Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Normally I like doing the research myself, but in this case I'm just going to ask the question and risk sounding like a complete retard.

Can someone explain to me the difference between an iPod and an MP3 player? Whether I'm holiday shopping online, leafing through circulars, or browsing in store, everywhere I go I get bombarded with advertisements and promotions for a dozen different iPod models. Not only don't I understand the difference between the various models, I don't even know what an iPod IS. I thought it was just a glorified MP3 player with a color screen and fancy buttons, but the way they're pushing these things on people I'm starting to wonder if I NEED one.

Can someone explain to me the allure of the iPod so I can figure out whether I need to add it to my Christmas list?


Peter N said...

If you like listening to music with buds stuck in your ears as you do just about anything, then you should take a look. I like music from those round things called speakers. Not as portable, but I CAN hear other things as I use them.

AYNtK said...

Well, the tiny portable MP3 player I got for Christmas last year has buds that fit in my ears and works great when I'm jogging or cleaning up around the apartment. Still trying to assess my need for this iPOD gadget and as hard as I try, can't seem to find one.

Donkey Hoatie said...


Here’s a slightly more than simple breakdown for you, courtesy of the Donkey:

An iPod isn’t an mp3 player. It’s a portable hard drive that just so happens to play mp3 files (please exclude the iPod Shuffle from this statement, as it’s a slightly different creature).

Most people just use their iPod as an mp3 player and they’re fine with it. That’s kosher. If all you want to do is listen to music, there’s a number of options out there for you as far as mp3 players are concerned. An iPod just happens to look way cooler than other mp3 players, and there’s a lot more you can do with it.

But, you just want to know about iPods. Start by thinking of them as an extension of your computer. Plug it into any USB port and you’ve instantly got a simple way to transfer files from one computer to another. Working on a PowerPoint at home? Got some digital pictures of your boss balls deep in his secretary you want to take back home? Maybe you downloaded some kick ass games and you want to show them to your friends. Hook up your iPod and drag the files into it. Simple. It keeps you from burning CDs or DVDs any time you need to transfer files. If you don’t need to transfer files, maybe you don’t need an iPod.

When I talk about files, most of the files you keep on your iPod are mp3 files. Since you’ve already got an mp3 player, I won’t go into what mp3 files are. If you’ve got mp3 files on your computer, you need a way to keep them organized and easily accessible. I’ve tried a number of programs, and nothing beats iTunes as far as I’m concerned. It’s simple. It’s intuitive. It’s fast. It plays music over your computer and runs in the background. It makes burning mixed CDs a snap with an external or internal CD-burner. It works seamlessly with the iPod. It fucking rips tits. The only drawback I can find is that it doesn’t play Windows Media files unless you have a program that converts them over. Then again, I’ll never work on anything besides an Apple, so I’m not too apt to run across .wma files on my system.

All right, so here’s where we’re at: an iPod is a simple way to transfer files wherever you need to go, and it plays music.

Is that all?


You can watch videos on them, too. The new iPods, that is. You just mentioned how much you loved Lost. Now you can download complete episodes and watch them on this bad boy. Soon, you’ll be able to download and watch full-length feature films on them. That’s pretty badass.

You also don’t have to worry about carrying around extra memory cards for your digital camera. If the camera’s full, you can transfer all your pictures right onto your iPod. If you want, you can look at them on the full-color screen. You can hook it up to a TV and give a slide show. You cannot do this at my house or I will kick your ass. Nobody wants to see your vacation photos, dumbass.

Is that it?

Not hardly.

You can play games on it. It comes with solitaire and some other stuff when you buy it. Nothing fancy, but it kills time on the train or the waiting room. I’ve never looked into downloading other games for it, but I’m sure you could.

It’s also an alarm clock. Seriously. Ditch your bulky one from your nightstand and use this little bitch to wake you up instead.

It’s also an organizer. It’s got a calendar and scheduler in it. If you don’t want to carry around a day-planner, you don’t have to.

There’s more, but you’re just talking about gratuitous geek features now.

So, the question is: Do you want an iPod now?

Peter N said...

Great answer. And I agree, there's nothing that even approaches ITunes and an Apple. Except maybe AYNtK on an Apple. Hey Terry, I have a blog, though it's mostly Red Sox related. But not strictly, because I'm too funny a guy. Visit if you have a chance, and leave a comment so I'll know you were there......... It's here........... . peteronall.blogspot.com THANKS my friend.

AYNtK said...

Thanks, el Donque, for the thorough write-up! I am now convinced that I am not missing out by leaving the iPod off my Christmas list.

I don't really have a need for transferring files from one computer to another, and when I do they're usually small enough to move via e-mail.

As for watching video, I imagine crossing my eyes to focus on a screen that small for long periods of time would be a rather uncomfortable exercise. I guess I just don't find that functionality, while fun to show off to friends, very practical.

As for the rest of what it does, my cellphone already has a lot of those ancillary features, like alarm, calendar, etc.

So for me, the iPOD is essentially a glorified MP3 player that I can most certainly live without.

Thanks again for the 411!