Product Type: Apple MP3 players
Newest Review: ... earphones, charging cable, all that good stuff you'd expect to accompany it. Apple are always pretty good in giving you what you... more
Member Name: obscuredbykep
Apple iPod classic 120 GB
Advantages: Capacity, Ease of usage,
Disadvantages: Poor Headphones as standard
When I was younger, it was tapes, top of my Christmas list - a portable cassette player. Give it a few years, then it was a portable CD player, and when I got my first paper rounds, I was then able to afford to get myself an mp3 player. I think it cost me about £30, from play.com, and held 256mb of music. That was sometime in 2005. It didn't last long, and in the matter of a year, I think I went through about 5 different mp3 players. Finally getting one which held a whole gigabyte!
Then, when I got my first phone contract, I opted for the Sony Erricson Walkman phones, for their integrated mp3 player. Everything was perfect, until I managed to break the headphones one day in late 2008, by getting them caught in a pub door - but carried on walking - SNAP!
Whilst I was working at John Lewis over Christmas, I toyed with getting myself an iPod, but managed to talk myself out of it - due to the cost. That was until I was go great at selling one to a woman that came in, I ended up persuading myself too, and I joined the millions of people who own an iPod.
== The iPod Range ==
One of the first things that you need to think about when buying an iPod, is which one is for you. I needed something with good battery life, and that could hold my entire music collection, since the main thing that annoyed me about low capacity mp3 players, was that the one song I would randomly want to listen to, was never on it.
'''The Shuffle''' - At around £30, you can get the baby of the iPod range. No screen, and very durable, but with only 1 or 2GB of flash memory. These are the perfect thing for younger children.
'''The Nano''' - The next one up. These small iPods look like baby versions of the Classic. Colour screen, and either 8 or 16 GB of flash memory. They support video too. Good for older children, and rather reasonably priced at just over £100.
'''The Classic''' - The large memory with a great 120GB of Hard Disk memory. Supports video and everything you need really. Perfect if you have loads of music and video you want on you all the time.
'''The Touch''' - The sylish younger brother of the classic. With smaller memory, ranging from 8 to 32GB, but a much heftier price tag, these are the iPods for the person who prefers showing off the gadgets, over carrying shit loads of tunes.
== The iPod Classic ==
On the market now, is the 6th generation of iPod, which has a whopping 120GB of Hard Disk space. It will set you back £175 from John Lewis, but in my view, is worth every single penny.
The most important thing to me, was that I could hold loads of music. I have a really wide music taste, and always end up fancying listening to something random, that I wouldn't normally have on me. That is how I knew that the only iPod for me was the Classic, with it's 120GB Hard Drive. The guide says you can fit 30,000 songs or 150 hours of video onto it. They tend to base that around an average song of 3 minutes at a certain bit rate. So don't just believe that.
At the moment, I have just 44.11 GB of music on my iPod, which gives me 7487 songs, or 19.7 days worth of music. Based on that, I would only be able to fit just over 20,000 tracks.
While you may think that you get the whole 120GB to fill with your music that is not quite right. You see, the iPod needs room for it's system files and the other odd things it needs to do, so you can only use 111.55GB.
Still, I only have a 120GB hard drive on my computer, so I cannot complain, and taking into account all the music, video and other files I have on my iPod, I still have another 30 gig that I can fill.
The second most important thing with an mp3 player, is how long you can actually use it. iPods have a built in lithium ion battery, which is both simple, and fast to charge. It says, that it fully charges in just 3 hours, or for 1.5 hours, you get 80% charge. I haven't ever actually sat and clock watched, but that seems reasonable.
With the iPod, you get a USB cable, which acts as the charging cable. Whenever it is connected to your computer, it will charge through the powered USB port. Simple. If you aren't always on your computer, you can shell out a further £20 or so to get a wall charger - which is just a plug with a USB port on the front that the cable then plugs into. You can also get a vast array of iPod docks which will also charge it.
