Now, one of the background tasks going on in my life is figuring out what car to buy when my 1999 VW Passat finally bites the big one. It's been getting closer to its death bed (parking space?) for the past several years; right now, the alarm is still busted (the battery fix only lasted twenty-four hours), and I'm getting tired of the stick shift at any rate. So, looking around, I think I've decided that I want a 2008 Scion xB. Of course, I'm trying to hold off buying it unti I really, really need it.
Part of the thing with almost all new cars I've seen lately is this: they come with iPod docks or connectors. This is of course capital C cool. I've been fumbling with a crappy Dell branded MP3 player for years, and it sounds like crap over the tape deck in my car. (The AM radio doesn't work at all, and the FM option isn't much better than the tape deck option.) So, whenever this thing breaks, I'm probably going to have to replace it with an iPod.
This also means that I have to get rid of all the WMA files on my computer. Given that I'm not a fan of AAC - it doesn't work with the fauxPod I already own - I have to go with MP3. And, wouldn't you know it, Microsoft's brand spanking new Vista OS doesn't come with a way to rip VPR MP3 files. Period. Great, huh? Thankfully, iTunes does, so I've been getting to know it for the past two days. And you know what? It's very, very good. Yeah, I don't like the UI as well as WMP 11, and yeah, the G-Force visualizer doesn't work correctly in fullscreen mode, and yeah, there are some weird things going on there, but on the whole it's just fine. If anything, it actually gets names correct when you insert newly released CDs. No more tediously entering everything in by hand every time a new Fabric CD arrives in the mail.
So, goodbye to more Microsoft in my life. I would've stayed if you would've added a simple feature (variable bit rate MP3) and tidied up the library management a little, but you didn't. Glad you were working on (well, what exactly?) for five years and didn't bother with the basics.
Oh, and one more thing: on Vista, if you have a folder that contains a folder that contains WMA files, you can't just delete the enclosing folder. That makes Vista puke: you have to authenticate yourself as admin and then wait for a few minutes until a Retry? box comes up endlessly. There is no way to make it work. You have to delete the folder that contains the WMA files and only then can you delete the enclosing folder. Five years and they missed simple bugs like that?