Ipod: Adventures in Entertainment

By: Christine Peppler

There are still millions of people who don't yet own an iPod and there are many who have never experienced the phenomena known as iPod who will debate the purchase of one for somebody they love. For the uninitiated, it often seems that there is a lot of excitement over something that at first glance appears to merely be a digitized and glorified old style tape recorder. It is for those individuals that we review the true meaning and ability of this device for it is truly an entertainment icon.

An iPod plays music, thousands of hours of personalized music, music selected by the user, and played to sound the way the individual prefers it. Yes, this tiny device has its own equalizer and sound controls. Many users have described the exceptional digital sound quality with earbuds to have opened a whole new world of listening. Users can also develop their own play lists so that they listen to a certain genre of music at different times; for instance, rock music when they run and classical when they drive into work.

It is clear that an iPod offers a lightweight, portable way of listening as it weighs only ounces and is a half inch thick. In the home, iPod can even eliminate all of the old stereo components when used with the iPod Hi-Fi. Again, despite the small size of the iPod Hi-Fi, which is 17"x6.6"x6.9", sound quality is exceptional and users are in control with the remote.

Beyond iPod's exceptional musical talents, it also offers the ability to listen to podcasts and audiobooks which can be downloaded off of the internet. Listening is easy and users can book mark the chapters so that they can pick up where they left off without searching.

Current generation iPods offer great video as well through a 2.5" color display screen. iPod can now store up to 25,000 photos and 150 hours of video. Now users can play music video or ad free TV shows wherever they are. For those who prefer a little more active stimulation, iPod also offers games such as Solitaire, Music Quiz, and others.

With all of its impressive entertainment features, it is also important to realize that the tiny iPod is a great little assistant. From offering a Sleep Timer (alarm clock) function to providing access to calendars and contact lists, iPod offers a portable way of staying on top of things. It even has a Notes function to allow users to keep their "To Do List", a stop watch, and a World Clock to check the time anywhere in the world. For active users, iPod even has a link with Nike. Through the iPod sport kit a runner can monitor their speed, distance, and calories burned, sync up with the Nike site, and track their performance over time.

iPod may have started as a simple device for listening to music but it has evolved and its future appears to promise even more entertainment functions. Several major car manufacturers will be offering an iPod integration in some models. Will iPod eventually offer Nintendo Games, videoconferencing, the ability to download entire movies, or access to satellite radio? It's hard to determine, but if the past is a good predictor, it seems likely that more developments are in store for the tiny entertainment device.

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