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Who Designed This Crap? The Great Ipod Scam

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April 4, 2006 5:29:39 AM

Many can no longer live without Apple's Ipods and Itunes? Some need a daily Itunes fix. Others lust after the money to be made by getting on the "I" bandwagon. Not Barry Gerber. He's fed up with Ipods and Itunes and argues that the world might have been a better place if they never saw the light of day. Hey, what's with this capital "I" in "iPod" and "iTunes" stuff?
April 4, 2006 7:14:05 AM

Finally someone else on this planet who hates those damn things...
April 4, 2006 7:34:11 AM

Find your nano again quickly, then browse as fast as you can to http://www.rockbox.org and be liberated from Apple/Itunes for the rest of your life

RockBox is an alternative DRM-free firmware that currently runs on several players from archos, iriver and apple

(note: ipod replacement firmware is still under development but already very usable on 5G and nano, others are following quickly)
Related resources
April 4, 2006 7:49:45 AM

So... did you get cash or merchandise from Creative?

Not wanting to get too accusing, but i would think otherwise if you could have at least put in criticisms worth a damn. Like how you can't drag and drop music into the ipod without itunes, or that you're restricted to using itunes to buy music, or horrible isync stories, etc.

How can you state with a straight face that itunes' restriction of not being able to share music with more than five computers, or being restricted to one CD backup, are serious flaws? Five pc's are more than enough for almost everyone, and if you have more than that number that you regularly use, you're probably rich enough to not care, and in a small enough minority for Apple to not care. As for backups, the limit is because the cd's are intended to be used only for backups (seriously, isn't one physical copy and up to five digital copies enough redundancy?). I don't like DRM, but it can't be helped - apple needs to use drm in order to get the studios to put out. Fairplay, IMHO, is better than many more evil alternatives.

And another thing - you're acting like apple is keeping all of the money from online music sales. Why do you mention only the sales number, and not all the overhead and the actual profit that apple makes? This is one more reason why I get the feeling that you're not expressing honest criticism, but rather smear campaign propaganda.

PS - I do agree with you on the total lameness of battery replacement for ipods, the lack of nano cases at launch (at least apple fixed the problem some time later), and the lack of fm tuners.
April 4, 2006 9:18:20 AM

Quote:
How can you state with a straight face that itunes' restriction of not being able to share music with more than five computers, or being restricted to one CD backup, are serious flaws? Five pc's are more than enough for almost everyone, and if you have more than that number that you regularly use, you're probably rich enough to not care, and in a small enough minority for Apple to not care. As for backups, the limit is because the cd's are intended to be used only for backups (seriously, isn't one physical copy and up to five digital copies enough redundancy?). I don't like DRM, but it can't be helped - apple needs to use drm in order to get the studios to put out. Fairplay, IMHO, is better than many more evil alternatives.

I think it was more along the lines of the number of burns. My step daughter and my sister both have iPods. If they use iTunes, they (apparently) can't burn a mix for themselves, a different mix for a friend, and an MP3 CD for their MP3-friendly car stereo? How is that acceptable? What happens if they burn a CD, and the burn fails, or if the CD gets scratched later?

Call me old fashioned, but I buy CD's from artists that I like, and I rip the CD's to by HDD, and I copy the whole CD to my Creative Zen Touch, keep a copy on my home server (nothing huge, Athlon 1.8 or so w/ 2 80 Gb drives), play songs from my PC or my wife's laptop, take copies to my work PC, and make multiple mixes each year. But if I buy a copy of the CD, why wouldn't / shouldn't I be entitled to do that?
April 4, 2006 9:33:58 AM

I thought about getting the 60GB Ipod Video for $399 and remembered about the stupid proprietary Itunes and battery. Also looked at my entire store bought legal CDs and for giggles I ripped my entire collection into high quality MP3s which equates to 4GB. I was like..wow.. that means 56GBs would be wasted if I don't use it for videos.

I've wrestled myself over this for weeks, finally skipped the Ipod and bought myself a nice 2GB MP3/WMA player by Sandisk. Slick little thing. No moving parts to worry about.

What happens if you drop your $399 Ipod and the hard drive crashes? Will Apple replace it? Probably...at a cost.

My SanDisk Sansa™ m200 Series MP3 Player..best $129 I ever spent. It even came with a carrying case!!


Darkk
April 4, 2006 9:46:40 AM

Quote:
I thought about getting the 60GB Ipod Video for $399 but I thought to myself about the stupid proprietary Itunes and battery. Also looked at my entire store bought legal CDs and for giggles I ripped my entire collection into high quality MP3s which equates to 4GB. I was like..wow.. that means 56GBs would be wasted if I don't use it for videos.

All your CDs on 4GB?
Either you don't have many CDs or ripped them low quality.
My iriver h340 is filled with a little over 30GB high quality mp3 (all from my own CDs) so I'm looking at replacing the HDD with a 60GB version.

And don't forget it's also a portable HDD (and how nice my h340 has standard port connectors, not that dock crap)
April 4, 2006 9:58:34 AM

Quote:
Call me old fashioned, but I buy CD's from artists that I like...


Hey, i'll call you old-fashioned, and then put myself in the same bucket.

Forget about ipods, zens, whatever, is anyone else just over the whole mp3 thing altogether??

here's my story:
1 (circa 1999-2000): "hey, the internet is cool, lets download lots of mp3s illegally from ftp sites". Yeah, except that half of the files were crap, most sounded like they'd been recorded off a stereo using a computer's inbuilt mic.

2 (circa 2000-2003): "lets just get all my cds and rip them to mp3, and store them on my hdd as a backup and for parties". That works, except that i have a few hundred cds (all originals, all bought legally), so i shelled out a few hundred $ for a 30GB hdd (big for the time). After losing the whole damn lot in a crash, i just couldn't be bothered ripping the whole lot again, for the use of about 5 parties a year where i wouldn't trust the guests with my cds (not to mention that my ever-increasing cd collection would require an ever-increasing hdd)

and am i the only one who can hear how crap mp3s sound? I'm hardly what you'd call an audiophile, but i did build my own speakers and amplifier, no korean plastic with no (or worse, muddy) bass and nothing above 5kHz. Although, maybe I am in the minority, most people have only heard songs on radio and mp3, and have no idea about the rest of the audio spectrum and dynamic range they're missing.


