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what is an ipod?

By Row1 · 21 replies
Nov 29, 2006
  1. hello- this sounds like a dumb question. but what is an ipod? specifically, how is it different from just having an mp3 player? i download and play mp3 files onto my computer. i transfer some to a 1gb mp3 player, and also to my pda. so it is hard for me to see why an ipod specifically is special compare with any old mp3 player.

    the teen in our home wants an ipod for christmas (of course). so i want to know what's up.

    do you have to have a mac to download music from web to computer to ipod?

    do i understand it correctly that you have to buy music from itunes?

    what does a song cost?

    what format is the song in? is this a loss-less format, or is it lossy, like an mp3 is?

    is an ipod desirable because it holds more music? because it is small?

    is it true that you can only download it to the one ipod devise (like - you can't burn it to cd, store it, copy it to another computer, email it to someone, etc.)?

    how much easier or more difficult is it to use compared with downloading an mp3, then copyign the mp3 to an mp3 player?

    frankly, if a song costs a dollar, and can't be used/copied burned to cd, etc., i don't see how getting an ipod is bettern than getting a cd, then burning tracks from the cd to play on mp3, your own mix cd, etc.

    also, in our home, i don't care what people do or what is technically possible or legal or not yet outlawed: we are not going to use music files outside of ethical fair use rules. in other words, we will pay for commercial music. i have heard disucssions that most ipod music is not legally obtained, etc. please let me know what the story is on this.

    thanks! i really trust the techspot people, and i am really ignorant here. -Row1
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    You can use a Windows machine just fine. Drag and drop is not natively supporting since it's not seen as a removable device in Windows. IPods support MP3 files as well as apple's own audio format.

    You can use something like Itunes or other application to transfer files to the player. I have an Ipod and two other MP3 players and I don't really like the Ipod that much. It's simple to use which is good for some people but I like the features of my other MP3 players.

    Songs are still .99 a piece unless that's changed recently. The songs are protected and in an apple music format.
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    A portable MP3 player. Some are capable of playing movies, videos also.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Depends on what your kid wants to use it for on whether an iPod is worth getting or not. The shuffle versions are really cheap and almost impossible to break. I have a 4th generation regular iPod (20 gig) and also a shuffle (512 megs) and I use the shuffle a hell of a lot more than I do the regular one.

    the songs you download are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and you are limited to 5 activated (iTunes activated) computers that it can be played on. You can burn to cd without any issues though.
  5. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +13

    better than SanDisc Sansa?

    a sandisc sansa looks similar.

    i can't tell if these are just two similar products or if something is actually different.

    it seems like an ipod only plays aap format but i don't see any prob with getting most anything into mp3 format.

    i prefer wma and sandisc will do wma [also will show videos jpegs ].

    what is the diff between an ipod and a sandisc or other brand mp3 player? should i even worry about it?
  6. order_66

    order_66 TS Rookie

    I have a iPOD nano and the mini. I love the features of all iPODS. It's clean, easy to use, and is the standard for mp3 players I think. Usally the people who complain and hate the iPOD is the people who cant afford them. I came to find out that other mp3 players like sandisk and creative are just junk. You get what you pay for. (But always get the extended warrenty just in case, it just makes things easier for you)
  7. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    So untrue!!! Some people that say that know of friends whom have had iPod's and had trouble.

    Row1- I would stay away from the Sandisc as already stated here. Know that there are other alternatives to the iPod though. Reading bad reviews on iPods turned me off from them. I opted for a MS Zune instead. Cost is the same as a 30 gig iPod too. Although some would say its crazy to buy a first generation mp3 player such as the Zune too. But I did the day they were released (Nov.14th, 06) and so far I am happy with it. No problems at all....and I use it DAILY!
  8. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Topic Starter Posts: 343   +13

    how have you learned about sandisk, creative?

  9. Quick

    Quick TS Rookie

    No, they have a version of itunes that works with windows. However, note that it only works with 2000 or XP.

    You do not have to buy music from itunes. You can load a song from ANY WHERE into itunes, and itunes will transfer it to your ipod next time you plug it in.

    Songs cost 99 cents each, unless you buy a whole album, than it is about the price you would pay in a store.

