Jun 02 2012

A year with an iPod: a quick retrospective

In late 2007, I purchased a Zune 80. I had weighed the options available, the design of units at the time, and the software used to sync them. My experience with iTunes and a borrowed iPod nano had been, suffice to say, less than stellar. Of course, the Zune software was just as clunky, but the media player itself was very very nice. It stood up to near constant use for several years: 3 jobs, a trip to Texas, and many falls, bangs, and hits.

I had posted an article a few years ago about the hold switch messing up on the unit: this was a constant problem in the last few months of the units life. The battery eventually reached a point where it would die after only an hour or so of use, rendering the player pretty much useless. I was forced, after 4 years, to buy a new media player.

This was in the late phase of the Zune  media player’s life. The Zune HD had been released for about half a year, and the Zune 120 had basically been discontinued. I could get them online, from various sources, but I did not want to buy one in such a way with the risk of it being defective and having a hard time making a return or exchange. I needed a high capacity player, though: the 64GB storage in the most expensive Zune HD model simply would not cut it. I needed a hard drive based media player, not only for capacity, but also the price. Flash storage is rather expensive, so a unit running $299 new for only 64GB of storage was simply not an option, just like a “from the net” Zune 120 was not an option. There was only one choice: a 160GB iPod Classic.

I went several months using a cheap, generic player. Throwing some music on it and just enjoying what I could. I debated just when to go on and buy the iPod. Eventually, in May of 2011, that time came.

I went to a local Best Buy, and got an iPod 160 classic, and a case. Ironically, the case scratched up the unit rather heavily, but it wasn’t too bad of an issue; a minor annoyance, really.

I got home, and began syncing the device. This is where the first annoyance came in. Many of my media files simply refuse to sync. The reason has to do with iTunes, and some way it handles “dirty” data in mp3 files. Whatever, I could convert the files I really wanted on there into clean data files, so this was a minor inconvenience. 95% of my media library would sync, so it was not a big issue.

iTunes itself actually behaved pretty well, but then again, this was a rather new computer, compared to my aging XP machine from a few years ago. Aside from the syncing issues, the software has give or take behaved fine, and done its job correctly. The iPod itself, however, is another story.

When running, the device behaves fine. Rarely are there any hiccups in performance. When plugging the device into a computer, however, things change. Randomly, the iPod, when being first plugged into a machine, will sometimes just lock up completely. The only way to fix the issue is to reboot the iPod by holding down the Menu and Center buttons. Things would go normal after that, but eventually this will happen again and again with the iPod. My attempts to research this issue have never shown an exact cause or fix for this other than what I already knew in rebooting the device. Oh well, A minor annoyance in the end, as I rarely sync until I have a large amount of fresh music to load on the device.

The device gets used irregularly, although it does travel with me nearly everywhere. I may go days without listening to it, or I may use it virtually all day to listen to something while I bike, work on a project, or who knows what. All in all, a solid purchase, without any major issues beyond the above mentioned oddity.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.xadara.com/a-year-with-an-ipod-a-quick-retrospective/

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