* Prices may differ from that shown
When first released, this was the best thing on the market and everyone wanted one, now, however, they have been replaced by various other, more updated, iPods and MP3 players.
Any iPod is good, so this is guaranteed to bee good but now you are much better off going for a more updated iPod, maybe with a colour screen, more features and more space. This iPod cannot hold many songs but the sound quality and processing quality were excellent, and this makes up for the lack of space. There are four games which are good to pass a little time but you would not want to be stuck playing them for long periods of time. There is also no colour screen which can make it difficult to read or see but there is a backlight to aid your sight.
It is small and can sit in your pocket without noticing it as this iPod is light as well - it's good when you're on the move. It is also very easy to use with the click wheel and this is the same for newer iPod models, so if you have learnt on one of these you can bring your skills across to this model.
Good at its time but getting replaced.
If it's not wrong, don't fix it.
This is a very simple principle and it's one that Apple seems to follow. This mini iPod is small both in size and in weight and is barely noticeable when sitting in your pocket which is ideal for when working out at the gym. The controls and structure of the GUI remain the same as before and so it should. Its extremely easy to use with the touch sensitive dial which can disabled effortlessly with the use of the lock switch located at the top of the iPod so it can sit safely away without the worry of it accidentally turning off, lowering the volume or changing songs.
With the ability to take photos with the camera, view photos, watch movies, play games and considering the 6GB of data it can hold along with these functions this piece of kit is highly impressive.
The headphones that accompany the iPod are the usual, very high quality sound and sit comfortably and securely in your ears. However there are better quality headphones out there which you can buy and swap over as long as they use the standard 3.5mm jack plug in.
The battery life is fantastic, I've regularly used my iPod for 18 months and it still lasts hours and hours after a full charge. Charging is done via a USB cable which can be very frustrating if taking the device on holiday as you will have to purchase your own mains charger for the device.
With this small negative aside this product is fantastic and the iPod range continues to get better and better.
It's hard to believe that this little baby was originally released five years ago! It seems like it was yesterday (ok, not yesterday, maybe the day before) that the market was flooded with them. The ipod mini was a cheaper alternative to the ipod. Available in 4gb initially and then 4gb and 6gb models as the second generation came along, this was a more pocket-friendly option than the gargantuan sized ipod.
Upon release, the ipod mini was a massive success and proved to be hugely popular amongst the younger generation who could not afford the ipod. 4GB and 6GB is enough memory for normal music consumers, the more dedicated listener may need more space, this was an issue dealt with by apple when they released the ipod nano.
Using the mini couldn't be easier, load your tracks into itunes, hook your ipod up to the computer via the usb cable and there you go. Once the songs are on the ipod you are only ever a few clicks away from any song.
My girlfriend has the mini, its lasted almost five years and is stil going. Ok, so there is the occassional crash and sometimes the buttons take a long time to respond but generally, its not too bad. Its brought us hours of happiness.
I peersonally have an Ipod mini in silver 6gb but it is still the same underneath. I have to say I love my Ipod Mini; never before have i had sucha brilliant Mp3 player....which I will now go into detail about...
**The Mini's appearance**
The colpour of this particular Ipod is a sky blue which is quite easy on the eyes, however it does come in Pink, green and silver
Quite chunky compared to the later nano and other Ipods later on in the ipod line, with rounded sides making it seem to flow slightly with a fairly small screen which is quite clear...well sort off as long as you get the contrast right. also like most other ipods it has the click wheel with a charging port on the bottom, and a lock button(not a button its a slide thing but i'm hoping you know what I mean) with ports for your headphones also at the top
Size is 91MMx51MMx13MM and weighs 102 grams (or 36 ounces if you like)
Finally the case is made of anodized alluminium, so its tough yet light.
**the Mini:underneath the click wheel**
6gb=1500 songs (ipod mini cannot have pictures on it unfortunatly.)
18hr battery life, 7 hr charging time (roughly)
Lithium Ion battery, which does wear down to 80% after 400 ful charges.
No additional power cable so cannot be connnected to mains unless you ahvea dock
Supports:MP3, AAC/M4A, WAV, AIFF, and apple lossless formats (i'm not entirely sure what most of these mean but you can go on wikipedia and find out i guess)
Syncronises with Itunes
good sound quality, with a variety of sound equalisers (bassboost ect.)
