Funny thing on the way to work

Today, I went into work a bit later than usual. Mainly because the iPod Touch I ordered a couple weeks back was going to be delivered, and the FedEx guy demands a signature. Partly because I had a headache and needed for the drugs to kick in before I felt safe about driving. (A sudden flash of pain caused by the sun is pretty dangerous when barreling down the road at 75 MPH).

And as I was exiting the freeway, I saw a truck loaded up with hay. Utah is still fairly agricultural, so a hay truck in and of itself is about as interesting as a Frito-Lay truck. But the hay itself was pretty interesting. Every other time I’ve seen hay baled up, it was in one of three forms:
  1. Cubical bales, wrapped with twine - the sort of thing that people think of when they hear “bale of hay”
  2. (much larger) Spiral bales, again, wrapped up bin twine.
  3. (Bigger still) Loaf form, where it’s more or less a ‘loaf’ of hay compressed into an extruded cube. It looks like a loaf of bread.

I can now add a new number to the list: sausage. The hay was baled in a long, coiling, cylindrical sausage form. Like a long worm, only less pleasant (I’m not a fan of hay; I do like quite a few things that eat it, though).

Then I finally got to work and felt like playing with the iPod over lunch. So far, it’s a pretty neat piece of technology. It can store all of the music I tend to listen to (my music Library is full of songs I don’t listen to... lousy CD’s...), and still has gobs of room for me to put in video & pictures. Combining my EyeTV & Turbo.264 lets me record TV shows & put ‘em on my iPod Touch. It goes without saying that I have more content on my iPod (video or audio) than play time on the battery.

I’m really impressed with how thin it is. I also like the fact that it’s flash based. It’s almost as big as my 2nd-gen 20 GB iPod (with the first touch wheel). Since all of my music is only 16 GB or so, I can have almost my entire music library on my Touch - or I can limit it to the songs i listen to, and several hours worth of video. It’s a wonder.

Web browsing is also neat, as is the wireless iTunes Music Store. (I don’t recall the proper name, nor do I really care.) The syncing of songs purchased to your computer works as promised. Picture browsing is also nice. The screen is gorgeous, bright, and has good contrast. My only complaint(s):
  1. No external speaker. It would’ve been nice, but not strictly necessary.
  2. It came with a screen cleaner wipe. I would have preferred one of the baggies made from the screen cleaning material (as Apple has done in older models). I imagine the reason for the omission is because people (myself included) are just going to get their own cases anyway.
  3. You can sync the address book and calendar. So far, I haven’t seen that you can add entries directly to the iPod. It seems like an odd thing to leave out. But since I usually have my MacBook Pro with me, I think I can make do.
  4. Email/IM. I have wi-fi, so why can’t I access my email or IM through it?
  5. No bluetooth. You know, so I can hack it and use VoIP with the Touch.

I suppose that some of the omissions are the ‘bonus’ for getting the iPhone. Problem is that I don’t use a phone that much, so there isn’t much justification to spending $70/month for two years. Hopefully Apple will at least add 3 & 4 in a future firmware release.

I’ve also read about some of the people who bought it from the Apple retail stores had bad screens. While I can’t compare the iPod Touch to an iPhone side-by-side, the video looks great to me; the artifacts that many were complaining about aren’t seen on mine. Which means that I’ve likely been lucky enough to get an iPod that doesn’t have the screen problem. (And I’m pretty sure the number who have problems are below 1%; but 1% of several thousand can still make quite a noise).