Yesterday I realized that buying an iPod is just the start of a long chain of purchases. I got a first generation iPod as a birthday present shortly after it was released (thanks, Wooly & Jared!). In order to listen to it in the car I bought an FM transmitter, then because the battery wouldn’t last long enough for long trips, I bought a power adapter that plugged into the cigarette lighter. Eventually that iPod’s hard disk died, probaby as a result of being banged one too many times.
After a few months without an iPod I bought another one, a third generation model with the row of four backlit buttons and a 20gig hard drive. I vowed to protect this one against bumps and scratches, and bought a silicon case that kept it shiny, and it’s still working fine a year and a half later. In the meantime I replaced the funky FM transmitter with a cassette adapter, tho my car often likes to eject the cassette for no apparent reason, making for a jarring listening experience. The right way to go would be to replace the stock radio with one that has a little AUX plug on the front that I could plug the iPod right into, but that purchase is still in the future (tho I can see it coming). And of course a new car stereo probably means new speakers, yada yada. I hear that 1/3 of new cars come with iPod support, but that ultimate iPod accessory isn’t something I’m even considering.
Last spring I got these little portable speakers that the iPod plugs right into, turning it into a portable jukebox. It’s loud enough to listen to outside, and it even runs on batteries.
These days the iPod is often out of its case, as it’s usually plugged into the speakers and next to the bed, and I still take it with me on drives. Altho I’ve been careful, the screen has gotten scuffed enough to make it hard to see sometimes. I’m thinking of getting some screen polish to remove those scuffs and scratches.
I’ve also been thinking of getting one of those new iPods that play video. A color screen would be nice (and it has a nice large screen), and I’d be able to play videos and movies on it. It looks like all my accessories will work with it (yay, Apple!), except for the case, so I’d need to get a new one of those. The new iPods are USB only (no more speedy Firewire, boo Apple!), and my Powerbook only has old-style (read slow) USB ports, so I’d have to get a USB2 notebook card for high-speed transfers.
And that’s just the iPod accessories. Because I now listen to more music, I’ve had to buy CDs and iTunes music over the years. I just checked my iTunes Music Store account, and it says that I’ve bought over 30 albums and 70+ singles since it opened in April 2003.
Is the iPod a gateway drug, or a boost to the US economy? I really don’t know, but I do know I really enjoy listening to music on it. It puts me to sleep at night, it makes driving that much more enjoyable, it helps pass the time while I’m sitting in waiting rooms. And it gives my life a soundtrack, making it even more interesting.