From the full battery, it says to expect up to 36 hours continuous playback of music, or 8 of video. Again, I haven't ever sat and timed this. I normally make sure my iPod is fully charged whenever I plan to take it out. That way, it will last me the entire weekend. I alternate between listening to music, and occasionally watching TV shows on it, and video really drains the battery. You can expect a good few days "normal" usage of it- travelling and whatnot. Over this weekend, I used it on the bus to Cambridge (1.5 hour), and back, then I also walked around with it for about 4 or 5 hours, plus using it last night on the stereo for around 2 or 3 hours. So that is 11 hours of music, then I watched 3 20 minute episodes of TV earlier too. While I would have probably flattened the battery if I had watched much more video, I could have got another few hours of music from it no problem.
It has a neat battery level indicator, which kind of predicts how much battery you have left. It is important to watch, since it can screw your iPod up a little if you let it drop right down - which I found out a few months ago (more later..).
The next most important thing with the iPod is how decent the sound is. The very first thing I did, was discarded the shitty headphones that come with it, and invested in some £40 Sennheiser ones. I found the normal headphones poor quality and uncomfortable. I much prefer the proper in ear headphones, with silicone ends that fit tight in the ear, excluding background noise - perfect auditory ignorance.
While with these headphones, and my iPod turned right up, which is how it always is, I still think it could do with being a bit louder, and definitely have used louder devices (such as the CD player which I used as a fill when I broke the headphones for my mobile..). It also has slight distortion with really loud bass, but it isn't that bad - my mate Jam complains about it though. Saying that, he just hates iPods.
The screen is a 2.5 inch LCD number. It is very clear, and I have found no problems with it. I can easily watch a film or TV show on it, without it being too small to concentrate on. Adjusting the brightness is really easy too, although I always have mine on full (another Battery-life affecting piece.) It is pretty hardy, although I do not want to actually test how much force it takes to break.
It is built into a metal case, and available in either Silver, or Black. Dunno why they didn't create a full range of snazzy colours like they did with the Nanos. The centre of the front, is the Click wheel, which is simple to operate. On the wheel are the four buttons, play/pause, next, previous and Menu. Scrolling the wheel turns the volume up and down, or in menus, scrolls through them.
The back is like a mirror, although, unfortunately will not stay like that for long, and is very prone to getting horrendously scratched. Only a cosmetic issue, but might annoy some people.
The iPod weighs just 140g, so is light weight, and while being chunkier than the rest of the range, is a decent size, and fits in my pockets perfectly without causing any annoyance.
On the top, is the socket for the headphones, as well as the hold switch - which stops buttons being knocked in your pocket. On the bottom is the socket for the USB cable.
Navigating around the iPod is a piece of cake. Hit the menu button to bring up the main navigations screen, where you can select to go through to Music, Video, Photos, Podcasts, Extras, Settings and finally Shuffle Songs, which just plays your music randomly. Each of those menus has different sub menus, through genres, artists, albums and all that jazz. Under the Extras, there is the clock, calendar, contacts, alarms, games, notes, and stop watch. I used a couple of the basic games which provide some meagre entertainment, the rest I have left alone bar setting the time and date when I first got it.
== iTunes ==
iTunes, is Apple's music player, and the programme that acts as an interface between your iPod and computer. iTunes is a free programme which you must download from the internet, and install. You can then add music, videos, photos and all that into it. When your iPod is connected to the computer, it syncs, copying everything in iTunes over to your iPod.
Also on iTunes, you can access the iTunes library, which allows you to purchase music and videos, as well as random games and bits. It is also the home of the podcasts.
iTunes only accepts certain file types. For music, it must be mp3, which is pretty common anyway, but if you have been using Windows Media Player, to rip music to your PC, you will have a load of WMA's which iTunes will need to convert before adding. iTunes, by default rips music into AAC, the second file type that it likes.
Videos have to be in mp4 format. Legally, you can only really get videos from iTunes and other pay websites. But you can otherwise download films and bits, in various formats, such as mp4, converting video to the right format takes longer and is more annoying.
Using iTunes is really simple, and doesn't take long to get used to.
== In Your Box ==
When you get one, you open the nice box to reveal...
* The iPod
* The headphones
* The USB Cable
* The Destructions
Simple. Easy to start up, and all presented neatly, and it even fits back in the box if you want to put it away nicely again.
== Perks of an iPod ==
The iPod offers a number of perks, which I suppose are the reasons I got one. Other than that mentioned above, such as good battery life, sound quality and capacity...
