iPod; iDumb; iGotquestions

I do not own an iPod, and until recently thought it was something one-eyed, British pirates wore.

However, now that I have read about iPod’s, I have a few questions:

  1. Damn they are expensive. It is one thing to lose a cheapo CD player, but wow – losing, or dropping an iPod in the lake would be a bummer …aren’t people afraid to take them places for fear of being ripped off or broken or lost?

  2. So, they can hold 8,000 songs or more. I mean, I suppose it is nice that you can store that many tunes…but seriously, who in the hell has 8,000 favorite songs?

  3. Songs cost 99 cents each to download. Hmm….8,000 x 99 cents…now I sure as hell don’t want to lose that little machine!!! Do you really pay for these downloads or (and I promise I won’t tell anyone) or is there some kind of secret portal that lets you zap them down for free?

4th and last question. Like all technologies, the first one costs a bundle, and then – well, look at DVD players on sale now for under $35. So – how long before iPod (or rip off versions) will be at my local KMart for $9.99?

  1. Not really. I mean, sure, I wouldn’t want to lose it or have it get stolen, but I just do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

  2. I have a lot of songs, but not quite that many. But I also like to use my iPod to listen to audiobooks, which take up far more drive space than songs, so the extra space is good.

  3. You aren’t limited to songs you purchase from the iTunes music store. Many of us have large, exisiting CD collections, which we transfer to the iPod. I’ve bought maybe 3 CDs worth of songs from the iTunes music store; the rest are from my exisiting collection.

  4. You’ll no doubt be able to find cheaper MP3 players at WalMart and the like, but I doubt the iPod will ever approach anywhere near that cheap. Like with any technology, you usually get what you pay for.

Did you get the third generation one? The 4G models have just been released (or are already released; they’re selling them on the Apple store) and they’re cheaper.

I’m an idiot. Sorry, I thought you said you bought an iPod just recently.

Carry on.

  1. Well, an iPod can also be used as a portable hard drive, storage device.    So it's not like there's no use for that space.    And you don't have to get the largest possible hard drive.      Note that 8000 songs is 600-800 CDs worth.    Many people who have been listening to music for more than a few years have collections that size.    Being able to carry around every song you own is pretty cool.
  2. CDs cost 10-15 dollars each and have 11 or 12 tracks on them. So the price is right in line with what you’re already paying. Is it still too high? Yes. But it’s not Apple’s fault – it’s the labels that have signed up to have their music distributed. Everyone seems to be selling tunes for approximately the same amount.

  3. Are they gonna get cheaper? Yep. Real cheap, real fast? Nope. The technology is built around a small expensive hard drive. It’s going to be quite a while before those come down significantly in price.

You download the music to your computer, then transfer them to the iPod. If, heaven forbid, something should happen to your iPod, you can still transfer the files from your computer to a new iPod.

  1. Yes I worry about it sometimes. But then again, people carry around $2000 laptops and $300 PDAs all the time. And drive around in $50,000 cars. The iPod isn’t a big deal.

  2. The point is that it allows you to take not just your favorite songs, but your entire music collection. Also it holds up to 8000 songs, depending on compression rate. If you want higher quality audio it holds fewer songs.

  3. I guess some people do illegal downloads. But most people “rip” (convert) the audio CDs we already own. If you have 100 CDs, each 1 hour long, and rip them all at 256kb, that’s already over 10GB.

  4. The iPod is basically a laptop hard drive with a small battery and control chip. All these components are already mature technology, so I wouldn’t expect rapid drop in price. I believe the price dropped by about 25% over the past year. At this rate it will be another 14 years before it hits $9.99.

  1. Nice third-party cases are available to protect iPods from damage due to dropping. Don’t drop them down a well or in a lake, though. As far as expense, they are in the same price range as replacement costs for cell phones.

  2. iPods are basically portable multi-GB hard drives. You can store anything electronic on them.

  3. You buy songs via your personal computer (Mac or PC). So right off the bat, you have two copies of purchased songs: one on your computer, and one on the iPod. If your iPod is lost or damaged, you can reconstruct your whole library from your PC. Also, most of my iPod songs came from my personal CD collection. Songs can be ripped off of audio CDs as quickly as a multi-speed computer CD drive can read them. I’ve only purchased about 20 songs from the Apple website so far, all of which, of course, I didn’t already own.

