Apple iPod (4th Generation 40GB Model) Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Apple computer with built-in FireWire port; Mac OS X
v10.1.5 or later, USB 2.0 Mac OS X 10.3.4 required
PC with built-in FireWire or USB 2.0 port; Windows 2000 or Windows
XP Home or Professional

It’s been 14 months since I first became personally acquainted with the world famous Apple iPod. It didn’t take long at all before I was asking myself what the heck took me so long! I’m usually an early adopter but this time, I waited until the 3rd generation of models before I actually plunked down my money to buy one of my own.

I didn’t opt to buy the iPod Mini when it came out. If it would have had a 30gb hard drive in it, I wouldn’t have hesitated, but with only 4gb I didn’t see the point when my music collection requires 20gb of space. For me, traveling with only a subset of my music is no longer an option. I want it all with me, all the time.

People speculated heavily as to what new features the 4th generation iPod models might include. Rumors ranged from color displays, built-in Bluetooth, WiFi, iPod Mini body style and 60gb hard drives. So when the time came for the new models to see the light of day, I for one was a little disappointed that none of these gee whiz features were included. Of course even in my disappointment, I still placed an order for a new 40gb model. Am I sorry I did? Read on…

Hardware Specs

Display: 2-inch (diagonal) grayscale LCD with LED back light, 160 x 128 pixel
resolution, 0.24-mm dot pitch
Audio support: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAV
Up to 25 minutes of skip protection
Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz
Size and Weight:  4.1 by 2.4 by 0.69 inches, 6.2 ounces (176 g)
Power: Built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery (630 mAh), Playtime: up to 12 hours
when fully charged
Charge time: About 4 hours (2-hour fast charge to 80% capacity), Standby time when fully charged about 1 month

iPod owners won’t be surprised that this latest model comes packaged in a cube that opens up like a book. The now familiar silhouette dancers are featured around the outside of the box.

40gb Model Package Contents

iPod
Dock
Firewire cable
USB 2.0 cable

Ear buds & 2 sets of pads
AC Adapter

iTunes for Windows and Mac OS X
Getting Started guide
Warranty and Licensing info sheets

I had read that the new models were thinner than the 3rd gen units, so I was surprised when I saw that the new one was virtually identical in all dimensions. Ok, it is 0.04 thinner. Wow! Not. I’m not really complaining though, I still think the iPod is perfectly sized for handling and ease of use.

As far as handling goes, if you already have a 3rd gen 30gb unit, this new 40gb iPod will feel the same in your hand. It weighs the same, and has the same slick chrome back, and silky smooth rounded edges. There’s been no change in the quality feel of this device. It is still very solid and totally passes the Gadgeteer creak test.

Physically, the only real difference that these new models have is the new click wheel. Inherited from the Mini, this new wheel includes all the functionality that the menu buttons and touch wheel combined had on the previous model. The diameter of the wheel is approximately 1.65 inches, while the old wheel was 1.5 inches. The wheel is flush with the face of the player and is centered under the display. Play through cases made for previous versions of the iPod will probably not work well with this new version due to the change in the wheel location.

The gray wheel has a slightly rough texture which keeps your fingertip from slipping during use. In addition to sliding your finger around the wheel to scroll through lists, change volume levels, etc., the four compass points on the wheel are actually buttons that you can press for the Menu, Prev, Next, Play and Pause functions. Pressing these buttons give you a definite click, so you will not wonder if you actually pressed one or not. The center of the wheel is no longer just a touch pad, but is also a tactile button which is used to select items.

To tell the truth, I hated this new click wheel design when I first saw it. For one thing, I really missed the cool red backlit menu buttons. Nothing on this new touch pad lights up. I guess it isn’t necessary for it to light, but I like eye candy. It also took me a little while before pressing the edges of the wheel felt natural.

