Wow, that's certainly the most comprehensive review of an iPod that I've ever seen! I agree on most points, but like many other posters, I agree that you are being a bit too harsh on the iPod's video playback capabilities. The fact is, this version of the iPod is not meant to be a video player; Apple is billing it as an iPod with "video as a bonus". As Steve Jobs reminded us in the keynote, the iPod is still "all about the music." I was very skeptical that Apple would actually be able to create a decent video player without dramatically chaning the form factor of the iPod. I was very impressed Apple was able to increase the screen by that much, while maintaining the small, sleek form factor that makes the iPod so special.

This is definitely a first step for video, and undoubtedly more content will be added to the iTMS, which is IMO the main shortcoming of iTunes 6 and the new iPod.

That said, I agree with the rest of your review. The 5G iPod is undoubtedly the best iPod ever. I am definitely disappointed to see the disappearance of the top connector, though. I actually didn't even use any accessories with it; I used Apple's wired remote, which came with my 3rd gen iPod (I'm currently using it with my 4th gen). I thought Apple's remote was very useful, and the new wireless Apple Remote is not a replacement for it, as it only works with the Universal Dock.

The main problem I have with the absence of the remote connector is that I don't understand why Apple decided to remove it. Does anyone have any theories about this? Was it just that Apple wants all accessory makers to use the dock connector? Another thing is that the only way to buy Apple's headphones that come with the iPod is with the old wired remote, for $40. For 5G or iPod nano owners who want to order a replacement for the original white headphones, it comes with a useless remote. I'm sure Apple will change this soon, though.

And of course, it's rather annoying that the new iPod doesn't come with the AC adapter anymore, and that you must pay $30 to buy it separately. I am happy to see Apple once again including a case. However, I was one of the few fans of the original black case that came with the 3G and early 4G iPods. The new case seems like it looks nicer, but it doesn't seem as if it comes with a belt clip (correct me if I'm wrong), which makes it slightly less convenient for me than Apple's previous black case.

However, all these complaints are nitpicking. The 5G iPod is simply the best iPod created. However, I still love my recently purchased 4G 30 GB iPod photo, and right now I have no reason to replace it anytime soon. smile


P.S. Wow, sorry for the long post. But hey, it's my first post on this site. smile

Posted by ABassCube on October 27, 2005 at 11:06 PM (PDT) Comment 81

How fast is ffmpegx? Is it better than QT Pro? Faster?

Posted by ihayden on October 28, 2005 at 1:02 AM (PDT) Comment 82

I got my black 60 gig and I've been filling it with cartoons.

It appears that Quicktime is the only way to convert to an H.264 that works on the iPod. Every other program I've tried, including Apple's own Compressor won't make an H.264 file that the iPod recognizes.

That said, MPEG-4 movies are completely acceptable. A seven minute cartoon encoded in MPEG-4 with 15fps, mono sound and a bitrate of 704 kbps comes out at about 30 megs. Compact enough to fit 1800 cartoons on my 60 gig iPod!

Software may not be free, but there's plenty to choose from... Handbrake, Cinematize, Mac the Ripper... I have access to DV files to use as a source, so I just stack them up in Apple's Compressor and leave my computer to chug through them all night. I have over 200 cartoons loaded already.

I have a 3g 30gig that I'm still very satisfied with. That is going to be my audio iPod. The new one is going to be dedicated solely to video. It is possible for the new iPod to be more than just a DAP with video.

See ya

Posted by Stephen Worth on October 28, 2005 at 3:08 PM (PDT) Comment 83

I just got my 5g today, and boy i tell ya, it makes me happy. To convert movies for free , i suggest using ipod video converter from videora, its really good and best of all, its free.

Posted by happypanda on October 28, 2005 at 9:24 PM (PDT) Comment 84

Wait - I'm confused.. so the new 5G iPod no longer allows data transfer via Firewire? So I can't use the iPod as a portable HD while I'm connected via the Firewire dock connector? Please explain if you have info. Thanks!

