I always figured that I'd be the last human on Earth to own an iPod. But here I am, two days into an increasingly intimate relationship with an iPod Touch, and I'm wondering: Baby, what kept us apart for so long?
The strange thing is, I hardly ever listen to music. Mostly I tune to talk radio and OPB/PBS when I'm driving around. At home, the Internet has been my closest inanimate communicative companion.
Yet I was drawn to the Touch as soon as it was released. It's got the look and feel of an iPhone without the expensive AT&T wireless contract. OK, I can't make a phone call with it. But I can browse the web and do a lot of other really cool stuff.
Like most electronic gadgets these days, the Touch comes with an extremely minimalist "manual." Actually, it's a foldout that basically tells you how to get the thing turned on and where to find the real user's guide online. So I still don't know how to do a quarter of the stuff this marvel is capable of.
Nonetheless, last night I found myself sitting on the couch at 1 am, iPod Touch in hand, connected to my in- house wi-fi system, with a vague thought – What am I doing watching a YouTube music video of someone singing in Chinese this time of night? – meandering through my Touch obsessed mind.
There's simply something lovable about it. Like other Apple products, it's marvelously well-designed and intuitive. At first the lack of visible controls worried me: How do you make this creature do what you want? Where's the volume adjustment?
However, it didn't take long for the touchiness of this new iPod model to sooth my anxieties. With a scroll of the finger or a double tap the iPod leaps to obey my command.
At the moment that often isn't what I expected it to do. But hey, I still haven't read the user's guide (thanks to the above-linked reviews, I just learned that double-clicking the Home button brings up a volume control no matter what else you're doing, so that solves one question).
It was super easy to transfer my first music CD (a Nora Jones album) to the Touch via my computer's iTunes interface. That motivated me to drive to a Radio Shack store and get a connector for the MP3 Aux input in my Prius.
Voila! Nora now was singing to me over my car radio!
And instead of wondering "what's the name of this song" I could turn to the iPod Touch and see what was playing. I could even do a finger scroll thing over the name of the track and rate the song from 1 to 5 stars (apparently my Touch can be told to only play songs I rate highly).
So, yeah, I'm in love. Of course, instant infatuation often strikes when I meet-up with some seductive piece of technology.
But I've got a feeling this relationship is going to be different. I'm looking forward to brushing the cobwebs off of our CD collection and getting lots of tunes into the receptive interior of Ms. iPod Touch.
I can envision a future where political talk radio and I don't spend nearly as much time together. That'll be good for my blood pressure. Plus, I don't want my new friend to feel jealous.
She's touchy, you know.