Beginner’s Guide to iPod, Part I: So You Want to Buy an iPod? | iLounge Article


Beginner’s Guide to iPod, Part I: So You Want to Buy an iPod?

The editors of iLounge would like to believe that the world is full of two types of people: iPod owners and soon-to-be iPod owners. Momentum seems to be on our side. Since the iPod community is poised to add over a million new members in the next six months, today seemed like a perfect time to publish a beginner's guide to the iPod, tailored to the needs of new and prospective iPod users.

Old and new friends alike, we welcome you to iLounge's new Beginner's Guide to iPod, an extended feature article which will be presented in the following five parts:

Part I: So You Want to Buy an iPod?
Part II: Five Steps to Using Your iPod
Part III: Necessary Accessories for Typical Users
Part IV: Awesome Accessories for Power Users
Part V: From Photos to eBooks, Creating Content and Troubleshooting

Part I: So You Want to Buy an iPod? (June 7, 2004)*

You're thinking of buying an iPod? We're glad, but not surprised. As of the June 2004 publication of this article, there are more than three million iPods in use, and Apple's invention has won nearly universal praise as the de facto hardware standard for digital music playback. Since over 800,000 iPods were sold in Apple's last fiscal quarter alone, pundits have predicted that more than two million new iPod users could join the pack in 2004. The benefits of a large community are numerous. User groups and discussion forums, including those hosted by iLounge, have sprung up around the world, and experienced users have offered their expertise and friendship to a growing global community of digital music lovers.


A full-sized iPod photographed at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, Wessex, United Kingdom, part of iLounge's iPods Around the World photo gallery. You can click on the photo to visit the gallery.

Which iPod to Buy

The iPod started out as a high-end music device for sophisticated gadgeteers, but subtle refinements, price decreases, and media attention transformed it into a truly mainstream product. Rather than trying to choose between different brands of digital music players, people now ask us, "how do I know which iPod to buy?" For some, that's a daunting decision. After all, the iPod and iPod mini look a bit different, have different numbers on the sides of their boxes, and have very different price tags.

While there are differences between the various iPod models, it's actually easy to choose an iPod that will meet your needs. As you may know, Apple currently makes four iPods that differ from each other only in the following key ways:

iPod mini iPod 15GB iPod 20GB iPod 40GB
Storage (#Songs) 4GB (1,000) 15GB (3,700) 20GB (5,000) 40GB (10,000)
Size / Weight 3.6x2.0x0.5"/3.6oz 4.1x2.4x0.6"/5.6oz 4.1x2.4x0.6"/5.6oz 4.1x2.4x0.7"/6.2oz
Colors / Materials 5 / Aluminum 1 / Acrylic + Metal 1 / Acrylic + Metal 1 / Acrylic + Metal
Missing Pack-ins No Soft Carry Bag
No Dock
No Remote
No Nylon Case
No USB Cable
No Dock
No Remote
No Nylon Case
No USB Cable No USB Cable
Price USD$249 USD$299 USD$399 USD$499

Most new iPod buyers express initial concern about the first three factors: the number of songs each iPod can hold, and the size and look of the iPod. Price is another key factor, but should be considered in light of the other issues, including storage capacity and packed-in accessories. We think that each of these factors is important enough to discuss in additional detail.

Click through to see iLounge's "opening the iPod package" photo gallery. Full-sized (third generation) 15GB iPod shown. NOTE: Currently shipping 15GB iPods does not include a remote and dock.

Storage and Number of Songs

Though there's a temptation to recommend the highest-capacity iPod to every type of user - just because you never know how much storage space a person's going to need - most people will never need to carry around 10,000 songs at one time. That's over 800 CDs worth of music, and the average person is believed to own around or under 100 CDs. Therefore, the iPod mini's 1000 song (80+ CD) capacity is widely believed to be just about right for the typical purchaser.

But there are three types of people who should consider higher-capacity iPods: music hoarders, audiophiles, and gadget power users. People with lots of music, or plans to own more music, surely shouldn't get the smallest-sized iPod. Nor should audiophiles. As it turns out, the 1000-10000 song estimates are based upon medium-quality music recordings that sound great through typical headphones, but reveal recording flaws when heard with better headphones or sophisticated ears. Higher-quality recordings consume more space - 50% or more than the estimates above.

And finally, gadget power users will discover that iPods are capable of more than just music storage and playback. Full-sized iPods can also store digital photos, act as voice recorders, and more, each of which will share the iPod's hard drive and reduce its music storage capacity. Notably, the iPod mini doesn't have these expanded capabilities, so it's not the best option for techies.

