Yesterday I received a third-generation iPod Nano from my sister as a late birthday present. I feel like an hypocrite, since I’d decried the wastefulness of MP3 players, cell phones, and other gadgets to a friend mere days ago, but… Iz so shiny!
“And it can play videos too,” my sister said as she handed it to me.
You don’t say…
Five minutes of Google-fu brought me a nifty program that can make any movie file iPod-comestible, and thus it is armed with the latest Code Geass episode (what else?) and episode 02 of Birdy Decode that I braved this morning’s 40-minute public transit commute to work. Bringing anime to the masses, that’s me!
For starters I loathe the iPod’s headphones. I can never fit those small bulbs into my ears properly, but even wearing those the sound was delectable, and the little sucker can output some respectable decibels with the volume turned all the way up — enough to drown out the incoming subway under Lelouch’s yells of “SUZAKU YOU BETRAYED ME AGAIN!”. Tomorrow I’ll swallow my pride and bring my huge dorky Boss headphones instead, which will definitely improve on comfort, if not on style and attractiveness to the opposite sex.
The screen is a square as high and large as my thumb’s second phalange. Although this means I can play a very entertaining game of “I’m crushing your head!” whenever Suzaku’s face comes up, it’s still really fucking small, even if my roommate informs me that the resolution is the same as the larger iPod’s screen. On the other hand the colors are incredible and there was no tearing or blurriness, even during the action-filled Knightmare duel between Xing Ke and Bismarck, so I guess the bottom line is: I wish it were bigger, but for its size, it packs quite a punch.
Remember the 3 1/2 floppy disks that could hold a whopping 1.4 megs and which were so ubiquitous two decades ago? Well, my new shiny baby fits in the palm of my hand and can hold four freaking gigs. Take that 1987! Sadly, the Nano’s “click wheel” controls is the most unintuitive control system I’ve ever laid eyes on. You see, the click wheel is made up of a grey button surrounded by a white circle with the menu, pause/play, fast forward and rewind buttons. But you don’t nudge the grey button in the middle to move around the menu; no, that’d be way too obvious and simple. After twenty minutes of trial and error I realized you had to rub the fucking thing clockwise or counterclockwise to work it, not unlike the flattened steel clitoris of a dwarf gynoid. I’m sure all the iKids with their iMacs or their MacBooks Air are laughing at me, but hey, you know what? If such a simple device’s controls are so arcane they can’t be understood at once by a technophile like me who’s never had previous experience with your dark cabal’s electronic family, it’s not user-friendly, as every Mac blowhard loves to spout. It’s dumb and trying too hard to show off how cool and different and unique it is. (Like you.)
Another stain on the user-friendliness: being forced to make a pact with the Adversary himself, i.e. having to install iTunes. God I hate it. I mean, I bitched about the click wheel, but iTunes made me want to punch a wall. And I’d used it before on a Mac. What’s so hard to understand about right-clicking? Does Steve Jobs like drag-and-dropping so much he married it during a peyote-fueled bender in Vegas? Why do I even have to go through iTunes to upload music and movies to my iPod which I… uhm… got as a birthday present from my sister? Windows recognizes it as an external drive, so why not let me transfer files directly that way instead of having to fire up iTunes and add the file(s) in question to my library? I don’t want a goddamn library! I want to be free! Stop controlling my life, Mom!
Yet after all this bitching, I have to admit: it’s nifty to be able to bring my favorite form of entertainment with me wherever I go. I alluded to James Joyce in the title because before Mr. Nano entered my life, I’d resorted to bringing the 1984 critical edition of Ulysses with me to work as a ward against boredom, but hell, anime in my pocket will do too — especially when it weighs fifty times less! I won’t bring shows with me everyday (after a bad night of sleep and too much staring at computer screens I’m writing with a slight headache), but for the sake of self-education I’ve already fed my iPod 15 hours of Pimsleur’s Japanese. I’m sure Japanese is such an easy language that before long I’ll be able to watch raws without having to squint at microscopic subtitles.
Shinjuku station? Over there, bishes!