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Orbino Palm V Series Case Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Palm V series

Orbino leather cases are to the Palm V series PDA as a Rolex watch is to your wrist. Pure unadulterated
luxury. These cases are hand-crafted by master artisans in Italy and are made of
full-grain calfskin generally reserved for the finest Italian shoes.
The Orbino cases are made by the same craftsmen that stitch or have
stitched for the top
European luxury brands such as Prada, Fendi and Hugo Boss.

The cases are available
in several fashion colors:

Radiant Silver Grey (glass glazed metallic calfskin)
Radiant Umbrian Green (luxury metallic patent leather)
Radiant Blue (luxury metallic calfskin)
Deep Teal Blue (glass glazed luxury calfskin)
Black (glass glazed luxury calfskin – in zinc alloy flanks or palladium flanks)
Burgundy Cordovan (glass glazed luxury calfskin – in zinc alloy flanks or palladium flanks)

I was presented with a Carmel Tan and the Burgundy Cordovan cases for review.

These cases exude style and richness. They almost glow. Actually the brilliant
sheen comes from an ancient polishing technique known as ‘glass  glazing’.
The leather texture is very slick and smooth. Holding your PDA in these cases
just feels plain great.

The Palm V and actually even an m500 (haven’t tested the m505 yet) fit in
this case like a hand in a glove. The Orbino is a slipper style case in that the
PDA slides into the play-through holster part of the case and is held there with
by friction. No Velcro of any kind is used in this case! :-) The inside of the
holster is lined with a black satin material.

The holster part of the case is like a firm shell. The front portion is a
thicker leather with rolled edges around the screen. Due to the thickness of the
leather in this area, it is somewhat difficult to tap around the extreme edges
with your stylus.

The Orbino is unique in that the leather actually covers the application
buttons. Small discs are embedded in the leather above each embossed leather
button so that pressure on the leather activates the appropriate button.
Although I would prefer direct contact with the buttons, this feature does make
the case look pretty cool. The only thing I can see wrong with this design is
that there may be a potential to damage the embossed leather icons if a
fingernail was used to press the buttons instead of a fingertip. Also, game
playing might be a bit restrictive. Otherwise, pressing the buttons thru the
leather seems to work just fine. 

The sides of the case are reinforced on the outside with either Nickel, Zinc
Alloy or Palladium flanks. They have the Orbino logo tastefully inscribed on
them. You maybe asking, what is Palladium. It is a metal that is even more
precious than Platinum. Besides looking very stylish, these flanks actually give
quite a bit of rigidity and strength to the sides of this case. The Carmel Tan
case that I reviewed had brushed Zinc Alloy flanks while the Burgundy Cordovan
case had the Palladium. Can you tell a difference? Yes, while the Zinc flanks on
the Carmel Tan case look very nice, the Palladium has a beautiful gleam that
pretty much begs you to run your fingers over them.

The back of the case has a cutout for the hotsync port. You can actually sync
via the cradle while your PDA is in this case. And unlike other slipper cases,
the Orbino does not require any ‘breaking in’ period. Both the cases that I
received for review fit in the cradle perfectly the very first time. You can
also use this case easily with other accessories such as the Stowaway
keyboard.

The screen cover portion of the case is stiff and thick enough to protect the
screen in the event of a bump. One wide card slot is available for business
cards or papers. Using this slot for credit card is not recommended do the fact
that the cover uses a magneto-closure system to hold it closed. Instead of only
using 2 sets of magnets to keep the cover closed, the Orbino uses four sets. One
in each corner. The effect of the strong magnets makes the cover almost jump to
the closed position. I have no worries that the cover would come open on its
own.

Orbino cases are extremely fine. Of course they are not for the typical person
that buys their clothes at Target and shoes at Foot Locker like ummmm, yours
truly. They are meant for the executive that shops at Saks Fifth Avenue and has
a summer house in the Hamptons. These are very expensive cases that don’t
protect your Palm any better than slipper type cases from other well known
makers. But boy do they make a statement and look fantastic. If you have the
cash and wanna join the jet set, you’ll definitely want an Orbino. 

Price: $149 / $189 with Palladium

Pros:
Hand made in Italy
Fine craftsmanship
Magnetic closure
Sync in cradle

Cons:
Expensive
Probably won’t protect the PDA much in the event of a long fall

 

Product Information

Price:149.0
Manufacturer:Orbino
Pros:
  • Hand made in Italy
  • Fine craftsmanship
  • Magnetic closure
  • Sync in cradle
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Probably won't protect the PDA much in the event of a long fall

{ 73 comments… add one }

  • vicicasas May 24, 2003, 12:38 am

    Hi, Julie!

    Congratulations on the upcoming iPod purchase. Re: using it with a PC, most PC users need to bear in mind that they will need a Firewire port to use the iPod at all, pending the release of Apple’s USB 2.0 cable and driver (they say sometime in June, and I hope that’s true). And Julie, I know your Lifebook has built in Firewire – is that 4-pin or 6-pin? From what I read, the iPod needs a 6-pin port to be able to charge while connected to the PC, otherwise it’s limited to data transfer.

    I am loving my new generation iPod, though I really wish that they’d come out with some nice cases for it real soon now … the metal backplate is already starting to collect tiny scratches and the supplied Apple carrying case just doesn’t do it for me. Most case manufacturers are still scrambling to deal with the redesigned front face, and I haven’t seen anything out on the market yet that appeals to me.

  • fitzsimmons May 24, 2003, 1:24 am

    Welcome to the IPod world Julie!

