Random Cell Phone Bitching

Dear Cell Phone Designers,

I was wondering what device you all use to listen to your mp3s while on the bus. At first I assumed that you'd all use iPods, because they are really well designed great user interface and really intuitive, useful navigation. Then I realized that no one who had ever seen an iPod could possibly have designed the music player on the Instinct.

My next guess was that since you folks designed the Samsung Instinct, so you probably used that and listened to music with the software that you had wrote yourselves. Surely you would have shot yourselves out of shame by now, though, so that can't be it.

Finally I realized that you probably don't listen to music at all, ever. In fact, I suspect that you secretly hate those of us who do.

Benjamin Dionysus

And to avoid empty snark, here are my complaints:

  • Primarily, their are four physical buttons on the device, and yet I have to hold down the "Lock" button for two seconds and power up the touch screen in order to pause or switch tracks. The volume buttons work even if the screen is off, what the hell?
  • Album art is displayed, as are the first 20 or so characters of the song title. Which means I can easily determine that I'm listening to "Ben Godwin - Ski". Note that there is no way to access any of the rest of the metadata I have so carefully preserved about this song such as, for example, the rest of the title.
  • I'm actually not bothered by the complete lack of a graphic equalizer, but that doesn't make it not stupid.
  • I copy my music to a microSD card, and put it in the phone. I haven't connected it to a computer, and I haven't even visited your "mobile store". So why do you constantly need to rescan the card every time I switch menus? Do you think I'm going to try to trick by switching cards, somehow? And why is it so damn slow?
  • It's cute how the phone pretends it can "multitask"--allowing me to try to compose an email while listening to music, even though its tiny little processor can't possibly keep up with both at once.

That's really it, and it's mainly the first one that bugs me--I like to pause my music frequently and change tracks all the time. Or I would, if I didn't have to stand there like an idiot, waiting for my phone to wake up.

And hey, the battery life is decent, and the music player handles transitions well--it thoughtfully pauses my music while I answer calls and then gets right back to it when I hang up. It even paused at the end of a live punk rock concert while I watched an episode of House--the one that ends with him playing his electric guitar in front of a class of med students. The show ended, and my music seamlessly picked back up with more electric guitar, and the lead singer saying, "Woah, that's some funky shit!". Which was nice. And hey, the head phone jack is a standard 1/8" headphone jack (and not one of the ridiculous cell-phone-only jacks) and that's great, too. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever felt so ambivalent about a piece of technology before in my life.

Gregg Taylor2008-11-13
Don't forget the GPS is pretty good, too!