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iLounge awards ‘A’ rating to new color iPods, first since May 2003

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, June 29, 2005
News Categories: iPod

For only the third time in iLounge’s nearly four-year history, the Editors of iLounge have awarded a flat “A” rating to an iPod—the newly introduced color fourth-generation iPod (20/60GB). Previous iPods to receive this rating were Apple’s breakthrough third-generation iPod, reviewed in May 2003, and the second-generation iPod (Mac version), reviewed in August 2002.

From our reviews of the new iPods, which are now on the site:

“It would have been easy to pass on re-reviewing Apple’s newest 20GB iPods—after all, they’re little more than cheaper, lower-capacity versions of the 30GB iPod photo released only four months ago. That simple fact has elicited groans and tears from the most devoted iLounge readers, particularly those who purchased black-and-white-screened iPods only recently.

But to view the new iPods from the perspective of existing owners would clearly miss the significance of what Apple is now offering to new potential buyers: a color-screened, photo-capable 20GB digital music player with unparalleled ease of use and the best software package on the market, all at a lower suggested retail price than any major competitor. Similarly, its bigger 60GB brother and black-bodied U2 clone are more affordable than ever before, while continuing to possess all of the key features that made them stand out at their October 2004 introductions. Owners of black-and-white-screened iPods may complain, yet there’s little doubt that they’d quickly upgrade if given the right incentive.”

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Comments

1

I wouldn’t call it a fifth-generation iPod; after all, it’s just an iPod photo with a different hard drive size.  More of a name change than anything else.

Posted by Drummer on June 29, 2005 at 1:06 PM (PDT)

2

i can’t agree more with the last line of the post.
as soon as i saw the 60gig ipod yesterday i ordered one and found someone to buy my 4g 20gig.  my 60gig arrived this morning and i love it.

Posted by mdc on June 29, 2005 at 1:15 PM (PDT)

3

Nice ! I only wish I had one of those…..

On a positive note though - since I have a 4G 40 GB monochrome screen - nothing really distracts me from my music….smile

Posted by neurojava on June 29, 2005 at 1:29 PM (PDT)

4

iPodlounge is wrong in calling these “5G” iPods. clearly they are simply rebadged and repriced iPod photos, not a bad thing either.

the lack of big Apply hype for these releases is due to the fact the real next generation of iPods, the 5G, with significant design changes ala ALL the previous gens will arrive likely this fall with an iTunes 5.0 to go with them.

nice of the “lounge” to review these new attractively priced color iPods, but to call them 5G… well… no.

Posted by Dave on June 29, 2005 at 2:10 PM (PDT)

5

Is this really the 5G iPod, or just an updated 4G iPod? I thought the 5G iPods were coming towards the end of the summer.

Posted by Cyantre on June 29, 2005 at 2:14 PM (PDT)

6

There is nothing 5G about these. When the 5G cometh, Apple might actually bother to make some fuss about it.

Posted by Bad Beaver on June 29, 2005 at 2:17 PM (PDT)

7

I agree it is not the 5G…yet. I’m saying it’s the 5G at the moment because I do not know what Apple will do within the coming weeks and months. They could come out with something huge.

Posted by maxman on June 29, 2005 at 2:24 PM (PDT)

8

I think the 4g may stay. I mean what could they revamp in it already? I think its layout is almost perfect and dosent newed to be updated anymore. I mean the stuff under the case is changing, but I beleive thats the only thing that can be changed. Are you people always wanting more?

Posted by surferstyle on June 29, 2005 at 2:56 PM (PDT)

9

5G? i agree with everybody else… it’s still 4G. there are no significant design changes besides a color screen… not enough to jump a whole generation… how bout 4.5G?

Posted by Travis on June 29, 2005 at 3:38 PM (PDT)

10

We’re consumers.  We’re born to want more! 

If there’s under-the-hood changes such as gapless playback (Hell, that alone would be enough to make me upgrade!), radio, support for more formats etc then by all means call them 5G.  Otherwise they’re just rebadged iPod Photos, which have been around a while now.