But not me. I won't be sad if i never hear an mp3 again. Call-me-old-fashioned time again. I bring CDs (you know, those round flat things) to work to listen to. I can also listen to them at home with less effort than firing up a computer. There's also radio, which i can listen to on my 4 year old phone if i choose to on the bus home. But i rarely do, there is such a thing as too much music, the bus to & from work is my ears' rest time.

So, to summarise:
(bad music quality) + (the bother of ripping OR "handcuffed" downloads OR crapper quality illegal downloads) + (cost of mp3 player) + (I have a CD player already) + (has anyone heard anything released recently worth listening to?) = why bother?

/rant
I'm off now, to listen to some vinyl. and before you call me an old fogie, i turned 23 last week...
April 4, 2006 10:06:19 AM

An interesting article. I second the guy at the top who mentioned Rockbox, I'm using Rockbox experimental on an iriver H320 and its a fantastic piece of software with support for a huge number of codecs, colour games to play, gameboy colour emulator and even a fully functional version of doom!

Could you perhaps do an article on rockbox, it could make for an interesting review to see it on different players and compare it to their original firmware for battery life, functionality etc?

thanks

theDudeAbides
April 4, 2006 10:09:54 AM

I'm more curious about the article and the artists which were mentioned in it, since they all have one major thing in common. Was it intentional on Barry's part?

doh - just noticed there's a pic on the link to the article..... I'm sure that wasn't there earlier......
April 4, 2006 11:21:27 AM

I don't think there's any question over the quality of MP3 - it's not as good, just way, way more practical.

And my Sony NW-HD5 is waaay better than all my friend's iPods, cost less and sounds better. iPod does have the best 'OS', though...
April 4, 2006 11:32:00 AM

Quote:
I don't think there's any question over the quality of MP3 - it's not as good, just way, way more practical.

So use a different format! There's plenty out there.

One of the reason's I chose Rockbox was its Musepack MPC codec support, this is full-VBR and produces a far cleaner high-end and tighter bass than MP3 is capable of even at 320Kbit (an excellent quality MPC file is about ~250Kbit). I'd recommend this to anyone fed up with MP3s, I've got a decent pair of floorstanders at home and use shure E2C phones on the move and I've had a far better listening experience with MPC than MP3 which used to annoy me with warbly treble artifacts.

laters dudes

theDudeAbides
April 4, 2006 11:35:03 AM

i have more than 5 'puters at home.... not because i'm rich, but because a) i hate throwing stuff b) i take care of them, so they grow REALLy old , lol.
now that i've got that out of the way, i dont have ny difficultys in exporting on any format , any media from itunes on any of my machines. there are some complications when i want to get music from my ipod (mico 4gb) to a hdd(technically impossible, WAIT! nothing is impossible for a bored geek!!).... actutally is quite easy. Just copy the 'hidden' (hehehe) music files from said ipod to hdd (thru explorer).
problem: only itunes will read the music file names correctly ( but is that a problem?)
AND i've heard of plug ins for itunes to export files from a folder within the ipod to hdd ( i still need to check that one, has anybody seen or heard of it)


my concerns are more in the lines of craftmanship and materials that apple uses. I paint regulary, and i've noticed that the soft skined plastics are prone to get affected by my colors that i used (water based)
my ipod seems to attract ALOT of unwanted grime... must be the flashy whites and the spotless grays...

Appart from those, the metallic outershell is fine, battery life is fine.
i know that replacement will cost me a bundle, but for those of use who are always with thier noses in a pc, will it really be that hard to change? getting a battery might prove hard ( HA :p ) changing it, i doubt it...

as for a small story, last night, just outside my fitness club i saw a nano die. It got wedged in a jacket pocket , the guy pulled, and crack, screen when dead ( nice cristal liquid art splash on screen)... sad really, AMEN!

Why bother DrCroubie? , cos CDs are expensive, and they break, scratch, burn out way way to easily. coming from a vinyl listening crowd , i revere my 'disks' like the air i breath, sadly most people i know do not have a vinyl trained upbringing, which makes me go balistic when they 'forget' to put cds back into thier boxes, covers or what ever. so mp3 are a decent way to protect your hard earned music when u spend 120€ a week on music u sort of go psyco when a 'friend' scratches a cd... u know what would make me even more mad. losing my hdd with all those cds in mp3 format. time to burn some dvds ^^

A.
April 4, 2006 12:23:27 PM

"Who Designed This Crap?"

Who Wrote This Crap? 8O
April 4, 2006 1:08:41 PM

Quote:
Many can no longer live without Apple's Ipods and Itunes? Some need a daily Itunes fix. Others lust after the money to be made by getting on the "I" bandwagon. Not Barry Gerber. He's fed up with Ipods and Itunes and argues that the world might have been a better place if they never saw the light of day. Hey, what's with this capital "I" in "iPod" and "iTunes" stuff?


I was really expecting this article to be more informative and entertaining. As one that has owned a variety of MP3 players over the years, I did not find your criticisms to be very analytically useful. Perhaps your nightmares have infiltrated your daytime sensibilities.
April 4, 2006 1:19:44 PM

Quote:

and am i the only one who can hear how crap mp3s sound? I'm hardly what you'd call an audiophile, but i did build my own speakers and amplifier, no korean plastic with no (or worse, muddy) bass and nothing above 5kHz. Although, maybe I am in the minority, most people have only heard songs on radio and mp3, and have no idea about the rest of the audio spectrum and dynamic range they're missing.


