Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets

It has been a long time since I’ve upgraded much of my personal audio gear. For years I’ve been content with a basic cassette walkman because most of what I do is listen to the radio while I walk to the bus and travel to and from work.
Alas my radio has pretty much given out as I can no longer turn it off without removing the batteries. Switching from AM to FM has become an adventure in pushing buttons. This plus The desire to record a bit of audio on our trip to England, Ireland and India has caused me to browse around and see what’s out there. And now I’m reminded in part why I haven’t upgraded for years.
A trip to the local Circuit City yesterday showed that actually touching most of the radios, digital audio recorders and MP3 players was pretty much out of the question. At best, products are blocked by so much plastic packaging that actually feeling them was out of the question. At worst they are behind glass so you can not even do this much.
Oh sure you can ask folks in the stores to get stuff and such but my experience has been that I really need to feel and use the products to know if I can use them. It is a bit frustrating to read about this and that great feature in a gadget and then to take it home and realize that there’s no way to actually use the feature.
Blind Cool Tech and The Mosen Explosion help of course as folks here are way into gadgets. Still with the pace of change in the consumer electronics market the product that everyone figured out how to use tends to come out with a new model and suddenly it is back to the drawing board.
That said I guess it is time for me to take the plunge again. Things are better of course today then say 10 or 20 years ago given the fact that you can find most product manuals online and the availability of the net to ask others and share your own tips.
So now I’m deciding between the all-in-one great product that will do everything I want or picking individual products. I think the short term solution is going to be a basic radio and the Olympus DS2 voice recorder. We’ll see with a second trip to the gadget zoo, otherwise known as the local electronics shop.