Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The iPod revolution

I managed to sneak an internet connection long enough to post this to the internet. Hope you enjoy it, just four more days till AX 2006!

If you don’t have a video iPod already, this should convince you. One day, I was getting ready to embark on a fourteen hour plane flight to China (my third within the past year). I had finished packing my clothes, thrown some books into my backpack, and laid down for a good night sleep. Naturally, I wasn’t exactly keen on the idea of sitting through the drudgery of a fourteen hour plane flight. Then, like the bright light of Avalon, inspiration struck (obvious reference to Fate Stay/Night). I own a video iPod. I have a laptop computer with gig upon gig of fansubbed anime. I have a handy program called “3GP Converter.” And I have a lot of time until my flight.

That’s when the magic began. I immediately flipped open my laptop and began the “drag-and-drop” process to transform my fansub collection into a plethora (that dreaded middle-school word) of iPod friendly files.

So it turns out each file is around 50 to 60 megabytes, and is backed up with the original full .avi file on my external hard drive. The quality on that two inch screen? Amazing. Clear picture, good sound quality. So far I have transferred the following anime series onto my iPod: Ergo Proxy, Fate Stay/Night, Zegapain, and Nana, with more to come. I haven’t experienced any trouble with offset audio and visuals (a problem I’ve encountered while ripping DVDs), and while some of the subtitles are rather small to view on the screen, they’re all definitely legible.

The downsides to this amazing discovery (well, not really a “discovery,” but more a utilization of applicable technology)? The relatively short battery life of the video iPod is one (only a couple hours, or about four to six episodes worth of anime – I recommend skipping intros and endings). The amount of time it takes to convert the files to MP4 format (which is used for iPod video). Converting a series can take a good couple of hours.

But just think of the possibilities – long roadtrips (after you’ve used up all of your jokes, and you’ve told one too many stories), medium length plane rides (let’s face it, two hours of anime is only a band-aid on the gushing chest wound that is my fourteen hour plane flight), train rides…wow. That’s a good list right there. If you come stocked and prepared, you’re ready for action. So yeah, invest the $300 or $400 on a video iPod. You can get your anime fix anywhere.

And if you haven’t finished Fate Stay/Night, you should. It’s a darn good series. Start watching from episode 11, and go to the end. The first ten aren’t worth your time.


At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fail to understand why you don't watch it on your laptop. Isn't the screen bigger? Albeit bulkier and more troublesome, I'll still prefer a larger screen.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do all that on my PDA, but I get 7-10 hours of battery life, much better than a video Ipod.
Of course, rumor is that there's a new one coming down the pipe, with a much bigger screen.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger J.Valdez said...

Oh wow, I was going to replace one of my monitors with another 19" flat panel, but I think I may do this instead. I just have to decide on either a PDA or iPod?

Oh why! doth thie burden me with such decisions!?

At 7:12 AM, Blogger Michael said...

@tj han: this is mainly for travel purposes. Say you're going on a short trip that doesn't warrant bringing along the bulkier and more troublesome laptop, in this case I'd want to be able to watch an episode or two at least so that I wouldn't find myself with as much wasted time.

@corydorf: a new PDA, or a new iPod? I figure you mean the iPod. A bigger screen would be good, but I hope it doesn't affect the battery life too much (it's short enough as it is).

@j.valdez: For size and style, the iPod wins hands down. For overall usefulness (at least in a business sense) and battery life, you can't beat the PDA.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Start watching from episode 11, and go to the end. The first ten aren’t worth your time."

Ha, so true. I'm on ep 22 of Fate/Stay Night and I'm amazed things finally started getting interesting at 19. Can't believe NewType ranked this series at #9.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger Michael said...

anonymous: Newtype's rankings are really just a popularity contest. They have little, if anything, to do with the show's actual quality. Unfortunately...


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