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Help! trying to decide about IPod...


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#1 of 160 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 17 2005 - 03:23 AM

I am looking at getting an IPod. I am deciding between the mini or the 20gig version. I don't think I would need more a 1000 songs. I am looking to use it at the gym or in my car. Besides the memory space is their any difference between the mini and the 20gig? Also, how does the computer software work to download the songs? And finally, is the dock really necessary?

Thanks!!!!
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#2 of 160 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted January 17 2005 - 07:28 AM

The mini is substantially smaller in physical size than the 20gb. I really like the size of the mini, but you should head over to CompUSA or somewhere like that and compare the two for yourself. To download songs, you use the included iTunes software. You can download it and use it without an iPod, if you want to try it out. Just head over to www.apple.com/itunes/ I've been using iTunes since version 1, and it's by far the best mp3 player I've ever used. I've had a few iPods now, and have never needed the dock. The higher end models (Photo at least) include the Dock in the package.
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#3 of 160 OFFLINE   James T

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Posted January 17 2005 - 07:33 AM

You should try to go to a Best Buy and try both out. I was going to buy a mini, then went to BB and didn't like the feel in my hand. It was way too small for me and felt too much like a plastic toy than a plastic electronic toy Posted Image

It comes with iTunes which is like Media Player. You just point iTunes to your mp3 directory and it'll automatically transfer your songs(assuming you selected auto, of course). If you want to purchase songs, it's built into one of the menus in iTunes. So you just search a song/albulm and download it. It's actually pretty quick. I managed to get an albulm in about a minute.

iTrip is an accessory that you may want to look into. It basically takes over an FM radio station and replaces it with your iPod music. Another accessory you defineately want to look into is a case of your iPod. It scratches sooo easily.

If you do end up scratching your iPod, BRASSO works wonders.

visit www.ipodlounge.com for more details/questions about anything iPod related....and no, I don't work for them :b

#4 of 160 OFFLINE   Denward

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Posted January 17 2005 - 07:45 AM

I bought a mini for my wife and I'm about to get one for myself. I like the small size. The 4 GB is not much of an issue for me. iTunes and iPod allows you to rate your songs on a 1 to 5 star scale. It also knows the last time a song was played and when a song was uploaded. Combining these capabilities allows you to create smart playlists which let you hear all the music you want to hear without carrying them all at the same time.

So for example, you can have one list which contains all of your 4 and 5 star rated songs. You would limit this to maybe 2GB. Then you can set aside 1GB for 2 and 3 star rated songs that were played LEAST recently. Then you can have another 1GB set aside for songs uploaded most recently.

Between these three lists, you have 2GB of your absolute favorites that are with you all the time, 1GB of songs that are okay but you haven't heard in a while, and 1GB of your newest purchases. Each time you sync you iPod, your list of 4 and 5 stars get updated with your latest rankings, and the other 2 lists are automatically updated. This keeps your iPod full of your favorites, your new music, and a revolving list of 2 and 3 star songs. You can then either choose to play exclusively from one of these lists, or let them all play randomly.

BTW, I learned this technique from ipodlounge.com as mentioned above. And no, I don't work for them either Posted Image

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#5 of 160 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted January 17 2005 - 08:06 AM

let them all play randomly


How does the random function work ? I've got a cheapo-cd-MP3 player that plays the same order each time shuffle is picked. Very annoying...

#6 of 160 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted January 17 2005 - 01:02 PM

as mentioned, go somewhere and check them out individually. the mini is (obviously) smaller, but the interface is exactly the same on both of them. it will really boil down to personal preference.

also, don't forget the ipod shuffle just came out. it's a flash-based player, so if you're at the gym, you won't have to worry at all about skipping, etc. (not that skipping has ever been an issue for me...)

as for the dock, it's cool...but not necessary. you can just plug the usb cable directly into the bottom of the ipod if you wanted to. however, the dock does feature a line-out jack - so you can hook the ipod into your existing home stereo if you wanted. of course, you could do that through the headphone jack if you really wanted to...but having a line-out plug is much better.
 

#7 of 160 OFFLINE   AaronMg

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Posted January 17 2005 - 01:24 PM

I would go with the 20g as (correct me if im wrong) it is only around $50 more expensive than the mini, meaning your getting an extra 16 gigs for $50 dollars. Plus, the ipod mini is small, but it's not THAT MUCH smaller than the regular ipod.

If you want something really small, wait until the new ipod shuffle starting at only $99. It is about the size as a pack of gum.