In my experience, it's not the MP3 format that sounds crappy. It's MP3s encoded with certain codecs and options. For example, MP3s are typically encoded with a high and low pass filter. This is fine for headphones that don't reproduce those tones anyway. But if you're going to be playing them on high end audiophile quality equipment, you don't want those filters applied. I use the LAME codec with the the "insane" preset. For reference, a typical 1 hour CD usually takes up around 120-150 MB as MP3s. Still a lot better than CDs. I haven't been able to personally hear the difference between the original and these MP3s using a Turtle beach Catalina, Yamaha 1000 TX, and NHT 2.4 towers.

The actual end-level ripping application that uses LAME that I use is Exact Audio Copy:

http://www.exactaudiocopy.de/
April 4, 2006 1:23:39 PM

Well the itunes store sucks but so does every other other downloadable music store. The quality is low, DRM sucks but it seems pointless to complain about it just don't buy music that way.

Also not being able to replace the battery on your ipod sucks. That being said for 60 bucks you can send your old nano in and they will ship you a new one. Its not as cheap as rechargeables but anyone buying one of these should just factor that cost in as a cost of ownership. Just a little research out there will tell you that.

The complaints about the cases and stuff really are a non issue right now. Maybe you had a complain LAST YEAR but today all ipods have as many cases out there that you can shake a stick at.

Basically the whole article came off as a desperate attempt for attention.

the ipod is a decent but not perfect MP3 player. The nano hits a good price point for the size of storage. Right now theres not much else out that has that size and that much storage.
April 4, 2006 1:35:01 PM

Quote:
Also not being able to replace the battery on your ipod sucks. That being said for 60 bucks you can send your old nano in and they will ship you a new one. Its not as cheap as rechargeables but anyone buying one of these should just factor that cost in as a cost of ownership. Just a little research out there will tell you that.


It's not all that hard to change the battery yourself. If I can do it, anyone can... I noticed that the new issue of Laptop has a how-to.
April 4, 2006 1:40:59 PM

You know, I find it saddening that people blindly cling to obvious double standards and exibit such an extreme inability to think objectively and with an open mind. There are some good replies throughout this "discussion", and there are a few which make no sense to me within the context of what this should be; a discussion. At least stay on topic and talk about what it is you liked, didnt like and why.

Without getting into different peoples definitions and opinions on what a discussion entails, I'll point one thing out. I'm pretty sure 90% of anyone who shows up in this thread flaming the author or who is unable to understand and give merrit to the point he is pinning up has a very opinionated stance on Microsoft. I'm also willing to bet that most of you also use firefox if you're even using a Microsoft OS. What are your opinions on IE? What are your opinions on Media Player? How about the fact they're bundled with the OS and thrown on you?

Without getting too deep into another issue entirely I'll cut to the point. I'm sure the majority of people who have flamed in this post dislike IE and MediaPlayer and the fact that they're forced on you. At a more basic level, you dislike being controled, told what to do, being spoon fed, manipulated, having the feeling of some looming alterior motive or massive corporate undercurrent directed at the consumer. Name it what you will, its all basically the same thing and exactly the same thing the author of this article was pointing out.

But god forbid, we all love these catchy phrases, flashy colors and are so goggled by the ever present "new and improved" revision to keep us distracted and in love that its impossible for some of us to break from that and think objectively and consider some possibilities.

Apple is a corporation out to make money, and thats exactly what they're doing. Audio quality, alternative product, and opinions aside what it boils down to is that Apple has some awesome PR and a superb business model. It doesnt take a genius to notice and acknowledge that fact. However, it also doesnt take a genius to acknowledge that this awesome PR machine and business model is pulling in cash at the expense of the consumer.

People are willing to go nuts over limitations in IE, Windows, Media player and various other of "evil" Microsofts products, why is it so different with apple and their iPod? This is personally why I hate the products. They've brainwashed you all. Their flashy colors, hip catch phrases and the ever new releases have the masses accepting the unacceptable!

DRM is more of an industry issue rather than Apple, so its unfair to pin it wholey on Apple, but with the weight Apple carries Jobs could easily start pushing boundaries and paving the way for consumers. He doesn't because the current business model his company employs is better at lining his pockets.

The author of this article has some really great points, and if people could step away for just one minute to consider they'd understand the merit in what he is saying. It doesnt mean your iPod is a piece of junk. It doesnt mean you need to dislike the product. You dont need to stop using it, chuck it out of your car window while on the freeway or molest it in any other unsightly fashon.

But being able to enjoy your product while openly acknowledging its shortcomings and voicing that they are unacceptable will lead the way to better future products and consumer awareness. These blind defenses, denials and short handed flames do nothing but promote what Apple has been doing.. making money off people who dont know how to think with an open mind and challange ideas. Just because you dislike an aspect of a product doesnt mean that makes the whole product rubbish. And just because you like an aspect of a product that doesnt necessarily make consumer restrictions, limitations and hinderances which result in corporate profit acceptable. Even if these limitations dont apply to you, the fact that they exist and are overlooked makes them all the worse.

We shoudlnt HAVE to look up detailed instructions on how to change a battery. We shoudlnt HAVE to use third party software to bypass DRM. We shouldnt HAVE to use a protective case to shield a plastic device from the dangerous (sarcasm) jagged spikes that make up the interior of our pant pockets. These are things that understandably deserve criticism and are in no way defensible! Sure, the first gen iPod didn't have easy access to the battery. Since then its become knowin that consumers would like the ability to change out their battery to prolong the life of their device. Why is it horrible to request that this consideration is incorporated into the devices design? Why should I void my warrenty if I desire to change my battery? Because it makes Apple money and no one proclaiming how easy it is to replace myself will make me feel better about that fact.

