What's an IPOD???

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Steve CDN

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Well, I kinda know what it is, but I would really like to learn all about Ipods.  I'll be buying one in the next couple of months because the car I'm buying comes with an Ipod Integration System.

Though I've been following MP3 players from a distance, I am not quite sure about what I should know about an Ipod to make the best choice.

At present I have about 7000 tracks saved to MP3 on my hard drive, which I use in various ways, but when I get my new car, I'd like to transfer the 7000 tracks and then add to my collection.

Is an Ipod compatible with a PC using a USB connection?

Are there any software issues between Ipod and PC?

Does the Ipod have a built in music management program where favorites, styles, artists and genre's can be saved as playlists?

What are the better models in the Ipod line?

Are there any caveats or warnings I should know as I search for an Ipod?

Would you say that Amazon is one of the better suppliers of Ipods?

What must have accessories should be bought with an Ipod?

What capacity Ipod is the best value?

Thanks for any suggestions! ;)
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hi Steve: I looked for quite awhile then opted for a 30g Video iPod earlier this spring and am very pleased with the hardware side.

>> At present I have about 7000 tracks saved to MP3 on my hard drive, which I use in various ways, but when I get my new car, I'd like to transfer the 7000 tracks and then add to my collection.
====
I had an earlier and smaller MP3 player and kept having to take stuff off each time I put something new on. I decided with my RV, my hard drives, and my MP3 player I don't want to do that anymore.? W/my computer hard drives and my iPod I want a bottomless pit of storage. I recommend the 30 or 60g Video from what you post so far.

>> Is an IPod compatible with a PC using a USB connection?
====
Yes, a USB cable comes with the unit.

>> Are there any software issues between IPod and PC?
====
Yes. If you're an Apple person, iTunes will be OK. I personally dislike it very much. As you know, MS and Apple have different standards. So if you buy an iPod, you are stuck with iTunes. Others love it, so that's just an opinion on my part. I much prefer WMP, but they cannot as yet communicate with an Apple product. As this thread develops, that is an issue you will need to get more input.

>> Does the IPod have a built in music management program where favorites, styles, artists and genre's can be saved as playlists?
====
Yes -- as does most MP3 players. You can organize in iTunes, then auto or manually move stuff to the iPod.

>> What are the better models in the IPod line?
====
Am amazed at the quality of the little Video Screen - and also surprised at how much I enjoy it. Have found tons of old music videos that I have downloaded for free. There "is" a little gotcha with video in that a video download must be converted to play on an iPod. And iTunes will rarely do it properly. I found a 3rd part package that does an excellent job - so other than taking extra time, it is not an issue with me.

>> Are there any caveats or warnings I should know as I search for an IPod?
====
You may want to consider some of the new items on the market that working hard to compete -- such as Creative. Also, be sure to read the manual on iTunes and understand the Preferences up front. For example, unless set otherwise, it will completely rearrange your current music setup on it's own. Would strongly recommend doing a back up of your music library prior to loading iTunes. Also, everytime you even "think" about adding new music to your pc, iTunes will load and try to update your library on it's own. Actually, if totally into the iTunes management system, that can be a good thing -- but it not how I want to manage my music library. I prefer playback via WMP -- and only use iTunes to load tracks to the iPod. It is  useless to me otherwise.

>> Would you say that Amazon is one of the better suppliers of Ipods?
====
Up until now, I have not found "any" discounts on video iPods. I did get an $11.00 discount at Walmart, and Fry's throws in an FM tuner. However, just last week I saw a Fry's ad that gave an in store discount of about $60.00. So perhaps shopping around might be in order now.

>> What must have accessories should be bought with an IPod?
====
The only one I have so far is a leather case. I felt that important to protect the unit itself plus the Video screen. I play mine w/head sets, through my Jeep radio, and the FM section of my RV. You can decide how you want to use it -- and go for the ton of accessories by Apple and third party vendors.

>> What capacity IPod is the best value?
====
If you feel as I do about not wanting to run out of storage, I recommend either the 30 or 60g Video unit. The smaller Nano and other fixed storage (versus) a hard drive unit will have you having to take stuff of the add new stuff -- plus they costs almost as much. A 5g Nano costs $249 and a 30g Video can be had now for about the same price.

>> Thanks for any suggestions! ;)
====
You're very welcome, Steve. Am sure you'll get a lot of responses here. Russ is heavy into his iPod and is much more familiar with iTunes than I am so get his perspective vs. an Apple company hater such as me.? ;)
 

John From Detroit

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What is an I-Pod... Well,  I call it an "Increadably Poor Overpriced Device" myself.

I've heard IPODs played through BOSE speakers, that is as good as they get, and unless you use the highest levels of quality (Which means the lowest amount of time stored) they sound like something you bought those speakers at the dollar store... And trust me, bose speakers don't sell at a dollar store (I think they start at the hundred dollar store) 

The IPOD intergeration system is nothing more than a standard stereo headphone plug and optionally a power cord to recharge the Ipod.
 