That was a week ago and I’ve now acclimated myself to the new wheel and like it just fine. I think it takes the iPod’s KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) design to a new level. It’s also nice that the wheel is flush with the top of the case. I was always getting dust, dirt stuck around the edges of my 3rd gen’s menu buttons. All that said, I still miss the red backlit buttons <sniff>…

The top and bottom buttons / ports of the iPod are exactly the same as the older version. You’ll be able to use old docks, mounts, and accessories with no problems whatsoever. By the way, the included dock is identical to the dock I’ve been using with my old iPod.

I also wanted to mention that to my eyes, the front casing seems to be just more of a solid white than my 3rd gen unit which seems to be more transparent milky. It could be my imagination though…

As far as the LCD display goes, I definitely notice some differences. The new iPod has more of a bluish cast to it when the back light is on. The display also seems to be lit somewhat unevenly on the left edge. When the back light is off, there isn’t much of a difference at all. The display is easy to read in almost any level of lighting, including full sunlight and total darkness.


With back light

Another change with this new iPod is the higher capacity battery. Instead of being rated for 8hrs of playback time, it is now rated for 12hrs. I can verify that this is right on the money. I left the iPod charging in the cradle over night. I unplugged it at 6:45am and started playing shuffled songs from my entire library of almost 4000 songs at 7am. I didn’t turn it off at all until the battery died at 6:52pm. Almost exactly 12hrs of play time. Not bad at all!

PC users without Firewire ports will be happy to learn that this new version will charge through USB 2.0 high-power ports or powered hubs. Cables for both Firewire and USB are included. The Getting Started Guide has a note saying that if you are using USB 2.0 ports that transferring music will drain the battery power. I guess you can’t charge and transfer files at the same time. So, you’ll want to make sure that the iPod is sufficiently charged before you try transferring a large collection of songs.

What about audio quality differences? Well, I thought the new iPod sounded slightly better than my older one, but it ended up that it was just wishful thinking or my imagination. I had a friend queue up identical songs on both units and let me listen to one after the other asking me to say which unit was playing the song. I wasn’t very successful in picking out the new iPod. Regardless, both units sound excellent through good Ear buds or headphones. I hate the included Ear buds which are the same ones included with the previous model. They hurt my ears after very little time.

A cool new feature that may not be a big deal to most people is the way the iPod will automatically pause the currently playing song when you unplug the earphone jack. So, if you listen to music at work through speakers and it’s the end of the day, you can unplug your iPod. Walk back out to the car, plug it in to your audio system and take right back off from where you paused. Nifty!

I also wanted to mention that my unit displays no static problems when changing songs. I’ve read about some people having audio issues with their new units.

The only other area where there are some slight differences is in the menu structure. Basically the main menu has been simplified and an extra Audiobooks menu has been added.

The new main menu has been condensed from 6 picks to 5. The Browse and Playlists picks are gone, leaving just a Music pick in their place.

The Playlists pick moves into the Music menu along with the other music searching criteria picks. I’m not really seeing how this simplifies things all that much. It takes me the same number of clicks to seek out a specific artist and / or song. Maybe I’m missing something…

A new Audiobooks menu appears under Settings. Clicking on it gives you the option to change the speed at which you can listen to books. I don’t keep audiobooks on my iPod, so I did not test this feature.

Other than those few changes, the interface remains the same… I think this is a good thing because I’ve yet to find another audio player user interface that can compare with the iPod. After a year, it’s still my favorite player.

Regarding the included software, the iPod comes with iTunes for the Mac and Windows. I happen to love iTunes, and highly recommend it. It includes ripping and burning features and is very easy to use.

To sum things up, the main differences between the 4th generation devices and 3rd generation devices are:

1. Menu buttons are gone, new clicker touch pad design employed.
2. USB 2.0 charging capable.

2. Higher capacity battery.
3. Slightly altered menu structure.

4. $100 cheaper.

