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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

MP3 Experience

I've had my MP3 player for about two weeks now, and so far I love it. I'm actually only lukewarm on the particular model I chose, but I'm definitely enjoying the concept in general. I chose a smaller player (memory-wise) in order to get one with an FM tuner so that I could listen to the TV audio at the gym or Razorback games while on the go, and I still think that was a good choice for me.

The Creative MuVo does a great job with music and radio. The interface is reasonably self-explanatory and easy to use, even while jogging, and the sound quality is as good as one could reasonably expect in a small pocket player. The FM receiver has worked well at the gym so far, and it picks up strong FM broadcast stations with little trouble.

However, it has also become obvious that I'm going to want to get a bigger player as soon as possible. I absolutely love spoken-word audio. When I'm driving, I listen to talk radio almost exclusively. I don't mean just the typical political talk radio, I mean NPR, sports call-in, sermon broadcasts, old radio drama -- anything with people talking. That's a major reason that podcasts have appealed to me a great deal, and even though I've been listening to them for nearly a year, this is the first time I've had the ability to enjoy them away from a computer.

Even though 256 MB will hold quite a bit of music, it doesn't go quite as far with podcasts. I can get about a week's worth (depending on my drive times and gym visits) on my player at any one time, but that doesn't leave much room for music if I happen to be in the mood for something different. Also, since I use iTunes to subscribe to podcasts, transferring them from my computer to the player is far from automatic (although it's still pretty easy).

As an interesting aside, whenever I plug the MuVo into my iBook, iTunes recognizes it and mounts it automatically, whereas iTunes on my PCs does not. The computers themselves recognize it equally well, though.

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