CNET: Five reasons not to buy an iPod | iLounge News


CNET: Five reasons not to buy an iPod

“For the past year, the media has been clamoring about iPod killers on the horizon—new MP3 players with more features, longer battery life, and designs nearly as svelte as the iPod’s. However, this oversimplifies the situation; in truth, while the iPod rocks, it’s not now, nor has it ever been, perfect for everyone.

We too have run our fair share of iPod-centric headlines—for a good reason. With about 1.5 million units sold, the iPod is the most popular MP3 player in the world, and it still makes other players look and feel inelegant in comparison. Don’t get me wrong; it’s still our favorite overall MP3 player. Although everyone can think of reasons why they want an iPod, I’ve decided to use this column to list a few reasons why not to buy one.”

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More Apple bashing FUD from CNET.  Geez, they’re really having to dig deep now to come up with negative Apple stories to run…

Posted by Rhynes on November 7, 2003 at 8:44 AM (PDT)


Did you even read the article?  Everything they pointed out is fact and reasons why some people should not get the iPod.  It’s not for everyone and it definitely has some shortfalls.  I don’t understand why some people on this forum are so worried about other companies creating mp3 players that do some things better than the ipod.  Innovation helps the customer by forcing Apple and the other companies to create better products.

Posted by wickerbill on November 7, 2003 at 8:49 AM (PDT)


Being the best always comes at a price…people will try to knock you down.

Posted by mark on November 7, 2003 at 8:54 AM (PDT)


Not to mention he did say that the iPod is “still hands down the best-designed MP3 player in the world.”

Posted by Hephador on November 7, 2003 at 8:56 AM (PDT)


None of his reasons faze me. I get 11.5 hours with my classic 20gb. I don’t care about recording ability or buying from an online source or any of that other fluff that the ipod does do. I bought it for one thing and one thing only, for my music period, end of story.

Posted by revmike in hanford, ca on November 7, 2003 at 9:04 AM (PDT)


Totally agree with Wickerbill.
Without good competition, then why should Apple keep developing?
iPod users have got to realise that there are technologically superior devices out there but the trade-off is having an ugly lump pulling down on your belt.
There are very few companies that marry technological advance with aesthetic appeal, (Sony are the world champs at this). Apple will risk losing it’s position if it does not keep up with technological advances.  Who would have thought 5 years ago, that if you didn’t have a colour screen and a camera on your new phone you were screwed!

iPod does what it does well and looks good while it is going it. 
But I predict that before long, people will be moaning about it’s lack of recording capability or not having a colour screen, or not having wireless capability, or cannot toast a bagel properly.

Posted by pete on November 7, 2003 at 9:20 AM (PDT)


It was a good article that was based on fact and not based on the “iPod is perfect” philosophy that many loungers incorporate into their arguments when discussing the iPod. Except for saying that the iPod does not perform well during physical activity which many have reported, including myself, that it does; everything the article said was right on.
Including the part that states itís still the premiere MP3 player on the market.
I love how knocking the iPod for any of its shortfalls is terrible but knocking all other players/service/etc.. that is not an iPod makes complete sense. Be realistic people, pretending the iPod is perfect in every way does not hide the fact that its NOT. It needs some improvements if it wants to continue to hold onto its crown. And that crown is NOT guaranteed especially with Apple closing the iPod to all other formats except those endorsed by Apple and every other device being compatible with just about every other service. Apple can start with battery life on their next Generation because every time a new player comes out that boasts 15 hours or more the iPods 6 or 7 hours looks more and more like what it is Ė pathetic.
Features/Functionality/Performance is what the iPod will need to continue to dominate in if it is going to take on every player and service by itself. So pointing out what can be better is a good thing.
I just donít get how people refuse to see this.

Posted by SpideyXP on November 7, 2003 at 9:27 AM (PDT)


He forgot to mention that in terms of sound quality, the iPod doesn’t even compare to other mp3 players on the market.  There is a reason why apple refuses to disclose the signal to noise ratio of thier product.  Compared to my other players (creative, archos, iriver), the sound quality doesn’t even come close!!!  When it really comes down to it, the iPod only thrives on its design and its compact size. 

