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My iPod Buying Experience

Regarding encoding; I thought MP3 encoding in iTunes was awful.  I ripped all my CDs at 192 kbps and was very disappointed.  So I re-ripped everything using LAME alt-preset-extreme (about 256 kbps VBR).  Much, much better.  BUT: s-l-o-w encoding, and big file sizes.

Now we have AAC.  Is it better?  Is it worse?  I planned to find out.  I ripped a CD I had previously ripped using LAME extreme (Bruce Springsteen - The Rising) using AAC 128 in iTunes.  Then I tested the results against my LAME encodes.  I cannot tell a difference.  Honestly.  I’m trying, I really am.  I don’t have a $20,000 sound system, but I have decent headphones, and I’m doing a blind test in QuickTime, toggling back and forth on simultaneously-playing identical tracks.

I also did a blind test between a track I ripped from CD using LAME extreme vs. the identical track I purchased from the iTunes Music Store.  Again, I cannot perceive a difference.  I wish more folks would attempt these tests and share their results.

If I can’t tell the difference, I’m going to re-rip everything in AAC.  Fortunately, AAC encoding is *much* faster than Lame on my dual G4 867.

Posted by Chris on May 6, 2003 at 2:52 PM (CDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

I purchased the new 15 GB iPod the night that it was released off of the Apple website and received it last Friday.

I installed it on both my PC laptop and my Powerbook G4 and it works seamlessly.  My only complaint is that with the 4-pin firewire connection to my PC laptop, I can’t have it charge at the same time as I could with my Powerbook.

Posted by kevin in Ottawa, Ontario on May 6, 2003 at 2:01 PM (CDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Can’t say i could agree on the fact that MM wouldn’t work ...

I’ve installed it a couple of times already, and it worked fine for me. I remember that last time i installed it (a couple of days ago) i had to download the plugin, but it wouldn’t install because ‘iPod software is still running’ although i had my iPod disconnected from the PC.

It turned out that i just had to shut down MM, run the downloaded plugin, let it do it’s job, restart MM and it recognized it.

My only complaint about MM is that it’s so slow at detecting my 20 Gb iPod (with about 3400 songs, maybe that’s the trouble) ...
I’m using MM only to rip my cds anywayz, i like XPlay a lot better ! And faster ...

And i NEVER understood that ‘Volume Levelling’ thing in MM ... if i understand it correctly , they have to go through my ENTIRE collection to be added , reencode them and then put them on the iPod or what ? :) Maybe i just don’t get, the miserable fat belgian b*stard that i am :p

And hey ... i don’t really care about all this ‘ooh, my format is way better’ hassle ... isn’t it all just a matter of ‘What i hear sounds pleasant enough to my ears’ ? I mean, i’m not gonna rerip all my cd’s EVERY time some new so-called superior music-encoding-algo comes out , let along trash all my existing mp3 cds and burnin’ them again (or on DVD for that matter)

Posted by Oenie in Belgium on May 6, 2003 at 10:28 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Hmmm ... so you mean that you actually have to make your playlist BEFORE you can listen to it ?
I mean i can’t add any more songs while the iPod is playing the current playlist on the go ?
That would be kinda silly, still i’d like to have it on my old iPod thank you ;)

>The downside to the “On The Go” playlist on the new iPods is that it is cleared every time you sync to your computer

The fact that the playlist-on-the-go would be cleared when i connect it to the computer, i don’t really care.
I mean, what’s the use of the playlist staying on there if you’re behind the pc ... you’re not on to go so you could easily put a new one together while you’re at it ...

As i’m thinking about it, the actual behaviour (or as close as possible) would be a playlist/queue that automatically deleted the entry last played :)
But maybe that’s even a bit too much asked ... and   maybe not really that good since i’ve seen moments where i have to take off my headphones to listen to somebody asking me something, wanting to hear a certain song that might have passed by already, just to notice that it had been removed ...

Still ... gimme gimme gimme ... a new ‘old’ iPod update after midnight , preferably before even !!

Posted by Oenie in Belgium on May 6, 2003 at 10:16 AM (CDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

MP3PRO is NOT the best format. It does a good job on HIGHLY compressed cases (ie 64kbps is about as good as 96kbps MP3). Needless to say both of those are extremely noisy and unpleasant.

AAC 128 is OK, but just marginally better then 128 MP3. Neither of which I would listen to.

MP3 256 and up (AAC 256 also) is somewhere where quality starts.