Can also store contact details form your email service
Has an alarm function along witha calender function
and music can be found by playlists, artists, albums, songs, genres and composers. Also can store podcasts and audiobooks but cannot store video or pictures
**Things that cone with the Ipod mini**
*headphones-Which break quite easily and do not really help when you have bass boost or treble boost on.
*USB cable to charge ipod and sync. withy computer
*CD to install both the Ipd itself and the Itunes that comes with it.
*Belt clip, for when your on the move.
My ipod was a birthday present when it was brand new so i paid about £150 for it at Dixon's (now Curry's Digital)
but on Ebay you could proably get one for about £50 because they are of course obselite now.
I love my retro Ipod, its really simple to use and the design is quite slick in that no other manufactuerers thought of using the click wheel design up until about a year ago. I like the fact that I can get so many songs on the Mini 6gb (all that memory in sucha tiny hardrive, is unbelieveable!) I quite like the sound quality, I have to have my equaliser settings on bass boost though otherwise it just sounds well tinny to be honest. The chunky desgn makes you feel like you know its there (I find on nano's you dont really know it;'s there ) also if you have quite big jeans pockets you can put this in your jeans. However, i don't like the fact that the battery life decreases after a while because the lithium is running out (i may end up saving up and getting it sent it to apple) which is a real shame because I can't put too much music on myphone as it doesn't have enough memory, and my Ipod has all my favorite songs.
I love how you can find the songs you want quite easily (unless ou don't know your own playlists/artists/songs)
The click wheel is something quite interesting because it is (very) touch sensitive yet you have to click on the button you want so say if you wanted to change playlists yuo have to click on menu, whichh is a tad annoying you should just be able to tap the button you need.
Overall I quite like the Ipod Mini, it's just nice.
After my 4GB mini (also in blue) had had iots third battery faliure, i decided that i would buy a new one, so after looking on ebay, i found one for £99 with free ipod in ear heard phones.
However this one had the same problem as the last one, the battery failed, and i did't do anything like over charge it, and i did waht it said in the instructions. So i e-mailed apple, who were so disatisfied with my second ipod mini battery failing that thay repaired it for free, and put a new case on it with my name engraved on the back as consolation for the monay i had sepnt on previous repairs to the old ipod mini.
However yet again the ipod battery went and again apple replaced the battery for free. But after that second battery faliure, i decided to give up with ipod alltogether, but then didn't buy anything else until i got the video for christmas .
The ipod definitely makes a good Mp3 player and its strongest asset has to be the interface - a combination of touch sensitive and clickable buttons.
You can view your songs either by artist, songs, in playlists which you can make either via ipod or P.C., albums or genre.
If you wanted to, you could play games (e.g. ipod randomly plays a snippet of a song in your library and you have to quickly pick before time is up which song it is) or even store people's contact details on there.
You can put songs on shuffle and turn on/off the backlight.
While the ipod is definitely aesthetic, compact, slim and easy to use, there are some drawbacks to it.
Firstly, battery life. I have had mine for 2 years now, but after the first year the battery was only lasting 1 hour instead of 8 hours it is meant to. Since I take my ipod on tube and train journeys I had to change the battery, so bought a battery kit from eBay (about £4), and I had to take the ipod apart myself (a quite interesting but fiddly process) and took the instructions from a video on the internet. Ever since I've replaced the battery it is working as beautifully as when I first got it.
Another thing is, the whole itunes program but I'm afraid that if you want an ipod you're definitely going to need this program, which not only takes up space but is not as effective as the Creative Zen is with Windows Media Player where you can simply drag and drop from your music folder. Also, itunes names the songs & artists automatically for you, and while it gets it right most of the time, it can be really annoying when they get it wrong and you have to search for it to correct it.
Otherwise it's not that bad.
Finally, something has to be said about the earphones. While they definitely scream at other people that you have an ipod hiding in your pocket, the earphones themselves aren't too comfortable and have a tendency for me personally, to keep falling out.
I do think this ipod is good but I would recommend checking out your other options such as the creative Zen.
Great little gadget got me my fave music everywhere i went, fancy some rock, go to rock under genre's, want to make your own playlist, that takes seconds, everything is quick and easy to figure out so buy one now! thats if you have less than 2000 tracks, personally i used this for about 3 years then sold it on ebay, only then to buy a better mp3 with 20gb, do some research, save some money up for a while and buy yourself some good mp3 gadgets!
