I mentioned in an earlier post
that my poor iPod Mini vanished after I sent it to Apple for service. After going for months without any portable music, I broke down and bought a refurbished iPod video from the Apple Store. I'm still ticked about them losing my old Mini, but the 40% I saved over the cost of a new iPod is soothing my anger somewhat.
My little white box arrived last Friday, and immediately it was pressed into service providing musical entertainment for a friend's housewarming party. I'm switching jobs at the moment and using up some vacation time, so I've had a fair amount of time to evaluate my new toy, and here are some of the things I've discovered.USB 1.1 Syncing is Slooooow:
Apparently I didn't read the fine print before purchasing and didn't notice that the new iPods only sync over USB 2.0. You can hook them up to a computer using Firewire but it won't sync. This is disappointing, considering I have a 3yr old Mac that only has USB 1.1. The first sync took 6 hours (!) including 3 disk errors. I am not happy. I understand from reading the Apple Discussions that Firewire syncing was dropped to reduce the size of the iPod. But what about me and the rest of the Mac community that bought Mac without USB 2.0 'cause Apple was 5 years behind in supporting it? I'd would have accepted a fraction of an inch in case size to be able to sync my iPod faster over Firewire.Scratchy, Scratchy:
One of the things I loved about my Mini was that I didn't need to buy a case for it; the aluminum skin was virtually scratchproof. I've had my iPod video for less than a week and the back is already scratched. I have a case on order, but in the meantime I've been using the little sleeve that came with the iPod. Okay, I know the iPod is distinctive, but shiny metal on the back - whose bright idea was that? It seems that Apple has acknowledged that scratching is a problem with the Nano, which was just redesigned with a Mini-like metal skin. Why not do something about the flagship model? I'm sure they could find some materials that would be more durable yet still retain the signature look.Video, schmideo:
I like the video features of the iPod. I have a collection of old educational films from the 50's and 60's which are kinda fun and I thought they'd be perfect to test out how the iPod handles movies not purchased from the iTunes store. I read the specs on what the iPod would support, and all the movies fit the specs, except for the soundtracks. They were encoded at 22.5 khz, not the 44.1 khz in the iPod specs. I thought it wouldn't be too much of a problem; if anything I could see them not playing if the bitrate was too high, not too low. And I was right. Except for the constant clicking that happened when I played them on the iPod. So apparently it did matter, and now I've been trying to convert them for the iPod. Each one is less than 15 minutes long, and the conversion on my G4 takes forever. It's annoying, but again I guess that's what I pay for having "old" equipment.
That's what I think so far about my new iPod. Lest you think I'm too negative, I have to say I really enjoy my new iPod compared to my Mini. It's almost 10x more storage and I've subscribed to a ton of vidcasts and podcasts because I have the extra space. The photo storage and viewing works well so I can look at my little Zebu friend here whenever I want. (One day I'll liberate you from that petting zoo, friendly Zebu!)
So, welcome to the family, iPod Gunther. You'll be around for a long time.