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Question a obout Apple Itunes and Ipod


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#1 of 43 Philip Hamm

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Posted November 10 2004 - 02:54 AM

Hey Can you buy songs from Apple's Itunes in MP3 for any portable MP3 player? Or is there a proprietary Ipod requirement for the songs from there? And are thereany MP3 players out there that are as cool and easy to use as the Ipod for similar prices?
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#2 of 43 Brian L

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Posted November 10 2004 - 02:59 AM

iTunes purchases are AAC 128K, so no MP3 there.

iPod can play MP3, AAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, and perhaps a couple other formats I am missing.

I love my iPod, but there are some more hard core MP3 types that hate it for a variety of reasons that are irrelevant to me and the way I use it (I typically rip me own CD's, download the free iTunes song every Tuesday, never save for one occasion purchase a song, and never, ever download MP3 for other sources).

BGL

#3 of 43 Ted Lee

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Posted November 10 2004 - 05:28 AM

Quote:
And are thereany MP3 players out there that are as cool and easy to use as the Ipod for similar prices?
lol, boy that's a loaded question. i'll say the ipod is numbingly easy to use, brilliantly designed, and a blast to listen to. Posted Image

but ... it is kinda expensive for what you get. also, there's some issue about it automatically putting a gap between songs (which i could care less about).

also, in terms of after-market accessories, nothing comes close to the ipod. that darn thing has spawned it's own industry. check out ipodlounge.com for a good sampling of stuff you can get.
 

#4 of 43 Dave Johnson

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Posted November 10 2004 - 06:09 AM

As downloaded, the AAC (not MP3) file from the iTunes Music Store will only play in iTunes (on a PC) and iPods. However, one can easily burn the protected AAC to an audio disc and re-rip it as an unprotected MP3 or AAC (or AIF, lossless, etc.). Yes, you're recompressing a compressed file, but if this is a major concern, CDs are a better option (I purchase my favorite music on CD).

I readily acknowledge my bias for the iPod being the coolest/easiest to use MP3 player.

#5 of 43 DavidKNML

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Posted November 10 2004 - 07:30 AM

Wow this is good info. I heard that Apple was going to release a bunch of previously unreleased U2 tracks on the 23. I was considering signing up and buying the tracks. My 20g Rio Riot won't recognize the format though.

The IPOD's are very cool but are expensive for what you get. For the same price you can get far more space. I bought my player 2 years ago and love it. Still works great. Took a very long time to rip all of my CD's though.


#6 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted November 10 2004 - 10:33 AM

Quote:
Can you buy songs from Apple's Itunes in MP3 for any portable MP3 player?

No, not if you want to use the files without conversion loss. Apple sells songs in DRMed AAC format.

Unprotected AAC is a standard (any vendor who wanted to support it, and who was willing to pay patent royalties, could support it). There are not a lot of players that support it, but that could change.

The DRM is Apple-proprietary, and that's what locks the songs to iTunes and the iPod.

Quote:
And are there any MP3 players out there that are as cool and easy to use as the Ipod for similar prices?

None in the same class (high-capacity, hard-disk-based). If you don't need a jukebox, but you are going to engage in violent exercise, there are flash players that may be better for that application.

#7 of 43 Brian Glaeske

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Posted November 10 2004 - 05:53 PM

Quote:
engage in violent exercise


It must be pretty violet. I've dropped my iPod from desktop to ground and it never missed a beat. I suppose karate or boxing is probably out, but I would imagine running and the like isn't too violent

Posted Image

On the price issue... If you want something cheap, buy something cheap: if you want something that is well crafted, let's you listen to music when you want and that isn't your typical throwaway consumer electronic gizmo, get an iPod.

Brian G.

#8 of 43 RichP

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Posted November 11 2004 - 03:26 AM

Quote:
And are thereany MP3 players out there that are as cool and easy to use as the Ipod for similar prices?


What exactly are you asking here? If the iPod is so cool and easy to use (which I agree with), and the price isn't an issue then why not simply get an iPod? Or are you under the impression that iPod cannot play MP3 files? It can.

I don't believe there is any portable player that has the whole package like iPod does -- at any price. Sure you can get a bigger hard drive, but so what? If you have to suffer through a clunky UI or hold a brick in your hands it's just not worth it.

I have a 40GB iPod and wouldn't trade it for any other player even if you refunded my money and gave me the other player free.


#9 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted November 11 2004 - 07:34 PM

Quote:
I have a 40GB iPod and wouldn't trade it for any other player even if you refunded my money and gave me the other player free.

I have a 40GB iPod and I might take that offer. IFF the other player was a 40 GB or 60 GB iPod Photo. Posted Image

#10 of 43 Philip Hamm

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Posted November 12 2004 - 01:30 AM

Quote:
What exactly are you asking here? If the iPod is so cool and easy to use (which I agree with), and the price isn't an issue then why not simply get an iPod? Or are you under the impression that iPod cannot play MP3 files? It can.
I didn't think my question was ambiguous or confusing. I know nothing at all about the portable MP3 market except that the Ipod is very popular and there are alternatives. When I shop I ususally don't just buy the first product that comes to mind or the most popular unit, I usually try to measure all the alternatives. Often the products behind the market leaders have a lot to offer. This is a generalism, but I know there is at least one long term issue with the Ipod, that is battery life. I really do not like the fact that I have to pay Apple $110 every 18 months to replace a battery on a $250 unit. Why not make this user servicable?
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#11 of 43 Brian L

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Posted November 12 2004 - 03:48 AM

Phil,

Take a look over at http://www.ipodlounge.com/

Its a pretty good resource for iPod related information. I am not sure about the battery deal. I know they do have a bad rep for not lasting and being pricey (at least with my 3G 40g), but there are 3rd party options for battery replacement that are no where near as costly.