I bought one of these shortly after there release i still find myself using it. There is plenty of space on it for songs with only 286 songs on mine with plenty of room to spare. (can go up to 1000 depending on song lengths) I think it looks great and is small enough for you to take anywhere. The quality is high, and i have no problem with the actual product whatsoever.
One problem i did have which is (not actually with the product) is the Itunes software that that you use to add songs onto your ipod. The manual didnt help much so it was all pretty much left to trial and error until i found out at the time of buying the Itune software would not play on my PC because i didnt have windows XP. i just thought i'd mention this incase anyone would have the same problem. but there are other software out there which i would say works just aswell or perhaps better than itunes, as even now with a new computer i do not use itunes.
The Ipod mini is easy to control, with clear navigation through the menu's and playlists using the scroll wheel, which i did find loses its sensitivity after a while, with Other features including calender, games, and clock. The little screen is very clear and easy to understand.
However the Ipod itself is very nice and although it might have fallen behind new products which have been released, and there is now better products out there that do the same job that is still matter of opinion. i am still faithful to my ipod and i would recomend an ipod to anyone wanting to have all there favourite tunes at there fingertips.
It sounds really fantastic, also looks elegant especially the silver one, pink looks bit awful. Compared to the 3rd generation ipod this one is superior.The battery gets drained out quickly though.
The packaging of ipod mini is very cute.The plastic covers and manuals are good. The manual provided is not very clear, it does not clearly describe how to copy songs directly from pc to ipod.
The wheel is very sensitive and overall operation is very smooth. I noticed one problem after some days the ipod gets 'hanged' and needs resetting by pressing the menu and function button. Also the wheel sensitivity looses after some days.
I dont own a IPOD but my sister does, I own a creative Mp3 player, I have tested them both for sound quality. The Creative is alot better. Also, the ipod battery does not last as long as my creative.
When i tested them for sound quality i thought it might of been something to do with the headphones. so i switched the headphones (used IPOD for creative and Creative for IPOD) and my Creative mp3 player killed the IPODs headphones... So that was a expensive test. I had to pay for new headphones for the ipod.
I do like how small the mp3 player is though, i think the weight of it is good too.
I do sometimes when i change track can feel, hear the hard drive inside.. Is that normal?
I think that money watsers should buy this.. But if you want too save ALOT of money then go for the CREATIVE mp3 in blue.
I bought this for my girlfriend a year ago thinking it would be a gret gift for her. She loved it, and then it went in the cupboard and never got used because she foudn it too much hassle installing the software, loading the playslist etc.
So I braved the pinkness and started to use it myself. Overall it is a great item, its not that mini anymore compared to the new models with 30gb storage, and it has much smaller memory, but its hard to imagine anyone having that much music unless you listen to very long operas etc.
The battery after a year only lasts about an hour and it cant be replaced unless you send it to apple along with about £100, so I think when the battery finally goes like most i-pod owners it will go in the bin which is annoying and makes me think twice about buying more i-pod products.
Sony starts to look more and more tempting, especially as everyone has an i-pod now, are they really that cool anymore ?
It seems that almost everyone has an iPod and I'd been looking into buying myself one for quite some time but hadn't quite been able to justify spending so much on a non-essential item. However, I finally decided that the odd bit of reckless spending wont kill me and bought a 6GB iPod mini off the Apple website.
A 6GB iPod mini should be able to hold around 1,500 songs (although obviously this figure can vary a little depending on the length of the tracks), but a 4GB iPod mini is available that holds around 1000 songs. However, since the 4GB version costs £139.99 off the Apple website and its 6GB equivalent costs £169.99, I reckoned that the 6GB was the better value. If you want to further personalise your iPod, free laser engraving is included in the price if you buy it off the Apple website.
Both the 4GB and 6GB mini iPods are available in silver, blue, green and pink. Gold can occassionally be found on some websites, but is no longer available on the Apple website. The iPod Mini is the middle of the way option of the whole iPod family. It holds substantially more music than the new iPod Shuffles (the largest of which only holds about 240 songs), and although it can't compare in the storage stakes to the grand-daddy of the iPod family (the 60GB which can hold up to 15,000 songs), it is substantially cheaper, charges faster and has a slightly increased battery life. You can also stored non-music files on it and access them from another computer, but I've not been brave enough to try this yet. I opted for the blue iPod mini, typed in my details and sat back waiting for it to be delivered.
