Saturday, 28 July 2007

Is Apple iPod the Best MP3 Player?

There are Apple iPod users that wouldn't trade their MP3 player for anything in the world. Instead, other persons can't stand it. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The Apple iPod has been released in 2001 and in short time became almost substitute for the term MP3 player, having an impressive market share (over 80% of the hard drive based MP3 player market and around 70% of the entire MP3 player market).This means that almost everyone has heard of the iPod, which is another reason for it selling so well, besides the real advantages, of course.

Let's take a look at some advantages and disadvantages that can help you decide if the Apple iPod is the best MP3 player for you. iPod is cool, trendy, fashionable, stylish, classy ... whatever word you want to use to describe this. However, it is also one of the most expensive MP3 players out there. If you want to impress and price is not a problem for you, you will probably choose an iPod.

Then it has genuine advantages: small size, very good sound quality, easy to use navigation with the click wheel and large storage capacity. What's more, the latest models can play video files and display pictures in multiple file formats. The iPod Nano also has a full color screen, a stopwatch and lap timer. Another plus is that you can find many iPod accessories.

When it comes to disadvantages, the iPod has a big one, especially if you're an audio book lover. Downloadable audio books are becoming very popular and more and more websites are now offering them.

Unfortunately Apple have refused to enable the Windows Media capabilities of the iPod, while the majority of audio book publishers do request that their titles are available only in a copy protected WMA format. In this situation, you can only use iTunes to add new content to your iPod MP3 player.

Virtually all other MP3 player manufacturers support WMA files now, so it hopefully won't be long until pressure from customers forces Apple to enable it.

Until then, there is an easy solution. You need to burn the files to a regular compact disc and then rip as MP3 to your iTunes. However, this might not be convenient for everyone.

Another drawback becomes apparent if you want to connect the iPod with your home stereo system. And that's because the iPods do not have other needed output connections besides the headphone jack. In this case, you will need to separately buy a special docking station.

The good thing is that the docking station can also act as a charger for the battery, it has a remote control and output connections for video as well. However, this is an extra expense and you need to be aware of this.

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