Posted by Roan on November 7, 2003 at 9:46 AM (PDT)


The only actual negative is the battery life, which everyone agrees should be longer.

He could have mentioned that the DRM used by Apple is less onerous and more consistent than the DRM most of the online competitors use for their WMA or MP3 music.

But in any event, there is no reason you can’t use MP3s from any source on an ipod. As of now, it won’t play WMA (or OGG).

Posted by jmk on November 7, 2003 at 9:47 AM (PDT)


I’m sorry, *all* DRM is onerous. It is irrelevant who is more or less onerous. The entire deal treats every consumer like a criminal, and it is as insulting as all of the “Do not steal music” notes lurking everywhere on this site. It doesn’t matter if your “hero company” uses it, you do not have to suddenly defend something that you have always looked down upon, and say things like—well it is less evil than their evil.

Come on.

Posted by Ioa on November 7, 2003 at 9:54 AM (PDT)


I find it interesting how they insert pictures and helpful links to the other mp3 players reviews and prices but none for the iPod as if to say - Here, go check them out and buy them.  CNET has become filled with so much Apple FUD, it’s become the Fox News of the Internet.  I use my iPod while jogging and have never had a problem, and you can replace the iPod battery should it die.

Weak effort!

Posted by atc on November 7, 2003 at 10:21 AM (PDT)


“CNET has become filled with so much Apple FUD”

Is that why they call the iPod the best mp3 player out there?  Is that why they give the iPod an editor’s choice rating?

Posted by Albert on November 7, 2003 at 11:00 AM (PDT)


You should seriously read yourself in a year with an objective mind and see how paranoid you look. Nearly half the page is filled with them saying, “hey, like we’ve been saying all along, the iPod is the best…” The whole point of this article is to suggest that it is not perfect for everyone, which is really obvious if you think about it for longer than a minute, and to point out alternative players for people who might have concerns with these *specific* issues. Of course they are going to provide links to the alternatives they recommend. Apple FUD? They’ve been strong iPod supporters for years, they still are. Your reality is more cracked than Steve Jobs’.

And yes, you can change the battery, voiding your warrenty. You are not seriously suggesting whipping out screwdrivers and tools to replace the battery in the middle of a road trip, are you? They are talking about standard uptime on the device. If you need more than six or so hours in a row—there are better alternatives. What is so difficult to grasp about that? Some people need lots of battery life, others do not. It’s called variety. Live with it.

Posted by Ioa on November 7, 2003 at 11:06 AM (PDT)


I am a competitive bodybuilder - I spend 10-15 hours a week at the gym. I’ve been using an iPod constantly - for weightlifting and cardio. The iPod has NEVER skipped on me - when doing heavy squats or deadlifts, when on a treadmill or stairmaster - during ANY vigorous activity. I’ve even forgotten my iPod was strapped to my back when doing bench press and felt like I was going to crush it - and still played like a champ. Personally, I think whoever wrote that is probably some pansy jogger who doesn’t know proper form (yes, their IS proper form when jogging, as with any exercise).

Most of the serious weight trainers and exercisers I see around my gym are using an iPod. If it skipped or worked as they claimed it did, it wouldn’t be so commonplace - and I know I wouldn’t be using it. I graduated from CD player, to minidisc to iPod, and I’ve never looked back.

There are definitely some vigorous activities I’d never take my ‘Pod on - mountain biking, very high impact aerobic activites, paintball - the iPod might now skip in the manner that author described, but unless well-protected might suffer some physical damage that would cause it to skip.

While I am no fan of CNET - I think, much like InfoWorld, they really do not have objective opinions as a whole - if you look at their reviews of all HD-based players, the iPod gets a 9.0 rating - far, far above any other HD player they review.

And finally, I agree with what another poster said - the iPod isn’t for everyone. I can’t convince my boyfriend to get one, and has told me he doesn’t want one. He likes his old-fashioned CD player at the gym. If I get him a portable MP3 player, maybe he’ll start changing his mind.

