I'd fallen in love with podcasts. "This American Life", "Vinyl Café," BBC documentaries, audiodharma, radio plays, zencasts, language-learning lessons and the like. Thanks to an Audible.com subscription a few years ago I have a couple of dozen audiobooks in electronic format. And of course there's the addictive lure of all those music tracks just a few clicks away. Want four recordings of the first movement of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet? Clickety-click.
Except that I had nothing with which to carry all this content around with me. Sophie and Erin own Nanos that they bought with their own money. I was gradually developing iPod envy. So one morning I wondered to myself how much a little iPod shuffle would cost me. I started looking at prices. Not as good as I had hoped.
I decided to take a peek on eBay. I'm a pretty restrained eBay user. I do my research, I don't get caught up in bidding wars and I have the restraint necessary to step back from something I've got my heart set on if the price isn't right. So I put in my search criteria. I wanted cheap, I didn't care if I got a cord or earbuds or any of the peripherals. I didn't need a lot of capacity. I clicked search and started browsing at the top of the list. By the time I realized that the unit at the top of the list was the perfect condition, capacity, price and location, there was a scant 53 seconds left in the auction. With my speediest eBay skills I checked the seller's feedback, read the fine print and assured myself that it was what I wanted. I bid with 4 seconds left and won it for thirty bucks and change. I think about three and a half minutes had elapsed between when I'd said "I wonder how much a little Shuffle would cost?" and when I had bought myself a 2 MB first-gen. Nano. I'm particularly thrilled that I got it used, my anti-consumerism values being what they are these days.
It arrived 4 days later. I've had it about 3 weeks now and I am so happy. Even folding laundry has a certain attraction to it now, provided my iPod is charged up.