    MusicMatch is simply awful. Instead, I use ephpod and love it. (http://www.ephpod.com and it’s free!)

    By the way, speaking of music, I think you really should get an XM Satellite Radio… best techo gadget since my original palm pilot…

    :)

  • aybara May 24, 2003, 1:34 am

    I used Musicmatch without too much complaint until they went to 8.0 and suddenly the iPod plug in wouldn’t reinstall properly.

    So I went back to using X-Play which works with both Windows and Mac formatted iPods.

  • Julie May 24, 2003, 2:49 am

    Luckily, I have a couple firewire ports on the new PC I just built :)

    I’m having no luck finding the 30gb Windows version of the iPod. Someone mentioned that isn’t even available till June. I hope that isn’t the case as I’m anxious to buy one now! :(

    I’ll definitely check out ephpod! Thanks!

  • fitzsimmons May 24, 2003, 4:25 am

    According to the Apple Store, the new IPods are already shipping but they’re on backorder for a week…

  • ExtremeSIMS May 24, 2003, 4:36 am

    I’m a gadget geek, as well as a Mac user, but I wavered on the iPod since its initial launch. I got a lot of questioning about that from friends and co-workers, as that seemed to be the one gadget I would purchase.

    With the newest launch, I bought the 30GB. (In fact, I bought it at the Apple Store in Tysons Corner on the Live Event night, and ended up winning the DJ rig contest. :wow: ) After a week, I grew attached to being able to take my music with me, and the limited PDA functionality is great for when I don’t feel like toting my Toshiba e740 around. I decided on keeping it, and take it with me everywhere.

    OK, on to the issue at hand – everyone I know with a windows-based machine uses ephpod.com software. Musicmatch gets blasted quite often, which I find odd since it works fine for me (well, everything BUT iPod syncing, since I have Macs).

    Best solution? Get a Mac :) iTunes is the shiznit! Oh, and the iTunes Music Store…. could be dangerous. I was able to buy some Iron Maiden songs from CDs I lost, some classical music from other CDs I lost (Bach’s Cello Suites performed by Rostropovich), and so forth.

  • vicicasas May 24, 2003, 5:39 am

    Originally posted by ExtremeSIMS Best solution? Get a Mac :) iTunes is the shiznit! Oh, and the iTunes Music Store…. could be dangerous. I was able to buy some Iron Maiden songs from CDs I lost, some classical music from other CDs I lost (Bach’s Cello Suites performed by Rostropovich), and so forth. [/B]

    I hope they open it up to non-US customers like me pretty soon. I’ve been buying Apple products for almost a decade now, and am starting to feel kind of cheated that more and more of their cool services (the Music Store, Sherlock, iPhoto book prints) are US-centric. The rest of the world supports Apple, why can’t Apple support us? Not to mention that we often pay more money for their products than American customers do.

    Sorry, soapbox mode off.

    BTW, don’t forget Audible – works great with iTunes and the iPod, and always keeps track of where you are in the file even if you switch from listening on the iPod to listening on the Mac and back again. Right now I’m listening to an interesting book called Cold Zero, about a member of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, and I’ve got Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy queued up next, and in between I listen to NPR’s Car Talk … and while listening, you can even play Solitaire!

  • ekotan May 24, 2003, 2:58 pm

    MusicMatch is better than a punch in the chin, but iTunes 4 on Mac OS X is so unbelievably awesome that nothing on Windows comes close. Live radio stations organized by genre streaming over the Internet, smart playlists which automatically update themselves based on your selection criteria and usage patterns (e.g. make a playlist of all 60’s music you haven’t listened to in the last 10 months excluding any Motown tracks), one click importing of music from CDs, full support for MP3 and AAC formats, a great visualizer, graphic equalizer, support for audible.com spoken books and of course the seamless interface to the peerless iTunes Music Store (I hope this will be available to users outside the US soon – right now, we can browse but we cannot buy).

    I have not managed to find a similarly easy and elegant “one stop” digital music solution for Windows, so I’ve settled for using a combination of EAC for ripping, WinAmp for organizing and playback and RealPlayer for radio, but it’s not the same.

    Julie, you can order the iPod directly from the Apple Store on-line. There are no longer separate versions for Mac or Windows, one box does it all. Any delays in shipping reflect the huge demand for this marvellously useful gadget.

    Have fun,

    E@

  • Julie May 24, 2003, 3:05 pm

    ekotan:

    Stop talking about Macs! It makes me want to try one again!!! :o
    Must…stop…thinking…about…gadgets…

  • ekotan May 24, 2003, 4:07 pm

    As Oscar Wilde once said, I can resist everything except temptation. If Oscar Wilde lived today, I bet he’d be a gadget addict like me. ;)

    There I was, a happy PC user, until I stumbled across this innocent enough Web page:

    http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index12.html

    I thought “ooh, what a cool looking notebook; well, I could do with a portable computer, I must check it out”. I went into a shop and there it was on display. Just how gorgeous it looked “in the flesh” (or should that be in the aluminium) made me gasp. I walked in to find a salesperson who was willing to turn it on to show me the screen. He started playing an MP3 through the simply incredible built-in sound system and I was sold. I mean I was simply blown away like I’ve never been blown away by any piece of electronics since the original NeXTstation and bought one on the spot. This thing was smaller than a TV guide magazine, yet it sounded like a Hi-Fi system. It’s insane to see Apple has managed to squeeze a subwoofer in this thing. My fingers were itching to take it home, unpack it and type something – anything – on its marvellously tactile keyboard. The sales rep, sensing easy prey like a shark senses wounded fish twitching and bleeding in the water, then insisted on showing me one of these:

