[Geeks are Sexy] technology news

Sunday, September 10, 2006

iPod: disappearing up its own headphone socket?

It's not without considerable interest that I read a piece in The Observer online today.

If what is being reported is a true reflection of the current status (and I have no reason to disbelieve) it appears as if the iPod could finally be in danger of falling foul of its own success story:

The iPod, the digital music player beloved of everyone from Coldplay's Chris Martin to President George Bush, is in danger of losing its sheen. Sales are declining at an unprecedented rate. Industry experts talk of a 'backlash' and of the iPod 'wilting away before our eyes'. Most disastrously, Apple's signature pocket device with white earphones may simply have become too common to be cool.

On Tuesday the eyes of iPod-lovers the world over will be on Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive of Apple, when he seeks to allay fears that it could follow Sony's tape-playing Walkman into the recycling bin of history.

Myself, I’ve never owned one, and never really wanted one. I had already bought into the Creative market before Apple even launched the iPod and as such never felt the need to switch. Don’t get me wrong though, as a consumer, trained product designer and lover of all things gadget related I’ll admit I've had moments when I considered buying one, well, just out of curiosity.

But even I’m not that wasteful with money.

I was largely dissuaded because I felt that my Creative player had more to offer me by way of functionality than an iPod would.

However, many of my friends and peers have purchased those ubiquitous white boxes. This gave me access to a whole range of iPods, and then in turn the subsequent comments from the users themselves.

There appeared to be a common theme: battery issues and file type restrictions being the primary two. Precisely what sold me on my Creative player in the first place. On top of this I know a not inconsiderable number of people who have owned one and have stated they will never buy one again. Or still own one and rarely use it at all. “Expensive paperweight” being my favourite quote.

I felt vindicated for sticking to my guns and not buying in.

I’ve been laughed at, by many of these same people for staying with my, clearly unfashionable, Creative player. But amusingly it’s a player I’ve had for years, without fault. With no restrictions on file types and transfers. And a battery I can replace myself should I ever need to (I haven’t yet, after 3 years and constant playing).

Interestingly in the article, Carla Avruch from The Zandl Group is quoted as saying:

'Panellists cite that the batteries are not replaceable, so when they die the entire player must be replaced,' she said. 'We have heard from some conspiracy theorists that the batteries are made to die soon after the warranty ends.

'Other complaints are that iTunes [Apple's online music store] is overpriced and the format is not easily transferred on to other players. In our ethnography interviews, some long-time iPod-users told us that they have stopped updating their iPods because it's too much work, while other consumers who had bought iPods more recently had not even taken theirs out of the package to set it up.'

So it seems that my vindication could be even further founded.

As a designer I was always aware of the clear distinction between ‘form’ and ‘function’. In the case of iPod I firmly believe that Apple have embraced the idiom ‘function follows form’ with gusto, sacrificing potentially fruitful functionality to produce an expensive box that looks sleek and not a whole lot else.

In addition to this, for me personally iPods are just too common. They’re everywhere. If I’m going to spend that amount of money on a new toy I prefer it to be something more interesting. Purchased with a little more imagination.

My suggestion? Do yourself a favour and look at other manufacturers, there are many, many interesting alternatives:

  • Creative have a variety of options (and Creative have stepped up their game considerably in recent times, many of their players clearly in direct competition with Apple).
  • The SanDisk Sansa series offering an alternative degree of function flexibility (memory expansion, multiple file formats etc).
  • Or if you want something with even more dynamism you could do worse than look at my personal favourite, the Archos range (the AV 500 for example, 100GB internal hard drive, 4" colour screen, music player, video recording etc. A little more money from your wallet maybe, but when it comes with a promise of up to 400 hours of video, 250 movies, or 1 million photos I’m pretty sure you’ll get your moneys worth in no time at all).
And those are just for starters.

I'm curious to hear what the next installment in the iPod saga will entail. It should be interesting to see what Steve Jobs brings to the table on the future of the iPod at the conference on Tuesday. Innovate to stay ahead ‘n all that. Although I’m fairly certain no new developments will ever sway my opinion to any great degree.