    IPODs play MP3's and AAC's. If you have a music that is not in one of those 3 formats, ITunes has a built in converter than will convert it to a AAC. (Quite handy)

    I think people prefer IPODs over any other music player because:
    1. They are REALLY REALLY easy. A grandma could use one. (no offense to anyone)
    2. They are just popular; I believe that people who don't know much about this stuff think that it is cooler to have an IPOD over anything else.

    Music you buy off itunes can be burned no problem. You can copy songs purchased off itunes to 4 other computers (5 comps total). Emailing it to someone would not work because their computer would not be authorized to play the song. (Unless it was one of the 5 computers.)

    Pretty darn easy as stated before. Just load it into itunes and plug in your ipod.

    I think that is incorrect. I think it is the other way around. Mac has a lot of little features that attempt to prevent illegal sharing of music.

    My opinion, if its not a cost problem, then get him/her and IPOD.

    I have a mini, and it has been great, I have had it for almost 4 years now and I love it.
  10. jtickner1

    jtickner1 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 650

    personally i think creatives are better, they are more reliable, cheaper they may not be as easy to pick and learn how to use it but they are better. iv had 2 creatives and they have both been really good, my friend has had his zen micro photo for over a year now and he uses it everyday and it is fine, no troubles. all my friends that have/had ipods stuff up the battery goes munted or it just dosnt work.
  11. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    The only advantage to the IPOD that i see from a audiophile POV is the native support for the .AAC music format, which kicks the MP3 in the rear end in terms of quality-per-bit rate, among other normal music formats available.

    That, and the ability to use it as a portable mini-HDD when you really need it also is quite useful.

    Other than that, there's also MP3 players and PDA/mobile devices that does the same job (Nokia N91/Nseries, IPAQs, O2s, zen, Zune, Gigabeat etc) or better/differently.

    "legally obtained" is defined by local laws in your country/state/place of residence. Some places even ripping the CD into MP3 on your PC is illegal (abit extreme, although stops no-one who cares) while others lets you copy on any device you like, provided that its not used in a commercial setting without authorization etc.

    Songs bought from itunes can be burnt onto a cd and transfered around (with restrictions). Posts above have covered pretty much everything else relating to itunes.

    In terms of a CD and those using the oldskool CD/MP3 players, portability is the main argument: a cd is a slim 1mm cylinder thats 12cm in diameter, the portable CD player adds an extra 1cm+ to its dimensions. An Ipod/MP3/etc is more or less the size of your wallet. Although if the CD was for the car then theres no problems there, or if you transfer it digitaly. Same rules apply as normal MP3 players in term of getting the song from CD>PC>player.There's some things you can fit into your hip pocket nicely, and others you should not attempt to.

    [anonymous quote, with alterations :p] "Hey! is that just a CD player in your pocket or are you just happy to see me...."
  12. order_66

    order_66 TS Rookie

  13. Lefty!

    Lefty! TS Rookie Posts: 16

    i just recently purchased a Sony Walkman 2gb Mp3 player i like it way better than my brothers ipod. its small and compact. no messy cords. pligs straight into computer because the usb plug in is built into the player. all you do is pull off the little plastic cover and their it is. the way you get your music is similar to the ipod. it comes with a program called sonic stage. you can also drag and drop into the program to transfer the music into the player. it has custimizable equalizers. And it takes no batteries. just plug it into the cpu's usb port to charge. its a wonderful mp3 player and it cost around 110$ i got mine from target.

    p.s. my friends and brother's ipods both had troubles with the headphone jack. the would short out and both had to be serviced. both were the video ipod's
  14. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 TS Rookie Posts: 373

    I wouldnt recommend the Sandisk Sansa my friend just got one 2 months ago and it just stoped working last week. As for the Apple Ipod, I heard many complaints about them and about how they scratch up so easy and Apple is even being sued over it and also about how they break all the time.