    http://www.apple.com/imac/

    Until that instant, I wasn’t even looking for a desktop computer, I was really happy with my PC at home, but the 17 inch iMac didn’t care. It showed no mercy. No, instead the 17 inch iMac, with the most amazing display on any consumer class desktop computer I’ve seen so far, was just looking at me, taunting me, teasing me, winking at me, challenging me to take it home. So I bought that as well. My decline into Fruit insanity had thus began. We now have more Macs than is surely sensible for any one household to own. The iMac sits on our coffee table in the living room and everyone visiting the house comments on how lovely it looks. I’m posting this from a 15 inch Titanium PowerBook, a late addition to the family. My sturdy PC still sits upstairs in the study, quietly churning out Folding@Home units. An Apple a day isn’t going to keep the doctor away in this case, I’m afraid. I am about to tie myself to the radiator so that I won’t go out to “just have a look” at those 23 inch widescreen TFT displays Apple’s recently slashed the prices on. There ought to be laws against this, against me, some kind of annual gadget quota for freaks like me. And I… Can’t… Stop…

    Help me Obi-Wan Julie, you’re my only hope. What shall I do, where shall I go?

  • Julie May 24, 2003, 5:03 pm

    ekotan:

    Believe me, I know exactly where you’re coming from. I flirted with Apple last spring. I bought the Tibook and loved it. I agree that is a beautiful device. The only problem is that I’m so PC-centric, that it was hard for me to make the leap to Apple. I couldn’t get my tons and tons of saved emails from Outlook into an email client on the Tibook, and I had speed issues with it on my home network (I have the Direcway satellite dish for my ISP).

    But what it really came down to was the fact that I review so many PC only devices, that I needed the PC. I don’t like hopping back and forth from one OS to another, so I decided to sell the Tibook and stick with Windows…

    Not a day goes by that I don’t feel the tug to get another Mac though…

  • ExtremeSIMS May 24, 2003, 7:52 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]ekotan:

    Believe me, I know exactly where you’re coming from. I flirted with Apple last spring. I bought the Tibook and loved it. I agree that is a beautiful device. The only problem is that I’m so PC-centric, that it was hard for me to make the leap to Apple. I couldn’t get my tons and tons of saved emails from Outlook into an email client on the Tibook, and I had speed issues with it on my home network (I have the Direcway satellite dish for my ISP).

    But what it really came down to was the fact that I review so many PC only devices, that I needed the PC. I don’t like hopping back and forth from one OS to another, so I decided to sell the Tibook and stick with Windows…

    Not a day goes by that I don’t feel the tug to get another Mac though… [/B]

    Ah…. I know your pain. I moved from Windows over to Macs for all of my business needs when Mac OS X came out – a *BSD that ran Office…. I worked tangentially for a large software company based out of Redmond that produces the dominant desktop OS, though, so I had to run a PC as well. Easy enough – PCs are cheap. :)

    Now that I work for a large media company based out of Dulles, VA, I can use my Macs almost excusively. The only kicker is Visio? files. I still have a pretty powerful Windows-based PC for gaming, but the Macs are for everything else.

    Er… back on target – the iPod will reformat itself depending on your use of Windows or Mac OS. It’s a great gadget – in fact, I am going to replace the car stereo so I have one with AUX in. I use Belkin’s FM broadcaster, but we have too mnay stations in the freqs it uses.

  • Julie May 24, 2003, 8:17 pm

    Well folks, I just placed an order with Apple for the 30gb model. Shipping status says 5-7 days.

    I even got The Gadgeteer engraved on the back! :D

    Now to go looking for cool accessories that I can review! I’m assuming you guys also might want me to review the iPod when I get it… huh? ;)

  • ExtremeSIMS May 24, 2003, 10:08 pm

    Congrats, Julie!

    I’m about to start really collecting the accessories as well – already have the Belkin FM tuner, going to get the autocharger, and perhaps a new case.

  • Julie May 25, 2003, 12:53 am

    Is the Belkin tuner any good? I’m hoping that Judie will let me have one of the FM tuners that she has reviewed.

  • jkendrick May 25, 2003, 2:07 am

    Hi Julie,

    You will not regret the iPod decision for even a second. I have been using a 20gb iPod for 6 months and they are great. The Windows iPod (winpod) installs the drivers to function as an external hard drive which is so useful. I back up all critical files weekly onto the iPod and currently have 1235 mp3 files. The iPod still has almost 7 gb free!

    MusicMatch is OK but the others are correct in their recommendation of EphPod. EphPod is the best piece of software I’ve seen that is completely freeware. Be sure and get version 2.58 which is listed as the “most recent stable version” and not the 2.6x versions. I tried them but they crashed repeatedly. Starting with version 2.59 however they added the ability to handle Audible files so you can use the iPod for those if you like.

    I love my iPod and almost always have it with me.

    Good listening with yours,

  • vicicasas May 25, 2003, 2:27 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    Is the Belkin tuner any good? I’m hoping that Judie will let me have one of the FM tuners that she has reviewed.

    Congratulations, Julie, you’ll soon find that your iPod will become an indispensible part of your life!

    Re: the Belkin – I’ve tried it, and my wife has another one called the iRock, and all I can say is nothing beats a good old fashioned cassette adapter (except maybe a direct connection to the stereo line in).

  • ExtremeSIMS May 25, 2003, 6:49 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    Is the Belkin tuner any good? I’m hoping that Judie will let me have one of the FM tuners that she has reviewed.

