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I'm a massive fan of anything from Apple. For my work, I travel a lot and I always use my iPod on long journeys. You can carry thousands of songs in your pocket which is incredible. Just a decade ago, a lot of people were confined to carrying around personal walkmans and having ONE cd!! I wouldn't have a bad word against my iPod. Depending on which model you have, you can carry up to 40,000 songs (the one I have). A lot of people couldn't fathom of carrying around so much music but if you have a wide and varied music taste as I do, it will be a life saver. I've only covered half the memory my iPod can carry but I'll be able to keep adding to it with every genre. I would strongly reccomend getting an iPod classic as they are extremely reliable. A bit pricey for a decent model but well worth it.
I was bought this 20gb I-pod when they were new as a present from a girl I was dating. However, within 6 months I had to return it to Argos as it had stopped working. They sent it off for repairs. I was hoping to be offered a new one, however they simply repaired it and sent it back. 4 months later it broke again so I returned it to Argos and they offered me a new one.
This one however broke a year later, however by this point the waranty had expired, therefore I could not return it. I do not have the money at the moment to replace it so I have continued to use it for several years, and it gets me by, however I will never trust an i-pod ever again!
they have no life expectancy at all. My girlfriend was told this before she bought it but it seemed like a very nice/expensive present and she went ahead with it.
I do not know what I could recommend as an alternative however I will say I-pods are just normal mp3 players with expensive titles and a short life expectancy, so maybe just buy an MP3
I love my iPod dearly! Definitely one of my best investments to date.
I travel on trains/buses a lot and my iPod is ideally suited to that. It is small and discrete enough to not attract a lot of attention and is easy to operate with one hand. I use it just so I don't have to listen to other people's inane conversations or their loud eating habits!
The iPod itself is very easy to use and I have found that the storage is MORE than enough! Mine isn't even half full and it feels like there is loads on there already! The controls are easy to use and the screen is bright and clear.
I do think however that the battery life isn't great and can often change quite dramatically. For instance, I have known it to last a 6 hour journey and still have half a battery left, yet sometimes it is nearly dead after just 3 hours... Whether that is just that I've got a crazy battery, I don't know... I'm also not desperately keen on the headphones and find them rather uncomfortable. I ended up selling the pair that came with mine.
I have had my Ipod for nearly a year now, i found when i first got it it did scratch far to easily and it does have a crack on it somehow aswell, this doesnt make any difference to the use of it though.
It fits a lot of music on, which may take some time depending on how fast your computer is etc. The battery lasts me about 20hrs which is okay but there is room for improvement.
The one thng that really is annoying though is that once you have loaded all your music onto 1 computer and put it onto the ipod you cannot put music from another computer onto your ipod without losing everything that is already on there. When you have 2 computers at different locations this can get really annoying!
Overall though pretty good for what i need, which is just listen to what i want on it for about 3 hrs a day, it will last about 1 week doing this.
I must admit I absolutley love my apple ipod. I listen to it all the time. I'm on a mission to fill it full of great music and its taking me a while.
The 20 gig ipod has a capacity of upto 5,000 songs which is quite a few but with the larger ipods now available, some hold upto 15,000 songs + photos + videos.
I think that my battery is meant to last between 8 - 12 hours but I'm convinced I get no where near that amount of play. Also if I charge my battery at the weekend but don't play my ipod till the wednesday - upto half of my battery will have gone - not sure why as its been switched off but this happens a lot.
Transfering of music can take quite a while as itunes needs to convert music cds into mp3 files and then once the cd is in your library you need to connect your ipod to transfer them directly to that. If you are transfering upto 1,000 music files from itunes to your ipod it can take quite a while perhaps about half an hour.
The back of the ipod is silver and this I've found scratches sooo very easily even with a case on.
Still after saying all that I love my ipod to bits, the above are just a few common faults that I think everyone has with the ipod and I can't wait to be able to upgrade to the ipod with the colour screen and music videos, hopefully by the time i manage to upgrade they will have different colour ipods available. The white casing is a bit boring.
The ipod has a few games on it to good old solitaire, brick, parachute and music quiz. I'm sorry but can't explain brick or parachute as I don't really understand how to play them. The music quiz is good - it plays a sample of a song in your collection - gives you a multiple choice of answers and you have to pick the correct song. The faster you correctly identify the song - the more points you get.
The ipod also has the function of an alarm clock and the option to transfer your contacts from outlook into your pod.
The clickwheel is very easy to use although i find myself getting carried away and i always click it too fast and end up further away from the artist that I originally wanted.