Posted by PassiveSmoking on June 29, 2005 at 3:43 PM (PDT)

11

uh… how can these ‘new’ ipods get an ‘a’ and the ipod photos not?  is it price?  there’s nothing new.

oh and i’m still waiting for my icon-based menu system.  that would be sweet and more of a fake reason to buy the new ipod.  much like “shuffle” in the main menu was somehow the selling point of the 4Gs

Posted by Jeff on June 29, 2005 at 5:05 PM (PDT)

12

The Ipod is now a massive platform like Windows, get used to the minor incremental but stable updates.  Don’t expect dramatic new features.  These are 5G Ipods, they seem like the 4G Photo but Apple is playing safe until it sees it becomes cost effective to put other new features. 

So ipod hardcore fans, get a grip…  wink

Posted by Traderx25 on June 29, 2005 at 5:16 PM (PDT)

13

I would consider these iPod photos 5th gen iPods. The 4th gen was the monochrome display click wheel iPods, then the iPod photos with color screen would be the 5th. Plus, does it really matter?

Fishes,
narco.

Posted by narco in Burbank on June 29, 2005 at 5:39 PM (PDT)

14

This is all semantic (and silly) anyway, but…

The new iPods are the fifth distinct product to be called just “iPod,” thus by default it’s the “fifth-generation” iPod. As we noted in another thread on this topic, Apple’s web site yesterday referred to them as the “latest generation” of iPod hardware.

We are not thrilled to call it the “5G” iPod, but technically, it is, and there are more important changes under the hood of this new model than any of the prior iPods. Is it really such a bad thing if the next one was called the sixth-generation iPod, instead?

That’s sort of a moot point for the time being, though. Just as with last year, whatever Apple releases next will not be called only “iPod,” at least for the immediate future - it’ll be a iPod [xxxxx].

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on June 29, 2005 at 5:39 PM (PDT)

15

To everyone saying, “this isn’t the 5G iPod”, you have to remember that aside from the trackpad scroll wheel, there wasn’t much of a difference between the 1G and 2G iPods. I truly believe this is the 5G iPod because unlike the 4G unit it replaces, it has a color screen and better battery life. A minor update? Yes, but then again, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Why do a massive overhaul of the UI when the click wheel works so well?

Posted by Solidus Snake on June 29, 2005 at 7:00 PM (PDT)

16

The only problem I have, is that Apple seems to be going BACKWARDS. 

This new firmware release DISABLES the ability of Smart Playlists to do Live Updating on the Ipod without re-syncing to Itunes.  You used to be able to build a Smart Playlist using Play Date or Play Count that would allow the playlist to remove songs from it once you played them, so you didn’t hear repeats.

Why is Apple taking away valuable features from us??

Posted by Fred H. on June 29, 2005 at 7:34 PM (PDT)

17

but it is basicly a ipod photo and in australia the old 20gb cos au$439 now it costs au$499 the same price that the 30gb photo

Posted by anon on June 30, 2005 at 12:39 AM (PDT)

18

yeah, this is the 5g

it is different to any other iPod before it.

the photo had a different name and wasn’t simply called an iPod

this is a different iPod than has been released before so it has gotta be the 5g

Posted by Baby-G in England on June 30, 2005 at 4:13 AM (PDT)

19

Maybe this should be a poll question.

“Do the updated iPods warrant being called fifth-generation iPods?”

a) Why didn’t they give us video?
b) Dammit, I have to buy a new one now!  My life isn’t complete unless I have the absolute newest iPod!
c) Who cares?
d) What’s podcasting?

Posted by PushButtonAction in Atlanta, GA on June 30, 2005 at 6:32 AM (PDT)

20

there should be no poll. it shouldn’t matter what apple is saying in barely seen press releases. THIS IS NOT 5G, and ipodlounge should be smart enough not to help mislead readers into thinking this revision is going to be sticking around… clearly there will be a 5G, likely in time for the Christmas season and like all the generations before it will have some fundemental design changes.

From your own review: “It would have been easy to pass on re-reviewing Apple’s newest 20GB iPods—after all, they’re little more than cheaper, lower-capacity versions of the 30GB iPod photo released only four months ago.”

If they are “little more” than they aren’t 5G.

Posted by canyonblue737 on June 30, 2005 at 7:27 AM (PDT)

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