You can use your iPod as a portable hard drive, for transferring large files and documents. I use it quite a lot for this, and for backing bits up. You simply enable disk usage in iTunes, and then it appears as a removable drive on your computer. The large capacity meant I could use it to back my stuff up when I needed to format my PC, and helps with moving bits from the various computers in the house.
'''Parties / Other Socially favourable situations'''
When I am round my mate Wills - Kay, Will, James and Myself always have our iPods, which becomes the background music. There, is it simply connected using a audio cable, but iPod docks are also used with people. Having your iPod, makes it easy to share music with your friends, and means that we always have a good mix of tunes on each night, but they complain that mine are never what they actually want to listen to...
iPod docks charge the iPod and play the music through it's own speakers. There are loads on the market, from portable ones, to bigger more expensive ones. They can replace that CD player in the room, and keep your iPod charged too. I do not have one yet, since all my music is done through the computer when I am at home, but they are good at parties, BBQ's and alike.
Since you can store photo's on the iPod, I have managed to turn this otherwise meagrely useful trait, into the pinnacle of my not getting stranded. Simply making bus timetables into JPEGs, means that I always have the times for all the buses on my person. That has proved very useful over time.
There are number of devices, which enable you to play your iPod through your car speakers. Ranging from the simple cassette ones, to the Radio transmitters. Some charge the iPod, some don't. But it means you no longer need CD's scattered in the glove compartment, and down the side of the doors. Some stereo's have direct attachments to the iPod, like the one in my car.
== iPod Classic vs Creative Zens vs Other mp3 Players==
My friend Jam is a strong Creative Zen fan, and swears by them over iPods. I don't see that though.
My iPod has the largest memory than the competition, there isn't a Zen that can offer that much memory, nor is there another well known mp3 player. While maybe, 32GB whatever would be enough for some people, it wasn't for me, and so I needed something big. If that's what you need, then you can't do better than the iPod.
Usage - I think that the iPod is the easiest to use too. Clear menus, simple buttons. I get really confused using a Zen, though, I suppose if you are used to it.
Only thing I can give the Zen, and other mp3 players, is the ease of loading. And that is only a semi-victory. The iPod, sits patiently in the background while iTunes does the hard work copying files, putting them in the right places. Simple. But, you cannot then go and connect it to another computer, and add more music, or take some off - iTunes doesn't let you do that. With a Zen, and others, which basically act like high capacity memory sticks, the file management is manual, so you need to copy what you want across, but you can move it easily computer to computer. I still prefer my iPod though.
Battery life wins with the iPod too, but the Zens do go louder in my experience. But for all this excellence, you end up paying more for the iPod than the others..
== Disadvantages of the iPod Classic==
I cannot actually think of many severe disadvantages. Obviously the cost is one factor. The battery life could be improved, since when using video, it won't last you very long, but since charging is so easy, it isn't a major problem, unless you are somewhere you cannot possibly charge it.
I only had one problem with the software, and Apple fixed that easily. That was because I flattened the battery completely, it didn't charge properly after. I am now careful never to kill it completely.
The expense doesn't necessarily stop at the iPod it's self. Like I said, the iPod headphones are shite, and so I spend a good amount on decent ones. I wanted to protect it, so spent another £10 on a protective case. If you want a wall charger that is more, iPod docks even more, car adaptors, even more. But, I still think the advantages beat those costs.
You need the internet to get iTunes. I know most people these days have it, but if you don't you would need a friend to put it on disk for you or something.
iPods, for some bizarre reason, don't include a radio tuner. Considering they are so top of the range, it would be good if at least an FM tuner was built in, or even better, a DAB tuner. Sony Walkmans have an FM radio as standard.
== Am I happy with my little Pod? ==
I was reluctant to shell out so much money on an mp3 player, even though I had wanted an iPod for ages. But I do not regret it at all.
The practicality of always having all my music with me is awesome, and the video function helps to pass time when I have long waits. It will be the centre of my car's sound system, gaining even more use. And, so long as it lasts a good 5 years or more, then it will have been entirely worth every penny.
The ease of use is great, is has been designed perfectly ergonomically, and it is also well presented, far better than all other mp3 player ranges. If you are looking for an mp3 player that will last you a good number of years, and you want to be able to store a lot of music, then this is what you want. At only £175, compared the Nano's £145 for the 16GB version - the price is actually really reasonable.
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