Click through to see iLounge's "opening the iPod mini package" photo gallery. Silver iPod mini shown.

Size and Appearance

For men, the size and color of earlier iPods wasn't much of an issue. Smaller than the footprint of a single compact disc, full-sized 15, 20 and 40GB iPods are still the smallest digital music players with those respective capacities, and the polished acrylic plastic front and metal back are nothing short of pure class. By the time Apple got around to naming the iPod's distinctive white-on-chrome case style "iPod Signature White," the device had already cemented Apple's place alongside Mont Blanc and Sony in the world of luxury product design.

But female users were even more attracted to the smaller iPod mini, which offers five colors in the same horizontal and vertical dimensions of a business card, only thicker - the overall footprint of a small cellular phone. A consequence of the iPod mini's newer aluminum case design is added practicality: it's more scratch-resistant than the older polished iPods, making the iPod mini an easier choice to fearlessly toss into a bag or pocket without buying a carrying case accessory. iLounge still recommends the use of a case, however, to keep any iPod (especially its plastic-covered screen) free of scratches.

Price Tag and Pack-ins

Price is an important but somewhat deceptive factor. The price difference between the iPod mini and the cheapest full-sized iPod is only $50, and many people believe that an extra $50 is well-spent for the 11GB (2700 additional song) capacity difference. Other people believe that the iPod mini's smaller size and more resilient body justify its higher relative price. In iLounge's opinion, the 15GB iPod is a better overall purchase for the dollar than the iPod mini, and given the money to spend ourselves, that's the way we'd spend it.

(As we'll discuss in more detail in Part II of this Guide, full-sized iPod purchasers should note that no USB cable is included in the iPod box - a $16-$19 value for those whose computers only use USB connections. The iPod mini does include a USB cable, however, and we expect that future iPods will as well.)

That's not the end of the story, though. The $100 price difference between the 15GB iPod and its bigger 20GB brother is offset by several factors: in addition to an extra 5GB (1300 songs) of capacity, the 20GB iPod includes a remote control, a nylon protective case, and a Dock - a plastic piece that keeps your iPod standing up on any flat surface and provides a direct line-out connection to a stereo. These accessories are overpriced when sold separately and directly through Apple, collectively representing a "value" of $117 if purchased separately. Typical users will only need one of the items, the remote control ($39), but if having the Dock ($39) interests you as well, you might as well spring for the 20GB iPod instead of the 15GB version.

At $499, the current top-of-line 40GB iPod is especially pricey, and only rarely available at a discounted price. It's also slightly thicker than the 15GB and 20GB iPods, though not importantly so unless you're buying third-party case accessories. As iPod power users ourselves, we prefer the top-of-line iPod models because of their extra storage space, though as capacities continue to climb, the need for bigger and bigger iPods will decrease - at least, for music storage reasons.


A green iPod mini photographed at the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA; another photograph from iLounge's iPods Around the World photo gallery.

Where to Buy

Discounts on iPods are few and far between except when models are discontinued, near discontinuation, or refurbished and resold through Apple. Previously discontinued iPods have sold direct through Apple, and infrequently through other retailers, for $50-75 discounts off of their original prices. We expect that discounts of this sort will soon become available on certain third-generation iPods, and it is possible that Apple will also lower the price of the iPod mini by $50 as well.

Some retailers have recently started to offer pack-ins (free cases and/or accessories) with any iPod purchase, so if you're price- or deal-conscious and have the luxury of time, keep your eyes open for a promotion. However, as experienced bargain hunters, we must emphasize that the inconvenience factor of waiting for a "deal" on iPods has historically almost always outweighed the benefit scored in the process. Therefore, expect to pay something close to the full retail price for a brand new iPod unless you are (or know) a student qualified for Apple's educational discount program, or are shopping for an iPod very close to the introduction of a newer version, or are interested in buying something else - say, a one-year subscription to Audible's audio book program - in addition to the iPod.

We don't generally recommend purchasing refurbished iPods unless you're willing to take the risk that your refurbished unit will have some slight (or not-so-slight) issue, though Apple's warranty service will likely remedy any such problem quickly and at no charge. If you're interested in taking the risk, see the Special Deals page of the Apple Store's website, where discontinued 30GB iPods are currently listed for $349 and 40GB refurbished versions sell for $399.

Future Proofing Your Purchase

One of the toughest questions to answer is whether today's purchase of an iPod is "future-proof," namely that a new version released tomorrow won't obsolete current models on the market. The simplest answer to this question is "yes," given that there have already been four versions of the iPod released, each of which has had far more in common than not.


