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Apple mud- slinging

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by kokoshka, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. kokoshka

    kokoshka
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    I joined this forum recently to seek help with choosing my first MP3 player. I received help in abundance and am indeed indebted to all those who offered advice. Inevitably I read other threads, as well as user reviews on other sites. What surprised me was the amount of mud being slung in the direction of the iPod. I was put in mind of the days when dear old Liverpool FC ruled the earth and were universally hated by non-reds, a little like the current situation with Chelsea. This weekend I am to press the button which will decide whether I buy the 20gb iPod or the Archos 202 (those of you who have helped me thus far may remember that my choice is limited by my being a Mac user), and despite not wanting to be drawn into the emotive side of the debate, I have begun to feel that I am choosing an allegiance almost as much as a player. Before I do press that button, may I ask those of you who have the experience and the patience to give me your unbiased vote, iPod or Archos, based purely on the player's capabilities as a portable audio device. The price difference may be ignored, I simply want to choose the better player, and my dithering needs to be checked to preserve my sanity. Finally, why do iPods come in for so much stick? Surely they are a good product, if a little over-hyped. Perversely, I find myself wondering if the Archos is a lesser product simply because no one is having a go!
     
  2. DantheMan

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    The iPod is the best player for ease of use on the market bar none...I know cause I've had one before. The reason everyone dislikes them is because they are so overly hyped and popular that they are irritating. Everything else about the iPod other than the interface has room for improvement in my opinion. The battery life was what wound me up eventually, was supposed to get 12 hrs but after a year I was getting 4-5 max. I prefered the 3rd gen to later versions though. I've since had an iRiver H10 5gb player which was nice, but slow crappy hard drive access and now have a Sony HD5 which I like better all round than both the iPod and the H10, but the interface is a bit more fiddly. If you've never had an mp3 player before, you would like an iPod, first time I had one I was foaming at the mouth :).

    I personally want a gadget/mp3 player that is mine, I don't like that fact that 90% of people have an iPod and that would put me off a little. I did consider the new iPod colour and the Hd5 when I went for latest player but the overpriced player/accessories (£25 for a charger, what the fudge!) put me off. I also considered the archos, but reviews online put me off, some were very good and some were very bad.

    If you want the features and a player that is different to the normal headless chicken buying person, then go for the archos. If you demand fisher price easy of use and average everything else then go for the iPod. Just my opinion, but you will get varying ones online...bottom line is you'll just have to go with your gut.

    Hopefully someone with the archos will give you a better run down of that player.
     
  3. julies90

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    The only thing I have against the Ipod is that the hardware seems too unreliable. In the 8 months I used it, it would freeze up about once a week and need to be reset. It went back for a hard drive replacement 3 times. I had to wait about 2 weeks each time. Then one day I fumbeled with it a little bit connecting it to my computer for changing around some playlists, and it dropped a very short distance to the floor. Now the screen is cracked, and Apple refuses to replace that. Checking around on the web, it is very expensive to get that replaced. I was very careful when handling my Ipod, but I did carry it with me and used it every day. Maybe that was why I had so many problems, but I feel that if it is too fragile to use every day, then I need something else. I now have an hd5 walkman, and it has performed flawflessly. Never had a problem with the software even once in the 2 months I have had it. I really like not having to fuss with the battery every day. I just charge it once or twice a week and don't have to worry about it. Too bad it isn't Mac compatible for those that use the Mac. I would recommend buying any player other than the Ipod for that reason, but I might have been to careless with my Ipod, since there seems to be millions of satisfied customers. Just my opinion here, of course.
     
  4. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Never heard of that freezing problem julies you must have found a right duff one, I've never had any problems with either of my two pods. Though I did get some buggered earphones so I had to get a new set sent out.

    Dantheman - Good point there, Apple really do screw you over for stuff like that I mean how stingy is it to not include a charger, I'm using my old charger as they used to give you them in the package, while my other pod gets charged with a unofficial one off of ebay for a fiver.

    Koko - Do you really have to get one this weekend?, it would be worthwhile waiting to see what Apple release on Wednesday, rumoured to be the video ipod it would be sensible to wait to see what it's features are like before commiting to one of the current players.
     
