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Review of the Apple iPod (20GB)
the iPod By JJ
Originally published on

A review of the iPod mini music centre
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The iPod, a year-old Apple product, is still very much in fashion in Singapore - at a time when iPod minis are being introduced.

At the time when it first came out, I found that I didn't need such a capacity for songs - it comes with a capacity of 15GB and 20GB, and I don't have anywhere near that amount of songs on my computer. Plus, it carried a price tag of S$749, and I wasn't very inclined to spend that sum on something I wasn't going to put to full use.

However, as fate - or its equivalent - would have it, I've been gifted with one.

When I first saw it, I was surprised at its size - the plastic models seen in the Apple stores don't do the actual thing justice. Though it might look plain in all white with a silver black, Apple has actually managed to make the eventual thing look quite sleek. This is probably compounded by the fact that it fits into my hand well and is less than twice as wide as my Nokia 6100. It is not thick either, and fits into any pocket of mine well.

The sheer capacity of the iPod is immense. At present, I have maybe 80 songs on it, and have taken up less than 5% of the available space. In addition - as irritating as iTunes may be - organisation of the songs is fairly easy, use iTunes to group them into playlists, or sort them into albums, which can then be played one at a time - or you could choose to play them consecutively.

Another function I find useful is the 'hold' function. Many times, with my MP3 and CD players, I've had the problem of them switching on by themselves in my bag, wasting the energy conserved in the battery. With the hold function on, this has not happened.

Then comes the battery life. It holds for 8 hours, something that is enough for my needs. It takes a maximum of four hours charging for 'full battery'. Plus, the iPod comes with a hard case that can be attatched to pants or a belt or even put in a pocket as it contributes about 0.5cm in thickness only.

I do have a few reservations about it, though.

Firstly, the iPod is not very user-friendly. The manual skims through the 'how-to', and assumes everyone knows how something on the iPod screen is supposed to look like. In addition, the iPod that I have is connected to the PC by a Firewire, yet the manual stated that it can be connected via USB, without making it clear that an adapter was needed.

The box also does not have a definitive list of what is included - leading me to waste some time searching for things that were not there.

And, though minor, I begrudge the fact that the registration number is printed in such small print, etched into a silver surface. Maybe if there was more of a colour contrast, it would be easier, but even Jes with 6/6 vision had to strain to read this number out. And worse is to come with the excessive number of times Apple requires you to key in this number.

Another irritating fact is that every time I connect the iPod to my PC, the useless iTunes starts - such a wonderful program that when I want to play any track using the program, it "performs an illegal operation". This opening of iTunes means that I am also unable to play songs and yet charge the battery simultaneously.

Lastly, I get highly irritated, when I plug it into the power adapter, there is no signal as to whether the battery is actually being charged or not - as there is when it is connected to the PC.

All in all, the iPod has been an enjoyable, uninterrupted music experience, even throughout the late night job Jes and I went on last night and with me listening with only one ear. Just don't expect a very easy 'orientation' if you do end up obtaining one.


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