Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

After nearly four years as my gym partner, subway entertainment and trusted companion in general, my iPod mini has finally succumb to the iPod battery curse.

The long and the short of it is, iPods' batteries wear out over time and what's supposed to be an eight-hour playback time (on my model, anyway) slowly deteriorates to a fraction of that. From what I've heard, I should be happy mine lasted as long as it did. I know several people whose iPods crapped out after less than three years, so I wasn't completely surprised last week when my little green Mini barely had the juice to get me through 30 minutes on the elliptical. And a road trip in the car? Forget it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit I've disregarded some of Apple's recommendations about how to get the most out of your battery (which, incidentally, I only discovered after mine was already on its last legs. I'm not one for owner's manuals.) I leave my iPod in the car during the summer heat and winter cold. I use the equalizer and the backlight. I use the skip function. (Side note - WTF?!? I'm too indecisive to just accept whatever comes on in shuffle mode).

I realize that planned obsolescence is one of the most effective ways for a company to generate revenue, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating for consumers.

But here's where the genius of Apple's marketing and constant reinvention of its products comes into play. Let's be honest. Rather than being annoyed that I'm going to have to shell out a couple hundred dollars to replace upgrade my iPod, I'm actually really excited to be getting a Nano.

My mentality — and Steve Jobs knows this — is, if I'm going to pay $66 to merely replace the battery on my old, out of production mini, I might as well just buy one of the pretty new models — a Shuffle, maybe — for just $13 more.

But a Shuffle holds just 240 songs. And for twice the cost, I could get one of the amazing new Nanos, which has a screen and plays videos and holds four times as many songs and...you get the idea.

And so on.

For financial reasons, I'm opting for a first-generation Nano through Apple's refurbished discount program. (A blue silver one. Only 99 bucks!)

But my heart's still set on one of the new video Nanos.

And don't even get me started on the iPhone. ::Drools::

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