I bought an Apple product

As much as I liked using my MP3 player, the Creative Labs Muvo NX, it had a few annoying quirks. There was no way to rearrange the order of tracks on the device, the interface was slow to update, battery life wasn't great, and file/song transfer was kinda slow. Even so, its really small size and cool factor made it usable.

I've been using it a bit more lately, though, and the quirks started getting to me so I started looking around for a replacement. I took a look at a few larger capacity flash-based products as well as some of the new mini-drive players like the Muvo2. Hard-drive players used to be rather large and bulky, but a new crop of really tiny hard drives has created a new class of 1 to 4 gigabtye MP3 players.

It figures that the smart folks at Apple were reading my mind and came out with the iPod Mini. I've always liked the iPod, although never considered it as it was a bit larger than I liked and also rather expensive. The mini is still kind of expensive comparitively, but I broke down and visited the Apple store :-)

The mini is quite a bit smaller than its older brother, and like so many Apple products comes in an assortment of flavors, err, colors. I opted for boring old silver, but it comes in several other colors to suit your taste. It is built very solidly; the exterior casing is a single molded piece of aluminum. It is very confortable to hold, and doesn't creak or move when you use it. Using it is a joy; there is a "Click Wheel" used to control all of the functions. Move your finger over the wheel to "turn" it and change menu selections, or press in on parts of the wheel to play, select, pause, rewind, etc. The user interface is very intuitive. The screen on the mini is a bit smaller than that available on the standard iPod, but is still very readable. A nice bright backlight is included and makes it easy to use in low-light situations.

The mini has a 4gb hard drive, and Apple advertises that this can hold about 1000 songs. Using iTunes for Windows, I can either have it figure out which parts of my collection to put on the iPod, or have it just transfer the music associated with my playlists. (there is also a fully manual mode to select what to transfer) The iPod syncs up with your music collection via firewire or USB2 and is fast. If you make changes to a playlist, add a new song, etc, the change is automatically reflected on the iPod the next time you sync.