An iLounge user's concept rendering of a future iPod with video capabilities, taken from our iPod Concepts photo gallery. Note that this picture is not necessarily representative of any actual future iPod product, though we wouldn't mind if it was.

So far, Apple has made only two important technological changes to iPod revisions: accessory ports and firmware. The release of the third-generation iPod marked the debut of the Dock Connector port, a multi-purpose accessory port that replaced a limited-purpose FireWire port on first- and second-generation iPods. Apple's Dock Connector port was carried over to the iPod mini, and all indications are that the port will survive to near-term iPod hardware successors. As a result, we believe that there will continue to be a steady stream of accessories compatible with both current-model and future iPods.

Firmware is the operating system at the center of an iPod, and there are currently three types of iPod firmware - first- and second-generation iPod firmware, which is no longer being updated; third-generation iPod firmware, which continues to be updated to add features; and iPod mini firmware, which also continues to be updated to fix bugs and add features. We expect that the next-generation iPod will have its own firmware, and that upon its release, Apple may decide to discontinue firmware updates for the third-generation iPod, which is generally believed to be largely bug-free and not in dire need of additional functionality.

Accessory ports and firmware aside, iPods have stayed almost exactly the same from version to version: from their wheel and button controls to their backlit LCD screens, and from the music formats they support (MP3, AAC, WAV) to the software you can use with them, it hardly matters which iPod you purchased or when you purchased it. They all do the same thing - play music - and do it well. And we don't expect that music functionality to change too dramatically in the future.

* Updated July 2004: On July 19, 2004, Apple will formally announce replacements for the current 15/20/40GB third-generation iPods, featuring slightly smaller bodies, Click Wheels instead of Scroll Wheels, six-line black and white screens, and full compatibility with current Dock Connector accessories. Other than pricing and storage capacity, other changes to the hardware are not expected to be dramatic.

Therefore, you have a choice: join the iPod revolution today, or get in line with hundreds of thousands of other people for the new iPods when they're released. Our feeling: no matter how exciting the future may be, there's no time like the present to buy something you'll love. Once you get your first iPod, we're confident that you'll wish you'd owned one sooner.

Jeremy Horwitz is Senior Editor of iLounge and practices intellectual property law in his spare time. His recent book, Law School Insider, has been called the "best book about law school - ever," and he continues to contribute to Ziff-Davis electronic entertainment magazines.

Part I: So You Want to Buy an iPod?
Part II: Five Steps to Using Your iPod
Part III: Necessary Accessories for Typical Users
Part IV: Awesome Accessories for Power Users
Part V: From Photos to eBooks, Creating Content and Troubleshooting

Related Stories



Much less controversial then a previous article

Posted by not my name on June 7, 2004 at 4:28 AM (CDT)


Any newbie thats considering an iPod should also consider making sure that they have a firewire port, because it’s the most common error that people assume when purchasing an iPod. I work for Best Buy, and 9 times out of 10, when people have hard disk problems with their iPods, it’s because they’ve been using the USB cables with it. Even USB 2.0 isn’t that good for the iPod, and using USB 1.1 is like committing murder. Apple only included a USB cable with the mini because most users are too lazy or not technically proficient enough to install a firewire card. Get Firewire!

Posted by AJ on June 7, 2004 at 9:13 AM (CDT)


As an iPod owner since 12/02, the most trouble I’ve had has been with the ear pieces. Without the foam, they don’t stay in place. After awhile the foam covers fall off and the ear pieces roll around in your ear. I wnet to the Apple Store and was lucky to be given an extra two that came back with a returned iPod. I’ ll be going back again soon.
The iPod is the best electronic toy I’ve ever bought. It has not given me an ounce of trouble (I sent it out to get a new battery last Jan. and it’s been fine. For anyone who loves music, get one… It’s so easy!

Posted by Steve Weinstock on June 7, 2004 at 9:24 AM (CDT)


AJ: We discuss that issue in Part II of the Guide - good call!

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on June 7, 2004 at 9:52 AM (CDT)


Well I only wish iPods were as cheap here in Brazil as they are in the US. Here they reach the astronomical price of R$ 2,500 (which equals to US$ 800,00) for the 40GB model….

Posted by Daniel da Rocha on June 7, 2004 at 11:09 AM (CDT)


Keeo up the good work Jeremy.

