iPod Thoughts, Six Months On

I've had my iPod Nano for about six months now, and I still think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. I can carry more than 2000 songs, a week's worth of music if played continuously, in my front pocket. And of course, that's far more time than the battery life, which is good but does require me to recharge it every three days or so. The Nano is light as a feather, and it doesn't have a hard drive or any other moving parts, since it uses flash memory rather than a hard drive, like the larger video iPods do. I got the Nano rather than a video iPod because all I wanted it for was to carry music around to listen to at work. It succeeds admirably at this task.

So, is 2000 songs enough? Well, yes and no. It's more music than I can listen to, but it can't possibly include all of the music that I own. I do have to decide what's going to go on the iPod, and if I want to add something, then something else has to come off, since it's usually pretty close to full. I've found that I have two conflicting desires: I want to have my favorite CDs on the iPod in their entirety, but I also want to have all of my favorite individual songs. Ultimately, something's got to give. Sometimes, I put just the songs I want from a particular CD on the iPod and unselect the rest of the CD in iTunes. I did that yesterday when I ripped the Eurythmics' Revenge, putting just "Missionary Man," "Thorn In My Side" and "When Tomorrow Comes" on the iPod. Although, after listening to those songs last night at work, I may just put the rest of that CD on the iPod as well. I'd forgotten how good Annie Lennox sounded on those songs.

There are some songs that I put on the iPod last September that I haven't played at all yet. There are other songs that have play counts over 100. The iPod tracks the number of times each track has been played, and even compiles a nifty Top 25 playlist for you. It tends to become a self-reinforcing list, since it's often easy to just click that playlist and hear the songs you've listened to the most. When it comes time to remove something in order to put something new on the iPod, I've started by dropping the stuff I don't actually play. Yeah, it's nice to have every Beatles and Bruce Springsteen CD on the iPod, but when you haven't played Nebraska after six months, and you want to put something new on it...

I've only ripped about half of the CDs in my collection, and one of these days, I'll sit down and rip the rest, then fill in some of the gaps on the iPod. No ZZ Top! I have the CDs, I just haven't ripped them. No "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper! I have that on CD, too, and it's my theme song. Well, one of them, anyway. A grievous oversight! Somebody should do something about that.

Next week, I'll take the time to write a post about my current Top 25, and how it has changed since the original Top 25 I wrote about last fall. Many of the same songs are still on the playlist; as I said, it tends to be self-reinforcing through sheer laziness. I'll also write about my most-played full CDs. The Bangles and Susanna Hoffs figure prominently on that list.

Yesterday, I added some new stuff. I ripped Joan Osborne's Relish from 1995, which had her hit song "One of Us," as well as some other songs I liked: "Right Hand Man" and "Let's Just Get Naked" were both pretty good. Several of the songs on the CD had a real Sheryl Crow feel to them, especially "Crazy Baby"; I got the feeling that either one of them could have sung some of the other's songs and the material would have felt authentic. So, if you're wondering, the song about "what if God was one of us" wasn't the only good one on the CD.