Sadly I don’t imagine for one minute that iPod is about to come crashing down in flames overnight. However, when something dominates the market to such a degree, I suspect it really is just a matter of time before iPod really will get sucked into its own little Click Wheel.

Read full Observer story.


  • I saw this on /.

    I never had an iPod either. I never liked the idea of "syncing". I'd rather use Windows Explorer (or Nautilus as the case is now) to drag and drop my songs onto my mp3 player (as I did with my flash-drive type of mp3 player and now do with my Philips GoGear). Okay, yeah, Philips "requires" Windows Media Player and Windows, right? It's all talk. GoGears work on Linux too--just copy and paste.

    By Blogger Mackenzie, at 5:43 PM  

  • Beautiful timing on this piece. I was actually up rather (foolishly) late last night doing a bit of research on this very topic. I'm in the market for a solid portable music device, and it'd take a LOT to make me go iPod.

    Interestingly enough, Creative's Zen (V and V Plus) and the SanDisk Sansa (e270) were at the top of my own list. I'm also looking at the Samsung Samsung YP-Z5QB and mobiBLU B153. I have friends who own both, and are generally pleased.

    The one thing that I don't like about these choices (minus the B153) is the proprietary connector. Why is it that these otherwise amazing players don't support standard connector hardware?

    By Blogger theMatt, at 7:52 PM  

  • because proprietary stuff gets them more money and this is capitalism, as much as we want the Open Source world to be our real world

    By Blogger Mackenzie, at 8:59 PM  

  • Hmmmm I have a mini that i got for my birthday but rarely use -- but that's only because i always have my laptop with me. i had an iRiver way back when that i used extensively, but i honestly prefer to mini. i imagine that there's many out there like me who just have an mp3 player, but don't use it a whole lot -- if i bought another, i'd do my research, but i'd still probably go with an ipod.

    something else to consider is the impact of apple's DRM -- even if itunes is clunky (which i disagree with, but whatever), there's a whole lot of people out there who are relatively committed to apple's system. (i think that's too bad for all the standard reasons, but it's nevertheless true.) i'd also imagine that many of the people anecdotally complaining in the article might not have known or considered that possibility, and might get another ipod if they did.

    By Anonymous headfake, at 10:01 PM  

  • No.. it won't be...

    A. Because listening to music will not go out of fashion.
    B. Because Apple will be releasing new 'must have' ipods with awesome features soon.

    All these stories about ipod not being 'cool' anymore by kids etc is just a marketing ploy by opposing companies IMO. Its typical someone who is not a fan of ipods to write something like this, you want them to fail don't you?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 PM  

  • First i did try all the other player,iriver sandisk creative ect,and
    even if they cost less,even if you can change the battery,they all still sound like sh....t.And i dont talk to use stock earbud that is ship whit all of them,i did use it whit my Sennheiser,and you can clearly ear the difference. As for the itune and file type compatibility,no one has say you have to use itune,there is plenty of other software mods that you can use,just use google a litle would not hurt time to time .So simply put if sound quality is important for you ,use an ipod if its not well buy what you want.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 PM  

  • Anonymous (the first one - sorry, too many of you Anonymous out there)... I feel duty bound to correct you on a couple of those points.

    As much as I appreciate the flattery, I'm not in fact a "kid". Sadly those days are long gone.

    Neither are any of my words anything other than my own personal opinion... I'm not under employment to any of Apple's opponents. Sadly for my bank balance.

    And lastly, I would have thought that it was fairly obvious that I don't favour iPods. Writing a glowing recomendation of something I consider to be an enormous waste of money would appear a little, umm, obtuse.

    Each to his or her own I guess.


    By Blogger the geekette speaks, at 11:00 PM  

  • I’ve had two ipods. Both broke, fortunately before 12 months (almost out of warranty.) One of them is nearly dead now (and out of warranty.)

    Sleek looks are great, but at their price they should last more than 12 months. Apple and quality, two words not found in a positive sentence.

    When unit two fails, I’ll buy something other than an Apple.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:05 AM  

  • Very interesting post. I was wondering about this myself recently as I've been hearing people not buyin Ipods just because they're too common.. there's another friend whose brand new 60G video has been on its box for two weeks...weird.