Come to think of it, I believe this is why products that are Open Source always tend to be the better of whats available. Since its platform is by nature open to criticism it draws this open minded approach to a products use. People use the product, enjoy the product and point out what is unacceptable to further create a product that benefits the user. Compare that with products like the iPod and the additudes of most of the userbase found happily gripping the product by the ankels and being dragged across the floor. Consumers who spark the mentality that the product is some demi-god sent from heaven which can do no wrong. Any wrong that is so apparent you can't deny it, is promptly ignored and accepted as "just the way it is" and shoved behind the next product release, further excused by an aspect that is great about the product or worse, forgotten through the ever increasing dificulty of trying to choose which color will best match your attire.

Unacceptable.
April 4, 2006 1:50:18 PM

I have had 3 or 4 ipods, 2 creative mp3 players and all I can say is make them go away. Dear god they are everywhere, and its only getting worse. These teenagers walking around in the malls with their Ipods in their ears and still talking to each other, or walking around the mall with their parents and listening to their music still. WTF, damn teens need to be slapped.

Ok, 1 fact I forgot to mention is I'm 21, and not much older than those kids and they still piss me off. I, for one, feel certain acitivities are meant to be shared with friends and family not drowned out but teens and their "super cool" Ipods. I really wish they would leave them in the car or in their desk at home where they belong. Ipods, in my book, are meant to provide entertainment when you are 1) Studying 2)In an airport/airplane 3)Alone those kinds of places. Not 1)Out with your friends walking around amall 2)With your parents out and about 3)at the movie theater 4)In class 5)where ever else they seems to be appearing.

As more and more of these teens (remember i used to be one only 2 years ago :tongue: ) are allowed to use Ipods 24/7 anywhere and everywhere they will probably lose touch with reality and become so removed from the world that they won't know how to interact socialy except for when they have music. Anyone ever heard of something called small talk. Ok, I hate small talk, but if your with friends/family (not people you wish would stop talking and go away lol) its fun and you learn alot. When was the last time you talked to a family member who didn't have something funny to say? or a new fact of the day? or some question to make you go hmmmm?

I realize I am ranting, please take it as my opinion only, but just stop and think about it. I like the concept of portable music, but kids these days have utterly killed it. I have the feeling I forgot to address an issue but oh well, I'll come back to it if i remember.

All I have to say is, if you need proof of how stupid some teens can be: Apple is to release a new ipod firmware to allow max volume limitation secured but a "combination" lock because teens are killing their ears.... good job next generation lol.
April 4, 2006 1:53:04 PM

I bought a Sandisk e140 1GB for $80 and it beats my budddies Ipod Nano for five main reasons:

1) No software required. All I have to do is drag and drop my songs through Explorer
2) Built-in FM Radio
3) SD Slot for expandability
4) Replaceable battery
5) Doubles as a thumbdrive in a bind

The purpose of the article is the same thing I've been telling people: Don't buy an Ipod because it's cool. Do some research and see what's out there. If you do buy an Ipod, don't gripe to me because your music is locked up in Itunes while my music (all ripped from original cd's) isn't locked into one program. Plus, for the money, there are better mp3 players out there.
April 4, 2006 1:55:19 PM

I bought a Creative MP3 player and "lease" my music from Yahoo for 5 bucks a month. Yes, when I cancel my subscription the music won't work, but right now I have 800 songs on my mp3 player and it's only $5 a month ($792 if I had an iPod) .

If you buy more than 5 songs a month on iTunes you are wasting your money, in my most humble opinion.
April 4, 2006 1:56:48 PM

At the risk of starting a conversation that sounds like something that you hear in the communal showers at school (or was that just me? :)  ) about size, but I honestly think that Apple have a useless OS.

It's just aimed at making the ipod accesible to non pc users, ie those people who know how to type in word, powerpoint, but cannot fathom filing and directory structures out.

You know the sort.

Those that buy Apple Macs because they genuinely believe they are better. Why? Because the TV told them so!

The best OS that I've seen is on the Creative Labs Muvo. You just copy files to / from it using windows! That's it! I guess you can do the same in OS X(?)

You can even use it as a memory stick to move files around with you. Who'd have thought it eh?


Now. Apple. Say you have a copy of the files on your laptop at work and want to get them home because, say, you've just been made redundant. How does iTunes allow for this eventuality? It doesn't that I know of!

Rant over. I hate those things. With a passion!
April 4, 2006 2:08:39 PM

I listen to the radio....
April 4, 2006 2:20:15 PM

Steve J. Idesigned this Icrap.

Proud owner of a 2002 Archos 20GB recorder. Use it in the gym every day and the batteries last 12 hours. (4xAA 2500mha) The batteries that came with it (4xAA 1500mha) only lasted 6 hours, but upgrading was a breeze. Also been using "Rockbox" firmware the whole time.

Wife uses Creative Muvo FM 512MB. She loves it!

No "DRM" on either of them and both can be used as an external hard drive.
April 4, 2006 2:22:26 PM

The iPod is such an insane ripoff that I have been laughing at iPod owners for ages now. I mean seriously...

But first... AbelIAN. What happens when you have to format, or fdisk, as seems to be relatively frequently required when running an M$ OS? 5 computers may not be enough. And then to say "if you own more than 5 then you must be rich enough". Excuse the he!! out of me? Who made you the person to be so snobbish as to say "Oh, well you can afford to pay more, so SCREW YOU." It always drives me nuts when people take that attitude because 1) they are often wrong (I own about 7 right now and I most assuredly do not, I just fix old ones and find workable uses for them), and 2) who are you to tell someone "you can pay more FOR THE SAME SERVICE I GET since you make more"? Talk about wealth distribution...

Now, as for the cost... I'm sorry, but $0.99 is an abjact ripoff. Figure 15 songs average on a CD, or even 12, you can buy most new CDs for less than that, especially if you shop at Walmart. But, setting that aside... what about used CD stores? You can go in there and get most CDs for under $6 each, quite often. Then you can take that CD home, rip it, and have the whole thing for the equivalent of less than $0.50 per song, and NO DRM!

And they wonder why online music purchases aren't catching on like the RIAA hopes... I mean if nothing else I could see charging that INSANE premium of $0.99 per song for the first what, 6 months, after a song is released, but after that you'd BETTER find a way to compete against $0.50.