Posted by daniel on October 28, 2005 at 9:54 PM (PDT) Comment 85

k its pimped out i like it ot the max but i shoul come with the dock and a firewall also im getting either tis or what ever comes out in december cuz its my birthday

Posted by bri91426 on October 29, 2005 at 10:15 AM (PDT) Comment 86

My biggest running feature request, that would be incredibly easy for Apple to add, would be to show a song's rating from the main window.

I hate having to click a few times to see if a song is rated or see what I've rated it.

This probably waste battery power by the fact that the screen must be turned on when I should be able to see a currently playing song's rating without having to go through some button clicks.

If the iPod is "locked", then I need to unlock it and click a few times, then relock it.... very annoying when a song is already rated and I didn't have to change anything.

On the new 5g model, I've very dissapointed by the lack of Firewire. Apple is forcing Mac users with older computers to upgrade when they don't need too. (eg: 2nd generation imac can't be changed to add USB 2)

Posted by alternapop on October 29, 2005 at 12:22 PM (PDT) Comment 87

ffmpegx seemed pretty fast to me, ihayden. I don't have quicktime pro, but from what I have heard, it is faster.
Stephen Worth, have you tried ffmpegx?

Posted by laukkanen on October 29, 2005 at 11:08 PM (PDT) Comment 88

I'd like to explain a particular reason why I was upset with Apple for dropping FireWire on this iPod. I was hoping that the video iPod would be able to plug into the iSight to make an impromptu video camera. Here's hopin that's a feature that can be added to Linux for the 4G Color iPod!

Posted by Cube All on October 31, 2005 at 9:53 AM (PDT) Comment 89

Hey how does the iPod store the video? Is it in the iPod Control folder just like music. Do you think something like iPodRip would work with video?

Posted by ihayden on October 31, 2005 at 2:06 PM (PDT) Comment 90

greatest. review. ever.

however, im less than pleased with the disclusion(is that a word?) of firewire, makes no sense to me, but what do you do

i'll still be purchasing this, it'll be my second ipod, i'm still using my 1st gen 5gb(still getting over 8 hours on a charge, too!). so it's time for me to upgrade, imo, and this is a great deal, 60gb for $400 is unheard of

Posted by dcdude on November 1, 2005 at 9:47 AM (PDT) Comment 91


I haven't seen any reference to iMovie's Share function which moves video to the .m4v format compatable with the iPod G5.

Am I overlooking the obvious? or have I stumbled on a hidden feature?

Posted by poder2go on November 1, 2005 at 11:30 AM (PDT) Comment 92

share>expert settings> Export: Movie to ipod (320x240)

in iMovie HD

I've had mine for a week now. It goes everywhere with me. Here is how I break it down. It has more storage, more features, more battery life, smaller size for the same price. I call it a winner. Apperently we forget to take into consideration that we live in the year2005 (no matter how much Sci Fi channel we watch) and that apple is constrained to the technology of the present just like other manufactures are. Yes, they are on the cutting edge of it but for crying out loud, the technology isn't the there yet to make a music player last for 200 hours of playback and still be remotely affordable, or for a video player to have a nice sceen and the best user interface in the history of portable electronics (touch wheel).

I wouldn't want a bigger screen to watch my videos, I have device called televsion for that.

Posted by Jasper Johns on November 1, 2005 at 5:05 PM (PDT) Comment 93

Jeremy, your review rocks! Great work!

The new 5G video is finally worthy from an audio standpoint. A few years ago, I made the hesitant transition from a Creative Nomad Jukebox to the iPod. While I loved the interface and iTunes music service, I always felt as though the iPod fell severely short on audio quality. It now gives me great pleasure to report (when compared to Creative players) that the 5G sounds awesome on my good cans and even better on my Cambridge Soundworks Mick Fleetwood Model 12 Portable Speaker syste (made by Henry Kloss). By the way, the Model 12 is the most amazing portable speaker solution for the iPod ever created. It sounds like a $2,000 high-end system.

OK, some initial feedback on my 5G 60G black:

1. Had some initial issues uploading my music library using USB. Once all songs were uploaded, iPod was stuck on "do not disconnect screen." I think my computer was having issues recognizing the new hardware. In any case, a re-set of the 5G seemed to fix the problem. Subsequent synching experienced no issues.