People in the market for an iPod should not hesitate to buy this model, but do I recommend that 3rd generation owners rush out and upgrade? No, not unless your current device has some type of defect or you just have to have the latest model. The 2hrs additional battery life and new clicker design are nice, but for me these features aren’t that compelling. As far as power, most of the time I’m near an outlet and can grab some juice when needed. I didn’t have any real complaints with the old wheel design. My advice to 3rd gen owners is to just wait for the 5th gen devices. Maybe they’ll have some of the cool new features that were rumored for the 4th gen.

 

Price: $399.00 ($299 for 20gb model)

Pros:

$100 cheaper and 10gb more than the 3rd gen unit I bought a year ago
12hr battery

Charges via USB 2.0 now
New click wheel design prevents accidental activation

Cons:

Remote not included
Case not included

 

Product Information

Price:399.0
Manufacturer:Apple
Pros:
  • $100 cheaper and 10gb more than the 3rd gen unit I bought a year ago
  • 12hr battery
  • Charges via USB 2.0 now
  • New click wheel design prevents accidental activation
Cons:
  • Remote not included
  • Case not included
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear

{ 38 comments… add one }

  • Julie August 3, 2004, 3:16 am

    Post your comments here on the Apple iPod (4th Gen 40gb) Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/apple-ipod-4g-40gb-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • Aria August 3, 2004, 3:53 am

    Great review, but about sound quality… how are your audio files encoded, and are you using a line level output (such as the Sik Din or ipod dock) with a headphone amp? Using apple lossless, and the Emmeline sr71 headphone amp with the ety 4s, there is a pretty big improvement in the bass department. This is comparing the 3g ipod with the same amp and headphones. I know there aren’t many of us that use a headphone amp, but we in Europe sort of have-to because of those EU directives. Instead of limiting volume, they limit the power of the headphone output, which results in portable players which cannot drive most headphones.

    But back to the point, if you encode your files at a beter bitrate, and make sure you’re wearing those etys properly, you should be hearing some differences in the sound.

    My thoughts about the sound upgrade though are that it is there, I’m not the only one that’s heard it, but it’s not worth upgrading just for that minor tweak. It’s all the other tweaks added to that one which will make it worth it for you. But if you’re happy with your 3g ipod, and have it matched up with a suitable portable amp that is adding its own flavor to the sound, it’s not worth it to upgrade just for that minor sound tweak alone.

    Just my random thoughts on it. Thanks for the review!

  • hirsch22 August 3, 2004, 9:51 am

    Apple’s online store indicates that new accessories are required for the 4th gen and they sell them separately from the 3rd gen line. Any idea why if they worked for you?

  • isobutane August 3, 2004, 11:12 am

    I bought this wee beastie last November and now the battery won’t hold a charge worth a dang. I used it almost exclusively to play audiobook content and now I use my Clie TH-55 instead. Also, the iPod is terrible at holding one’s place in an audiobook. I lose my place if I haven’t used the iPod in more than a day. I have been thinking about selling the 30GB iPod and getting a Mini…the songs that I really want on my unit would take up no more than 2 GB at 128 MP3 encoding. I like the sound quality out of the iPod, but that’s about it. I have a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

    Mark :(

  • Julie August 3, 2004, 1:12 pm

    Aria:
    I’ve never claimed to be an audiophile, so my ears may not be as sensitive as some. I do know that this new iPod sounds better, but when I played the same identical songs on both the new and older iPods, I couldn’t pick out which was which. I rip my music at 196kpbs and do not use a headphone amp to listen to music. Just B&0 earbuds most of the time.

    hirsch22:
    Where are you seeing that they have separated the accessories? I’ll admit that I’ve yet to try the Griffin voice recorder or iTrip yet with this new model, but I’m assuming that they will work just fine. If someone knows for sure that there is a diffference, let me know.