And then you look at the insane costs of the iPods... like the 60 GB video that someone mentioned. Holy crap, you can get such an awesome Archos for that. Or, if you are already pre-disposed to spending so much for a player, just $100 more can get you a portable DVR.

I mean, when you compare the players that are out there to the iPod, the iPod just seems like an overpriced brick. You just have to be willing to look outside of the spoonfed world of Apple and brand recognition. That is really all that Apple has going for it. People just see all the advertising, go to the store, and think "hey, I know what that is".

As for Apple's business model, their business model has always been PR and cash at the expense of the customer. With iPod it is insane restrictions and overpriced hardware/songs. Just like with their computers, it was inferior parts for too much $$$. Actually, that was the funniest thing about their transition to Intel chips. For years they had been saying PPC is better and Intel is slow, then they start saying that they are switching to Intel as they are better, while at the same time still having all the stuff on their website pointing out how PPC was faster and better. It was hilarious, because either they were telling the truth on their website or in their new press releases. Which was it? Oh, but not just any Intel, no... we're going to make them lock the hardware and FORCE you to buy it through us.

And the Apple fanboys put up with that. But yes, as Asphix20 said, isn't that the same garbate that everyone is angry with M$ for forcing on us?
April 4, 2006 2:43:25 PM

As someone who is forced to sell these damn things to whiny teens whose parents have more money than sense I have long been on the anti-Ipod bandwagon. Yes it does matter that cases don't come out at the same time as the Ipod because I get people who are addicted to Ipod comming in every day asking "Are the cases here yet? What about now? NOW?!" and "Why the H doesn't CC carry cases for these things yet?" and then look at me accusingly.
Also, I hate being forced to use something - like Itunes. I like to pick what I like and I don't like being told how many computers or cds I can store my information on. What if my car gets broken into and all my cds stolen (has happened before)? or I, God forbid, scratch one (I know none of you have ever done that)? Plus, their accessories cost more. You want a case for your Ipod? Its $34.99. Virtually the same case made by the same company for the Creative or Iriver? $24.99. Why more? You bought a name pal. Now go back and join the rest of the herd of cattle.
Oh, and for a new battery - its $65.95 to ship it to Apple and have a new one installed. I know some of us out there can replace it ourselves, but the vast majority of Ipod owners can't. And its the same scratched battered Nano you sent in, just with a new battery
*climbs off soapbox*
April 4, 2006 2:44:09 PM

Why do people buy an ipod when are no-brand MP3 player works?

Why do people by Nike trainers when you can run as fast in any other brand?

Why do people spend $200 on a pair of jeans that look barely different from a $30 pair?

Because someone has told them they will look successful, even if they are not.

Because they sincerely believe that form is more important than function

Because the product has created a want that they would not have had otherwise.

If you don't like these products then you don't have to buy them, but expecting the manufacturers to stop making money from gullible f***wits is sheer lunacy. There is money to be made and like any big company the cash cow will be milked until the milk goes sour (e.g. McDonalds) or the milk stops (e.g. enron).

These are extreme examples but if you don't like iPod then don't buy it. If you don't like DRM then crack it, post the code and make it a laughing stock. Better still, find your local 2nd hand record shop and meet some dudes who actually care about the music they sell.
April 4, 2006 2:51:05 PM

Recognized the scam the moment it (I-tunes) was launched and never bothered to buy anything from Apple concerning music. Never will too.
DRM and anythings that takes away my freedom sucks.
April 4, 2006 3:30:52 PM

First: You had scratches on your second day? Man, you should keep care of your iPod more than what you are doing. I have no scratches on my 5G iPod and I have had it long after 2 days. You are right, that isn't an iPod nano but you know what? It doesn't matter as it is the same material.

Second: Yes, it would hurt if they released the size specs of the nano before hand. As that would mean that they would of practically announced it before it was available. It is always better to announce a new product that is "shipping today". Makes the company look good.

Third: You have 5 computers to play your music on? Dang nice! You are so rich, you had your secretary write the article.

Fourth: I burned a CD of purchased music from the iTMS and then reimported it right on the spot and all it asked me if I wanted to replace my other songs as I already have them in my iTunes library. I chose for it not to replace them. iTunes then happily ripped the CD. Also, how can another CD ripping software not read an iTunes created CD? There is a standard that Apple can't violate by somehow adding in DRM to CDs. So your claim is out right wrong.

Fifth: I burned another CD of the same playlist used above with iTunes. So now I have 2 copies of the same CD. Last time I checked, 2 is greater than 1 copy unless you live in the 1984 world possibly.

Sixth: No copies? Then iTunes wouldn't really be a Music managing software would it if it couldn't burn a CD. Why in the world would they do that? No reason. Thank you, come again.

Seventh: Your reason to use the term "IPod" is because of cats? Lets be realistic, you are saying that to piss of the zealots.

Eighth: Of course Apple wants to make as much money as possible. They are a corporation in capitalist America. Their job is to make money. If you don't like it, you can go to where ever communism still exists in the world.

Ninth: There is a radio for the iPod too. Do more research please.

Tenth: The iPod has a rechargeable batteries so you don't need to replace them. But if you are talking about the battery eventually loosing it's recharge cycles, then (1) All rechargeable batteries are like that including your cell phone and other rechargeable mp3 players. (2) When your battery can't hold a charge anymore, you can easily send your iPod in to get it replaced from Apple using Apple's easy to use support website.

Eleventh: The music died April 4, 2006 when you made this article.
April 4, 2006 3:37:20 PM

:lol:  I love my iPod... I've moded it with Rockbox and use winamp (winamp now supports iPod natively finally!) but meh... I couldn't help myself, I personaly like the player... I know the article complained that this extra work doesn't count, but I got an iPod knowing what I was gonna do with it :wink:
April 4, 2006 3:44:48 PM

Finally, someone else who knows that Ipod is nothing but a pair of monopolistic, market lock-in, anti-competitive, overpriced handcuffs.

