Just when it’s acceptable only

So, here I am typing on a unbearable 14” CRT monitor, and of course my computer is a piece of junk that needs to be replaced, and it comes also that I need to replace my MP3 player. So, what am I forced to do? Well, first I have to hope that I would get my rent rebate. I am expecting to, and it has been reliable before, but there’s always that chance that it won’t come.

Even with the rent rebate, it is only $400. Needless to say, since I have to replace my PC, and a basic one is about $500 for a notebook, I would have to get a desktop. The cheapest one I seen was an eMachines at Walmart for $270. I am not a fan of eMachines, and can only hope that they have been stepping up to better quality. However, with that said, I would be looking at an AMD dual core 1.8Ghz CPU, 2GB of memory, and a 320GB hard drive. At least I would be able to move my music from an external hard drive to the internal one.

As for a monitor, there is a 15.6” from Walmart too for $100 with S&H. And dare I say it, it’s an Acer. I had one Acer product, and it was a complete failure. However, I am stuck at having to choose from a computer, and relying on this 14” CRT, or a computer and a monitor from a company I had terrible dealings with. Ideally, it would be nice to just replace the TV I have with an LCD that has a VGA input, but for an extra $100 I won’t have, that won’t be happening.

So with only $30 left, what am I to do about an MP3 player? Well, I don’t like the decision I am feeling I would have to come up with, and I am actually disgusted with the options. If I have to spend my money on a new player, than I am going to get something that is going to work in every aspect of my life. I am using Pandora, so I would want Pandora integration. This limits me to PDA style players. There are three such types.

  1. Android based players
  2. Apple iPod Touch
  3. Windows Mobile

So, the Android based player would sound perfect (except for the price). I am a fan of Android, and admire the capabilities despite the flaws. However, there is a problem with them. All of the respectable manufacturers that have built Android based devices seems to be slaughtering them and whether their choice, or Google’s – have forbidden the Android Market from their devices. Pandora doesn’t distribute their .apk file except through Market which now poses the problem of having a potentially good device without the functionality that makes Android and Android. Now, on some of them, you can hack the unit to accept Market, but then becomes a bit buggy. There is also the expense. An Archos 5 with 8GB of storage is $250. Obviously, to buy this, I would have to forsake the computer.

Windows Mobile devices are even worse in prices. I am not talking about a cell phone, but a regular PDA. Only one manufacturer I know still makes Windows Mobile PDAs, and they are running Windows 5 I believe. So, there is no guarantee that it would even accept Pandora. In addition, it does have the good thing of syncing play lists with Windows Media Player, but at a price tag higher than the Android, it is not a real consideration.

Now, I would be the first to criticize Apple products. They are over priced, far from the standards, and encourages a locked down environment that is in my opinion, a harm to the computer and device industry. To develop for Apple iTunes is a crap shoot. You may get in after hours or days of work, and you may not. If not – sucks to be you. Even if it is allowed, it can be pulled from the store anytime, and it would be taken from your iPod Touch, or iPhone. Again, sucks to be you. However, one thing that I can seem to do with this one that I can’t with my other options is get it on payments. It would hurt my income a little, but it is almost a necessity. And yes, there would be 30% APR, and the as I call Fingerhut tax, but it is an option, and if I have to buy a new player, my only real option. At least I would be able to put Pandora on it, right – until Stevie decides you don’t want Pandora. And yes, that to me is a real concern. Don’t believe me, ask Google Voice.