  5. Uridium

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    If you want a Colour MP3/Video player it may be worth looking at the Sony Vaio portable? Don't know a lot about it but for £150 for a 20Gb Music video player it looks a bargain. Not even sure if they still make them but just a thought.

    Ebuyer had some a month or so ago when I last looked, maybe not anymore though

    If they are crap somebody let yer man know. A I said only seen them on the web so can't vouch for them personally :confused:
     
  6. kokoshka

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    As ever, sound advice all 'round. Cloysterpeteuk, I knew nothing of imminent new models (pods). I will wait. I use my walkman mostly in the summer months anyway, I was going to force myself to buy now just to put an end to the agony of choosing.
     
  7. Steven

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    Posts are getting smaller on this thread...knock them down while they're up. The english/british way
     
  8. shadowritten

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    I think you'll find that the British way is to first build them up, THEN knock 'em down!! :D
     
  9. lukey

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    Koko, waiting till the big news release this week might be an idea, however if it likely that its an ipod video that is being released then i think itwill be way above yuour price bracket of £180 that you mentioned in a previous post, hazard a guess to be more like £300 but still worth a wait, I have only experiece of the ipod as that what i own, however when comparing to the specs of the archos 202 i think they are difficult to compare. the 202 is colour and if you go for a new ipod then it will be the same, the 202 is smaller but the ipod is sleeker in disign. there is more product support for the ipod and is likely to be more future proof than the 202.

    If i was to list the negatives of the ipod from my experience that might be of some help
    1) sound distorts quite easy and can require a bit of adjustment to get it right, by not using the bass booster and r and b eq presets
    2) not very good bass response, again with a little tweaking
    3) no manual eq, all are preset and are not much cop
    4) screen and back scratches very easy, and because of its sleek minimalist look, this is something thats bound to annoy you sooner or later
    5) stock earphones a rubbish, and there is some problems in using other 3rd party earphones which can cause tracks to pause. ( the ipod is supposed to pause if the earphones are unplugged but you just need to wiggle the cable with some 3rd party earphones to get the same effect)
    6) ipod is a little larger than the competition but not overly
    7) battery life in real life working situations is more like 8 to 10 hours if you.
    have a colour screen.

    have stated all the negatives however, i still find owning very enjoyable, the centre wheel in fab to use and itunes is a great piece of integrated software...and finally, shallow as this may sound, the looks of the ipod in my opinion are brilliant and i just want to stroke it all the time....oooh eerrrr
     
  10. David Mackenzie

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    You might have answered your own question there - a lot of people seem sick of the iPod because it's seen as popular/fashionable, it's everywhere etc.

    Me, I owned one for half a year and was furious to learn that this was IMHO all for nothing -- it didn't have the quality to back up the high price and popularity.
     
  11. reevesy

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    ''The iPod is the best player for ease of use on the market bar none''
    bit of a blanket statement dont you think?
    theres plenty of mp3 players that use drag and drop and creating folders as you would on a pc.
    yes i dont own an ipod and no i have'nt anything particually bad to say about one as i dont own one.
    i think the moment you had politicians and like cropping up in mags going on about their playlists (wonder how many hours a pr spent working that out!) it was only a matter of time before the slaggings started a victim of it's own success you might say.
     
  12. DantheMan

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    It is the easiest to use on the market, the wheel that is. I'm sorry but dragging and dropping isn't exactly a #1 reason to buy a product for me because I can use a computer software application to click one button to do the same thing.

    e.g. Sonicstage, select tracks in left panel and press the > button...wooooooooooooo I wish I could drag and drop :rotfl:

    The ipod works exactly the same as above in iTunes (or even automatically transfers tracks). If Apple fixed a few more of the iPods annoying aspects I would have bought one on the spot because it's a great bit of kit. Overly saturated the market tho.

    The reason its so popular is a combination of marketing, the wheel, and itunes. None of the competitors can better the wheel or itunes, they come close but are not better and they do virtually no marketing.
     
  13. reevesy

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    i standby my sweeping statement remark...i mean personally i've got an archos 202 with a little joy stick thingy which is also easy to use.
     
