Monday, January 19, 2004

movie: The Virgin Suicides. What was this movie about, anyways? I saw it but I still don't know. None the less, I give it 4 stars.

geek stuff: I bought a 40G iPod a few weeks ago.
I love it! The iPod is a wonderfully engineered piece of consumer electronics and iTunes is a very good program. I've used Roxio's Easy CD Creator suite of tools for a while and developed several gripes about the Roxio stuff. iTunes does a better job at doing the simple stuff well.

I've bought a few things from the iTunes music store. The music store is pretty cool but has a way to go before I stop buying CDs in favor of iTunes albums.

FYI: the iTunes program (for windows PC or Mac) is freely available for download on the internet. Even without an iPod, iTunes is a good program for playing MP3s, burning music or data CDs and (of course) accessing the apple iTunes music store. iTunes is also OK at ripping MP3s but for some reason it is much slower (e.g. only 4x CD speed) than Roxio's Audio Central program (which routinely rips CDs at 30x plus).

Music Store Cons:

  • no CD "booklet" when you purchase an album. How about providing a PDF with this info? I don't necessarily want to print it out but I do want to read it.
  • 128 kbps AAC is the only file format available. You want 192 kbps AAC? too bad -- buy the CD and rip it yourself.
  • many albums are simply not available.
  • many albums are only partially available -- i.e. missing a few songs (What is the point of this anyways?).

Music Store Pros:

  • great if you only want to buy a single (e.g. you want to pick up a few The Who hits for nostalgic reasons).
  • convenient immediate impulse gratification (assuming what you want is available).
  • it is the only HD based MP3 player that supports content (I subscribe to Audible so this is a deal breaker for me).
  • you don't have to deal with re-ripping a song that didn't rip properly the first time (e.g. because the CD was scratched).

I connect the iPod to our family PC via firewire (IEEE 1394). I bough a Belkin's 1394 + USB2.0 PCI card to provide the firewire interface. So far it has worked great.

Friday, January 02, 2004

movie: L'Auberge Espanole. Parisian guy goes to Barcelona as part of a foriegn exchange program. Has lots of fun. Typical for the genre but well executed. For all you xenophobic monoglots out there "l'auberge espanole" means "the spanish eggplant" in english. The meaning of the title is revealed at the very end of the movie. Nice cinematography. Audrey Tautou (of Amelie fame) has a small role in this flick.
I give this one 4 stars.