    I miss my ZenMicro, I gave it to my now-ex as graduation gift when I got my 30G video Ipod.
    I LOATHE Itunes, I miss Creative's drag and drop software and yes, it's about time Ipod vanishes!....
    Mine works ok but it isnt the greatest thing that has happened to me... =/

    By Blogger Miss Prístina, at 12:47 AM  

  • "while other consumers who had bought iPods more recently had not even taken theirs out of the package to set it up.'"

    Who the hell buys a $500 mp3 player and leaves it in the box?

    "First i did try all the other player,iriver sandisk creative ect,and
    even if they cost less,even if you can change the battery,they all still sound like sh....t.And i dont talk to use stock earbud that is ship whit all of them,i did use it whit my Sennheiser,and you can clearly ear the difference."

    That's ridiculous. I can't speak for the other players, but the sound quality on my iriver H300 series is excellent.

    (Which reminds me - check out the irivers. They're excellent.)

    By Blogger MrLefty, at 3:58 AM  

  • I agree, have an iRiver H300 also, and its great. Cheaper, easier to use, no iTunes required...and not that common.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:50 AM  

  • I will buy an iPod when they stop shipping the ear buds - the cauliflower pushes them out...

    By Anonymous enumerated, at 4:38 PM  

  • As a fellow designer, I am surpised you critisized Apple for following the idiom "function follows form" ... I don't think that is true at all.

    In fact, I believe that Apple made the iPod with the form following the function. Here's why:

    Apple keeps things simple. No FM radio. No complicated file transfers. Etc. Apple's deisgn of the iPod follows that mindset. That consumers want something simple. When they want to buy an mp3 player, they want to listen to music, plain and simple.

    In fact, in testing, Steve Jobs wasn't worried about the design so much, he was worried about the expirience. I remember reading an article about Steve Jobs almost throwing a prototype iPod across the room because he couldn't find a song in 5 seconds. 5 seconds. That's why the iPod's interface is the best.

    That's exactly what Apple does; they focus on the expirience. That's why the iPod is shiny, small and slim. That's why they have a clean and easy to use inerface. It's because of it's simple functionality. And because of it's simple functionality, it has a simple design. Form follows function.

    Also, there's no file restrictions on the iPod. Common mistake. The iTMS has DRM restrictions, but the iPod does not. Shame on you for reporting falsely. Or were you referring to the fact that iPods only play mp3s? That's hardly restrictive. It's the industry standard. And iPods support AAC which is not restrictive.

    Personally, I have a iPod nano and I use it every day. It's small, it automatically syncs my playlists, automatically syncs calendars, photos, contacts. I got it in the spring, and the battery life is fine.

    Anyways, most problems with mp3 players are the hard drives. Hard drives just aren't meant to be in portable electronics. It's just a bad idea.

    And here's a tip: unpopular does not mean "interesting"

    By Anonymous shrimp, at 4:47 PM  

  • Interesting post...

    I've had my iPod just over a year now, and couldn't imagine life without it! No battery problems (touch wood) and no real issues aside from one software crash that was easily fixed.

    To be honest, I would've preferred an iRiver, but when I bought it, the iPod was cheaper because it was the last of a handful of superceded models.

    It's worth having any kind of player imho, and for me that happens to have been an ipod that has been used excessively, and keeps going. All these people that kill theirs amaze me, with a little bit of care, as with anything, it should be able to last a long time (even the battery).

    Good read though

    By Blogger The Scientist, at 6:47 PM  

  • That is a very interesting take, and you may be right about the slowdown of iPod purchases.

    However, in the circles that I run in, people have nothing but nice things to say about their iPods. Further, I've had mine for a couple of years and it's worked fabulously. I have not ever had a problem with it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:35 PM  

  • iPods rule, and tomorrow, when the new iPod with a choice of a 60GB or 120GB full screen (4-4.5in) with the prices rising by no more than $50 (30-30, 60-120) over the 5G. iPods BLOW away all of the other companies that make mp3 players, thats why apple has over 90% market share.

