Author Topic: iPod-racing  (Read 20470 times)

Offline Matt

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iPod-racing
« on: July 19, 2004, 11:01 AM »
Are you like me?  Are you an iPod virgin?

Alright--I was kind of toying with getting one of these, anyway, and then over the weekend, I saw that Apple was rolling out a new model:



20GB: 5000 Songs
$299.99 (down from $399.99 last year)

40GB: 10,000 Songs
$399.99 (down from $499.99 last year)

Evidently, the new, fourth-generation (4G) models are smaller, cheaper, and have 50% more battery life, as well.

They've gotten rid of their 15GB models, and they still have the iPod Minis, too (4GB, $249.99).

So apparently, these things are already for sale over at Apple's site ( www.apple.com ), so while I'm not quite ready to pull the trigger, I am loading the bullets.

But (and there's always a big but, isn't there, Pee-wee?), while surfing around for info, I found out that my computer may be a little out of date for the iPod.  I'm not computer savvy at all, but my computer's almost five years old, and may lack some of the hookups (like Firewire and what-not) that are recommended for transferring music from the computer to the iPod.  What's more, I was browsing around Apple's site, and caught something that said that their music system (iTunes) would only work with computers on Windows 2000 and XP--I've got Windows 98.  No good.

So I'm wanting to order one of these, but I'm a little concerned that I wouldn't be able to do anything with it once it got here, thanks to my dinosaur of a computer. 

I'm thinking I should probably worry about upgrading my computer first, and then do the iPod--but somehow I'm more excited about spending $400 on something I may not even be able to use, than $1500 or so on a new computer.

What about you guys?  Anyone have an iPod, or a similar portable musical hard-drive thing, like an iRiver?  Anyone going to upgrade to the new 4G iPod?

(By the way, while researching this weekend, I found a nice iPod site which has a pretty slick buyer's guide (which I guess has just been outdated, effective today):  www.ipodlounge.com )
« Last Edit: October 23, 2006, 06:27 PM by Matt »

Offline Scott

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2004, 11:23 AM »
OK...I'm an idiot when it comes to iPods in general...two simple questions.

#1 How easy is it to download your CD's to the 'Pod
#2 How do you play the thing in the car?  Is it some sort of weird contraption that was available when portable CD players were ahead of the in car stereos (mid 90's)

I'm a total virgin on this bad boy and something I've wanted to get for a while.  I may wait a while and have my wife buy me one for a Christmas/Birthday sort of thing.  I'd love to get rid of some CD's its to the point where they are spilling all over the place as there is no more room in our Entertainment center :-\

Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2004, 11:38 AM »
#1 How easy is it to download your CD's to the 'Pod

Well, according to the Beginner's Guide at that site I linked to, it's really easy (that site's running really slow for me right now, or I'd provide a link).  I think it's just a matter of using the software (which I believe is included).  That site makes it out to be a snap--you might see if that site works better for you than it does me.

Quote
#2 How do you play the thing in the car?  Is it some sort of weird contraption that was available when portable CD players were ahead of the in car stereos (mid 90's)

It's some cable, yeah.  A techno-geek buddy of mine's got one hooked up in his truck.  There's also this new thing for BMW's which integrates an iPod into the sound system on recent models.  And I read some stuff this weekend that Alpine is (are?) coming out with decks which are supposed to be geared toward iPods.

(Again, I'd try that site I linked to, if it works okay for you--I'm sure they have all kinds of stuff about using the iPod in the car.)

Online Jeff

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2004, 11:59 AM »
I've been looking into iPods for a while now, and just recently decided to start saving up for the 15GB model  :-\

So, now that the 15GB is no more, I guess I'll go for the 20GB at the $300 price....

The two issues I have/had with the iPod which kept me from buying were:
1.  The battery life (up to 8 hours, usually more lke 6-7) didn't seem like enough for long trips
2.  The battery is not replacable without sending it to Apple or taking it to an Apple store for repairs/replacement

It seems that the 1st item has been taken care of with the increased battery life, but I wtill wonder if the longer life (12hrs) will reduce the overall life of the battery.  Currently, most iPod rechargable batteries wear out after 1-2 years depending on use, and cost $100 to replace!

As for the car issue, most people I know have the iPod FM transmitter.  You just plug this into your iPod and it transmits to FM frequency which you tune in on your car stereo.  Only $20 and works very well.

It is amazing what you can do with your iPod.  With the right software and accessories, you can store pictures, files and just about anything on the iPod using it as an extra 20 GB of memory.  No to mention that the 20GB i Pod holds about 10,000 songs, or about 1000 CDs, or about 87lb of CDs.   And it all fits in the palm of your hand...

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Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2004, 12:18 PM »
I've been looking into iPods for a while now, and just recently decided to start saving up for the 15GB model  :-\

So, now that the 15GB is no more, I guess I'll go for the 20GB at the $300 price....

You're getting 5GB more for the same price that you would have paid for the 15GB--isn't that a good thing?

