Ummm – I got an iPod

July 1st was the first day of Microsoft's fiscal year 2006.

Last year I focused on security (which I will still concentrate on this year), but I have a new concentration. This year I'm challenged with extending the internet delivered) reach of the MSDN Events team to millions of Developers.

I have a plan. And I'll be announcing it soon, but part of what I'm working on is developing a podcasting strategy.

Podcasting, in a nutshell, is like audio-blogging. Your aggregator fetches the new podcast audio files and downloads them to the target of your choice. This might be your desktop, but it might be straight to you "mobile audio device".

My "mobile multi-media experience" has been more or less to Windows centric devices.

My iPaq 5550 with a 1 gig SD card plays .wma files and with a PocketPC Encoder can store 2 full length movies or lots of downloaded MSDN Webcasts.

I have a Creative Zen portable media player (which I LOVE) for video. It's syncs via Windows Media Player, has awesome battery life and ample storage.

For audio I've been using a Sony NW-HD3 and an iRiver (mostly for recording).

Now, the Sony is a fine product. It has 20 Gigs of storage, very compact, very good audio quality.

The thing about the Sony is that, while I like it and I use it, it hasn't really infected my life. I'm a geek and I buy and use geek toys with great regularity. The Sony is…..  Well….  Not an iPod.

I know, I know, I work for Microsoft. Apple is a competitor, blah, blah, blah.

My manager, Mike O'neill (well, now my manager's manager) is a very pragmatic guy. Last week he told me to go out and buy an iPod and really get my head around the "mobile culture".

So at the end of last week - I bought one, and I've spent that last several days connected to it. I LOVE IT!

Let me tell you why.

" The device itself is a 30 Gig iPod Photo. The design of the combined hardware/software interface is just outstanding. Apple has always really "got" the "cool factor" and the consumer user interface.
" The VCR style control circle is totally intuitive and after an hour you can use it without taking it out of your pocket.
" The multiple indexing makes it easy to find what you want, even when you have loaded tons of music.
" The storage is efficient. Using 1/6th of the disk space I could listen for 3 ½  days and never hear the same song twice.
" Loading a CD is trivially easy and does not require the intermediary sep of ripping to a PC hard drive.
" The PC software is easy to use and apparently complete.
" is very cool. Million(s) of songs, all have samples. AUDIO BOOKS - and PODCASTS !
" There's an amazing 3rd party market. On my future shopping list…..
      o A Bose Desktop base.
      o A FM Transmitter to play though my car stereo
      o Bluetooth headset for wireless listening
      o A headphone splitter for dancing with my 2 year old.

So I've been listening to podcasts, auto-synced directly to the iPod via the iTunes client.

I GET IT. With iTunes as my aggregator I can grab the iPod on the way out the door, listen in my car, keep listening at my desk, and in the halls, etc, etc.

This week I'm gonna figure out how to do that with my Sony - at least the auto-sync part. But with the iPod - it's natural.

So - I get it !  My podcast will be on line in two weeks!

Comments (4)
  1. Paul Murphy says:

    Have you tried the Zen Micro?

    Having used both devices, the one thing which trumps all is the music scheme is a much better deal with WMA-compatible devices. For $15 / month, you can fill and refill.

    I haven’t tried the iPod color though, I might have to give that one a go…

  2. Jeff Parker says:

    I really really love my zen, they have the zen as well in the 40 gig version no video, so it is like the bigger Ipod, but anyway. What would you recomend, to someone that doesn’t like the podcasting. Something for you to think about and I will give you my reasons why I do not get into it. Actually why I am kind of adverse to it.

    Mainly, podcast content is quickly becoming like blogs. There is a heck of a lot of it. Now I am not saying it is a bad thing. However there in lies the problem. Now I download .net rocks, and listen to it while I am driving. In fact I am such a fan of it I burn it to CD and after I am done listening to it, it goes into our .net user group library of things people can check out, along with books. It is quite popular. Now there is channel 9 as well. Which is great a lot of times I sit there and watch them when I get home and then on top of that I read the blogs, which I think the MSDN blogs are the best thing out of Microsoft as a developer community. Now with all that going on I do not have time to sort through a lot of podcasts.

    While working I am writing code. I can not concentrate on what people are saying so some rocking tunes always helps the code flow. So while I am totally against the idea of podcasts my problem is that unlike blogs where I can quickly scan over a posting and see if it something for me or not and delete it if it isn’t. So here in lies my problem I might waste 10-15 minutes listening to a podcast to find out I do not like it or it isn’t for me. The best time for me to listen to them is to and from work which is a 15-20 min drive each way which that time is already occupied by .net rocks.

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