BGL

#12 of 43 Angelo.M

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Posted November 12 2004 - 04:44 AM

Quote:
I really do not like the fact that I have to pay Apple $110 every 18 months to replace a battery on a $250 unit.

You don't have to.

First, you could purchase Apple Care (~$40-60/yr, depending upon whether you qualify for an educator's discount), which completely covers the iPod, including battery failure.

Second, you could replace the battery yourself, as Brian wrote.


#13 of 43 charles white

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Posted November 12 2004 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
I didn't think my question was ambiguous or confusing. I know nothing at all about the portable MP3 market except that the Ipod is very popular and there are alternatives. When I shop I ususally don't just buy the first product that comes to mind or the most popular unit, I usually try to measure all the alternatives.

There are several cheaper alternatives to the iPod. Dell has the iPod-like DJ, but I hear they're having problems in quality control. IRiver has a few different players close to the iPod's capabilities. The iPod can play MP3 but songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store are protected, propietary AAC files. You can encode your own music in AAC(like me) and it will play in iTunes, Winamp or Real but the protected tracks will not. A good friend of mine is a Apple fan from way back and he never purchased any Apple product w/out Apple Care because Apple's QC is well known. And my 20gig 3rd gen iPod just turned 1 year old this week and no problems yet.

#14 of 43 Thomas Newton

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Posted November 12 2004 - 09:35 PM

Quote:
I know nothing at all about the portable MP3 market except that the Ipod is very popular and there are alternatives.

One of the major splits is between hard-disk-based "jukebox" players (which have enough hard disk space to let you carry a good chunk of your collection with you), and flash-based players. The flash-based players do not hold very much music, but are usually small and shock-resistant.

The usage model with a jukebox player is that you load everything up (once), and then you're set ... although you have the option of changing songs. With a flash player, the assumption tends to be that you'll be reloading the player more often.

Typical storage capacities are 20 to 40 GB for a jukebox player, or 128 to 512 MB for a flash player. (512 MB is only enough to hold 50 minutes of WAVs, so using some form of compression is virtually mandatory on a flash player).

The iPod Mini falls somewhere between these categories -- it has a hard disk, but that hard disk is a little CompactFlash-sized gizmo that stores only 4 GB. That is enough to store dozens of compressed albums, but not enough for all of your favorites.

#15 of 43 RichP

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Posted November 15 2004 - 03:07 AM

Quote:
I know nothing at all about the portable MP3 market

You admit that, so why fall for complete FUD such as...

Quote:
I really do not like the fact that I have to pay Apple $110 every 18 months to replace a battery on a $250 unit.


As many people would be glad to point out to you, this is far from gospel. I have an original 5GB iPod still running strong more than 3 years after its original purchase, and you'll find thousands more with similar stories.

As is true with so many things you read or hear about on the Internet... don't believe them all. Posted Image


#16 of 43 Dave Johnson

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Posted November 15 2004 - 03:37 AM

Quote:
As many people would be glad to point out to you, this is far from gospel. I have an original 5GB iPod still running strong more than 3 years after its original purchase, and you'll find thousands more with similar stories.

As is true with so many things you read or hear about on the Internet... don't believe them all.


I have an original 5GB iPod and a 2nd Gen 20GB iPod both which haven't exhibited any battery problems. If in the future they do, it is a user serviceable part, and can be replaced with a higher capacity battery for ~$30.

#17 of 43 Brian L

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Posted November 15 2004 - 05:31 AM

Well, while we are slaying perceived short comings of the iPod.....

Yes, it will put short gaps between songs. If you are ripping live music, or long, uninterrupted stuff (think Pink Floyd) gaps will be placed between tracks.

But there is a simple way around that that,which some folks just don't find acceptable. When ripping, iTunes has the option to "Join Tracks". As such, long pieces of music are ripped as one continuous piece. Play back is seamless, and there are no gaps.

Whats the downside? Playing such tracks is said to consume battery life at a higher rate. I don't seem to have enough music ripped that way to have noticed.

And you loose individual track titles and track indexing. Of course, I have a hard time understanding why that would be a problem if the end game is to get uninterrupted playback of long pieces of music, but thats just me.

I consider the issue a very minor inconvenience at best.

BGL

#18 of 43 Angelo.M

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Posted November 15 2004 - 06:07 AM

Brian:

Glad you pointed that out. Many folks bemoan the lack of gapless playback on the iPod, but the same effect can be achieved using the method you described.


#19 of 43 Scott Merryfield

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Posted November 15 2004 - 07:31 AM

I'm a new iPod owner, having purchased a 40G iPod+HP unit a little over a week ago. I considered the less expensive Creative Lab product, but it appeared that the device was not as easy to use and more difficult to transfer music to without adding third party software. The Rio product received many favorable reviews, but it's price was very similar to the iPod's. Also, the iPod has an incredible number of accessories available. BTW, this was my first portable MP3 player, too, so I'm a novice who wanted something with an easy user interface and room to store my 500+ CD titles.

So far, I'm quite pleased with the player. The headphones are a little disappointing, but I'll replace them soon. The iTunes software is easy to use, with my biggest decision being which format and bitrate to use for the best mixture of space and sound quality. The iPod itself is very easy to navigate -- the click wheel interface is quite ingenious.

Philip, I was initially concerned about the battery life, to, but some research on www.ipodlounge.com (as suggested above) eased my concerns. This does seem to be an issue that has been overblown. If I can get three years out of the battery before it needs replacement, I will be happy.

BTW, I'm not a Macintosh user (haven't touched one in 15 years), so there was no Apple-bias in my purchase decision.

#20 of 43 Philip Hamm

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Posted November 16 2004 - 01:17 AM

This is FUD? Thanks for the condescending attitude Rich.
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