A beginner’s guide was long overdue! Will link often… :)

Posted by ginalee on June 7, 2004 at 12:54 PM (CDT)


Can somebody post some easy to use, step-by-step instructions for MiniIpod, for:

1. How to create a core library of songs.
2. How to transfer albums and/or songs from the library to the MiniIpod.

The instructions that accompany the MiniIpod leave alot to be desired.

Posted by Gart Morris on June 7, 2004 at 2:54 PM (CDT)


Ginalee: Much obliged. ;-) We’re cross-linking to your battery FAQ from the forums in an upcoming Part of the guide.

Gart: See Part II.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on June 7, 2004 at 3:01 PM (CDT)


Thank you very much for the article.
I enjoyed reading it as i am soon to become an ipod freak - my baby should be with me tomorrow :-)

Posted by Dick Large on June 7, 2004 at 4:06 PM (CDT)


Good article; however you need to remember that the US is not the only country in the world. Most global sites use both old (inches oz etc) and metric measurment references. They also refer to the months rather than seasons.


Posted by Nick183 in Australia on June 7, 2004 at 5:00 PM (CDT)


If there is no USB cable included with the 15GB iPod, how could I connect it to my computer? 

Also, I have Windows ME.  I know that itunes is not compatible with ME, but can I transfer music files from my Windows Media Player library?

Posted by Michael Engstrom on June 7, 2004 at 6:29 PM (CDT)


How do I transfer music from mac formated hard drive to PC formated Ipod?

Posted by agor on June 7, 2004 at 7:37 PM (CDT)


Well I only wish iPods were as cheap here in Brazil as they are in the US. Here they reach the astronomical price of R$ 2,500 (which equals to US$ 800,00) for the 40GB model….                        why not just buy a house?

Posted by Enrique69 in Montreal on June 7, 2004 at 8:54 PM (CDT)


Michael, in order to connect the ipod to your computer, you will need to purchase either a firewire card, or a USB cable. I own the Apple USB 2.0 + Firewire cable and it has been fine for me, but other users have reported problems when using USB, and there is also the added disadvantage of the iPod not charging when connected to your computer via USB 2, whereas it is with FireWire. This is a significant problem, as transferring data from your computer to your iPod or vice versa sucks a lot of the iPod’s battery power.
As for the Windows Me issue, no you will not be able to use an ipod or iTunes at all with windows Me. Windows Me is widely regarded as being the worst edition ever, so upgrading to XP would not be such a bad idea. Once you did that, you could import your entire Windows Media Player Library to iTunes, as iTunes 4.5 allows WMA files to be transferred to AAC. Then you would be ready to go if you bought an iPod :)
agor, i dont think it’s poosible to do that, i think the iPod has to be formatted for either PC or Mac, and reformatting it wipes the hard drive.

Posted by Nuke666 in Melbourne, Austalia on June 8, 2004 at 12:47 AM (CDT)


i still use music match on a 30gb ipod, and to be honest its a rubbish programme. Can i transfer all my thousands of songs to i tunes assuming i can download itunes from apple? If i can, how do i do it, i aint a techie!!

Posted by iain22 in united kingdom on June 8, 2004 at 3:24 AM (CDT)


Thank you for this article.  All the articles on this site are extremely helpful!!  You mentioned in the section on storage that the ipod mini doesn’t have the same file storage capabiliites that the full sized pods do.  Apple’s site
seems to advertise that you can use the mini’s hard drive for file storage (though you are limited to 3.76GBs).  I’m thinking about getting a mini and I was hoping to use some of the storage space for file backup like I do on my USB flash drive.

Posted by Packmanmac on June 9, 2004 at 8:41 AM (CDT)



Get iTunes here:

When you’re installing it, read the notices rather than just keep hitting ‘next’ as there will be an option for iTunes to scan your hard drive for music and import it into iTunes for you.


Posted by Si on June 9, 2004 at 4:25 PM (CDT)


To save hard drive space months ago, I converted my mp3 files to *.wma.  Is there a simple method of converting them (again) to *.aac files?

Posted by Rusty on June 9, 2004 at 8:41 PM (CDT)


Never mind - I’ve spent the better part of the night exploring your site and got the answer. Very slick!

Posted by Rusty on June 9, 2004 at 10:40 PM (CDT)


I own an iPod 20 gb. Since I love mine so much I bought my daughter and iPod mini. I had to return it because it froze up and would never turn back on after it’s battery ran down. I returned it and got another assuming that it was just that particullar one. Her new one froze up 2 times in the three days that she had it and now it won’t turn back on. Apple said that I need to return this one also. Do the iPod minis tend to have this problem or am I just doing something wrong? Please help!!

