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Whats so cool about IPods(9 posts)

Whats so cool about IPodsSchvonzie
Dec 8, 2003 10:03 AM
Recently the cycling community has been taken by storm, by little white boxes. Ipods are now all the rage. Is it just becasue people want to have something to listen to on those long rides, or is it a deeper meaning? Do you think its safe? Even if you only put one ear in? Why do people pay more on ebay than they cost new in the store? Anyone know where i can get a good deal on one?
They last forever. Battery life, that is.kevinacohn
Dec 8, 2003 10:30 AM
I frequently bring my iPod along when I ride. Only one earbud in, of course, and the volume is very low. But sometimes music is very motivating on training rides. Other times it's just fun to listen to music when you're riding alone.

I've had an iPod since the very first one came out around two years ago. I had a rev A (5 GB), rev B (10 GB), and now I have a rev C (15 GB). I've never had the battery die on me. I charge it every other day or so and it always works perfectly. I can listen to whatever I want whenever I want.

As far as where to find one, I would suggest looking for a "new" 15 GB model on an online catalogue website. Apple recently stopped producing the 15 GB (new sizes are 10, 20, 40 GB), so there are a bunch of retailers trying to sell off their 15 GB stock.
Not just IPODsRay Sachs
Dec 8, 2003 10:54 AM
Hard drive based MP3 players in general are a pretty awesome development for people who like to keep music with them. I recently bought a 20 gigabyte player (Creative Nomad Zen) that's not *quite* as small and sleek as an IPOD, but its close and it cost a little over half as much. I have basically my entire CD collection downloaded to this little device and it's not quite half full. That's about 4,000 tracks (roughly 400 albums) and I'm into jazz and improvisational rock, so a lot of those tracks are very long. It fits in a coat pocket and weighs about 7 ounces. I can listen through headphones or plug it into my home stereo or car player and the sound is excellent (a hard core audiophile could probably tell the difference between the original CD and the compressed file format these machines use, but I can't). So I basically have my entire music collection with me almost all the time in a package about the size of a palm pilot.

I don't ride with music for safety and aesthetic reasons, but if you do, these things would be great. Of course, these do contain small hard drives so there are moving parts and they do have a little bit of heft to them. For a bit less money, you could get a 128 or 256 megabyte mp3 player that will hold 5-10 albums at a time in flash memory. These are even smaller and lighter and certainly hold enough music to get you through any bike ride.

re: Whats so cool about IPodsMy Dog Wally
Dec 8, 2003 11:17 AM
While it's true that you can get an MP3 player that's cheaper than an iPod, no other player comes with software that's nearly as good as what comes with an iPod. In true Apple style, the software is fantastic. Another reason to choose an iPod is how well it works with the iTunes Music Store. You can download songs in AAC format which compresses the music even more than MP3 format does, yet sounds even better. Apple stuff always seems to cost more, but you get what you pay for.
As with any type of product, there are tradeoffsRay Sachs
Dec 8, 2003 11:50 AM
IPODs do have great software and a really slick interface (same thing really) and they do support AAC format. But, OTOH, they don't support WMA files, which are waaay smaller than mp3 and also sound better (and are pretty much ubiquitous in the world of Windows). But they have battery life problems and I-tunes is only one of several services offering downloads for purchase that work very well with other players. IPOD doesn't really work with any service BUT that one. The interface on mine isn't as slick as on an IPOD, but I've never had any trouble finding what I want to listen to within a few seconds. As with almost anything else, the products are all pretty close and you have to really comparison shop to figure out which features matter to you.

Not to diss IPODs - they're great devices. But there are plenty of other ones coming to market now that are just fine themselves. Like with Macs vs. PCs, there's a difference, but not really a functionally meaningful one anymore. And the gap is getting smaller and smaller all the time. There's plenty of good stuff out there and more to come I'm sure. I imagine in 5-10 years, there will be flash memory players that hold 20-30 gigabytes and will fit in something the size of a pen or pencil and still sound great.

What's not cool?jw25
Dec 8, 2003 1:42 PM
I have a 20GB player (Creative Nomad Jukebox 2LX), and it's got 2,056 songs loaded, as fairly high-quality WMAs, and it's still got 10.16 GB free. I rip tracks to my PC with Windows Media Player, using a variable bit rate between 85 - 145 Kbps, and they sound as good as the original CD audio to me.
My unit's bigger than an Ipod or Zen, but it's still smaller than a CD player, and the battery lasts me 4-5 days of fairly heavy use.
I don't ride with it, though. One, I like hearing what's going on around me, and two, the hard drive isn't up to that kind of abuse. For sport use, I'd get a keychain-type solid state system, 128MB or so, and use that. You can still fit a couple hours of good-quality audio on that, and there's no moving parts inside.
Cyclists are probably more used to paying loads of money for small, shiny objects than the general public, so the Ipod and imitators don't seem out of the ordinary. We like technology, too.
As for Ebay, well, it's a free market. People will pay what they think something is worth, even if a quick search could find them bargains on a retail site.
For deals, try a google search for "lowest-price Ipod" or something. There's a bunch of metasites out there that gather price info for any number of retailers. Similar to
re: Whats so cool about IPodsblakester
Dec 8, 2003 5:40 PM
I ride/lift/hike.. everything with my Ipod. Like the others, I'm impressed by not needing to buy batteries, ease of use, and how much even the cheapest ones hold (more than I'd need.)
They make it harder to hearKerry Irons
Dec 8, 2003 6:10 PM
The subject of riding with headphones comes up all the time, and all the people who do it say that they keep the music low so that they remain safe. My own experience in overtaking people with headphones (plus the one time I made the mistake of riding with someone wearing them) tells me that these people are just kidding themselves. You need your hearing to deal with traffic and other riders. Full stop. Anyone who claims they have full hearing with headphones on is in denial. Anyone who can't get great music in their head without headphones is lacking in imagination. Nothing wrong with iPods or any other MP3 device, they are just wrong for cycling on the road.
Ipod - great device, but 99% of Windows PC users need anFez
Dec 8, 2003 8:43 PM
additional cable, which Apple did not include.

My laptops have Firewire and USB2. Apple only included a firewire cable. So I plugged it in and constant error message. Why? Most firewire ports don't have enough power running through to power or charge the iPod device. Whenever I use firewire, I have to supply auxiliary power as well. That is not possible with the iPod.

So how do you use it with a Windows PC?

You need a special Y shaped cable that has USB2 and Firewire ends. The USB2 end plugs into the computer and the firewire end plugs into the charger.

This is the only way I have been able to make it work with Windows notebooks and shame on Apple for not including it.