Thoughts on branding, design, writing and life by Kevin Potts. Established 2003.

iPod = Awesome

I have joined the iPod cult and become a believer. Though I refuse to drink the whole pitcher of Apple’s Kool-Aid, I tip my hat to them for a brilliant piece of hardware.

After years of sitting on the digital music sidelines, I have finally procured a small, green, modestly outfitted 4GB iPod Mini. While I have been slowly converting my CD collection (about 500 discs left, trimmed from around 1,500 a year ago) over to MP3, I have resisted getting a portable player for one primary reason: my travel time is extremely limited.

But after sitting down and experimenting with this thing, I finally understand what the fuss is all about. While I enjoy Apple’s products very much, I am a victim of circumstance that dictates my design work is done on a PC. (This is not ideal, I know, but I am not one to partake in a platform superiority argument anyway other than a nod when someone states OSX is better than XP.)

As a techno-gadget noob, there are several features of the Mini that really impressed me. First, the form-factor is amazing. At the size of a business card, it fits nicely in my pocket and the cup holder of my car. After using it for a few weeks, I found the “normal” iPod bulky and unwieldy; not because it is in general, but because the Mini is so much more elegant. It’s like a Mercedes owner being unimpressed with the handling of an Audi.

Second, usability. As a first-time iPod owner, I found myself looking for a volume control like you would see on a Walkman; much to my delight I discovered the brilliantly versatile click-wheel. This simple construct forms the heart of the player’s interface, and is so dropdead easy, intuitive and reactive that I find it amazing no one has added a similar construct to a computer keyboard.

Third, the extra features are sweet. The playback options are nice (love the randomization and volume normalization), and I can’t wait to mess with the contacts and calendar features. Not to mention that on a recent flight to Philadelphia, I stumbled across the small suite of games. Solitaire kept me occupied damn near ten minutes.

So for those happy iPod users out there, I have joined your cult and become a believer. Though I refuse to drink the whole pitcher of Apple’s Kool-Aid, I tip my hat to them for a brilliant piece of hardware.

commentary + criticism

nathan b

wrote the following on Thursday December 30, 2004

Time is precious, maybe a ripping service will help speed your conversion process along:

You send them your CDs on a spindle, they send your CDs back with DVD-ROMs of high quality rips. I had already ripped everything when I heard of these services, but I would try them if I had to do it all over.


wrote the following on Thursday October 21, 2010

Apple have really nailed it with their software user interface and how the smooth transitions and slick effects play out – it makes all the difference when using the iPod and living with it on a day to day basis. Things have progressed considerably since the first generation of Apple iPods, just look at the <a href=“”>latest iPod range</a> and you can see there are some significant improvements and size reductions over the first iPod.