Excellent article. You forgot one of the most important restrictions about the Icrap, however: Music purchased from the Icrap music store can only be played on devices that Apple says you're allowed to. In other words, you can only play your music on the Ipod.

So, if your Ipod breaks or otherwise becomes unusable (most likely from user frustration and ultimately high-velocity airborne collision against a hard surface) and you want to get a new portable audio player, you have no choice but to spend an obscene amount of money on another overpriced Ipod or spend an obscene amount of time recording hundreds of dollars worth of music to an audio editor and loosing quality due to transcoding.

I'm one of the lucky ones who discovered Apple's Icrap scam before wasting time and money on a pair of handcuffs.
April 4, 2006 3:49:30 PM

Quote:

Fifth: I burned another CD of the same playlist used above with iTunes. So now I have 2 copies of the same CD. Last time I checked, 2 is greater than 1 copy unless you live in the 1984 world possibly.

Sixth: No copies? Then iTunes wouldn't really be a Music managing software would it if it couldn't burn a CD. Why in the world would they do that? No reason. Thank you, come again.

Seventh: Your reason to use the term "IPod" is because of cats? Lets be realistic, you are saying that to piss of the zealots.

Eighth: Of course Apple wants to make as much money as possible. They are a corporation in capitalist America. Their job is to make money. If you don't like it, you can go to where ever communism still exists in the world.

Ninth: There is a radio for the iPod too. Do more research please.

Tenth: The iPod has a rechargeable batteries so you don't need to replace them. But if you are talking about the battery eventually loosing it's recharge cycles, then (1) All rechargeable batteries are like that including your cell phone and other rechargeable mp3 players. (2) When your battery can't hold a charge anymore, you can easily send your iPod in to get it replaced from Apple using Apple's easy to use support website.

Eleventh: The music died April 4, 2006 when you made this article.


Fifth: Not on recent versions of iTunes dude, it don't do that.

Sixth: You what? This has nothing to do with it being a "music managing software" and everything to do with being forced to buy into a DRM technology that you would never ever ever have chosen were it not for the fact that your beloved iPod must use iTunes and iTunes makes it easiest for you to buy the music with DRM. I guess if they had a button saying "mail me this CD album on an urgent 2 hour courier and instruct my servant to rip it for me" then this wouldn't exist but they told us that to get that tune now we have to sacrific our freedoms.

Seventh: the name iPod is cutesy and more than a little bit camp. Deal with it.

Eighth: Or buy a product from a company that sells on features rather than "lifestyle choice" and image.

Ninth: No it doesn't. You can get a piss-poor headphone attachment that does radio but that's it. You could get one those without using an iPod.

Ten: Battery. Remove. Without specialist tools or some combination of hair-dryer and pallet knife. Did you send your walkman off to Sony when you needed to change the battery?

Elenth: Please, enough trolling. That was a fair article in the face of bulldozer advertising campaigns by Apple and people like you who sound suspiciously like you're paid up Apple marketing executives doing overtime.

Ay ay ay. If only someone could create a proper alternative to this. An MP3 player with an irreducibly simple interface that is tiny and looks cool. Wait a minute.... Mobiblu DAH-1500 anyone?? ;-)

laters dudes

theDudeAbides
April 4, 2006 4:01:54 PM

Quote:
When your battery can't hold a charge anymore, you can easily send your iPod in to get it replaced from Apple using Apple's easy to use support website.

That is the most hysterical thing I've ever heard! :lol:  You must do PR for Apple.

Honestly, do have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? To be forced to have someone else replace a freaking battery?! This is a two-second job that you should be able to do yourself.
April 4, 2006 4:24:39 PM

Quote:
First: You had scratches on your second day? Man, you should keep care of your iPod more than what you are doing. I have no scratches on my 5G iPod and I have had it long after 2 days. You are right, that isn't an iPod nano but you know what? It doesn't matter as it is the same material.


Hate to burst your bubble, but they are not made the same as your older 5GB Ipod. Both the Nano and new Video Ipods have a different case material design. If you'll notice these complaints did not show up en mass until the introduction of the Nano
April 4, 2006 4:32:32 PM

Hi Guys.

This reminds me.
Does ANYONE know of a good site that allows legal and ethical way to download REAL MP3s? Something with quality control so I get the song that matches the title/artist?
My good MP3 player can not play AAC.
etc etc etc.
It also needs to be cheap, less than $1 per song. Anything more and I buy the CD and rip myself.
Please do NOT suggest I burn the AAC files to CD, then rip again.
I think this is an old topic, but any advice is welcome.
thanks !!
April 4, 2006 4:43:54 PM

Quote:
And another thing - you're acting like apple is keeping all of the money from online music sales. Why do you mention only the sales number, and not all the overhead and the actual profit that apple makes? This is one more reason why I get the feeling that you're not expressing honest criticism, but rather smear campaign propaganda.


That'd be very hard to do, since Apple does not release that information. What we do know is that apple keeps roughly 50 cents for every song sold in the U.S.

What I don't get is how is the Muvo better? Don't WMA files with DRM have any restrictions? If he's talking about using MP3s, I assume that ipods play MP3 files.

Frankly, I don't understand why anyone would buy digital files. They're lossy files that have inferior sound to CD Audio. I'll buy the CD and encode it myself, have a back up and the ability to change formats if the favored flavor changes.
April 4, 2006 4:51:23 PM

ext is right about the case material. I had a 3rd Gen IPOD and now a 5th Gen IPOD

the case on the 5th is much softer plastic and scratches have become apparent.