I've never been a big fan of Apple in general, but I had to hand it to them when my iPod arrived. The packaging was fantastic...you could almost put it on display in the Tate! The outer cardboard casing was blue and had iPod mini on the front in white, but when you removed this casing you were greeted with a white 'box' that opened up like a book. When you opened it up, you found the iPod nestled inside and each side of the book-shaped box contained the other accessories that came with the iPod such as a belt clip, a USB connector and the instruction manuals, even some Apple logo stickers for you to splatter somewhere. The earphones that come with it are the type that we are all accustomed to now that you insert inside your ear. These come with two sets of pads to cover them and I was surprised to discover that they actually stayed in my ear when earphones of this type just tend to plop out within the first 2 minutes of me putting them in. In fact, I even fell asleep in the car with them on (don't worry...I wasn't driving!) and even with me moving around in my sleep and the earphone wires getting tangled in the seatbelt, they stayed in for a good half hour.
The box also contained the necessary iTunes software disc which installed quickly and easily. You can import any files on your computer onto iTunes and you can convert your CDs etc. into files on iTunes, too. When you plug in your iPod, it automatically downloads all the music in the iTunes library onto it. I was surprised at how quick this whole process was. The most time-consuming part was converting my CDs into another format compatible with my iPod, but all in all the process was a lot quicker than I expected. Converting each track on my CDs took about 1 minute per track, but downloading the tracks onto the iPod only took a few minutes to download about 200 songs.
You are meant to connect the iPod to a high-speed USB port to both charge your iPod and to download tracks from iTunes onto it. I soon found out the I didn't have a high-speed USB port on my computer, but just plugged the iPod into an ordinary USB port and it ran, although it said it would be running at a reduced speed.
When fully charged your iPod is expected to have around 18 hours battery life, but it takes up to 4 hours for it to charge completely! It charges to 80% within the first 2 hours of charging, but requires the additional 2 hours to charge the final 20%. I've not used my iPod until the battery has run down completely, but I doubt that the battery would last 18 hours. I've only used it for about 4 hours maximum and the battery was almost at half way, so I would say realistically battery life might only be around 10-12 hours.
Of course, the iPod is famous for its click-wheel and this takes a little bit of getting used to. For the first 10 minutes of using it I was constantly whizzing past the track I wanted to use, trying to reverse and whizzing past it again in the opposite direction, but eventually I became accustomed to it. The controls are fairly self-explanatory: you use the click-wheel to scroll and to control the volume when a track is selected; the button in the middle of the click-wheel to select a track or function; you press down on the bottom of the click-wheel to play or pause a track and the left and right sides of the click-wheel to skip a track in either direction.
The iPod has other functions such as a clock, memo functions, a calendar and even games such as solitaire...it seems the iPod is wanting to compete with mobile phones as well as other MP3 players. Unfortunately, these other functions are fairly awkward to use due to the click-wheel, but handy nevertheless in case you are ever caught without a mobile and need to check a date.
You can create playlists on your iPod or on iTunes and then download them onto your iPod or browse tracks by artist, album, style of music etc. If you choose a track to play, the iPod will automatically play the track beneath this on the list once the track is finished so even without a playlist, you need never be without music.
The instruction book describes the sound quality as almost CD quality, and I must admit reading this made me a little dubious, but after listening to music on it I have absolutely no complaints. I didn't think the music sounded any less clearer than it did when listening to it on a CD, but I suppose I should never have worried...after all, I'm sure the iPod could never have became so popular without top notch music quality.
However, the iPod mini is not equipped with a colour screen which isn't a major problem, but is slightly annoying when I'm so used to using colour screen mobiles etc. However, so far I've got no other complaints. With almost 500 tracks on my iPod, I've still got two thirds of my memory intact, so it seems to be living up to the promise of storing 1500 tracks. The battery is enclosed, though, and it is annoying that a few years down the line I might need to replace it at extra cost to myself when I've already paid a small fortune for the iPod itself.
However, I can see how the iPod has won itself a reputation as the foremost MP3 player on the market and I still can't believe that I've got almost my whole music collection contained on something small enough to fit into the palm of my hand. It doesn't skip like portable CD players and you don't have to carry any extra discs with you like you would have to do with a minidisc player, so it really is the ideal solution if you want to listen to music while out and about or whilst working out at the gym.
