Archive for March, 2008

A year and a half later, the problem’s still there

March 12, 2008

This is something I wrote about a year and a half ago in a previous attempt to start a blog:

“Time to go to work and I’m getting ready. Cellphone in my right breast pocket, PDA in my right one, CD player in the one underneath. Considering that I’m wearing glasses and a wristwatch, and I carry a USB flash drive in my bag, that’s quite a number of devices. Do I need all of them?
Recently I started thinking about this because my cellphone is showing its age and so is my CD player. Given the way portable CD players have gone out of fashion I might as well give in and get myself an iPod or something of the kind. Now, my PDA is capable of playing MP3 files, but I really want something that supports some lossless format, which by the way means a hard disk. With luck I’ll manage to get rid of my USB key, the less unconvenient of my portable devices; on the other hand it looks like I won’t be able to eliminate any of my other gizmos and even attaining all my desires is not going to be easy:

  • There aren’t that many media players out there that support lossless formats; the iPod looks like the best one, but it’s a bit too proprietary for my taste;
  • Assuming I was considering changing my PDA, which I’m not, PDA/cellphone combinations are either unpleasantly bulky as phones or inconveniently small as PDA’s;
  • My PDA is a diskless Palm one, not the most convenient set-up to move data around, in terms of both storage and ease of use.

On the other hand I’ll probably be able to watch photos and videos on three different devices, something about which I couldn’t care less. What am I to do?”

Since then things have changed, but not that much; most important, the number of devices hasn’t decreased. I did change my cellphone and the one I got can both play music and act as a PDA – yes, I did notice that nobody’s making PDA’s any more – but the sound quality is awful and as a PDA it’s most inconvenient.

I also gave up my CD player and got myself a portable media player. At least I was able to get something that can play lossless format and has a capacity of 16 GB, solid state. I *could* give up my USB key, if it weren’t for the fact that it is more convenient to carry around than a USB cable. The PDA’s still alive and kicking, though.

Next time around I’m not going to settle for anything less than a Linux based smartphone that is reasonably convenient as a PDA and can play FLAC files better then my current player. It shall also support removable memory cards. It’s going to take a while.