Bob Zambenini

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Bob Buchanan said:
>> Is an IPod compatible with a PC using a USB connection?
====
Yes, a USB cable comes with the unit.

>> Are there any software issues between IPod and PC?
====

Steve, this may not be an issue  but here is  a situation I got into.

A friend of ours got an IPOD and a MAC Computer  and I agreed to get her started by loading a lot of music, like the free classical stuff Russ has alerted us to. I am a PC person so I loaded but when I loaded it formated the IPOD to a PC standard. I can edit and organized  and upload without any problems.

But she got it home and using her MAC computer she cannot edit, upload and organized without starting all over from scratch and formatting it to Apple. Of course that deletes all the good stuff I have uploaded.

So you can use it fine with either a PC or a MAC computer but not interchangeably  with both.

Bob
 

Steve CDN

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Thank you for some helpful insights.? I've been looking at the video models on Amazon that sell for about $350 with a capacity of 60 or 80 gb.

The Ipod integration kit being marketed by this car manufacturer not only connects and charges the device, but displays the information on the car's screen which is also used for navigation etc.

I would be using the device solely with a PC..there are no Macs in my world :)
 

ianmarg

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I use the Nano, primarily for audiobooks and podcasts, so permanent or long term storage of music isn't so much an issue with me.  But.  I. HATE. iTUNES.  It takes over your computer, your music management, anything that comes close to it gets sucked in.  It's like Velcro.  Maybe I just don't know how to use it, and it's not that important to me to know how in detail, but I find it very hard to use even for the simple stuff I have to do.  I download books from audible.com and it's a three-step process that doesn't always work.  And for reasons known only to itself, it puts my podcasts into "music" rather than "podcasts" and it took me weeks to find that out. ::)

I use it with my PC and it works fine. 

I also have the gizmo that plugs into the car lighter and plays over the car radio, and I like that very much.  Sounds like you don't need that, if you already have something built in that will work.

One thing about iPods -- they will soon take over the world.  If you look in any catalog that has electronic things in it (particularly Sharper Image!) or electronic store there are pages and pages and pages and shelves and shelves of iPod-compatible devices.  Since I don't do music so much, I haven't tried any of them, but there's no shortage of choice.

Sorry for the rant -- you just hit one of my hot buttons.  I love the convenience, but don't feel it necessary to make it a lifestyle! :)

Margaret
 

Steve CDN

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Is it absolutely necessary to install Itunes on your PC if all you want to do is transfer MP3 files to the Ipod device?

I currently store all my MP3 files on a separate external hard drive which I use on various PC's to access the music.  If you plug the USB connection from the Ipod to the PC, does it simply show up as a separate drive, then you drag the files over?

 

Ned

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Steve said:
Is it absolutely necessary to install Itunes on your PC if all you want to do is transfer MP3 files to the Ipod device?

Yes, and no.  If you want to use an iPod, you have to use iTunes, according to Apple.  However, a Google search on "ipod without itunes" will turn up some alternatives.
 

Bob Zambenini

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Steve said:
Is it absolutely necessary to install Itunes on your PC if all you want to do is transfer MP3 files to the Ipod device?

I currently store all my MP3 files on a separate external hard drive which I use on various PC's to access the music.  If you plug the USB connection from the Ipod to the PC, does it simply show up as a separate drive, then you drag the files over?

It is no problem at all to use Itunes software to upload and manage your files on IPOD with PC.  Once you get the hang of it, the process is pretty basic.

But they restrict you from downloading back to your PC. On the IPOD you can edit, organize, delete and upload from your PC Itunes program.

Yes you can drag over mp3 files from any drive, hard disk or CD or DVD.

 

Steve CDN

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One of the options referred to on the Google search for Ipod without Itunes is to use Winamp along with a plugin.  I don't have experience with Winamp, as I have used other players, music managers and burners.

Any suggestions or comments about winamp?

Some of these music managers want to take over the computer, which is what concerns me.


To what extent will Itunes take over my PC and is there an advanced installation where I can shoose what it does?
 

Chet18013

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Hi Steve,

First question. Why not use iTunes with your iPOD? It's free in both the PC and APPLE version. Besides, I find it to be the easiest and quickest way to copy a music CD as an MP3 to the library. Automatically goes to the internet and gets all the CD/track data as you are saving the MP3. Besides, APPLE has applied their magic to the Windows verson of iTunes--it just works--all the time.

Like you, I  have a large musiic library. I have it stored on two USB external drives--formatted in FAT32. (Before anyone says it should be NTSF, consider this-- Both the APPLE and PC will read this format.) All my tunes are in MP3 format-(high quality 192 kbps). This way, I can use either the PC or APPLE as a music server.

I have an 80 GIG iPOD which I use in the car.

