I've managed to avoid iPod envy thus far. I mean really, it's just a bloody mp3 player, isn't it? Having owned a 20 Gb Rio Karma since late 2004 the device – for me – is definitely a Nice To Have. Sure the iPod has nice integration with iTunes, but being forced into a controlled relationship with a buggy piece of software isn't my idea of a good time. The newer ones which allowed you to display photos on the screen were pretty neat too, but it's not really a killer feature.
A couple of clicks on Amazon, and it was on its way…
It's frigging TINY! Seriously, it's smaller than the credit card I used to buy the damn thing! 8gb of space to store whatever goodness I want on it – initially I was skeptical about “small capacity” players, but as I've got about 120gb of tunes at home I don't suppose I'll ever get it all on a pocket sized device any more, and 8gb is a vast & far cry from the old 256mb offerings of yesteryear.
However the absolute killer fature that sold it for me was: VIDEO! Granted, the screen's about the size of a postage stamp, but it's got great resolution, and – for me at least – TV's mainly about sound with the visuals providing cues for what's going on. After installing a convertor and crunching down some files I've been able to really effectively watch episodes of Freakazoid and Dexter (coincidentally, both shows featuring protagonists with the same first name!) on the tube… this device is brilliant! It'll enable me to catch up on all that crazy TV that Nicklearse Klau's been waxing lyrical over for the past year and a half. Of course, it's decimated my reading habit.
And it changed my life for little over a hundred quid.
Maybe it's my first step to becoming one of those Apple zealot type people. Or, more correctly, resuming my former status as one – of course, things have moved on substantially since the MacPlus.