    It’s not bad – as good as any of the others. The issue is with the locality – we have a lot of stations in the 88.x range here in the DC metro area. Where the interference is not so high, the thing works very well.

    Griffin Technology’s iTuner allows you to tune the radio to any station – might have been a better bet for me.

  • aybara May 25, 2003, 9:35 pm

    I’ve heard that Apple is working on porting iTunes to Windows so that PC users can get to their music store.

    Now that would be neat.

    I could stop trying to find a cheap Apple desktop or notebook just for iTunes.

  • thsu May 25, 2003, 10:30 pm

    My suggestion is to skip the FM tuner and go with a direct line in jack to your car stereo. I ended up purchasing a (cheap) car stereo with an aux line in for one car, and a cd to rca cable for the other car. The second car had a factory stereo that was designed to be hooked up to a cd changer (many factory stereos are like this). A simple cable allows your iPod to pretend to be the first cd of a fake cd changer. The sound is very clean with a direct connection, much better than any FM tuner or cassette adapter on the market.

    An aside, you’ll quickly find that your iPod is far more important to you than your PDA. In fact, if my iPod could handle text input, I would cease to carry my old Palm around.

    And I’m yet another supporter of Ephpod – I’m using the latest version with no problems. I’d also suggest getting a different MP3 encoder than MusicMatch, which has some problems when you try to encode via variable bit rate encoding, or at the higher fidelity settings.

  • aybara May 26, 2003, 11:59 pm

    Sorry you are going to suffer through a couple days wait time.

    Both my local Best Buy and CompUSA had several new iPods on the shelf (10, 15, and 30).

    I live in the Phoenix area (AZ) if anyone is looking.

  • ExtremeSIMS May 27, 2003, 12:03 am

    I bought a set of Shure EC2 in-ear buds last night based on reviews. I’ll get them in a few days – debated between then and the Sony MDR-EX71SP buds. The latter are supposedly not as good, but the cord is shorter (remote-friendly), and white to match the iPod. It’s also US$50 as compared to US$99. I’m no audiophile, but I can tell that my music is not as crisp with the Apple-supplied earbuds. The mids are a bit muddy, and the treble and bass lack any drive.

  • PDA Maven May 27, 2003, 5:33 pm

    The Ipod rules. I have a 15 gb version and love it…..the dock is great for using it when you are at work, with the line out to external speakers. All of the new versions are Mac/PC……you select when you first use it.

    Having been both a PC and MAC user……I prefer the Mac with the Ipod. Itunes is a great piece of software and OSX is awesome to…..Jaguar makes it so easy to connect to a Windows network.

    Julie, you should try to have Apple send you a 12inch Powerbook to review……you will love it…..

    ~S

  • plainsong May 27, 2003, 7:18 pm

    The e2c’s may not be the accurracy kings that the Etymotics are, but sometimes on the go, you just want your music to sound fun. That and the Shures seem to solve the microphonic problems of the etys. They’re said to sound great with an ipod, and are certainly better than the ex70,71’s.

    I can’t wait till I get a chance to test em out. :)

    Originally posted by ExtremeSIMS
    I bought a set of Shure EC2 in-ear buds last night based on reviews. I’ll get them in a few days – debated between then and the Sony MDR-EX71SP buds. The latter are supposedly not as good, but the cord is shorter (remote-friendly), and white to match the iPod. It’s also US$50 as compared to US$99. I’m no audiophile, but I can tell that my music is not as crisp with the Apple-supplied earbuds. The mids are a bit muddy, and the treble and bass lack any drive.

  • ExtremeSIMS May 27, 2003, 7:21 pm

    Originally posted by plainsong
    [B]The e2c’s may not be the accurracy kings that the Etymotics are, but sometimes on the go, you just want your music to sound fun. That and the Shures seem to solve the microphonic problems of the etys. They’re said to sound great with an ipod, and are certainly better than the ex70,71’s.

    I can’t wait till I get a chance to test em out. :) [/B]

    That’s what I heard. I also understand the microphonic issues with the Ety buds is pretty bad. I powerwalk with my iPod, so that’s not acceptable.

    Funny how two weeks ago how much I debated on keeping the iPod… and now I take it everywhere. :love:

  • Cornelis May 27, 2003, 7:30 pm

    All this pondering about an iPod made me check out the subject myself…and I wasn’t even thinking of one untill Jules started pondering…hmhm…gadgeteeritis I would say. :-)

    Just a few questions thrown in: Have you (Julie, all) ever really used the Tungsten T via cable on your car radio/stereo as an mp3 player? Have you done it frequently? If so how was it? No interest in using it as a convenient mp3 player at hand? Why buy an iPod (aside from the fact that it has more space), just more gadgets to carry around?

    Like I said, just pondering but interested :-)

  • ExtremeSIMS May 27, 2003, 7:37 pm

    Originally posted by Cornelis
    [B]All this pondering about an iPod made me check out the subject myself…and I wasn’t even thinking of one untill Jules started pondering…hmhm…gadgeteeritis I would say. :-)

    Just a few questions thrown in: Have you (Julie, all) ever really used the Tungsten T via cable on your car radio/stereo as an mp3 player? Have you done it frequently? If so how was it? No interest in using it as a convenient mp3 player at hand? Why buy an iPod (aside from the fact that it has more space), just more gadgets to carry around?

