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lgray

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*** NEW *** 17 Aug IPOD REVIEW

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02.06.2004 (17.08.2004)

Advantages:
Is a hardrive and an MP3 player in one

Disadvantages:
8hours of battery

Detailed rating:

Sound Quality

Ease of Use

Look & Design

Range of Features

Value for Money

Video QualityHelpful / Easy to Follow

DurabilityGood

12 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (15%):
  1. neildemmert
  2. monsieur.Joda
  3. Bronze224
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very helpful by (67%):
  1. TheWarners
  2. merv83
  3. frkurt
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helpful by (15%):
  1. pmsbony
  2. Zaphoid
  3. Linzee
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  1. vickyc

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The Apple Third Generation Ipod is not the latest in the music technology but at the same time it is not old or useless. An Ipod is a storage designed for you entire CD collection to be uploaded onto and played as if it was a handheld CD player just it hold more than 12 songs. It has blazing Download Speeds and can play music crystal clear.

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Design Of the ipod

An ipod is in the shape of a DVD case just a lot smaller. It will fit in the palm of your hand but it is as thin as a DVD case and the shape of one including the curved edges.

The Screen

The screen is an LCD grey scale Display screen with six-line display and the status bar. The status bar is located at the top of the screen containing the time (optional), battery bar and play and pause sign. The contrast of the screen is very light when new but this can be adjusted in the settings menu.

Buttons

The ipod has 4 buttons in a line Previous, Menu (back), Play/Pause and Next

Below that is a sensor wheel use to move around the menus and songs and artists etc. In side of the sensor wheel is the select button this is the button that sticks out a little.

Sensors control all the buttons on the ipod, when lit the top 4 buttons are a nice orangey colour. The scroll wheel is not lit but the screen is.
The backlight is adjustable. Set it at 2, 5, 10, 20, seconds after last button pressed and the wheel moved or always on/off.

On top of the ipod where the remote and the headphone input are located is a switch, which controls the hold mode. When switch on all buttons on the ipod cannot be used until switched back. This can be used when the ipod is off using it then will not turn the ipod on. When hold is active the switch has an orange indicator next to it, or when ipod is on a padlock on the status bar. There is a hold switch on the side of the remote as well.

When you use the scroll wheel or the middle button or any of the functions except hold you can set your ipod to click or not. If you were to move the ipods highlighter down a menu after each menus it scrolls past it will click.

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What do you get in the box?

With the 20GB ipod I bought from Dixon's contained,

The Ipod

An Ipod case was included but I have found out that this only applies to the 20GB+ Range of ipods. On the case is a Rather Strong clip. The case covers the whole ipod so you cannot use the buttons or view the screen when the case is on.

You get a Pair of headphones the ipod white headphones

You get an in line remote for ipods 20GB+; the remote plugs into the top of the ipod like the headphones but it covers two points. The pins go into a 4-pin port (next to the headphone socket but is smaller) and the Headphone port. The remote is a small silver device, thinner than two fingers and around half a finger tall. At the top is a headphone jack for you headphones when the remote is plugged in. On the remote are five buttons Volume up and down, Next song, Previous Song, Play/Pause. This costs £33 and you get the headphones. Although due to a lot of street theft on ipods because of the headphones and remote you are possibly better off buying or using different headphones.

You get a Firewire cable (6 pin (4 pin adapter inc.)) for the ipod. USB is not included you can buy one for around £15 from www.everythingipod.com

You get a Charger, which is put together with two simple parts. They click and done. On the charge is a Firewire port to charge the ipod (1-4 Hours). You plug the ipod into the Firewire cable, and then plug that in to the Firewire port

In Most of the ipods 20+ you can get an ipod dock in the box but on some you have to buy it separately You Can get it for £33 from www.everythingipod.com

Instructions book and a CD containing software are included.

