Well, after drooling over iPods for, literally, years, and watching hip-looking young people with wads of disposable income do cool dances on the television commercials, Dagmar and I finally counted our pennies and bought an iPod.
We opted for the $79 iPod Shuffle. You can see a photo of it to the right. Ours is kind of a metallic purple, holds about 150 songs, and is much smaller than the photo would imply.
It’s about the size of a half-eaten saltine.
I feel so hip. Cool, even. I’m part of the “in” crowd. I am popular, and the envy of all the neighborhood urchins. Or at least that’s how I felt when Dagmar let me hold the empty box as she eagerly stuffed the ear buds into her head and ran out the door to go to work.
“Vow!” she said to me over the phone a few hours later. “Dis ting is really cool! I really, really like it!”
We’ve had it a few days, and we still both like it, which is a good sign. A person hates to spend $79 on something they rarely use, but so far we’ve been pretty entranced with our little toy. Dagmar takes it to work and uses it at the gym every day. When she brings it home I plug it into my head when I’m working on my computer as it’s nice to have tuneage without lagging down my hard drive. (My computer’s so old and creaky I can’t run iTunes if anything else is open at the same time without really dragging things down. Even web-based Pandora crashes my system occasionally if I use that instead of iTunes.)
So now that I’m cool and hip with my time-shared iPod, I have questions galore. Queries. Interrogative statements.
If I wiggle the little ear buds over this way a little and push ’em in my ear a bit with my delicate little index fingers I can hear the bass WAY better. Being a former bassman in various bands, I like hearing bass response, you see. Has anyone out there bought after-market ear buds? Is the bass better than the standard “comes with your iPod” ear buds? How do you like them? It seems strange to buy $90 Bose earphones for an $80 player, so I’d kinda like to know if it’d be worth it…
Both Dagmar and I have noticed that the standard ear buds kinda hurt our ears. They’re a little uncomfortable and sort of wear on the edges of the ear raw, just a bit. Does this go away? Do iPod users grow callouses on their ears?
Is there any other iPod etiquette of which I should be aware?
Man, I feel so cool. Can you feel my coolness?
I don’t know about the Shuffle but on the other iPods (like my regular iPod) you get settings for sound output where you can boost vocals or bass or treble etc. There are about 30 different ones on mine. The Shuffle though has no screen so I guess you can’t really make changes like that… I have mine with vocal and bass boosted and it sounds awesome.
The little Shuffle looks so cool though. Welcome to the 21st century, dude! 🙂
My phone is my mp3 player. And I just got a larger micro card, so more tunes for me! Yay.
You may now dispose of your cassette tapes.
I never bought nice earphones because mine break monthly (I listen at all times now, and can’t walk from the computer to the bathroom without some sort of NPR program informing me about what happened two days ago).
Other companies make plenty of cheaper earbuds that hurt my ears a lot less, though. Maybe you can save a few pennies for some $20 ones.
my dog ate my trademark white ear buds (literally, had to make sure the stupid mutt pooped out all the parts or take him in for surgery)
I bought a $5 pair at walgreens or something that were WAY better as far as comfort and sound. They kind of hung over your ears like you glasses. They claimed to be “bass boosting” and had this “chamber” that supposedly did that.
I did notice a difference in the bass in some songs, for $5 it was pretty good. Until my toddler ate those.
Anyway, definately go for something with comfort, the Apple earbuds weren’t built for that. I don’t have any great suggestions, but if you go to Best Buy I know they have a pretty good selection.
Just find something your cat won’t eat.
Oh, and I highly suggest looking into podcasts. Don’t know how well they work on the shuffle, but I’m an addict. Being a literature nut, you’d love “The Classic Tales”.
Guv: I don’t think there are any settings on the Shuffle. I looked it up in the directions, but they really aren’t directions… More like pictographs or cartoons, nothing so in-depth as, for example, how to turn the thing on, let alone how to actually RUN it. But I still like it anyway.
Leonesse: My, what big mugs you have!
Pistols: NPR is a wondrous thing, ain’t it? I used to have a 45 minute commute each way to work; enough time to get all caught up in whatever story they were reporting. I haven’t really felt “in touch” with the world since I quit listening to NPR two hours a day…
Dad Andersen: Methinks I’ll stop in at Radio Shack (there’s one just two blocks from our hovel). I didn’t know they made any “budget” ear buds — all I saw were the $90 Bose and Sennheiser models on the Mac site. Thanks for the tip!
Our kids started using Dollar Store earphones. One likes buds, the other muffs. I buy several at a time, they have never said anything about the sound (and they complain about EVERYTHING) and we don’t mind replacing them often.
That way, you and your Snookums can have a few pair.
Chris, first – congratulations on your tiny portable happiness machine!
Secondly – I got these ear-buds – think I paid $12 for them and found them a week later at (thank you, Leonesse) Big Lots for $6. I bought 5 sets (I’ll send you a couple if you can’t find them).
and a little more
I’ve been meaning to write to congratulate you on your wise purchase for days!
I also have some downloadable tunes on my blog if you’re interested.
I tended to jam my earbuds in too far and they hurt and I had trouble keeping them untangled so I bought a $40 pair of foldable Sony headphones because I used to travel so much (needed them to fit in my purse). Because they fold up the fit is very snug and sounds just fine to me.
I also recommend the tape player adapter for taking your new toy in the car with you.
or… Belkin makes a radio adaptor for about $20 if you car doesn’t have a tape player… but your car is new, it might have a port, in which case you can get a cord from Radio Shack for about $6 (just need two male ends)
be careful about singing along with your iPod. that’s bad news for everyone involved.
i have to support the bulk purchasing of cheap buds/phones. it’s irritating to have the kids interrupt my slaving over dinner to say “my earphones broke” or “i left my buds on the bus”. as a semi-responsible adult, you could probably spring for the “quality” ones.
and if your iPod is fussy with your iTunes, don’t go tell your mom that your iPod is broke and you need a new one, cuz that just ain’t gonna fly, mister.
Gosh, sorry for not answering, guys — life’s been hectic.
I went out and bought some of those “over the ear” things for ten bucks. They’re much more comfy than the stock ear buds! Not a whole lot more bass, but a little…
The new car does, yes indeedy, have a jack suitable for plugging in the happy little iPod, and it works nifty indeed! The car I drive, though, doesn’t even have a tape player, just ye olden radio. That doesn’t bother me a bit, ’cause I hardly ever drive that car more than six blocks…
This stuff is fun!
Oh, and I DO sing along to the iPod, actually. It gives the cat something to wonder about. I’ve heard my Alpine Snickerdoodle yodeling to herself in the other room, too…