This post started out as a little tip on song lyrics, but then I thought I’d join the rant on the ipod touch..
I discovered this little golden nugget a good while ago, when my precious wife bought me *the single most useful device I ever came across*; the ipod touch. I got the 8GB version, and can’t see how I’d fill that up. I carry with me most of the music I listen to now, previously and some that I don’t listen to as much. I have about 30 new (as in unlistenend to) podcasts at any time, there are favorites in Safari for some iphone-adapted newspaper sites and of course – an ever growing collection of APPS! Gotta love the appstore… 🙂
Stocks – obvious little gadget. Instant heads-up on my tiny portfolio.
Podcasts – I admit it – the touch got me hooked on podcasts. I started out with Leo Laporte and Paul Thurrott’s Windows Weekly and soon discovered many of Leo’s other podcasts. A personal favorite is Security Now with Steve Gibson – a true geek to the bone! Then as I got into .NET and software development I’ve tipped towards such podcasts as the excellent .NET Rocks! with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell. Then, as a side-order I touched by the Mondays! podcast, hosted by the same crew + others. A word of warning though, while hilarious at times, Mondays! is NOT for the faint of heart. Expect vulgarities, profanity and such. All in all, the podcast community is enormous and growing, and I believe anyone can find a podcast for their particular interest.
I will typically listen to podcasts while driving, painting the house, chopping wood, frying pancakes or <insert mundane task here>. Makes the otherwise boring task into a fun and meaningful one.
Music – yep it *does* play music too. 🙂 Thousands of songs. I’ve tried different earphones in an everlasting quest of perfect wearability, comfort and sound-quality. I’ve had a pair of Koss PortaPros that I managed rip out the cord from, it was just too long. Plus they were a bit cumbersome to wear while doing manual labor. I also ripped cords from the original set of earbuds, so I stole my son’s earbuds, the ones that came with his Shuffle. The cord on those are a little shorter, so I struggle when I don’t have any “high” pockets to put the ‘pod in. I’ve tried getting earbuds that are supposed to close you out from your surroundings and provide excellent sound-quality, and I bet they do – but they’re not for me; Since I listen while driving, closing out ALL ambient sound is a *very* bad idea. Also I find that putting them on requires more effort. So as far as I can tell – nothing beats the original Apple earbuds.
Oh, and the tip I was gonna tell you about: You can add song lyrics to you songs! You’ll find most lyrics online with Google. Just search for something like “Nirvana Nevermind lyrics” and a ton of fansites will show up. Select and copy the lyrics to your clipboard or notepad or what ever. Then, in iTunes you can right-click any song (well, AAC or MP3), choose Info and in the resulting dialog, choose the pane called Text. Paste the lyrics in there, and resync you music. While the song is playing, you’ll be able to scroll through the lyrics right in there! Nice!
Movies – yes movies too. I rip my DVD’s (so sue me! :)) with DVD Shrink and reduce them with Handbrake on the PC, then upload the full movies in great quality on the go. A full two-hour movie is about 1GB in ipod-format. Great on long flights, which I have almost none of, but still. Battery on the touch is good for about 5-6 hours of movie-watching, I’m guessing the iphone can’t match that..
Apps – gotta love the Appstore! What an amazing collection of *very* useless software! And at the same time, an incredibly diverse collection of very *useful* software! If you can filter through all the iBeer, iFarts, iThis and iMrich (or what the heck that insanely expensive thing was called) you can actually find some really creative and well thought-through applications. Some personal favorites (excluding games) are:
Geocaching by Groundspeak – this one would really be more useful if you had the iPhone, as it integrates with 3G and GPS for downloading caches and location. But paired with my Windows Mobile Smartphone and a nifty little piece of software that turns the WM into a Wifi hotspot, I’m able to at least download the caches while out in the field. The WM also has a GPS, so I can get my location and type it in manually..
Twitterific by The Iconfactory – yes I sometimes twitter.. The same thing goes for Twitter as for the Appstore, and the Internet in general I guess – you gotta *filter out the crap* if you want to derive value from it! I follow some people that twitter useful links concerning .NET-related topics, development in general and other IT stuff. Plus I can search for terms of interest and find tweets from people that have discussed these terms.
Flash Drive by Readdle.com – this is a cool little piece of software that is… well… I guess what the name says, but the interface is somewhat different than you would think about a flash drive. It uses an http server to allow you to connect using WebDAV and map it like an ordinary network drive in Windows. From there you can upload documents to the device. Now, if they would only include search in the document contents, I’d be perfectly happy with it..
Units – allows you to convert units. Handy, when you need it, which I don’t very often, but still I like to keep it around.
Safari – yes the browser is nice, but the feature that allows you to make “applications” from webpages is particularly nice. I use the Google Reader for keeping up with RSS feeds, and so I made a Home Screen Favorite (or what you might call it) to directly launch Reader as if it was a local app! Google has made a great iphone-friendly interface for it, so it looks and feels like it’s local. Others I’ve “applified” are Gmail, StackOverflow and Hotmail. Click and go!
Google Earth – It amazes me that this is even possible – to have the Google Earth experience on a device this small! And with touch and tilt control it’s actually *better* that on the pc. Gotta love that!
Games – yes games games games. My son got hooked pretty early (he’s four now) on the games on the ipod, and “ipod night” has become a term we use frequently. Together we have played through the whole Toy Bot series (1, 2 and 3), both Dizzy Bee games, landed gazillions of planes in FlightControl and ATC 4.0, battled demons in TapDefense, tilted and slid our way through Labyrinth and Hydro Tilt and bounced around in JellyCar. Endless hours of fun for a price equivalent to a pack of gum in most cases. Gotta love that too!
And I could go on and on. But I’m out of time for now, and I’m gonna end this. I love the ipod touch…