Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Using an MP3 player

After I had my MP3 player for a week, my alter ego Devon talked to me about my thoughts and experiences.

Devon: Dave, I see you carrying your Creative Nano Plus MP3 player everywhere. I assume you are pleased with it?

Dave: I love my MP3 player! It' so nice to have music everywhere.

Devon: Are there any usability issues resulting from your daily use?

Dave: Specific to this player: the lowest volume setting could be a little quieter. 512Mb is definitely too small for me. I wish the display can also show the Artist information, or be able to switch between showing song info and song filename.

In general, how do people carry their MP3 players? There isn't always a pocket to put it in. The belt clip case is very useful in this case. However, the earphone cord dangles too much. I guess this is why I see people with cords coming out of their shirts and collars. I'm going to try that to see if it works better when I'm wearing shirts with pockets.

Devon: Are you finding owning an MP3 player is like joining another social circle, like computer users?

Dave: I wouldn't call it a social circle, but there is definitely a new mindset. Its analogous to cell phones allowing long distance communication away from home. Some people embrace the idea and treat it as normal as a conversation. Others still think it is something techno new, so using it in a group or library is still a bad but talking face to face is ok. Personal audio give you possibilities like private background mood music that other's don't have to be subjected. And your soundtrack of life can have lasting impressions too. When I was first read the Hobbit in my teens, I was also listening to music from the movie "Laura: Les Ombres d'Ete". It is soft, beautiful music, but it still makes me think of Middle Earth.

And I agree with becoming a new class of users, like computer users. There are things we do that non-users wouldn't think about, like buying skins and planning the next upgrade and selecting music for upcoming activities.

Devon: Will you turn into one of those people who accessorize their accessories?

Having a different mindset certainly entail some economic empowerment. Now I understand why personal audio accessories are sold everywhere. External speakers solves the problem of no being able to wear headphones due to circumstance, or when you want to have others share in the music too. An FM transmitter the car would also be good. I only have a basic CD player in the car, so this will make being stuck in traffic that much more tolerable. An a skin is like putting little shirts on your pet -- it's your inner child playing dress up disguised as a style statement.

Devon: Its wonderful to see that joining the earbud generation didn't distract from your oblique observations.