I bought my ipod direct from apple uk as you have the option to have the back engraved at no extra cost but i think that you can pick these up at most electrical stores ie - curry's comet, dixons etc. Price ranges from £220 - £300. There are literally hundreds of accessories available for the ipod to name but a few - speakers, case's/skins and upgraded earphones.
**Taken from my ciao account and modified slightly**
Being such an avid listener of music that I am, getting an I-pod seemed the best thing I could do. It could hold all my songs with ease, it means I wouldn't need to swap CD's, or mini discs, I could get all the details of the songs with one click, it told me the time, it played games (which my latest phone does not)... and it looks damn cool.
But was that worth £220? Was it hell.
I'm going to begin by cricising Apple's device. For starters the games are terrible, the "spot the song" is alright, but high scores are not kept so you have no re-playable desire. The alarm is weedy, the click wheel is at times tempromental and most importantly that battery. If you do not plan to use the I-pod like I do (which is at least 2 hours a day) then do not get one. Apple's Guarentee means that when my battery gets low (it has gone from 10 hours to 4 in a matter of 5 months) I can get a new one. But if I hadn't of used it so frequently it may have been fine for the full 12 months and so getting a new one would mean forking out loads of money. Apple do offer you a deal, even after the guarentee you can get a new I-pod for a mere £80 if your battery dies, but i've spent my next 2 years allowance on the thing in the first place.
But other than that I love my I-pod, I simply could not live without it. Yes the battery life isn't good but it gets me through a day no problem. Sure the games are crap but I use it for music. And I have a LOT of music. I can choose whatever band I want and listen to that entire band's catalogue? Or select individual albums. Or select individual songs. Or shuffle through my entire collection! And what is also nice is that via I-tunes I can create my own playlists and legally download music.
What's great about legally downloading music is that quality is guarenteed, you only need to get the songs you like and it is not really that much. I mean downloading albums maybe a waste of time but often your favourite group will release I-tunes exclusive tracks and some special live numbers. I'd prefer it to be cheaper, 79P per track is a bit steep. But hey, it's worthwhile.
Playlists are good, you can make as many as you want to suit your mood and you even get to write little notes that show up on your I-pod screen.
And did I tell you how good it looks?!?? My word it looks good, you can see from the screenshot but it's fantastic. It is controlled by the genius little click wheel and it is so easy to use it becomes second nature.
I have to confess, holding my entire CD-collection in one place, listening to it on top grade ear phones (which have lasted longer than any ones i've previously owned (touch wood)) at a good volume (goes rather loud you know) and being the height of fashion feels rather good. It is also small and light, which is the main advantage I-pod has over its competitors.
It is expensive though. It comes at a price. But was it worth it? Just about. Although I wouldn't spend it again. Would probably buy a creative.
I bought my Ipod in early September (I think), as I had been planning on getting one for a while. But I waited for the 4g version to come out, and went onto amazon and bought it for £215. I think the price is dropping slowly, but don't expect to get one for much less than £200 unless you go 2nd hand, or imported from the US.
I don't think that I fully appreciated how much my Ipod would mean to me when I decided upon it, I really had no idea how much I would use it. I knew I had alot of MP3s, and I knew I liked listening to them, and I knew that I needed a portable digital music player of some kind. But when I went for this one, I still wasn't really sure it was the right one for me.
I had visited my local audio retailer and asked to see a 3g before the 4g was out. He went and got it out, and when I looked at it, it looked nice, and I liked the interface. However, he recommended I get the 20gb i-river mp3 player which he described as the "intelligent person's ipod". Apparently it had all the same features as the ipod, and alot more. It had (and probably still does) more output and input sockets, it had more battery life, it had a better control system, and a better file access system. Basically, this guy seemed to be trying to shift this thing as best he could. I wasn't really that interested though, and the more he went on, the more I was convinced that the store had to sell a set number of these things to meet target. Or something like that.
When I went home, I had a look at the stats and the pictures on the website, and all the techincal details the guy had given me were correct, it did seem to have everything and more.
Except there were two big problems. The i-river, however you looked at it, was damn ugly. The ipod on the other hand, one of the most beautiful pieces of kit I had ever seen. The other thing was, I had set my heart on getting an ipod, and so however much the i-river seemed a better deal, I kept going back to the ipod.
In the end it was a friend who actually convinced me. She said to me, "Go with your instincts. I can see you want to go for the ipod, so go for it, and you won't regret it." Two weeks later I ordered it, and I am so glad that she convinced me.
