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iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
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iPod advice?

I'm no Luddite but I've never bothered with an iPod. The most I do with music is crank classic rock through the car speakers on the way to the surf or occasionally burn a CD. I probably spend more time backing up the family's MP3 files than I do listening to any of it.

However my BIL & his wife have informed us that an iPod will be among our kid's 14th birthday presents. Of course she's already tested out the neighborhood iPods and I'm sure BIL engaged her in an innocent conversation to determine her preferences, so we have no fear on them choosing the appropriate model. We don't know what it is yet.

Our kid has already used the iTunes website to download some music (probably on her credit card, none of my business) and she's burned an occasional CD, so I guess that part's under control too. Heck, she's the one who showed me Limewire.

What I want to know about is the iPod "gotchas". I'm sure there are at least a half-dozen which will reduce its owner (or her parents) to tears. For example:
- Is there a way to back up its contents to a computer HD?
- Are there any decisions that should be made on how it's loaded up?
- What happens if a battery (or whatever it is) dies?
- Is it waterproof?
- Is there anything else that breaks or goes bad or expires?
- Any good websites on iPod care & feeding?
- Is there anything that you iPod users wish you'd done differently?
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 03:43 PM   #2
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Re: iPod advice?

You have just gone down the list of why the ipod is the lamest of mp3 players,
except of course for its 'cool' factor. The two biggies are :

-To back up an ipod you need to get an "unofficial" program off the internet. Other
mp3 players have a UMH interface, making the mp3 player look just like a flash
memory device. Apple omits this.

-If the battery dies, you ship it back to Apple to replace, for around $69. Many mp3
players run off any AA battery, allowing you to always have a charged one around
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 04:25 PM   #3
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Re: iPod advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
- Is there a way to back up its contents to a computer HD?
Essentially, iTunes on your computer contains a synchronized copy of your music library, and since that's normally how you get music onto the iPod (by putting it into iTunes first), you could say that it's backed-up all the time.

AFAIK though, CyclingInvestor is correct in that you can't simply plug it into another computer, and copy the music off the iPod.
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 06:32 PM   #4
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Re: iPod advice?

http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...ory=por_av_mp3

The creative models seem far superior although I didnt buy one cause I got a "deal" on the iriver. In retrospect the creative would of been the better choice.
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 06:44 PM   #5
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Re: iPod advice?

Many techies don't like some of the restrictions of the iPod, but they are quite nifty in fit and form and just about everyone else likes them as far as I can tell. I don't have an iPod; I have a hand-me-down off brand, but just about everyone else in the family has an iPod and is rather nuts over them.
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 06:53 PM   #6
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Re: iPod advice?

For a split second I thought I might want an ipod/ipod nano to put some ripped books on CD onto. In other words, a bunch of MP3's that I rip from CD's or download from the internet. Can I do this easily with a stock ipod/ipod nano?
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-10-2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: iPod advice?

Quote:
For a split second I thought I might want an ipod/ipod nano to put some ripped books on CD onto. In other words, a bunch of MP3's that I rip from CD's or download from the internet. Can I do this easily with a stock ipod/ipod nano?
Yes an iPod or any competing mp3 player will do this.

Quote:
- Is there a way to back up its contents to a computer HD?
- Are there any decisions that should be made on how it's loaded up?
- What happens if a battery (or whatever it is) dies?
- Is it waterproof?
- Is there anything else that breaks or goes bad or expires?
- Any good websites on iPod care & feeding?
- Is there anything that you iPod users wish you'd done differently?
You need to decide what format you should use for your ripped files. iTunes supports AAC and MP3. The default is AAC. MP3 has much broader support. I prefer wide support over the small increase in fidelity. When we got an iPod I ripped all my CDs in AAC. Later I realized that the files wouldn't play on my mp3 compatabile DVD player or flash based mp3 player. You can transcode the files using iTunes with further loss of quality. If I had to start over I'd rip in MP3.

The iPod is not waterproof.

The LCD display on my friend's Nano cracked. I've read that the screens on the flash based Nano's are fragile.

If you buy music from Apple's iTunes store the files are tied to Apple's Digital Rights Management (DRM) forever. So far Apple has refused to license their DRM technology. This means that music from the iTunes store will only play opn Ipods.

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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-11-2006, 12:04 PM   #8
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Re: iPod advice?