Posted by Cheryl on June 10, 2004 at 9:38 PM (CDT)


  i wanted to know how i could use my ipod as an external drive to transfer documents from differnt comps. also i would like to tranfer some of my songs on my ipod to my friends computer. so how do i do it?
thanks in advance. suggest me a fm trnasmitter that i can use with the ipods remote.

Posted by sagar on June 11, 2004 at 11:18 AM (CDT)


My family and I are going to get a 20GB ipod and I just had one question—Does it have more than one playlist, so that eack member of my family can have their own playlist?? That way we can listen to our own music! Please help!

Posted by Allie on June 12, 2004 at 12:58 PM (CDT)


Cheryl: The problem’s most likely attributable to a problem in formatting the iPod mini for use with your PC. See Part 2 of this guide regarding FireWire connections for a better solution.

Allie: Yes. You can make as many playlists asa you want.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on June 15, 2004 at 12:13 AM (CDT)


I want to get an ipod but i’m just afraid of the “new proof” factor. Is it a good idea to get one now?

Posted by julien on June 15, 2004 at 5:14 AM (CDT)


So many questions??
Im considering buying one but at the moment I stuck between ipod & iriver..
Whats the cataloging and or files like?
Do i need everything in name/artist order on my comp?
Firewire? $
Song files - I no iriver’s program will convert files to be compatible.. does ipod do the same?
And the batteries r they ne good?


Posted by Juz on June 16, 2004 at 12:34 AM (CDT)


i really want an iPod and have just about managed to scrape the money together now(i am eligible for a student discount) but at this stage a new iPod is bound to be imminent. i dont want to buy one and find out that a new model has come out the next day. will the new ipod be rediculously pricey, and will they be released in Europe at the same time does anyone know?(i’m Irish)

Posted by Aoife on June 17, 2004 at 2:28 PM (CDT)


sagar: Yes you can use the iPod as an external HD. (2) To transfer music between computers, you can use SharePod in the download section here at the lounge.  (3) FM transmitters have been reviewed here at the lounge.  Look in the review section.

Posted by honeybee1236 on June 17, 2004 at 2:52 PM (CDT)


Aoife:  This depends on what size HD you want to buy.  A 60GB should be out within the next 3 to 4 months maybe.  If your looking for something smaller, then I say you can buy one now.  They will probably keep the 20 and 40 gig (or maybe a 50 gig but not sure).  The price will probably be within the same range as before with the others.  Anywhere from $249 to $499.  They may not release the new iPods right away in Europe or they may change this and do it.  Right now I doubt it though. 
Your questions are guesses as to what the answers are.  You can either wait if you need a large HD or buy one now.  No one has the exact answers as of yet.

Posted by honeybee1236 on June 17, 2004 at 3:03 PM (CDT)


new proof factor??

Posted by zena in Dunedin, New Zealand on June 18, 2004 at 4:38 AM (CDT)


well, i really like ipod…but it is still not here in europe so i can’t get one at the moment..well i just wanna know which of these ipods are better: IPODmini or IPOD 15GB?...

Posted by homeboy87 on June 18, 2004 at 5:59 PM (CDT)


can the ipod be classified as a PDA?

Posted by andrew on June 22, 2004 at 1:00 AM (CDT)


Allie: Yeah, you can create different playlists of each member of your family on the ipod. Simply create the playlists on itunes. However, like my family, they fight over the ipod all the time (and its MY ipod, they just like playing around with it and messing it up. Damn brothers :()
homeboy87: Depends, i had to make the same choice about 3 months ago, chose the 15Gb iPod and havnt looked back ever since.

One more thing: I have been using Usb 1.1 for ages now and its suck a pain in the a$$. My New pc has firewire though, so all is good in my world ;)

Posted by dude on June 22, 2004 at 10:46 AM (CDT)


I think I’m getting the 20 gig Ipod but I’m not sure and if I get the 20 gig Ipod then what els should i get? I hear that apple will give me 30 dollars of the pod if i buy it in the next 3 days should i do it?...And where is the best place to buy one with the most discounts if any)?... thanks

Posted by julien on June 23, 2004 at 5:48 AM (CDT)


Should I get the free laser engraving? If I do then it’s special and i have “proof” it’s mine and all but what if i wand to sell or return it?...Please help me. Thanx

Posted by julien on June 23, 2004 at 5:50 AM (CDT)


Does Anyone Know How u Can Tell/Know if u have FireWire ?? does Firewire work WITH USB cables or idunno im confused lol!

