I've got another iPod! 

Yes! we are now officially a two iPod family. Last October I got an iPod Mini (see my iPod Mini review on my Elisa@Foxpop website) and I had some problems with it from the off. But over the months it has grown on me, and gradually has become my favourite MP3 player. The big drawback for me is that it doesn't have enough room - only 4 GB as compared with 40 or even 60 GB on my other players (see more on my Creative Zen XTra on Elisa@Foxpop). So when I read about Apple bringing out a new range of iPods I thought it would be a great time to go look for a slightly older model - as prices should be dropping.

In fact I found that the online Apple store UK had a big push on the iPod Color (now their standard iPod it seems) and a 20 GB iPod Color would cost the same as the cheapest older model with the same storage. 200. It was a no-brainer! So I ordered one (OK with a 60 GB hard drive) at once. Apple excelled themselves, and it was delivered the next day. 25 hours from online order to appearing at my door (and we live quite remotely, as carriers are always at pains to tell me!)

I had not been interested in the advent of the iPod Photo/Color, as basically I want to play audio books and radio dramas on my MP3 player. But if the feature was included at no extra charge I was not about to complain! And in fact the colour screen is GREAT. It is much clearer and easier to read. The font used (I think it is Myriad now instead of Tahoma) is also much easier to read. And I love the ability to add a graphic with every track, even though it is only the size of a postage stamp . It took me a while to figure out how to create my own and add them, but now I do it all the time. The photo here includes a screen shot from the DVD of the BBC drama Strong Poison. I've attached it to the BBC Audio book reading of the same D L Sayers murder mystery.

Podcasting

Another big development in my MP3 saga has been Podcasting. I had heard of it, but had not followed it up until my iPod iTunes software latest upgrade included integrated Podcasting. Apple have done it again! They are ahead of the game, and have made it SO easy to add podcast downloads to your normal iPod routine. Basically anyone can make small radio programmes and then post them as MP3 files. There is a special way to access the file to download (via an RSS feed) and you can download them onto your desktop PC or directly to your iPod. For the desktop there are free programs to help you locate and download. If you'd like to have a go then try out one out. They are all listed here - I use one called iPodder (it is free, and so are all the podcasts).

There are thousands of podcasts available, covering all manner of subjects. Many are from established websites, but most are by  amateurs and enthusiasts. The BBC is once again in the front of developments - you can download an assortment of their Radio 4, World Service, and Radio 5 Live programmes. Check it out here I regularly download their 'From Our Own Correspondent', 'Go Digital', Mark Kermode's Film review and 'File on Four'. I also go for Newsweek's weekly podcast, CNet Buzz daily, Sandy Toksvig daily and lots more. It means I can settle down to rest and catch up on a whole range of news, general interest and techie subjects that interest me. If you like listening to the radio, then I'd urge you to take a look! It takes a while to get familiar with how it works, but it is worth it!

As usual, Apple have made it easy to add Podcasting to your iPod


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Mike and Elisabeth Liddell 2006-13

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