IPODS: LOVE THEM OR HATE THEM?

I recently bought a black iPod Video 60Gb and I love it. I considered iRiver and the Creative Zen player, but the iPod just seemed to be the overall nicest for what I needed which was music playback and the occasional movie or TV show. No product is perfect and there will always be better aspects of one device over another.

I laugh at the " but they’re everywhere" arguments against getting one. I can’t think of a more irrelevant point when making a decision on a technology purchase. I know some folks are also put off by the fact that they are seen as somewhat of a status symbol or as somehow being “elitist”. I don’t get this either, although it’s a little more relevant than disliking them simply because of their popularity.

I’m not even a huge Apple fan in general (largely overpriced) although, again for my purposes, iTunes is a great piece of software. Music organization, ripping, music purchases, videos and TV shows; not bad. I’ve heard complaints of iTunes crashing Windows PCs but I’ve been using it since it existed for a PC and haven’t had a single problem.

Some accessories are overpriced, but others are more reasonable. I replaced the god-awful piece of crap ear buds that come with it. They sound ok for coming with the player, but they hurt after like 10 minutes of use. It does irritate me that so many of the accessories are available only in white. I didn’t go crazy with accessories; TransPod FM transmitter/dock for car, AFTech iDuo dock (2), Griffin Earthumps, Belkin leather case, Action Jacket armband. That’s all I really needed to get it set up everywhere.

It’s portable enough to strap to your arm while lifting, running, whatever. That is almost the only time that I listen to it on headphones though, the rest of the time it is docked in the car, office, or to the home theater.

It’s not that the other players out there are bad or lacking in features. It’s just that to me the iPod presents the overall best, most convenient package for a portable music player.

I am a “Mac person” who has given up on iPods. I’ve developed a loyalty to Mac quite unlike any other brand; I’m sold on using iTunes to organize music; I like the physical design and browsing system on the iPod. So what’s the problem?

If you’ve been on a flight (or bus ride) for more than 10 hours, or done extensive traveling in general, you might have figured out that the iPod is a LOSER. I’ve had three iPods…15GB and 2 mini’s. With every one, despite consciencious use designed to preserve battery life, I’ve ended up with a battery that can only go for an hour or two, fully charged, after six months of use. I suppose the argument could be made that I’ve simply had bad luck; this has happened to enough of my friends to convince me that it’s not just my problem. You could also argue that I could buy a new battery and replace it myself, but if that’s what you sign on for by owning an iPod, I’m not interested. “What about the battery pack?” - Last time I checked, the battery pack was as big as the iPod itself, which compromises its portability. Finally, this might be a problem with hard-drive players in general; it might just be a little worse with the iPod.

Of course, for many people, this simply isn’t a big deal, and I recognize that. If you don’t use it for more than an hour or two without recharging it, it’s a beautiful machine. But what’s the point of having 30 GB of music if you’ve only got 2 (hell, I’ll even give you 10) hours of battery life? In my experience, running video on iPods makes the situation even worse.

So, I have two MP3 players, one for “local”, my iPod, but for traveling it’s something else. Until Apple can convincingly demonstrate the “battery problem” has been solved, I’m sticking with a flash-based, AA-battery-powered player like the iRiver 1GB. Yeah, it’s not a lot of room, but I don’t need my entire musical library with me; I take music with me that I really like to hear (and while that’s constantly evolving, 1GB can definately cover it at any particular point). And the point is, I don’t have to worry about if I’ll be able to hear it. After 20 hours of battery use, I can just pop in another AA battery.

Bottom line, the iPod is great; but if you’re a serious traveler, it’s not even an option.

being a retail employee (unfortunately), from a business standpoint the ipods are both a burden and a godsend.

are there better players suited for your specific needs? totally.

I will admit i have stuck with the ipod because i have had one forever (just recently bought the 30 gb video) and i am used to the interface. I think the main selling point is that yes, they are everywhere. Which means you can get accessories and etc,… and can shop around price wise for them. It’s great for market competition. I also like that since they are so popular you can find so many programs and forums for online support.

Does the iTunes software bug the shit out of me? Of course. I think its a pain in the ass. It is part of the reason why i get so many returns on iPods. Though I don’t blame the software as much as the stupidity of the general public and their un-willingness to try and solve basic problems. hehe

But yea, i don’t even use iTunes, i switch between ephpod and anapod. They make things so much easier and give you more flexibility at the same time.

But the other players are great (Play-For-Sure makes things easy) and you do get more bang for your buck (voice recording, fm tuning/receiving) . I am a fan of the Creative Zen Vision just because it will take DiVX and mpeg with virtually no problems. It is kind of bulky, but I say if you want something that big, who cares?

