LifeDrive Notes: As An MP3 Player

I haven’t been writing about the LifeDrive because, frankly, it’s begun to annoy the hell out of me.

Even with CompactFlash replacing the Microdrive, the delays when switching between apps is really beginning to get on my nerves. There are times when I have to switch between MiniWrite and Memos — and it can take up to five freakin seconds! I think my short-term memory has a three-second limit, so I sometimes forget what the hell I was about to do because of this huge distraction.

As a video player, it’s just great. I’ve watched hours and hours of the stuff (cumulatively; I think the most free time for viewing I’ve been able to carve out in one sitting has been close to two hours). I think the battery could easily go for three if not four straight hours of video.

Yesterday I wanted to take a bunch of new music with me. I have just 128MB on the SD card in my jWin MP3 player, and that was filled. So I decided, what the hell, let’s dump the stuff on the LifeDrive and give it a whirl.

I was unprepared for the shock I got.

Sonically, it kicks the hell out of the jWin. The sound is so much richer, songs I’d listened to before on the jWin sounded brand new on the LifeDrive! In terms of volume, the LifeDrive also beats the jWin. My ears were on the verge of bleeding when I hit an MP3 that had loud volume (I’ve not standardized the volume of my MP3s… yeesh!).

I’m using the built-in PocketTunes, which is irritating to use. Trying to move through the track list in an intuitive way — just hitting the center ring up/down — gives me Volume Control instead. I have to pull out the stylus to move through the list while a song is playing. Feh! I paid for PocketTunes when I had a Tungsten E, so I’m probably entitled to a better version than the one included with the LifeDrive. I’ve just been too lazy to investigate that option. Maybe an upgrade would give me a skin with better controls.

I’m not sure that PocketTunes and the LifeDrive battery meter see eye-to-eye. After playing songs for about two hours, the battery meter showed about 90% remaining power. Then I played a one-hour video and it dropped to near 50%! I would have had more power remaining if those hours had been used just for video. So something is screwy here.

I don’t intend to keep using the LifeDrive as an MP3 player, though. I’d rather use that storage for video and data.

Given the superior sound the LifeDrive has exposed me to, what’s become clear is that I need a freakin iPod! Or — cue drool! — iPhone.

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