Posted by xavier on June 23, 2004 at 4:23 PM (CDT)


Can anyone tell me how to delete a song from the ipod-mini…..

Posted by Pamela on June 25, 2004 at 8:55 PM (CDT)


Hi, I was just thinking about getting an iPod mini, instead of continuing using MDs, but I read this and thought: This makes it sounds like the 15GB purchase is better. And I think that price-wise, for only 50 more bucks, it might. But I still like the iPod mini, but feel uncomfortable about it now. I dunno what to do. Help!


Posted by Lhikan on June 26, 2004 at 3:10 AM (CDT)


Lhikan I think you should go with an iPod. I am going to purchase an iPod but I am going to wait for the next generation to come out. I am going to do this because I find a colour screen very intreging.

A word from the wise: Go for the 20 Gb iPod so you get the dock and the case, it comes with a bunch of other stufff that you are going to end up paying for anyway. PLus the exra storage.

It will be a very hard summer.. waiting and waiting for the new iPod, but no doubt it will be worth it… :-)

Posted by Rob on June 26, 2004 at 1:27 PM (CDT)



Posted by Gisele on June 27, 2004 at 5:32 AM (CDT)


iPods really arent as hard to use as everyone is thinking. my sister has a mini and i have the 15 and i think the mini SUCKS….its not worth the money when i can pay 50 bucks more and get the 10 GB…...can we say trendy??? all these little kids run out and buy it because its pink oooo wow colors!!! please dont waste ur money buy a real iPod…I love iTunes so much….im such a PC freak but my dad bought me a G4 ibook and i must say that in typical APPLE fashion its much easier to load and work with the iPod on that compared to my PC… personal opinion… PC users beware its gunna be hard to work it out but other then that its an amazing little device I LOVE IT ! I never leave the house without it EVER !

Posted by Ashley in Los Angeles California on June 27, 2004 at 7:17 PM (CDT)


Gisele: if you set it to act as a external hdd , then it will store any type file.. .ppt, mdb, .xls, etc…it s just seen as any otherexternal hdd

Windows users, as has been said many times here, I Highly recomend installing a firewire card. Its Much Faster than USB, and just plain better.

Posted by XBarbarian on June 28, 2004 at 8:36 PM (CDT)


Yes, you can buy a Firewire card almost anywhere. For around 20 bucks.

If you live in Europe Order them online. Im looking now, 375 Us for the 20 GIG. The Euro is stronger then the Dollar so it will be just over 400$ with shipping, i think

Posted by Rob on June 29, 2004 at 5:31 PM (CDT)


Firewire cards for PCs cost around $7 for generics, $10 for brand-names, and $20 for combined 1394/USB2.

Go here and type “1394 pci” into the search box:

Posted by Firewire on June 29, 2004 at 6:06 PM (CDT)


I bought the original 5GB as soons as it came out, I love it and it has been worked flawless since then. So I bought the mini for my wife, she loves it but I had it serviced twice already (both times it was returned promptly within a week), first time for a hard drive problem and second for static noise. Nonetheless I will buy it again.

IMWO price and data storage size are not the only factors to consider when buying a MP3 player. People who buy BMW do not look at the size of the trunk…


Posted by marco straforini on July 1, 2004 at 4:05 PM (CDT)


I ordered an iPod mini already, and I know my PC supports usb 2.0, but with all this talk of firewire, how can i check if my PC already has firewire. = ) thanks for any help

Posted by Justin on July 2, 2004 at 12:06 PM (CDT)


My laptop has a 1394 port that fits the ipod cable adaptor, does that mean I have the firewire capability, or do i have to buy the card?

Posted by Brian Whitley on July 5, 2004 at 7:42 AM (CDT)


I have poured over this site trying to decide between the mini and the classic pod. Good info. Everyone’s priorities are different, but for me I’m just looking for casual tunes in the gym, plane, coffee shop, etc. Being able to stick it in my pocket or jam it into my laptop bag without worry is key. Also, I don’t see myself needing to carry 7 days of songs ever. Given these requirements I’ve decided my top 3 priorities in order are size, durability, and finally capacity. Therefore, I have decided on the mini.  Definitely smaller. The one-piece aluminum shell is definitely more crush and scratch proof. 4 gigs is plenty seeing as I’ve been listening to the same 10 CDs for months now. Also, it matches my powerbook (haha). Indeed, the mini craze is lasting much longer than this site’s skeptical reviewers anticipated. A $50 price drop to $199 is highly unlikely right now given the fact that they are still 4+ weeks behind demand at $250. In fact, some are going for 300-350 on ebay for particularly impatient folks who just have to have one immediately. Craziness!