    By Blogger MacManiac23, at 11:43 PM  

  • Mackenzie -
    USB is not open-source. IBM owns the patent. My little question was a bit more nebulous and whiny, but the more informed answer is "there's still no non-greedy reason that makes sense."

    According to poweredusb.org, the only component that needs to be licensed from IBM is the host-side PCB Mount connector. Everything from the host-side cable connector to the peripheral-side mount is unencumbered by the patent.

    But you're right, proprietary cables probably let them squeeze a tiny bit more money out of consumers. But is it really enough to offset the development costs of those proprietary technologies that usually end up having to convert to USB anyway?

    Shrimp -
    I'm mostly with you on your comments regarding design, but I must disagree with what you say about the iPod's filetype support. It really is restrictive.

    MP3, which you call "the industry standard" has a number of licensing and patent issues, and royalties must be paid on a lot of these technologies. Plus, the encoding spec if rather fuzzy and nebulous, at best. AAC is a good (and largely unencumbered) alternative format, but in the iStuff world, it is almost indistinguishably wrapped in Apple's DRM. Ogg Vorbis support would be a great, forward-thinking, consumer-centric decision for any device manufacturer to make, and there are a number of other alternatives as well. MP3 no longer gives you the best filesize vs. sound-quality. It's time to get with it and move on.

    Also, "interesting" doesn't translate to "unpopular" with this alternative devices. The iPod has become iconic. It has huge market dominance. That doesn't mean that other devices aren't popular on smaller (and less advertized) scales. And they're still interesting devices, regardless.

    MacManiac23 -
    The unbiased view (yes, there are people who can separate professional from personal opinions...) is that the iPod's popularity is slipping, and that the competition is finally starting to catch up. If this trend continues, Apple will have to seriously step up to the plate to keep this dominance.

    The reality is that competition is good. I am honestly very eager to see the iPod's butt get handed to it. The innovation such an event would drive would create some truly awesome shiny toys. The first iPod was innovative. Since then, it has somewhat stagnated. A little dip in popularity and some healthy competition will change that.

    By Blogger theMatt, at 3:08 AM  

  • I disagree with some of your comments, in my opinion iPods not only look good but they are very functional and have plenty of features.

    Yes they may only support 2 audio formats - but 98% of my music collection is MP3, the other 2% AAC so for me that is not a problem.

    In terms of battery usage, I have 2 iPods, a mini and a 5th generation 60GB video model, and have not had a single problem with either of them. The mini is 2.5 years old and the video iPod is 1 year old.

    Yes in an ideal world it would be nice to have drag-and-drop functionality for copying music to your player. If there is to be any cristicism of iPods then this has to be it.

    With the new iPod being unveiled soon together with the Apple moving into the online video market I seriously doubt that iPods will disappear anytime soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:47 AM  

  • i own a Sony Walkman 6Gb and i like it, a friend of mine has an Archos, and its cool too, anyway there is too much ppl who own a iPod, its a fucked up fashion

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:02 AM  

  • ummmm. come on. Sales are dropping because almost everyone that wants one has one. Why would you keep buying them over and over?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 AM  

  • It always makes me smile when I read articles like this. While we sit and wait (and wait and wait) for a true "iPod-Killer" to materialise, nothing has made a dent in the phenomenal rise of the unstoppable Apple iPod.

    The iPod has yet to reach saturation point - sales of iPods are, just as every other consumer item, subject to peaks and troughs - depending on currency stabilization, what time of the year it is, interest rates, the cachet of the product . . . A product that has captured the zeitgeist as the iPod has, comes along very rarely.

    I have a 1st gen iPod. Rather big and boxy compared to the its newer, sleeker brethren. The battery began to wear down after 3 and a half years, so I replaced it myself, at a cost of £12.00 and a little hunting around on eBay. So what's the big deal?

    I also have a Nano. Beautiful little fella. I take it everywhere I go, and while we see continue to see innovations such as the Nike+, the iPod will never die. Innovation. Say it again.

