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Backstage: Early iPod 4G review comments

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, July 22, 2004
Backstage Categories:

picAfter some testing, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all review of the new fourth-generation iPod would not be appropriate. Even more than our prior reviews of the iPod mini, the 4G iPod demands a separate “new iPod user’s” review and a “Power User’s” review, and quite likely even different iLounge ratings for these two audiences. Of course, there’s much more to come on this topic in the near future. We’ll take (some) requests if you guys have issues you’d like to see addressed in one of the reviews - just bear in mind that we can’t cover -everything.-

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Comments

1

Can it dock in the 3rd gen dock? Will it fit? Will it sync? Will it charge over USB still?

Posted by jwm on July 22, 2004 at 7:40 AM (PDT)

2

just got my new ipod a few min ago… they are very cool, fully customizable menus, click wheel is great

they (my 40 GB anyway..) didnt come with a remote, the 6 to 4 firewire connecter or the little dock connecter covers

t

Posted by thomas on July 22, 2004 at 7:40 AM (PDT)

3

“it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all review of the new fourth-generation iPod would not be inappropriate. “

I think you meant “would not be appropriate,” or, equivalently, “would be inappropriate.”

Posted by Juan on July 22, 2004 at 7:43 AM (PDT)

4

do you know ipods polict with upgrading? Like can I trade in my 15gb ipod (like 2 mnoths old) and get a 20gb g4 for like 50 bucks?

Posted by Uzi1986 on July 22, 2004 at 8:12 AM (PDT)

5

Juan - Yes, you’re right, it’s been fixed, and thanks. Lack of sleep recently.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 22, 2004 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

6

when do you think we could expect a review?

Posted by slim on July 22, 2004 at 11:27 AM (PDT)

7

One thing I hated about the 1st-3rd Generation iPod, is the amount of Bass, bass-booster doesn’t digitally enhance bass levels, it distorts it, try using Sony’s In-Ear phones with them if you wanna know what I’m talking about, then after that, try using the same headphones on a Sony Walkman with their Mega-Bass option and you’ll see why the iPod sucks on the bass-side of things.

If there is anyone who owns both the 3rd and 4th Generation iPods, can you please tell me if the sound quality has improved, to test this out, use the Sony In-Ear headphones.

Posted by Javed on July 22, 2004 at 1:44 PM (PDT)

8

3rd gen dock works connects and charges… its a little wobbly, they have added material to the back of the slot on the new one due to the new ipods bein smaller.

usb connects but I am not sure if it charges, I think it does.  my battery is full, but when it is connected with usb (I connected it to a pismo powerbook… not usb2..) it shows a little lightning bolt next to the battery. indicating a charge.

new headphones cables are about an inch longer than 3g headphones, the remote control works fine on the 4g ipod.

cant test/ compare 3g to 4g… my 3g was stolen just after I got it, have all the accessories, but not the ipod..

t

Posted by thomas on July 22, 2004 at 2:10 PM (PDT)

9

So Juan, how do you upgrade your iPod?  I did not quite understand your post.

Posted by Andy on July 22, 2004 at 2:52 PM (PDT)

10

Jeremy, do you have any ideas why Apple refuses to include volume balance control on these expensive mp3 players? Not everyone has 100% perfect hearing on both ears. My right ear is not as good as my left ear and I really WANT balance adjustments to balances out the sound for my hearing. Why won’t they include that feature in such an expensive player? It’s not even that hard to do.

I’m seriously thinking of getting a class action lawsuit going for discrimination against the hearing impaired.

Posted by Lancer on July 22, 2004 at 3:03 PM (PDT)

11

Lancer,
A class-action lawsuit would be slightly overreacting, don’t you think?  They’ve left out a simple feature.  Don’t fit the American stereotype by suing.

