Beowabbit (beowabbit) wrote,

  • Music:

Miscellaneous good things

First of all, I want to say thanks to onemintjulep and purrfab, both of whom called me out of the blue recently to chat. (In both cases, coincidentally, while I was at work late.) Yay for friends!

Second of all, yay for friends!, got together with missdimple today on this spectacular day for a walk around the pond, followed by ice cream at JP Licks. (At JP Licks we had a great non–ice cream–related experience which I will try to remember to post about in a day or so.)</cryptic> It was really good to get to talk with her, and it was fabulous to be outside in short sleeves.

Third of all, yay for spending plastic money! Er, well, no, but I got something really cool, an iRiver H120 20Gb audio player. This functions as an MP3/Ogg/WAV/what-have-you audio player, an external 20Gb hard drive, and an FM radio. I fell in love with it while Kala was here; she’s got one which she got for a project a while back (and which she uses to back up her laptop to, as well as for music playing), and I’d been lusting after it ever since I saw hers. Well, after getting together with Jillian, I thought I’d stop by the Micro Center and browse (not having the iRiver player in mind at all, but just thinking I’d waste a few minutes picking through their markdown table or something). Well. They had it in stock. My ears perked up when I overheard one of the salespeople mentioning Ogg Vorbis compatibility as a selling point to somebody else who was looking for a music player, and I confirmed he was talking about the same thing Kala had. Well. I couldn't control myself.

On the one hand, this is a bad thing, because it’s more consumer debt (although I plan to transfer the balance to a new 0%-on-balance-transfers card). On the other hand, I think it’s going to make a noticeable difference in my quality of life to have this thing.

So, why was I so taken with this particular device? It’s basically perfect for my needs:

  • Since I run Linux, I can’t use anything that depends on proprietary drivers. This just acts like a USB hard drive, so I can mount it and cp files to it. (I knew it would work with Linux, because Kala had used it to transfer files between her laptop and my PC.)
  • Similarly, the fact that it supports Ogg Vorbis makes me very happy, because that’s what I rip my CDs to. (Google for Fraunhofer MP3 royalties if you care why.) That’s basically a must for me.
  • Thirdly, it has an FM tuner, so if I have it with me, I can listen to my own music (up to 20Gb of it :-) or to the radio, as I choose. (My cell phone also has an FM tuner, but you’re required to turn cell phones off at my gym.)
  • Fourthly, it has a voice recorder.
  • Fifthly, it will record from line-in, so if I want to rip my cassette tapes (of which I have a bunch from college) or some other audio source, I now have a way to do it. (It won't record to Ogg, but it includes a licensed MP3 encoder and it will record to MP3 or WAV; if I want stuff in Ogg, I can record it to a WAV and encode it on my PC.)
  • Sixthly, the interface is very easy and intuitive. Everything can be done either from the unit itself or from a small (corded) remote that comes with it, so I can leave the unit in my pocket and do stuff from the remote. Both the main unit and the remote have nice screens and show you what’s playing.
  • Seventhly, 20Gb. Granted, I haven’t ripped all my CDs yet, and since even the tiny fraction of my father’s humongous CD collection that I brought home when he died dwarfed my own CD collection, 20Gb probably won’t hold all of it when it’s ripped, but it’s at least three times as much space as I need for what I’ve ripped already, and at the rate I’m going it’s going to be a very long time until I fill it up. And I can use it for backup and file transfer.
  • The company claims a 16-hour battery life.
Yeah, this thing looks like it’s going to be seriously cool.

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