Well there are certainly a lot of mediaplayers available and on the pic you see the two which are owned by me. The left one of course is my iPod nano and the right one is my old Mpio, which is very damn smal, but then also only sports a meager 256Megs internally. In the middle for reference an Euro. It basically works as an external USB where you put your MP3’s on. You can forward or go backwards, stop and play and change the volume and that basically is all it does!! Simple does it. It helped me enormously when I was running the NYC marathon back in 2004. I simply liked it. The only real problem was the memory space space it provided. It’s quite a nuisance when you’re out skiing and the only stuff you will hear are the same songs over and over again. So after a while i demoted the Mpio to a basic USB drive and bought myself an iPod nano. Basically because I don’t need to have 30Gb of music with me, 2Gb caries me through the day.
Why i bought the nano was actually pretty simple, i had bought some CD’s from the iTunes store and wanted to be able to take them along and I liked the integration between the itunes and the nano. But all this played in the era when i still had a windows computer around. Nowadays everything in the house runs Linux (ubuntu to be exactly) . Why I decided to do this might be something for another post, but to be honest, that would only encourage the Zealots to come in and frankly I’ve had enough of them and their zealotry (whether from Apple, Microsoft or Linux side).
But the decision to use only Linux as primary OS has had some implications about what I will be able to buy in the future and I’m definitely aware of that, and it basically means that i won’t be able in the foreseeable future to play DRM protected files on my PC. I can still play the iTunes files using Codeweavers Crossover as I’m basically to lazy to burn everything to CD’s and convert it to either Ogg or MP3. If i for some reason need windows I run it in VMware which basically suits my needs.
When I read the first reports about the Zune, some functionality actually excited me. (people like scobble etc. where fairly even with their comments). I new they where still on the grapevine, but they sounded to good to be true. The biggest bummer was for me not the fact that i won’t be able to use the wifi as i would like to use it, but the simple fact that I can’t use it as an external harddrive or USB device. That just basically kills it for me. Maybe my next device would have been a Zune, but I don’t want to be forced to use an OS together with it. (currently both my Mp3 players are usable together with linux!! simply because of this feature). I remember when the first iPods emerged in Europe and for some of my colleges then the compelling reason to buy it was the added hard drive capability, that sold it to them, they could transport documents between their home and work without being restricted to the @ that time pretty small USB drives.
Maybe Microsoft will amend it, and provide an upgrade which enables this feature or maybe somebody is able to install linux on it. (that would open up a whole lot of new capabilities, but maybe in another post about that). And to be honest, I guess in Europe we still have to wait some time before we will even see some Zunes coming available.