Quote
The two issues I have/had with the iPod which kept me from buying were:
1.  The battery life (up to 8 hours, usually more lke 6-7) didn't seem like enough for long trips
2.  The battery is not replacable without sending it to Apple or taking it to an Apple store for repairs/replacement

Ouch!  Didn't know that.  And I guess the only way to charge these things up is by hooking it up to your computer?  Or is there a separate AC (or DC) adapter that's available?

(Pre-emptive edit:  Looks like there are extended batteries and car adapters available for the iPods:

http://www.apple.com/ipod/accessories.html )
 
Quote
Currently, most iPod rechargable batteries wear out after 1-2 years depending on use, and cost $100 to replace!

Double ouch!  Of course, if your battery dies two years from now, you could spend the hundred bucks on a replacement, or you could take that hundred bucks and buy a fifth-or-sixth-generation iPod instead.  I'd probably rather do that than buy a new battery for an outdated model.

Online Jeff

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2004, 01:36 PM »
You're getting 5GB more for the same price that you would have paid for the 15GB--isn't that a good thing?

Yes and No.  It's good to get 5GB more at the same price, but I was hoping that they'd have kept the 15GB version and dropped it's price too!  I know why they didn't, because at $200-250 it would have competed directly with the smaller iPod mini.  So, I'm sure that's why they ditched it.  :(

Quote
Ouch!  Didn't know that.  And I guess the only way to charge these things up is by hooking it up to your computer?  Or is there a separate AC (or DC) adapter that's available?

(Pre-emptive edit:  Looks like there are extended batteries and car adapters available for the iPods: http://www.apple.com/ipod/accessories.html )

Yeah, most of the guys I know with iPods all have the car adaptor so they don't use batteries while in the car, which I'm sure helps with the batteries.  Oh yeah, and there are extra AC adaptors so you can recharge in the docking station OR just with a regular outlet (for travel).
 
Quote
Double ouch!  Of course, if your battery dies two years from now, you could spend the hundred bucks on a replacement, or you could take that hundred bucks and buy a fifth-or-sixth-generation iPod instead.  I'd probably rather do that than buy a new battery for an outdated model.replace!

That's a good point.  Two years from now, I'm sure the iPod tech will be even better... even more reason for me to pull the trigger... in fact, I'm "loading the bullets" as well!

I've already got the iTunes software on my PC at home and everytime I log on, I throw a CD in the PC and download it to the iTunes jukebox so they will be ready ASAP when I do get my iPod ;)).  It's very easy and fast.  You pop in the CD, click the format you'd like to use (mp3, .aac, WimAmp) and the CD is burned to your HD.  

In fact, the iTunes jukebox is on-line, so it inserts the CD into a folder structure following the artist name and albyum name to group your CDs together, in essence creating the folder structure you'll use when you upload to iPod!  Very user-friendly.

Just an FYI, here are some other random complaints I've heard about iPods:

1. - can't upload or download to ANY PC but yours.  Your iPod is keyed into a specific software copy.  In other words, you can't upload music from your friends docking station and PC.   I have heard that if the music comes from a CD you personally uploaded, you may be able to trasnfer files...

2. - can't upload a song unless you have the music "key" on your PC.  In other words, not all music you download off the internet can be uploaded to your iPod.  ONLY music you uploaded from a CD/CD-ROM and/or purchased from a valid on-line music store (Apple, Real, Sony, etc, Napster).

3. - Fragile cases.  I've read a lot of stories where the iPod was basically wrecked after dropping it off a counter, falling only a few feet.  


I'm not sure how accurate all these are, not having an iPod yet to test all cases, but these complaints seem to come up at most review places I've read (amazon, cnet, etc).

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Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2004, 02:12 PM »
1. - can't upload or download to ANY PC but yours.  Your iPod is keyed into a specific software copy.  In other words, you can't upload music from your friends docking station and PC.

Well, that kinda blows my whole "buy one now, and use a friend's (good) computer to transfer music to it until I get a good computer" plan outta the water. . .

Quote
2. - can't upload a song unless you have the music "key" on your PC.  In other words, not all music you download off the internet can be uploaded to your iPod.  ONLY music you uploaded from a CD/CD-ROM and/or purchased from a valid on-line music store (Apple, Real, Sony, etc, Napster).

Hmmm--I'm not too big on downloading stuff over the Internet, anyway.  I think most of the stuff I would use would come from my own personal CD collection--and I certainly wouldn't mind paying the 99 cents for random tracks through iTunes.  Not a big deal for me.

Quote
3. - Fragile cases.  I've read a lot of stories where the iPod was basically wrecked after dropping it off a counter, falling only a few feet.
 

I would imagine this could be a problem.  I wonder if Apple offers any kind of an extended warranty or insurance for things like this, or if any other retailers would offer something similar in case of damage.  (And I think I read something, too, where a guy was quoted a repair of $250 for his iPod--that's ridiculous.  If they're that expensive to fix, well, it's kind of like the battery--wouldn't it be wiser just to take that money and put it toward a brand new unit?)

Anyone here actually have one of these things?  I know JoshEEE's a techno-geek. . .

Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2004, 02:21 PM »
It's good to get 5GB more at the same price, but I was hoping that they'd have kept the 15GB version and dropped it's price too!  I know why they didn't, because at $200-250 it would have competed directly with the smaller iPod mini.  So, I'm sure that's why they ditched it.  :(

Just thought of something--what's the market for these things like on eBay?  I would think that, with a new model coming out, that we'll see a flood of the older models there, as people upgrade.  That might be a good chance to get a 15GB model fairly inexpensively, if you don't mind buying used.  But then again, if what you say is true, and they're difficult to use between one person's computer and another's, then maybe that's not an option.

And also, maybe we'll see sort of a clearance on the old 3G units as retailers make room for the new ones.

Online Jeff

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2004, 02:30 PM »
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing too... might have to check Target to see what they do with the old 15GB units.

...

Just did a quick check and...

Amazon.com -  it looks like the 15GB units that are left at Amazon are down to $250 (from $300).  Not too bad.  Same price as the 4GB mini, but 4times the music storage for the slightly larger/heavier size of the 15GB version.

Target.com - seems to still have the 15GB at $300, but with free shipping.

BestBuy.com - sold out of 15GB version

Also, I found the following nugget at cnet.com:

Quote
Some people want to use the iPod to share music between multiple computers. You can, but it's not easy. Syncing to iTunes is possible with only one machine. But there is an unattractive alternative. We were able to copy MP3 files from the iPod to a second computer's hard drive in Windows by turning on "View hidden files and folders" and browsing the iPod's internal directories in My Computer until we found the music. Mac users can do the same thing if they install ResEdit. However, when we reconnected the iPod to the primary machine, the device wouldn't mount as a drive until we reset it.

Sounds like you can do it, but it takes a bit of effort to share music across 2 PCs...

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Offline Matt Carroll

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2004, 05:09 PM »
OK...I'm an idiot when it comes to iPods in general...two simple questions.


#1 How easy is it to download your CD's to the 'Pod
#2 How do you play the thing in the car?  Is it some sort of weird contraption that was available when portable CD players were ahead of the in car stereos (mid 90's)



I have the 15GB iPod. It's a breeze to import CD's, using iTunes. You put in the CD, it searches the database to find which CD it is, lists the tracks and artists for you, then you hit an "Import" button. It copies the CD into compressed files that can then be loaded onto your iPod. You have the choice to automatically import any new songs in your library to your iPod anytime it is connected to your computer or to manage the music files manually. However, downloading through iTunes saves them as .m4a, which aren't playable on Windows Media Player or other audio programs. You can use WMP or Musicmatch or whatever else to import them as .mp3's, but the compression ratio isn't as good as the .m4a's.

Right now, you have the choice of a cassette adaptor or FM modulator for listening in the car- both of which are "extras" and not included in the iPod package. I know a few people who have RCA jacks on their car stereo, and you can use a standard headphone jack-RCA plugs adaptor to make the connection in that case. I have the cassette adaptor, along with the lighter adaptor for power. The FM modulators that I've seen are battery powered and I don't know what the battery life is on those things.


The battery for the iPod was my concern when I picked mine up last year. I ended up purchasing mine at Best Buy, where I ensured that if/when the battery needs replacing during my extended warranty period,  they would cover the cost of that. It's the first time I've ever gone for the extended warranty option on electronics. I bought 4 years of coverage at either $40 or $50.

I haven't tried to bring files over to a different computer using the iPod, so I can't comment on how easy it is to do.

It's really a sweet machine and I'm very glad I picked one up. I don't know how much music everyone has, but I've loaded pretty much every CD I own and a number of songs purchased from Apple/iTunes and have space to spare. I'm at 2,987 songs (around 8.3 days worth of music) right now at just a touch over 11 GB (including the base software on the iPod). Not too shabby! :)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2004, 05:11 PM by Matt Carroll »
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Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2004, 06:11 PM »
The battery for the iPod was my concern when I picked mine up last year. I ended up purchasing mine at Best Buy, where I ensured that if/when the battery needs replacing during my extended warranty period,  they would cover the cost of that. It's the first time I've ever gone for the extended warranty option on electronics. I bought 4 years of coverage at either $40 or $50.

Interesting--this might actually be one of those rare situations where an extended warranty is actually worth it (and this is coming from somone who sold them at Best Buy for several years).  

And, depending on if they could actually service iPods or not (I'm betting not), they would probably just give you credit--for whatever you initially spent--to replace the old iPod with a new one.  And your, say, $300 that you spent on a player today is going to get you a lot better player a couple of years from now.

Might be something to consider when Best Buy gets the new 4Gs in stock.

Thanks for responding, Matt--it's always good to hear from people that actually have and use the stuff in question.

And also--heard some rumblings today that HP will be introducing their HP-branded iPods later this year--and there's also the fact that Toshiba announced that they're doing 60GB drives for Apple, too.  All Apple has now are the Minis, the 20GB, and the 40GB--maybe they've got the new 60GB unit coming out to fill that $499 hole, that the 40GB model used to fill. . .


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Offline jjks

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2004, 04:08 AM »

Mmmm. . .  fascinating.

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What the 'ell, that's old news!  >:(

Offline Matt

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Re: iPod-racing
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2004, 10:42 AM »
Dammit.