Apple Computer iPod 5G with Video (30GB/60GB) | iLounge

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26

Congratulations Jeremy for this fantastic review.

I agree that the video size is one of the weak points of the 5G iPod. Also, at the same time, the audio tracks in iTMS would greatly benefit from a bitrate upgrade.

So, how about asking a combo question directly to the iPod/iTunes people, or Apple PR? It would be great to know if 192 Kbps AAC or Apple Lossless tunes are being considered for audio, and if better screen resolutions or combo presets are considered to the video content.

The worst it can happen is that they could say they won't comment on this, but they certainly won't bite! Even if they give you a generic or an incomplete answer, that could certainly offer us some useful perspectives and help us in our buying choices.

Posted by Azumi on October 20, 2005 at 4:54 PM (PDT)

27

Great review, Jeremy. However, I noticed that you did not touch on the following.

The 5G appears to be less responsive as compared with other hard drive based ipods. I've noticed it's less responsive when switching songs and pausing and playing video and songs. It is also less responsive when it comes to showing album art. then again, maybe it's just me or my 5g.

You had mentioned in your Techie Q&A that the new ipod has some new power management features and delay in playing videos might be an example of this new feature. Is it just me or is this ipod less responsive than other hard drive based ipods?

Posted by maneufeld on October 20, 2005 at 5:05 PM (PDT)

28

Jeremy,
iPODs like the G4 needed to be connected to a wall charger after a firmware upgrade to complete it, right?
Since a wall charger isn't included in the package, do you know if Apple changed that, or will my iPOD be unusable after a firmware upgrade, and I'll have to rush and buy a charger?

Posted by beatoven on October 20, 2005 at 5:48 PM (PDT)

29

i agree with webbys coment on the

replaceable battery, but

i dont understand whey they couldnt use that

30% or whatever to increse battery life?

sure its neat thin but come on.

Posted by Apple_iPod on October 20, 2005 at 6:12 PM (PDT)

30

does the new ipod scratch as easily as the nano and any news on an iskin case???

Posted by bigal in UK on October 20, 2005 at 6:56 PM (PDT)

31

If you're old enough to have an early Walkman, you know how good they were. All metal parts, and solid. They ran forever. By the time personal cassette players were commodity products, they felt like s---. I'm afraid the iPod is on the same path. The 3G was flawed, but the buttons glowed red, and the plastic was white--not just a clear sheet over white. You got a charger, a remote, and a case. And Firewire support.

Apple stopped trying to make the perfect personal music player before they got there. Have you noticed that the old screens were readable in most situations without the backlight. Now it's the opposite. Everytime I lower the volume, that damned light goes on. If I don't turn it on, I can't read the screen. This would be fine if Apple cared at all about about battery life. Who cares if the thing is a few millimeters thinner? Why can't we have the sound quality of the shuffle with the battery life of the now discontinued mini? Is this too much to ask?

Posted by Generic User on October 20, 2005 at 6:59 PM (PDT)

32

I wonder if the OLED screens are actually the technology that is perfect for a music player. Maybe another company could start development with the goal of the superior music player in mind. Apple have stopped trying to develop this. I don't watch "Lost," and looking at album art is not all that important. But I listen to portable music constantly.

Posted by Generic User on October 20, 2005 at 7:04 PM (PDT)

33

Scratching: It is really tough to tell at this point, but we have taken 3 5Gs out and about, and of them, only the one black one showed a tiny scratch. Our first nano was doing much worse by this point in its life.

Hard drive speed: the USB test results under the Battery and Transfer section suggest that the drive's speed is not up to snuff with the nano (obviously?) and may be slower than the 4G as well, depending on circumstances.

Flashing firmware: typically now accomplished via connection to computer only, so not an issue.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on October 20, 2005 at 7:39 PM (PDT)

34

K. Thanks. Just received my black 5G 10 minutes ago and getting 1406 error when installing the ipod software... But that should be fixed in a sec. Just need to uninstall iTunes first.
The soft case is the best thing Apple has ever included in iPOD packages. I can put my ipod upside down in it for my initial music transfers and don't have to worry about where to put the ipod to avoid scratches. And it fits in perfectly. These cases should be sold separately in different colours...
C u later. gotta go play with my new ipoddy mwuhahaha :p
byeeee

Posted by beatoven on October 20, 2005 at 8:28 PM (PDT)

35

"We could write four different reviews of Apple Computer's fifth-generation iPod (30GB/$299, 60GB/$399) - one from an audiophile's perspective, one from a photographer's perspective, one from a movie lover's perspective, or one from a mainstream consumer's perspective - but no single one of those reviews would do full justice to the company's latest handheld creation."

And, unless I missed it somewhere, this one still fails to even speculate about the "podcasting recording studio" in your pocket aspect of the machine and when when and how and in what formats you'll be able to record CD quality audio and how you'll get it back in your computer and who will make the accessories and programs required for this to work......

