Why weren't iPods around when I was a teenager looking for a casual job? I would have made a great iPod Loader
The rising popularity of Apple's sleek iPod has created a new niche service: the professional iPod loader. There are housekeepers to tend homes and gardeners to tend landscaping. Why not iPod loaders to take care of music collections? For $1 to $1.49 a CD, the professional loaders will embark on the time-consuming process of copying a music collection onto an iPod, often providing a digital backup copy as well. "It's a booming aftermarket of the iPod economy," said Bill Palmer, a 27-year-old entrepreneur who has created a nationwide network of iPod loaders called Loadpod. Each loader picks up the iPod and CD's at the client's home, then returns a fully loaded iPod in a few days. The loaders say they are finding growing demand, especially after the holiday season, which increased the number of iPods sold to 10 million. Consumers are realizing that the digital wonder that was supposed to unify and simplify their musical existence actually eats up time, lots of it. Converting enough CD's to fill a 40-gigabyte iPod can take 60 to 100 hours, depending on the computer's speed. "The prospect of spending all this time was daunting," said Nell Eckersley, a 35-year-old educator in Brooklyn, who was excited when she received an iPod for Christmas. Then she began converting her collection of 400 CD's. "I spent all day Sunday doing it, and said, `This is crazy,' " she said.
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