  14. WelshBluebird

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    Maybe, but two of the three things you metioned are reasons why I don't like iPods. I do not like iTunes, never have and never will. I dont see the point in having a program do put songs on a music player when it is easier to drag on drop them. I would way prefer a DAP with drag and drop over iTunes.

    The wheel - again do not like it. I have used my friends iPod on various occasions, and still have not got used to the wheel. I dont like it and would prefer buttons.

    Internal battery - ok you can get batterys from the internet and other campanies do use internal batteries, but it is a rip-off. Paying sometimes £200+ for something, knowing it WILL die within several years. Ok HDD players probably will break within 3 years, but thats not a certanty - a internal battery dying, is a certanty.

    file formats - I know other companies only support certain formats (sony), but its annoying having to convert your songs. Granted, it doesnt take long, but if you have a lot of music, then it will take time.

    and as has already been mentioned - the over marketing of the iPod. For christ sake, its everywhere, how can you not get fed up with seeing it!!

    Alhough the iPod has been a huge succes for apple, if they hadn't limited it to the file formats it supports, and limited it to only being comptabile with iTunes music store and with iTunes for putting music on it, then I think a lot more people would have bought one
     
  15. DantheMan

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    Yeah fair enough, the buttons on my HD-5 are easy to use. The joystick on iaudios are easy to use. iRivers H10 touch pad is easy to use (better than zens). The touchpad on Zens are easy to use also...

    But its still easier to use an iPod, heh. Maybe 5% easier but still. Try one out in a shop and you'll see why all the apple fanboys rave about them :). I think the people that hate the wheel are in the minority of the people who think its a great idea. Obviously everyone has a differing opinion on this though.

    OK the wheel may confuse some people, I have only had experience with 3rd gen wheel on iPods but its not exactly complicated...scroll clockwise to move forward and anti-clockwise to move back. I don't see why anyone would hate iTunes, fair enough if you like drag and drop with a passion then so be it.

    Depends on your priorities, mine are sound quality/storage/ease of use and that's why I bought the HD5. I would not discount a player just because I had to click an extra button to transfer tracks.

    I agree, internal batteries are rubbish on the iPods and more or less in general. They do not die that easily though. I had a 3rd gen ipod for 2 yrs and its battery life didn't decrease massively...had to charge it twice to get a full charge though which was strange.
     
  16. eyeballKid

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    And of course, there are always those people who will try and listen to an album, and then realise the iPod isn't very good at playing one song followed by another without adding inter-track gaps. It's a feature (or lack of manufacturing defect) called gapless, it's a big deal if you want something which isn't exclusively a random-play jukebox, it's available on other players, and apple have repeatedly refused to implement it. And strangely, this glaringly obvious aspect of audio/playback quality seems to be omitted from most player reviews and recommendations. It's because of this that I opted for a Karma and put up with basic transfer software and the player looking a bit wierd. Sometimes, how nice the player looks and how easy it is to use isn't enough if it won't deliver when it comes to actually playing music...
     
  17. DantheMan

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    Yeah for classical music and dance music gapless is pretty much essential. If you don't listen to those genres (or genres applicable) then it does not matter though. I have few albums off the top of my head where gapless comes into play, Rated R by Queens of the Stoneage is one, but when I didn't have a gapless capable player I didn't particular care while listening to this album about the 1 sec gap.

    I can see why it is a deal breaker for some people though.

    I think it's pretty harsh to say that it doesn't deliver in playing music just because 'gapless' is not supported. Very few players do support it, doesn't mean they are crap.
     
  18. Cloysterpeteuk

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    What exactly do you find easier about it?. Both methods are extremely simple so I can't understand how you find one method easier to do.

    Itunes - select music I want on the ipod > click on the mp3 file > connect ipod > disconnect ipod. One mouse click required.

    D n' D - select music I want on DAP > connect DAP > hold down left mouse button and drag files into external drive folder. Or alternatively right click and move cursor down to send to then external drive.

    Do you see what I mean?.

    Highlighting drag n' drop as a reason to buy one player over another is absurd as we have proven it is just as easy to use the provided software, which of course can also do a trillion other things as well as keeping you music collection nice and organised.

    What file format do you use then?, Apple supports mp3 and AAC which the vast majority of potential buyers would be happy with.
     