The Ipod Arrives
The ipod arrived on a tuesday morning after ordering on Friday. Delivered by Amazon (it would have come on Monday but for a bank holiday) when they promised, as ever. The price I had paid was as low as there was around, and because my brother has a link to amazon on his website, he gets 5% of the price of everything ordered on there. So it was always going to work out cheapest.
The box itself is beautiful. It has different coloured signs, with the apple logo, and a picture of a person with the white buds on, like in the billboard adverts, and it was even better than I had imagined, and this was before I even opened it! And when I did open it, you are met by the first instruction Apple give you, "Enjoy". And how well I have followed this instruction.
I went straight ahead and opened the box, pushed the instruction manual out of the way, and got straight to the item of beauty itself. I obviously never follow simple rules, and although it says on the cd with the drivers on, "Install Drivers Before Plugging In", I didn't see this and plugged it in anyway. I was too excited to hang around with installing drivers. Fortunately, I didn't corrupt anything or damage anything, however there must be a reason why they say to install the drivers first so I would do that if I were you.
I guess here I should tell you exactly what's in the box itself. If I remember correctly:
-the ipod itself
-the earbuds (with foam covers)
-two cables to attach to the computer, one firewire and one usb (the firewire also plugs into the power socket adaptor)
-power socket adaptor
-cd with drivers
and I think that's everything.
You should note that there is no docking station, and there is no remote control. These used to be included with the previous 20gb versions, but have now been removed. Also, there are now both usb and firewire cables included (or at least there were in mine) which I think is another change from the previous models.
The ipod itself is a beautiful, sleek, white and silver, shiny piece of kit, and takes pride of place on my desk when I am not out and about. The only downside to it's solid build is that the screen and outside is easy to scratch. In fact over time it is almost impossible to not scratch it. Minor problem though.
Plugging in and setting up
The installation of the drivers is all relatively simple, although it can take a while if you don't have a fast USB port. (The same goes for copying music over though, it can take ages without a decent transfer speed.)
I should mention iTunes here. It is included on the CD, and is a fantastic application for browsing your music. You can also share your music over a network, adjust id3 tags, adjust volume levels, create playlists, create smart playlists, and lots more. And they are adding features all the time.
Smart Playlists are fantastic. You can create them with iTunes, as I said above, and they make the listening to music experience even better. Basically, you can create a playlist using a list of possible criteria. For example, I have a playlist of tracks that haven't been played recently and are rated highly, I also have a playlist of all tracks with a certain word in the title. My favourite is the playlist which is made up of only track 3s (which I have found are usually my favourite track on an album). There is actually a website devoted entirely to smart playlists however I am not allowed to mention it here.
When you plug in the ipod, you can either get iTunes to copy over all your music, or, if you have more music than the capacity of the ipod, you can choose the files individually (which is what I ended up having to do). As I said earlier, unless you have firewire or high speed USB, this first copying process can take a while. I personally decided that I needed to upgrade my usb sockets, and bought a firewire and usb 2 card with 3 ports for each. A worthy investment, not just for the ipod.
I had heard that the ipod's sound quality was amazing, and I was certainly not disappointed. For once I could actually hear every detail in my music, and unless you turn the volume ridiculously high, the sound quality maintains a fantastic level. I suspect that with better earphones it would be even better and that is something that I am considering investing in very soon.
If you know how to use the equalizer, you can adjust the sound ipod produces to how you want it for each genre. This is handy if you plug it into your car and you want that bit more bass that you can't get through your earphones, but sounds good in the car.
Using the Ipod for Music
The controls on the ipod are fantastic. I have used all of the previous generation versions and I think the touch wheel on this one is the best of them. It is more sensitive than previously, and now it even has the buttons built into it! (This of course actually makes it the "clickwheel".) It is easy to scroll through your music which you can do in a number of ways. You can browse artists, albums, song names, genres, playlists, composers, and audiobooks.
Once you have selected a track, you can use the wheel to change volume, or if you press the middle button once, the scroll changes your position in the track, or if you press it twice, you can assign a rating to your tracks. I try not to rate my tracks too much, as I think I would find that I would end up just listening to 5 star tracks, and getting bored of my music collection too fast. For this reason, I instead use a system where 1 star means it needs to be removed from the ipod, 2 stars mean it needs id3 tags changing, 3 stars prompts me to look for more tracks by the same artists (or prompts me to look for something else) and then 4 stars is tracks which are fine and don't need editing at all. 5 stars has yet to be assigned to any definition. :-)
If you hold down the middle button when hovering over a track in a tracklist, you can add it to your "On-the-Go" Playlist. This is the only playlist you can edit while on-the-go (surprising huh?) and is handy if you want to make a quick playlist to store later by renaming on iTunes. Another handy feature.
