Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Vital statistics (not Asterix's friend)

Imagine this if you will:

You (okay, maybe not you) are looking for a partner, right.

And you've (again not necessarily you, but this is getting tired!) made up a list of qualities you'd like to have in this partner.

For fun, lets list down some here...

And now comes the fun part of finding and choosing -- or shall we say, The Hunt!

So, armed with your perfect-list, you then open up the pages of the personals, scan through it... comparing, analysing, short-listing, stacking up the the pros and the cons. And finally you think you've found "The One".

So you go see the person and after a 10 minute impression, assuming all the vital statistics check out, you go for it.

"Heeey... waaaait just one minute here!", I hear you protest.
"What, no courtship, no getting to know one another, no ... you know, all that jazz?", you continue to argue.

Go ahead, protest all you like.
And I'll totally agree with you.

Unfortunately for me, this 'process' I just mentioned above was exactly what I went through when I got my first MP3 player.

Strictly speaking, I didn't actually *buy* my first MP3 player. Rather it was a birthday gift. But I was fully responsible for making choice (i.e. agreeing to getting it as a birthday present) in the first place! So yes, I brought it onto myself.

This was what I wanted and got:
  • At least 128mb ram -- check!
  • Small, slim, easily pocketable -- check!
  • Runs off cheap and easily replaceable AAA batteries -- check!
  • Has built-in voice recorder for meetings and memos -- check!
  • Has FM tuner so there's always variety -- check!
  • USB direct connection for music upload (no messy docks) -- check!
  • Scrolls through lyrics as music is playing -- wow, it can actually do that?
  • Fancy 7-colour flashing LED -- um, well, since it already comes with it...

With a killer list like that, how could I go wrong, right? Why spend a tonne of money on the iPod just because it has a nicer packaging and aggressive marketing? And, what was Steve Jobs thinking anyway... does he seriously think he can get away with not putting in an FM tuner in his gizmo?

I eventually got my china-made birthday gift, and was happy as a bee finding his first hibiscus. Excitedly, I loaded up some of my all-time favourite songs, put in a brand new alkaline battery, donned the (ahem) headphone-cum-lanyard assembly... and pressed play.

A lesson from Mr. Funkey Boy... people can print anything on a spec sheet

This was another of my "don't just depend just on the specifications again, you dumb-ass" moments. The music was there, but there seemed to be also a lot of sub-perceptible 'noise'. Its not hissing or any thing you can hear. But somehow the music just came out jarring all your senses. It was either too loud, or not clear, or too glaring, or, I dunno... just noisy.

My big break came when, some time later, I received as a gift from my company, an iPod Shuffle. That had twice the ram, but very little of anything else. No LCD display, no flashing lights, no FM tuner... but hey, it also came with 'no noise'. And was the best sounding little wriggly-gum-sized piece of plastic in my whole life!! Compare to dear Mr. Funkey Boy, I was in audio heaven!!!

Aaahh... I had found true MP3 love, and had become a total iPod convert!! Sorry Mr. Jobs, I guess you were largely right!

My faithful Shuffle still going strong 3 years on -- posing here naked, without its silicon 'pod-dom'

The next one I got was naturally another iPod. 256mb was nice but getting way too cramped. Was in singapore mid last year and stumbled on an iPod sales -- Nanos going for a song and with freebies thrown in too. Wow, who could resist that? So I bought myself a mean-looking 8gb black Nano.

My Nano seen here in its silicone 'pod-dom' -- accessorize, man. Gotta have your bling! :)

Again, absolute bliss. The only area I was left wanting was the lack of bass from the cool-looking but whimpy headphones. So when I saw a pair of brand new set of black Sennheiser CX300 in-ear buds in, I thought that was the perfect match for the Nano. Got that for less than half the price compared to Singapore duty-free shops. Quite a steal!!

These days, I get to enjoy nice, robust basses accompanied by clear mid-tones and crisp highs... all the while insulated from the surrounding noise. Its not a Bose, but for the price I paid, hey, I'm a happy boy!

Now, if you'll pardon me, I think its time I got another fix of my fat- and preservative-free, no-cholesterol, low sodium audio ecstasy!

0 commented: