Friday, December 16, 2005

Uncontrollable Male Urges

[WARNING] Geeky gadget post! I've helpfully provided Geek and Non-geek elements, handily tagged for ease of use![/WARNING]

I am of course talking about gadget buying. I've been wanting an MP3 player for months but have held off due to several factors, not least of which is the fact that I really shouldn't use that amount of money on something I don't really need. At what point does it become a waste of money though? I mean if you use something every day, is it really a waste of money?

I've had this argument a lot. I spent a lot of money on the new (still waiting on new hard drive!) computer. When it eventually runs properly, I see it as worthwhile as it won't need replacing for a couple years or so and I will be using it every day. Did I need it? Probably not. My computer is my home entertainment centre though and I do like to play games, it's fun and for the most part a far more worthwhile pursuit than watching TV. So I watch TV on the PC, talk over Skype to my friends, play games, shop - all sorts of things. On the odd insane occasion, when madness sweeps over me, I become 'SuperGeek!' and start buggering around with code.

So yeah, I can see how upgrading can be viewed as a waste of money. By that logic though, so is buying a new house or car. If the old one no longer meets your requirements get a new one. Anyway, the player. I can't defend the purchase in quite the same way as I defend the PC. I would use it every day, definitely but it wouldn't occupy quite the same hub-like status as the computer. When my shoulder stops sounding like a Transformer I'll be back down the gym, so I'd no longer have to listen to their crap music if I had a player but not exactly an essential.

Anyway, I didn't use my credit card and didn't buy any of the ones I was considering. OK, I nearly had to staple my hand to the desk to stop it reaching for the card but I resisted my purchase urge! Let me show you what I was considering buying though. I don't want any of you coming back with any iPod Nano rubbish either! The Mini was quality, especially in green but the Nano is poo and overpriced, as we shall see shortly.

So first thing I, looked at was this:

[Geek Description]This is Sony's new MP3 player. They have this habit of designing weird things just so they don't look Poddish, but I think they struck gold here. It's bloody lovely, no? In addition to its looks, Sony have finally abandoned their ridiculous policy of only allowing their players to run music in ATRAC format and this model will play actual MP3s. [For ATRAC, read: Crap Proprietary Format that's a complete exercise in futility]. Another break from tradition is that they've made it competetively priced, I was so close to abusing my credit card it's untrue. The I remembered something. Sony can't write software. Well they can but using any software written by Sony can be classed under teh heading 'Cruel and Unusual Punishment'. I mean User Interfaces and Menu systems that have been designed by sociopaths. So I checked a few reviews and it turns out I was right. Most other players let you drag 'n' drop tracks in, but with this one you have to use Sony's woeful Connect software. I saw the words 'Worse than SonicStage' in a few reviews and was turned off immediately. If you've never used SonicStage, it's the software equivilent of sticking pins in your own eyes, so Connect must be a crime against humanity. [/Geek description]

[Non-Geek Description]This is Sony's new Walkman, it's really pretty and I nearly bought it. Then I rememebered Sony are crap and read some reviews, so changed my mind. Still pretty though.[/Non-Geek description]

So then I went to see what Creative had been up to, some of you may know I wanted to buy one of their 20GB players a while back but my opinion on mini players has changed since. The larger ones aren't practical for things like going to the gym, so the mini ones become ideal. Creative put me to the test today. They have this:

[GEEKBOY!]Ok, on first glance not much to look at, maybe not as pretty as the Sony right? OK, get this, it's the same price as a 4GB Nano, about 25 more than the Sony mini. It is smaller than the Sony. It has twice the capacity of the Nano. [Actually, lets leave the Nano out of this, it's overpriced and crap]. It has an 8GB HD, colour slide show, great menu system, the option to Partition the drive so you can carry data around, it has an FM tuner and the option to record from the radio. It also has a 15 hour battery life and a removable battery, which most players do not offer. And take a closer look. It really is quite pretty. More to the point I think it fills a great gap, 8GB is a perfect size, before this the gap was pretty much 4GB, 6GB, 20GB. 8 is a good figure I think. And this player is bloody tiny. I was tested, I hope to last the weekend.[/SHUTUP GEEKBOY!]

[NoGeekSpeak!]This may not look as pretty on first glance, but take another look. It's littler and better than the Sony. I like it. I like it a lot! Have held off though. I'm taking it one day at a time.[/NearlyDone]

Ok, apologies for the boring post, but this is what I've been doing today, so you're stuck with it.


M. said...

Personally, I have a mini iPod and would NEVER buy the Nano just for the "it's the newest thing" factor. The creative ones aren't bad looking, and the specs actually sound pretty good.

Of course you don't think you *need* it, but once you have it, try living without it. :)

MattJ said...

You can't say things like that to people like me, I'm a very simple creature M! I read your reply and all i see is 'If you don't buy this, Armageddon will descend!'

M. said...

Oh, right, yes Armageddon will happen immediately if you don't buy it!

Actually, I'm surprised that you're resisting. Don't you want your Batman Factor to go up? :)


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