comments

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) Comment 31

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) Comment 32

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 on October 20, 2005 at 7:39 PM (PDT) Comment 33

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) Comment 34

"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) Comment 35

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) Comment 36

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) Comment 37

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) Comment 38

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) Comment 39

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) Comment 40

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 on October 21, 2005 at 8:00 AM (PDT) Comment 41

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) Comment 42

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) Comment 43

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) Comment 44

No belt clip...

Posted by :3 on October 21, 2005 at 5:23 PM (PDT) Comment 45

i like to snowboard/skateboard and ive been a lifetime apple user and i had a previous 20gb 4g when the lcd screen shatterd..it kindaf penetrated through..anyways..so i recently go a 4gb black nano and a week later the new ipod came out with videos...so what i might do is return the nano so that i can get the 30gb ipod for 30 bucks extra...that way i can watch all my video clips of me snowboarding on it...also i dont know if i should snowboard with it because i heard the ipod is like a hard drive and that if u shake it it skips so its not good for snowboarding IM CONFUSED WITH THAT! CAN I SNOWBOARD WITH MY NEW IPOD?
thankyou

Posted by snwbrdr on October 21, 2005 at 5:28 PM (PDT) Comment 46

People keep saying the 3G came with way more accessories - keep in mind that it was also much more expensive? When I bought my 3G 20g it was over $600CAD (that was only 6 months before the 4G came out), when I bought my 4G 20g it was over $450CAD, and now the 5G 30g will cost me around $420CAD, which isn't too bad. I could've gotten a dock for $50 when I bought the 4g and $30 for a case and it'd still be cheaper than the 3g and I think those two accessories were the only difference.

Posted by cutehinano on October 21, 2005 at 5:28 PM (PDT) Comment 47

@$20 Films

Um.... if its charging you should see a lightning bolt symbol on the battery in the top right corner. If you want to get the Big battery symbol. While the iPod is plugged in Just hold Play for a few secs to power down your ipod. Then the Large Icon should pop up.

Posted by s0ymilk on October 21, 2005 at 5:57 PM (PDT) Comment 48

Enough with all the talk about video! smile How about more info on the photo side of things. If I have photos synced to a 4G iPod photo, will iTunes resample them from my iPhoto library up to the resolution of the 5G iPod? Or will the 5G just scale the photos up to it's screen resolution. More importantly, if I'm syncing both a 4G iPod photo and a 5G iPod (with video), will iTunes have to keep two versions of all my photos, or will one iPod have to scale the photos to display on the screen? If iTunes has to resample my iPhoto library every time I switch between the 4G and 5G that would really suck! Finally, 5G photos look better on the iPod's screen, but what about on a TV?

Posted by ender on October 21, 2005 at 8:56 PM (PDT) Comment 49

Does the video out on the iPod to t.v. look good???
Does iTunes scale down video resolution for iPod viewing? Or do you have to do it manually?

Posted by sno_cat219 on October 21, 2005 at 10:04 PM (PDT) Comment 50

wow..great review!

just a question..do you have to download videos from itunes or can you upload your own stuff?...i don't really get it.

thanks!
first time ipod user!

Posted by cube on October 21, 2005 at 10:37 PM (PDT) Comment 51

Jeremy,

Good to see that some of the audio problems have been addressed.

What about stuttering though. As you probably known both the 2G mini and the Nano stutters badly when playing back problem tracks encoded with LAME VBR.

Does the 5G iPod STUTTER?

Posted by sehested on October 22, 2005 at 12:20 AM (PDT) Comment 52

Heh,
i was listening to the ilaunge ipod podcast- i think it is very critical and very reasonable!
yes you can use your stuff, i have 70 movies on my hard drive and i have used Xilisoft Video Converter to convert from normal video formats to Quiqe time.
i have ordered it and i am prepared for it with all my movies. i think the screen is not that small and it is very and i think it will be comfortable to use. If you think about it, if your really bored you will watch anything to keep you alive.
the resolution on the ipod is very packed, which is great its because it has around the same as a regular tv (not home sinima-lol).
also the cool new RAM card 64mb which is 2X as used to be 32mb. Which means will search faster and play videos without skipping and slow going.
i also think the flash memory speed has been also increased.

i ordered black 60GB - good luck with yours!

i trust the ipod i have the 15GB 3rd gen and i was using it for almost 2 and half years and never crashed!

Sorry for spelling mistakes I am not English.

Posted by arsenij on October 22, 2005 at 5:08 AM (PDT) Comment 53

Great review hats off to jeremy
although the 5g ipod is great and all the battery life for videos really isnt that great and nor is the screen size for watching videos as far as watching movies goes im gonna stcik to my psp and psp video 9 conversion software its easy and affective the quality is great and its pretty portable i have a 2 hour bus ride home and i get to watch a movie on each ride it is the best past time if i dont feel like watching a movie then i pull out my burnout legends
im not really trying to bad mouth the ipod though its great i love my 30gb photo and i dont really see i point to upgrade it to the 5g ipod. to end this comment for video stick to the psp but for music ipod is the way to go

Posted by amad on October 22, 2005 at 11:12 PM (PDT) Comment 54

Snwbrdr, yes you can snowboard with a 5G iPod, yes it has a hard drive, just as your old 20GB 4G iPod had a hard drive, so if you skated and snowboarded with that and never had any troubles, you should be fine. In theory, the hard drive does have the potential to skip, but it would have to be shaken/bashed constantly for a good 25-30 minutes, so it's not really ever going to happen. I ski with my 20GB 4G and have never had any problems, even when I've fallen on or close to where it is (would hate to stack on a rail onto my iPod though), but I always keep it in a case. Hope that answers your query.

Posted by Nuke666 on October 22, 2005 at 11:19 PM (PDT) Comment 55
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