It is great, she will love it! You should probably get an Otter case as the ipod is NOT waterproof! The big problem is one of accessory creep, the sudden desire to own all kinds of extras for the ipod! The Otter is a good one though. Shop around for a good price. I use a rubberized case that is not waterproof, but if I spent as much time around the water as your family does, I'd get one.
The key to ipod music management is to store all your songs on one computer if possible, and use that computer to manage the music on the ipod. That was, if dire things happen to the ipod, all the music is still on the computer. There is backup available on the itunes interface. This requires you to pretty much own everything that is on your ipod though. I use two computers for mine (dial up at home makes it impossible to download podcasts, work computer is smokin' by comparison). I just back up the work computer periodically and take it home to the main iTunes computer. I manage about 2800 songs and 50 podcasts on mine.
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-12-2006, 05:06 PM   #9
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Re: iPod advice?

New iPods were announced today.

New Shuffle (1GB RAM, 240 songs, $79):


New Nano (starting at $149 for 2GB):
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 09-12-2006, 10:22 PM   #10
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Re: iPod advice?

I think I'm in the same boat - was quite confuse until I got this really good book about the ipod. It answers all your questions. From Amazon, you can search the inside of it.

http://www.amazon.com/iPod-Book-Doin...e=UTF8&s=books

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Re: iPod advice?
Old 11-06-2006, 09:46 AM   #11
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Re: iPod advice?

Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

Our 14-year-old has spent two weeks with her new iPod and absolutely loves it. It's a lot quieter around the house and I'm getting far less computer time than I used to. "Limewire" is taking over our hard drive and I'm expecting hate mail from the RIAA any day now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
It is great, she will love it! You should probably get an Otter case as the ipod is NOT waterproof! The big problem is one of accessory creep, the sudden desire to own all kinds of extras for the ipod! The Otter is a good one though. Shop around for a good price. I use a rubberized case that is not waterproof, but if I spent as much time around the water as your family does, I'd get one.
Apple's missing a trick here. They should give iPods away in cereal boxes and just sell the accessories. She spent an entire day shopping around for a case (not an Otter but it's plastic & waterproof), an armband (for those basketball runs) and a wall-plug charger (for when she's not near a USB port). I suggested Radio Shack instead of driving an hour to the iPod store in Ala Moana but eventually the Internet's "immediate" gratification got her. Each item started at $30 and, this being Hawaii, shipping on two of them came to $25. So she's already bought nearly an iPod's worth of accessories with what's left of her grandparent's birthday money. She did, however, pass on the iPod locking cable in favor of my suggestion to keep it hidden in her backpack or just (*gasp*) leave it home.

I suggested no iPods on the beach, but I'll let her deal with the financial consequences of that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
The key to ipod music management is to store all your songs on one computer if possible, and use that computer to manage the music on the ipod. That was, if dire things happen to the ipod, all the music is still on the computer. There is backup available on the itunes interface. This requires you to pretty much own everything that is on your ipod though. I use two computers for mine (dial up at home makes it impossible to download podcasts, work computer is smokin' by comparison). I just back up the work computer periodically and take it home to the main iTunes computer. I manage about 2800 songs and 50 podcasts on mine.
This may be an apocryphal urban legend from computer Luddites, but I've been told that downloading from iTunes on a second computer will cause the iPod to write over everything that was downloaded from the first computer. I'm not sure that I want to debunk that legend, either, because otherwise the neighborhood kids would all be clustered around our computer waving their USB cables-- like little mosquitos looking for a meal.

Yesterday I was somberly informed that in two weeks she's downloaded 200 songs. On a 2 GB iPod Nano that meant she'd be full up in three weeks and would no longer be able to "listen to all the music I want to", so to fix this life-limiting problem she was going to plunk down $250 for an 8 GB iPod ("And it's red!"). Many suggestions ran through my mind but I finally said "It's your money, better get a good job mon", broke eye contact, and held my breath. She came to her senses.

This has been a good experience for her. She's been borrowing our Blue Oyster Cult & Jimmy Buffett CDs, too, so there's hope!
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Re: iPod advice?
Old 11-06-2006, 10:24 AM   #12
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Re: iPod advice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Thanks for everyone's suggestions!

Our 14-year-old has spent two weeks with her new iPod and absolutely loves it. It's a lot quieter around the house and I'm getting far less computer time than I used to. "Limewire" is taking over our hard drive and I'm expecting hate mail from the RIAA any day now.
If he is using Limewaire make sure your antivirus and adaware type software is up-to-date. And for good measure, create a user acount for him so he isn't running as admin.

Good luck keeping the PC running.
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