27 March 2007

What's her's is mine and what was going to be Tiger's is now her's.

A realignment of MP3 players has occurred within our household.

It started with separate comments from both my wife and my son to the effect they were, shall we say, "outgrowing" their players.

As something of an early Christmas present, I bought Seraphim a small SanDisk "Sansa" 1-GB player, big enough to hold about 250 songs. She believed, at the time, that a one-gig would do the job -- she could shuttle songs in-N-out as needed. By year's end, however, she would start to feel growing pains.

And following Christmas, my son Tiger used some of his Christmas money to buy himself a 2-GB Creative Zen-V player. Not one month after getting it, the boy was now pining for more space. The kid should've thought about going for the four-gig model instead and forewent that second "guitar" controller for his PS2 Guitar Hero game!

Don't you just love hindsight - the world's only exact science??

Meanwhile as 2007 got underway, Tiger's second report card showed a slight decline -- 2 A's, a B and a C (His school has four two-hour periods. Classes do a year's work in half the time, so one has a completely different schedule each semester). His class load this go-'round is incredibly easy: Art, Band, Music Appreciation and Science. Just one "academic" class; we're talking basketweaving territory here, folks. My allowance is contingent upon his getting only A's and B's, so I had to suspend his paternal stipend.

But not without a challenge for boychild (as whatzername is fond of calling him): Get the grades up to ALL A's for your third nine weeks... and not only will I reinstate the allowance, I will restore it retroactively to the beginning of this year. He then reminded me of his MP3 player situation, so I amended my challenge to say this: Get all A's, and then turn over your Creative two-gig player to your stepmother. I'll then buy you a new 4-gig iPod Nano you've been lusting after. I even stretched the conditions to say THREE A's, so long as the single B is at least an 85 or above.

This afternoon, my son called me with the damage for nine weeks #3: One (1) A. Three (3) B's. At least there are no C's. I told him the allowance spigot would again be turned on. However, there was no deal. ESPECIALLY given how difficult his classes are. The kid has sloughed off, and admitted as such. Well, he'd again have money. Perhaps he could save his way toward a Nano. We'll see.

Therefore, plan B went in force. I took the $$ set aside for the MP3 player, and hit Best Buy to buy my best Seraphim a new 2-GB Creative Zen V-Plus. Basically the same player Tiger has. BUT: upon browsing the MP3 player section, I noticed the two-gig Creative players had gone down in price since Tiger bought his. Okay, maybe there'll be a little bit left over .... but then I see where the Creative FOUR-gig Zen players are $149.99.

Talk about a no-brainer. My wife will go from one billion to four billion musical bytes. She's happy with her new player. She'll get to break it in tomorrow night at the Y.

So ... what about the poor San-Disk one-gig'er? Are we rejecting it from our lives, banishing it to the curb to die of a broken heart?

Hardly. Your Crusty, But Somehow Lovable Talmadge now has custody of the little device. It's quite nice -- the SanDisk (as with the bigger Creatives which Tiger and now Seraphim own) has an FM tuner and a halfway decent color LCD display. Not too shabby, all considered. Just a bit cramped for some peoples' needs.

"But Talmadge, don't you already have an MP3 player?", I can hear you asking with raised eyebrows and a voice suggesting a slight hint of indignation.

And I would reply, "Yes, my good people. I do. It's a beautiful 30 GB Creative Zen Vision:M. As of this posting, it contains the sum of 5,327 songs. My entire MP3 collection, not counting the varying amount of OTR (Old Time Radio) programs I shuttle in and out of there. The current burden my Tal-Pod® carries is just over 20 gigs."

"So why the f(BLEEP)k do you need ANOTHER player? Don't you know there are starving children in Africa without electricity and access to computers or batteries who would love the chance to load up a 'pod with tunes and rock away, a waifish silhouette against a chartreuse background, with earbud cables thicker than their bodies' frame?"

I can give you a very good reason for a second player, and it's a four-letter word, so more sensitive ears might orta cover 'em: YMCA.

Okay, that's not a word. It's an abbreviation. Oh well.

You see, the 30-gig Tal-Pod® is a hard-drive based player. In fact, the mainline iPods and related large-capacity devices are little more than a laptop hard disk drive combined with an audio circuit, small amplifier section and rechargeable battery.

By comparison, the smaller SanDisk and Creative Zen Vs are FLASH players. The music and other data are stored on chips. Technology hasn't yet advanced to where 30 gigabytes can reside on a flash drive, so HDDs remain the only way to go.

The deal is this: an MP3 player is subjected to at least a fair amount of vibration and minor shock and trauma during the course of an average workout. Flash players, with no moving parts, can take it. But vibration is the worst enemy of a regular hard drive, even with a notebook HDD carrying extra amounts of 'padding.'

And it's always possible to -- horrors!! -- drop the MP3 player on the hard floor. Any questions?

Up to now, I've reached into the past for the player I take with me to the Y. I have a Creative Nomad-II MP3 player. Talk about a golldurned antique! It's an SD memory based player which holds a whopping 64 MB -- yes, MEGAbytes -- of music. Barely an hour's worth. I bought it in 2004, thinking I was sooooo on the cutting edge. Well, actually I bought it because I wanted to use it for playing back a lot of OTR programs I'd gotten in MP3 format ... since they're typically encoded at a lower bandwidth, more of 'em will fit. When we began working out, I dusted off the Nomad and began using it.

Now I'll have the "Sansa" player for workouts, with its gig of capacity, meaning I can go for more than one trip between purge-and-reloads. And its FM tuner will be perfect for when our new Y opens up, with its "cardio theater" bank of TVs and audio being sent to micro FM transmitters. Fox News? That one's easy: 107.9 ... all the way to the right, heh heh.

So what about my Nomad? Will I put it back on the shelf to gather more dust? Naaaah, I can use it for my OTR fixes and not have to do a lot of migration to and from the Tal-Pod®.

Or maybe I could box up the Nomad and send it to Ndugu, my sponsored child. But whatever shall I put on it??

I know! "We Are the World"........................

Ciao for niao.

--Jumping Tal Flash

1 comment:

nettiemac said...

Yep. I broke down and got a new one myself -- a 2-GB Insignia. Baby Bro will be taking possession of the now-decrepit (ha ha) Lyra. It's still good, only a year old, and for his usage (walking), it's perfectly fine.