My other news today is that I’ve taken the plunge with a new iPod and have just got it set up again. I was disappointed to note that Apple don’t provide a remote or carrying case with them anymore, like they did with the early mid-range models, and then have the cheek to charge £25 for each. Surely Mr Jobs has quite enough turtle-neck sweaters already that he doesn’t need to stoop to that sort of tactic to raise extra funds. Since I chuck it in my backpack all the time, a protective case is a must, so I bought an iSkin cover, whose main form is an extremely rubbery / stretchy sleeve which covers everything except the screen and clickwheel, plus a plastic screen protector. I was a little dubious at first, but my new device feels appropriately protected from the rough treatment it may well get, and it’s beautiful form isn’t particularly affected, especially since I picked the neutral white colour . I’m just trying not to think about the prophylactic innuendos that spring so readily to mind.
The other thing I’m pretty sure of is that Podcasting is not going to change my life. For the uninitiated, podcasting is about taking the RSS idea, where you save yourself time by collating fast summaries of news / blog updates so you can quickly pick out the stuff you’re interested in - and delivering it via rambling audio which is both slower to download and slower to skip through to see what’s interesting. Maybe it’s just me turning Luddite in my third decade, but I think print (digital and traditional) is still the best way to get your news. If you’re looking for entertainment in installments, like serialised audio books or radio shows, then perhaps it will work for you, but that’s not really my cup of tea. I would have preferred it if Apple had put a good radio tuner in there instead. The presence of tuners in other players almost diverted me away from the iPod, but in the end the fairly poor quality of the reception and the solidity of the rest of the Apple product still brought me back.