Tangled Up in New
June 12, 2011 7:23 AM   Subscribe

Uh, what goes where? Multiple media, multiple devices, singularly and spectacularly overloaded.

I'm ready to buy a transistor radio and dogeared paperbacks. I have an iPod, which is nicely stocked and current (although I don't want to be in the cloud, I don't, but they forced me). I have a Kindle, which is just fine, although I only use the book download feature (and dear Amazon, alert me when books have structural or visual elements that do not translate -- I'm looking at you, powerpoint section of A Visit From the Goon Squad). I have a Droid incredible, which I use for texting, games, apps, and seemingly most of all, camera.

I've been offered an iPad through work. I'm now officially overloaded. What goes where? Are the iPod and Kindle obsolete? Is my phone now just for talking? I mean seriously, I feel dumb, but even my know-it-all kids are giving me different answers.

Can I get a gameplan? I appreciate well-meaning "Well, what do you prefer?" but I really just want someone to lay it out for me. Also if it matters, I'm a Verizon client and not inclined to switch; not sure who the provider on the work iPad is ... does it matter?

I'm sure I've left off critical information -- excruciatingly specific questions will be helpful, thanks.
posted by thinkpiece to Technology (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm going to assume you have a iPod classic or Nano here, so let me know if you don't.

An iPad could replace a Kindle, depending on your reading-preferences. I can't really read on a lit screen like the iPad's, regardless of resolution, so it personally would never replace an electronic ink reader (or actual books) for novel-reading. The iPad has a dedicated Kindle-format reader, FYI.

As far as I can tell, the iPad can replace the iPod, assuming a) there's enough room on the iPad, b) your job doesn't mind you putting music on it and c) you're going to cart the thing around everywhere. Depending on their social and active life, having an iPad everywhere is no problem, or a giant pain in the ass. If you want to listen to music at the gym or while walking the dog or something, it's not easy. Of course, you can keep both and just pick the one you're going to carry around each outing.

The iPad's cameras are crap, AFAIK, and its not a phone so you'll need to keep your Droid if you plan on taking pictures and staying connected.

Honestly, I would seriously suggest replacing your iPod with your Droid. This may involve buying flash memory and throwing MP3s on that. However, if you're an iTunes store person, your best bet would be to sell the Incredible and put the money toward an iPhone. I used to use an iPod 5G and a G1 and combining the two was one of the best ideas ever. I like my music loud and no longer miss calls while wearing headphones because my music is interrupted to let calls through and that is just the best feature.
posted by griphus at 7:41 AM on June 12, 2011

I replaced my MP3 player with my Android phone. There are a couple of ways to make a long press on the volume rocker translate into track skip buttons, so you still have physical buttons. I was already in the habit of buying music through Amazon, which is probably the easiest way to buy music from the phone, if you want to use iTunes you would buy music on the computer and then sync with your phone. Basically the phone isn't missing any features of a dedicated MP3 player so I saw no need for two devices there.
posted by anaelith at 8:13 AM on June 12, 2011

This is a work iPod that work will be tracking? ONLY DO WORK ON IT. People get themselves in a lot of trouble with recreational computing on employers' devices and webspaces.

(I think appropriate texting/e-mailing/calling with family & friends is fine and expected, as long as your employer doesn't have a specific policy otherwise, but you'd be SHOCKED how many people carry out extramarital affairs or purchase illegal substances through work computers/work e-mail. Your employer can look at that shit at any time, and that shit's discoverable in a lawsuit against your company.)

I agree that you may be able to jettison the iPod, depending on what you use it for, and what your employer's polices are about personal iTunes accounts on a work device are. (Like, if you go jogging with your iPod, an iPad will not replace that.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:30 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

*first line: "work iPad" obviously. sorry.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:31 AM on June 12, 2011

Every one of those devices has a kindle app that will synchronize. So don't ditch the kindle - I'm in a similar boat as you (iPhone, iPad, Kindle). I only read on my kindle when I'm out and about. It's horrid to read on the back-lit screens outside. My phone killed my need for a separate music player. I'd try to make that transition if I was you. Otherwise cloud based apps are your friend. Dropbox will facilitate moving stuff (documents, pictures, etc) between iPad, Phone, and computer much easier. I would definitely find out what your work would be ok with you using your iPad for. Also, I don't find listening to music on my iPad very doable - it's just too big. I use it for long podcasts or lectures where I'm not moving around much.
posted by msbutah at 9:17 AM on June 12, 2011

Sure, you have some overlap. But in this day and age, who doesn't?

While the Ipad can replace the Kindle, that doesn't necessarily mean that it should.

The most glaring overlap I see is that maybe you should move the music from the Ipod to the Droid, and dump the Ipod. Get one of those bandolier thingies if you run.

Personally, I find reading on the Kindle to be much easier than reading on an Ipad. But 95% of the time, I'm not reading. I'm surfing, VNC'ing into servers, checking render times/queues, email, etc.
posted by Sphinx at 9:26 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Kindle is used solely for reading where portability and/or legibility are at an absolute premium.

The ipod can is used primarily for display of audio/visual media where portability is at a premium and.or communications such as email or instant messaging are desired. The various apps available for it extend it's use in many niche areas.

The iPad is used in much the same way as the ipod but it's vastly larger screen size makes it more suitable for display of any type of visual media. It makes, in my estimation , a very good book reader but the text legibility is not quite as good as the kindle although to my eyes, not significantly so.

The Droid is used primarily as a doorstop. HAHA OK, just kidding. The droid is used much as the iPod but with added telephonic capabilities. The iPod, if it is the latest model has better screen resolution.

You certainly do not need all those devices. All the ones that you mentioned serve different uses.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 9:29 AM on June 12, 2011

Seconding "don't store personal media on a work device".

That said, a Kindle works well for only one thing: reading outdoors. To my mind, it is inferior to an iPad for reading inside. And of course the iPad lets you do all those other things as well.

Unless reading outdoors is something you do on an almost daily basis, it is by far the least useful of the devices you've mentioned. As an iPad owner who spends as little time outside as possible, I'm not sure I'd take a Kindle for free.
posted by Trurl at 10:02 AM on June 12, 2011

I'd stick with an iDevice over Kindle, you can download the Kindle app on them anyway. Kindles pretty much just do one thing.

The iPad, as far as I can tell, is good as a substitute Kindle, for big screen fun, and for browsing online as long as you don't plan on posting a lot of answers to Ask Metafilter on it or something. It's okay, but I'm not massively overwhelmed with its awesome. Also, yours is a WORK iPad, so you shouldn't be using it for personal fun anyway.

I find that my needs are satisfied by my Droid phone and my iPod touch. The phone is for phone, net, camera (oh, the camera) and Angry Birds mostly. I don't want to suck the battery dry in case I need a phone for any reason and phone batteries don't last as long, so I use the Touch for reading e-books (I have 5 e-book programs on mine, including Kindle), music, organizer, playing games, etc. Works for me.

Why is your work offering you an iPad? Would it be useful for WORK purposes? If so, maybe use it, but I don't think it's a major requirement these days.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:02 AM on June 12, 2011

These are all great answers, thanks, I have some clarity.

My work is giving me an iPad because they lurve me and want me to be happy -- after 6 months I keep it, so the personal part isn't really an issue, they're cool with that. Thanks again, smarties.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:43 PM on June 12, 2011

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