Summary: Probably the best, but could be better
Review: By now we all know what the iPod is and what it does - but just in case you don't, it's a device similar to what the walkman was 20 years ago that plays music from an internal hard drive instead of a cassette tape. You can currently get an iPod in 3 different sizes, 15, 20, or 40 gigabyte hard drives (not including the new mini iPod which holds 4 gigs). It will play several different file formats, not just mp3s. You can play full quality (16-bit) wav or AIFF files, as well as AAC or Audible files. The unit can also be used as a standalone hard drive.
This is all controlled from a simple touch-sensitive interface that allows you to scroll through your songs in a very organized way - either by song name, artist name, album name, or according to your own playlists. You will control the songs uploaded into the iPod from a computer, either a Mac or a PC, and Apple limits you in your ability to upload a song from an iPod onto someone else's computer (i.e. it knows which computer is yours). This is to prevent illegal file sharing.
It works well in general, and will hold thousands of songs. The exact number it will hold depends upon the quality of the files you import into it. I have the 15 GB model, and I mostly use full quality AIFFs or the highest quality MP3s and I've barely gone over halfway. By the time I fill the thing up, I'm sure they'll have something else for me to buy.
There. Now that's out of the way I can get on with the opinion side of things. It's an overall great product that has helped revolutionize the way we listen to music, some of it good, some bad. Most of my complaints about the iPod center around its lack of features, rather than current features that don't function properly.
The unit seems to offer very little compared with the technology that's available today. Why isn't the screen in color? Why doesn't it offer more PDA-like features? These are incredibly inexpensive features to install and would make it a far more valuable piece of equipment. Why doesn't it communicate wirelessly with Airport systems? Why isn't there an easier way to manage playlists from within the iPod itself, not just from a computer? Why isn't there a touch screen/stylus interface for even easier, less cumbersome usage? With all the technology coming to life today, the iPod seems to be remarkably less than what it could be.
I also find the problem of non-sharing between computers to be annoying. While I appreciate and agree that such elements should be controlled, cars still drive over 70 miles per hour - we leave it to the consumer to decide not to speed and break the law. Apple shouldn't decide for us. I'm a songwriter and I store song ideas in my iPod to take to writing sessions. The problem? When I want to leave a copy with a co-writer for him to work on, I can't because the iPod won't let me transfer a song to a computer that isn't mine. Here is a completely legal transaction being blocked by Apple's stringency. It can be very annoying.
I'm looking forward to what Apple does in the future with this device. Hopefully they'll make it more functional, incorporating the current and inexpensive technology available right now.
Summary: Best There Is
Review: Just got the 10-gig iPod last Friday (picked up at a great sale price as Apple is dropping 10-gig in favor of "mini" and "15-gig"). All I can say is awesome. I never had Apple before and was skeptical based on some of the Amazon reviews. But all my fears were erased. I have a 6 month-old Compaq at home and had no problems getting the two to sync up. Literally "plug and play". Bonus is, if your Windows PC has a newer fire-wire port, it will even charge your iPod while downloading music. I have almost 1,000 songs (75+ albums) on it right now, and using just under 4-gig. I read a lot about people having problems sync-ing their window-based PCs to iPod. Based on my experience, I can only guess they are using older PCs and insist on using USB2 or even old USB. One tip, if you're "ripping" CDs to put on your iPod, be logged into the web. I-tunes will literally fill out all the song/track information for you (a little tid-bit I found by accident). Also, regarding the reviews where people "e-mail" Apple and have horrible customer service stories.... check out the Apple web-site. You can't e-mail Apple. You must call them directly or join one of the discussion chat-groups (which I've used, and are very helpful).
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Summary: Yeah I bought Into the Hype...
Review: OK, so I folded. I have coveted the ipod for years and the tax return came through, so what do I do? I run to the Mac store to buy my very own pink mini. It was sold out. It seemed impossible to reel in my disappointment. Then I see the 15G is only $50 more. I mean sure the pink mini would have been too cute, but I needed the instant gratification that only buying an ipod could satiate.
