Back in June my mom was nice enough to get me an iPod
for my birthday. This week I paid it forward by getting an iPod Nano
for my sister Niki.
It's hard to shop for Niki. She's a VP at Medtronic
, so if or when she wants something, she buys it herself. Luckily for me, left to her own devices she's a part of the late majority on the product diffusion curve
so I can still get her interesting, not-destined-to-be-re-gifted, presents, just by buying her ubiquitous gadgets (last year it was the Bose noice cancelling headphones
for her flights).
After four months, I have mixed feelings about the iPod. On one hand, it's great to use once you've got the music loaded, but on the other hand, I find the music to be a pain to load. This is because I don't buy music through iTunes. I just don't feel comfortable with the thought of buying a new iPod several years from now and transferring a bunch of digitally protected content from the old one to the new one. I feel much more comfortable with my current stone age workflow of ripping CDs to MP3s, tranferring to the iPod, and backing up the MP3s on DVD-Rs.
The compact disk is really archaic as a media format. It's about 20 years old and only holds 650 - 800 MBs of information on a relatively large disk (compare that to 4 GB on the iPod nano, which isn't much more massive than a CD). However, I think the CD will stick around for a long time, simply because most CDs don't have any sort of copy protection - and I personally won't buy any CDs that do
have copy protection.
What I want is a mechanism where I can pay a fixed amount of money to have a license to some piece of music - or a movie for that matter - and pay a marginal fee for future copies of the same album/video on better technology, as opposed to the model today where companies re-release the same classic albums/movies every five years on a new format for another $30. How many different versions of the original Star Wars
have you owned in your life? My current DVD copy is probably version #4 for me, and I wasn't even a real consumer until about 15 years ago!
Speaking of CDs, here's a trivia question for you. The compact disk is typically 74 minutes long. Does anyone know why? I'll give you a clue; the fact that the disk holds 74 minutes of audio - not 70, not 80 - was very
intentional on the part of Sony, but not for technical reasons. I'll give the answer in a future entry unless someone posts it as a comment first.contact me: email@example.com