Sunday, November 04, 2007

Dead iPod

My ipod, after about 3 years, has died with a clicking noise. MTBF for a hard drive is about 5 years, but my guess is that portable applications see a lot of abuse (and I will admit to not treating my ipod too kindly), so I'm guessing that I'm smack in the middle for iPod life. At the time, ipods cost $400, so it'll be more than $100 a year for the privilege of listening to my music on the go.

I doubt if I'll replace it with another ipod, when an 8GB Sansa can be had for $115. It's probably not worth repairing, either, since a replacement disk would cost around $130.

Here are my requirements:
  • Long enough battery life for a flight to Zurich (about 10 hours or so, call it 15 hours to be safe)
  • Must play MP3s (I don't have music in any other format, so I'm not locked into the iPod economy)
  • Light enough to carry on bike trips.
  • Good sound quality.
  • Enough music for a 3 week bike trip.
  • Tough. I will use this on hikes, and being carried in saddlebags is not good for most electronics.
Features I don't need:
  • Games. If I want games, I'll get a dedicated game machine.
  • Video. Most players don't have enough storage for a decent amount of video. Those that do, don't have screens that I consider satisfactory.
Use patterns:
  • Solo hikes, about once a week or so.
  • Feeding the home stereo, 3 days a week.
  • Planes: Twice a year
  • Long trips (about 3 weeks each), possibly disconnected from civilization, about twice a year, but with increasing frequency.
If you have recommendations, let's hear them!
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