I just have to say - LOVE the thread title, DMark.
And am finding this thread informative as well.
Carry on!

  1. Just like anyone with any expensive object you just take better care of it. Do I treat my 5 Megapixel Digital Camera like a cheap $25 point and shoot? No way. I make sure it’s well taken care of.

  2. Mine holds about 10k songs. I haven’t even gotten through half of my CD collection so far and it’s half full. It’s not necessarily your favorites, but imagine being able to select “classical” and playing a collection of several hundred songs, or “Workout” and having a great workout mix. Imagine a several day road trip, or a 12 hour plane ride where you never have to hear the same song twice unless you want to, and all of them are songs you like. Right now, with mine half full I have 5.8 days of non-stop non-repeating music.

  3. I have purchased some from iTunes, but as others have said you can put any music you already own on there.

  4. I used to have a Rio player. Cost me around 100 bucks and it could hald MAYBE 32 songs in WMA format. That’s about 3 CD’s worth. For 300 bucks I now can hold 300 times as many songs. Maybe iPods will come down in price, but then again do BMWs come down in price a lot? THere is a certain price you pay for a well made, nice looking, well engineered product. It might drop 100 or 2oo bucks but i doubt you’ll see them under $200 any time soon.

Losing an iPod is your own responsibility, but the buggers are tough. I’ve lost count of how many stories I’ve heard where people knock their iPods onto a concrete slab, or gone cross-country skiing with them, or run a marathon with one. Durability isn’t a problem.

Go to Slashdot.org and you’ll find folks boasting of their 60-, 80-, and 200-gigabyte music collections. :wink: Note that you can also buy Audible.com audio books and play those on your iPod, and those things are fairly hefty size-wise.

Not for a while, I think. The bulk of the cost is the micro-sized hard drive inside the iPod, and the prices for those don’t seem to be going down any time soon.

If you want a good place for all things iPod, try http://www.ipodlounge.com/

If you don’t mind, DMark, I’d like to semi-hijack this with an iPod question of my own.
Can I save playlists on it? Multiple ones? My main reason for wanting an iPod is so I can listen to music while I’m jogging and working out, so while I’d like to be able to store all my songs, I’d also like to be able to select just a certain set for while I’m exercising.

Yes. You create playlists in iTunes, and they all get exported to the iPod.

I own a different model of MP3 player, but the answers are largely the same.

Mine has a 20 gig hard drive, and also has a small screen - about an inch and a half, diagonal - on which I can play video files. So on slow days at work, not only do I have my ~10 gig mp3 collection riding on my hip, I can also have many hours of video to entertain me (which I only use when it’s REALLY slow). I’ve wiled away a few hours here and there watching episodes of MST3K or NewsRadio.

Sure, it’s an expensive piece of gadgetry, and I treat it like such. At any moment, it’s either in my house, locked in my locker at work, or on my belt.

To expand on the playlist thing, iTunes/iPod support “smart playlists,” where the songs are selected dynamically based on whatever criteria you want. A smart playlist like “Choose songs of the genre ‘rock’ which I haven’t heard in the last week and rated 3 stars or better but were not performed by Aerosmith” would be trivially easy for the iPod.

Also note that the new iPods released this week support multiple “on-the-go” playlists, so you can build several (static) playlists without access to a computer.

Can I make a playlist through iTunes with songs from my CDs, or is that only for purchased music?

Anything you stick into iTunes, you can turn into a playlist. You can make a ‘smart’ playlist that selects things automatically, or go song by song and build a custom list. You can share them online. You can convert MP3s into audio CDs of any song you’ve bought online, or ripped from your own collection. And print a jewel case cover complete with photos of your favorite singers. You can get audiobooks. You can use it as an address book, or a daytimer (although you have to input items at a computer, then transfer.) You can play simple, mindless games like Pong. You can download the U.S. constitution in print format, or download a map from mapquest, and read it off the screen. You can buy a microphone attachment and record lectures or concerts directly into your iPod. And if you go to Duke University, you get one for free. :wink:

Light dawns at last.

I was thinking iTunes was only an online music store. I just downloaded the player now, and it looks pretty good. I may be in the market for an iPod soon.

Is this the iPod mini? Or is that something different? What’s the main difference between a third generation and a fourth generation one?


Yes what about the batteries? I hear you can’t replace them?