comments

"Yeah, the iPod really can't deliver high-quality bass without a TK-421 unit, which we can install right here for you."

Reference anyone? And yes, marketing of frivolous feature sets is always that ridiculous.

Posted by Big Jim on July 23, 2004 at 4:08 PM (PDT) Comment 26

i still think that the 3G Ipods better

Posted by cjl2g on July 23, 2004 at 4:26 PM (PDT) Comment 27

"...and Eastern European users will discover that their song, artist and album information (of virtually any language of origin) is displayed properly on the screen."

Interesting. Has anyone out there tried it with songs whose metadata is written in Greek? (I suppose I'm referring to Greeks, but if a non-Greek has tried it, please share your experience.)

Posted by Konstantinos on July 23, 2004 at 4:28 PM (PDT) Comment 28

I too was one of those who had a 40 Gb 3g for just 12 days before the announcement of the 4g. I returned it to Mac Mall and for a 15% fee, they were most gracious about accepting it back.

For me, the click wheel pleases both my aesthetic and functional sides. I disliked all the accidental brushes with the controls on the 3g when all I wished to do was to change the volume. The sound is great (using AAC for most of my rips), and for my part think Apple did a good job.

Now I only need a good case for the beastie!

Posted by NM Mountain Man on July 23, 2004 at 4:42 PM (PDT) Comment 29

Does this thing still have headphone wires?

Come on Apple... Do what you do best and make a wireless music player. Oh, and anyone that sends that goofy FM headphone trick can choke on MPG2 compression.

I like my 1G better than my 3G. Still hate wires.

Posted by MotoJaz on July 23, 2004 at 5:07 PM (PDT) Comment 30

I thought there was a no advertising policy on this board. ipod cases seems like a shamless plug.

Posted by na on July 23, 2004 at 5:50 PM (PDT) Comment 31

Great reference drop with the comment about the TK-421 circuit. I believe that was from a hilarious scene in the film "Boogie Nights."

Posted by toslink on July 23, 2004 at 6:26 PM (PDT) Comment 32

To junior2: There's no problem with putting long pieces of music on an iPod. I've got all of Beethoven's symphonies on mine, among many other things.

Posted by Matt McIrvin on July 23, 2004 at 6:50 PM (PDT) Comment 33

Konstantine, in the Apple site they say that the 4G has Greek language support (I assume that means the menus can be in Greek also), so I guess they now have a better Greek font than the horrible one the 3G has. (The 3G can display Greek tags with no problem, but the font is ugly and takes a lot of space: there's too much space between each character, enough for another character).

Posted by Gabriel on July 23, 2004 at 7:24 PM (PDT) Comment 34

But still Apple supply the earbuds. These "high quality" items are no different in comfort or function from the tat I got with a $60 Walkman some years ago.

I like the look of this 4G iPod. But I think I'll stick with my 2G - it still works.

Posted by PrettyGreenParrot on July 23, 2004 at 8:37 PM (PDT) Comment 35

I've heard from the apple forums that the 4G iPod sounds better than the 3G. I'll find this out when I go to my Apple store this weekend.

(2 More Years Before I Get out of H.S. and get my iBook for college!!)

Posted by Next on July 23, 2004 at 8:47 PM (PDT) Comment 36

Jeremy Horwitz- So am I correct in my understanding that if you had neither right now, you would take the 3G with all the accessories (stores are throwing in dock, remote, and case; minus the USB 2.0) for $299 instead of the 4G without many accessories for $299? Thanks.

Posted by cigarzfan on July 23, 2004 at 9:16 PM (PDT) Comment 37

Surely the only way to know how they sound is to go and listen yourself. Everyone hears things slightly differently and oppinions differ as to how music should sound, its not purely based on THD. Try before you buy!!!!

Posted by ???? on July 23, 2004 at 11:46 PM (PDT) Comment 38

I have upgraded from the 3G 15GB to the 4G 20GB.
From the first moments on the Apple site the simplicity of the Click Wheel alone was enough for me to make the switch. I had returned a mini once upon a time when I figured 4GB storage did not justify its pricetag, but terribly missed the ease of the Click Wheel.

