Remember your first iPod? Sales of the music player didn’t skyrocket until later in its life, but many of you might have purchased the original iPod that was first produced 14 years ago. Wow, the iPod sure has come a long way! Check out this review of the original Apple iPod written by Troy Dreier and published by PCMag.com
Leave it to Apple to come out with the world’s coolest—and dare we say best—MP3 player, the Apple iPod ($399 list). Its usefulness and simplicity make it a standout product, even for the price. Our only gripe: While the Mac-friendly iPod is available now, a rumored PC version won’t appear until spring, if ever.
The first MP3 player with an IEEE 1394 connection, the iPod transfers music at up to 400 Mbps. Most players have USB, which can manage only 12 Mbps. We transferred a 523-song music collection (2.3GB) in 5 minutes flat.
The white-and-stainless steel iPod houses a 5GB hard drive, enough storage for approximately 1,000 songs encoded at 160 Kbps. There are MP3 players that hold more, but none are this portable. About the size of a deck of cards, the iPod weighs a mere 6.5 ounces.
The iPod’s few controls can be accessed by thumb while carrying the unit. On-screen menus let you shuffle or repeat songs, turn on the bright backlight for the screen, activate a sleep timer, or adjust the display contrast. The iPod has 20 minutes of skip protection, which performed ably during a jog. We would like a belt clip or strap included, though.
The unit’s lithium polymer battery lasts for over 10 hours of use. The player recharges fully in 3 hours when plugged into a running Mac or into the included external power adapter.
More than just a music player, the iPod can double as an external storage device. When connected to a Mac, it can mount on the desktop like any other drive and store material in a separate area from music.
The unit ships with iTunes 2, which needs to be installed on your Mac to transfer songs. This version of the software burned a 69.4MB music CD in only 11 minutes 10 seconds, compared with the 14 minutes 55 seconds iTunes 1.1.2 required.
Alas, Apple has taken concern for music copyrights farther than some users might want. The iPod syncs music with only one computer. Try to sync it with a second and you’ll overwrite the music that was already there. This will certainly irritate users who want to synchronize music on both home and office computers, which is perfectly legal. And since music files can be shared by saving them in the iPod’s file area, and transferring the files manually, the precautions are more a hurdle to piracy than a roadblock.
The Apple iPod’s pricing is at the high end for an MP3 player, but this is a tremendously good product. We hope to see a Windows-compatible version in the near future.