Well, time for a little bit of backtracking.  :)  A couple of months ago, I wrote a post about why I sold my iPod.  The title of the post was a little bit preemptive...my iPod Photo was still sitting in a box that I hadn't unpacked yet since my move to Seattle.  I hadn't used my iPod in over six months, and all I needed to do was put in on eBay and sell it.

Then my troubles began.  The music service that I use stopped transferring the licenses for my music one day, and I couldn't update my Creative Zen Sleek with the new licenses.  It was just a one-day hiccup, but not wanting to workout without music, I charged the iPod up and used it.

Wow.  I had forgotten the power of metadata for awhile.  Unlike when I was just randomly playing all of the music on my other player, my iPod had all of my complex smart playlists based on two years of ratings and play counts.  "Top Fresh Songs", my favorite playlist, is basically all of my 4 and 5 star songs that I haven't heard in the past 30 days.  It's awesome--perfect almost all the time.  And I remembered why the iPod was great for me to begin with.

Josh knows about this--his recent post on his 2005 predictions is tongue-in-cheek when he mentions me giving up on iTunes...he's seen me carrying the iPod recently... :)

Now I'm cycling time between the iPod (for commutes and my iTrip) and my iRiver T10 for jogs.  The iPod is synced with my old music; I fill up the iRiver with new playlists I find on Rhapsody and Yahoo Unlimited.

I'm planning on continuing this until I finally get my Toshiba Gigabeat S, which I've pre-ordered on Amazon.com.  Finally, my metadata woes will be solved, because instead of using a watered-down media player with limited support for extended metadata, such as the Rhapsody player or the Yahoo Music Engine, I'll be able to use Windows Media Player.  An absolute requirement for me is going to be somehow transferring all of those ratings and play counts from iTunes to Windows Media Player.  Anyone know of anything I could use?  What about somebody who wants to buy a used 30 GB iPod Photo?  :)