Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smart iPod iDeas


To date, there has been a number of Apple iPod models. Well, with the release of the new iPod Video, there are now officially three iPod models for the 5th generation of iPods (shipping from August 05 onwards). The earlier 4th generation models, including the popular iPod Mini, iPod Photo, U2 and 20GB iPod are now officially history.

The three official 5G iPod models include the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano and iPod Video. What's the difference between this new range of iPods and the previous 4G models? Broadly speaking, the differences are:

Hard Disk
Two of the new iPod models, iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, are based on flash hard disk technology. This new hard disk is ultra slim and is able to withstand shock and vigorous movement. Unlike 4G models, this make the iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano ultra slim and allow them to be used for vigorous activities, including sporting activity, dance, accidental drops, etc. Previous 4G models were less robust and vigorous activity tend to cause possible malfunction.

Battery life
Battery life on the 5G iPod has improved tremendously. One of the major complaints about 4G iPod was the short battery life(8hrs) and battery life draining away quickly after heavy use. The new iPod lasts up to 14 hrs and has a better battery lifespan.

Color is standard
Unlike 4G model, where the iPod Photo model was the only model with color, the new iPod Nano and iPod Video comes standard with color screen and playback.

Choice of video
With the new iPod Video, there is now a range of activities, including data, music, photo and video that can be supported on one iPod. Previously, video was not available as an option.

Standardized casing
The 4G iPod included the multi-color iPod mini, with a choice of pink, blue, green and silver. The only option for black was the U2 model.

Today, the colors has been standardized to black or white (except iPod Shuffle - White only). In addition, all iPod casing has been standardized to hard acrylic instead of the anionized aluminium for iPod Mini and hard acrylic for the other models.

However, the hard acrylic casing used for the 5G iPod models seems to have a tendency to scratch as reported by many iPod user websites. It is advised that a iPod casing or protector film be purchased for the new 5G iPod immediately. A good selection can be found here.

Compact Clickwheel
The iPod Clickwheel was previously a scroll wheel that was designed and supplied by a 3rd party. The new iPod clickwheels are now designed and produced by Apple itself. The functionalities are similar but users reported better response feedback.

Headphone jack
Headphone jacks for all iPod models, including the very first 1G iPod up till the 4G models, has always been on top of the iPod. The iPod Nano breaks ground by having the headphone jack at the bottom.

Which iPod model to choose?
As of this writing, the iPod Video has only been out for less than 2 weeks. The current 5G range of iPod seems to be the most complete and versatile thus far, and we can see that the 3 different models are essentially targeted at different segments of the iPod user market. A basic guide to choosing the right iPod model can be broadly classified as:

iPod Shuffle
The iPod Shuffle is obviously targeted at users who have a lower budget or those who only have an occasional need for a music player. The Shuffle comes without a screen and user can only choose to listen to music in a sequence or have it shuffled randomly.

Because of it's lower price, this model has become a choice for those who desire for aniPod but may not have the neccessary budget.

iPod Nano
The iPod Nano is now the mainstream iPod model with the exit of 4G iPod models. With a size and thickness slightly larger than a credit card, this is now a runaway favorite iPod model. Users have a choice of data, music and photo with this colored screen iPod.

iPod Video
The newest kid on the block, the iPod Video, is desired by those with a higher budget or who wish to watch video on their iPod. It has a slightly larger screen than the iPod Nano and play a crisp 30 fps video display. With not many iPod videos available for download as yet, we'll need to see if this model can overtake the iPod Nano as the mainstream iPod model.



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