By Catherine Richardson/

Listening to music for me used to be one thing – a hassle. I hated carrying around my CD collection everywhere I went and being frustrated in my car when there was nothing good on the radio, but that all has changed over the summer. I discovered a little gadget that basically replaced all of my CDs. This machine, called an iPod, has changed the way I listen to my music. I no longer listen to my radio or use my portable CD player. My CDs have now become dust collectors, and my stereo system has not been turned on for about two entire months.

An iPod is your basic MP3 player, but so much more. It can be a backup system for your computers hard drive, it’s easy to manage, and it’s lightweight. My iPod is capable of holding 5,000 songs, and that’s not even the largest. The cheapest one holds 3,000 songs. The largest one is the 40GB, which holds 10,000 songs, but that’s also the most expensive. I have not even come close to downloading 200 songs on mine.

After purchasing my iPod, my brother was fascinated with it and wanted one of his own. He has a PC and I thought iPods were only compatible with Mac. I was wrong.

iPods are compatible with PCs and with Macs. The software that comes with the iPod, called iTunes, is also compatible with either PC or Mac.

iTunes is very handy because you can sort your music, transfer all your songs from your CDs, and if you want, you can buy a song for 99 cents from the music store.

I suggest you download Kazaa or if you have a Mac, download Limewire because you can get any song you want for free. It’s quick and easy to download either program, and it works in sync with iTunes.

I have Limewire on my computer and so far I have downloaded about 20 songs to my iPod.

I’m usually the type of person that needs easy, step-by-step instructions on how to use gadgets, and iPods are easy. I was amazed at how simple it was to transfer songs onto the iPod and then simply listen.

The only downfall to iPods is the cost. It’s not cheap. The 20GB one is $299, and the 40GB one is $399.

These prices do tend to change, so everyone that’s interested in purchasing one needs to do so quickly. If you have an Apple account you can go through the Web site and by selecting your school, you can then get a discount on the iPod. I did this, and it saved me about $40.

Since purchasing my iPod, I have enjoyed listening to music much more than I used to. It’s no longer a hassle because I can listen to whatever song I want with no commercial distractions or annoying CD players to carry around.

The iPod fits comfortably into my pocket and I can take it anywhere I go, not to mention the battery life is longer than any portable CD player battery. Anyone who is interested in learning more about iPods I suggest that you visit www.apple.com.

*Editor’s note: Catherine is a senior journalism major from Cincinnati. She is the copy editor of The Progress.