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Helping you Decide

There are many different hard disk drives of different sizes (GB). Below is the size of the ipod stated on the box. Next to it is the amount of 4MB songs it can fit at a 128Kbps rate. With the prices you can decide which ipod may be best for you and in your budget gap.

10 GB = 2500 songs. About £
20 GB = 5000 songs. About £249-£299
30 GB = 7500 songs. About £
40 GB = 10,000 songs. About £373

Sadly though as companies manage to fool you when companies say 20GB they mean 20,000,000,000 bytes which is equal to 18.5 GB (cpu bytes), because one REAL GB is not 1,000,000,000 no it is 1,073,741,824 bytes this is because one giga byte is 1024 mega bytes and one mega is 1024 kilos and one kilo is 1024 bytes which makes your 1.5 Giga byte memory loss.

The real sizes are as follows
10 GB = 9.3 GB
20 GB = 18.6 GB
30 GB = 27.9 GB
40 GB = 37.2 GB

Quick note you can still fit 5000 songs on the 20GB and 7500 on the 30GB and on the other two the same rule applies

Formats
When you are uploading music to your computer ready to upload onto the ipod you will use software called itunes. Once installed and set up to your specifications you must decide which music format you are going to use. Itunes comes on the CD supplied; the CD also contains the ipod software needed for the ipod to run.

You can choose one of the below
MP3
AAC
WAV - Is not recommended as this uses a lot of memory
AIFF - Is not recommended as this uses a lot of memory
Apple Loopless Also not recommended, as a lot of memory is needed

MP3 is probably the one you have all heard of because it is almost the most popular on the Internet but there is a new MP3 called AAC, which is Apples Version of uploading music. By Default you computer will upload music using AAC you can change this in the itunes menu just read the help provided.

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The battery inside the ipod is a rechargeable battery designed to last forever. But as with everything nothing will last forever. The battery cannot be removed manually but you can send your ipod off to Apple and they will replace it when it is the warranty.

The battery when fully charged lasts for 8 hours in playback mode.
But when it is connected to your computer via usb (later explained) it can really drain the battery in around one hour.

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Can you use and ipod on your computer?

When you purchase an ipod it is also necessary that you have a hard drive with more space on you computer than on the ipod.
For example if you computer has 20 GB Hard Disk Space and 20GB ipod is not the ipod for you as you cannot use the full memory on the ipod.

If you have a 250GB hard drive on your computer you can buy any ipod you like. I advise that you check your computers specifications.

128 MB Ram is minimum so try to upgrade a bit more.

How will you connect you ipod to your computer?

Firewire is the latest technology for connecting hard drives and other devices to your computer. Firewire comes with all the latest computers. You ipod will come with an "ipod to Firewire 6pin" cable. 6 pin means you can charge your ipod whilst you are using it to upload songs or to upload data to a folder on the ipod drive. 4-pin are also included but 4-pin does not charge the ipod.

However if you have an older computer that has only usb1.1 or 2 you have two choices. 1) You can buy the non-supplied USB Cable for 8.99 from www.everythingipod.com USB 2 and 1.1 does not charge the ipod but you can buy a combined (ipod to USB2 and Firewire). When you plug the ipod in you must plug the USB2 Cable into the computer and the Firewire Cable into the supplied wall socket adapter. Plugging both into your computer at once can be dangerous.

What is the difference between 1.1 and 2?

The Difference between them is the speeds of data transfer. USB1.1 has a transfer rate of around 12 Mega Bits Per second, which is extremely slow at 1.5 MB a second. USB2 has a transfer rate of 480 Mega Bits Per Second which is a lot faster with a transfer rate of over 50MB a second which makes a big difference.
The only down fall is that the ipod cannot charge whilst songs are being uploaded to it memory.

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You can connect your ipod into an external sound source such as a TV Surround System.

You can buy a special cable that plugs into the headphone socket and then plugs into a Free Left (White) and Right (Red) socket.

All you have to do is set you Home system to the correct input and play you music through the speakers as you would with a DVD player or VHS player.