I use my mp3 player mainly for long car trips, etc,… since i rarely travel by plane or bus or train. But the fact of the matter is that I think it is case specific for each person. I am so used to the click wheel that using the other players like the Samsung YP’s feels awkward to me.

Give it up for Apple’s marketing though. The most asked question i get at work is: “what is the difference between an iPod and an mp3 player.” The other companies who make mp3 players have to compete with low consumer education and apple’s huge investment in their advertising.

So yea thats my two cents. But those looking for Nano-competitors look at the Sandisk Sansa E240 and E260. 2 gb and 4gb models with color screen (almost as thin as the nano, but wider and taller) that has a micro-SD (transflash) port for expansion, and the ability to play movies. Runs off a lithium rechargable, but they also have the e140 and e120 series that runs off a triple A battery but no video capabilities.

if you want to get some pointers from “the inside.” then the best thing you can do? Buy an iPod from Costco because they basically have a lifetime gurantee on all the products they sell. I have seen so many people come in with busted and broken items and Costco just gives them a new one.
Also be sure that wherever you buy it from, if they offer an extended gurantee or warranty, if it covers battery replacement, then it is worth it. ie: best buy charges $50 for a 3 year service plan for the ipod videos. Battery service through apple is $99 plus. And you know after 3 years your battery is going to shit anyways. The average life of an ipod is like 6 months, so after 2 years you go and make your claim , its not like they’re going to send it out to get fixed, you’ll prolly just get a voucher or store credit to put towards a newer and more current model

I dont discriminate either way, but i do find the ease of use of an iPod superior, especially the Scroll Wheel. I own a mini, and never have had battery trouble, it runs fine on airplane trips (4-5 hours), ran for 9 hours strait via headphone-jack to car-tape -player. However, i almost exclusively charge it with the wall charger, and leave it overnight.
It has lasted me over a year, without fail, and shows no sign of weakening. I recently started using the Winamp plugin to transder songs to and from my iPod, and it works great.

I used to have a 1 GB Creative MuVo TX FM. It held up extremely well (and I definitely put it through the torture test), and was about the size of a large pack of gum. It was very well equiped, sounded great, and was plug & play on Windows 2000 and XP (you could also use it on 98, but you had to install drivers, either off the included CD or from the Creative web site). I just a couple days ago ordered a Zen sleek photo, the only reason being that MuVo fell out of my pocket, lost forever :(.

Okay, So, it’s about time for me to weigh in on this topic. Before going any further with this post, I would like it to be known that up until about two and a half months ago, I’d never actually used an iPod before, and that I really didn’t have too much an urge to throw down for one. I would even go so far as to say that I was skeptic of the machine as a worthwhile investment. These are my opinions of the device, pre-and-post ownership.

For a kickoff, I’ve been using my trusty Palm Tungsten 3 as my MP3 player for the longest time now. Afterall, I had every reason to… seeing as I’ve got SD cards aplenty, and It’s kinda nice to integrate another device into the same unit. Fine, so all’s well in the world, and I’ve got hours on hours of horrible underground hiphop jams to ruin my earholes with whenever and wherever I am. But about six months ago, I’d begun to really notice the poor sound quality that’s produced by the 3.5MM jack on the side of the unit, and the effect of prolonged use of it as both a music player and PDA has taken out on my battery life. I decided that I needed a dedicated MP3 player so that I could use the device while exercising without fear of my batteries being drained and my data going straight to hell.

I did tiresome research into different players, and went through a great deal of them… The Sandisc Sansa, the Creative ZEN, the Archios Jukebox… the list goes on and on for miles. There seemed to be a great many players on the market, made by companies that are very reputable and respectable. And as my list grew longer and longer, I finally got down to the iPod. “Oh god…” I thought to myself, “…everybody and their mother has one of these.”.

And that prompted me to think: “Why IS this thing so popular?”. One could easily say that the unit simply possessed superior technology, and therefore came out on top… but the skeptic inside me rationalizes that if products succeed simply on technological merit, we’d all have owned Betamax-es during the 80’s/90’s. “Okay then, It must be the marketing” I figured, and that’s party true. I couldn’t tell you what the hell the last commercial for a Chevrolet truck, or laundry detergent was like, but I damn well can tell you what the last iPod adverts I saw were like. They really did stick needles in my memory, and remind me of the said advertisement whenever I heard a song that was featured in it. I figured, at this point, I’d gotten it all down pat. The iPod is such a roaring success simply because it was marketed well, and Paris Hilton owns one because of that. Therefore, I concluded, it’s more a fad than a useable device - Fine, off the list it goes.