    Like I said, just pondering but interested :-) [/B]

    Yes, I’ve used several PDAs in that fashion. The issue becomes space – the extra space of the iPod gives you CHOICE. Sure, you may only listen to an hour or so of music before you return home to do another copy of music to your MP3 player/PDA. However, with the iPod, you get the choice of listening to what you want, where you want, without a lot of prior planning. I know I sometimes start out with rock, move to hip-hop, then Classical, then techno, then blues. With the space limitations of CF/SD, I would not have the choices I get with the iPod.

    Of course, this does mean I carry a man-bag for my e740 and keys and eyedrops and ethernet and firewire…. Samsung a500 in my front pocket, and my iPod either in the beltclip case or in the incase iPod “fannypack”. The latter is not too bad, considering I do not like fannypacks or Velcro.

  • Judie May 27, 2003, 7:38 pm

    Cornelis,

    I tired that argument on Julie. She blew me out of the water with a couple of points:

    1. 30GB HD vs 512MB SD
    2. Entire CD collection on one device vs. 5 or 6 albums

    I am still using my TT as an Mp3 player, though. ;)

    Judie :0)

  • ExtremeSIMS May 27, 2003, 7:46 pm

    Originally posted by Judie
    [B]Cornelis,

    I tired that argument on Julie. She blew me out of the water with a couple of points:

    1. 30GB HD vs 512MB SD
    2. Entire CD collection on one device vs. 5 or 6 albums

    I am still using my TT as an Mp3 player, though. ;)

    Judie :0) [/B]

    Can you tell I am on a boring phone meeting? ;)

    You can also use the iPod as a backup device. It’s also less… hmm…. “odd” to take when you go exercise. :)

  • Julie May 27, 2003, 8:03 pm

    Yeah, the whole selling point to me is that I can put my entire (over 200 discs at the moment) collection in there. I can have ALL my music with me where ever I go. Also as far as I hear, the iPod has great play list capability and excellent sound.

    I’ll let you all know what I think once I get my hands on one ;)

  • TheDreamer May 27, 2003, 9:53 pm

    I was kind of hoping to see a 40G ipod….for the $499 price….

    Then, perhaps I could rationalize the ‘need’ to add one to my collection. Last summer I got a 20G Archos Jukebox Recorder…..Of which I’m only using about 14G….that’s probably about 300-350 CDs….which is about a 3rd of my collection.

    I was previously using my Sony Clie N710C….I occasionally use my T|T now….but the Jukebox is my main player for tunes when I’m at work.

    When I was flying back from Xmas holidays….I was kind of drooling over the kid with the iPod next to me….but I still haven’t taken plunge to get one.

    But, no toys for a while….since I ended up getting a pair of ReplayTV 5040’s to keep my ReplayTV 5160 company. And, the next thing on my list is to replace my 20″ TV with something much bigger…..

    The Dreamer

  • plainsong May 28, 2003, 1:04 pm

    Originally posted by Cornelis
    [B]All this pondering about an iPod made me check out the subject myself…and I wasn’t even thinking of one untill Jules started pondering…hmhm…gadgeteeritis I would say. :-)

    Just a few questions thrown in: Have you (Julie, all) ever really used the Tungsten T via cable on your car radio/stereo as an mp3 player? Have you done it frequently? If so how was it? No interest in using it as a convenient mp3 player at hand? Why buy an iPod (aside from the fact that it has more space), just more gadgets to carry around?

    Like I said, just pondering but interested :-) [/B]

    Sound quality is a big issue. There are lots of hardware reasons why a Tungsten will never approach the sound quality of the iPod, but suffice to say that I have both, and the iPod sounds better, and no Tungsten software patch can truly solve that.

    Sonically they are both bright sources. However the Tungsten adds a harshness to that sound. It sounds harsh and grating and the only way to improve the sound is to use Koss ksc-35s.

    The iPod does not sound harsh and cheap and can be used with a variety of headphones.

    Also the iPod is more convinient for playing songs. There’s no point really describing this one, just watch the movies at Apple’s website.

    More storage is also an obvious issue.

  • cptnrandy May 28, 2003, 1:37 pm

    You’re gonna love it. I have, and use daily, an original 5 gig iPod. While I’d love a 30 gig, my wife has already threatened me about that.

    I think you’ll find the Musicmatch to be acceptable, and rather than spend money on another solution, I’d just wait for iTunes for Windows. Have a Mac user show you iTunes 4 for a sneak peak. It’s terrific.

    I’d also recommend the “wired” solution for use in a car – it’s cheaper, more reliable, and very simple to use. I use the sony tape converter and love it.

    Also, I went out and paid good money for the iPod remote – one will come with yours. After playing with it a bit, I’ve found it unnecessary. The iPod IS A REMOTE. Unless you’re zipping it into a jacket, the remote is pretty limiting.

    Enjoy!

    Randy

  • Cornelis May 28, 2003, 3:11 pm

    Pondering again…I like this discussion, it starts revving up my interest in gadgets again (it’s been slow for awhile – am saving frantically for a Harley-Davidson)..another question comes to mind for all of you…

    What would you all suggest as far as software is concerned to use for fast, dummy-proof and reliable Mp3 conversion for a Win PC(from a CD that is).
    I have tried a few and it just seemed to really be a hassle to get to the final point of conversion.
    Any suggestions which software is really good (“set it and forget it” type of software)?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  • Cornelis May 28, 2003, 3:20 pm

    It seems that the iPod is tops hands down in here (discussion group). It seems interesting enough to get, only I would need to tote another gadget with me and I am not into that right now – aside from the 848.00 Swiss Frank price tag over here (US $ 653.00).
    I would really need a good piece of software for the conversions I’d start up to cram into the iPod. I have tons of CDs and I often have long moments (car trips, trains trips) where I would just love to “tune in, and drop out” with my music. Si it is tempting on the other hand….aarrrggghh decisions…

    Thanks for all the opinions…makes me want one even more.
    Jules I am anxiously waiting for the review :-0

  • Julie May 28, 2003, 3:38 pm

    I’m sure I’ll hear some screams of terror when I say that I’m using Windows Media Player to rip my CDs to MP3 format. Windows Media Player doesn’t rip to MP3 on its own, it requires a plugin which I purchased for $10 from InterVideo:

    http://www.intervideo.com/products/custom/ms/windowsxp/media_pack.jsp

    With my new TDK CDRW, I can rip a CD to 160kbps MP3 format in 3min 40 seconds.