Posted by Shawn on July 7, 2004 at 3:11 AM (CDT)


Rob, I never knew someone replied to my post, but thanks! Yes, I did go with the iPod, even without reading your review, and I got the 20 GB Model because just for another 100 bucks, it comes with a dock, remote and a carry-case. PLUS 5 more GBs!


Posted by Lhikan on July 7, 2004 at 9:50 PM (CDT)


Hey all, I am considering buying an iPod. I am wondering about the battery capability. Rechargable I assume? Or how does that work? How durable are the regular iPod’s? And I have XP can I use my regular Media Player?

Posted by Niki on July 9, 2004 at 9:22 AM (CDT)


Rob do you know when the color screen 1 is coming?
Does any one have a 40 GB ipod. Thinking 20 or 40. My itunes is about 8GB at this point and still have to add a bunch of cds. Like to carry around about 4-5 gb of files and use it as scratch-disk on my bronze keyb g3 powerbook that only has 6gb hd. But wonder if I can justify the extra cost of the 40 gb or that i will feel sorry if I don’t do it later on.

Posted by Frank on July 9, 2004 at 9:04 PM (CDT)


Reading these stupid questions makes me remember how dumb the general public is.


Posted by JESUS CHRIST on July 10, 2004 at 1:23 PM (CDT)


So my question is i want to buy an ipod 20 gb and i have an windows notebook with xp professionel softwear.
My friend told me that i can not make a syncronisation from my oulook adresses and my calendar to the ipod!
Is this real or give it any way (software/freeware) to make the synchronisation?

Posted by Steffen.W on July 10, 2004 at 10:30 PM (CDT)


When will the next generation ipods be available?

Posted by paul on July 14, 2004 at 5:49 AM (CDT)


hey, do u know if there is any way there will be an i-pod mini released with more than 4GB’s ever?

Posted by ken on July 14, 2004 at 10:52 PM (CDT)


ok answer this…if u had the choice…would u get the ipod mini er the 15g 1? see im just lookin fer sumthin 2 playt my songs nd i dun even have a thousand so im assuming that the mini is worth it…nd the 15g 1…im not really interested in all the pics saving shizz…i just need sum thin to play music…but i also heard that the mini has ALOT of problems…ALSO if u had the option 2 wait around christmas, lets say, and hope that a BRAND NEW 3rd generation ipod thats TOTALY difrent frum the rest? ok that was kinda long so heres the run down…get an ipod mini er 15 g NOW or wait longer nd hope that a new one comes out…thanx alot…oh nd when i mean now i mean ive got till the week of august 16th

Posted by mwwaaahahahahah*-^ on July 16, 2004 at 12:26 AM (CDT)



We would like to use the IPOD to play music, continuously, broadcasting on our radio station.

Presently, we are using a computer with Windows 98 and MusicMatch player software.

All our songs have been transferred from CDs and tape to MP3 files (56k, 44.1) with the silence at the beginning and end of each song deleted.

To save electricity and to prevent going off the air due to power outages, we want to power the IPOD with our 12 volt solar power system. Here are some questions for anybody that knows the correct answers:

1. Will the IPOD play back MP3 files recorded at 56/44.1?

2. Will it play back one song immediately after the other, without any delay (rebuffering)?

3. When it reaches the end of the playlist will it automatically repeat playing from the beginning of the list?

4. Can it be powered from an external 12 volt source rather than its own internal battery?

5. Does the supplied dock have audio outputs (for connection to our transmitter’s input)?

Any help/info y’all can give will be appreciated!

Harvey & 1700AM

Posted by Harvey on July 18, 2004 at 11:15 AM (CDT)


Who is eligible for the student discount?  And how can I find out if I have a firewire port installed in my computer or not?

Posted by Megan on July 18, 2004 at 2:34 PM (CDT)


I recently bif for an ipod on ebay and it has never been opened or used. It is a 15gb older model and i was wonering before i purchase it if it comes with a usb cable?

Posted by Ryan on July 22, 2004 at 5:31 AM (CDT)


Harvey - Yes - although im not sure what you mean by 56/44.1 is the bitrate 56kbps?

There will be a slight buffer, but you can get a hack so that the hardrive is constantly spinning and it will have virtually no time vetween songs.

You can plug it into a power socket.
The supplied dock has audio line out, delivering unsurpassable quality of the tracks.

