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


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

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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We’re not misleading readers - from our own review, it’s the fifth product to carry the “iPod” name. How would you suggest we label it - the “4.5G iPod?”, the “formerly iPod photo iPod?”, or the “color 4G iPod?”

Each of these is at least as much of a problem as a 5G iPod from a semantic standpoint. That’s really all it is - semantics - after all, Apple’s not going to stop inventing new iPod technology if people call this the 5G iPod. And average consumers are going to be confused to no end if it’s not called the 5G/fifth iPod.

If it really bothers you so much that Apple might release a new “6G” iPod rather than a “5G” iPod soon, be happy - since the iPod photo is the “new iPod,” the next thing they release won’t be called the “iPod,” at least for now.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on June 30, 2005 at 12:14 PM (CDT)


I agree with Eriamjh and spad.  These are NOT 5G iPods.  There is nothing new about them since we have had these features before.  It isn’t reasonable to consider that just changing all the standard iPods to iPod photos makes them 5G.  If you think so then think also of all the iPod photo buyers since late 2004 who were buying 5G iPods and didn’t even know it!

Posted by crliii on June 30, 2005 at 1:05 PM (CDT)


What I’d like to know is does the 20GB iPod with color screen allow for zooming in and panning of photos, such as large pdf files like maps, etc.

Posted by ness on June 30, 2005 at 2:29 PM (CDT)


I would like to know HOW this new 20 gig iPod can handle 20,000 pictures and my 60 gig iPod only handles 5,000 MORE (25,000). I could imagine it has something to do with the firmware of the iPod but wouldnt the firmware update to my 60 gig iPod allow me to now put in 60,000 pictures?
Or could all this be a type-o?

Posted by djJASMAN in California on June 30, 2005 at 2:36 PM (CDT)


It would seem that the revulsion towards calling the new HD iPod lineup ‘5G’ has more to do with people’s expections of innovation from Apple more than anything else.  These two units are essentially the same as the 4G/Photo, and to refer to these as new-generation units seem, well, like something Microsoft would do.

I find the logic behind making these a “new generation” because the dropped the ‘Photo’ from the iPod name hilarious.  It’s like saying GM was right all along when they took a Chevy Cadaver and badged it a Cadillac Cimarron.  See, it REALLY IS NEW!!!  Yeah, sure.

Hardware-wise, it seems these bring nothing new to the table, other than taking what was done with the Photo and making it standard across the entire HD iPod lineup.  MAYBE they’re a 4.5G, but a 5G, and the insinuations of newness that that entails?  I sure hope not, because that’s the sort on (non) innovation I wouldn’t expect from Apple.  Marketing people, perhaps, but not from the people who really make Apple the company that they are.

Posted by flatline response on June 30, 2005 at 5:01 PM (CDT)


The average consumer is not going to get confused by what we decide to call it. Numbers only matter if there are multiple iPods available for sale at one time (ie cellhpones). iPod is iPod. Now it comes with a colour screen. Cool.

The only people who will argue about the name are people who know the differences anyway (ie us).

Apple never refer to their products by generation. It’s still iMac, iBook, iPod. For tech support, they use descriptive names such as iMac flatpanel, iPod with colour screen, iPod with click wheel.

Posted by David on June 30, 2005 at 9:36 PM (CDT)


i love ipodlounge, but i just continue to flately believe that this is a horrible choice to call it “5G”. NO ONE ELSE is using this term to describe the new lineup change.

what occured yesterday was a NAME CHANGE and PRICE CHANGE and nothing else. a new generation of iPod means a FORM OR FUNCTION CHANGE.

Posted by Dave on June 30, 2005 at 11:06 PM (CDT)


told ya you jumped the gun. GREAT REPORTING, overzelous to brand it the new 5G when everyone (but iPodlounge) clearly knew it wasn’t…

“Editor’s Note: Following publication of this Backstage entry earlier today, iPodlounge’s editors received confirmation from Apple Computer that the new color-screened iPod is officially considered part of the fourth-generation iPod family, rather than the fifth. We thank Apple for this clarification, and now anxiously await versions 5 of both iTunes and the iPod. The article below has been modestly edited to reflect the new information.”

Posted by canyonblue737 on June 30, 2005 at 11:34 PM (CDT)


All I can say is….

I sure ‘am glad that I got my 30GB iPod Photo. I love it!

And, plus, its just “different”.

Posted by Andrew on July 1, 2005 at 1:01 AM (CDT)


Dave/Canyonblue: Since you’re going to post the same comment in every thread on this, I’ll post the same response:

We are always - always - concerned with the interests of consumers (our readers) first and foremost, and constantly thinking about the best possible ways to eliminate the confusion that always accompanies the launch of a new iPod.

For example, to call the current 20GB iPod model a “fourth-generation 20GB iPod

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on July 1, 2005 at 3:04 AM (CDT)

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