For The True Music Glutton (1/17/02)
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Any suspicions we had that the iPod isn't a revolutionary device have long since evaporated, and here's why: this morning we couldn't decide what we wanted to hear, so we started listening to every single song in its library, in alphabetical order by artist. It's now seven and a half hours later, we've been listening non-stop, the battery indicator says we've still got three-quarters of a tank of gas to burn, and we're only up to the cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me" by the Bouncing Souls. In other words, as far as this A to Z musical odyssey goes, we're currently about halfway through "B"-- otherwise known as "song 124 of 1336." This thing rules.

Yet despite the fact that we've got more than enough music on the sucker to broadcast our own commercial-free non-stop no-repeat weekend (assuming we had the juice, that is), we're well aware that a lot of people still aren't impressed with the iPod's 4.6 GB storage capacity. They point to devices like the latest Nomad Jukebox, which is available for the same price as an iPod, but it's got a 20 GB hard drive. Those people often neglect to notice that the Nomad also comes with a drastically lower battery life, a massive footprint that's decidedly unfriendly to all but the roomiest pockets, and a USB connection that might let you fill it up with music before the sun burns out. Still, we get the point; a larger capacity iPod would indeed kick some extra booty, since even though we've got 97 CDs on ours, we've got a lot more music at home that it might be nice to tote along for the ride.

Well, fret not, O Ye of Much Music; faithful viewer Joe Radosevich tipped us off to the fact that Toshiba (the geniuses behind the teensy-but-huge 5 GB 1.8-inch hard drive spinning under all that white plastic and stainless steel) has just announced that it's about to ship larger capacity versions of the same mechanism. We had already known that the company was working on getting 10 GB drives out sometime early this year, and now we know those devices are slated to arrive in March. We imagine it won't take long for Apple to incorporate them into an iPod rev. B, thus doubling the number of tunes you can stuff in your pocket.

But what's this? It turns out that Toshiba is also planning on shipping a 20 GB model next month, which would translate into an iPod with roughly a 4000-song capacity, thus bringing the iPod's storage up to scratch with that of the far bulkier Nomad. The only possible catch might be that the Toshiba's 20 GB drive houses two platters, and is therefore 3 mm thicker than the 10 GB model, so Apple might have to clear a little space to shoehorn it into the existing iPod design. Still, what's a few millimeters between friends?

In any event, we'll be very surprised if Apple doesn't introduce at least one higher-capacity iPod by April at the latest. So those of you who held off on getting one because the idea of 100 CDs in your pants just wasn't enough to get you breathing heavily, start saving those shiny nickels and prepare to amass some personal debt; before long you'll be 'podding with the rest of us.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 1/17/02 episode:

January 17, 2002: Toshiba announces new tiny drives that may give the iPod a little more muscle. Meanwhile, the color of the universe constitutes proof of Steve Jobs's alien status, and Bill Gates tells his troops that Microsoft needs to become a bastion of secure software...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3513: Steve Jobs Phone Home (1/17/02)   It has recently come to our attention that, despite his predilection for bare feet and black turtlenecks, his uncanny ability to bend mere mortals to his will, and his decidedly unusual diet, some people think we're kidding when we occasionally refer to Steve Jobs as an extraterrestrial life form...

  • 3514: Redmond, AKA Securityville (1/17/02)   Hey Redmond-- stop the presses, or whatever the heck it is you stop when you want all operating system development to grind to a screeching halt. According to a New York Times article sent to us by faithful viewer Sledgehammer Smythe, Big Man Bill has brought word down from the mountaintop, and that word is SECURITY...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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