Last year, I won an iPad at the office Christmas party. I keep it at the living room sofa, my go-to device to check out online content that relates to the TV shows I’m watching… or, if the wife is watching something I’m not into, to call up and read digital comics.
Last month, I bought an iPod Nano 6G. I was using my Droid cellphone to listen to music, but a constant problem with the audio jack forced me to seek an alternative. I wanted something that would take up very little space, allow me to find and play what music I wanted to play, occasionally scare up a radio broadcast (like when I wanted a news, traffic or weather report), and that was about it. This also means using iTunes to load music into the Nano.
So: I’m using an iPad, an iPod, and iTunes. Am I becoming an iBorg?
I know those who are so devoted to all things Apple that they evangelize ad nauseam about Apple products, and delight in snapping out “Get a Mac!” whenever the opportunity arises. And sometimes when it doesn’t. I call them iBorgs: They are well and truly assimilated. Some part of Steve Jobs still lives in their minds, and I’m sure their DNA is actively trying to rewrite itself to be more like his.
But would I say that I’m becoming another iBorg? That I am on the road to Apple adoration? I’d have to say No.
To begin with, I don’t adore the products I have. The iPad can be convenient, but it’s not as versatile as a laptop, it doesn’t share files with other devices as easily, and it’s lousy at multitasking. The iPod Nano is nice and small, but its insistence on loading through iTunes makes it kludgy. And as it turns out, it doesn’t like some MP3 files that other MP3 players are perfectly happy with, forcing you to convert the MP3 files to AAC files just for the Nano.
And did I mention iTunes? iTunes is a pain in the ass. It always has been. I use Winamp to play music around the office: It’s easier to load and unload songs, tag, manage, arrange and search, and its tools are easier to find and use. Any MP3 that plays in Winamp plays on any other MP3 player, without fuss. And I can transfer songs from one device to another without needing Winamp; I can pull them right out of my file manager.
Now, I realize that there are some people for whom Apple does fine for everything. When you use all of Apple’s devices, peripherals and authorized sales outlets, you tend to get everything working together fairly seamlessly. But for me, it’s unrealistic to buy and use everything from the same vendor, because that vendor’s products don’t allow you to do everything you want, in the way you want it. Apple works hard to control your computing experience… and that’s too much control for me.
After about a week of futzing, I finally got the Nano to work as desired, replacing the many files that were corrupted upon transfer from iTunes. And the iPad finally stopped dropping my wifi connection when I upgraded the iOS. I’m satisfied.
But am I converted? Have I swallowed the Kool-Aid? NO. No danger of my becoming an iBorg anytime soon.