At home, I use the APPLE as a music server and have it connected to my WiFi system. I have two Roku Labs Soundbridges (see: www.rokulabs.com) which are hooked to the two stero sound systems we have. Each Soundbridge has full access to all my playlists, all the internet radio stations, and they both can play different selections at the same time.

Chet18013

 

Steve CDN

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Hi Chet,

Why not use iTunes with your iPOD? It's free in both the PC and APPLE version

I have an open mind at this point, but was reacting to earlier comments about concerns about Itunes.  Similarly some internet comments refer to Itunes as being inferior to PC based management systems and players, including being inferior to Windows Media Player.  That, in my view makes it pretty bad.

Further, there have been suggestions that Itunes takes over the settings of the PC, and this is something I won't tolerate.

At present both my systems manage music with Creative Mediasource, and my music on on a separate hard drive which I can migrate between the desktop and the laptop.

I don't mind installing something if all it will do as act as a driver for the device, but I don't want a driver that will hijack my system.
 

Bob Zambenini

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Steve said:
Further, there have been suggestions that Itunes takes over the settings of the PC, and this is something I won't tolerate.

At present both my systems manage music with Creative Mediasource, and my music on on a separate hard drive which I can migrate between the desktop and the laptop.

I don't mind installing something if all it will do as act as a driver for the device, but I don't want a driver that will hijack my system.

I did not experience any problem like this. I have Windows Media Player and Real Player installed and Itunes did not change anything as far I know.

Bob
 

Bob Buchanan

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Chet18013 said:
First question. Why not use iTunes with your iPOD? It's free in both the PC and APPLE version. Besides, I find it to be the easiest and quickest way to copy a music CD as an MP3 to the library. Automatically goes to the internet and gets all the CD/track data as you are saving the MP3. Besides, APPLE has applied their magic to the Windows verson of iTunes--it just works--all the time.

Yes, I would also recommend iTunes for the same reasons. The fact that in my opinion it is a very poorly designed piece of software, is very slow, and "does" try at every turn to take control of my computer -- if one is going to buy an iPod, iTunes is the easiest overall way to load stuff. So another decision when buying a iPod is the necessity to use and learn iTunes, both for what it can do for you, and what you don't want it to do "to" you. That is my only use of iTunes -- just to load my Pod.

All SW that I have worked with auto downloads track info from the net. WMP does it for me with all of my PC based music. And no, iTunes does not work all the time. For example, Chet, how often have you tried to use it to convert a video to MP4 format? The first time I tried it, not only did it take forever, but when finished there was no sound at all -- other times the sound was only from one channel. Google and Yahoo uncovered fo me that the built in converter is a piece of Apple junk SW, and offered other solutions. My 3rd party SW now converts in seconds, and works every time.

>> At home, I use the APPLE as a music server and have it connected to my WiFi system. I have two Roku Labs Soundbridges (see: www.rokulabs.com) which are hooked to the two stero sound systems we have. Each Soundbridge has full access to all my playlists, all the internet radio stations, and they both can play different selections at the same time.
====
Wow!!  That's quite a music setup you have put together. You obviously enjoy the Sound of good Music.  :)
 

Ned

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You have to go through the iTunes preferences and make several important changes before you load the first track to be sure that it behaves as YOU want.  The defaults are rarely close to what a user would want.  It can coexist with other music managers, but if you're going to use another manager anyhow, that begs the question "do you really need an iPod?".  There are a lot of choices for MP3 players that work as well as the iPod.
 

Steve CDN

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"do you really need an iPod?".

Ned,

The main reason for looking at Ipods is because the car I'm getting includes a so-called Ipod Intergration system. The software allows the Ipod to display on the car's screen on the dashboard, and the integration system includes a cradle, connectors and charger.

I admit it's a cart before the horse situation, but I really want that car ;D
 

Chet18013

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Steve said:
Further, there have been suggestions that Itunes takes over the settings of the PC, and this is something I won't tolerate.

I didn't see anything that iTunes took over on my system. One thing you must do first, before you put a single tune in the iTunes library, is set the preferances to what you want it to do.--As Ned says. this is a must.

Chet
 

Tom

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Steve,

Folks seem to be making this much harder than it really is. I have 3 different music managers on my PC, including iTunes, and none of them "take over" my PC. The reason I loaded iTunes on this particular PC was because my niece, visiting from the UK a year ago, bought an iPod at Fry's and wanted to start copying her CDs over to it; She was eager to use the iPod while she was still here on vacation.

I loaded the software and she was copying CDs in very little time. I haven't removed iTunes and it still doesn't run interference with anything else.

My other 2 music managers are the Creative Play Center, used to load and manage music for my Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 MP3 player, and another proprietary application to load and manage music on Chris' MP3 player.

BTW iTunes can also be used to download podcasts to view on my PC, something I think I learned from Chet.

I don't own an iPod, but have said on numerous occasions that, if I replace my Creative system, I'd buy an iPod. The simplicity and form factor are tough to beat.
 
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