Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Geek Chronicles (issue #1)

My 'New' Hand-Me-Down iPod Shuffle, day one, a semi real-time report. (written Wednesday)

Hello from the field.

I hate to start my first report for The Geek Chronicles with a negative but I find that I must.

I do not like the Apple earbud thingies. They hurt, fall out easily, and have almost no bass. Not much to like there.

Let me go ahead and get out the rest of the negative stuff. Well, actually one more negative.

iDon't like iTunes.

At all. But I was able to finally reset the Shuffle so that it was a clean slate for MY use, and to also update the software on the unit. And I finally got it to put a huge variety of music on the Shuffle.

I love Apple computers and the Apple operating system. I haven't owned an Apple computer in years but I love them, OK? They are so intuitive. But iTunes had me wanting to go jump off the Melbourne Causeway. But being mainly a left brain type, I figgered it out. Plus, the bridge isn't that high and I can swim.

So this morning I had a new-to-me Shuffle, freshly charged with both power and a wide selection of music. Oh yeah, and that spiffy hot pink case. (see yesterday's photo)

At work I find that the Shuffle is pretty cool. So was the response of my coworkers. But hey, I am way behind the curve here; the Shuffle has been out a long time and impressed two people one person nobody.

A while back, being the kind of guy who would like to buy, say, a $300 set of Bose noise-cancellation headphones, but instead buying a $40 Koss knockoff, I brought them and have left them at work. Around electonics labs there are lots of fans for cooling. It's like having a dozen fans over your stove running all the time. So even my cheap-o noise reducing headphones are pretty effective at knocking fan noise way, way down. Excellent.

Now hating the ear buds, I put them away in favor of the Koss headphones.

Turn on the Shuffle, adjust volume, and I'm-a workin'.

Hey, this is cool! Immediately.

I'm not tethered to anything. I have on the headphones. Excess cord wound neatly and stuffed in shirt pocket with the Shuffle and my Festival Of Pens and pencils.

Sounds pretty good for something the size of a small pack of Wrigley's gum.

I guess if I were to mentally step away from myself and look at me, I would look like a dweeb of the highest order. Big ol' headphones with the cord running into my shirt pocket. What a ridiculous sight.

Of course here, at geek central, I go completely unnoticed and no comment is made whatsoever. I expected no less. Actually, it's kinda like those big headphones from the seventies with the antenna and a radio built in.

Now that I think of it, my Shuffle, with the big headphones and cord, have actually put me backward about thiry years.

To quote the great philosopher Joey Lawrence, Whoa!

But I do dig the freedom of movement while enjoying some cool tunes.

Reminds me of that old Gilligan's Island episode where Gilligan takes a hit on the head or something and thereafter is able to pick up radio signals through the fillings of his teeth. Which of course drives everyone else on the island bats. UNTIL. Their radio breaks down, a typhoon approaches, and they search out the banished Gilligan so they can get storm updates through his amazing radio teeth.

I don't expect anything that dramatic to happen to me. It just reminded me of that show and I wanted to share.

All in all, the Shuffle is pretty cool, even without a screen. Kind of a new freedom. Instead of always changing songs and looking for certain things, I just let it play what it wants. The key is to put only stuff on it you know you'll like, but what it plays and when is pretty random.

And that is alright, the alternative is nothing at all. Where I work has so much rf in the air that you can't really listen to the radio here. Heck, cell phones don't work half the time. That's the down side of communications electronics work going on.

Heard so far:
Allan Parsons Project - Games People Play
Cranberries - Disappointment
Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears (Zakk Wylde plays my favorite guitar solo of all time)
Aaron Sprinkle - The Kindest Days (The most amazing Christian singer/songwriter I've ever heard)
12 Stones - Far Away
Aerosmith - Jaded
Al Green - Let's Stay Together
Allan Parsons Project - Don't Answer Me
Amy Grant - Faithless Heart
Cheap Trick - Surrender
ABC - Be Near Me
Aaron Sprinkle - A Friend I Had
Cranberries - Twister
AC/DC - TNT (a guilty pleasure. Hey! Hey! Hey!)
Norman Brown - That's The Way Love Goes (jazz guitarrist cover of J.J. song)
Collective Soul - Shine (acoustic version)
Chevelle - Pictures Of You (a live Cure cover of one of my all-time favorite songs)
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Art Of Breaking
A Flock Of Seagulls - Space Age Love Song
Galactic Cowboys - 9th of June (metal song about how people keep trying to predict the exact date of Jesus's return)
Tears For Fears - Everybody Wants To Rule The World (one. of. the. greatest. songs. of. all. time. period.)

and a bunch of other stuff.

You get the picture.

A big thumbs up for the Shuffle. Thumbs down for iTunes, so far.


Marsha (Big Sis) said...

WHAT? Not one Keith Urban song on the whole list! The greatest singer/songwriter of all times and you don't have one by him! I need to sit you down and give you a good talking to! I also don't see one Donny Osmond song or Josh Groban. What are you thinking?

JAM said...

You would leave this comment.

I had a Big Sis/Keith Urban ending all worked out for this post but cut it out due to excessive length. I guess I should have left it in there if I'm gonna get in trouble anyway.

I'd rather get in trouble for something I did than for something I didn't do.

Live and learn.

Pattie Big Sis's Friend said...

Hey there. First of all, love your blog!! Second, regarding Dweeb of the Highest Order...I think you already got there with the "Festival of Pens and Pencils" in your pocket. But you could have completely redeemed yourself by putting atleast one Keith Urban song on your Ipod!!! Come on!!! Make Big Sissy proud!! Actually Big Sis is proud...we are all reading your blog!!

Emily said...

I like iTunes <3 I own a nano and prefer it soo much instead of Windows Media Player or anything.

The hot pink case is simply fabulous though. I have yet to get a case for mine, but I have inspiration =P

Marsha: Yay Josh Groban!!! He's so friend went to his concert...7th row seats!! I was sooo jealous.

And the song by Thousand Foot Krutch is "The Art of Breaking," I think. That's awesome you listen to them, hehe, I've seen them in concert twice! They put on the funnest shows.

Good further luck with the iTunes!

JAM said...

Emily! Ya nailed it!

You are correct, the song is The Art Of Breaking. Thank you. The correction has been made.

That is the disadvantage of the Shuffle not having a screen. I have to guess at song names I don't have memorized.

I stand corrected.