There are some new features that have been added to the iPod in recent months.
There are now three tiers of iPods, ranging from five gigabytes to twenty gigabytes in hard drive size. The ten gigabyte ones are ten percent thinner from front to back and include a wired remote, as does the twenty gigabyte one (although the twenty gigabyte one is thicker than both the five and ten gigabyte iPods).
The five gigabyte iPods are simply refurbished iPods, as far as I have heard.
Anyway, now with the new OS (version 1.2), the interface has been streamlined. Now the main screen has been divided thus:
- Playlists (make a list of songs on your computer that can be played back in the order specified)
- Browse (allows one to listen to songs by artist, album, song, composer, or genre)
- Extra (allows contacts/notes to be stored, the game can now be accessed from here, and a clock and calendar have been added)
- Settings (change the settings of the iPod, including 15 different languages, an equalizer, shuffle, and much more)
- About (allows one to see information about the iPod)
- Now Playing (this only appears when a song is playing and shows the playback of the song)
The clock is large on the screen and allows one to see the... time. It synchronizes the time with the computer when they are hooked up. The calendar shows entire months at a time, and with the program iCal, it allows calendar information to be transferred to the iPod.
One thing the most people are thankful for is the new headphones. They are still pod-shaped but now are made of Neodymium magnets and have better bass response and better quality sound all around. They are also smaller, which should make everybody happy (in fact, MacAddict made fun of this by showing the "maker of the iPod" who was Scottish and had ginormous ears, according to them...).
In addition, the iPods now come with a carrying case that is surprisingly compact. The case I currently have, made by Xtreme Mac, is somewhat bulky and the plastic on it sticks to the screen in patches. This one is both smaller and allows for at least some of the iPod to be seen through it. Ah yes, and there is now a sliding door for the Firewire port.
Windows users will be happy to know that there is now a Windows iPod which has the same functionality but is formatted for PC drives. It is compatible with Macs, but Mac iPods are not functional with Windows machines. I believe it is formatted FAT32 and works through Musicmatch JukeBox Plus. Like the Mac version it still has only Firewire (or IEEE1394), which could pose problems with some machines, as most Wintel computers, as far as I have seen, seem to prefer USB 2 over IEEE1394. YMM(aW)V.
I am very happy with the iPod I have (the five gigabyte one) and would definately reccommend one to anybody. I think they are actually inexpensive for what they do (and they likely will become a full-fledged PDA within a short time), and of the mp3 players I have listened to, it has the best quality, partially due to the great headphones that are bundled with it.
- Very small and very stylish
- Firewire is fast (transfers an album in ten seconds or less)
- Brickout, calendars, clock, contacts
- Five, ten, twenty gigabytes
- Wired remote
- Expensive (well, relatively so)
- Metal part of case gets scratched easily
- Wired remote
- Little compatibility between Windows iPods and Mac and Mac iPods and Windows