For years, I’ve looked askance at people wearing earplugs in their ears. While it is certainly more considerate than boomboxes playing at full volume, I didn’t understand the attraction. It didn’t help that when I bought an MP3 player, I chose one with lots of features (4 gig, voice dictation, raw data storage capability, uses a standard AAA battery so I could use rechargeables) so it was more of a challenge to use, and an absolutely unintelligible manual. (It’s a Sly SL034G, if anyone cares.)

Now that I’ve figured it out, I’m a fanatic too. It’s WONDERFUL, and I’m so glad I bought the model with the most storage. I can listen to the type of music I like. Or I can listen to a book or two, great during long waits. If something occurs to me, I can dictate a quick note to myself. And I still have plenty of room on it to backup the working directories of my laptop so if worst came to worst, I wouldn’t be without my data.

All this in a package about the size of two of my fingers held together, that easily fits into a little zippered camera case (player, USB cable, ear buds, manual, and spare AAA batteries – and it holds my place when I need to change batteries). This is technology at its best: enjoyable, flexible, and enabling me to make the most of my time. I *am* glad I waited until there were models with larger storage, however.

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