hey, i'm thinking of buying the 4g ipod, only thing that really bothers me is this question: can i use the ipod as an external HD? like the iriver for example, when i connect it to the usb will it show in my computer as an extra drive or what?

Posted by Avatar on July 27, 2004 at 5:37 AM (PDT) Comment 51

To Adam -

The reason your 4G iPod is only running about 5 hours per charge is your use of the Apple Lossless Codec. The reason is simple:

The iPod achieves its battery life primarily by minimal use of the power-hungry hard disk. To accomplish this, it employs buffer memory (about 28MB) in which to load music. The music you hear is read from this buffer while the hard disk sleeps.

So how much music fits in the 28MB? Well, if you use 128kbps AAC files, then about 35 minutes worth. Ergo, the hard drive only spins every 35 minutes and presto! 12 hours of playtime.

But if you use very large file formats like Apple Lossless, the 28MB buffer can only hold about 6 minutes worth of music, and thus the hard drive must spin much more frequently to keep the buffer filled. Ergo - short battery life.

Thus you are allowed some tradeoffs - sheer audio performance versus battery life. Depending upon your pattern of use, one or the other may best suit you.

Me? I'm less fussy about my portable music, and so I use 128kbps AAC for almost everything except really great recordings.

Posted by BradPDX on July 27, 2004 at 7:29 AM (PDT) Comment 52

i think they should have thought about making the 4 g before the 3g beucase the 4 g looks kinda cheap while the 3g should be the one that has better features. (charge with usb two) i think releasing the 4g is just another way for apple make up for the fact that the battery for 3g ony last 18 months and it's very expensive. so they just thought hey, just launch a new 20 g model with cheaper looks and exclude the holder and the remote and the dock so we can make more profit if people buy them seperately

Posted by tonpai on July 27, 2004 at 9:46 AM (PDT) Comment 53

You forget to mention that most (all, that I've seen) of the iPod's knock-offs are really very ugly and hefty, even if the numbers on paper don't sound like it. I owned a Dell DJ briefly and though it was only fractionally bigger than the iPod by measurement, it felt like a brick. I returned it and bought the 20GB 3g.

Posted by Cole on July 27, 2004 at 12:01 PM (PDT) Comment 54

I got my 4g to replace my 3g which I had for about a year. I loved my 3g and like the 4g even more. The simple design without those four buttons from the 3g is great. I couldn't get those 3g buttons to respond half the time.

My point though - Are any cases available? Anyone know when they will be out? I am paranoid carrying this 4g around!


Posted by Paul on July 27, 2004 at 2:41 PM (PDT) Comment 55

You are only getting 5-6 hours on your 4G iPod cuz of the size of your songs (i.e. Lossless Format eats up battery power BIGTIME.) Apple recommends an average track size of around 9MB (i.e. AAC 160 kbps should do the trick for your average song.)

Posted by serkoart on July 27, 2004 at 5:16 PM (PDT) Comment 56

I think the grey clickwheel looks nice, dunno whatss o ugly about it :/.

Posted by Adam on July 28, 2004 at 6:05 AM (PDT) Comment 57

So, I got my 20gig 4G today and I am really happy with it. It's great in Design and figuring out how it works is a no-brainer. I found your review very help in deciding whether to go for a 3G with Dock, remote, etc. or go for a 4G. I am certain picking the 4G was the right decision.

Posted by Christoph on July 28, 2004 at 1:21 PM (PDT) Comment 58

Hey DJ. I just read your post

"the ipod languishes at the botom of the portable music player league, with average build and audio quality, and near to no format support. even on the fourth generation, it still lacks functions that competing players have had for years, including gapless playback, radio playback, recording, a PROPER equaliser, support for codecs such as ogg vorbis; flac & wma"

Its the best build quality by far. It has the best audio codec as shown by tests, and unless you have audiophile ears you would have to be desperate for a putdown to say the iPod has low audio quality. I agree on the gapless playback, although it has only once been an issue for me. a Proper equaliser; maybe but who cares? All those codecs are sideline at best and with the exception of FLAC are poor quality.

