How to Make Me Happy for Three Bucks

Buy me something way geeky, way useful, and way cheap. You’ll have my heart forever.


See, people love their iPods. They even dress like them for Halloween. So cool.

Well, I got my first iPod (a Shuffle) as a present when we had the whole Zed’s Dead fiasco last month. While Keith was at the Apple Store wiping clean my computer’s brain, he saw Shuffles on sale for under a hundred bucks and, well, there ya go. My first iPod. I’m late to the party, but I always manage to show up.

Click to enlarge.

Now, most folks already know about this. Apple’s lawyers feel the need to warn you against eating the iPod. Some people even write poetry about it. So, of course, when the time came to name the iPod, I chose the only logical name I could think of. DO NOT EAT IPOD.


So, where does the “three dollar gift can make me so happy” thing come in? Well, Keith bought a three dollar cable that does two things. It allows me to plug my iPod into my car stereo’s auxilary jack. Awesome. Good. Commercial free music… all of my favorites. Makes for good driving. We love that.


But here’s the best thing this cable will do for me. Stand back technophobes, we’re goin’ analog here. This cable will allow me to take my mix-tapes from decades ago (and since then) and IMPORT THE MUSIC INTO MY IPOD! I will be able to take music that was originally on a 45 or LP record and then put on a cassette tape (and played in my car stereo [tape deck version] no fewer than three thousand times, I’m sure) and DIGITIZE IT so that I can have it in my iPod and then in my car stereo [CD version] all over again!

As I told my dear online friend and iPod lover KiKi in a recent comment exchange, there is plenty of room for failure (inconsistent levels, bad sound, pops, hisses, and crackled tape), but I DON’T CARE! I’m so excited to get some of my mix-tapes back into my “system.”

It’s been so long since I’ve put a cassette into a tape deck (stupid Keith replaced my car stereo [when it died in 2003] with one that has a CD player instead of a cassette deck. HELLOOOOO! I DRIVE A SIXTEEN-AND-A-HALF-YEAR-OLD TWO-SEATER ROADSTER THAT HOPS AT EVERY PEBBLE IN THE ROAD. WHAT DO I WANT WITH A CD PLAYER? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH ALL OF THESE BOOKS ON TAPE?!? Ugh! Men!) that I don’t even know if those lonely mix-tapes will even still roll. But man, we’re gonna try to make it happen. And I may just even scan in all of the hand-written-with-love liner notes from those homemade-with-love cassettes. Oh, I am sooooo looking forward to this project.

Suddenly, I am absolutely positively aware of how I will successfully avoid doing our corporate taxes on time. Yup. I have a much more important project stretched out before me.

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  1. chip March 2, 2006 at 5:38 am

    If you don’t have a good program already then you can download Audacity and use that to normalize the audio levels. I think it can get rid of some pops and hiss also but I have never done that.
    Works on Mac and Windows.
    link :

  2. Leemer March 2, 2006 at 7:35 am

    Not long ago I went through my three boxes of cassette tapes. The vast majority went to the dumpster. Almost all of my self-recorded tapes were saved for a rainy day. And seven store-purchased cassettes were set aside because I could not bring myself to throw them away.
    All it would take for me to rip them to my PC is an upgraded soundcard that features RCA input jacks, because then I could transfer them using my 4-track recorder.
    So… interested in what the seven I saved are?

  3. Ed R March 2, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    What seven cassettes did you save, Mr Leemer?
    I went through all my cassettes and stuff in … 1993. It didn’t take long, I think I owned a dozen of them.

  4. larlock March 2, 2006 at 11:20 pm

    Are I-Pods glutton free???