“iPod?” or “UCOM strikes again”

So the good news at the UCOM today was that we’re all getting iPods! We had a little staff outing over lunch to celebrate a new addition to our team and did the traditional Olive Garden lunch / Jackson 10 matinee. It was a good time. (We saw "Crash". Good movie; intense movie.)

At lunch, Tim asked us all if we needed anything since the new budget year has started and we have money once again. I said I’d be checking out some lenses for the D100–but that was about it.

After everyone formulated their wishlist, Tim said he’d be getting us all iPod mini’s. Very cool, indeed. It just so happens, the day prior I’d been checking out digital music players and picked one out I wanted after I shot my first wedding of the summer. So, it’s a timely gift from the boss.

My only dilemma has been this: what do I get instead of the iPod mini? I don’t rip my cd’s in mp3 format; I rip to 160 kbps WMA files. So, my entire music library–for the most part–isn’t compatible with Apple’s popular iPod line. But…it looks like something even better might be available for the same price: the iAudio M3L / X5L.

The M3L is your traditional digital music player–but with a lot more bells and whistles than the sleek iPod. For about the same price and size, one would get over 3x the storage space, longer battery life, recording capabilities, FM tuning, docking/charging cradle, remote control…the whole nine yards. That’s pretty much a no-brainer for me.

But, I could pump in some of my own cash and and get the X5L, which features a 50% increase in storage space from the M3L, color LCD screen, video playback and picture playback. But, it doesn’t come with a remote or cradle.

So, what to do…what to do…

I think I’m going to stick with the M3L… I don’t anticipate using the thing for video or pictures. But I’ll have to think it through some more.

By Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a marketer, blogger and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

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