Posted by Clay on July 22, 2004 at 4:54 PM (PDT)

12

Just got My 4G Ipod today, Funny story how I bought a 3G 20GB Ipod Last Monday and this morning when I get up to check something on Apple.com, What do I see 4G Ipod, So I called the apple store where I got the 3G and I asked then if I could exchange, and they told me to Come in, I went in and they exchanged it for a 40GB 4G for Free, they didnt charge me the 39.95 Open box fee, they were Great. The 4G Is great, Just that the 3G looked better, looked cleaner but I can get used to it and I could use the extra space now ;0)

Posted by Surge on July 22, 2004 at 6:05 PM (PDT)

13

Please review the sound quality of the 4G iPod vs. the 3G iPod.  While looks and functionality are interesting, in the end, I only really care about the sound it produces.  I’m mostly interested in 320kbps AAC or uncompressed files.

Looking forward to the review!

Posted by Soundmeister on July 22, 2004 at 7:12 PM (PDT)

14

Slightly OT:

Lancer:  I am hearing impaired as well, and I feel your pain. 

Having gone through half my life half-deaf in a hearing world, I know how frustrating it is to not be able to use products that everyone else uses in the manner that they do.

Case in point: I had to get a loop system after my apartment neighbors complained the TV was too loud.  They apparently have overly sensitve hearing.  What a coincidence, huh?

Anyway, regarding the iPod situation:  I’m no electronics expert, but could there possibly be a way to put a volume control on the earphones themself?  I know they have headphones with volume controls on them; what if you could put a separate control on each side? 

I recently read that Jobs himself is partly deaf; this is why the iPod is louder than most MP3 players.  Perhaps you should write apple and explain the situation, and ask others to do the same….It’s worth a shot…
 

Posted by Cameron on July 22, 2004 at 7:45 PM (PDT)

15

In the review, would you be able to explain how the new interface works? I’m a little confused by the fact that the top tab says “Music” and there isn’t a “Playlists” tab anymore. Is the Playlists tab nestled inside Music? If so, it seems a little pointless - it just means another click if I want to get to my recently played tunes. Can anyone explain?

Also, to what extent is it customisable? Can you select to have a certain playlist available on the main screen, or is it the same as in the 3G OS?

Posted by Connor on July 22, 2004 at 10:39 PM (PDT)

16

The Music menu is the same as the 3G Browse menu; it’s just been renamed. By changing the main menu settings you can put Playlists back on the main menu; in fact you can make the menu look just like a 3G iPod except that the first two items will be Music and Playlists, instead of Playlists & Browse.

The main menu customization options are almost identical to the 3G. I don’t see a way to put an individual playlist on the main menu.

Posted by Jon on July 23, 2004 at 12:12 AM (PDT)

17

Is it possible to browse by Year on the 4G iPod ?  This isn’t possible on the 3G that I have it, but I for one would like to see it…

Posted by Matt on July 23, 2004 at 12:52 AM (PDT)

18

What anoys me is how apple just magically get a better battery in the 4G, I have a 3G only a few months old. I now feel kinda mad that apple have brought out a 4G with better battery life.

However I wouldnt change my 3G for the world! It looks nicer than the 4G, I’m not a fan of the all-in-one navi scroll wheel.

Posted by MattUK on July 23, 2004 at 1:32 AM (PDT)

19

Does anybody know if iTalk works with the 4G? The saleperson at the Apple store told me on Wednesday that it would, so I bought one with my new 4G. But I decided to contact Griffin, and they told me they hadn’t tested it yet, so I’m not sure I want to open the box… Anybody tried it?

Posted by qrt on July 23, 2004 at 2:20 AM (PDT)

20

I Agree Matt, I got my iPod in January, but I wouldnt trade it either. The 3rd G’s look classier.

Posted by Jon on July 23, 2004 at 3:32 AM (PDT)

21

If anyone has ANY problems with Apple’s EQ settings distorting the music there is a simple answer… download MP3Gain and set everything to a 89db level.

Then, adjust the volume higher in iTunes.

You can then use pretty much all of the EQ settings without distortion.

It works for me so if it doesn’t work for you, you’re doing something wrong.

Admittedly, you shouldn’t have to do this but it’s a solution and it’s free.

Steve

Posted by Steve T on July 23, 2004 at 4:11 AM (PDT)

22

SOUND QUALITY compared to older models?

Posted by dj on July 23, 2004 at 6:57 AM (PDT)

23

SOUND QUALITY compared to older models?