  • ExtremeSIMS May 28, 2003, 5:41 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]I’m sure I’ll hear some screams of terror when I say that I’m using Windows Media Player to rip my CDs to MP3 format. Windows Media Player doesn’t rip to MP3 on its own, it requires a plugin which I purchased for $10 from InterVideo:

    http://www.intervideo.com/products/custom/ms/windowsxp/media_pack.jsp

    With my new TDK CDRW, I can rip a CD to 160kbps MP3 format in 3min 40 seconds. [/B]

    Nah, it works. :) I used Musicmatch when I was ripping on Windows, but I found it added some artifacts. I use iTunes on Mac almost exclusively now, or something like grip on Linux.

  • plainsong May 28, 2003, 6:10 pm

    You might want to wait until iTunes comes out for Windows, if you want really easy converting. Also, iTunes I’d think would include acc file format, which is a bit better than mp3, IMO. :D

    Whatever you choose, be sure to use a higher encoding setting than 128k for mp3, perhaps 160 or 192. Otherwise your songs are going to sound a bit metallic. :)

    Sorry I can’t help on Windows mp3 program advice… I have a Mac.

    Originally posted by Cornelis
    [B]It seems that the iPod is tops hands down in here (discussion group). It seems interesting enough to get, only I would need to tote another gadget with me and I am not into that right now – aside from the 848.00 Swiss Frank price tag over here (US $ 653.00).
    I would really need a good piece of software for the conversions I’d start up to cram into the iPod. I have tons of CDs and I often have long moments (car trips, trains trips) where I would just love to “tune in, and drop out” with my music. Si it is tempting on the other hand….aarrrggghh decisions…

    Thanks for all the opinions…makes me want one even more.
    Jules I am anxiously waiting for the review :-0 [/B]

  • Julie May 28, 2003, 7:33 pm

    I just did something impulsive… I went to the Apple site to check the status of my order. When I ordered it this past saturday (5/24) it said it would ship in 5-7 days. Now the site says it will ship on or before 6/5.

    Soooooooooooo, I went to PCMall and saw that they had the 30gb in stock and I ordered it with overnight FedEx shipping (hope they actually ship it today so I have it tomorrow).

    I wrote to Apple to see if they can cancel my order, but since I had specified engraving, I may end up with two iPods! :o

  • cptnrandy May 28, 2003, 8:59 pm

    Wow, a 30 gig iPod in both pockets! You are truly the goddess of gadgets! :D

    Randy

  • Julie May 29, 2003, 1:00 pm

    I just checked the status of my PCMall order and see that my iPod shipped and is already in Indianapolis! I should have it this afternoon! :D

    How many hours do you need to charge the battery before initital use? Since it is being delivered here at my work place, I’m wondering if I should wait to start the initial charge after I get home…?

    BTW: I got a reply back from Apple. No luck on canceling the order. So I’m going to have 2 iPods… I can hear eBay calling my name… :p

  • cptnrandy May 29, 2003, 1:26 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    How many hours do you need to charge the battery before initital use? Since it is being delivered here at my work place, I’m wondering if I should wait to start the initial charge after I get home…?

    Nah – you can use the wall charger and put some juice into it, but there’s probably enough to begin in the shipping unit. And I wouldn’t worry about a “full” charge before using.

    Have fun!

  • Peter K. May 29, 2003, 2:05 pm

    I’m assuming you guys also might want me to review the iPod when I get it… huh?

    Very much hope so,…and soon! I’ve had my TT for the last 7 months, and while I’m still enamored with its overall package (I still especially admire its industrial design), I had a chance to hold the newest iPod at the launch event and… – Wow!

    I never felt the desire to own an iPod, even though I’ve been a long-time mac user…at least not until I saw the iPod in person. The pictures don’t do it justice. The heft and build quality of the iPod is inimitable – it’s so sleek and just heavy enough to impart a sense of highest-quality.

    Plus it feels so damn solid/one-piece. Even my TT jiggles a little (voice-recorder button/slider) when shaken. The iPod felt so solid, like it was carved out of a single piece of block metal (like the case of a Rolex).

    However, I’ve never had the chance to inspect the iPod outside of its build quality and aethetics. I’ll be very interested in your assessment, particularly from the perspective of a TT owner (who uses it as a mp3 player).

  • Julie May 29, 2003, 2:39 pm

    I’ll definitely review it. I want to talk about several things in the review. MusicMatch vs. Ephpod vs. Xplay and Firewire vs USB. I think I need to go order a USB cable… Didn’t think about that till now… (I have firewire, usb 2.0 and usb 1? ports)

  • Julie May 29, 2003, 2:43 pm

    ACK! I just got an email that my iPod is in the mail room! :wow:

    Off I go!!!

