Thursday, May 7, 2009

iPod Touches Me

Many years ago I bought an Apple Newton. This was another technology turn-on from my techie friend Terry. I even had a Newton holster. I wore it low-slung on my hip. I took notes on it and kept a calendar on it. At some point I abandoned it.

Last fall my techie friend Terry introduced me to the iPod Touch. It fit my hand so well, it was so intuitive to use, the touch screen was wonderful, there were all those cool apps, and it had built in WiFi. Oh, be still my techie heart! I thought about it for a while, and then bought one for myself for Christmas. It goes with me everywhere.

When I first got it I resisted the urge to over-indulge in apps. I picked up a few essentials, the Amazon app (free), the Wikiamo app (free), GroceryIQ, Spore (just couldn't resist), Solitaire. Mostly I used it to check my email without having to turn on my big computer and to look up things on imdb when we were watching movies and wanted to know who that actor was.

Well, since then, my app count has risen considerably. I have a number of apps for learning Japanese - we get Japanese customers in the booth at Bead & Button. I have apps for learning French. I have a few more games. I have an HP 42C app. I have knitting apps. I have a table of elements app, a conversions app, an app that will calculate how many grams/mole of a substance, a map of the moon app that shows all the Apollo landings. I have an app that keeps track of all the books that I might like to read one day (Next Read). I have the Facebook app and now I have the Kindle app.

I resisted getting any kind of e-reader for the iPod because I already had the Kindle, and the screen is just so small, but when the Kindle app came out I had to give it a try. It is very cool. The other night we were going out to dinner, so I downloaded one of my Kindle books to the iPod and tucked the iPod into my coat pocket. While we were waiting for our table I pulled out the iPod and started reading. Of course the screen is great. Color! And the page turn is an intuitive finger swipe. When I picked the Kindle up the next day and opened up the same book it synced to the spot I was reading on the iPod. Very nice.

Recently, one of my nieces posted a note on Facebook telling her friends to shuffle the songs on their iPods and then write out the first line from each of the next 20 or 30 songs. I had to chuckle at that note, you can put music on these? Wow, what a concept, and here I was thinking it was just a really cool little computer. I have actually bought a couple of albums for my iPod, but I'm still warming up to that aspect of the technology. Partly it is because I really don't like listening to music with headphones or ear buds, and partly it is because you don't get the liner notes if you don't buy the CD. I have recently invested in a high end small speaker for my iPod (a Soundwave), although it hasn't gotten much use yet.

I am going to be taking a trip in a couple of weeks that involves four days of driving. In the past I've taken a box of CDs, but maybe this time I'll just load some stuff on my iPod.

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