2. Black is cool, but it does pick up fingerprints and smudges extremely easily. This bugs me a little.

3. Navigation (click wheel) smoothness is noticeably more jumpy than 4G. As a result, I sometimes overshoot the artist I am trying to play. Navigation response time (song-to-song) also seems slightly delayed over 4G, but no biggie. Maybe the video processor is slowing things up a touch?

4. Audio kicks major butt. Fans of Creative players (who constantly promote Creative SNR of 98db) no longer have an argument. Sound is crisp and clean with great and punchy bass. Do yourself a favor, buy some great cans if you own a 5G.

5. Video quality and clarity is amazing. But then again, as Jeremy had pointed out, I am one of those geeks who buys the iPod for music first, and video as a bonus. I want to see more video/movie choices on iTunes.

6. Battery longevity is nice. It is a step in the right direction.

Overall, the 5G kicks butt on the audio front and is really cool from a video perspective. I am extremely pleased with my purchase. Stop criticizing Apple. The future has arrived and it is called the iPod video. I’m sure that future generations will continue to evolve.


Posted by spiritualized67 on November 2, 2005 at 8:54 AM (PDT) Comment 94

Some of you folks need to do a little research or homwork when discussing compressed audio and video formats.

MPEG4 and H.264 are NOT propriatary Apple formats. In fact, the whole value of this format is that it is standardized by the International Standards Organization (ISO) . H.264 is used for video conferencing CODECS by manufacturers like Tandberg, and also for other many other applications. I could go on about that, but do your homework and you will learn more.

As for those complaining about VBR MP3.... I am baffled. AAC is a superior compression scheme, and again, is part of MPEG4!!!

MPEG 4 (AVC) is the future folks.... MP3 is created with older math. AAC offers superior sound quality at a lower bitrate, which equals more content in a given storage space. Or if you choose, even higher bitrate in the same space MP3 would occupy.

Apple isn't using these standards to make themselves incompatible and proprietary. They are looking into the future, as always, and are involved in leading edge and standardized technologies.

Do your homework!!

Test on Monday!

Posted by compression on November 5, 2005 at 9:05 AM (PDT) Comment 95

I’ve found that my mp4 videos made for PSP with Kaisakura’s iPSP program all work perfectly with my 5G iPod. I’ve also had success with Forty-Two DVD-VX Plus. The nice thing about these programs is that they don’t require knowing the technical aspects- You click and convert. They even do .vob files with no problem.

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on November 5, 2005 at 5:54 PM (PDT) Comment 96

Is there other choice for us? :D

Just do it!

Posted by Shuperta on November 5, 2005 at 9:05 PM (PDT) Comment 97

does anybody know if we can put MPEG video files onto the new iPod? If not, then what format is it supposed to be in?

Posted by almightyzam09 on November 5, 2005 at 10:20 PM (PDT) Comment 98

Great Review. My main gripe is that you mention that the PSP doesn't fit in one's pocket. Maybe I just have huge pockets, but my PSP is always in my pocket and I have no problems whatsoever.

Posted by Magishine on November 6, 2005 at 8:34 PM (PDT) Comment 99

So, I guess me and my PowerBook G4 Titanium will have to live without a 5G iPod, as my laptop does not have USB 2. And as much fun as it sounds transferring songs at 11 Mbps, I will say no thank you, Apple. At least while this otherwise good computer holds out.

And no accessory port? What's up with that?

Posted by rascalb on November 9, 2005 at 10:26 PM (PDT) Comment 100

I just bought the 60GB last night to replace my 4th gen iPod (no photo). Overall it's a nice upgrade. More space, color, photo viewer, video player, and extended battery life. But I also have a nice list of disappointments. As mentioned in the Cons...

