So I bought an Ipod, need help/advice from other iPod owners please!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Ryan_C, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Ryan_C

    Ryan_C Second Unit

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    Hey everyone, I bought an Windows 10 GB Ipod at Target last night. Main reason I bought it was b/c I got it for a little over $250. I haven't opened it yet, and might take it back if I decide it's not for me. I have done some research on it here at the HTF, and over at ipodlounge.com, but still have a few questions if you all don't mind helping.

    I am currently living with my parents (got laid-off, again![​IMG]), so I am using their PC for internet access. But I will have to go get my PC out of storage since it has Windows ME and I think a Firewire port. Is it neccesary for the PC I run my Ipod with to be able to go online? If so, I might have to take it back, b/c I don't see me getting internet on my PC.

    About how many songs can I fit on it if I encode them at 192? Apple says 2000 at 160, so I am guessing maybe 1600 songs or so?

    Anyone know about the new Ipods that are "supposedly" coming out soon, possibly Monday? That's another reason it still in the wrapper, in case the new ones really one-up the current ones when they are introduced. I did look for any info on the "new" ones, but if there's info to be had, Apple has it under lock and key.

    I will mainly be using this in the gym when I do cardio, or when I go on trips or whatever. Any one have any other pros or cons as to why I should or shouldn't keep this baby?

    Thanks alot in advance, I appreciate it.
     
  2. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    I don't own an iPod, but I'll do my best to answer your questions.

    First of all, I don't THINK you need to have internet access to be able to use the iPod with your computer.

    As far as capacity is concerned, I think you SHOULD get approximately 1500 songs onto your iPod at 192 kbps. As an example, my music collection is almost 6 GB, and it has 1,356 songs in it, mostly around 128 kpbs. The number of files you can fit will depend on the average size of the files. Regardless, though, you can probably expect to fit A LOT of music on your iPod.

    There has been a persistent rumour that Apple will launch new and/or improved iPods along with its "music announcement" on Monday (which is most likely the introduction of a new online music service). My hunch is that there's a slightly-better-than-average (60%) chance that new iPods will be unveiled Monday. I'd definitely keep your new iPod under wraps until then, becuase the iPods may or may not be getting a radical redesign.

    As far as pros and cons go:

    The iPod has gotten fairly positive reviews for exercise use, but you MAY want to consider a more traditional solid-state player if you're going to primarily use it while jogging.

    While the iPod DOES have a significant space advantage over most flash-based MP3 players (the ones that use little wafer-sized cards to store music), the iPod has to load the music off it's internal hard drive to start. It usually does this without a hitch (loading it into a buffer large enough for about 30 minutes worth of music), it still presents the possibility of skipping, plus any shaking of the iPod can ostensibly lower its life expectancy a bit.

    On the other hand, flash-based players carry a bit of a disadvantage themselves. They ARE smaller, and they are almost 100% skip free, but their storage space is usually limited. Every 64 MB of storage on the solid state MP3 players equates to approximately 1 CD (75 minutes or so) of music, and most current players only have space for up to 2 CDs. You'll have to weigh this in your decision between your iPod or possibly another MP3 player.

    For trips, I'd say the iPod wins hands down. Even on a cross-country trip, you might never have a repeat with an iPod. Listening to a couple of CDs worth of music on a long cross-country trip can get a little annoying.

    Plus, you can purchase adapters to allow you to plug your iPod into a cigarrete lighter, allowing it to be powered beyond the stated 10 hour battery life.

    I think that should give you enough info to lead you to a decision. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. [​IMG]
     
  3. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  4. Ryan_C

    Ryan_C Second Unit

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the info so far.

    Camp,

     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  6. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Quoth the Ryan C:


    CBR (Constant Bit Rate) is the traditional method for storing music. It grants the same bit rate (i.e. space taken up per second) across the entire song. Every second (whether it be complete and utter silence or layer upon layer of sound) has the same bit rate assigned to it.

    VBR (Variable Bit Rate) varies the bit rate according to the complexity of the recording at any given moment. This essentially means it uses less space (per second) for silent or simple (one-instrument) times, and more space (per second) for more complex music.

    VBR is generally thought to grant better quality at similar bitrates to CBR, but VBR is SOMEWHAT less supported than CBR. Given the choice between both, I'd encode in VBR, using a generally accepted bitrate based on feedback from this forum (there are plenty of people here better qualified than I that could suggest a proper bitrate to encode at).