Yes, there is the battery thing. Unavoidable, you too will face it when you buckle under the consumer pressure. 8 hours, ha ha. More like 3-4 if you are lucky and don't scroll through your songs too much (impossible). Also 4 hours to charge completely is a farce. It has taken me up to 6-8 hours to fully charge. Kicker - the battery runs down while it is sleeping. You can not use it for 3 days but the battery will still be depleted. It is like a little pet, you have to feed it or it will die.
Another problem, it just isn't loud enough. In NYC the subways completely drown out your tunes. However, this problem would only reveal itself to people who like REALLY loud music. I am sure there is a way to modify the thing too but I have yet to look.
All and all GREAT product. COOL as ice. Sounds phenomenal. More songs than I know what to do with. Did I mention cool? Oh and itunes is easy to use on my Mac and PC.
Summary: tricky miracle
Review: The IPod is supposed to be one of the best Mp3 players out there. To some degree, i believe in that. The IPod lacks the battery life of many better mp3 players but has the style and look that will definitely have heads turning. In my opinion, an IPod is a statement. It shouts look at me, I have money. The IPod is deadly expensive and if i could turn back the hands of time, I'd rather get the mini. Don't be tempted into buying higher memory. There is no one that could possibly fill 20 gigs of songs up. The IPod has tons of technical problems. Often you will get the Apple screen and you're IPod won't turn on for minutes...hours..maybe days. The battery life is horrible. 8 hours is the span they give, but in actuality its more like 5. Not very practical, is it? You are better off with the mini. its more stylish, more practical, and hopefully has less bugs.
Summary: I just had to take it back
Review: I was really rooting for this -- believe me. I'm a seasoned MP3 user -- I even had the Rio 300 when it first came out with (woo!) a whopping 64 MG of RAM. So I was looking forward to the player that everyone was talking about. When I got it -- I was sorely disappointed.
The good points is that the sound is just excellent. Crisp, beautiful and clear with plenty of volume. It also doubles as a palm pilot (somewhat) and can hold notes and contact names/addresses.
The bad points are numerous. The first being the size. The 10 GB is discontinued, so I ended up with this one (also since the mini is practically impossible to find right now.) At 15 MG, there is a LOT of space for plenty of MP3s. Good, right? Not always. If you have ecclectic taste like I do, then you're not the type to put up whole albums, but a variety of them. Why is that bad? If you've uploaded 500 MP3s -- you have 500 MP3s to scroll through for that ONE song you want. It can take time so if you're considering putting your whole collection on it, think about that one fact.
The wheel seems like a good idea but wasn't for me. It's very, very sensitive. In fact, when my sleeve brushed against it it changed the song or turned off. So, you have to lock it when listening to it and walking -- unless you get the remote control which is extra cost, of course. For the price of this thing, I would expect them to include the remote.
Then we have the palm pilot section which was also disappointing. Sure, it will upload your Outlook notes/contacts -- if you're on a Mac. The type of file they're looking for isn't compatible with Windows. I had to dig for a third party software to make it work. Another bad reason.
The battery is the worst. I had it fully charged and it only lasted two hours. They advertise that it can play UP TO 8 hours which I found strange since mine didn't. After digging on iPod's troubleshooting site, they say: "If you want the battery life to last, DON'T use the wheel to scroll, turn off the audio enhancers, turn this off, turn this off..." Um... if I can't use all these features, why on earth did I buy this thing?
The battery is just like the one in your portable phone; after recharging so many times, when it dies, you have to have it replaced. But, this isn't a battery you can just pick up at Radio Shack, you have to have a professional do it or worse, send it back to Apple for $100 to replace it. Sorry, but I don't have $100 to shell out on an MP3 player that I already put a lot of money into.
So, I'm sorry to say that I took it back. I really was hoping this was going to be phenomenal but it only turned out disappointing. I have a feeling this may be like the Newton (remember that? Mac's idea of a palm pilot oh, so many years ago?) They're on the right track, but it's not perfected yet.
Bottom line: Looks pretty, very pricey, very sensitive, not practical for Windows users and bad battery.
Summary: Great till you drop it...