#8 of 160 OFFLINE   Jon_B

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Posted January 17 2005 - 01:51 PM

I like my 20gig ipod. I use it every day at work. The only thing that bothers me is that the shuffle feature seems to not play all of my music. I don't know if this is because I only sync it up with my computer twice a week or if I just don't understand how to use the star rating system. For some reason my ipod loves to play dave matthews, which I have approximately 60 of the total 700 songs. I would be willing to bet that it plays at least one dmb song every half hour. The playlist feature is pretty cool, but you can only listen to the same songs for so long.

With only 700 songs, I could have gotten away with a mini, but I like the option of have extra space just in case.

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#9 of 160 OFFLINE   Chris

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Posted January 17 2005 - 03:07 PM

I bought my wife a 20GB Ipod. So far, she loves it Posted Image It is pretty slick, and easy to deal with..
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#10 of 160 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted January 17 2005 - 03:47 PM

I got a 40gb ipod in december and I dig it. I transferred pretty much all my mp3 collection and encoded my favorite albums @ 320kbps aac and still only take up around 4-5gb. I probably should have got a 20gb haha.

The iTunes software is pretty easy to work with. Biggest gripe is tagging, tagging, TAGGING!!!. It takes forever, but the payoff is good. Note you can highlight several songs and name the same artist, album, year, total # of tracks, etc.. at the same time.

#11 of 160 OFFLINE   Jim_F

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Posted January 17 2005 - 04:22 PM

I've had my 30GB 3G iPod since it was released. It's cool to carry my entire music collection (~350 CDs' worth) and have it only about 2/3 full.

The iTunes software is habit forming for me. I've assembled some huge playlists for various settings.

Once I was hooked on iTunes with the iPod, it was short step to buy a couple of Airtunes wireless access points to distribute my music collection from my PC to any given location in the house.

Now, I have a iPod shuffle on order, I figure it will be ideal for plane flights and yard work, since it's simpler, less fragile and less expensive than my "real" iPod. Again, it's the software that makes this simple player appealing to me-it'll be easy to load with a random 12 hr sampling from my various playlists.

It seems the original iPod was a gateway drug for me.
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#12 of 160 OFFLINE   Gary->dee

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Posted January 17 2005 - 06:07 PM

I'm in the same boat as Todd. I'm thinking of getting an iPod, mostly because of my move to Europe in the Spring, so if I decided to get one it probably won't be until April.

I'm sure I'll be getting some form of portable music file player, because lugging around a bulking CD player & CDs sucks and I've built up an impressive collection of MP3's, but I'm not entirely sure I'll get an iPod in particular. I might go with a similar type of device. But I definitely want 20 gig capacity storage at minimum.

I have a few questions about the iPod:

1) What's the battery like?
- I have no idea how you charge it etc., what's the lifespan of a batter and so on.

2) Can an iPod play .wma files?
- Not like it's a huge issue because I can convert .wma's to MP3 files but I am curious about this since I've noticed some other players(Creative?) claim to play both .wma's and MP3's.

3) Ted Lee mentioned something about a skipping issue with iPods. What's that all about?

4) I've read about some sort of rating system- do you HAVE to rate your music?

5) Finally, any other music players out there someone might recommend besides an iPod because they might be better?

Thanks Posted Image

#13 of 160 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted January 17 2005 - 09:31 PM

1) Could definitely be better. It says 12 hours but I always use the EQ and have the backlight on a 5-sec timer whenever I press a button. It's more like half that or even less. A spare battery pack add-on is a good buy for long plane trips.

2) no

3) Never heard mine skip yet, and it's been tossed around in the car/in my pocket

4) no

5) Creative Zen and Dell mp3 players. If I didn't like iTunes & Apple's aftermarket so much I'd look closely at the Zen. There are lots of fans of it as well.

#14 of 160 OFFLINE   Don_Houle

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Posted January 18 2005 - 12:16 AM

todd s,

I posted this in another thread, but I'll put it here with some additions:

I was sceptical of Apple and the iPod so when I started looking at the various MP3 player offerings, I did a LOT of research into other alternatives. After speaking with coworkers who have different players I found that my decision didn't get much easier. There are pros and cons for each.

HOWEVER, after I played around with an iPod for a while and started to read a few iPod forums, I was strongly leaning in that direction so I mentioned to my wife that I would really like an iPod for the holidays and she (very thoughtfully) bought a 4th generation 20gig model for me.

A couple of friends received other players for the holidays as well so now I've had some more time to compare and I have to say that the iPod is the hands-down winner.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Sure there may be the problem of replacing the battery and a few other issues, but the iPod has really matured over the last few years. The features and overall quality are worth the pricetag.

