I just wanted to chime in on this a little bit. First of all, i totally feel your pain of having to go a few days with no iPod/mp3 player. Mine was stolen three weeks ago and still hasn’t arrived from eBay yet!! I listen to an average of 2 1/2 hours of podcasts, speeches and other audio from the web per day. I love it and eat it up like no other. I don’t watch tv. I listen to my iPod. Now i just wanted to quickly represent the iPod crowd here and say why iPods are so great (ESPECIALLY for podcasts and other tracks longer than 15 minutes).
iTunes can automatically download any new episodes of your favorite podcasts to your iPod. It can also show you a list of all available episodes of that podcast and you can click “information” and see more details about each item. When new episodes are available, they can be automatically downloaded and then while you’re at work you can see which episodes you have not listened to yet (they are marked with a dot before the episode!). This helps me out a ton since I’m dealing with dozens of podcasts and episodes at a time.
Also, (a feature there is no way I can live without) your iPod will save whatever place in the track you left off- even if you go and listen to other tracks. you can come back to that podcast a couple weeks later and start right where you left off. Actually, it will rewind about a minute just to remind you what they were talking about when you last left the “conversation”. Very valuable (to me).
an added plus is to have an iPod video. I easily download almost any video I want from the internet and instead of sitting uncomfortably in my chair and watching it on my computer screen, I can watch it on my iPod on my couch or waiting for an appointment. Comes in handy a ton to watch those Dawkins interviews and other cool documentaries.
Also, being an audiophile, I love iTunes because I can easily program “smart playlists” to organize special playlists based on ratings, genre, “hasn’t been played lately”, etc. It’s really fun and is a good way to organize my 40 GB of music that I have.
Anyways, iTunes+ iPod ROCKS! I even have a pretty cool recording device that records audio at CD quality- something that no little recording devices can do!! Great for spoken journal entries, thoughts, spur-of-the-moment interviews (or debates with friends and family).
If you’re mp3 can do at least those first two things than accept my apologies- your mp3 player rocks too!