However, you really do need regular access to a computer to get the most out of you iPod when it comes to updating your songs and charging it, so you should take this into consideration when buying one, but otherwise I would recommend it to anyone swithering over whether to buy one or not...it really is worth the money!
iPod's must be the most hyped up MP3 players there are. The two words (iPod and MP3 player) have almost become synonymous, like vacuum cleaner and hoover. That's not to say there aren't very decent alternatives to the iPod but Apple have really managed to get themselves at the top of the list...
The iPod Mini is essentially an MP3 player. An MP3 is basically a music file - each file or MP3 is a song or track, just like you'd get on a CD really. But the iPod Mini doesn't stop at just playing MP3's, it has so much more to offer besides!
This is where the iPod range stands out from other MP3 players. The picture shown by dooyoo gives a very accurate image of the iPod mini. The blue one, which I opted for, is almost turquoise in appearance - shiny and sleek looking in its metal casing. It's palm sized, no more than two inches wide and thin enough to slip into most pockets. In fact it's smaller than my Nokia 7610 mobile phone.
As the picture shows, the iPod mini encompasses a very simple design. At the top is a small screen and beneath that, the circular Click Wheel. The uncomplicated design makes it very easy to use - there aren't buttons and switches all over, just the four commands on the Click Wheel (menu, back, forward and play/pause), and a 'hold' switch on the very top of the iPod mini.
What It Does
As I've mentioned, this is essentially an MP3 player, so that is what it does best. The new 6Gb model (recently released as a successor to the 4Gb model) boasts the ability to hold approximately 1500 songs. This really is a lot of music, so there can be no complaints for not being able to have something on it you want to listen to!
Listening to your music is made simple through the easy to navigate menu system. One click of the Menu button will turn on the iPod Mini and show you all your options, a click of the select button in the centre of the Click Wheel will take you into the first option on the Menu, 'Music'. You're then given the options to search through your music by 'Playlists' (these are preset track listings and include the default categories 90's Music, My Top Rated, Purchased Music, Recently Added, Recently Played, Top 25 Most Played, and On-The-Go plus any others you may have created yourself).
Alternatively, as opposed to listening to your music using a playlist you can scroll through your music sorted by Artist, Albums, Songs, Genres, Composers or Audiobooks.
So already, the iPod Mini is giving you numerous ways to pick from, organise and listen to the expansive music collection you've downloaded to your new toy... But there's more...
The iPod Mini has a clock feature - not the most exciting feature but very useful nonetheless. This also incorporated an alarm clock, a sleep timer, and date/time function.
The iPod Mini can store up to 1000 contact details in addition to your music collection. This is done by exporting the contacts in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express or Palm Desktop as vCards. It's always handy to have a backup of contacts, so the fact the iPod Mini incorporates this is another handy feature.
Similarly the iPod Mini also has a Calendar feature and Notes feature. Again, these need to be used in conjunction with your computer, but once again they serve as useful tools.
And then there's the games! These are by no means ground-breaking, but after all, if you want an iPod Mini it's to listen to your music - the extras are all just nice to haves. There are four games - brick (you control a paddle at the bottom of the screen and have to use it to bounce a ball against bricks at the top of the screen to make them disappear - a classic game that you are bound to have played a variant of at some point, useful for passing the time), MusicQuiz (an ingenious game in my opinion - the iPod Mini lists four random tracks from your iPod and starts to play one, a timer starts counting down and you have to select the track that is being played before the timer runs out to score points - fun, and makes you realise just how many track names you don't really know! Kind of a 'beat the intro' style game), Parachute (a bit space invaders style, you aim your gun at passing helicopters to shoot them and parachutists jump out, which you can then also shoot), and Solitaire (needs no explanation - the addictive single player card game).
Whilst I'm discussing the features within the menus it's also worth mentioning that there is also a 'Settings' menu that allows you to change a whole variety of settings such as how fast audiobooks are read, equaliser settings, contrast, language etc.
Is It Any Good?
In my opinion, YES!!! The iPod Mini 6Gb is currently priced at around £169, though there are small variations in price from retailer to retailer. The introduction of this new iPod Mini has dropped the 4Gb price to around £139. The main advantage of this new version over its previous version is the extra disk space (equal to about 500 extra songs) and the extended battery life (some of the earlier 4Gb models didn't have the 8 hour battery life of this new version).
