iPod

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iPod

Postby Jonathan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 6:13 am

We bought a 15 GB iPod for Amber's birthday. We had a $100 gift certificate which took some of sting out of the purchase price. Plus, we were considering buying a 10 GB iPod, so when they announced the 15 GB at the same price at MacWorld it seemed like a deal.

Amber's laptop has a FireWire port, which is good because none of my computers do. I didn't realize that it was a 4 pin FireWire port instead of a 6 pin before we bought the iPod, though. This pin configuration means the iPod can't charge while it's plugged into her computer. The 15 GB iPod comes with a 4-pin to 6-pin FireWire adapter and AC adapter, of course, so it's not particularly a problem.

The main things the 15 GB lacks compared to the 20 GB are the dock, carrying case, and remote. We deemed none of these or the extra capacity worth the extra $100 for the 20 GB model. We did buy an iTrip FM transmitter for the car, which saves on buying an MP3 stereo.
Last edited by Jonathan on Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby quantus » Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:20 pm

How well does the FM transmitter work? The only issue I have with buying something with a small HD in it is that I'd be much more affraid of dropping it compared to something that uses solid state memory. In the end, this was the deciding factor in getting my sister the keychain mp3 player. Oh, and it's a damn good thing that Firewire doesn't suck as much as USB1.x
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Postby Jonathan » Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:51 pm

Amber's current working set of MP3s is slightly over 3 GB. She has quite a few CDs that she is ripping every night, though, so I expect that to swell to about 5 GB. She has about 4 GB of MP3s or so, but she doesn't listen to all of those.

With those figures in mind, we figure she can keep all the songs she wants to listen to on the 15 GB iPod even as she buys new music from iTunes. Even if we eventually wind up with more than that in total, 15 GB should be enough to minimize thrashing.
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Postby Alan » Wed May 05, 2004 7:18 pm

I was thinking about getting a mini iPod. I figure I won't have more than 5 gigs of mp3s anyway.

Alternatively I was looking at Dell's mp3 player. I think that has longer battery life and capacity than the regular iPod and is cheaper too.
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Postby Jonathan » Wed May 05, 2004 8:19 pm

There's been some reports of the headphone jack in the minis being physically defective and breaking after only a month of use. I think Apple is aware of the problem and claims to have fixed it, but you should double check. I also think the minis are incredibly popular because Apple seems to have found the perfect sweet spot in the price/capacity tradeoff.

Things to check out on Dell's player are the firmware and physical controls. Amber decided she didn't like the little roller wheel on the Dell models and that she did like the size and interface of the iPod. Dell has little kiosks in one of our local malls and there's an Apple store in another, so we had the advantage of actually being able to pick up and play with them. The iPod fits in Amber's purse, which was a major win.
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Postby Jason » Wed May 05, 2004 10:48 pm

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Postby Jonathan » Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:50 pm

We replaced the battery in Amber's iPod. In case you're not keeping track, the 15 GB iPod is the third generation iPod. It is slimmer than the first and second generation iPods and has a different docking interface. I purchased the replacement battery from Newer Technology. It is 30% higher capacity than the standard battery. Newer Technology also sells a super-high capacity battery, but only for the larger first and second generation iPods.

Replacing the battery was relatively painless. Initially, I was frustrated by my inability to open the iPod with the provided acrylic tool, but I eventually used the point of my pocket knife to tease it open. Once I got past that step the rest was a snap.

The replacement battery costs about 30% of what Apple's refurbishment program would, so that was a good deal. For a first, second, or third generation iPod, I would definitely recommend doing the battery replacement yourself.

Oddly, the standard battery lasted less than a year. I'm not sure if Amber's use pattern is unusual or not. Hopefully the replacement will last longer. At $25.99 plus shipping per pop, though, I won't complain too much.
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Postby Jason » Thu Nov 18, 2004 4:16 am

One of my friend's mini ipod's battery died after a few months. I don't think she's replaced it yet, but if I see her sometime soon I'll recommend this. I'm not sure if she would be interested in doing it herself though.
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Postby Jonathan » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:05 pm

We bought an "iPod adapter" for the car stereo. Amber was dissatisfied with the performance of the iTrip and the tape adapter, so we decided to pursue a more serious upgrade. In reality the "iPod adapter" is just a satellite radio cable, minus the satellite radio, plus an RCA-to-stereo adapter. The cable plugs in where the CD changer would have been plugged in if the car had one. Car Toys did the installation. I wish we had known about it when we first bought the iPod.

The sound quality is much better than the previous solutions we had. The iPod adapter was much cheaper than an mp3 stereo, too.
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Postby Dave » Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:52 pm

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Postby Alan » Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:20 pm

Is that like the thing that BMW's have now in the glove compartment?

When I saw the commercials for that I was like, "Dude I want a BMW" just because I had an iPod and needed a car to connect it to.
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Postby skanks » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:33 pm

Dwindlehop wrote:We bought an "iPod adapter" for the car stereo. Amber was dissatisfied with the performance of the iTrip and the tape adapter, so we decided to pursue a more serious upgrade. In reality the "iPod adapter" is just a satellite radio cable, minus the satellite radio, plus an RCA-to-stereo adapter. The cable plugs in where the CD changer would have been plugged in if the car had one. Car Toys did the installation. I wish we had known about it when we first bought the iPod.

The sound quality is much better than the previous solutions we had. The iPod adapter was much cheaper than an mp3 stereo, too.


ok, let me get this straight:

First you had some tape adapter and that was pretty crappy even compared to your car stereo.

Then you switched to the "iPod adapter" and that was as good as your car stereo

But you also have a FM transmitter for your iPod (perhaps for the other car?) and that also is as good as your car stereo?

Have you made any upgrades to your car stereo itself, or no?
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Postby Jonathan » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:50 pm

The "iPod adapter" does not have a dock connector, which I can only assume the BMW does. We have a separate cigarrette lighter dock adapter for power. The "iPod adapter" is just a RCA cable with a special car stereo plug on the other end. I forget what that connector is called. Functionally, our set up is the same as the BMW, but it doesn't look as nice.

The FM transmitter was crappy compared to the car stereo, but crappy in a different way from the tape adapter. The radio dial is pretty filled in our neighborhood.

We made no upgrades to the car stereo. I was initially thinking we'd have to buy a whole new stereo just to get one with line-in, but apparently there's a big market for people who want to connect their iPods to their cars.
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