    Unconcerned iPod Lover.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:32 AM  

  • iPods are expensive. The video models are enormous in stature. I bought a samsung YP model player. >>>Its small<<< and thats what an .mp3 player should be. I can put it in my pocket and do what I want and not worry about scratching the screen. All of the iPod accesories make me sick. The skins, the belt holsters, the screen protectors, the iPod Sock, FM transmitters. Im sorry but i would never trade my samsung for an iPod. It has video capabilities, photo options, a radio, USB host option if i want to connect to another device and download, a color screen in a package no wider than your hand. The iPod fashion died a long time ago. Time to move on.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 AM  

  • I have tried a whole lot of mp3 players, and one of the things that really "grinds my gears" is when people refer to any mp3 player as an ipod.

    I too am a loyal creative customer: Creative Nomad JukeboxII, and Nomad Muvo.I tried sony's minidisk, but converting to AC3 (or something like that) sucks. Creative is just drag and drop.

    Ipoods can burn in hell!
    and iTunes...dont even get me started, its the devil.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:51 PM  

  • Like sheep lead by a shepard you are following Microsofts plan to help bring down the iPod. Now, I doubt it will work, the number of stupid people is only equal to the number of people who do not use the iPod. Let me ask: Why would there be a backlash against a perfectly good product? Because stupid people actually let trends direct their lives.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 PM  

  • I used to have an iPod, and I must say that apart from its crappy battery and the fact that the damn player has no native file system integration, the thing was not bad.

    Unfortunately, the built-in disk crashed after a while, so I got my hands on a Sandisk Sansa e200, and let me tell you guys something: if you think that your ipod works well, just take the time to use a Sandisk player. they're great and cheap.

    By Anonymous John, at 1:45 PM  

  • John: I helped several people fix their broken iPOD HD with this article: Freeze your hard drive to recover data: Myth or reality?

    And yes, it can work, just read all the success stories in the comments. This post was on digg, reddit, shoutwire, meneame, lockergnome, and the list goes on.. got more then 100k unique hits on this.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 1:53 PM  

  • The misguided souls that defemd products that have MANY flaws with terms like "it is Perfect, F*CK the stupid idiots that dont like the things I like" really need to get out and see that APPLE is NOT a company that cares about FUNCTIONALITY.. it is and has been all about FORM since the PC overshadowed the Mac... IMO I have NOT seen ANY apple products that I would purchace, when cheaper, better performing, designs with longevity are readily available.
    I look upon most ipod owners with great sadness, as such a bulky (the nano excluded in THIS part)piece of equipment would be considered FASIONABLE.. and there-fore worn on the OUTSIDE of clothing. WHY? wow you have a big white box hanging off your jacket/belt... can I PLEASE be like you.... go ahead try and deny or discount what I say, but the truth is sitting in malls or on public transportation.

    the Nano.... the idea was a GOOD step in the right direction... BUT the screen is crap (quality wise) and the unit DOES fail from mild shock (dropping) and current surging (charging or file transfering) dealing with customers who call me up and go, "my computer is broken... it wont transfer songs to my nano. YOU built me a crap computer."
    my poignent reply is thusly so "Look, sir/madamme, I know for a FACT that the problem is not the computer but it is the nano itself, and before you tell me I am a Tard and to expect to hear from your Lawyer listen to this. I have just delivers the PC to you, when I installed it into your living space it was working, I gave you a quick tutorial on what is new/changed and how to use the new features. I even told you that you needed a surge protector, yet you chose to ignore my reccomendation, when I come over there I will bring my Muvo2 and see if the computer is "broken".

    turns out usually it is just a power surge.. LOL totally ruining the flash memory inside..

    anyways I tire of defending my opinion that I have based on EXPERIENCES... as opposed to the defenders of crappy companies.

    Night all...

    By Anonymous Reflekt, at 3:17 PM  

  • From Steve at HardOCP: My pet peeve with Apple is how they brag about updating their product line 99 times a year, like it is a feature. If you bought a nano last month, you’ll be pretty mad that you missed the new design. Same thing with OS X. How many times have you been tricked into buying a new operating system for your Mac in the last 5 years? Alas, this is just another Apple product cycle.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:57 PM  

  • I have an iPod and love mine, even if it is a little over a year old.

