[lug] iPod or MP3?

David Morris lists at morris-clan.net
Thu May 28 18:00:44 MDT 2009

On Thu, May 28, 2009 at 15:56, Michael J. Hammel
<mjhammel at graphics-muse.org> wrote:
> On Thu, 2009-05-28 at 15:39 -0600, David Morris wrote:
>> I had a chance to play with my sister's iPod at one point.  All I can
>> say is anyone who willingly uses one of those things *must* have
>> masochistic tendencies.  One of the most obnoxious, stubborn,
>> bug-ridden, and difficult to use devices I've ever encountered.  Note
>> that this was a relatively new iPod.  They look good and if you can
>> get songs on it the functionality is almost (but not quite)
>> acceptable.  But overall, other than looks I would put the iPod in the
>> "flashy but mostly useless toy" category.
> Interesting, but you didn't specify what the problems were.  Having used
> other MP3 players and the nano I'm far happier with the simplistic
> interface the nano provides. It's pretty simple to browse the music and
> I can create playlists offline (can't do it on the device however, at
> least not that I know of).

I have never used the nano, its possible the problems I encountered
don't exist with it.  This was an iPod "classic", 5th or 6th
generation (don't recall which).  A few of the problems I encountered
are below, I don't recall the full list.  Some/all of these may have
ways to work around once you get used to quirks of the device, but in
my opinion I shouldn't need to work around anything....the device
should be able to use/play any file my PC can without jumping through
extra hoops.

Most MP3 files I transferred over were not recognized.  They needed to
be re-encoded before they would work, though I don't recall anymore
what the differences were.

MP3 files with missing tags were not recognized (many old audio books
I have sitting around).

Audio books spanning multiple CDs would not play in the correct order
unless tags were modified AND a playlist was created....and even then,
some never did play in the correct order.

Impossible to create playlists on the device (which for me, at least,
is a requirement)

Would not connect as a USB drive (though its possible that could have
been changed, but that wasn't an option in this case)

Could not just place files on the iPod, it needed to be sync'd with
the PC, which made it impossible to get new files on without erasing
old files which were not available on my system.  Fix:  Use
third-party software.  However, files added with that software cannot
be removed with default Apple software.

Playlists on the device did not always play in the correct order
(important for audio books).  Never did track down why.

WAV format files.  I don't recall if I ever got these working or not,
but I do remember encountering some sort of problem.

The device itself is incapable of recording, another feature I use
frequently (though lately I frequently use a dedicated recorder with
higher quality sound).

>> I use a "Cowon D2" MP3 player.  I like it for four reasons:  (1) It
>> can be accessed like a USB drive,
> So can most iPods.  Older ones might not but certainly any newer one
> can.

Just a side note, I never said this made the device better than the
iPod, just that its one of the primary reasons I like the Cowon D2.

>> and (4)
>> it is flash-based with SD card expansion.
> Nice feature but SD cards are nearly as big as the 8GB nano's width so I
> don't see a big advantage to use them unless I had more than 8GB to put
> on the thing.  And really, 8GB is a *lot* of music.  Far more than I
> listen to.  My two biggest uses are to play music at work and have it
> with me when I workout. So I'm happier with the smaller device (but
> large enough to have a display).  The nano works out well for me.  It
> fits nicely in a pocket when I go jogging.

It definitely is trade-off having and SD card slot available.  For me,
the SD card slot is critical, though it does increase the size.


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