It seems that you can't talk about satellite radio these days without mentioning the iPod, especially because of the pending merger. Here's my experience with it, I'd like to see how it compares with other people.

So I got an iPod about four years ago when I was going off to college. I don't know if thats because 2004 is when the sales really took off, or because it wasn't really targeted at high schoolers. Either way, when I got to college it was pretty obvious it was the "must have" gadget. You couldn't walk anywhere without seeing someone with those white ear buds.

IMO there's nothing spectacular about the iPod itself, its popularity is purely an issue of marketing. Mp3s were gaining popularity, and once they figured out a way to make a relatively high capacity portable why carry a disc man (remember those) and all those discs? Keep your entire music library in your pocket! Yeah, well I guess what I'm finding out is that is getting really old.

I have albums and albums of music on it, and its getting really boring. "Shuffle" doesn't cut it when the random tune you hear is something you have already heard 20 times previously. I don't know if my boredom with it is because I am out of college, or if its something that is bound to happen to anyone who uses the iPod for an extended period of time.

I think any portable mp3 player has its place and usefulness. Maybe you take it to the gym to hear specific music while you work out, maybe you hook it up to you stereo in your house when you want to hear some specific music. But there is something to be said for the variety that a radio broadcast brings (especially in a car ride), and I think that it is overlooked too much (ie. in something like Wienkes' anlaysis the other day.) Maybe this is just my experience, but I think it's unrealistic to think that people are going to be hooked on iPod's for the rest of their life.

I'd like to hear thoughts from you guys. Has anyone else owned an iPod? Do you still? What do you use it for? How old are you?