Please be considerate and rip at higher standards.

Posted by pbox on May 6, 2003 at 10:16 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Well, I’ve been discussing this elsewhere (my site, another thread) but I wanted to put my two cents in here: Mike makes a good point, and users of new iPods should care [almost] as much as those of us with older models about Apple bringing playqueuing to the masses. Sure my iPod is great without it, but it’s such an obvious oversight (as many have said since the beginning). Giving it to us would have given the iPod community major warm fuzzies. Omitting it from 1.3 instead makes for bad blood. It’s a software feature. Try and fit it in, Apple.

Posted by Songdog on May 6, 2003 at 10:13 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Another downisde to the “On The Go” playlist is that it isn’t a queue at all.  It’s a playlist just like all of your other playlists.

You build your OTG playlist differently—you do it on the iPod instead of your computer.

You use your OTG playlist EXACTLY THE SAME as every other playlist.  Listen to it all or manually change the music.

OTG is not a queue.  iPods still don’t have a queue. 

I will mention this to my friends who talk to me about “which MP3 player should I buy, Kurt?”  I’ll mention that they can save $150 and get double the capacity AND a queue with one of the Creative players. 

Sure, I’ll tell ‘em that my iPod RULES, because it does… but a working playqueue IS a selling point, I don’t care what Apple’s marketing dept. says…

Posted by c.c.r. in Seattle, WA on May 6, 2003 at 9:03 AM (CDT)

My iPod Buying Experience

Just got the 30GB iPod which BestBuy upgraded me to from the 20GB which had a defective equalizer. And they did it one day before even Apple sold the new units.

Yes…it is smaller, lighter and sleeker. But that means Ive got to wait till Xtreme Mac does a new case.

My Comments: mainly the controls too too too sensitive…much moreso than the older ipods…and this is my 5th unit. The sleep timer is gone in favor of an instantant on off sleep timer.

And yes I have to use it on a PC. But have used Music Match for years. Their implementation for the iPod requires the patientce of Job…...but finally learned to use it successfully. And of course, you can record in mp3Pro which is still the best format till AAC is fully implemented.

If you have problems with MM on the PC you can email me.

Posted by Pete Saybolt in Baltimore, MD on May 6, 2003 at 6:17 AM (CDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

Apple is much smarter than that… they know that there will always be a large group of users that will never switch to mac.  The main issue here is selling iPods.  By offering their product into windows users, they increase their potential customers 10-fold, and in order to get windows users to seriously consider the purchase, they must offer at least what the competition does, USB 2.0 for example.  Apple knows that by only offering full features and support to mac users will not help to sell product to windows users.  Apple already has mastered something most other computer hardware manufacturers haven’t: industrial design.  Apple’s computers and the iPod especially are a pleasure to look at.  They are clean, elegant, and functional.  However, to most people, that is not always enough to convince them to make the purchase—just take a look at the number of ugly gray windows boxes compared to the number of macs.  Apple has made a smart business move by promising USB 2.0 support and iTunes Music Store for windows.

In the future, I see this move as opening some windows users up to the idea of switching to a mac, based on what they see of Apple’s products from the iPod.  I myself have been a windows user all my life, and am saving up money for a 3rd generation 15 GB iPod.  If windows support was anything less than mac support for the iPod, there’s no way I would have made the decision, and I’m sure many others would agree with me.  I know apple is always trying to sell more of all of their products, but they know they will benefit more in the long run if they throw out treats like the iPod to windows users and wait for them to switch.  Rather than say “If you switch to mac, you can play with this cool iPod” when there are already comparable alternatives available to windows users, apple is saying “Look at this iPod, isnt it cool?  Come take a look at our computers if you like it.  You can even use that very same iPod on a mac!”

Posted by Andrew in Michigan on May 5, 2003 at 11:28 PM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

The downside to the “On The Go” playlist on the new iPods is that it is cleared every time you sync to your computer.


Posted by Craig in San Diego, CA on May 5, 2003 at 11:45 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod


What are the other “bourgious” gadgets the iPod looks just like now? I just got a new 15GB, and if it can’t be describd as “sleek” and “minimal,” I don’t know what could… Same thing with your implication that the iPod is somehow no longer intuitive.