The iPod Mini comes bundled with a set of Apple in-ear headphones and two sets of foam covers to put over the ear pieces. All of these come sealed in foil packaging (for freshness??! or maybe just to emphasise they are hygeinically packaged). It also comes with a belt clip - useful I guess if you want to wear your iPod on the go but don't have a pocket or bag to put it into. Not something I've used yet myself, but I can see that some would find it useful. I can't help but think this puts your iPod Mini more prominently on display though, which can only lead to more chance of being a victim of crime (incidentally, some people mention that just wearing the white headphones supplied with all iPods makes you a more likely victim of crime as they immediately suggest you have an iPod on you - not sure whether you are statistically more likely to be mugged wearing an iPod in public than any other device with headphones, but thought it worth mentioning as otherwise someone's bound to mention it).
The headphones are of perfectly good quality. I've read reviews saying they're not great, but the sound quality is perfect so far as I'm concerned, and they're comfortable enough to wear.
The battery life is quoted as being approximately 8 hours. Obviously being a rechargeable device this diminishes over time, however in addition to Apple themselves offering the service there are more and more places cropping up offering a service to replace the battery when required (Apple offer the service for $65.95 at the moment, though there are cheaper places if you do your research online - if your iPod is under a year old (still in warranty) then I believe the service is free if it is required. The battery is sealed within the iPod Mini unit, something which puts many people off them. Apple offer tips on their site for prolonging battery life, including ensuring you go through at least one full battery cycle each month (i.e. running it from fully charged to dead).
* The ability to store your whole music collection on a mini device that can fit in your pocket!
* The ability to organise your music into playlists and search through your music in a variety of ways.
* The ability to listen to your music on the go without the problem of skipping CD's.
* Stylish looking product, simple to use.
* Not the cheapest MP3 player
* iPod (including the iPod Mini) has its haters who no matter what you say will always have some opinion of you 'following the crowd' etc.
* Battery not accessible unless you take the gadget apart
I love my iPod Mini. It does everything I want it to and more. I am particularly fond of the blue iPod Mini as most people seem to opt for the silver or pink versions so it's a little more unusual (at least so far as those I've seen go). There's so much more that could be said about the whole iPod Mini experience with regards to getting the music from your computer to the iPod, but that really falls within the category of iTunes, the software provided along with the iPod Mini to manage the transfer of files between your computer and the iPod.
I hope this has been useful if you're considering purchasing an iPod Mini in the near future!
Is it just me or is everyone sick of hearing about the iPod? Everywhere I look someone has one, or theres *that* advert on TV. I turn to my boyfriend for an iPod free zone, and what does he do? He goes and buys one! Being the lovely girlfriend that I am, and a dedicated reviewer I just had to try it. I owe my fellow members a detailed review on this wonderous piece of machinery to see what all the hype is about. Despite my cynicism, I was pleasantly
***What is it?***
For those like myself without the technologic splurb, it is basically a digital music player. It plays MP3s downloaded from the Internet or transferred from CD to computer. It has a hard disk, like a computer, on which it can store a certain amount of files. The great advantage to MP3 players is that you dont need to keep changing the CD, so you can listen to a variety of artists with the touch of a button.
***Whose bright idea was this?***
Its the Internets fault! File sharing became a huge phenomenon with the launch of the Net, and it was only a matter of time before music sharing would take off. When Napster came to our attention, the MP3 revolution was born, and the rest is history. Being a skint teenager, I would download (slaps wrists) mp3 files and play them on my computer. It was only a matter of time before an MP3 player was released. Now, I was also one of those gadget loving teenagers that had to have the latest gizmo to look cool (being myself just wasnt enough!). I purchased one of the first models from Samsung. It rocked! The quality was great; however, the disk size was only around 32mb, which could only hold around 10 good quality songs. It was also tricky to use. So, there was a gap in the market for an MP3 player that could hold more songs, look good and be user friendly. Along come Apple with the iPod and revolutionised the MP3 player market with a stomping size hard disk of 60 gb that holds 10,000 songs and a Microsoft-esque interface that even your granny could use. I have always been sceptical about the Apple. Who needs so much space a cost of £200. Almost as quickly as the question could be answered Apple stormed onto the market yet again with the iPod mini.