E.g., speaking of comparing to other devices, will it replace the need for a Sony Minidisc or Eridol handheld digital recorder??

Posted by bigpics on October 20, 2005 at 10:07 PM (PDT)

36

More questions/confirmations:

1. So, is the headphone output = the shuffle?
From the review and user comments, is kinda like the suffle, but not the same (shuffle is still better?)

2. Do videos encoded with Nero Recode with the PSP preset playable? Or videos encoded with PSP video 9?

3. Does it have the infamous VBR MP3 problems that was known on the 2nd gen minis and nanos?
From a user comment, the bug is still there.

4. How good/bad is its bettery draining? (how fast the battery is drained when the unit is not used? Can it retain juice for not being used for 3 to 5 days?)

Posted by pika2000 on October 20, 2005 at 10:44 PM (PDT)

37

Can you tell me how to get pics of Contacts to show up?
I'm using Outlook2k3 and added a pic to a contact. Only the text info shows up on the ipod.
Cheers.

Posted by beatoven on October 20, 2005 at 10:53 PM (PDT)

38

Nice review. To second what pika2000 said, please give us your views on the comparison between the sound quality of the shuffle and the 5g. I think this is particularly important as I seem to remember that you reported that apple had said the shuffle was their gold standard in terms of sound quality, and that the new ipod was equal to or better than the shuffle in this regard. You have characterized the 5g as the best-sounding full-sized iPod yet. Are we to take this to mean, by implication, that it is not as good as the shuffle. If so why do you think apple went out on a limb and made the claim, something which, as far as I am aware, apple has never done previously in relation to an ipod. Secondly (assuming the 5g is not as good as the shuffle in relation to sound quality) why can apple not sort out the problem. The shuffle has long been very highly regarded in this department and apple has released many models since the shuffle-I regard this as shoddy. I know that the shuffle uses a different chip, but surely wolfson make or could be pressured to design a dac that performs as well as a cheap, low powered model from sigmatel. After all the ipod is primarily a music device and purchasers of the flagship model should be entitled to sound quality at least equal to that of the cheapest in the line. I love the design, features etc.. of the 5g, but apple having failed yet again to implement a decent equalizer, as you point out (I believe it is quite possibly the worst on the market) should have ensured that it sounded at least as good as the shuffle which doesn't really require an equalizer to sound really good.

Posted by shuffle on October 21, 2005 at 1:38 AM (PDT)

39

Even though I'm a huge apple fan, I think their iPods are going on a decline. The first generation I really paid attention to was the 3G. The 30/40GB ones had a dock, leather case, charger, USB and Firewire cable. Then 4G, not even the top-of-the line model has a dock or a case. Then in February of this year, apple took out the firewire and made it optional. Then the 5G!! This is where i get ANGRY, REALLY ANGRY!!! THEY TOOK OUT TOP-MOUNTING ACCESSORY PORT SO YOU CANT CHARGE WHILE YOU HAVE YOUR iTRIP ON THE IPOD!!!! THERE ARE PLENTY OF OTHER ACCESSORIES OUT THERE THAT REQUIRES THAT PORT!!! CHANGING THE ACCESSORY TO MAKE IT PLUG INTO THE DOCK CONNECTOR DOESNT SOLVE THE PROBLEM!!! YOU CANT CHARGE!!!!! IF IM GONNA USE MY AIRCLICK OR ITRIP, I NEED TO CHARGE!! BECAUSE IT DRAINS THE IPOD'S BATTERY!!!
AND THEY ALSO TOOK OUT THE FIREWIRE COMPATIBILITY!! DOES IT REALLY ADD TO THE COST OF THE IPOD? THE DOCKING PORT IS THE SAME!! PHYSICALLY THE SAME!!! WHY OH WHY, JUST A LITTLE EXTRA PROGRAMMING....CANT APPLE JUST DO THAT? PLEASE APPLE!! READ THIS AND PUT OUT A FIRMWARE UPGRADE!!! MAYBE IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT THE PROGRAMMING, MAYBE IT'S THE COST OF PRODUCING THE FIREWIRE CABLE INWHICH ONLY A FRACTION OF IPOD USERS BUY, MAYBE BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF (WINDOWS) USERS OUT THERE WHO HAS A FIREWIRE PORT!! SOME PEOPLE JUST DONT CARE ABOUT THE SPEED...BUT I DO!! BEFORE, WHEN I WAS USING A PC, I WENT OUT AND BOUGHT A FIREWIRE PORT 'JUST IN CASE', I DIDNT HAVE ANYTHING USING IT THEN...BUT I BOUGHT IT, FIREWIRE'S GREAT!!! THEY SAY USB RUNS AT 480MBPS BUT IT RUNS SLOWER THAN THE FIREWIRE'S 400MBPS!!!!
PLEASE APPLE PLEASE, I UNDERSTAND WHY THE TOP-MOUNTING PORT WAS REMOVED, IT WAS TO MAKE THE IPOD THINNER. I ALSO UNDERSTAND WHY THE CHARGER WAS MADE OPTIONAL, BECAUSE APPLE WOULD LOSE $29 IN PROFITS!!! BUT MAYBE IT ONLY COSTS $10 TO BUILD, SO THEY'LL LOSE $10 IN PROFITS!!! BUT THE FIREWIRE!!! WHAT'S WITH THAT???!! MAKE IT OPTIONAL, I DONT CARE!!!!! AT LEAST IF THEY'RE SELLING IT IM HAPPY!!!!!