  • ExtremeSIMS May 29, 2003, 3:18 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    I’ll definitely review it. I want to talk about several things in the review. MusicMatch vs. Ephpod vs. Xplay and Firewire vs USB. I think I need to go order a USB cable… Didn’t think about that till now… (I have firewire, usb 2.0 and usb 1? ports)
    [B]
    ACK! I just got an email that my iPod is in the mail room!
    [/B]

    Cool! Welcome to the club! Personally, I would just use Firewire – faster, better, and cheaper (since you already have the cable and port). I always ensure my PCs have firewire in them – Mac, Linux, and Windows.

  • Julie May 29, 2003, 3:25 pm

    Right, but I want to let people know about the speed differences between them…

  • Peter K. May 29, 2003, 4:43 pm

    Yeah, Julie…while the theoretical speed of USB 2.0 is faster than Firewire, real world tests show otherwise.

    I’ve exhausted about every review site on Firewire vs. USB 2.0 and have found that while the write speed of USB 2.0 may only be marginally slower than Firewire, the huge gap is in the read speeds.

    Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to your tests on this issue.

  • vicicasas May 30, 2003, 1:22 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]ACK! I just got an email that my iPod is in the mail room! :wow:

    Off I go!!! [/B]

    Hey, great! I’m excited for you!

    The first thing you’re bound to notice – the packaging is EXQUISITE. You’ll feel like you’re unwrapping an Omega wristwatch instead of a $499 MP3 player :p

  • ExtremeSIMS May 30, 2003, 4:21 am

    Like anyone with gadgetitis, I spent more money after the iPod. So far, I have bought the Belkin FM transmitter – which works marginally here in the DC area, but works like a champ in areas without too much bleed in the 88.x range – and a set of Shure E2 earbuds.

    I got the latter today, and have had a chance to spend about an hour listening to them. The quality is nice, and the earbud case is a nice touch. The sound isolation is great, based on my tests here at home. I would have liked checking them at the mall, but I forgot the iPod in my office at home! The sound is much better than the earbuds Apple gives you, and stay fit.

    Some people have said the Etymotics sounds better than the Shures, but I don’t have a set to compare against. They do sound better than the bass heavy Fontopia MDR EX70/71s, IMO.

  • cptnrandy May 30, 2003, 1:58 pm

    I use a set of Sony NC30 headphones. they’re BIG and clunky, but they’re very comfortable to wear for hours at a time (like on an airplane) and the noise cancellation is pretty good.

    I use the ear buds when I want to travel lite, but they hurt after a very short time. Don’t look quite so dorky, though!:D

  • mgome May 30, 2003, 2:38 pm

    On the off chance you might have a Honda, there is a converter for the cd changer which allows you connect devices throught the cd changer interface of a Honda factory stereo.

    Honda Auxiliary Input Converter

    The device shows up as cd 1 on the head unit. I’ll be trying this out when Uncle Sam starts mailing out checks.

    BTW, they also have converters for other factory stereos.

    Auxiliary Converters


    Manny

  • Julie May 30, 2003, 2:38 pm

    Hey folks!

    I’m sitting here listening to Norah Jones :D

    I love this thing already!

    I went ahead and installed MusicMatch on my old PC. Installation and the transfer of all my music was a snap.

  • ExtremeSIMS May 30, 2003, 2:59 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]Hey folks!

    I’m sitting here listening to Norah Jones :D

    I love this thing already!

    I went ahead and installed MusicMatch on my old PC. Installation and the transfer of all my music was a snap. [/B]

    Pretty soon you’ll wonder how you went anywhere without all of your music with you. :)

    Next step – getting Julie to buy a Mac. Nice shiny white gadget….

  • cptnrandy May 30, 2003, 3:30 pm

    Yep, the iPod is the “entry gadget” to full Mac addiction!

    Like I said, use the little charmer for a bit, then have a friend show you iTunes 4 and the Apple Music Store.

    Here’s an example, I took my daughters to their piano lesson last night. My oldest is getting some jazz training and her teacher asked me if I had a copy of “Watermelon Man”. I said, “Nope, but I can get one.”

    Went home, launched iTunes and typed in the name – a second later there were 7 versions, including Coleman Hawkins, Herbie Hancok and the popular Les McCann version. 99 cents and one click later, she’s listening to it and can burn it to take in for her next lesson.

    Way cool, amazingly powerful.

  • Julie May 30, 2003, 9:56 pm

    Next step – getting Julie to buy a Mac. Nice shiny white gadget….

    Shhhh!!! I already went down that path with the TiBook. :o

  • Julie May 30, 2003, 10:00 pm

    I’ve got the bug bad. Right now I’m having a ripping fest. I have all 4 machines going right now. Two notebooks and two PCs. I’ve got an old Nate King Cole album in one, Garth Brooks in another, Dixie Chicks in the third and The Best of Booker T. & The MG’s in the fourth. I only have about 200 more to go! Wheeeee! :cool:

  • Julie May 31, 2003, 2:51 pm

    ARGH, :eek: I just got an email saying that my engraved iPod (my first order) just shipped from Apple. Figures! I should have just waited…

  • 4T+ June 2, 2003, 7:43 pm

    I have had great luck with Koss “The Plug” head phones. They are very comfortable for extended use and are good at blocking out crying babies and jet engines.

  • SQLDba June 2, 2003, 9:20 pm

    Still waiting on my iPod. Ordered it from Dell on 5/15 – supposed to ship by the end of the month, but just got word that it is delayed until 6/10!

    Can’t complain too loudly – w/ a couple of coupon deals, I got a 30GB 3rd gen unit for $404 w/ free shipping. Just wish they would ship the silly thing.

