A few random iPod-inspired thoughts:

  • The first time I imported a CD with iTunes, it reported doing it at a rate of about 5x. But the next time I imported a CD, it reported a rate of under 2x, and stayed there. And it was a real problem: it took all evening just to import a handful of CDs. At first, I cursed Windows and iTunes, but the truth is that I’d been thinking browsing on Linux was sluggish ever since I upgraded to Fedora Core 2. I’d blamed that on either the OS upgrade or on the browser upgrade, but now I had concrete evidence that the problem was more widespread than that. After a bit of thinking about possible causes, I went into the bios and told it never to adjust the CPU’s speed unless I was running on batteries; the problem was solved. (There must be something buggy going on with speedstep, though – the fans don’t come on all that often, even when I’m running at full speed all the time, so why was it so persistently slow?) In retrospect, what probably happened was that I upgraded the bios at the time I upgraded the OS (because early bios versions on this computer had a bug that caused time problems), and my old bios settings must have been lost. So hurray for iTunes – without that speed rating, I’m not sure if I ever would have gotten around to looking at the bios, and my web browsing (and blogging!) would still be horribly slow.
  • The iPod has this feature where it remembers what songs I’ve listened to, and how often. It can use this to do things like give you a random playlist with your favorites more heavily weighted; nice idea. The thing is, though, it seems to periodically forget that I’ve listened to music: when I sync it with my computer, it forgets stuff that I listened to since my last sync but more than a few days ago. Very strange – you’d think this sort of information would be stored on the hard drive and never lost.
  • It also frequently forgets what I’m in the middle of listening to, if I’ve stopped it in the middle of an album. A bit of experimentation suggests that maybe it remembers better if I pause it and let it go to sleep by itself, but it forgets if I hold down the pause button to put it to sleep more forcefully. But why should it forget in either situation? My car’s CD player can remember where I was last listening to a CD, and it doesn’t have a hard drive to store that information. So why can’t the iPod do just as good a job?
  • I still have yet to stump the CD database that iTunes uses.
  • I’m really glad I got the iPod. Jogging is a lot more fun, and I really do like listening to music. I’m finally buying CD’s again: I accumulated hundreds when I was an undergrad, but had bought almost none in the intervening decade, and that’s a shame.

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