So. With a pair of headphones, my mental lineup of nifty MP3 jukeboxes, and my best pair of scrutinizing goggles on, I headed over to my local Best Buy, to give each of my contending MP3 players a shot. I had the sales clerk plug each one of them up, so that they could be listened to, and prepared myself to make judgments on them. By the end of that shopping trip, I’d tried six different models, and was really saddened to find that each and every one of them I had tried suffered from at least one major gripe that hindered the joy of using the item (IE: the Creative Zen’s truly moronic touch-sensitive button layout, or the Sandisk Sansa’s unfathomable menu navigations, even the Toshiba Gigabeat’s slow and dimwitted interface was something that infuriated me). I felt totally gypped, and was about to simply say “Screw it, I’m just going to stick with my Palm”, when the sales associate suggested that I try out the new 5th Generation iPod.

So I did. And honest to god, from the second that I picked it up (even while still being attached to the security system), I could tell that this device had absolutely nothing in common with the clunky and unrefined players I’d trifled with earlier. Everything worked. Everything worked exactly as I thought it should have. Every menu and every option was so cleverly simplified that it’s almost as if I somehow had previous knowledge on how to use the thing the whole while along. In just a couple of seconds, everything I’d ever wanted to know about operating, playing, and managing the machine fell into place. The design is fantastic, the quality of the sound was surprisingly good, the ergonomics of the player are perfect, and best of all… you’re given what’s most likely the world’s single greatest control interfaces to have ever graced any gadget since the advent of the touch-screen. After taking half the time I’d spent previously dissecting the other unit’s features, and asked the sales clerk to hand me a 30 gigabyte model, in black.

Two and a half months later, I’m still totally content with my purchase. And yeah… sure - I’ve got some bones to pick. I’ll be the first one to admit to you that I was put off by the popularity of the thing, the shiny metal backing scratches all too easily, and that I was (and still am) somewhat miffed by the limitation of iTunes. Hell, I’ll even go so far as to say the Apple White color looks Flash Gordon silly (which is why I bought mine in black). But none of that really even matters at the end of the day. After all this time, I finally understand why the word “iPod” is synonymous with “MP3 Player”. It’s not just because the thing has some supposed “Supreme technological innovation”, or solely because of its flashy marketing… it’s because it just works so well. I really struggle to find a serious gripe, from when I pick it up to when I put it down, and while it works so well… it even manages to do it with finesse. Suddenly, I can honestly say that I’ve stopped caring that the new advert features that rotten Eminem song, or that Paris Hilton owns one and for all I know, probably did some hideous promotion for the device that involved creative use of her breasts… But past that, I recall that she owns and operates a McLaren-Mercedes SLR, and her ownership of such that doesn’t make it a bad vehicle by any stretch of the imagination.

In the end, I gave the iPod a far-and-square chance, and it dominated over everything I’d tried previously in every single aspect. It cost me more than the Zen or the Sansa, or any of the other devices… but I don’t regret choosing it over them. It’s really hard for myself to believe that the player I once thought of as to be nothing more than a trendy accessory really could be worth buying, and that for once, the teeming masses of people actually ended up being justified in it’s love of the little Apple iPod

What’s an IPOD ?

If you’re doing to diss Eminem you have to diss U2 also. It just wouldn’t be fair. The Eminem commercial isn’t as bad as hearing Bono sing.

Okay, I’ll grant you that one. Vertigo IS a pretty lame song, and I’ve never cared much for any of the tracks on “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb” for that matter. But that Eminem joint is much more irritating to my ears.

I don’t like Eminem that much but there’s only so many times I can hear that nine second clip. As for U2, well Vetrigo is a flop in my opinion, as with the whole album.

At least you’re not hatin on the little white boy anymore

help !

hi, im new to woot, but i thk im going to love it,

my friend bought a DELL mp-3 player, for 40 bucks, said i could get it anytime, wasn’t one of those buy it now deals that i woulndt be able to get later,
how do i find it ?

Thanks!

Just get a PDA.

Not if you type like that. They will shoot you out if you mispell.

That’s anoying even to me!

FenStar, leave the new person alone!

Welcome cindebo! I have no information for you, sorry.

LMAO – You should be forced to read it over and over.

Just giving him/her a fair warning.

At least crow isn’t here…

You know what bugs the hell out of me?

Wait a second…
I’m not gonna tell you that.

Why not? Afraid of Poof and me?

YES!

Umm sorry if im not saying anything to do with the posts following the first post by mtrlgrl but im just saying i love ipods. I have the nano and love it…its the size of 2 of my fingers and i can put all my songs on it. I use it when i mow my lawn and when im in the car or on the road train w/e. they rock and ipod has great support and products.

Thats all i have to say!