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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Best iPod alternative with Mac OS X?

Best iPod alternative with Mac OS X?
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Zim
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Aug 11, 2006, 11:58 AM
 
Fanboys relax, no iod bashing intended here...

I have a 3g 30G iPod that is on its 4th repair under a BB warranty and hence is supposedly going to get junked and I'll be able to replace it with something comparable (ie. perhaps a 30G video iPod)... but I wanted to see what the next best options were..

ie. I'd like an integrated FM tuner (I know Apple sells the external one, but I consider that a very poor solution)

I can handle a clunkier inteface on the player itself, I'm moreso wondering what other devices are most easily managed from the Mac side, ala iTunes.

With my 30G I just dump everything I have on to the iPod, with my playlists, etc. I have a playlist for all new/unrated music that I will sift thru on the iPod and then transfer back to iTunes with the ratings I've given while I've been listening.

If you are someone that cannot concede the that iPod while good is not perfect, please don't bother to reply.
If you are someone that hates the iPod, I'm not sure I care to hear from you either.

I'm simply trying to evaluate which other device(s) are closest in terms of ease of management and might perhaps offer me more functionality than Apple is willing to put into the iPod. If the additional function degrades the eases of use, those are trade-offs I am willing to consider.

Mike
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 01:57 PM
 
     
Zim  (op)
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Aug 11, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
To clarify:

a) I very may well end up with an iPod again, but would like to objectively evaluate alternatives
b) I think I'd want something at >= 10G, so it'll be HW based. If the Mini's had been up'ed to even 8, I might consider that, but I like not having to think too hard about which of my 20G of files I take with vs leave at home.
c) having integrated FM would be a mandatory feature to lure me away from the iPod.

Mike
     
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Aug 11, 2006, 09:38 PM
 
How about a 10Gb 3G iPod?
     
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Aug 17, 2006, 02:03 PM
 
Unfortunately none in terms of software. Some (including USB Mass Storage players like the iAudio X5) can be hooked into iTunes, but you lose a lot in terms of the integration. Zen Vision M is a very clunky player in comparison to the iPod, although it is better featured... and XNJB is hardly integrated into iTunes. And since the players themselves are also invariably lacking in terms of usability you might be best served with a 5G iPod. If you do get fed up of the iPodness of it you can always load it up with Rockbox.

I think I know where you're coming from: The iPod is too ubiquitous and not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it still does its job better than anything else out there.
     
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Aug 17, 2006, 03:24 PM
 
Once you go AVI you will never go back. and believe me. I got 3 iPods, One mini, One 20G 3G, and a Nano. AVs eat ipods for breakfast!
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Aug 17, 2006, 06:36 PM
 
I was told iTunes will work with any mp3 player, it will, if you take the extremely long time to convert it all because iTunes and cd rips are all done to AAc!
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
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Aug 17, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
You can change in the iTunes preferences what format iTunes imports in, and the bit rate.



-Chris
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Aug 17, 2006, 08:10 PM
 
It's not the format that's the issue it's the iTunes integration, which is one of the best things about the iPod-iTunes combi. The songs that iTunes rips will work with any MP3 player if you rip in MP3.
     
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Aug 17, 2006, 11:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by urfjzdqpmvtflmh aka bob
It's not the format that's the issue it's the iTunes integration, which is one of the best things about the iPod-iTunes combi. The songs that iTunes rips will work with any MP3 player if you rip in MP3.
I don't know about other players, the AV comes with an iTunes plug in inside. You just install it and your done!
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Aug 18, 2006, 06:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chris Gilpin
You can change in the iTunes preferences what format iTunes imports in, and the bit rate.



-Chris
I know that now, but it is too late!
I miss the days of the G5 and XPS Pentium 4 running side by side as high-end machines.
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by I WAS the One
Once you go AVI you will never go back. and believe me. I got 3 iPods, One mini, One 20G 3G, and a Nano. AVs eat ipods for breakfast!
Assuming 98% of what I'll be doing with it is listening to music: How is it better?

(I see it can record stereo PCM audio out of the box, so that's one point in its favor, since I'll need an add-on for the iPod.)
     
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Aug 19, 2006, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by Zim
i.e. I'd like an integrated FM tuner (I know Apple sells the external one, but I consider that a very poor solution)
Actually, since it is integrated with the earphones and provides an inline remote control, I'd say it's actually a pretty good solution. (I don't have one, but that is what I gather anyway.) But it does cost extra money.

Can you clarify what other features are lacking in the iPod? In my opinion, you lose so much by going with another player (ease of use, iTunes integration, iTMS use, range of third-party accessories) that it's just not worth it.
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 12:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika
Assuming 98% of what I'll be doing with it is listening to music: How is it better?

(I see it can record stereo PCM audio out of the box, so that's one point in its favor, since I'll need an add-on for the iPod.)
OK, you know one point. let me tell you the rest.

• include everything you need out of the box.

