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the rhythm the rebel
few weeks back I posted an entry about my new lappy, with the promise of posting about the other new gear that I acquired as a result of my insurance claim. If there's silver lining in all of this, it's new toys to play with, if nothing else.

My phone, while not completely destroyed, was badly damaged in the accident, so I had it replaced with a fancy new slim one with a lot of bells and whistles my old one didn't have, most notably: stereo Bluetooth and an mp3 player.

It has other fancy things like a camera and video recorder, but as you might expect, they're pretty much worthless. Coupled with a 4GB microSD card though, it makes a decent little music player. It even has a built-in FM transmitter so I can beam it right into a radio. Now if they will start making cell phones with fax capabilities (send a jpg/receive a jpg) I'll be a happy camper. Why don't cell phones have this yet?

In the wreck, my trusty Sony headphones were destroyed. I could have replaced it with another nice set of 'phones but opted instead for a cheap Sennheiser headset...

...and these BlueAnt headpones, that'll work with the Bluetooth in both my laptop and my phone.

The sound quality in the Sennheisers are so-so, but I wasn't expecting much out of a $17 pair of headphones. The BlueAnt's sound isn't awesome or anything, but they have good general clarity and a decent bass response. I've been using them a lot in conjunction with my phone to listen to music while painting at the candy factory. You can't see it in the photo, but it also comes with a removable mini-boom mic for telephone application. I'm not a huge fan of the "urban-style" design and they can get uncomfortale after extended use, but if you're in need of a Bluetooth stereo headset, I'd give this my personal endorsement.

Finally, I lost two portable DVD players in the crash. So I got two of these bad boys:

While I think it's pretty nifty that they have docking stations for iPods, it's a worthless feature for me because I'll never own one. It does however play Divx/Xvid from disc or SD card, which was the selling point for me. It also has video/audio in jacks, making it usable as monitor for a gaming console.

I got a few other things in the settlement, like a couple of power inverters and a new aircard for the laptop, but there's nothing particularly interesting to say or show about them. This was the fun stuff. Yay me!

As an update on the desktop computer: the new power supply is in (along with some new case fans and a new hard drive I snagged while at Newegg) and it's humming a long just fine. When I consider that between two desktops and two laptops currently in the house, that we have over 2 TB of storage it blows my mind. Remember when a 100MB hard drive would run you a couple hundred bucks?

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That coupling of the Pod and player is pure sex.

It is pretty sweet. Almost makes me wish I was an iPod owner.

That, sir, is a damned snazzy phone. Were I not requried to use Cingular, I would procure such a phone.

So far I'm loving it. I wish it would accept a larger microSD, but honestly, 4GB is probably plenty for my needs, especially since I was making do with a small mp3 player that only had 1.5GB before.

Sadly, I remember when 10 MB hard drives were a couple hundred bucks

Sadly, I remember back that far, too... though the first disk I ever bought with my own money was 100MB. Man, that held a shitload of porn GIFs and ASCII art.

i think the first disk i bought on its own was 2gb. i remember when i bought a 6gb hard drive for $400 when everyone else was using piddly 4gb drives and gave it a volume label of HUUUUUGE.

and now i have sd cards that are 4gb. go figure.

I have a microSD 4gb card. Strange that that much storage fits in a disk as big as my finger nail.

I was the envy of my internet geek friends when I got the 100MB drive. Now Windows wouldn't even fit on it.

nor would any version of Windows since maybe 98 run on that amount of RAM.

Do you find that the bluetooth on your cell phone drains the battery at a lightning quick pace? I got a bluetooth phone the summer before last because my car has the capability, but I noticed that just by having the bluetooth on, I was almost killing my phone battery every day, because of the time spent in the car, I assume...even if I wasn't on the phone, it was still drawing power.

I leave the Bluetooth "on" most of the time, even when I'm not using the headset and I haven't noticed any discernible difference in the battery drain. I'm sure there IS a difference, but not anything absurd like having to charge the phone daily under normal/idle usage. Now of course, when I'm running the music player... yeah, it's a pretty quick drain; 3-4 hours tops on a full battery.

ok, weird question but do those sennheisers a) isolate well from outside noise, b) not make a lot of noise *themselves* when they are on your ears, c) get pretty loud despite ho-hum fidelity? i've been eyeing them for a while as a possible cheap / beat-'em-up pair of metronome/monitor phones for use while tracking on the drum kit.

i hope your Philips does better reading XviD from SD than any enabled player i've ever had. it is such a sexy feature-- too bad it almost never works. but they can usually all read off of dvdrw just great so i don't bitch a lot about it.

They do isolate outside noise fairly well in my limited use with them. I don't hear noise in the speakers themselves, then again, my ears aren't the best judge of that... but I don't hear any white noise in them. As far as loudness, the most I've driven them with is the laptop and my phone and they were plenty loud on those.

I haven't played with the DVD players much, but I did run a little SD card test and it read it just fine. I had a cheapo Mustek product before that read Divx from SD (and USB flash drives, which sadly these don't) and had no problems with it reading the cards either. What DID have issues with with the Mustek was it choking on certain encodings. It didn't like AC3 and preferred mp3. It also didn't like VBR or Divx4 (though 3 and 5 seemed to work just fine). The new Phillips player has already played some files (from SD) that the old Mustek would balk at, so I can't complain.

yeah, on my current Oppo player as well as a couple other settop boxes i've tried including a Philips, reading the card is fine... but certain encodings are the problem. it just chokes on a lot of things, sometimes not until you're 50 minutes into a movie or whatever, which really sucks. works fine for mp3s and jpg slideshows though so i guess it's worth something in the living room, at least when i have a tv out there which i don't right now.

headphone wise sound quality is not such a big deal as "will it keep my drumming suppressed enough to hear the damn click track" but as usual i'm not going to pay a lot for this muffler. thanks for the review. :)

*nudge motherfucker, it's been a while since you've written anything...

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