Posted by dj on July 23, 2004 at 7:06 AM (PDT)

24

Sound quality will probably be identical to all of the other ipod’s.

While i love my 3G ipod, only about 6h30 of play time (changing songs every now and then) gets to me! With 12h of battery life i would trade it in for a 4G any day!

Oh and just a thought, does anyone think it’s possible to make the 3G ipod take the new firmware…

Then we could see if the improved battery times also apply to the older ipod’s (with new software). And we could use all the cool stuff like multiple on-the-go playlists!

We could try and copy the firmware partition on a new 4G ipod to a 3G one’s through linux or macOS, like its possible to change the firmware on 100dB limited ipods to unlock them…

Worth a try….

Posted by peter on July 23, 2004 at 9:22 AM (PDT)

25

I don’t see a way to browse by year.

Posted by jon on July 23, 2004 at 11:35 AM (PDT)

26

My apologies if this posts twice.  I’m not sure if the first one went thru.
Does anyone know for sure if the increased battery life is due just to the software update?  It would seem more likely that they’d have increased the cache (or RAM) in the 4G iPod to get the longer battery life.  I also read somewhere that the 3G had a 32MB cache.  Can anyone confirm if it’s been changed on the 4G?  If that’s the case, then loading the 4G firmware wouldn’t really do much for the 3G, right?

Posted by yuhreka on July 23, 2004 at 1:10 PM (PDT)

27

I would have to say I am very keen to get my hands on a new G4.

Posted by ipodcases.biz on July 26, 2004 at 1:05 PM (PDT)

28

ok imagine u were in my shoes…u never bought an ipod but ur interested…ur options r
1)get an ipod min(original plan)
-or-
2)get a new 20gb 4g ipod for 50$ more

i have around 2gb of music so that kinda perfect for an ipod mini, nd also ive heard that a mini is more scratch resistant and more durable…but the 4g has more value per dollar….so i dunno…what would u do?

Posted by mwwaa hhaaa on July 26, 2004 at 8:03 PM (PDT)

29

The iTalk does indeed work with the new fourth generation iPod.

Posted by Wes Priest on July 27, 2004 at 3:56 PM (PDT)

30

I’ve been interested in knowing the mount of RAM in these puppies…but I can’t find those specs.

Posted by robfromjersey on July 28, 2004 at 4:05 AM (PDT)

31

Hey, has anyone noticed that the 4th Gen iPod turns on when headphones are plugged in and pauses when they are removed?

Posted by Bill Sanders on July 29, 2004 at 6:14 PM (PDT)

32

Yes Bill, that is a new feature on the 4g iPods smile.....I’ve yet to receive mine even tho i’ve ordered it 17 days ago now when it first became available…..I should be cheeky and ask for a carry case or summut huh lol?

Posted by Richard on August 4, 2004 at 10:16 AM (PDT)

33

“ok imagine u were in my shoes…u never bought an ipod but ur interested…ur options r
1)get an ipod min(original plan)
-or-
2)get a new 20gb 4g ipod for 50$ more”

I was in your same position last weekend. Wait a month (or more!) for the mini, or pay a bit more and get a 4G with 5x storage and 50% longer battery life for just $50 more and get it in two days. I also do not have a large music collection.

I went with the 4G 20 gig model. And the mini’s also scratch quite easily, based on what I have seen so far. I like the new 4G so much that I got one for my wife, and convinced my dad to get one as well - he will get his on Monday, 8/9/04. We are all first time iPod users.

Hope this helps you make your decision.

Posted by Gandhi on August 6, 2004 at 11:39 AM (PDT)

34

I agree on the need for a balance adjuster. I was actually noticing my worse right ear hearing when I saw Andy’s post. Though it’s not discrimination! You are not entitled to a volume balance feature. It would be very nice to have though. Let’s not go nuts.

Posted by umlaut in OC, California on August 9, 2004 at 10:40 PM (PDT)

35

</table>

Posted by _ on August 16, 2004 at 1:27 AM (PDT)

36

Do you need Windows XP operating system? I have a Windows ME going on right now, i want to knowi fi can use my Ipod. I am mad., hah

Posted by Shams Ahmed on October 2, 2004 at 8:09 AM (PDT)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.

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