Okay, I was never a big fan of Apple. I made a decision over 6 years ago to use Microsoft's Windows Media to encode and listen to my music and it worked well for me. That was, until my daughter wanted an iPod Nano (3G) for her birthday. Okay, that was what she wanted and they were on sale, so why not. Sad to say, I was hooked -- and it wasn't even my iPod.
After my daughter unpackaged her iPod, we took it to her computer and loaded up iTunes. First order of business, get her some music. To make things easy, we let iTunes convert our existing WMA files. I had decided not to use any licensing in my WMA files, so iTunes didn't have any issue converting them. Once done, we plugged in her iPod -- after upgrading iTunes of course, and she was off.
Fast forward a few months and my Creative Nano isn't doing it for me. I headed over to Best Buy and came home with my own iPod Nano 8G -- green of course. I loaded up iTunes on my lap top and I've been hooked ever since. No, iTunes isn't perfect, but it does what I need it to do and it does it very well. It worked out so well, that today, all the members of my family have an iPod (various models).
When Apple released the iTunes 8, I quickly snapped it up to try out the new Genius feature. I really like it. It replaces the old mini-iTunes store feature in iTunes 7 while adding a new playlist creation feature. It is very easy to use and easy to ignore -- just click a button on the bottom right to hide the window. Only gripe I have is that I have to save and sync the playlist on my existing iPod. I'm hoping for an update that will add Genius to my 3G nano.
Another nice feature of iTunes 8 is the album display. It is a good start and gets closer to one of the features I liked in Windows Media 11. In WMA, you could search and it would show an artist and each album image would display, with the other albums twisted under the top one. iTunes, instead, just displays a count under the first image it comes across. Oh well, room for improvement.
In all, I really enjoy my iPod and iTunes experience -- much more then I expected I would. You could say I'm a convert. That doesn't mean that it hasn't all been roses. I'll discuss some of that in a later article.