***Why have mini when you can have max?***
Normally I would say bigger is better, but the iPod mini is sleek, sophisticated and slender. In comparison with its older sister, it is obviously reduced in size, has a smaller hard disk, and thus is less expensive (although still pricey in comparison with other portable players on the market.) The great thing about the mini is that all the good features from the original iPod has been implanted into this mini version, for ease of mobility.
In order to appreciate the iPod, a more detailed overview of the spec is needed
-Size: It is approx 3.6 by 2.0 by 0.5 inches, and weighs in at 3.6 ounces. So not bulky enough that you cant go jogging, and not so small that you cant lose it! It is advertised at having a 4GB hard drive, which can hold approximately 1,000 good quality files. However, I found that it actually only has 3.7GB, not that it matters too much but it would be nice if the facts were correct.
-Battery Life: Apple claim the battery lasts 8 hours on a standard charge. However, I find that a max of 6 hours is more accurate. It then takes roughly 4 hours to fully charge from empty. The other disadvantage to the battery is that it is a sealed unit, so the battery isn't user serviceable. The battery will obviously at some point where out and this can be replaced at an Apple service centre for around £75. Very expensive!
-Colours: You have a choice! It comes in four metallic colours, blue, pink, green, silver and gold. I would have liked to see my bloke with a pink one, but it is not his colour! He has the silver as this is quite manly, and I think looks the most chic. I understand that silver and gold were limited editions. Whatever colour, it still looks great.
-Sound Quality: One of the iPods best features. It has an equalizer with 22 different settings. Although the changes are very subtle, it really does make a difference when rocking out to Metallica, or listening to the chilled sounds of Santana.
-The iPod comes with a number of components with your purchase;
Dock Connector to FireWire Cable
Dock connector to USB 2.0 Cable
Apple Earphones with 2 spare buds.
***Eeek! Theres so much to understand! Whats the manual like?***
I must admit I never read the manual cover to cover (slaps wrists again) but it is very easy to understand, and convenient enough to flick through while youre waiting for the iPod to charge! However, I have found that the best way of learning how to use the iPod is by fiddling through it in your own time.
***The above are all well and good but can my granny use it?***
The first time I used the iPod I couldnt figure out the how to move the scroll-wheel to select a track. After a few fiddles I got the hang of it and was happily immersed in my iPod world. To navigate, all the functions are operated by this wheel, which sits in the middle of the iPod. It is basically a touch sensitive pad with a button that lies in the middle. When youre in a folder, to scroll down you run your finger over the pad in a clockwise motion, and vice versa for scrolling up. The same action is used for the volume which is controlled when you have selected the song. When you have selected the song, you can also skip through the tracks by pressing the left or right buttons. Holding down the buttons skips though the song. On the bottom of the pad is the pause/play button which acts as the off switch.
Once youve figured this out, its time to start
playing with your new toy! It is just like a computer in that everything stored on the iPod is within its own folder. The first section is the root menu, or the main menu, which allows you to navigate between, music, extras, settings etc. Click the centre button to take you to one of the sub menus where you will find even more options. I.e. in music, you will find selections like playlists, artists, albums, songs etc. Again, you click the centre button to get to the next sub menu where in this example; you will find the list of artists, albums and songs that you have stored on the device.
***Sounds great! How do I Upload tracks?***
Very easily as a matter of fact! The software used to transfer songs is iTunes, which has a simple-easy-to-navigate interface. Once you have installed it on your PC, you need to attach the iPod via the USB port to the computer, which will then synchronise with the files available. It only takes 30 seconds to transfer one album onto the iPod, which I found impressive, as it would take around 10-15 minutes with my first MP3 player! The only time consuming factor was transferring songs from CD to iTunes. This can take up to 30 mins, depending on how many tracks you want to transfer.
On the other hand some albums have copy protection devices to stop the transferring of files, such as Jamelias album. In which case you have to download tracks from the iTunes website, which cost 79p each . You can do all this through the iTunes software provided. There is a comprehensive selection of tracks and this will no doubt grow even more so over the coming years.
***What other tricks can it do?***
At first, I was more excited by the extras that come with the iPod than listening to the tracks! It comes with an address book, calendar, alarm, and there are even some games, great if you get bored listening to the same old tracks, or if you are travelling. I found the music quiz extraordinary! It plays clips of songs from your library and you have to identify the song within the time limit. Very impressive! Apart from the games, I have found no use for the contacts or calendar function, as I have this already on my mobile.
