while I do have my trusty Palm Tungsten E to play MP3s on the go, I think it's just not the same as what an iPod
would give me. For one, the form factor is quite a bit smaller. The Tungsten E needs a case and then where do I store it?
If it's fall or winter, it might fit in the pocket, but right now with temperatures in the 90s every day, there are no such luxuries. And forget about putting it in my pants pockets. Without the case, maybe, but with the case, no way.
The iPod however, is much smaller; from the Shuffle which would positively disappear in any pocket to the Mini which, although larger, would likely do the same. Both are better travel companions and smaller than the Palm. Then there's the hardware and software issues. While the Palm is OK in that department using a 5-way naviagation switch on the front and the Real Music player to play the songs, it's by no means on the same level as the iPod. The unique click wheel on the front does it all,and with the shuffle itself there's no screen to mess with. Heck, even the Mini allows better browsing and selection of songs than the Palm.
I remember a few times trying to select the song I wanted on my Palm while driving -- mistake. There's just not enough time to do it while driving; but the iPod makes it so easy I feel like I could use it in the car.
So enough rambling. I want one, not sure when I'll get one. I'm torn between the 1GB Shuffle ($129) and the Mini ($199). I think for the extra $70 the Mini may be the clear winner.
Although there's always this bad boy from Creative, the Zen Vision, another entry into the mp3 wars.
It also seems Microsoft wants a better piece of the mp3 pie, and has started unleashing the lawyers. Fun.