Lori recently gifted me with one of those brand new iPods with video capabilities. With the pending doom of the MiniDisc format, it was time to find something else to groove on.
And I'm quite sorry that I didn't join the iPod cult sooner. It integrates with iTunes (for Windows) well, holds a lot of stuff, is small, and looks cool. I haven't held too many of the prior models before so I can't do a real good comparison, but the screen is bright and crisp and the sound is great.
In the past I've encoded most of my collection in 256kb/s mp3 and then have subsequently transcoded the mp3 to 132kb/s ATRAC to listen on the MiniDisc. I've always thought that the sound quality was better than adequate (and I don't have golden ears), but I have to say that non-transcoded, higher bitrate audio sounds much better (duh).
There are a couple things that bug me. The manual says the battery life should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 hours, but after about 2 - 3 hours of on and off usage through the course of a day the battery indicator tells me I'm about down to half. I also noticed the new resin finish scratches easy. It's apparently the same type of scratchable finish on the new Nano that others are complaining about.
And, although the pricing is a bit cheaper than past comparable units, Apple went cheap on the included accessories. You get a CD with the software, a set of headphones, a docking station adapter, and a USB cable to connect to the computer. But no docking station, which after another 40 bucks you find out it doesn't come with it's own connection cable. You're going Gates on us, Stevie!
iTunes is adequate jukebox software, but it's got a little ways to go. They've tried to retrofit the way the Mac OS works into a Windows application, and it's a bit clunky. Most operations involving encoding or other work with mp3 files pegs out my CPU (P4 2.5 ghz) utilization at 100 percent. I'm not sure how they do it, but MusicMatch rips my CDs much faster and only uses a small fraction of my CPU.
It was a bit expensive, but it's a good buy. I haven't tried video out with it yet but will within the next few days. It's worth the money just for the music playing features, although watching missed shows on your iPod is an intriguing idea.
Now that iPod, my colleague asks if iBelieve?