***Surely there must be something you dont like about it?***
Oh yes! Firstly, it is very difficult to turn off. You need to hold down the pause/play button until it shuts down. It took me ages to figure this out, and I still have trouble actually implementing it. Then you have to make sure you put the hold button on, as one click on the scroll-wheel and it is back on. Of course, I never remember to use the hold button and then my boyfriend goes mad as it has been on all day and the battery is dead!
I also do not like the fact that you cant share music between iPods. Obviously, this is due to copyright reasons, but surely, if you can share CDs why cant you share MP3s? But thats opening a whole new can of worms.
***Ok, so whats the damage to my wallet?***
Prices vary, but average is around £139. My boyfriend bought his from a friend for £100, and Im sure you can buy them quite cheaply from ebay. The best advice I can give is to shop around. Some store will always be running some kind of promotion.
***Enough already! Round it up!***
To sum up, I am a girl that is usually set in my ways, and from loathing the iPod to actually admiring it is a small miracle itself. The real miracle is the iPod mini. Who would have thought Apple could satisfy customer demand so effectively and efficiently. Of course, there are some small improvements that could be implemented as mentioned above, and they should advertise the information regarding specification correctly. However, if you want an MP3 player that not only looks cool, but sounds great, and can hold a good amount of tracks music then the iPod mini is the one for you.
*** Extras Extras read all about `em!***
You can look extra cool with these funky accessories. These can be bought separate from the iPod website or from any good retailer!
stereo connection kit
Dock Connector to FireWire Cable
World Travel Adapter Kit
***Who you gonna call ***
http://www.ipodminiplanet.com/ - Has everything you need to know about iPod mini including latest prices/accessories etc.
http://www.ipod.com The official site from Apple.
As with many purchases I have made in my life, buying an iPod was a bit of an impulse buy. I had recently recieved my student loan and had a fair bit of what i believed to be disposable income.
I was in Virgin megastores in the city centre of Liverpool with my girlfriend and a friend. The bright shiny cases of the iPod drew me in. I owned a small 256mb mp3 player which had frazzled when my mother 'accidentally' put it in the washing machine! Compared to the glory of the iPod, it was primitive!
Upon my purchase I was elated to say the least. It cost me around £170 at the time, which was a big purchase, but i feel it was worth it. You can get them for around £139 now.
The sheer vastness of the iPods capacity was a dream come true, a far cry from the days of my pathetic mp3 player. I could listen to a whole lot more music on the move, (and music was made to be listened to on the move) meaning i didn't have to change the music on it all the time before it drove me crazy with repetition, as listening to my old mp3 player often did.
A few months later it all went wrong. My iPod froze and i couldn't switch it back on. I tried to return it to Virgin however i did not have my receipt. Fortunately the lovely people of Apple were able to honour my warranty. After I reported the fault on apples website, a UPS man came the next day to collect it. A new ipod was returned to me via UPS within days. I was not charged for this service.
So overall, the Mini iPod is an excellent purchase for those who can't afford the larger versions, and don't be put off by the many technical faults that have been reported with mini i-pods, as Apple do not want to lose their faithful customers and there almost monopoly like status in the mp3 player market, so customer care is of paramount importance to them, and should you have a problem with your ipod they will go out of their way to help you.
Another great feature i have noticed with the iPod is that the earphones are reliable. As i like to listen to music in bed, my earphones often tend to break meaning I have to buy new ones. I am yet to face this problem with my iPod, which i purchased way back in January.
Its also compact and light, a far cry from what now seems stone age portable cd players. U can jog or run with your iPod, it will not jump.
The first time I used my iPod I was a little confused by the click wheel feature, but I soon realised how simple it was to use. The menus are all there for you just like on a PC so its not a problem.
It also has some very useful features like an alarm clock and a section to keep notes, not to mention various games. The backlight is also very handy for operating in the dark.
One downside is it takes a while to convert a cd into iTunes but i expect this has more to do with the speed of the PC than the ipod or its software.
If your a fan of music, great , the iPods for you.
If your into being fashionable, the iPod is also for you as it seems to be quite fashionable at the moment.
Personally i couldn't care if it was trendy or not, it does the job.
So yes, I would recommend you buy one, and no, I do not have shares in Apple!