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The Apple Of My Ear: the iPod

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Here are a few things I just can’t stand about Apple’s new MP3 player, the iPod: (1) It doesn’t have bass and treble controls; not that it matters, since (2) the sleek-looking earphones that come with it are on the chintzy side; and, while I’m at it, (3) the batteries seem to have a nasty tendency to drain when the player is switched off while in ”pause” mode. It may take you a while, in fact, to figure out exactly how to turn the thing off. Sometimes ”thinking different” can be counterintuitive as well as ungrammatical. Them’s the carps; in all other respects (ease of use, styling, portability), the iPod—in tandem with the latest version of Apple’s desktop jukebox, iTunes 2 (a free download at apple.com)—finally brings the MP3 revolution to the masses. The ones who own Apple computers and can afford to pay $399, anyway. Look at it this way: Since the iPod can hold well over 1,000 songs on its five-gig hard drive, you can now program a soundtrack to carry you through an entire week. Just load in your top thousand and hit ”shuffle.” If that’s not the Walkman’s promise fulfilled, I don’t know what is.

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