    And YES, you can do the encoding with the included MusicMatch software. I personally like the MusicMatch software a lot (I bought the full version a while back), but I've heard LAME does a good job at encoding too. I personally prefer MM simply for the album art inclusion (full version only, I think), but its pretty much a personal choice.

    Hope that helps! [​IMG]
     
  7. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Good summary of CBR vs. VBR, Brian.

    MusicMatch will certainly do VBR encoding and will probably be more than adequate for a portable player. However, being the default software for the iPod on Windows doesn't mean it's the best. EphPod and others are considered much easier to use with iPod than MusicMatch. Look around at the software alternatives at iPodLounge.

    The advantage to using MusicMatch is that it will manage your ipod files and rip/encode and organize. Many of the others are only ipod managers. The only other full featured ripper, encoder, manager, & iPod capable software I know about is Media Center (which, IMO is among the best all-in-one players on the market).

    Also, take a look at CDex, RazorLame, & EAC for alternative (and higher quality) LAME-based ripping.
     
  8. Ryan_C

    Ryan_C Second Unit

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    Dave,

    The money thing isn't really a big deal yet. I have quite a bit saved up to pay my bills, so what I paid for the iPod won't kill me if I keep it (which I still haven't decided). Thanks for keeping me in line though, I need that occasionally![​IMG]

    Brain and Camp,

    Again thanks for the advice. Just to make sure I understood it all, the Musicmatch software that comes with the Ipod can allow me to rip and encode my cd's at a 192 VBR rate, and allow me to manage and do everything I will need to do with the mps files? (IE, if I use something other than Musicmatch, I may need two programs, one to rip the cd's and one to manage what goes on the Ipod, correct?)
     
  9. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Ryan:

    MusicMatch won't let you encode CDs at a set rate for VBR (like 192) due to the fact that different recordings (with different complexities) will take up differing amounts of space. You can set a percentage in MusicMatch for VBR that will give it a rough guideline to follow, though.

    As far as the capabilities are concerned, you'd probably have to get feedback from others to find out what other encoders do compared to MusicMatch.
     
  10. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    I'd suggest using a free ripper (of higher quality than MM) like WinMX for VBR encoding/ripping. Use MM to manage the sending of files to the iPod...if you like it, great, if not try Media Center or one of the others listed at iPodLounge.
     
  11. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I agree, but I would recommend CDex as an alternative to MM.
     
  12. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Ryan:

    Apple just announced its new iPods. Take a look before you decide what to do with your current iPod. [​IMG]
     
  13. Ryan_C

    Ryan_C Second Unit

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    Brian,

    Thanks for the update, I was going to check about the announcements later today. Oh well, they one I got is going back next time I go to Target! The new ones have some nice changes.[​IMG]

    Thanks to everyone for the help anyway![​IMG]
     
  14. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Looks nice, but I assume the battery is still an issue. Designing this thing w/o a way to revive the battery is a smart move by Apple, a ridiculous move for the consumer.
     
  15. Brian W. Ralston

    Brian W. Ralston Supporting Actor

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    The micro drives will fail before any of the iPod batteries will.
     
  16. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    The batteries are the best part of the iPod in a way.

    I went from an orig 5 Gig to a 20 Gig + remote for $100 when my first iPod had battery issues. 20GB to 30GB+slim model should be another nice CompUSA ugrade if mine goes sour this summer. [​IMG]
     
  17. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Damn, I love my iPod. Forgot to bring it on an out-of-town weekend trip a few weeks ago and I was lost without it. First thing you'll want to do Ryan is get a nice carrying case since the one Apple ships and sells is a certifiable piece of shit. The ones from XtremeMac are awesome, as they come with a swivel belt clip that is absolutely fantastic for people that run, jog or cycle. Alas though, with the iPod redesign, it will probably be several weeks before a new model of their cases comes out. [​IMG]
     
  18. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    I recommend the Marware sportsuits, although it can be difficult removing the iPod from it. The jog belt and/or lanyard will likely be my next purchase for it. I don't care for the oversized arm belt they included for free.

    This "Music Store" is great, but could get very pricey quickly due to overuse. All in moderation. [​IMG] The previews should help cut down on the filler track purchases. What's next?, offering movies with only the classic, comedic, or racy scenes for $2 in .vob. :b
     
  19. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    My 5Gb iPod has been having battery issues recently. The 1.2.6 firmware helped, but not all that much. We'll see how the 1.3 firmware treats it. I wouldn't be surprised to find myself with a 15gb iPod by the end of the year. I got my 5Gb one on launch day.
     
  20. Pamela

    Pamela Supporting Actor

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