(Dual G5 2.0GHz / 1.5GB ram)
- no more firewire support: took almost an hour to transfer 32GB of music. I feel usb 2.0 is a lot slower than firewire

- no power adapter included

- album cover is saved for EVERY song not every album. (ie. 1 album with 10 songs will have 10 of the same album covers = takes up space - no worries if you don't have a lot of music files)

- docking station not included

Hopefully this helps anyone who is borderline wanting to upgrade

Posted by w1n78 on November 10, 2005 at 4:19 PM (PDT) Comment 101

Amazing review, I've read other reviews that were great, but yours is so detailed it borders on creepy. I'm definatly getting a 5G iPod, even if you said it was crap I need to replace my poor, outdated mini. I'm also disapointed with the video, I was hoping for a truly portable video iPod, but it sounds pretty limited. Not bad for a first try though, I'm sure the 6G and 7G will make huge strides in the video aspect and eventually the iPod's will be amazing video players. I really want iTunes to become a conversion tool but as long as I can get Family Guy onto my iPod with decent quality I'll be happy. Keep up the good work guys.

Posted by PimpyMicPimp on November 12, 2005 at 4:16 AM (PDT) Comment 102

Hey I just got my new 5G iPod to replace my 4G B&W.

I think the video is really good and I have put season three of Alias on it along with my iMovies of my holidays and a gazilian video clips. There is nothing really that I am dissapointed with the video. I don't really mind converting my video to h.264 or MPEG 4 and it looks great on the iPod. I watched 3 episodes of Alias in a row and the battery held out and my eyes did not get tired. And even still if my eyes did get tired, video looks great on a TV (Depending on the bit rate).

I love this thing and I think it is the best iPod yet. I must say though, a 60Gb is really worth it over the 30Gb.

Rock on Apple! Keep 'em comming!


Posted by ihayden on November 15, 2005 at 1:17 AM (PDT) Comment 103

After putting it off for a few years, I finally took the plunge and bought my first iPod, a black 5G (it matches my cat.) I couldn't be happier. I'd contemplated it for a couple weeks (and that was also partly due to having to wait for a paycheck), but even after two weeks of deep pondering, I still decided it was the best player for me. I'd looked at the Archos jukeboxes, which were admittedly nice, but in the end I still went with the iPod. Having video is nice, but I was still primarily in the market for a music player. The 5G fit the bill perfectly.

For existing owners: Yes, the lack of support for older accessories may be a turn-off, depending on how attached you are to your current toys. For first-time iPod owners, though, it shouldn't be a cause for concern. I think consolidating everything into one port is a good idea (granted, they probably should've done that to begin with, but that's how technology is sometimes for better or worse.) I'd even considered the PSP, but considering that I'm not a big gamer (and again, video being secondary) I passed. I also don't like the PSP's proprietary memory format, as well as the cost itself of the MemorySticks. And what really killed it for me was that the PSP uses proprietary UMD discs for movies, which wouldn't be so bad if the PSP had video out capabilities. I think that's the one really big mistake on Sony's part with the PSP's design.

At any rate, I've fallen in love with my 5G (and nobody can deny the sexiness of the black version!) I've used Videora's iPod conversion tool and have had pretty good results so far, with realitively minor tweaking here and there. In fact, I was watching Chappelle's "Rick James" episode on my iPod earlier today during my lunch break. My only gripe is that it didn't come with a "wall wart" for away-from-computer charging, but I leave it plugged into my PC at night and it's ready to go with me in the morning (I generally use my PC/iTunes as my stereo at home, so the iPod doesn't get much use inside the house anyways.) Besides that, I think the new iPod is the best player in it's price range, bar none.

Posted by mothwingdust on November 16, 2005 at 1:10 AM (PDT) Comment 104

i'd like to add spmething that i'm not sure if anyone else had picked up (and i really can't be bothered to read all that ^^^^^^, you all write to much) but with the video issue and not having enough potions for formats, if you read the ipod spesc apple say that the firmware is updatable so it can support further formats in the future: "Upgradable firmware enables support for future video formats" (just in case you didn't believe me) i hope that helps with the not bagging of the iPod, and i really hope someone does a story on what Apple might hold for the future of the iPod.

Cya, Al.

Posted by axman6 on November 16, 2005 at 4:11 AM (PDT) Comment 105
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