    When it comes to large sizes (>=60GB) you don't have very many options. (And yes, it is nearly full.)

    At the time, the Creative Giant Nomad Zen Ultra Whatever wasn't very different in price from the 60GB iPod photo. And today it doesn't look like Creative has any players with more than 30GB of space, while Apple unveiled an 80GB iPod Video.

    Either way, I've been very please with my own iPod experience.

    By Blogger DrSkrud, at 4:58 PM  

  • I used my Ipod all the time until I discovered what I really needed. A full screen jukebox for my PC. I found this program called eJukebox at AudioSoft.Net that has all kinds of options. The main benefit of eJukebox is you can browse your music and it automatically display high quality cover art with the song listings and not just the current song.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 PM  

  • Ipods will not go out of style. Period. They are the best players on the market. Apple's products are the best on the market. From their computers to the ipods. People who don't listen to music and buy ipods might stop buying but there are many people out there who do. Apple is in the lead in the Mp3 market and they are not comming down. Besides for the most part Mp3 players that compete with the ipod are allmost the same amount of money. APPLE ROCKS. Period.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:50 PM  

  • ipods are just for victims like all apple products. why would you pay more for a product that dose the same thing. I'm using a thompson lyra it's 40G and it cost £120 and it come up as a removable drive so no crap loader programs. What more do you need!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:20 PM  

  • Just a side note for all the visitors that come here and take the time to read all the comments, we have a great post (and a great video) about the 40th anniversary of Star Trek on the Front page.. do check it out.

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 10:08 PM  

  • I still have my 3rd Gen iPod I got for free by taking advantage of the "free ipods" deal they had going a while back. It's been dropped dozens of times, sometimes flying out of my pocket while trying to catch a bus. Recently, the battery life started to shorten, so I bought a new battery and found that it was surprisingly easy to replace. Most of the battery replacements come with the necessary tools, even though all you need is a good set of fingernails. My iPod has had its screen smashed after being smashed under a chair leg (don't ask) but is still quite legible, and only a half dozen pixels are actually damaged. The casing itself is not even cracked. Ofthe 16000 songs I have, none are in any other format than MP3, and I have no problem with using iTunes to update my player. All in all, I'm very satisfied, and I'll be upgrading my hard drive in my existing iPod to a much larger one if it fails rather than buying a new player. I think we have a tendency to hear a lot of the negative stories people have, and since the iPod is by far the most prevalent player, we hear a lot of them.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 PM  

  • My aunt gave me a mini a couple years ago for Christmas before I went to college. It stays in my car utilizing my (borrowed) itrip, which sucks, and cassette adapter. I used to use it around campus, but I realized listening to music everywhere you go makes you hate music and people that do that all the time. I think it's compatibility is sh*t, and I recommend using Winamp with the ipod plugin to transfer freely from PC to ipod (and it is free, unlike other software). The best players on the market, not for the money, are the archos av series. Then again, most people I know who have ipods w/video don't ever put shows or movies on them. I was tempted to steal their ipods several times, but can't bring myself to do it. For the money, most people would be happy with an iriver or creative. Look out for the Zune (Microsoft), coming soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 PM  

  • The author of this article sounds like those who cried about how Apple was on its last legs when The Steve returned to the company. I don't think Windoze users can make the same claim, but I can boot my G5 (or any other Mac) from my iPod, which has a stripped down installation of OS X, in an emergency. I haven't had to do it YET, but I tested it a few times and it's a reliable option. Try that with your Sandisk or Sony.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:51 PM  

  • i have had a creative zen xtra jukebox b4. I gota say, ive been made fun of a LOT cuz its so dam bulky. OK, its not as sexy as an ipod but at least i can listen to so many more file types. My current MP3 player is a iRIVER jukebox (20 gB). I gota say, im luvin it. Its not as big as my creative MP3 player, but its still prety bulky compared to an ipod. But dis one again, ken play multiple types of files. It looks seksi as well, no stupid white box dat EVERYONE seems to have. The battery life is prety decent as well. After about 1 and 1/2 years of CONSTANT use (about 5-10 hours a day of use), the battery still lasts for over 6 hours on 50% of max volume, which iz plenty as long as ur not trying to listen to ur mp3 player while ur at a concert ^_^

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:08 PM  

  • NIce comment by Bill Gates there!!