  • Ben S August 3, 2004, 1:30 pm

    If Apple would just get off their collective duff and support Ogg/Vorbis , I’d buy one tomorrow. I re-ripped my entire music collection to Ogg and I’m not planning on doing it again! :)

  • Julie August 3, 2004, 1:53 pm

    There are rumors of hidden features in this new model. I wonder if the ability to read other formats could be one such feature… I have my entire collection (save 4-5 albums purchased off iTunes) ripped in MP3 format. I figure I’ll be able to play them on pretty much anything…

  • TheDreamer August 3, 2004, 3:25 pm

    I had a portion of my collection ripped as MP3’s….just under 20GB worth….because I used to have a 20GB MP3 player.

    But, when I got my Gen3 40GB iPod…I reripped all the previous albums and more to AAC. I’m at about 28GB of tunes on my iPod at the moment. I still have ripped everything in my CD collection, but I’ve only been ripping whole CDs right now. Someday I might go through and rip the individual tracks from CDs where that’s all there is that I’d want to listen to.

    But, my CD collection is a mess right now…I’ve been putting off upgrading my CD shelving….so there are piles of loose CDs everywhere….

    The automatic pause when you disconnect the headphone jack sounds like a useful feature…though still not enough to make me leap up to the Gen4. Plus I might need to wait and see if my favorite case gets upgraded to support Gen4 layout…..

    Did they solve the problem where you can’t use lineout while it is docked with your computer?

    The Dreamer.

    I wish there was a way to automatically convert my collection of AAC tracks to OGG (and maybe MP3)…rather than reripping again….for those occasions where I want to pick and choose part of my collection to carry around….and listen using PocketTunes. I recently got a 512MB SD card for my T|T…up from 256MB

  • thsu August 3, 2004, 5:48 pm

    Just two notes….

    The reason for the menu change is pretty obvious if you think about it – the menu is similar to the iPod mini. The mini has a smaller display, so they had to change the menus for it. Instead of rewriting the software for the iPod4, they reused most of the mini’s software. It also suggests that Apple plans to expand the mini line up next, or at least I hope so.

    As for tactile feedback, once you get used to it, you won’t go back. I haven’t upgraded from my original iPod because I liked the tactile feedback too much to give up. It lets you use the iPod in the dark without backlighting and it lets you access the buttons through a jacket pocket, pants pocket, or sport case enclosure. I hate the remote, so pressing the buttons on a concealed iPod through fabric is what I ended doing instead of the remote.

  • jkendrick August 3, 2004, 7:20 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the “new” wheel with the 4 buttons incorporated more or less the same as the 1g iPod? I know the buttons were actually around the wheel but basically Apple has just put them back where they were to start with.

  • Cameron_Talley August 3, 2004, 8:12 pm

    Correction:

    The old iPods (3g) were rated for 8 hours of battery life–not 10 hours as stated in the review.

  • Julie August 3, 2004, 8:23 pm

    Ooops… I’ll go fix that! :o

  • tthiel August 3, 2004, 9:24 pm

    I like the Apple lossless encoding so much that I had to get a bigger iPod. The 4g came out just in time. The additional battery life is great not that I ever needed more on my 3G. Love the new wheel controller. Screen looks a little sharper. I never used the remote so I don’t care about that. Btw noone cares about Ogg Vorbis.

  • Spocky August 3, 2004, 9:31 pm

    really, really, really needs to be less secretive about their product releases, so people don’t buy a 3G iPod at an Apple store 250 miles away, while on vacation, a week (exactly) before they released the 4G iPod, and aren’t able to return it because you have to return it in person. That’s what they need to do, yes. On a completely different subject, does anybody have any suggestions for a way to subtly sabotage an iPod so one can return it for a refund?

  • hirsch22 August 4, 2004, 9:51 am

    Julie,

    The first few days the 4th gen was available, the accessories website had separate listings for most of the items and specified “new click wheel model” or “touch wheel model”. They seem to have now changed that and only the cases and docks have the distinction noted. I guess a change in size required the new docks?

    Spocky,

    Sounds like a road trip over the next weekend. Anything else is illegal amd just plain sleezy. Although I do empathize with your situation. Most companies have a pricing policy that will allow an adjustment if a price drops just after a purchase. Are you sure Apple doesn’t?

