Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

More than a music player

If you say that “an iPod is just another music player” in front of an iPod owner (myself included), you’ll get a nasty look and probably several minutes of evangelism about all the things that make iPods better than other players. Thankfully, Ben Hammersley has summarised some of these in article, and while a number of those are available on other devices, some are iPod-only. It makes interesting reading – both for iPod owners looking to do more with their devices, and for those wondering whether paying a little more for an iPod instead of just another player is worth it.
One feature that isn’t mentioned in that article but is in another from today’s Guardian is that the iPod series and the Rio Karma are the only music players that can store losslessly compressed audio. This is interesting – as these music players get bigger and bigger hard disks in them, filling them is going to get more and more difficult for the average user. Putting lossless music on there will help fill that gap and also offer the user better quality output. incidentally the Rio Karma uses the FLAC format which like Ogg Vorbis is open source and patent free, whereas the iPod uses Apple Lossless which is a proprietary format.

One Comment

  1. I have no loyalty. Whatever is good and works and is cheap, gets my quidlies. I was all set to buy an iPod last year sometime, back when they had a circle of button around the dial. I went to see ‘my man’ in Tottenham Court Rd, and he proceeded to talk me into the iRiver jobbie. I was pretty much instantly sold. Whilst the iPod looks a bit better, holding it and then holding the iRiver I started thinking the ipod suffers from the usual huge design flaws – there was no off button. Anyway. The reasons I got the iRiver were: I plug it into *any* computer and it mounts as a drive. I use whatever file manager to transfer data. It has a radio. It has optical input/output. It has buitin/external mic which records to any format. It supports Ogg Vorbis – truly open source. It lasts 13 hours. It has audible feedback – i.e. ‘beeps’ when I do stuff – v.important for a personal stereo – ask sony. LCD remote (which I don’t use). It does not have an analog input though, but I have no problem with that – moving your thumb in a circular motion os not natural – I thought the new creative system was good – but it’s creative – so it must suck. Did I mention the iRiver is 20GB and £100 cheaper? Anyway, can’t knock the iPod for looks – especially the new one. Glad they’ve got buttons again – touch sensitive sucks when it’s in your pocket.