Which Apple Ipod is The Best, A Comparison
Christmas is fast approaching (or may have past already depending on when you're reading this!) and one of the hottest gifts this Xmas, or at anything other time, is an Apple Ipod.
But which one to choose? Currently the Ipod comes in 3 main flavours, with different storage capacities in each, so it had be tough choosing which one is the best for yourself or as a gift for another.
We'll assume you've settled for an Ipod rather than any other mp3 player, and that's a good choice, as long as you don't mind spending that little more for the Kudos of Apples great little device.
To start, I'll explain the basics of what an Ipod, or any other mp3 player can do. In essence they are storage devices for your music. When you rip songs from your cd collection, that is copy them onto your pc, or download them, the software included with each Ipod, Itunes, will convert that music to a format compatible with the Ipods hardware. Itunes will scour your hard drive for music files and pull them together for transferring to your Ipod via the USB port when you plug your Ipod in. Easy!
With Ipod & Itunes Apple have made it very easy to manage the music from your Ipod on your desktop pc, in fact that's the only real way of doing it, as only minimal editing can be done from within the Ipod menus itself. So if you're buying an Ipod for someone else, first make sure they've got a fairly newish pc, otherwise their new toy won't be able to do anything at all!
This article wouldn't be complete without including the new iphone - which promises to blend the best of mobile / cell phone technology, PDA and mp3 player. With wi-fi, camera, internet access, and mp3 player. I havn't had a play with one yet, but the following short movie shows the incredible (if expensive) potential...
Right, next to the different types of Ipod. There's the Apple Ipod Shuffle, a tiny device about the size of a packet of gum. Its got enough room for 240 songs on the largest 1gb model, is small enough to wear on a lanyard around your neck, but it doesn't have a visual display. With the Ipod Shuffle you're in effect buying a mini juke-box that is set to random play - load up the songs you like with Itunes, and let the Shuffle do the rest. Although not the most popular of Apples range, I really like the simplicity (and price!) of the Shuffle, it plays what you like, and that's it. A great gift without the extra expense of the nano or video ipods.
Update: Apple have redesigned and improved their Shuffle - it's now TINY, and has a 1GB capacity. Just clip it onto your belt or shirt pocket & you're done!
Next up is the Nano. Its hard to describe how cool this device is. Now I like gadgets, and when I saw the TV adverts I thought, ok, its an Ipod and it looks small, but so what. But when someone brought one into work, and I actually held and had a play with one, I had to get one. The Ipod Nano is incredibly thin, light and small. The mini colour screen is stunning, and the click wheel works perfectly. The largest capacity Nano available at the moment will hold about 1000 songs in its 4gb memory capacity, and the battery life will stretch to 14 hours. I guess the Ipod Nano is for those people who have to have the coolest gadgets around, because we know that the Ipod Video entry level model isn't that much more expensive and can carry lots more songs. I've still got one though, and I love it!
Update: Now available with a storage capacity of up to 8GB! Apple have also improved the display, and it's available in more colours!
The Daddy. The 60gb Ipod video will hold 15,000 songs or 150 hours of video or 25000 photos, and the battery should last up to 20 hours. This Ipod is for the serious user who wants their entire music collection at their finger-tips. 15000 songs would take you about 36 days of continuous listening to go through it all - amazing. The colour screen displays album art of your selected song, there's games, an organiser, and of course the new video feature. You won't replace your portable DVD player your Ipod, the screen and capacity too small, but watching short clips is ok, and its great to be able to share them with friends. I've got an Ipod 30gb too, and I think its great, you just can't beat that much storage capacity in the stylish Ipod format!
Update: Now with 80GB capacity (20,000 songs) and improved battery life, Apple have improved their Ipod to see off any challengers....
Next up is accessories. YOU MUST BUY A CASE, and preferably one that can also protect the screen. Ipods are notoriously easy to scratch, and they loose some of their lustre when covered in fine scratches that result from one sliding around in the bottom of your brief-case or hand-bag. The next Ipod must have is a mains or car charger, one that can be used abroad too for when on holiday. it doesn't matter if you've got 5000 songs to listen too on the beach if you're Ipod goes flat after the first day and you've go no way of charging it! Another great addition is a device for playing your Ipod in your car by connecting it to your car stereo or head unit. These vary from simple jack leads that go through the Aux In on your stereo, to hard wired options that enable your stereo to control your Ipod - much safer - but they are more expensive. The best option is often to upgrade your head unit to one that is Ipod compatible, and you'll never buy another cd again!
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