2005.01.18 where you do want to go today:

sara & i have finally really started the ball rolling on this whole buying-a-house thing we've been talking about. we're talking to real-estate and mortgage agents, and we've been to our first open house this past weekend. what fun. and so many questions to ask & answer… do we top-end it, or bottom-line it? do we get a fixer-upper, or something we'll not need to do much work on? where exactly in the hell are we willing to live? obviously we can't afford much in the highlands, so how much are we willing to compromise on location? (in case you're curious) if anyone sees or knows of any decent houses in the 100k – 115k range in that general area, feel free to let me know. we are on the hunt in a big way at this point.

in other news, sara, in her constant struggles to get me off my lazy ass and exercise for a change, has now resorted to bribery. she's now offered to get me "whatever MP3 player" i want, if i'll join the running team she's on and at least walk with the walking contingent. it is a tempting offer. so far, i've narrowed down my choices to either: the iRiver H340, or the (no surprise here) iPod.

Here's how it breaks down for me so far:



  • not as much 3rd party support
  • not as pretty
  • i've "heard" the ui isn't as elegant, and borders on counter-intuitive
  • i've "heard" you have to create playlists on the PC, you can't create them on the fly on the player
  • heavier, bulkier
  • the company isn't unstable, but it's still not apple
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player
  • direct LineIn jack
  • built-in microphone w/ voice record function
  • mounts as standard USB removable storage device (acts like a hard-drive)
  • don't have to use proprietary software to access/manage songs
  • not your standard "hip" apple mp3 player


  • no voice record feature/built-in microphone
  • no direct line-in jack
  • must use iTunes?
  • mounts as USB storage device, but only for non-music/media files?
  • it's "hip"

  • it's apple!
  • lots of 3rd party accessories & stuff
  • it's cute
  • it's hip
  • it's userfriendly?

if anyone can think of any pros or cons i missed for either of these two, or has any specific thoughts/suggestions either way, please post a comment and help me make up my mind.

- 01:52 am :: permalink :: 10 comments
categories ::  Calls to Action - Computers/Tech - Cool Links - Love Life - Music - Personal Projects - Pop Culture - Wedding - Wife

10 Responses to “where you do want to go today:”

Sharon Edmonds said:

iPod – i love the remote features… and last time i used mine, i was able to hook it up to my stereo using a basic line-in to RCA cable… don't know if that's what you're referring to exactly… i also had an easy time using it in my car with a cassette tape adapter.

can't help it, i'm Apple all the way 😛

# January 18, 2005,

m@ said:

well, by line-in, i'm talking about the ability to plug an off-the-shelf microphone (or other audio *source*) directly into the player to record/encode mp3s. i want to be able to set up the player in the middle of the room during band practice, record the whole session, then track it out and dump it to a CD when i get home.

i can get the Griffin iTalk adapter for the iPod, but there's no direct record support that i'm aware of, unlike the iRiver.

# January 18, 2005,

m@ said:

also, the iTalk adapter only costs about $35, so it's not like it's that big a deal to add the line-in functionality to the iPod.

i guess the question is, do i lay out the money for a potentially less *functional* player, just because its prettier, more user-friendly, and has more people making accessories for it?

# January 18, 2005,

guy kelly said:

The ipod can be mounted as a firewire/usb drive. you just won't be able to access your music that way.

As far as having to use itunes, first of all itunes is leaps and bounds easier and more enjoyable to use than any other jukebox program. also, i think you can use music match jukebox, since that is what was used prior to itunes for windows.

and the ipod interface isn't just cool and hip, it is amazingly simple to use. just go to best buy and try navigating around with an ipod, and compare its fluidity to the herky-jerky nature of the iriver, and there will be no comparison.

as for the line-in, i don't know about the iriver's quality, but the ipod (with optional adapter) is only capable of 96 kbps recording–meant mostly for speech recording. so, with the exception of using it for very rough demos (which may be all you are looking for), the ipod may not be suitable for recording live music.

it's still your choice, but there is no comparison. it's ipod all the way.


# January 18, 2005,

Paul said:

My iPod makes me very happy. The inability to change out the battery is a scam, though.

# January 18, 2005,

m@ said:

thanks for the input.

the ability of the player to act as a USB drive is a big thing… i'd like to essentially use my player as an external harddrive, and just keep my music on the player, not on my desktop/laptop drives.

also, i just read up a bit more, and the iRiver allows 44Khz, up to 320kbps recording via the line-in jack. so, it would be more than adequate for my needs.

these two features are feeling more & more crucial to me, the more i think about it, so i'm leaning heavily towards the iRiver at this point, but i'm still not going to be certain 'til i get to play with them both and compare.

# January 18, 2005,

Javan said:

on the ipod: unless you've got firewire, you'll have to buy the fw-to-USB converter. It's only about $20, but I thought I'd let you know this so you don't take it out of the box expecting to use it on windows machines w/o firewire, and be dissapointed. It's happened before.

a short note: sorry, matt, I 'avent posted on my blog for time uncountable. My life has been SO weirdly screwed up for, say, the past month, I've scarcely had time to think about anything but solving my own damn problems. I'll call ya sometime, we need to talk. dammitt.



# January 18, 2005,

m@ said:

well, i'm pretty sure the 40GB iPod comes with the dock, which connects to USB… and my laptop does have firewire, so i could conceivably connect to that if i had to. with the H340 i think i'll have to buy the dock separately, so there's another "con" though not a huge one.

# January 18, 2005,

Sara said:

It didn't start off being a bribe, just on off-handed comment. Anyway, I'm glad you're having so much fun shopping around for an MP3 player.

# January 19, 2005,

m@ said:

didn't start off as a bribe, but quickly became one once you realized just how tempting an offer it was.

# January 19, 2005,