  • Julie August 4, 2004, 12:47 pm

    hirsch22:

    I dont think there is any diff between the dock I have for my 3rd gen 30gb and this new 40gb. As a matter of fact, I’m still using it with both.

  • chriszzz August 4, 2004, 2:34 pm

    Originally posted by Spocky
    really, really, really needs to be less secretive about their product releases, so people don’t buy a 3G iPod at an Apple store 250 miles away, while on vacation, a week (exactly) before they released the 4G iPod, and aren’t able to return it because you have to return it in person. That’s what they need to do, yes. On a completely different subject, does anybody have any suggestions for a way to subtly sabotage an iPod so one can return it for a refund?

    Well, it wouldn’t really help. If Apple had announced their 4G, say, 4 weeks earlier, and someone bought their 3G 5weeks earlier, they’ll still have “missed” by 1 week, and will be feeling equally lousy.

    That said, I’m glad I didn’t rush out for a mini or 3G earlier. Was resisting the temptation. Looks like I did the right thing !

    BTW, don’t do the dishonest thing. Just drive over and return it. 250 miles ain’t so bad. Take a 2nd vacation :-) It’s only 4 hours drive.

  • alanh August 4, 2004, 6:43 pm

    Just a note on doing blind audio comparisons: I realize you got a “negative” result in your comparision, but it’s important to make sure you have the volume exactly the same. a <1db difference isn in volume>t the best thing to use. The best thing is to use an AC voltmeter, play back a steady sine wave and get the voltages the same.

  • Julie August 4, 2004, 9:59 pm

    Alanh:
    You probably guessed that I don’t have that piece of equipment to test with. It was just an informal test that I conducted. I just wanted to let people know that the new iPod is every bit as good and probably even better than older models.

  • Spocky August 5, 2004, 4:48 am

    Originally posted by chriszzz
    [B]Well, it wouldn’t really help. If Apple had announced their 4G, say, 4 weeks earlier, and someone bought their 3G 5weeks earlier, they’ll still have “missed” by 1 week, and will be feeling equally lousy.

    That said, I’m glad I didn’t rush out for a mini or 3G earlier. Was resisting the temptation. Looks like I did the right thing !

    BTW, don’t do the dishonest thing. Just drive over and return it. 250 miles ain’t so bad. Take a 2nd vacation :-) It’s only 4 hours drive. [/B]

    Well, the thing is that there were extenuating circumstances that prevented me from going back to the Apple Store- I’m only 16, so I’d have had to convince my parents to take me, and I was leaving on a trip in the exact opposite direction the next day. So, the long and short of it is that I’m SOL and that I still think that Apple shouldn’t be so secretive about their product releases.

  • ChrisSpera August 5, 2004, 3:04 pm

    I have been resisting the purchase of a dedicated digital music player for quite some time. When I have a Pocket PC that can do that, I don’t see the need to purchase a specific device when the one can play tunes as well as do other stuff… It helps cut down on the amount of junk I carry on a daily basis and makes life more affordable too.

    However, even tho I have a 2215 and a 2GB microdrive, it doesn’t hold enough. I’ve nearly filled the drive, don’t want to erase the tunes on it, but have really gotten tired of the stuff that I have on it. I don’t want to buy a 4GB microdrive, because for the price of THAT I can have an iPOD, Dell JukeBox, or other player…

    The question I have is, aside from double the storage and the dock, is there any OTHER advantage to the 40GB model over the 20GB model?

    I sold my T3 this week and have a little mad money and have been thinking of purchasing a digital music player despite my reasoning and logic for using my PPC. While it would make me carry yet another device, and would require me to either convert or rerip my entire CD collection, and purchase a FireWire or USB2 PC Card, I am to the point where I don’t care. I want to justify the purchase of one or just plain get over it and live with what I have…

    I am planning on going to the local CompUSA at lunch to put my hands on one. Can anyone give me a hand, here? Julie..? Help..?