  19. johann1979

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    A agree, considering the original poster asked for unbiased opinions, the 'ipod is the easiest to use on the market" kind of statement is definitely not in tune with the thread.

    Maybe the iPod is the easiest player to use for people who like their things very simple and for whom 'basic' is the key...

    I almost feel offended when people underestimate fellow human's intelligence so much. Remember one thing - if you are intelligent enough to make the decision that want to buy a personal music player, you WILL be intelligent enough to operate it.

    We're not talking about teaching gorrillas how to sign here - people learn quickly.

    I owned a Vaio Pocket and although it definitely has a far clearer and purer sound than the current HDx series, it most definitely has more awkward controls too. The thing is once you get the hang of the touch-pad you're fine.

    DAP's are about the music - personally I believe there are far more weighty issues than just 'ease of use' - which is arguably only a small factor and can easily be overcome when the user gets to know the controls...

    Koshoshka, look at battery life, clarity of sound, looks, compatibility and the other more important comments posted here and try and filter out personal opinions such as Dantheman's when you decide which player is most suitable for you...
     
  20. kevH

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    I have to say Johann i agree with most of your sentiments and i am also looking at a Dap for primarily music quality and as a "technophille" i can get my head round most items fairly easily in terms of hardware & software operation so those issues arent a concern in the purchasing process but.......

    What you must consider is the fact that most people arent as "gadget" savvy and couldnt give a rats a** about sound quality in as much as if it sounds decent then thats ok. The Mrs has just bought a Ipod Nano and to my horror didnt even want to listen to it ( i saw 6 people buying these and not one auditioned it) so go figure. Had they auditioned it somewhere else i very much doubt it ??

    To my surprise when auditioning it home once i downloaded a few albums to it i was pleasantly surprised, if not a little shocked , after all the so called Ipod slanging which based upon this product (Nano) i think (now) is totally unjustified.

    I would hazard a guess that most of the people buying Ipod's dont think battery life, sound etc etc and buy on looks which i admit the nano has in bucketfuls.(imho)

    I personally would never buy anything without making sure it met my audio needs ie auditioning the product but many do and as for all the degrading remarks re Ipod how many of those who call them have actually tried one or lived with one. I would personally,at this moment, never buy an Ipod as for me another Dapplayer has considerably more quality but if that improves i would certainly consider one.

    Just about every Daplayer out there has some drawback or other ie gapless or lack of, battery deficiencies,software foibles Apple is certainly not alone in that not exactly exclusive club.
     
  21. Cloysterpeteuk

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    That's soooo not true, surely we all know somebody who wouldn't have a clue how to use any DAP, even after reading the manuals. My older brother springs to mind, I told him which player to buy but he went and ignored me and bought this cheapo 256mb player with a radio, took him two weeks to get anything but static from the radio, and after three months he still doesn't know how he could get music on it using his Win 98. I ended up having to put two CD's on for him, Oasis and Learn to speak Spanish, nice combination.

    Bear in mind that just because we could figure out ANY player within say thirty minutes of fiddling that doesn't mean that other people would be able to. Some peoples brains are simply not tuned to technology and they are usually better in other areas.
     
  22. johann1979

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    I think you are deflecting the issue here - I'm sorry but your story, however interesting, just doesn't prove much at all.

    For a start where it fails terribly, is to indicate to me (us) whether your brother really showed any REAL INTEREST in wanting to learn how to use the player. I find it IMPOSSIBLE to believe that even somebody of below average intelligence, that truely wants to learn how to use an mp3 player - wouldn't be able to do so.

    I don't know your personal circumstances but I can tell you the reason your brother didn't get the hang of a 256mb mp3 player is because he couldn't be bothered.

    Even tasks MUCH harder than operating an mp3 player, like driving a car for instance can be mastered by 99% of the population. For some it takes longer, for others the task is a breeze - but the vast majority of people who want a driver's license will get it if they dedicate themselves. In reality driving a car whouldn't ever be compared to operating an mp3 player, but I simply wanted to show you that things much harder than wacking music on an mp3 player can be learnet in a month or two by the vast majority of people...

    I'll give you it that cheap players, like those you pick up on specials at Superdrug will be inherently harder to use than a well known brand (which, incidently the original poster was considering), but that an able bodied person could not master it after three months? ********! He just couldn't be bothered to learn how to use it...
     