HOWEVER.. it is NOWHERE near as bad as this article has stated. and they did not appear on mass after only a few days. they happend from throwing it in my pocket with my keys, or pens and me going "FUCK FUCK FCUK" when i remembered my ipod was in there. ( still do it every morning )

however. this article is a load of shit and completely biased. it almost stands as an add for the Creative muvo. the article does nothing but slam ipod and then goes "but BUY THIS INSTEAD!!!"

now.. correct me if i'm wrong.. but 4gb, or even 20, or 60gb is a FUCKLOADS lot more music than 512mb. I have a 60gb and it's filled to the brim with music. how can i do that with the creative muvo? the two products aren't even comparable and aren't even in the same class of product.

This is BAD reporting at it's best. THG needs to fire this writer purely for the sense that he has taken liberties to change conventions of the english language. you can NOT just randomly decide "oh, their name is too cutsey... so i'm changing it".

as for DRM. you think iTunes is bad? get with the program. every digital distributor of Music and Movies is moving towards some form of DRM. apple isn't the first or the worst. what are you going to do with your fancy 5 computers when NONE of them can play any HD-DVD or Blu-Ray Discs? none of them are "DRM" complient. iTunes DRM is nothing new and it's nothing really crippling. Hell, why not just go buy Sony music then and have it install viruses in your computer. now THATS bad DRM.

as for the battery. You CAN replace it yourself. Ive done it on my 3rd Gen and i've opened up my 5th Gen and it's possible to do.

I love my iPod and i'll admit i'm a bit of a fanboy. it does everything i've asked it to do and more. as a standard hi end MP3 player it is near flawless.

I admit i'm not subject to the DRM issues. all my music I've purchased on CD and copied it to my iPOD in pure MP3 format.

again as I said. my 60gb ipod takes all my music with me to work. i can listen for hours on one charge. I"ve never ran out of batteries during a 10 hour workday with it playing the entire time. can the Muvo do that? how about any other flash based little mp3 players that this writer seems to preffer?

I can either bring 30 muvo's. 220+ CD's ... or 1 ipod to work for my music... guess what i choose
April 4, 2006 4:54:49 PM

Quote:

I think it was more along the lines of the number of burns. My step daughter and my sister both have iPods. If they use iTunes, they (apparently) can't burn a mix for themselves, a different mix for a friend, and an MP3 CD for their MP3-friendly car stereo? How is that acceptable? What happens if they burn a CD, and the burn fails, or if the CD gets scratched later?


This is only partially true. You can only burn it to a CD once with itunes, but there's nothing preventing you from using some other software (CDex and EAC are both very good and free....cdex is easier to use, IMO) to rip the song. She is then free to make an infinite variety of mix cd's for her friends. She can also encode it to anything she wants. But if she's transcoding to MP3, the sound becomes worse than the original AAC file, which is already worse than the song sounds on any CD you can buy.

Transcoding between lossy formats is bad.

Quote:

Call me old fashioned, but I buy CD's from artists that I like, and I rip the CD's to by HDD


I'm sorry, but there's no place for logic in this debate :wink:

I ripped all of my CD's to my HD and stored them on DVDs as flac files. For now I keep all my songs in ogg vorbis format, but if, God forbid, my Rio Karma ever dies, I'll encode to whatever format the next player has.

Personally, I think the best reason to avoid the iPod and most other players out there is the inability to play back albums without inserting pops or gaps between songs. Whether it's a live album, Pink Floyd or POE, if a song segues to the next song on the album, I expect my DAP to do the same.

So far, very few do that, though I think some rockbox firmwares implement that feature.
April 4, 2006 4:55:43 PM

Quote:
This reminds me.
Does ANYONE know of a good site that allows legal and ethical way to download REAL MP3s? Something with quality control so I get the song that matches the title/artist?


Yup! Check out emusic.com. Over a million tracks and every one of them in completely tether-free MP3 format. You can browse the selection before you sign up.
April 4, 2006 4:58:45 PM

Quote:

Personally, I think the best reason to avoid the iPod and most other players out there is the inability to play back albums without inserting pops or gaps between songs. Whether it's a live album, Pink Floyd or POE, if a song segues to the next song on the album, I expect my DAP to do the same.

So far, very few do that, though I think some rockbox firmwares implement that feature.


I will completely agree with you on this.... ipod and virtually all other MP3 players ive used do this unfortunately

it's a problem that when a CD is written, they can say, hey.. no gap between the songs

when you rip them to file.. the tracks are still considered individual files. the player has no way of knowing if it's all meant to be one album or not

I think they should just add the option to the firmware to allow for didfferent gap sizes
April 4, 2006 5:04:02 PM

Thanks,
I will try emusic.

I do agree though Something happend in the past 10 years that killed music. I don't think elete small bands rise to the top anymore and clubs arn't cool anymore (there are many theories)
April 4, 2006 5:20:52 PM

Wow, this article is written by the biggest cry baby ever.

A) You're an idiot if you download music from itunes.

B) Get a case.... it's not that hard.
April 4, 2006 5:21:13 PM

Quote:
I bought a Sandisk e140 1GB for $80 and it beats my budddies Ipod Nano for five main reasons:

1) No software required. All I have to do is drag and drop my songs through Explorer
2) Built-in FM Radio
3) SD Slot for expandability
4) Replaceable battery
5) Doubles as a thumbdrive in a bind

The purpose of the article is the same thing I've been telling people: Don't buy an Ipod because it's cool. Do some research and see what's out there. If you do buy an Ipod, don't gripe to me because your music is locked up in Itunes while my music (all ripped from original cd's) isn't locked into one program. Plus, for the money, there are better mp3 players out there.


1) you can rip your CDs outside of itunes and still dump them to your ipod
2) my nano is used as a big thumbdrive in a pinch.

My question to you is this.. is there a 4gb player out there about the size of a nano or smaller that has equal or better sound quality at or less than 249?
April 4, 2006 5:21:18 PM

Quote:
First: You had scratches on your second day? Man, you should keep care of your iPod more than what you are doing. I have no scratches on my 5G iPod and I have had it long after 2 days. You are right, that isn't an iPod nano but you know what? It doesn't matter as it is the same material.