  • Julie August 5, 2004, 4:10 pm

    You already listed the major differences. One other thing is the fact that the 20gb unit is thinner than the 40. Not sure that really matters much though.

    How much music do you have? If I were buying one, I’d want to make sure that I had room for every single CD that I own and then probably 10gb or more left for future music. My 40gb is half full. Probably more than that now as a friend at work just let me borrow a stack of his CDs to rip <shhhhhhh> :D

  • ChrisSpera August 5, 2004, 6:53 pm

    I went to the Compooooosa near the office at lunch and decided to purchase the 40GB flavor and a USB 2.0 PC Card for my laptop; but while I was himming and hawing over the purchase, someone else came in and snatched up the last 40GB version they had. I left without buying one.

    I will try to come back next week and get it; or will purchase it from Apple and have it shipped to the office.

    Bummer. I really wanted to play with it over the weekend. Now, I’ll have to wait until next week… :mad:

  • Julie August 5, 2004, 7:40 pm

    You should have wrestled the other guy for it! ;)

  • ChrisSpera August 6, 2004, 2:55 am

    I found out AFTER he left that he got the last one… :mad:

  • maxintosh August 6, 2004, 8:38 pm

    In your review, you mention that Playlists have been moved to the Music menu. While this is true, you can customize the menus quite a bit. Go to Settings -> Main Menu and you can move Playlists back into the main menu. In fact, you can move a lot of things into the main menu, like games, notes, etc.

  • questionfear August 6, 2004, 9:22 pm

    Originally posted by Spocky
    Well, the thing is that there were extenuating circumstances that prevented me from going back to the Apple Store- I’m only 16, so I’d have had to convince my parents to take me, and I was leaving on a trip in the exact opposite direction the next day. So, the long and short of it is that I’m SOL and that I still think that Apple shouldn’t be so secretive about their product releases.

    if you’re that annoyed, start following rumor sites like macrumors.com…apple is a business. they won’t tell you “don’t buy” unless its an extenuating circumstance (ie the new imacs). In most cases, you can do a little research and stumble across a buyers guide or speculations that will tell you when a new product is expected to be released. People knew the G5 was coming out ahead of time due to leaks, but that didnt stop apple from selling G4 towers. The burden is on you, the consumer, to decide if you want to wait to upgrade or not. And hey, is your current 3g really that bad? if it works, and you’re happy, great.
    And apple does have price drop protection, tho i don’t know if it works when the product itself changes.

  • onestar August 8, 2004, 3:15 pm

    Originally posted by tthiel
    Btw noone cares about Ogg Vorbis.

    Forgive me for disagreeing with you, but there’s more folks (myself included) that care about the OGG Vorbis format.

    Having ripped tracks to both MP3 and OGG, with the same bitrate, the OGG tracks do sound a wee bit better.

    Just my two cents. Not flaming anyone here.

  • onestar August 8, 2004, 3:17 pm

    Just as an FYI for readers of this site, if you’re part of an educational institution, be it student, staff or faculty, you might be able to get a discount.

    If you go to Apple’s online store, check the Education link down the left side. It’ll ask which school you belong to, and if your institution is listed, you might find a discount listed there.

    Since I work for a university, I was able to save $40 on the new 40GB iPod.

    There are restrictions, tho. Read the fine print carefully.

  • Julie August 8, 2004, 3:34 pm

    Another FYI: I finally got around to testing the iTrip with the new iPod. It works just fine. :) So, there should be no worries about older accessories.

  • ChrisSpera August 9, 2004, 1:35 am

    I thought as much…

    The sales guy at the CompUSA that I was at said all of the accessories for 3G iPOD’s would work; but knowing how Apple can be, I wasn’t too sure. However, if I can get MY headset to work with the iPOD without any special or magic words, then I suspect that most of the items that fit into the headphone jack will work. I am especially interested in the DLO TransPod FM All-In-One Car Solution For 3G iPods With 30 pin Dock Connector (a powered in-vehicle dock/FM Transmitter) but its $100 bucks.