Posted by hexgrd on May 5, 2003 at 8:51 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

I’m seriously dissapointed by the iPod’s lack of queue ability.  It seems like they took everything else into consideration and somehow were too damn close to the forest to see the trees.  I really wish that mac would get in line and put forth an update ASAP.  Furthermore, what’s up with the new design…now the iPod looks like every other bourgious gadget on the market.  Although it sounds silly, the iPod’s sleek, minimal and contemporary design is what first drew my attention to it.  Not only is the original design an aesthetic wonder, it’s also quite intuitive and makes exploring mp3s a breeze.  The iPod is on the verge of becoming the benchmark in MP3 players, its too bad mac keeps tripping over their own feet with this one.

Posted by pOly on May 5, 2003 at 2:50 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Great ... nice to let us know mike ... but you’re missing the point

We’ve spent enough money on our first iPOD and don’t really feel like spending more on a new one ... we want the PTG option on the *cough* ‘old’ *cough* iPods ...


Posted by Oenie in Belgium on May 5, 2003 at 12:38 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

I love the “On the Go” playlist on my new iPod.  As this 30GB model is my first, I never knew the old ones had no ability to que songs. You just start playing the playlist and find songs (or folders of songs) and hold the middle button until the title flashes.  Now its on the end of the playlist, jukebox style (you could have the shuffle on, also). That makes me really scared that Apple will come out with the next generation of iPods in a few years with some really cool software improvements and never upgrade my “old 30GB”.  Are there at least 3rd part software hacks, that address this seemingly simple programing issue?  Rock on iPod peeps!

Posted by Mike in Atlanta, GA on May 4, 2003 at 10:45 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

indeed, just like the open source OS that they claim is so fantastic.

may I be a smart ass and draw an opensource line in the sand?

marketing department vs consumers

Posted by Oliver in Japan on May 4, 2003 at 7:31 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

so why dont they make it open source….  its not like anyone ‘buys’ the software… so they wont loose any money.. and its not like you can use the software for anything other than an ipod….

making it open source would make ipods all the better because we would actually have decent software then

Posted by Jay on May 4, 2003 at 7:16 AM (CDT)

Experiment: iPod Video Capture?

I was searching the iPod Lounge for information on how to use an iPod for storing digital images by plugging in a firewire card reader and found your article: interesting!  So for video it’s too slow! Have you or has anybody else tried to store images on it?
Could a SD card reader be connected to the iPod? Do I need additional software?
And can two iPod be linked?

Posted by Michael Seydel in Hamburg on May 3, 2003 at 11:30 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Apple is stupid if they don’t create a firmware update with playqueue.  I am sure they will eventually.  The real question is WHEN???

Posted by MLWings on May 3, 2003 at 8:37 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

Apple has become microsoft.

I am selling my powerbook.

I am disgusted with this shameless grab for cash.

Posted by Screaming Baboon in Japan on May 2, 2003 at 11:24 PM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

I second firmware version 1.4 with playqueue.

I wish that damn thing would be open source. I could whip it up in 1-2 days.

Posted by pbox on May 2, 2003 at 4:47 PM (CDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

Apple seems to disagree with you…the new 3rd generation iPod has both Firewire and USB 2.0, and they’re working on iTunes for Windows.

Posted by Katherine Ellen Laimer on May 2, 2003 at 11:10 AM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

And, I think they can if they wanted to. It is all software, which can be changed again and again and again…...................

Posted by Sux89 on May 2, 2003 at 9:38 AM (CDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

Interesting article, but what are you actually saying? Is this about the Ipod, or a windows bashing article?

Why are you so evangelical about getting people to switch to a Mac?

I’ve used PC’s for many years, managed networks etc. I bought an Imac last year to see what the fuss is about, also bought an Ipod (which rocks).

I’ve got to say if you are waiting for PC users to ‘see the light’ and switch en mass to Macs, you’re going to be waiting a long time.

Any one who has never used a PC may well think a mac is the best, but anyone acustomed to a PC will think they’re irritating and unnecessarily sanitised. I can see the good points about the Mac, but most days I hate it!

Posted by Jonnyd in My office on May 2, 2003 at 7:28 AM (CDT)

iPods for Windows: It's a good thing?

musicmatch sucks i cant wait for PC itunes (which will hopefully come out soon)

Posted by lakerslover on May 1, 2003 at 8:11 PM (CDT)

Wishing for a play queue for iPod

well, yes, they implemented the playqueue but this is only available for New iPods!
Apple should really come up with a version 1.4 for older iPods WITH the playqueue

Posted by frederic bonn in NYC on May 1, 2003 at 2:01 PM (CDT)

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