He's not talking about your 5g iPod, he's talking about the Nano. FYI, there's now a class action suit because of this issue. It's been widely reported and stories first appeared no more than 2-3 weeks after the Nano came out.

Quote:

Second: Yes, it would hurt if they released the size specs of the nano before hand. As that would mean that they would of practically announced it before it was available. It is always better to announce a new product that is "shipping today". Makes the company look good.


You have them suppliers sign an NDA (just like you have the company(ies) that manufactures the iPods). And even if it leaked, all that is leaked is a size. No features, no release date nothing. In the end, however, the problem was the Nano's easilly scratched casing, not the lack of a protective case to cover it.

Quote:

Third: You have 5 computers to play your music on? Dang nice! You are so rich, you had your secretary write the article.


Hard drives crash and files become corrupted. Make no mistake things like that will happen over time. It's not hard to believe that you could eventually lose access to songs you bought. It's an argument for buying CDs instead of from iTunes or, I assume, any number of sites that sell WMA files.

Quote:

Ninth: There is a radio for the iPod too. Do more research please.


Is it built in? I'm certain he was talking about a built in FM tuner. Personally, I find such things useless. If I liked Clear Channel radio, I wouldn't need a DAP.

[quote
Tenth: The iPod has a rechargeable batteries so you don't need to replace them. But if you are talking about the battery eventually loosing it's recharge cycles, then (1) All rechargeable batteries are like that including your cell phone and other rechargeable mp3 players. (2) When your battery can't hold a charge anymore, you can easily send your iPod in to get it replaced from Apple using Apple's easy to use support website.
[/quote]

User replaceable is always better. Buying batteries from the manufacturer (or in this case actually having to get them to replace it for you) is far mor expensive than buying an OEM version at radioshack, Frys, Amazon or one of the many site that specialize in aftermarket Lithium batteries. Let's face it, if you have to pay $50.00 to replace a battery, you'll probaby end upgetting another player (because your player won't be worth 50 bucks in 3-5 years).
April 4, 2006 5:24:30 PM

Quote:

Third: You have 5 computers to play your music on? Dang nice! You are so rich, you had your secretary write the article.

Eighth: Of course Apple wants to make as much money as possible. They are a corporation in capitalist America. Their job is to make money. If you don't like it, you can go to where ever communism still exists in the world.



ROTFL :D  :D 
You see the contradiction here.....Gullable ppl are soooo funny.
April 4, 2006 5:33:46 PM

Quote:

I will completely agree with you on this.... ipod and virtually all other MP3 players ive used do this unfortunately

it's a problem that when a CD is written, they can say, hey.. no gap between the songs

when you rip them to file.. the tracks are still considered individual files. the player has no way of knowing if it's all meant to be one album or not

I think they should just add the option to the firmware to allow for didfferent gap sizes


The Rio Karma does it with MP3, ogg vorbis, WMA (I think) and flac.

Actually, if you play back virtually any format in windows media player (and most others software players, I suspect) they have no problem with gapless. I believe RCA's lyra was also capable of doing gapless.

The company that bought the Intellecual Property, SigmaTel, from Rio's parent company is now selling firmware that supports gapless. I also believe that whatever company Apple just signed up with also supports gapless. Whether or not Apple will support it is unknown. I'm certain that they will not back prop this feature to older players, even if it was possible.

Apple will advertise it as a revolutionary new feature, even though it's been around for at least 2 or 3 years. People that want it will upgrade.

I'm happy with my Karma....the only reason I wanted a DAP was to play back my music gaplessly. I've never bought a music file and won't until they offer them ina lossless format (for the same price).
April 4, 2006 5:34:41 PM

Quote:

Tenth: The iPod has a rechargeable batteries so you don't need to replace them. But if you are talking about the battery eventually loosing it's recharge cycles, then (1) All rechargeable batteries are like that including your cell phone and other rechargeable mp3 players. (2) When your battery can't hold a charge anymore, you can easily send your iPod in to get it replaced from Apple using Apple's easy to use support website.


That is one of the worst things to have to do. Oh the battery died, just send it back and we will replace it for you. I avoid anything that cannot be converted to or use standard rechargeable batteries like AA or AAA. I use Amateur radios and before purchasing make sure that they accept DC input and a shell for AA batteries. Why? Because the battery pack sells for 70+ bucks and I can make one that is better for 20. So if you like throwing away your money on batteries, go for it.

Concerning trips and such with the iPod, what about charging? Most people forget to charge and then cannot. I'm talking about school trips where there is no access to a charging port. With simple players that just use a AA or AAA you can purchase one at any convenient store. And don't talk about how these accessories are sold for it that allow for X because it just adds up to more money for a stupid battery. And you do sound like a salesman for Apple. The iPod seemed like a good player until I saw that. No way will I pay that to get a battery replaced.

Enough about my battery complaints because iPod isn't the only one I hate, there are others but at least they are user replaceable.
April 4, 2006 5:48:57 PM

I like the iPod but hate DRM music. My solution? Just buy CDs! CD prices seem to be reasonable these days (I'm finding them for about $10 these days). For the same price I could buy a complete album off of iTunes or any other music site or I could buy a CD that comes not only in a protective case for an actual CD, but you typically get a nice little book with it too. Rip the CD to your computer and you have DRM free music.

Couldnt you in theory just burn your purchased iPod music to CD and then rip it like a normal CD? Wouldnt that process get rid of the ugly DRM?
April 4, 2006 5:51:07 PM

never make the argument that replacable disposable batteries such as AA's or AAA's are more cost effective than rechargable built in ones. it's dumb

how many batteries do you go through with your thing?

at the average price of 8 - 10 bucks for a 4 pack of Triple A's of a decent brand.

1 AAA will give you 20ish hours of playback... sooo you'll be buying a new pack every other week?

I replaced my Third Gen ipod battery for 30 bucks after 2 years

cost effectiveness isnt there. plus Hard Drive based MP3 players require a LOT more juice than your standard battery puts out
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