I wasn’t pleased when, one year ago, I renewed my TIVO subscription to find out that it is now an annual contract, with a cancellation fee of $150 making it cheaper to keep it for the duration of the contract. Not sure if I blogged about getting TIVO and why last year at this time, but I was very clear that, having recently made my 12th monthly payment, I would be leaving TIVO behind.
The goal was to switch most of my video watching to a video iPod, with a simple mantra: Watch as much video as you want, as long as you’re on a machine at the gym doing it.
I had been eyeing the new 160GB iPod, which costs less than my current 40GB did when it represented the high-end way back when, because it would allow me to store everything on it without having to manage my content. But, mainly to watch video at the gym. I’d helped my friend Eriq install a lot of Apple stuff the previous day (two machines, an iPhone, and a wireless network), and was on the Apple site checking out the new iPods when he called to say he needed to go back to the Apple Store to upgrade his desktop machine and needed help carrying it.
I joked that it must be a sign I’m supposed to buy this new iPod, and told Eriq about my new “video at the gym” policy. He surprised me by saying he had a 80GB video iPod that he had received as a gift and I could have it, since he only needed the iPhone and not a big iPod.
So, since then, I’ve gotten skilled at converting video to iPod format and taking it to the gym. It takes a WHILE to convert the video, probably because my iMac is getting up in years and low in the memory/RAM department (and it is maxed out), but usually I just set stuff to convert when I go to bed and it is done when I wake up. so, just a sync to get the content on the iPod and then I take it with me to the gym.
Yesterday, I watched part one of the Turner Classic Movies biography on Marlon Brando, and part two will be today. I do 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical and the “rest” on the exercise bikes, which is also a good balance, as the ellipticals get my heart up to cardio levels, and the bikes bring it down to a nice, slow fat-burning level.
The breakdown is that my home TV is mainly a DVD-watching thing, and the iPod will be for whatever shows I end up watching from TV and such. It also has some back-up content ready, too (Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais stand-up comedy specials, Fight Club, The Matrix… you know, the essentials).
The striking thing is how little it seems to matter that I’m watching things on this tiny 2-inch screen, and I’m finding that most of the stuff I like is more about the language than the visuals anyway (probably not a surprising insight). So, that is the balance, I can watch grey’s Anatomy and whatever else I want from the new TV season… just as long as I’m pedaling when I do it.