Thanks though iLounge, your review's great!

Posted by hoho on October 21, 2005 at 6:31 AM (PDT)

40

Jeremy,

Good review, and I liked how it was setup with the dropdown items for topics that interest people.

I was wondering if you did a sound quality test between the shuffle and the 5th gen ipod. I see you talk about the bass being more present. I was wondering if the level of detail in the music playback was better due to the new wolf chip being used. I remember reading how there was a noticible increase in SQ from the 3rd to 4th Gen ipods. I was wondering over all what the differnces between the 4th and 5th and the 5th and shuffle.

Being that I have PC at home with a EMU 1212 soundcard the SQ is better in general. Partially because the soundcard using a better DAC then currently used by ipod. For understandible reason. I am waiting for ipod to sound somewhere close to what good soundcard does.

Thanks

-Chris

Being a member at Head-Fi (chrisFromAlbany)many others members liked the review but wanted the comparison I stated above.

Posted by chrisfromalbany on October 21, 2005 at 6:41 AM (PDT)

41

Just wanted everyone to know that I am already on my 2nd 60GB Black 5G iPod and it seems as though this one doesn't show the Large Battery icon when plugged into a USB2 port either. The first 5G came in the mail this past wed and exibited 2 dead pixels and wouldn't take a charge (fyi it came formatted as a Windows iPod.) Took it to the Soho Apple store yesterday and they confirmed (with an AC adapter) that in fact it was bad and replaced it immediately. Got home made sure the firmware was up to date, plugged it into my USB2 Adaptec card equipped Powermac G4 and then went to bed. When I got up to leave for work this morning I noticed that there was still "no large battery charging icon" in the center of the screen so then I ejected it, waited 20 sec plugged it back in, waited a few minutes and still NOTHING!!!!! Brought it to work with me and plugged it into one of our BRAND NEW Dual 2.3GHZ Powermac G5's USB2 ports and still NOTHING!!! It might in fact be receiving a charge to some degree but there is no LARGE battery icon to confirm that. One last thing this one came with a few fine scratches after I peeled the plastic off of it but NO dead pixels...really disapointed that I am already on my 2nd 5G iPod in the same week that might need to get replaced again. What do you guys think I should do (besides call Apple and get stuck on the phone for 2 hours?)

Posted by 520 Films in NYC on October 21, 2005 at 8:00 AM (PDT)

42

hoho, please stop with the caps.

To have firewire support you need to have a costly and clunky part inside the ipod. Most people don't use firewire, so it got left out in order to make the ipods thin.

USB2.0 is not that slow, the only people that suffer from this are the mac users who have no USB2.0 support. But it is for the greater good.

The top port I suspect I know why it was removed. Apple created a "made for ipod" program and upped the percentage they get from each accessory sold to 10%. (a market that is growing and worth hundreds of millions of dollars)

It's a business move that virtually guarantees they profit in a big way from the ipod economy they created.

Posted by webby on October 21, 2005 at 8:16 AM (PDT)

43

520 films,

milk it for all its worth

keep going back (although ist a pain) till you get a good one,

thats what i did with the 4G.

sooner or latter you'll get a good one.

(but keep it going in the replacment time period or you'll just get screwed)

P.S. dont bother with the phone

Posted by Apple_iPod on October 21, 2005 at 10:43 AM (PDT)

44

I happen to have a Zen Vision and I disagree with several of the review's comparisons. The 3.7 inch, 640 X 480 screen on the Zen, does not "shimmer" and is, in fact, far superior to the Apple's display. Try viewing a widescreen movie on the iPod vs. the Zen. The Zen also outputs up to 480i composite making video output to a TV screen far superior to the iPod. I've also connected the "tv out" (which is on the Zen unit itself, not the dock) to the "video in" on a portable DVD player and the display quality is excellent. The Zen acting as a high quality "video vault" is a very handy feature indeed.
Audio output is superior on the Zen. I've done very careful A-B comparisons using various models of Sennheisers. The Zen has an FM radio and, as mentioned, user-replaceable battery packs.
The one advantage of the IPod is a 60 GB hard disk, that part is true. The Zen has a very easy to use interface, though again, I'd give the scroll wheel interface on the iPod the edge on ease of use. If I would give a number rating, the iPod would come in at a 7 and the Zen would be an 8.

Posted by jimguy05 on October 21, 2005 at 12:28 PM (PDT)

45

No belt clip...

Posted by :3 on October 21, 2005 at 5:23 PM (PDT)

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