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FF Sparks (Casual)

[Techy] Automotive Audio Experimentation

So, after my proclamation of not buying an iPod, sadly, what happened was that kieri (long-distance from Japan) pointed out all the reasons I would love having an iPod. Then when I got together with Hannah today to hang out, Hannah gave me the single best reason (or so it seemed at the time): You're going to buy one anyway, so why not just get it over with?

I thus now own a 20 gigabyte click-wheel (fourth-generation) iPod. Which, I will note, is not remotely close to filled.

Now, the whole point of getting an iPod (other than 'pretty!!') was to provide me a better way to have music on long car trips than having to burn new mix CDs every trip. To this end, I also picked up the iPod car power adapter, and an iPod wired remote. What I've begun to do is sacrifice one of my Beetle's cupholders (the driver side cupholder is useless anyway) as an iPod dock, with the power cable right there and a little iPod gripper thing.

I'm fashioning a small holder for the remote, and affixing it to the dashboard for easy access, so I can use the next/previous track buttons. I'd love to wire it up to the car stereo's buttons directly, but I can't figure out a way to do it where I won't have to entirely disconnect the CD changer in the trunk which came with the car... and it's nice to have the changer sometimes, too. (Unless if anyone knows of a good, reliable way to split the CD/AUX input and control signal on a VW model Monsoon audio system and install a switch so I could move between iPod and disc changer, that is.)

So this is the next best thing, having the little silver Apple remote within easy tap-distance of the steering wheel, just like the CD changer control buttons are. It seems to work fairly well in the preliminary stages; we gave the setup a trial run today when Hannah, brent2005 and I went to see Hero. (Which, by the way, was actually a very good film, even if it made Hannah and I both sob in a couple of places.)

And I also got two packages, one being the films I was waiting for (the PBS series based on Tony Hillerman's Navajo mysteries) which I had ordered from Amazon ages ago, and the other being an... erm... plushie Joyce from It's Walky. (No, I have no real justification for the plushie Joyce except I needed something to sit on the VW's back shelf and look out the back window, and plushie-Joyce seemed as good a choice as any.) In all, a nice day; for a change lately, I didn't do any work-code. And I even spent much of the day out of the house!

I start to get the concept of 'weekend.' :)


Apple's iPods just don't compel me to purchase. The eMate and Newton (2000 series) yes, but iPod, no. I have a CD/MP3 player that works anywhere, and I guess I can see myself losing an iPod more easily than the player.

(What I really want is a robot that I alone command. Sadly, nobody makes them in my price range.)
I've had several CD/MP3 players. All of them have either a) died due to laser burnout, b) had really horrible battery life, or c) required all kinds of really irritating limitations on MP3s (for instance, restricting all MP3 files on the CD to be in 8.3 filename format). I then moved to a minidisc player, which was nice, but doesn't integrate with iTunes or allow me to copy music on minidiscs from on my Mac, which is now where all my music is.

The iPod is small, it holds more than enough space for all the music I currently have in digital format, and it has a very good battery. It's not for everyone, no, but I think for my criteria, it works well. :)
Huh. I'm using a Phillips thingy--and I've had it for about three years now. I wonder how much longer it might be expected to last...
I will grant you that none of my ill-fated CD/MP3 players was a Phillips that I can recall. Which is perhaps odd, since most of my stuff (television, stereo, TiVo, universal remote, etc. etc.) is Phillips, since I've never had trouble with any of their stuff. *shrug*
The solution is simple, really. Just buy a BMW so you can get the integrated ipod controls. ;)
The 'integrated iPod controls' are just sacrificing your CD changer controls for the iPod, same as I'd have to do if I wired the iPod into my VW's stereo controls.

Besides, I /like/ my Beetle!
I always liked Tony Hillerman's books. Is the series good?
They make one movie each year; Skinwalkers in 2002, Coyote Waits in 2003, and Thief of Time for this year. I missed Thief of Time entirely when it was on PBS, and I only saw part of Coyote Waits, so I can only really judge on Skinwalkers.

The movie Skinwalkers was not the book. Though there are a number of changes, Tony Hillerman oversees the adaptations and I felt the resulting movie was true to the Leaphorn and Chee novels in spirit and intent if not in every single plot and background detail. Adam Beach is very good as Jim Chee, and Wes Studi is very good as Joe Leaphorn. So I enjoyed it, at least.
Hee! Yay for iPod, yay for Hannah, yay for Brent, yay for movie!!

Sniff. I miss you guys.
We miss you too... :(