    As for the "Usally the people who complain and hate the iPOD is the people who cant afford them" thats not entirely true I didnt get an Ipod because #1 Its made by Apple #2 I hear so much bad remarks about them. So I got a Microsoft Zune and I love it, the only problem is transfering files and that isnt even the device itself. Also the screens on the zunes are much bigger than the Ipod Video ones but the Zune doesnt feature a built in recording device such as a microphone. But other than that its nice it could be blue though lol.
  15. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Nice to see at least one other person here has tryed the Zune!! lol...

    Can you recommend a DVD converter for the Zune? There are so many out there I dont know what to buy!
  16. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 TS Rookie Posts: 373

    I really dont know I havent find anything goodyet, what about you?
  17. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    CuSoft seems to be pretty good. It only gives you 5 minutes in the trial version so you cant really play with it too much. Still undecided though....
  18. MarcFOnline

    MarcFOnline TS Rookie Posts: 74

    I have an iPod and absolutely love it. Of course, there are many times I wish I had bought something more natively intended for the PC since using iTunes for my music library required a bit of a change in logic... but it works so well and synchronizes so seamlessly with iTunes, I forced myself to get used to it and I'm glad I did.

    One of the best things about the iPod is how many accessories you can buy for it. Walk into a Best Buy or Target or anywhere and there will be piles upon piles of add-ons that can either tempt you needlessly or satisfy some craving you had for a particular feature that the iPod didn't include from the get-go.

    Frankly, though, if you're buying this as a gift for a teen, it might be a good idea to avoid the large-capacity hard-drive-based players (30GB, 40GB, 80GB models, etc.) unless you're going to buy an extended warranty along with it. I've already had one hard drive die on me because I bumped into a railing while jogging on an indoor track... and I'm pretty sure teenagers are much more active than I am, so a flash-based player (iPod Mini, iPod Nano, etc.) would be a much better choice. It's much harder to destroy those. :)

    Anyways, thought I'd offer my two cents' worth. Good luck in your search!
  19. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 TS Rookie Posts: 373

    The zune is pretty nice by the way the body is made since it is rubberized so it doesnt scratch all up like the ipods do. But I just think the zune is made all that well since I had problems with it where it wouldnt start and wouldnt charge or anything but I just left it in the computer for awhile and somehow it fixed itself? The premium earphones are just junk one side stoped working salready and there only two weeks old and its not because of loud music since I keep the volume at 2-4 when it can go up to 20. I just think zunes arent built all that great but they are very nice at viewing music and the sound is great but the radio is sort of weak. The WiFi is jsut a waste since nobody owns a zune hardly at all yet and you cant even sync it with your computer with it you still have to use the sync cables. Also you have to buy a charger just to charge it in the wall or you have to keep it pluged in your computer for 3 hours and you can use it when its in the wall. But I dont know the zune is ok but not the greatest... plus the ipod has many more accessories to go with it but the zune doesnt have as many being new and all...
  20. MarcFOnline

    MarcFOnline TS Rookie Posts: 74

    Well, there are three things I really don't like about the Zune:

    1. Like you mentioned, the annoying battery-charging issue.

    2. The occasional awkwardness of the interface... definitely more awkward than the iPod.

    3. The whole deal with Universal getting money from any Zune, on the grounds that people will use these things for piracy, so they may as well be proactive and collect money up front to limit their damages. I don't know about anyone else, but I find that rather condescending... it's like saying we digital-music fans are automatically all music pirates. Gee, thanks, Microsoft! (Granted, I know Apple has probably done similar things, but Microsoft doing this right off the bat really irks me.)

    I really don't go for Apple products in any other categories... I love building my own computers and many other facets about PCs that will definitely keep me a satisfied PC man. However, in the case of digital music players with large capacities, iPods are quite frankly one of the best in terms of quality and features, and they ARE the best in product support.
  21. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Posts: 63

    It's techically illegal to rip cds to any device in the UK, but noones ever been prosecuted, and with the number of people now with PC's and MP3 players I doubt anybody will.
  22. GeekieNick101

    GeekieNick101 TS Rookie Posts: 373

    Well the zune is a nice device dont get me wrong but yeah I just dont think its going to kill the popularity of ipods. I think ipods will always beat the zune since its just more devloped. Since the ipod start in 2001 the zune just started the ipod just has gotten too popular for anything else to kill it. They sold about 67.5 million of them in just 5 years.
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