I was pretty sure that 20 gig would be enough space for my whole music collection and I think it will be. At this point, I've loaded the majority of my CDs and mp3s onto the iPod and I've still got about 7 gig left! That's with over 1800 songs!

I would recommend spending some time at an Apple store in your area (if there is one). The employees are very helpful and you can really play around with the products before you buy.

By the way, you do not have to use iTunes to load music onto your Pod. I used the EphPod software (just google it!) when I first got mine because I iTunes requires you to have your music collection on your PC while EphPod lets you transfer music right from mp3 CD compilations. I did eventually install iTunes as well - it's got great CD ripping capabilities. I disabled the autosynch feature in iTunes so that I don't erase all of my 1800 songs when I plug in the iPod.

http://www.ipodlounge.com is a great resource as well!

Good luck!

#15 of 160 OFFLINE   DonRoeber

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Posted January 18 2005 - 01:23 AM

If for some reason your battery no longer holds a charge, Apple will replace your batterry for $99. This is after the one year warranty, of course.
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He was quickly joined by a dwarf dressed as a nun.

#16 of 160 OFFLINE   Dan Joy

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Posted January 18 2005 - 01:27 AM

I first bought a 15GB 3G 18 mos ago. Filled it up quickly and just replaced it with a 40GB 4G. Ipod lounge is the place to go, like here, you can spend endless hours learning from othersPosted Image . I am a runner and my 3G froze after 20minutes or so while running outside attached on a arm band(but never on a treadmill), my 4G has not been tested outside yet. Itunes is easy for me and I have purchase some music (definately take advantage of the free download of the week).
FYI... although it says 20GB, it will only hold around 17GB. My 15GB only held 13.?. I use EAC and burn at VBR around 192. this will eat up more space than 120 br but sounds better to me.
I too have messed wiht many other players and feel this is the best all around mp3 player currently available.
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#17 of 160 OFFLINE   Craig S

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Posted January 18 2005 - 02:06 AM

Like many others here, I just recently joined the iPod Nation. I have owned an Archos 20 GB jukebox for several years (it actually predated the first iPod), but never really used it as much as I thought I would. It worked. but was kind of "chunky", the hard drive was noisy, etc. Another problem is I have a LARGE CD collection (> 2000), and I knew I would need more space.

I had been looking for a replacement for a year or so. I figured someone would come out with a competing unit that would finally match the Pod. But that never happened (at least in my opinion). Finally, Apple announced the 60 GB iPod Photo about the same time I got a $600+ year-end bonus from work. It was destiny.

After living with it for a month, I just have to say the iPod is one seductive little machine. It's a just a beautiful piece of engineering. Unlike the Archos (which I will continue to use - it's a great little 20 GB USB hard drive), I listen to it constantly. I've ripped 437 CDs (5300+ songs) to it, and I add to that total daily. I should be able to get about 40% of my collection into it. Then I'll wait a few years to upgrade to a future 200GB model. Posted Image

I'm so enjoying the iTunes/iPod experience that I pre-ordered a Mac mini last week. This will be my 1st Mac. I plan to use it as a music-photo server on my LAN.

You will definitely want to budget $20-$30 for a case. The search for the "perfect" case was a bit frustrating for me. I ended up with the Contour Showcase. Read the reviews at iPodLounge to help you.

I like & use iTunes, but as others have said it is not your only option. EphPod and Anapod Explorer are two widely used programs for Windows. These both let you copy music OFF of your iPod, something iTunes doesn't let you do.

Whichever iPod you get, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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#18 of 160 OFFLINE   Al.Anderson

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Posted January 18 2005 - 02:30 AM

I recommend going with the regular iPod unless you need the small size. Say if you're only planning on using it while working out; as the mini does strap onto your arm nicely. While I have no problem clipping my iPod onto my waist when I work out, I am conscious of it; and that may drive your comfort level.

Otherwise, as others have mentioned, putting all of your music on the device is simply fantastic. No selecting what gets laoded and always having your entire selection to pick from. I have a docking station at work and one on for the living room; so I like the convenience of the permanantly connected line out. But the docking station is not necessary.

#19 of 160 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted January 18 2005 - 02:51 AM

Someone mentioned earlier that .wma files don't work. Someone at Apple & Circuit City say that when I load the songs from my files to Itunes it will convert them to another format. Is this true?? I would hate to have to reload all my songs.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#20 of 160 OFFLINE   Mark Murphy

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Posted January 18 2005 - 02:56 AM

You will have to convert your .wma files to either mp3's or iTunes. That was one of the reasons why I chose a Creative Zen Jukebox 30gb instead of an iPod.