Finally, anyone who wants a radio for a "full featured player" has got to be mad. Who on early would buy a 10,000 song player only to go and listen to music they dont want enough to already own, over poor quality radio. And on top of that radio is an unpleasant, ad drenched medium which belongs in the stone age.

Posted by DrTim on July 28, 2004 at 1:22 PM (PDT) Comment 59

iPod v Zen

I have been a Zen & XP user for 2 years now. The day the press release came out announcing the 12 hr battery and $400 price tag were enough to convert me.

I was in the market for the Zen Touch, which was, at the time, $270. Byte for byte, iPod was A BETTER VALUE. I still stand by Zen for actual sound reproduction quality, which is backed up by the tech specs. That aside, I'm a iPodder now.

The unit feels solid yet elegant in the hand, though the shininess of the backing is giving me OCD. The design is impeccable. The interface is clean, although I wish that the "Now Playing" link was at the top. While people say that the interface is "intuitive," for converts and early adopter veterans, it takes a little to unlearn the earlier interfaces.

The only "flaw" is the cheap earbuds that accompany the iPod. But then again, all units ship with lousy cans anyway. I wish a carrying case was free; guess where the price drop came from.

In the interest of disclosure, I'm no fan of "The Cult of Mac" yet I am overwhelmingly impressed by the iPod. I used to recommend the Zen over the iPod because of the value and quality, but THE 4thG iPod IS A BETTER VALUE AND HIGHER QUALITY THAN THE ZEN (emphasis intended).

Posted by Matt from NYC on July 28, 2004 at 3:36 PM (PDT) Comment 60

It is much easier to use with th enew click wheel and i love the new blue backlight, it is so easy to read.

Posted by Chris Hood on July 29, 2004 at 12:53 AM (PDT) Comment 61

i like ipod very much. It is to good to listen to music

Posted by tek pun on July 29, 2004 at 3:16 AM (PDT) Comment 62

DJMac -

You CAN use all the G3 accessories with a G4 ipod - at least all the ones I've tried. (the dock and adapter). The cases don't work for the buttons, but they keep it from getting scratched.

I think it looks neat. My only problem was...20gb or 40gb?

Posted by cordria on July 29, 2004 at 9:42 AM (PDT) Comment 63

Is your recommendation to grab the 3G iPods changed by this?

"But you should know that internally the new iPod is a ground-up reconstruction, and its really compelling applications — the ones that very well might get the goat of anyone unable or unwilling to upgrade — are still secret. All that Apple is saying is that there's more to this than what's being publicized."

Posted by Stephen W. Carson on July 29, 2004 at 1:23 PM (PDT) Comment 64

It's a shame the 4th generation ipods don't come in a variety of colors. I was really hoping they would. A silver one would look so much nicer next to a powerbook. Enough of this white phase already.

Posted by zymonkey on July 29, 2004 at 5:37 PM (PDT) Comment 65

how do you reboot the new clickwheel ipod? ru

Posted by r ullyett on July 30, 2004 at 3:22 AM (PDT) Comment 66

Can anyone tell me if I will be able to use an ipod as a portable hard disk to transfer files from my old pc (has usb port) to my new powerbbok??

Posted by bob on July 30, 2004 at 4:40 AM (PDT) Comment 67

I've been considering getting an IPod for quite some time. Recently I was alarmed when I read something about IPod only allowing legally downloaded music from ITunes to be played on the IPod. I have tons of music which I've downloaded (in mp3 format) and am concerned they won't be able to play on the IPod. Is there any truth to this statement?

Posted by ThinkingIPod on July 30, 2004 at 7:57 AM (PDT) Comment 68

Just got a new 4G 20GB last week - my first Pod. So far very impressed with form factor, speedy firewire downloading, and sound quality. If you're affiliated with a school, take advantage of the nice $269 discounted price on Apple's Education store.