Though I don't consider myself to be a techie, i must admit that the sound quality and comfort of the factory earbuds did not satisfy me at all. The In-Ears were a complete failure that always fell short(figuratively and literally from my ears) and were returned immediately to the Apple store shelf. But I have made an investment in earbuds from another company that are now great for my own personal tastes.

Due to daily use of the iPod in my 9 to 5 office job, lack of need for extra accessories, new-found ClickWheel simplicity, increased storage capacity and battery power gain, the lowered price has been a great value for me!

I must say that I am now satisfied with my 4G iPod and content with my iBook, and I look forward to my future fulfillment with both.

Posted by Trent on July 24, 2004 at 1:52 AM (PDT) Comment 39

What's the issue with quality? If yout want to rip at 320 kpps MP3 or Apple lossless - you'll be OK. I know Itunes doesn't have that great of quality, but rip your own! - lossless on an IPod sounds good (albieit a non-standard) - they'll get there. And in the meantime - use what you got.

Posted by louden on July 26, 2004 at 9:07 AM (PDT) Comment 40

Sligtly OT, but Had to comment:

"Great reference drop with the comment about the TK-421 circuit. I believe that was from a hilarious scene in the film "Boogie Nights." "

I have not seen Boogie Nights, so I don't know the reference in that movie, but the number TK-421 is the name of the Stormtrooper that Luke Skywalker knocks out and takes his uniform from in Star Wars. It was originally supposed to be THX-1138, but it got changed before filming.

iPod Content: Yes, please comment about sound quality and volume.

Posted by Cameron on July 26, 2004 at 11:01 AM (PDT) Comment 41

Several people have complained about the lack of discussion of sound quality in the review and I agree that the omission is conspicuous. At the same time, a review of sound quality is of limited value under the best of circumstances. The only way to know whether you like the way something sounds is to listen to it yourself. There is no substitute, and no review can take the place of your own ears.

Posted by moisture on July 26, 2004 at 11:18 AM (PDT) Comment 42

As an engineer who has designed a lot of audio, I have watched the discussions of sound quality with some amusement. It seems that many confuse "quality" with "quantity" of some modification they desire, such as increased bass, etc.

I used to design car stereo amps and signal processors - in that market, many people want what I consider to be "bad" sound, with lots of bass boost. I could not stand to listen to my own designs, but that is what marketing could sell.

Here is what I have found with my 3G iPod:

1. The output stages of the iPod are quite neutral and even the headphone jack produces excellent noise and fidelity figures (see the Stereophile review, Oct 2003). Response is flat, jitter is very low, and noise is well below the acceptable threshold. Stereophile noted that it performed better than most regular CD players!

2. Record some CD tracks in uncompressed format (Apple Lossless or AIFF or WAV), and load it on the iPod. Attach the iPod to a good quality stereo and compare to the original. In numerous tests, I find them utterly indistinguishable on all sorts of material.

3. AAC, WMA and MP3 are all "lossy" formats that sacrifice some quality for small file size. How much? That varies, with MP3 by far the worst. Generally, 128kbps AAC files sound quite decent and will appear identical to the CD original for most users most of the time. A picky listener can definitely hear the difference, but hey - this is music in your pocket! The iPod will only delivery sound that is as good as the source files, so if you have a lot of 128kbps MP3s they will sound mediocre because that is a mediocre format.

4. I believe that most users who complain about iPod sound are those who wish to apply substantial amounts of EQ to the signal to suit their own taste - big bass boosts, etc. The iPod EQ settings do leave something to be desired, but if you listen to your music without EQ this is not an issue. Heck, my home stereo has no EQ at all, so I don't notice wink

5. The Apple earbuds are decent - certainly some of the better "buds" I have owned - but not high end. The desire for additional EQ fades considerably when better 'phones are used (though I still use my Apples for casual on-the-street use because they are comfy and easy)

The upshot: the iPod is an excellent, neutral audio delivery device. If you want more boom-boom, you might like something else. Or, sit in your car.

Posted by BradPDX on July 26, 2004 at 12:22 PM (PDT) Comment 43

I have owned one of every generation of iPod, and found them all to be great products. Sure, they aren't perfect ... but since I'm not anal, I don't care.
After a very, very happy relationship with a cute 3g (now living in Canada), I was very happy to meet my new 4g (40gig) today. Damn sexy product.
Looks good (no packaging problems here), works fine. I like the wheel. It looks good and works good ... no complaints here. I think I'm going to enjoy this pod as much as all the others. And when the time comes for us to part (5g), so be it.