No sound?
Turn the ipods volume up.

Distorted?
Turn the ipods volume down; Turn the External Sources Volume Up.

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What else can the ipod do?
There are multiple processes the apple ipod can do for you. Such as hold you contacts and calendar notes or maybe a few notes. This can all be done and explained using the instructions book included.

Limits
You can have 1000 contacts. 600-700 words (6KB) of text for note files.

Use your ipod as and external hard drive.
If you have a few or a few hundred important photos or files you can set up a folder on the ipod and save them to the memory. Or even transfer these files to another computer.

The ipod also includes four games (software version 2.1).

Brick, which is a game to clear the screen of bricks with a ball that bounces about the screen. You control the paddle at the bottom.

Music Quiz, Think your king/Queen of you music collection. Then try this game, the aim is to get as many points and answers right as you go. When you start this game a song will play and you have to guess what it is with the 5 options you have. Guess quickly as some answers disappear as time runs out and not as many points will be scored.

Parachute is a war like game. The aim is to shoot down helicopters and parachutes that jump out to destroy your large canon.

Or fancy an old fashion game like solitaire.


What else.
The ipod contains and alarm clock that can start playing you favourite play list of songs or beep.
Use the sleep timer to auto turn of the ipod after 15, 30, 60, 90 or 120 minutes.
Or set the date and time so you can have the time in the status bar.

You can also set your ipod to display only what you want on the main menu except settings which must be displayed at all times.

If you are listening to your ipod you can select songs to be played in order either using the itunes software included or by manually using the on-the-go playlist on the playlist menu. Instructions given in included booklet.

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How to use the itunes software included. (CD)

When you start up itunes for the first time it is a good idea to configure it to your needs. See Preferences in the booklet,

Loading song on to itunes ready for the ipod is so easy. (Internet connection recommended.) You simply insert a CD into a CD drive and then it will display on the itunes menu. If you have an Internet connection active it will find the CD details on the CDDB network. This will download the artist, song name, album and all the details about each song. After this you click import the songs will import to your computer in the format you selected ready to be loaded to your ipod. To load to the ipod all you have to do is have the itunes open, plug your ipod into the computer and bang the songs in your music library will start uploading.

With the itunes software you can create playlist manually or automatically to do this you must refer to the instructions.

Itunes also has an online shop to download music legally. Each Song cost around 80p per song. It is growing very quickly with the latest songs. You can also download audiotapes to your ipod for a higher price.

There are a lot you can do but because this review is not about the itunes software you should refer to the instructions included or www.apple.com

There is additional software that you can download for the ipod to give you the latest news as notes, or covert songs quickly with “goldwave.” These can be found in books and websites for the ipod.

Thanks for reading this review. If you have any ideas on how to make it better please leave a comment other than that.
Thanks again lgray.


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Comments about this review »

neildemmert 23.01.2005 14:20

Very nicely done

merv83 03.09.2004 10:10

Sorry, I have not been on ciao hardly for a while which is why I never re-rated, cant remember what it was like, but an excellent op now! All the best, Martyn! :-)

thespurs 22.08.2004 17:04

nice review. i wont buy one of these, no point

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

The new super-slim iPod once again redefines what a digital music player should be. It's lighter than 2 CDs, can ho...

General

MPN M9244B/A
Product Type Digital player
Digital Player Type Hard drive based

Audio system

HDD 20 GB
Sound Output Mode Stereo
Equaliser Yes

Show all Product Information

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Review Ratings »

This review of Apple iPod M9244B/A 20 GB has been rated:

"exceptional" by (15%):

  1. neildemmert
  2. monsieur.Joda
  3. Bronze224

and a further member

"very helpful" by (67%):

  1. TheWarners
  2. merv83
  3. frkurt

and 15 other members

"helpful" by (15%):

  1. pmsbony
  2. Zaphoid
  3. Linzee

and a further member

"somewhat helpful" by (4%):

  1. vickyc

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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