The stock ear buds sound a lot better than I thought they would, but the Sony EX71s are on their way (at Amazon for $32). As mentioned by a previous reviewer, it would be nice if there was a manual EQ, but at least there's a wide range of pre-sets. I've found the Hip Hop and R&B settings to provide the fullest, richest sound for all genres of music so far. Loudness seems to lack punch and Bass Boost sounds a little muddy.

Love the clickwheel and the blue screen! Never thought much of the 3G design which is why I waited. It's still on it's first charge, but I juiced it up to 100% out of the box and after using it for just 15 minutes to download some playlists and play a handful of songs, the indicator is already down one notch (out of 4 or 5). Being a Pod newbie, is this normal? Replaceable batteries would be nice. A friend of mine is still using her 2G after two years and says it still carries a decent charge.

Great gadget, great site! smile

Posted by Alan on July 30, 2004 at 9:05 AM (PDT) Comment 69

You are getting a low battery life because you are using a lossless format, which causes the harddrive to constantly be working.

You should get about 5 more hours if they were all in mp3 format

Posted by Leo on July 30, 2004 at 11:06 AM (PDT) Comment 70

I am somewhat disapointed with the sound quality of the new IPod remixed 20g, I play the same mp3s using the Sony MZ-N1 minidisc player and results are far better.

Posted by Michel Castonguay on July 31, 2004 at 1:03 AM (PDT) Comment 71

I purchsed my IPOD on Apple's website for $369.00 (educational discount) and it was shipped from China. I haven't noticed any audio problems as mentioned in previous postings (..still holding my breath). The click wheel took a little getting used to, but now I like it much better than the 3G 30GB model I have.

I do have one major complaint from Apple. Why can't you build an IPod that will not SCRATCH soooooooo easily? I am afraid to take my new IPod out of the house until I can get a descent IPod Wrap to protect the screen and casing. I am surprised that apple hasn't changed the materials used yet, since this is a MAJOR complaint from previous IPod owners.

If anyone knows of any sites that sell good IPod protection/covers, let me know!

Overall, I love my IPod! Ever since I purchased my first one, a 3G, 1.5 years ago, I haven't listened to my car raido since! I use it everyday and I couldn't live without it!

Posted by Paul Squyres on July 31, 2004 at 4:39 AM (PDT) Comment 72

I Still cannot figure it out. New Ipod or Zen Touch. They are both kind of equally priced. They both have the same memory. Creative has a 97s/n while apple does not. Creative is bulky while Apple is not. Apple has more features( contacts, address book, games, and notes) while Creative doesn't. I am so confused. Does anybody own a Creative Zen Touch? How do you like it if you do own one? Does it b eat the Ipod? HELP PLEASE!!!

Posted by soccerkid656 on July 31, 2004 at 4:40 AM (PDT) Comment 73

hi. i've never used an mp3 player or minidisc player with a rechargeable battery system. i have always used a disc-man, but i'm getting tired of it, and so far i'm most interested in the ipod. One concern i have at the moment is recharging. can you just plug it into a wall without the usb cable? also, and most importantly, if i want to travel to europe will i be able to recharge it without using a computer? an ipod seems great, but if i need to dig up the old discman for traveling (precisely a situation in which the ipod would seem most ideal) then it seems very pointless to invest in the first place. if you have any suggestions on how i could deal with this concern, as in refering me to another mp3 playback system that would be greatly appreciated

Posted by funkyfoley on July 31, 2004 at 10:30 AM (PDT) Comment 74

Kudos to BradPDX & DJMac. A technical and English review about the sound quality of ipod. I agree 100% with both of them. Bass does not equal quality and the ipod sounds better then any other player out there by audiophiles due to it's neutral output. I'm not using Apple's buds as they only sound OK to me. Bought a better pair from Sony and loved it since. Users needs to keep in mind that mp3 is in fact a compressed format that compromises sound quality. With WAV, I can't tell the difference between the CD and ipod. I have no EQ on my home stereo as well. Not even treble or bass adjustment, just direct.

Posted by Stanford on July 31, 2004 at 11:39 AM (PDT) Comment 75
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