    Yes your right Apple are a load of, they have proved this by owning a 90 percent market share in mp3 players.

    They also make shit operating systems that microsoft completely rips off!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:49 PM  

  • Ok, so I guess I've just grown tired of people who really don't know what they are talking about and don't care to find out the truth.
    I am NOT an Apple fanboy by the way. I use Windows and have been since NT back in the day. I just, within the last year, began using Macs when I started my new job.

    So, I have a second gen 10GB iPod that works just as well as the day I got it for Christmas almost 4 years ago. I know what I'm doing when I'm on a computer, and I am certified to fix them. From my experience, almost all of the iPod problems are user error.
    Don't bash me for offending because it sounds mean, but if you ask any high school student to run through how he/she uses an iPod, you'll find that most students just don't know what they are doing. By the time they get songs on an iPod, they've tinkered around so much they've set their iPod up to fail soon anyway.
    My only problem I've ever had with my iPod was when I was trying to do something I shouldn't have tried. Apple Store fixed it in maybe 10 minutes.
    iPods are no going anywhere in the near future. New iPods were just released and there is no reason to not think the a widescreen version will not be out relatively soon. iPods are very much fashionable and everything else is very much not at all. Also, after testing out nearly every mp3 player on the market, the iPod interface is by far the easiest (yes I know there were legal issues with Creative about this but nevertheless). Also, iTunes now has more features in the program itself and the Music store is now just a Store because they sell full length feature films now, in addition to the tv shows, etc..
    And just for the sake of somebody finally saying it, here is this. Apple does not make one button mice anymore. Apple's have ALWAYS supported multi-button mice. Apple did not invent the mouse, Stanford Univ. did (Apple took it and then MS did later on). New Apple computers boot Windows without a hitch (if you know how to install Windows in the first place). You CAN put songs from iTunes on other players (dl a song burn it to cd and rip it back). If you understand how one should charge a Li-Ion battery the battery doesn't fail (this goes for ALL LiIon batteries). That's all I remember to this point.

    I know that was all over the place but I really hate when people bash without really knowing what's going on.

    By Blogger Jordan Murry, at 2:40 PM  

  • Yeah, the "Expensive paperweight" thing is mine.

    By Anonymous jsaltz, at 3:29 PM  

  • Uhm, I got myself an ipod nano g2 - 4gb. First, for Podcasts, which I use it mainly for, syncing is the way to go. Second, it has the second longest measured battery playing time measured from a mp3 player - 24 hours (the first place goes to iAudio XL5). Third, its weight is great - 40 grams or 1.4 ounces is awesome to carry arround even with shorts and your cell phone on you.

    I'm told the service where rather good - my gf had her battery replaced after 1.5 years. And after all, the sound is confirmed by several hardware reviews quite good.

    (I've had Creative Micro, then the Creative Micro Photo, and a few minidisc players before that. The creatives weight tree times more and are way bigger. I still miss the minidisc recorders, they could get 30 hours of playing time from a single AA battery and could be used from within your pocket. Sadly, if I'd buy one, I'd have to use the horrendous sony software)

    And finally, they are nearly the only fashinable ones. ;-) Its so awful what other players have arbitrary done to make theyr players ugly. Color and plastic aside, I don't consider it okay to write "digital music player" or "Archos 604" on your device.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:55 AM  

  • I bought an "Archos Studio 20" about 3-4 years ago. The deciding factors where compatiblity with linux, replacibilty of batteries (NiMH AA's), and it's storage capacity. It only plays MP3's, but it's really easy to convert CD's (my primary audio storage system) to MP3. The original interface was rude, but luckily an open source interface was availible from rockbox. (They seem to be making an open source firmware for ipods now too. Maybe that will take care of a few headaches.) Also, I found that the player, though lacking in features, was very easy to modify. Mine now has a 30 gig harddrive.

    By Blogger Dr. Willis, at 4:55 PM  

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