One thing that ipod users have grown to love is the shuffle feature. You can have shuffle on for your entire library, or just an artist, or album or playlist. It is great if you aren't sure what you want to listen to, as it chooses for you, and sometimes you feel like the ipod has read your mind in choosing a track.
Using the Ipod for Other Things
Music is not all the ipod does. Although music is the best feature of it, as would be expected with it being a digital music player, it does have some other good features.
There are a small selection of games. Obviously these are not up to the standard of a gameboy, but they are good for passing a bit of spare time on a train journey or in the car. (unless you are driving :-P) There is solitaire, which is the same as you would expect, just standard solitaire as you would play on a windows PC. Then there is Parachute, which is a game where you have to shoot down parachuters (or something) which I haven't really played much, but could be reasonabl entertaining if you like it.
My favourites are Music Quiz and Brick. Music Quiz plays a short section of a track on your ipod, and you have to identify it before your time runs out. The quicker you are, the more points you get, and this is good fun, but it uses a lot of battery as it has to keep starting new tracks, which seems to involve spinning up the hard-drive quite a lot.
Brick is your standard breakthrough game. Bounce the ball up off your paddle against some bricks, any bricks that the ball hits vanish. I have only got to the 5th level so far, where the ball splits in two and I lost, however I would like to know what happens on the levels after this, and whether it gets more exciting (exciting used in a loose sense, don't buy this for the games).
You can also use the ipod as a hard drive. This is useful for storing files for back-up, however I would not want to use it long term, as I have heard that the hard drive is liable to go wrong some times. I haven't had this happen, but I wouldn't want to risk vital files all the same.
The calendar I think would be good, but I don't need to use it yet, and I am not sure how practical the ipod is as an organiser. However, I keep some contact details on there for if my mobile fails me and I need some phone numbers. So that is handy.
There are other features, like a clock, a sleep timer, and an alarm clock, and they are handy as and when I need them.
Improvements from Previous Versions
They have made some major improvements from the previous generations and I think the jump from 3g to 4g has been the best.
Most importantly, the battery life in the new ipod has been increased considerably. From 8 hours to 12 hours is a 50% increase (for those not so good at maths) and it does actually go on this long. To test it, set an album going again and again and time it until it dies, it should last very close to 12 hours, if not longer.
Although they have taken the dock and remote out, I wouldn't use the remote, and I don't see the dock as essential, it would be an unnecessary luxury for me. However, they have included a usb cable with this gen, so you don't have to worry about buying a cable, or getting firewire installed.
This gen is also slightly lighter and smaller than the versions before. But this has become expected in the changes from generation to generation, as the ipod has always got smaller from day 1.
You can get many accessories for the ipod. There are hundreds of cases available for protecting it from dirt, scratches, and from the shock of dropping it. You can get a set of speakers for it, where the ipod just sits in, but they seem a little over priced and ugly to me, and theyre not really my sort of thing.
My personal favourite accessory is the iTrip from Belkin. It is basically a radio aerial on the end of your ipod, so you can tune into the music your ipod is playing through any FM radio. Although retailers can not sell it legally in the UK anymore, it is still available online and it's not hard to get hold of one. And these things are great for listening in the car.
Apple support are very helpful and very efficient. I did have a problem with my ipod within about 2 weeks of buying. The hold slider stopped putting the ipod on hold, and obviously at 2 weeks old I wasn't happy. I had registered my ipod the week before, and because I prefer to talk to people than mess around on their website, I decided to ring tech support.
The queue for the call was fast, about 5 minutes, and the techincal support guy at the other end went through the regular tests and came to the conclusion that the ipod was faulty within about 10 minutes. Two days later a man from UPS arrived at the door and I handed over the old ipod. Within 7 days I had a new one in my hand. It wasn't great that it stopped working, but they replaced it quick enough, and they didn't quibble, and it was nice to have a new ipod back as opposed to a repaired one.
Since then I have had no problems at all, and would certainly not be put off by Apple's customer service in future.
Well, a long review, but I have so much to say about my ipod, and I would recommend one to anyone. They are fantastic pieces of kit. I spend more time with mine than any of my family members or friends. Sounds sad I know, but it provides entertainment at any time, in any place and I just love it.
Be warned though, once you have bought it, you may be tempted to buy other Apple products. The experience of the ipod is just so good you may go off PCs completely. :-P
To be honest, I really don't think this product needs much by way of introduction. But just in case you really have been spending the last couple of years dead for tax reasons, then the iPod is the device that has become synonymous with portable music. So much so, that some call it the 21st century Walkman, while others use the word iPod to mean any MP3 player.
