My torrid love affair

She was gorgeous. Almost too thin, but slight sexy curves. Her face was beautiful, so eye-catching. You could hardly take your gaze away. And she begged, no, she demanded to be touched. And her voice, her voice was music to my ears, but despite her siren song, something wasn’t right. The two weeks we spent together were passionate, but after that, I realized that she didn’t have enough depth to her. She flat out refused to change certain things about her that would bother me forever. Ending it was the right thing to do. The brief intense love affair is something I’ll always remember, but I know that a long term commitment would have never worked out.

I’m talking about my ipod Touch.

Yes, a couple of weeks ago I bought a 16GB touch. I knew that the storage might be a limitation, but I wanted to try anyway. Basically I pared down my current 93GB music library to about 11GB of playlists. That left the rest for video content and pictures.

Let’s get this out of the way. As a portable picture album, or a video player, this thing is the best there is. You WILL not find anything better at this point. The screen is absolutely gorgeous, and despite getting fingerprints all over it, the picture shone through wonderfully. The ability to zoom in and out of pictures and flip to the next one with simple strokes of your fingers is one of the best interfaces I’ve ever seen. My daughters could do it easily and it was a really cool effect.

The music player is where this fell flat. First, 16GB is a huge limitation for me. Trying to get my library down to that size was painful, and I found myself missing tracks or albums that I wanted to listen to. Granted, my library isn’t typical, so if you have a lot less music, this player may be ideal. But, there were a couple of other things that really made this not compatible with the way that I use it.

What I do is I add several albums at a time to the device. So in a typical week, lets say I add 10 albums. So what I then do is I listen to each album all the way through. If I like a song, I give it a star rating. Best songs are five stars, decent songs are less than that. If I don’t like a track after about 45-60 seconds, I click next to get to the next track. I have smart playlists set up so anything with star ratings ends up in playlists by genre. So this is how I get all the best music in my collection to end up in playlists automatically.

The problem with the touch, is well, having to touch the screen. On my old ipod Photo, I knew that during a song I could click the next button to go to the next song, or I could click the middle button a couple of times to get to the star ratings and make a quick change. Well what happens on the touch is that the screen goes black (to save battery) after so many seconds. When the screen goes black, you have to hit the home button and then slide your finger across the face of it to unlock it. THEN you are back in the music player. So old way: click next. New way: click home, look at screen, swipe finger, tap screen to bring up controls, click next. It’s VERY inefficient in the way that I personally do things.

I may have been able to look past the lack of storage for awhile, but the lack of a hard button or quick mechanism to change stars, or click next, or even to set volume was limiting to me. Now I’m pretty sure there are settings you can use to keep the screen from going black for longer periods of time. The problem then becomes that the battery life goes very quickly. I tried tapping the screen every thirty seconds or so to keep it showing and not going black and it depleted the battery much more quickly. So neither way was really an option for me.

So after the infatuation and the passion and the touching I ended the affair by returning my ipod touch to Best Buy. It was one of the hardest break-ups I’ve ever had, and I’ll miss her.