Review: So I got my Ipod in May and used it just about everyday until November...then as I was getting out of my car it slipped out of my pocket and fell (litterally) no more than 2 and a half ft. A dent appeared but frankly I didn't care about this. Then a few days later the hard drive started making more noise than usual and finally my computer simply failed to read the player.
This is shoddy shoddy construction. I've had two Rio Mp3 players that were equally fragile and I honestly thought the Apple would be a welcome change .It has not been. Trying to check as to how I could fix it, Apple informed that it would cost around 300 dollars...so that I may as well get a new one.
Bottomline...if you don't inted to give this daily use or if you are just good at not dropping anything then get this...if you are like me, a normal college student, then be careful when spending $270+ well-earned dollars on a piece of tech that can essentially break easily and that doesn't have replaceable batteries (which means its dead after about 2 years tops).
So, its a beautiful looking and fun toy but I would have honestly liked something more robust and with a removable battery. Until Apple addresses these issues I'm sticking with my 3 year old phillips mp3/cd player which seems to be indestructible.
Summary: Great, but some annoyances.
Review: I love my iPod. I spent a week and burned my CD collection into iTunes and transferred it to my iPod. My 15 GB iPod is now half full. Sound quality is excellent, and the music is skip free even when jogging (even my clumsy attempt at jogging).
Granted, there are iPod clones on the market that are less expensive, but the lack the add-ons. There are FM transmitters, recorders, tape adapters, and the iPod can also be used as a backup drive, which I also love. Now, my biggest problem is trying to organize the music into the best play lists.
However, everything isn't perfect in iPod-land. As a result, I deducted one star for the following reasons:
With the 15GB model, you do not get the docking stand or a case. When I first saw the case, I thought the back of the case was made of surgical steel. It isn't, and it scratches easily. So do your self a favor and purchase a case as soon as possible. I found the back got scratched up just laying it on a bare desk. A good case will also keep you from accidentally touching the buttons, which are sensitive.
Also, transferring songs from your iPod to another computer is protected. This is something that isn't advertised anywhere. Uploading music purchased through iTunes is restricted. However, if you've purchased and ripped the music from your own CDs, then you can transfer them at will. This is annoying.
Why? Because I wanted to dock my iPod with the computer at work, which is behind a firewall. No deal-- the corporate firewall blocks the authorization. As a result, I cannot authorize the computer, so I cannot transfer a quite a few songs.
Warning to PC Users: You will need a firewire card or a USB cable (not included) in order to attach the iPod to your PC. Save yourself the frustration and order the USB cable when you purchase.
Summary: amazing machine in a tiny package
Review: It still amazes me how so many songs can fit onto such a tiny device. I have over 4,500 songs on my 15GB ipod and still have over 4 gigs left. In comparison to other mp3 players, (that is, comparing only those features from rival brands that are found on the ipod), the ipod does everything that it is supposed to do and does it great. I would definitely recommend this amazing little machine to anyone in the market for an mp3 player that packs a punch. The only concern that possible buyers may have is the battery issue. But does this worry me?..no, though I realize my ipod's battery will eventually die and cost me 99 dollars to replace it, in the long run the cost of replacing the batteries of similar mp3 players will be about the same with the only difference being that my mp3 player is the best in its class.
A few words of advice, don't pay attention to the specs that say this little dandy will only hold a couple thousand songs, use mp3 pros through musicmatch pro and you'll fit 3 times as many songs onto the ipod as apple says you can. And definitely, DEFINITELY invest in a decent pair of headphones, the supplied set are absolutely atrocious.
Summary: Much better than Nomad Zen Xtra.
Review: I purchased a Nomad Zen Xtra 40gb, which at the time seemed like a much better value. However, as I primarily used it in my car with a car kit, the stupid little jog control on the side and large size were it's downfall. Enter the Ipod.. This is a much better option for car use - the display is great, you can quickly and easily select songs / albums / playlists. Other mp3 players don't have the flexibility of the Ipod's menu system. And the sound quality is great. Don't cheap out for auto use. Good ergonomics can keep you out of accidents, and the Ipod is the best in that department.