Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Gadget

I love gadgets...always have. GUNZ sent me a gadget a while back that came in very handy during the recent typhoon. It's a flashlight with a built in AM/FM radio. The nifty part is that you don't even need batteries for it. It has a built in "dynamo," which you operate by turning a small hand crank. Crank it a few times, and you're good for five minutes or so. Call me crazy, but that's the kind of stuff that I get a kick out of (I suspect that GUNZ does too).

I started purchasing Compact Discs, or
CD's, when that form of media was very new. Most music stores of the time didn't even have much of a selection of CD's. Needless to say, I've collected a large number of them over the last 20 or so years. Because of the size of my CD collection, I've been wanting an Ipod for a while now. My wife was going to get me one for my birthday but, fortunately, the PX was out of them at the time. An Ipod would allow me to "rip" all of my CD's onto one portable device that I can connect to my car stereo, home stereo, or laptop. Pretty handy. I'm happy that I didn't buy an Ipod.

After hearing about the above pictured gadget, I read about 80 different reviews about it. With one or two exceptions, the reviews almost rabidly praised the thing. It's the
Iaudio A2. It's made by Cowon, a Korean manufacturer of high end MP3 players, and it's a fantastic piece of gear. It plays just about every format of audio and video that you can come up with. It has a much larger screen than a video Ipod, and watching movies on it is actually pleasant. The sound quality is amazing, and it's easy to use. It's significantly larger than an Ipod, but it makes up for that with an unusually long battery life (18 hours of audio, and 10 hours of video), and the very large screen. I've only had it for a couple of days, but I love it already.

I've been busily "ripping" my CD collection onto it, and took it for a drive today when we went to the beach at Camp
Schwab (about one hour away). It performed well, and didn't have any hiccups en route. I love the fact that you don't need any special software to use it. Just plug it into your computer, and it is recognized as an external drive. You can just drag and drop files into it. Alas, for its size, its hard drive is a bit small; it's only 30 gigabytes. While that's fairly large for something this small, Ipod now has an 80Gb player out. Since I'll be using it almost exclusively for audio content, however, 30Gb should be plenty for me. I'll put the occasional movie on it, but I don't see a need to keep movies on it.

All in all, I think that I've bought a great piece of equipment, and I look forward to taking all of my music with me. My CD collection will have to get by without me for a while.

If you'd like to take a closer look at the
Iaudio A2, you can do so at Newegg. Their shipping is lightning fast as well!

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