I was in the Apple Store today and just needed some retail therapy. I’ve been on a hardware kick for the past three months acquiring a 30GB iPod, a massive flat panel for home, and, now, and 15″ Powerbook. It’s been quite a run.
Problem is, now when I walk into the store, my cash spending reflexes kick in and I can’t get out of the store until I plunk some cash money at the register.
Today’s exit strategy was Griffin Technologies iTrip. I’d been in a holding pattern on this purchase as the iTrip did not yet support the new iPods, but today was my lucky day. The iTrip was front and center in a sea of moderately interesting iPod accessories.
No one — ever — never ever — has given me a good recommendation for the iTrip. “Bad sound quality” “Cool design, couldn’t find a radio station” I’m certain there are reams of weblog entries regarding the mediocre-ness of the iTrip.
Everyone is right. After roughly an hour of usage, I don’t see a good fit for the iTrip in my day to day. Weak. iTrip is a great concept. Radio broadcaster for your iPod. This is, in concept, great for me as I’m the process of putting every_song_ever on my iPod and my car has a CD player which limits my input options and, well, I listen to music in my car.
The iTrip fits snugly on top of the iPod, complimenting it’s design. Usage of the broadcaster does prevent the usage of the remote which tickles a wear’n’tear neuron in the back of my head, but I can live with that. The broadcaster comes with a install CD which cleverly adds a playlist to iTunes which contains songs that, when played, adjusts the broadcast frequency on the iTrip. Slick. Groovy. Geeky. What’s the catch?
The catch is: it’s radio. The iPod experience is decidedly a solo adventure. It’s you and your music. Everything else is just crap which gets in the way of you listening to your music. Once I’d found a radio station devoid of signal, set-up my iTrip, and listened to my first song (AC/DC: Who Made Who?)… it was painfully radio. Little bit of static… little bit of buzz. I was no longer getting the iPod experience of me and my music… it was me, my music, my car stereo, my iPod, and that slight buzz that just gets louder the more I turn up the volume.
Granted, I’ve only goofed around for an hour with the iTrip and, yes, I do live in the Bay Area which just doesn’t have much empty radio bandwidth, but my iTrip is not looking promising.