“Born digital” at one end… “deceased digital” at the other. My 40GB iRiver H340 will now hold its charge for only about 10 minutes [the battery is only in theory replaceable], but in the two years since I bought it (and hopped aboard the mp3 juggernaut) it’s accumulated some 35GB of files and been in daily use. Like many bits of technology, its presence has changed my life in all sorts of unanticipated ways. Some of its features (Line In, and support for .ogg for instance) turn out to be a bit difficult to replace, but I think the 2GB SanDisk that Amazon will deliver tomorrow will be OK for a while. I don’t use iTunes or other retail services, trafficking only in non-DRM’d mp3s, so iPod and Zune don’t have much attraction for me.
What I REALLY want is a device that allows me to MARK points in an mp3, for later return –but that’s because much of what I listen to isn’t “songs”. What, I wonder, would life be without the constant stream of new stuff from Radio Open Source, IT Conversations, This American Life, and podcastified talks by luminaries like Stephen Downes [though nobody’s like Stephen, bless him] and people at Long Now Foundation and TEDTalks.