The first thing you have to say about this product is that it is extremely sleek and sexy. It truely is a thing of beauty, no photographs you will see of it online could ever really do it justice. The front is a white acrylic, while the back is a highly polished metal with the product information and serial number laser-engraved into it. If you buy your iPod online from Apple, you can also get a short personalized message engraved on the back as well.
When held in the hand, the product feels reassuringly heavy, without being at all overweight or bulky. The weight combined with the metal finish gives the product a feeling of real quality and indestructibility, and the low profile design slips easily into your pocket.
With the 3rd generation player you will get the following along with your player: A dock, a wired remote, a fairly basic carry-case with belt clip, a firewire cable that can connect to the dock or directly to the iPod itself, a charger with a seperate snap-on plug appropiate to your locale and a set of white headphones. You will also get a CD with Apple iTunes and a printed manual (a rarity in this day and age, most computer-related products come with PDF manuals on CD instead).
The charger doesn't have its own cable or connector, instead it has a firewire port on it. You plug the supplied firewire cable into this, the other end goes either to the dock or the iPod directly. Power is then transferred to the battery from the charger over the firewire cable. Charging takes 1 hour for an 80% charge and 4 for a full recharge from empty.
If you connect the iPod to the PC via firewire then you will then be able to use iTunes to upload your music collection to the iPod, play music directly off your computer, manage playlists, rip CDs and do other management chores. Personally, I prefer WinAmp as a music player to iTunes, but for synching tasks and iPod management, Apple's software just can't be beat. If you feel like splurging on some music online and don't have a problem with DRM technology, you can even use iTunes to buy music from the iTunes music store, though you should be aware that currently, under Windows, you can only play DRM protected AAC files in iTunes itself.
I really loved this product, and I never go anywhere without it anymore. When I was living in Salford it was all that stood between me and having a total nervous breakdown, as without my little music player to listen to at night, the rowing neighbours would have kept me sleep-deprived enough to just totally lose the plot.
The most important criteria against which any music player is to be judged is quality of sound reproduction. The sound quality from the iPod is, of course, dependant on the quality of the sound files you give it to play, but to me, given MP3s encoded at 192K the results were excelent, with crisp clear sound and no artifacts immideately evident. With good headphones, the base and treble are nice and clear and well seperated.
But it's not all good, no product is perfect and this one is no exception. There are things wrong with the iPod.
The first thing wrong with them, is the earphones. To put it politely, they plain suck. They let too much outside noise get in, are tinny and lack depth, are uncomfortable to wear and the white plastic makes them stand out a mile. If you wear them, you might as well be wearing a sign that says "HEY, I'M CARRYING A REALLY EXPENSIVE MUSIC PLAYER AROUND, MUG ME!" Come on, Apple, how could you drop the ball like that on crappy headphones, when you have gotten so much else right with this product? So if you are buying one of these gadgets, it would be an idea to set a little extra cash aside for some better headphones. I'd recommend the Shure range of isolating headphones, they're good.
Secondly, while iTunes provides pretty comprehensive playlist management, the playlist features on the iPod itself are pretty rudimentery. You can only edit one playlist on the device itself, and adding songs and/or albums to it is cumbersome. Furthermore, I've not found a way yet to remove individual songs fro mthe on-the-go playlist, as the single playlist you can edit is called, so if you have stuff on ther eyou don't want to listen to, you have to start over.
Thirdly, while the iPod is advertised as Windows/Mac, you only get the Firewire cable. This wasn't a problem for me, as I own a PC with firewire ports. Many PC owners don't own Firewire-capable computers, however, and have to resort to USB 2. While the iPod has USB support, the unit doesn't ship with a USB cable. If you have to have USB then you'll need to spend some more cash on a USB cable.
The USB cable only provides data transfer, it doesn't have the power needed for charging the iPod, so you have to fully charge it before hooking up to the PC to transfer files. If you are using an older PC with support only for USB 1.1, then file transfers are PAINFULLY slow and if you have a substantial music collection you'll never transfer all your files over before the battery in the iPod dies.
But all in all, I wouldn't give my iPod up for anything, I feel naked without it, the music it provides helps me concentrate at work and it helped me sleep at times when the people next door were determined to see I didn't get any sleep. Is the best part of £300 worth it for a music player? That depends on how important music is to you, I suppose, but to me music is very important indeed and as far as I'm concerned, the money I spent on my iPod was money well spent.