(the iPod do many things, but you gotta buy all the extras out there just to see the contents on your TV as a start...)

and when I say everything I mean:

- Audio and video cables
- USB 2.0 cable
- USB host adapter (with this baby you can transfer pics from your digital camera to the AV without the need of any computer!)
- AC adapter/charger
- Stereo headphones with volume control (thats a plus!)
- TV docking Pod (you just connect this baby with your TV and you can record live TV, DVDs, and everything! (real time ) directly to your AV!
- remote control!!! (bigger than the Apple's one but works great!)
- Protective Case!
- remobable battery, (if the battery died, you buy a new one and you put it in yourself as simple as that!)
oh and I forgot one little thing....
- 100 gigs!!! I already got 250 whole CDs inside 30 movies DVD quality, video tutorials that I need and I still got 40 gigs free! this stuff is awsome!!!!

what do you get with an iPod?

- proctective case (AV comes with a better real protective one I mean hard cover one)
- headphones (volume control? not)
- a plastic thing that you will never use. (what's the real use for that?? every stuff I buy for my iPods it never worked as it should!)
- a sticker (and that improved your iPod usage for...???)
- the USB charger cable (Bingo! one useful cable in the whole package!)

of course you can do as many things as my AV with your iPod. but not right out the box, and not Apple branded either... you need third party accesories to do almost that!

you do the math...

also read this:
Reality Check
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Aug 20, 2006, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by I WAS the One
OK, you know one point. let me tell you the rest.
Okay, let's go through this, keeping in mind that I said that "98% of what I'll be doing is listening to music"

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
• include everything you need out of the box.

(the iPod do many things, but you gotta buy all the extras out there just to see the contents on your TV as a start...)

and when I say everything I mean:

- Audio and video cables
Video cable I can see (I can get an iPod-specific one with a SCART adapter for $15 if I need it, though, and many, many people won't - so why should they pay for it?).

Audio cables I have masses lying around and certainly don't need another.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- USB 2.0 cable
included with the iPod. Not an advantage.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- USB host adapter (with this baby you can transfer pics from your digital camera to the AV without the need of any computer!)
Don't need it.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- AC adapter/charger
Already have one from my first iPod; don't need or want another.

[QUOTE=I WAS the One
- Stereo headphones with volume control (thats a plus!)[/QUOTE]

Not really. I had headphones with a volume control on them on my iPod (before it disappeared ), and I always used the wheel on the iPod.

There's something about a user interface you can operate blind, in your pocket.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- TV docking Pod (you just connect this baby with your TV and you can record live TV, DVDs, and everything! (real time ) directly to your AV!
Nice. Irrelevant to listening to music, though.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- remote control!!! (bigger than the Apple's one but works great!)
Point.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- Protective Case!
Point, if you want or need it. This gets into design issues though, and I *really* don't want to argue that one, since it's mostly opinion. I do believe the iPod beats most, if not all, contenders handsomely, including that one.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
- remobable battery, (if the battery died, you buy a new one and you put it in yourself as simple as that!)
Practical. Again, comes at expense to the design, though.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
oh and I forgot one little thing....
- 100 gigs!!! I already got 250 whole CDs inside 30 movies DVD quality, video tutorials that I need and I still got 40 gigs free! this stuff is awsome!!!!
Definitely point AV. I'd love more space.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
of course you can do as many things as my AV with your iPod. but not right out the box, and not Apple branded either... you need third party accesories to do almost that!

you do the math...
...given that 98% of what I'll be doing is listening to music.


Advantage AV from my perspective:

video cable included (irrelevant for many users)
more space (irrelevant for many users)
remote (irrelevant for many users)
replaceable battery (at expense to design)
Audio line-in (irrelevant for many users)


Advantage iPod from my perspective:

Look
feel
size
interface
management via iTunes

in effect, everything that actually involves USING the damn thing.

For everybody.

Originally Posted by I WAS the One
also read this:
Reality Check
That talks about a "video iPod", which doesn't exist.

Apple hasn't yet built a "video iPod". They offer an "iPod with video", which is a relevant distinction. Its primary intent is a portable music player - to be an iPod.

It does video too.
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 07:26 PM
 
I've had this discussion with you before, I WAS the One. I think the Archos is a solid device, but it's pretty questionable whether it's a better choice than the iPod, especially for someone primarily wanting a music player.
     
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Aug 20, 2006, 11:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Icruise
I've had this discussion with you before, I WAS the One. I think the Archos is a solid device, but it's pretty questionable whether it's a better choice than the iPod, especially for someone primarily wanting a music player.
That was before buying an AV, I was just asking and then BUM! you and I begin arguing about it. but thats another story...for ME the AV it's better. I use it a lot. everyday. my iPods are stuck on my car and on my gym routines... sometimes... not always though
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Aug 20, 2006, 11:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika
Okay, let's go through this, keeping in mind that I said that "98% of what I'll be doing is listening to music"
listen man, I was just making some points here... I do not work at Archos, and really if Apple makes something better than the AV I will be buying it. I discover a lot of functions I loved with the AV that the iPod don't have. and FYI Today the NANO it's for music and the regular iPod it's for multimedia. thats a fact, not the beginning of a new discusion here. go ahead do whatever you like, it's your money! not mine
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Aug 21, 2006, 03:44 AM
 
Fair enough.

this is straying off topic, though - sorry to the original poster.
     
   
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