Oh, and I have never been disappointed with the sound quality of any of my iPods ... I can hear everything I need to hear and want to hear, and I am a musician, so I do need to hear things well.

Nuff said.
Over-and-Out

Posted by DJMac on July 26, 2004 at 12:27 PM (PDT) Comment 44

I have owned one of every generation of iPod, and found them all to be great products. Sure, they aren't perfect ... but since I'm not anal, I don't care.
After a very, very happy relationship with a cute 3g (now living in Canada), I was very happy to meet my new 4g (40gig) today. Damn sexy product.
Looks good (no packaging problems here), works fine. I like the wheel. It looks good and works good ... no complaints here. I think I'm going to enjoy this pod as much as all the others. And when the time comes for us to part (5g), so be it.

Oh, and I have never been disappointed with the sound quality of any of my iPods ... I can hear everything I need to hear and want to hear, and I am a musician, so I do need to hear things well.

Nuff said.
Over-and-Out

Posted by DJMac on July 26, 2004 at 12:40 PM (PDT) Comment 45

I have owned one of every generation of iPod, and found them all to be great products. Sure, they aren't perfect ... but since I'm not anal, I don't care.
After a very, very happy relationship with a cute 3g (now living in Canada), I was very happy to meet my new 4g (40gig) today. Damn sexy product.
Looks good (no packaging problems here), works fine. I like the wheel. It looks good and works good ... no complaints here. I think I'm going to enjoy this pod as much as all the others. And when the time comes for us to part (5g), so be it.

Oh, and I have never been disappointed with the sound quality of any of my iPods ... I can hear everything I need to hear and want to hear, and I am a musician, so I do need to hear things well.

Nuff said.
Over-and-Out

Posted by DJMac on July 26, 2004 at 12:44 PM (PDT) Comment 46

A question to those who owned both 3G and 4G ipod: Can you use
3G's dock and AC adapter with 4G? I lost my 3G ipod but the dock and
AC adpter still there, and I'm ordering a 4G. It'll be some relief from my loss if I can continue use these accessories.


Posted by lounger101 on July 26, 2004 at 6:25 PM (PDT) Comment 47

To "ipod cases" dude: My iPod G4 is getting here in a week, and i live in Christchurch, so I suppose it will get to the North Island a bit sooner.

Dam, i cant wait for it to get here!!!!

Posted by eltotoX on July 26, 2004 at 7:13 PM (PDT) Comment 48

I have been using my 4G iPod (my first iPod) for about a week now and can say I have been extremely impressed. I bought it to consolidate my 1200 songs (some MP3, some on CD's) into one small package that still offered good sound quality.

I ripped most of my CD's in the new Apple Lossless format, they sound excellent on the iPod. The only downside is they take up a ton of space, 400-500 megs per CD.

I have not even come close to the 12 hour battery life claim. I can get maybe 5-6 hours MAX (with the backlight off). The only thing I am thinking is causing the high drain is because I use my iPod at work and it goes through numerous power down cycles throughout the day (every 20-30 minutes). I am in the process of running the battery completely dead to see if that helps play time at all.

The only problem I have had is that when synching with iTunes it will finish and be in a state where it can be undocked without ejecting. However if left in the dock to charge it will eventually go back to the "Do Not Disconnect" screen despite not synching with iTunes, iCal or Address Book. It still can be ejected so its not a real big deal.





Posted by Adam on July 26, 2004 at 9:44 PM (PDT) Comment 49

Re: Sound Quality

I'm still waiting for my 40Gb 4G iPod over here (UK), but with regards to the comments about inferior sound quality produced by the iPods, I thought it worth noting that the magazine What Hi-Fi? has consistently rated the iPod ahead of it's rivals; not only in terms of acoustics and reproduction, but in all other facets except headphones (which are pretty poor). I happen to agree with this conclusion, having listened to the alternatives. Provided you purchase a pair of decent headphones (B&O A8's are my weapons of choice) I don't think there is a better product out there. Yet.

Posted by Mnemonick on July 26, 2004 at 11:15 PM (PDT) Comment 50
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