    Looks like I’ll have to wait until after the MPx is released to purchase other stuff for the iPOD…

  • jiraffe August 9, 2004, 6:22 pm

    Julie,

    You list AAC under audio support for Mac, but not under audio support for Windows. If Windows can’t support the AAC encoded tunes, how do Windows users use the tunes from the iTunes Music Store?

    (Also, not that it probably matters, but why wouldn’t the Windows version support AIFF?)

  • ChaosReigns August 10, 2004, 8:48 am

    I agree with what you said about the audio quality. It’s alot better than the first and second generation iPod’s, but it is about the same as the 3rd gen’s (I also tested it out against three 3rd gen’s). I just got a 20 GB version a few days ago because I don’t need that extra 20 GB of space. The review really helped me out in deciding whether to get a used 3rd gen or the new 4th gen. I don’t regret it a bit. It’s too bad that Apple decided not to add a backlight for the click-wheel, it would have been nice to have it.

  • Julie August 10, 2004, 12:36 pm

    jiraffe:

    Sorry, that was just an oversight on my part. I had copied the specs out of the old review and forgot to delete the Windows line. It’s updated now. There’s only 1 version of the iPod now and it supports: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAV. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Ben S August 14, 2004, 6:28 pm

    The other thing Ogg/Vorbis has going for it (other than smaller, better sounding files than MP3

  • ) is that it’s completely unencumbered by patents and whatnot. The company that owns the MP3 patents might decide tomorrow to alter the licensing structure for their technology to the point where MP3 codecs are too expensive/legally complex to include in new hardware and software. Look at what happened to the GIF graphic format!
  • I don’t like the idea of anyone having the ability to mandate what I can do with digital files I created from CDs I purchased. It would be a real bummer if my 20GB collection of music suddenly became unusable on the hardware I want to use it with.

    But that’s getting pretty off topic :-) There are interesting posts on the topic… such as http://www.gizmodo.com/archives/ogg-vorbis-on-ipod-a-rebuttal-015738.php

    (I’d also like to see FLAC support on the iPod — another unencumbered compression format, except lossless).

  • in my informal testing, an Ogg/Vorbis file encoded at 64kb/s nominal rate sounded as good or better than an MP3 encoded at 128kb/s when played back on my T/T3 or desktop. That’s a considerable size savings!
  • AKAJohnDoe August 16, 2004, 3:50 pm

    I gave a 40GB iPod as a birthday present this month…might have to get one myself…

  • TheDreamer August 19, 2004, 3:04 am

    Now that I’ve had my new 4G iPod for a couple of hours….I have some feelings about it.

    First is the responsiveness of the wheel….it is faster than 3G…which I find a problem right now…though I suppose I’ll get used to it.

    Second is it undocks…..so I could use the line out jack…except I opted not to upgrade the sound system in my computer room, so I don’t have a line input to feed and stuffed into a case…it makes it hard to use the dock. Though I think there’s a pocketdock or something that has a line out…so I could do that if I wanted to use the feature.

    Don’t really need to, since I could fire up iTunes…even though I find the sound level from iTunes lower than the rest of the applications on my computer…which makes it annoying.

    Guess I get to see how it sounds tomorrow….

    The Dreamer.

  • astronel September 20, 2004, 5:38 am

    The review stated that the faceplate looked more solid white than milky. While I have’nt yet seen a 4G iPod, Apple has probably gone to solid colored plastic as opposed to the back-painted clear they were using. While this saved them oh,I dunno, a nickel a unit on the iBooks (from G3 800, I think),I fail to see the savings on the iPod , as now the display window would have to be a separate piece. The old style had a beautiful translucence that was very classy, but I’m sure they think no one notices. What matters to me most, however, is the new ability to add to and delete from playlists without erasing the entire list and starting all over again. It would be nice to have a review of exactly how this works, as Apple’s web site just says it does.

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