Posted by CMuscleSF on November 7, 2003 at 11:22 AM (PDT)


The article didn’t say anything about the iPod skipping. It said it is not wise to strap a hard drive to your arm and run around with it, even if it does only spin up occasionally. I agree with their cautionary tone. These hard drives are like any other. If you knock it while it is accessing you damage the platter surface anywhere from a minor scratch and some damaged blocks (which over time reduces available space) or in a worst case scenario, the platter which is revolving at thousands per minute, could shatter.

I just wouldn’t even take the risk. If I had to be running around and such all of the time, I would get a flash memory based player. It’s a better long term investment.

For desk-sitters like myself, hard drives are fine. Even better than flash due to the extra space.

Posted by Ioa on November 7, 2003 at 11:40 AM (PDT)


It’s because the CNet is filled with Apple FUD? Thatís why even in an article which points out the iPod’s shortcomings they still say itís the best out there? Give it their Editor’s choice mark? And consistently rate it higher than any other MP3 player out there? That’s Apple FUD? Are you kidding me?
Do you realize how ridiculous it sounds to knock CNet because the iPod is in fact NOT for everyone now that there is so comparable competition.
Like I said before, and in agreement with the posts since, except for the claim that the iPod does not perform well during physical activity which is not entirely true, the author of the article made some valid points about where the iPod needs to go to maintain its top billing in the MP3 player world. This is not conjecture, this is fact. If the iPod does not improve in the areas where the competition has pushed the market forward than iPod will become the player of yesterday and not tomorrow. I want the iPod to improve and i think Apple can do the job which will lead to my third iPod purchase but knocking the article not because of its points but because you think CNet has an Anti-Apple slant is as pathetic as the 3rd Gen’s battery life.

Posted by SpideyXP on November 7, 2003 at 11:49 AM (PDT)


I agree with whoever said all DRM is onerous.
It’s weak to say Apple’s is less onerous because it is “more consistent”.

What about the fact that Apple’s DRM only enables you to use Apple’s iPod to playback the tracks? Is that onerous enough for you?
Or is it ok for AAC w/FairPlay to be proprietary because Apple does it?
If MS’s WMA format only worked with players that MS put out the Apple fanatics would line out to point out the evil that is Bill Gates. But when Jobs does it and then openly touts he has no intention of changing it because it then its ok because it is Apple right? The hypocrisy some spew in these forums is ridiculous.

Admit it, all DRM sucks. Especially when it chooses on which platform and device you can listen to the music you purchased. Just because Apple does it doesnít make it any better. If you donít want to sound like an ignorant PC user than try not to sound like an ignorant MAC user. Take everything at face value and evaluate and base your decisions on that. Otherwise you are no better than the ďlemmingsĒ that supposedly are PC users. Jobs can play the game just as well as Gates when he has the market leader. And guess what with the iPod and iTunes he does and just look at his attitude now “‘Why should we work with another music store when we are working with the Microsoft of music stores?”

Posted by Onerous on November 7, 2003 at 11:59 AM (PDT)


great article.. I own the iRiver iFP-380T (128MB) as well with an Ipod…

Posted by bababooey on November 7, 2003 at 12:33 PM (PDT)


I think the CNET bias theory comes from the headline—which is fair to criticize, since it’s all some people will read. (A headline perhaps not even written by the article author?) And from a trend at CNET lately with regards to several issues. Relating (mostly) true facts but with an anti-Apple pro-MS spin that is truly a double standard.

I’m not saying the bias is there—and if it is, it’s CNET and not the specific author—but I do think it’s a good possibility.

Posted by Nagromme on November 7, 2003 at 1:15 PM (PDT)


Regarding the trend that has people criticizing CNET/ZDNET (same folks), here’s another case:

They just had an article (basically the same one seen all over) about Apple’s success vs. Napster and others. A positive article—little more than a press release in fact. It cites Nielsen SoundScan ratings showing that Apple has 80% of the music download market—with the other 20% including ALL other stores, not just Napster.

Pretty clear cut… so why did ZDNET phrase their headline this way?

“Apple claims song sales far outstrip Napster”

Again, I do wonder if some bias is present at ZDNET/CNET—and not necessarily from the writers but from the editors. (“Claims”? Do they really think Nielsen ratings will be proven a fraud and Napster is actually selling more then Apple?)

Posted by Nagromme on November 7, 2003 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

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