  • plainsong June 4, 2003, 1:38 am

    Nooo, not Koss “the plug” sheesh, you people need to grow some ears. :wow: :D

    The a8s are definately better than stock buds, but here are some other gadgety good-sounding suggestions:

    Sennheiser px100, px200 (100 is open, 200 is closed, I have the 200 and it’s a good match for the ipod) The Headroom

    Koss-ksc-35, this legendary clip-on has been brought back from the dead by Koss on a limited basis. It’s not as sexy as the a8, but sounds about 200x better. It’s for sale online at Koss

    Audio-Technica em7 – definately look the business, but while the sound is clear and good, it’s a bit lean on the bass. (ipod bass boost eq isn’t very good) Audiocubes

    Sony d66 Eggo – short cord, foldable, but might be big for someone used to a8s. These phones sound great with everything though Audiocubes

    Shure e2c – a canalphone, but doesn’t go in nearly as far as the etymotic er6 which I don’t think you like. It’s said to be a great match to the ipod, and I believe it was also said in this very thread.Shure

    And if you wanna join some of this headphone craziness, then welcome to Head-fi , sorry about your wallet. :D

  • mongoos150 June 4, 2003, 1:39 am

    Julie-
    I Hope you are going to publish a formal review soon!

  • Julie June 4, 2003, 2:17 am

    My plan is to post my iPod review Thursday. I decided NOT to spring for the USB cable after all. So, I hope no one will really care that I won’t be comparing Firewire to USB in the review.

  • ExtremeSIMS June 4, 2003, 4:36 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    My plan is to post my iPod review Thursday. I decided NOT to spring for the USB cable after all. So, I hope no one will really care that I won’t be comparing Firewire to USB in the review.

    I think the money a PC user would drop on a USB cable would be better spent on a PCI Firewire card, or an Audigy sound card (which comes with firewire).

  • mongoos150 June 4, 2003, 7:21 pm

    Originally posted by ExtremeSIMS
    I think the money a PC user would drop on a USB cable would be better spent on a PCI Firewire card, or an Audigy sound card (which comes with firewire).

    Indeed, but the Audigy card has been known to be faulty with the iPod. Check out iPodlounge forums.

  • Julie June 5, 2003, 2:38 am

    Can one of you Mac 30gb iPod owners do me a quick fave? Check the Settings > About screen and let me know the size that the 30gb drive formatted to. With my Windows iPod, I have 27.84gb.

  • ExtremeSIMS June 5, 2003, 3:44 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    Can one of you Mac 30gb iPod owners do me a quick fave? Check the Settings > About screen and let me know the size that the 30gb drive formatted to. With my Windows iPod, I have 27.84gb.

    27.9 GB. I guess Mac users get that extra 0.06 GB! :)

  • Julie June 5, 2003, 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the info!

  • TheDreamer June 5, 2003, 6:32 pm

    Julie, it just occurred to that there is a way to rationalize having two iPods….

    Right now I keep a backup of everything on my Archos Jukebox on my harddrive at home (and then once every couple of months it gets picked up when I backup the computer)…..but I’m running out of space, so I’m thinking of getting a firewire drive to move the music off to (since it is a slim pc, so there is only one harddrive bay….though I was a bit annoyed to find that there are only front firewire ports on the machine)

    Well, you could use the other iPod as permanent extra storage….a little expensive though :x

    I suppose I could add space to my Linux box, except that machine doesn’t get backed up….and the last one went up in smoke (it just sits in the back corner where I hardly notice it….there was an extended poweroutage and it came back on without any fans running.) The linux box used to just provide DNS/NTP for my home network (though it has grown to be temporary storage and DHCP, next project is ReplayScheduler so I can access the scheduling on my RTVs in real time over the web….instead of the 24 hour blackout period that the my.replaytv.com has.)

    Last weekend a deskfan smoked….the one I use to keep my modems/routers/switches cool.

    The Dreamer

  • thsu June 5, 2003, 10:50 pm

    The best ripper/encoder I’ve found so far for the PC is CDex.

    http://www.cdex.n3.net/

    It’s much better than music match and it’s free. Unlike Julie, I rip my stuff at an insanely high VBR (160-320 bit rate). The downside is that it takes about 30 minutes to encode a CD on my 2ghz P4, so what I do instead is to rip several CDs to wav files, which takes only a few minutes, and then encode to mp3 overnight. It takes a lot of disk space, but the results are worth it.

  • Julie June 6, 2003, 3:58 am

    TheDreamer:
    Thankfully, I have a friend who is going to buy the extra iPod from me :D

    All:
    I have a about 1/3rd of the review still to write along with taking pictures. It’s already 11pm here, and I’m beat. It’s been a long day for many reasons… Sorry to disappoint, but I’m going to post tomorrow night.

  • ExtremeSIMS June 6, 2003, 4:09 am

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]TheDreamer:
    Thankfully, I have a friend who is going to buy the extra iPod from me :D

    All:
    I have a about 1/3rd of the review still to write along with taking pictures. It’s already 11pm here, and I’m beat. It’s been a long day for many reasons… Sorry to disappoint, but I’m going to post tomorrow night. [/B]

    No problem for us – I think we all have iPods. ;)

  • Peter K. June 6, 2003, 8:18 pm

    Except for me. I’ve been refreshing this site like mad for the last few days…but no pressure. ;):p

    I just want to hear a straightforward review from someone with a non-Apple perspective (not that I’m anti-Apple, since I’ve only owned iMacs for the last 5 years), so an ‘unbiased’ review is welcome.

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