Hope i Helped!

Oh, and Steffen W, there is a program called iPod Sync.

Hope i helped you all!

Posted by Snowy in Australia on July 23, 2004 at 4:53 AM (CDT)


Hello everyone!

I actually work at a computer store, but I’m foggy a specific (and important!) requirement of the iPod (mini, or otherwise):

Can it be used on an older PowerMac sporting USB and the OS 9.1 version of iTunes? (not iTunes 2)

The two PowerMacs in the family (a 6500/250 w/ USB card and 6500/275, soon to get an USB card) are all we have to use an iPod with.

I have no better use for my upcoming student loan money than an iPod mini.

After using the Firewise-to-USB converter from Apple, will the *old* iTunes reconize the iPod?

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Blayne on July 29, 2004 at 2:38 PM (CDT)


Very helpful, but does anyone know the Canadian price for the I-pod mini?

Posted by Krista in Ontario. Canada on July 30, 2004 at 5:42 PM (CDT)


Please can anyone tell me how long it took to receive their 4th Gen iPods?... I ordered on 19/07/04 - 2 weeks ago when it first became availble on the Apple site and 2 weeks on still no iPod? Is this normal? I live in the UK and i’ve been told it is being shipped from the Far East, namely Shanhai.  Thanks.

Posted by Richard on August 2, 2004 at 4:19 AM (CDT)


Please can anyone tell me how lon it took to receive their 4th Gen iPods when ordering of the Apple website?....I ordered when it first became available on 19/07/04 and 2 weeks on still no iPod? Is this normal?...I’m from the UK and told that its being shipped from the Far East namely Shanghai.  Thanks for any help.

Posted by Richard on August 2, 2004 at 4:20 AM (CDT)


I’m thinking about buying a new Ipod 20gb. The box doesn’t seem to include a dock. Is a dock essential?

Posted by jo on August 11, 2004 at 8:16 AM (CDT)




Posted by Jared on October 4, 2004 at 8:35 PM (CDT)


I am going to buy a 4G i-pod (20GB) in the US.  Can I use a UK dock to charge it’s battery?

Posted by Newthead in UK on October 11, 2004 at 3:43 AM (CDT)


Son is buying ipod soon but we only have Windows 98, has anyone had any success in using iPod with this os ? or will i need to update to xp or professional.

I am about to install USB 2 port but after reading posts it seems i may need firewire as well. again anyone had any success with that.

Posted by kwikfit on October 14, 2004 at 6:12 AM (CDT)


how come the ipod doesn’t come with an fm radio?

Posted by chris on October 21, 2004 at 12:09 PM (CDT)


I just got a free ipod in the mail today…actually works believe it or not

Posted by chris on October 21, 2004 at 12:17 PM (CDT)


“I just got a free ipod in the mail today”

Hey Jeremy I am sick of these content-free spammer referral links popping up. How about adding a filter to obfuscate/delete all “freeiPods” links?

Posted by ban the spammers on October 21, 2004 at 3:04 PM (CDT)


hey there,

I wanted to ask that if it is possible to use iPod mini to tranfer data files from my university pc to my home pc ?

Posted by Nehman on October 30, 2004 at 5:42 AM (CDT)


I’m not too smart. Got an ipod mini but didn’t realize I need Windows 2000 (or more recent) to download music. Is there any way to upgrade without dishing money?


Regardless, I already love my ipod and think I should walk around and pretend that it’s playing something.

Posted by beebeck on December 14, 2004 at 9:41 PM (CST)


how do i import my Windows Media Player Library to iTunes??? and how do i transfer WMA files to AAC??? please so lost :S

Posted by jibby1234 in AUSTRALIA on December 25, 2004 at 5:31 PM (CST)


Hi there,

We are a student group, conducting a marketing project research for one of our core modules about Buying Behavior at ESCP-EAP European School of Management.
We would like to analyze a consumer on-line community organized around such a famous brand as Apple.
We’d like to know first why you decided to get an iPod, second why you take part into iLounge. What does motivate you?
What are your intentions?
In advance, we are very grateful for your participation and for your help. In any case what you will tell us will be used for commercial purpose, and we will be extremely glad to share our comments and conclusions with you.


Posted by charline on April 19, 2007 at 7:03 AM (CDT)


Hello there; iPod newbie here. A note to the web master: the Beginner’s guide is now out of date, and Parts II, II, and IV links are broken. Love to read them when they are up again.

Posted by Kit_L on September 13, 2007 at 10:12 PM (CDT)

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