty degrees. I was trying to only push on the four sides (top, bottom, left, right) of I couldn't turn the volume up or down, or select a song...last January I must've stood with one for 20 minutes at the Apple Store in Albuquerque, NM determined to figure out what I could not years ago, when I first decided on the iPAQ over the iPod. Admittedly, there were other reasons for that...the iPAQ is a small handheld PC, and at the time I needed those PC-like features--like writing journal entries, categorizing notes, keeping appointments and address books, playing music, and so on. But, after the purchase of the Phone From Satan in August 2006, which was also a smartphone (small PC) and had all the same features (except the camera sucked, it was unreliable, on and on), and especially after the BlackBerry Curve purchase last August (2008), those PC features became less and less I now had those features in those devices.

That little girl sitting on the bench moved her fingers too quickly--and she was a little too far away--for me to see the sliding of the thumb on the clickwheel. It wasn't until I was looking something up online and happened to accidentally see someone using the clickwheel that the light came on, and I "got it".

That overthinking stuff...that's bad. Still, better (arguably) than not thinking enough.

AND--one would think, knowing how much of a fan I am of Macs, that the iPod thing would've happened a lot sooner...not that there is an obvious connection, other than who makes both.

My hands-on iPod experience began when someone very special to me got me a 120GB Classic as a birthday gift, six weeks before my actual birthday. 

(Note: This is someone whom I've mentioned before--who has, since that mention, restored the vast palette of color to my life, filling out the dreary greys and whites. This alone is no surprise, as for two and a half years she did that every day...selflessly and without expectation...simply. She is the best person I have ever known...or, ever will. But, there is too much there to talk about rightfully should have its own entry--and, soon, it will.)

There is a certain magic to having all of one's music in one place...all readily available at the touch of a...well, clickwheel. I've converted some movies, and the video is sharp and clear on the screen. Anyone who is critical of watching a movie on that small but highly defined screen should try it. I once was one of those thusly critical--but when I started watching my favorite movie, "Blade Runner", just to see how it would look...eventually, forty minutes later, I had to tear myself away, for a dinner that was now growing cold.

I have an iPod...and I love it. Who knew?

(A final note: I must apologize for the title of this entry--in it I use "iPod" as a verb, as if one who uses one of the features on the device actively "iPods". I am adamantly opposed to those who use Google as a verb--" I Googled it", for example. One "does a Google search", one "searches with Google". Please--no usage of new nouns as verbs, I say...then I do the same thing. Ugh.)