The one with the iPod 5G.

iPod 5G Wallpaper

Well, I finally broke down. On Tuesday, I almost bought the colorful iPod Nano when I saw them in stock at Wal-Mart. However, when I saw the price difference between the 4GB Nano and the 30 GB 5G, I bought the 5G. I decided to try it out after much time and contemplation. I wanted an all-in-one portable media solution that would be convenient and easy to use. However, there aren’t a lot of solutions out there for this kind of thing, even with all the saturation. As it turns out, the iPod is as close to heaven as a device like this should be. The only drawback is the memory-hogging bloatware known as iTunes. Mind you, it IS a Windows port of an OS X app, so it’s to be expected. So, after much searching and research, I found several solutions to using iTunes, but unfortunately, the solutions led me nowhere, except for one.

First of all – I need to dispel some myths about the iPod and iTunes. It was believed that the iPod only played AAC and that your entire music collection needed to be converted into AAC in iTunes and placed into a sync folder, thus doubling the space your music took up on your HDD. This is wrong. The iPod DOES play the MP3 format. When you copy MP3 files into iTunes, it does NOT need to convert them into AAC. The reason why it takes so long is because iTunes is just slow, but it also autodetects gapless playback for non-stop albums. However, it does NOT play WMA files. The AAC myth was probably started by WMA n00bs. Why the hell would you even use that crap-ass format? At least AAC is a universal format. As for copying your music into a sync folder, it is NOT a necessity of the program – you can change options to turn off automatic synchronization and copying music to a sync folder. As a result of this, you can manually copy music/videos/photos to your iPod giving you full control over the process. The next myth is copying music off your iPod. This is also untrue. The capability is readily available, but iTunes doesn’t allow it because of the MPAA. The easy solution to this is to not use iTunes. Unfortunately, there are a couple things that iTunes does – first of all, it initializes your iPod for the first time. Also, it handles tags for videos better than other solutions.

So, on to the fun stuff. I tried Anapod Explorer, but it turned out to be one of those solutions that sounded great on paper but was executed poorly (also, it couldn’t detect my iPod). Yamipod is way too beta for my tastes, and I couldn’t even get it working the first time around. iPodLinux and RockBox try to replace the firmware OS on the iPod (but they don’t outright remove it, it’s available in the bootloader), but running an OS on the iPod is just ridiculous, in my opinion. Video and MP3 support is staggered at best between both solutions, and you wouldn’t be using the firmware OS, which is why you bought the thing in the first place. So, with all the solutions out of the way, I finally found something that works – MediaMonkey. It works exactly as advertised, and just like iTunes, you can choose to either manually copy your media or autosync. All I wanted was the option to copy media off my iPod, and that’s exactly what it does. It also runs faster than iTunes. Note, though, that MediaMonkey has a problem with changing tags for videos – when that happens, the video is no longer labeled as a video (and if you deleted the video off your HDD, you can still copy the video off your iPod with MediaMonkey and copy it back over with iTunes. Besides that, the only other drawback to MediaMonkey is the stupid mascot icon. I absolutely hate monkeys of any kind (and I didn’t like the whole Marcel-phase that Ross went through in Friends), but so far, the program is doing the job better than the monkey is annoying me, so I’ll live with it… for now.

Another important utility. If you have a lot of movies and videos downloaded, it’s more than likely that you’ll want to watch them on your iPod. Try 3GP Converter, which is a Japanese video converter with an optional English interface. Be sure to read the guide in the link I provided. Just one point – if you want your videos to be a bit more higher in quality, choose either of the two MP4 settings available in the iPod profile. So far, I’ve been able to copy several episodes of Fate/stay night, some JPop videos, and even an idol video – I didn’t need to do any pre-encoding. Then, to test further, I ripped The Fast And The Furious – Tokyo Drift from DVD, converted it to AVI (because all the VOBs were separated and encoded with two audio tracks), and then tossed it into 3GP, and it worked like a charm. Take that, iTunes store!

Anyway, I hope these solutions and myth bustings will help convince anti-iPod people to reconsider their stance on iPods. They’re really incredible devices, and there are now some boxes that allow you to mount and charge them in your car stereo, with full control and text output from your head unit too!

Densha Otoko DX - Title

Densha Otoko DX - BBS Cast Densha Otoko DX - HERMES

Densha Otoko DX - Densha Densha Otoko DX - Jinkama

Densha Otoko DX - Sakurai Densha Otoko DX - Nakama

I finally watched Densha Otoko DX. More ups and downs in the lives of Densha and HERMES. The gang’s all back, but more importantly, Jinkama-san returns!!! Funny as hell, as expected. Also, they rehashed the OP anime sequence, which was kind of cool. Speaking of which, GONZO has announced that they will be producing an actual anime of Getsumen To Heiki MI-NA. First, Kujibiki UNBALANCE, and now this? You can’t create a fictional anime in another series without it spawning a spin-off these days.


Yay for lingerie! Like Joey Tribianni, I could go into a huge discussion about being thankful for these pieces of clothing (or lack thereof), but I’ll restrain myself.


Additional Resources

The one with all the Lesson Reviews.

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with this blog ever since I started using Hummingbird last fall. So, I decided to try an idea of mine called Lesson Reviews. Essentially, it’s more of a “what I learned from X anime” than a review, but the thing is, there will be good and […]

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