Last night I installed the new PCI card with USB 2 and FireWire ports. Once I had the computer open, I discovered that it appeared that I already had three IEEE-1394 (aka i.Link, aka FireWire) ports, which hadn’t been reflected in the information available online at Dell for my service tag number. The reference material on my PC, though, suggested that Dell had certified those ports only for use with digital videocameras, and not with other FireWire devices; besides, I wanted the upgraded USB ports anyway.
A very little while later (a time measured in minutes as opposed to hours, thanks to the fast FireWire transfer speed, though I did spend several hours updating and correcting ID3 tags) my iPod was configured, was showing up as an additional hard drive on my PC, and I had transferred about 5,600 songs to it, enough music to play for more than 15 straight days. That’s about two-thirds of my CD collection, and I still have almost 11Gb left for the remaining tracks. Since I had ripped 99% of my CDs to very high-quality mpegs on my PC before the iTunes was available for Windows, currently I would only be able to transfer about 7,000 songs compared to the 10,000 Apple says you can store on a 40Gb iPod; I might now go back and re-rip them to AAC over time instead, which will reduce the file sizes.
By the time Jeff came home, I was able to do my own imitation of the iPod commercials, dancing around the living room and belting out Barenaked Ladies tunes while holding about two-thirds of my entire music collection in one hand. It’s so cool to realize that I can now have access to all of my music at any time–at home, at work, on the road, or just walking down the street. I don’t really remember the last time I even used my CD jukebox anyway, since I’d been ripping all my tunes to the PC, so theoretically I could sell the jukebox and all my original CDs, and reclaim some space both in my audio cabinet and in my closet (once the CDs number in the hundreds, the jewel cases alone occupy a surprisingly large amount of cubic feet).
Heck, this iPod might even pay for itself in that case. I am so in love with Apple right now.