The soundtrack of life

27 Apr 2004|Lee Shupp

I’ve just purchased Dell’s Digital Jukebox, and I’m a happy camper. Right now I’m sitting on a long plane flight listening to Cassandra Wilson, who has taken me to an alternative reality that I much prefer to the drudgery of a cross country flight. (I could rave for days about Cassandra, one of my favorite singers, but I won’t do that here.)

Adding a soundtrack to life completely changes your experience of reality. You can proactively pick your mood (blues for a long Monday, fast funk for a work blitz, moody jazz to detach and relax) and transform experience to something much more pleasant. My digital jukebox has gone with me to the gym, the grocery store, the New York subway, and the airport, and all of these experiences have been much improved. Yes, I know social critics rant about detaching from reality, but I’m not a zombie. I still observe external reality, and I can easily hit pause if something happens worth paying attention to.

I chose the Dell over Apple’s iPod for several reasons:

  • Style- I much prefer the silver look of Dell to the austere white of the iPod. I don’t do white.
  • Battery life- the Digital Jukebox has significantly better battery life than the iPod.
  • File format- I prefer Windows Media files, which have better audio quality than mp3 or acc. What was Apple thinking developing a proprietary file format? I want my music to be easily moved from one device to another, no matter who makes it.
  • Price- Dell has the 20 gig Digital Jukebox on their website for $250 with free shipping.
  • The Dell isn’t perfect. There are a few flaws that need to be fixed. For instance:

  • When playing albums, tracks play in alphabetical order instead of in the order that they appear on the CD. Try listening to Abbey Road like this. Hello Dell?
  • Dell uses MusicMatch Jukebox, which is clunky. I still can’t figure out how to rip CDs straight into it, so I’m ripping them with Windows Media Player, which is easier to use.
  • That being said, there’s lots to like about this baby. It sounds good, looks good, and is easy to use. I love it despite its shortcomings. Now I look at my CDs and just see clutter- I want to digitize everything and make the CDs go away!

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