Thursday, December 22, 2005

Time to Cue Up the Blues on My Playlist (While I Still Can)

So, like I said yesterday, my mp3 player appears to be dying. It's been deteriorating for a while, really. First, the scroll button got jammed and wouldn't function any more, which was annoying, but not fatal. The Karma has a nicely designed interface which allows you to do most things in multiple ways, so there's very little that absolutely requires the scroll button, and nothing I couldn't live without. Then it started to become difficult to get the battery to charge. I'd have to twiddle it back and forth in the docking cradle, often quite a lot, before it'd make the right connection. Which was slightly more annoying, because sometimes I'd put it on to charge and discover that it hadn't. Now... Sigh. Now, it's taken to suddenly cutting out for no obvious reason. In the middle of a song, zzzt!, suddenly it's dead. So far, I've always managed to get it to come back to life again, but it's often taken me several tries. (And I'm not talking about a once-a-week occasional glitch here, I'm talking about not being able to listen to an entire album all the way through.) So I'm really beginning to think this thing's reached the end of its operational life.

I'm not actually complaining, really. I'd say I'd gotten my money's worth out of the gadget, given the sheer amount of use and enjoyment I've had from it. And it's been knocked around pretty badly, even dropped several times, so I'm actually kind of surprised it's still working at all. Plus, I'd been seriously considering replacing it, anyway, as the hard drive is now very close to full, and it'd be good to have something with more memory. I'd just been hoping to put it off until I could actually, you know, afford it, and it looks like I don't have the luxury anymore, if I want to have a functional mp3 player. Which I do. I'm also kind of scared that eventually I won't be able to get the thing to start at all, and I won't be able to get all my music off of it. Because, why, no, I don't have backups, there not being enough space on my PC for all that music and my CD-burner being less than entirely healthy, itself. Or, rather, I do have backups for most of it: they're called CDs, but they're not in a very handy format. I think it took me something like three weeks of nearly constant effort to rip all those discs in the first place.

So, anyway, since Rio no longer makes the players, it looks like I'm gonna be buying me an iPod. The biggest one I can get my hands on, I think, since I really don't want to have to worry about running out of disc space again. (I've actually been avoiding buying CDs lately because I've been worried about running out of room for them.)

There are two major annoyances with this, though. One, iPods are freakin' expensive, and my cash flow situation right now sucks. I suppose I can use that extra December paycheck (an artifact of being paid biweekly), but that money really should go into the savings account or towards paying off the credit card instead. Or possibly into a new pair of eyeglasses.

And, two, the vast majority of the songs on the Karma are in ogg vorbis format, mainly because, I dunno, I thought it was so cool that Rio products supported it. Problem is, of course, that the iPod doesn't. Oh, man, am I not looking forward to the prospect of having to convert thousands of files from ogg to mp3.

Anyway... If anybody has any advice about iPods or about ogg-to-mp3 conversion programs, I'll be happy to hear it.

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