  23. Cloysterpeteuk

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    Learning the controls of a player that's a pain to use does not make it user friendly you know, for instance say you had one player where you wanted a particular function on the main menu. On a user friendly player you can customize the main menu so you get to that with one press, then take a payer where said function can only be accessed with four buttons presses and a few click to go up and down menu's, sure you will learn where the function is but knowing that info does not make it user friendly, it's forever annoying. Exactly the same with function buttons, say the volume control gets shoved in a stupid place then it will forever be in a stupid place, so ease of use is not something you can overcome by learning where everything is because if the manufacturer have designed the GUI or whatever in a disorganised way then it's gonna stay that way.

    This is one of the most important factors for me, it's not about the player being basic (for example the latest pods do miles more than the first pods and are still easier to use) it's about good controls, intuitive features and a neat and organised GUI or menus.
     
  24. kevH

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    Fact is Johann that the DAPlayer is up against the CD player in the mass market of which everyone has one !! Simple to use stick a cd in hit play and bingo.

    Just about every kid has a DAPlayer in my sons class at school (he's 10) and they have grown up with technology and seem to master these gadgets with consumate ease unlike us older folk who find them more complicated !!!

    He tried showing his nan his player and the fact he has over 100 albums on it which he takes everywhere with him and to be frank his nan was completely lost as to how that can happen. 2 extremes maybe but nan said eventually "what can be easier than sticking a cd in an pushing play ? i dont have to what did u call it ? rip ?? and then download and synch by the time ive done that ive listened to my cd hoovered up and made your grandad's dinner !!"

    You have to realise not everyones PC savvy but do want to listen to music !!
     
  25. Cloysterpeteuk

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    I know for a fact he spent ages messing about with it, especially the radio part of it. He uses it everyday for a 2hr bus ride so he was rather eager to get it working.
     
  26. johann1979

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    I can sort of see what you are trying to say, but you are still missing the point! None of the big brand mp3 players out there are that hard to use! Like with sound quality and battery life (bar the HD5 for battery), the difference is not so great where ease of use is concerned with any of the more well known brand mp3 players.

    I am sorry, but I can't believe that somebody that goes through the trouble to do some research on the different players, and that pays in the region of £200 for their DAP would after 3 months still not be able to use it. If this is the case they never really showed any interest in their purchase, IMHO...
     
  27. kevH

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    Johann you just have to accept that some people would love the concept of a Daplayer but like my brother who loved my Karma both sound and its abilities regarding loads albums on it stated " i just couldnt be ar**d to sit for hours ripping and downloading when i could be either listening to music or playing guitar !! Go figure i couldnt !!!! LOL
     
  28. johann1979

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    No I agree with you - however, your son's Nan doesn't strike me as the type that will go out and buy a DAP for herself and learn how to use it. :)

    So, in line with my argument, it is okay that she doesn't quite understand - she is no different to the vast majority of nans out there. I'm simply saying that people realize that DAPs are not quite as straight forward as cd players. People also realize that you almost certainly would require a computer. In the light of this, I reckon, that those who truely want to learn how to use their players - would do so in a fairly short time.

    Those with no interest in how DAPs work, as well as those with no interest in getting to know how to use them, really, shouldn't be getting one to start off with. It is simply not the right technology for them.

    But to get back to the topic, the original poster, asked for some unbiased advice on the different makes and certainly doesn't strike me as the type that after 3 months would still not have figured out how to use the player... ;)
     
  29. kevH

    kevH
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    My brother also said (desperatley tries to get the thread back on topic)

    " an why would i wanna carry something about that looks like a ....!!"

    Cant say what he said but suffice to say it wasnt praising of the Apple Ipod which interestingly, from one whos never owned a Daplayer of any description, is endemic of the anti Ipod feeling thats out there.
     
  30. Cloysterpeteuk

    Cloysterpeteuk
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    I'll credit you that, I doubt Sony would create a product that was truly terrible to navigate, HD1 was very close to being my DAP of choice, each Sony model after i've liked less and less :( that's going on style though because I don't get much change to use them without knowing a single person with a Sony.
     

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