iPod : Computer Hardware Buyers’ Glossary

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Apple’s portable MP3 player. It is basically some RAM (Random Access Memory), a hard disk and a small computer with sound capability. It communicates with  W2K, XP, W2003, Vista, W2008, W7-32, W7-64, W8-32, W8-64, W2012, W10-32 and W10-64 or OS9 and OSX over a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port. The iPod Shuffle model comes with either .5 gigabytes or 1 gigybte of storage.

I own a .5 gig model, that arrived 2006-04-07 a promo for signing up with Telus ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line technology) in 2006-01. It is smaller than a pack of gum about It looks like a big key fob. The bottom pulls off to reveal a male USB connector. It is advertised to hold 120 songs. The install failed because I used a # in my home address field. Further, the itunes helper program aborted with an invalid memory reference. Further, the install requires two reboots and a manual update. The installer asks for a 11-character serial number on the bottom of your iPod. There is no such serial number. They mean on the bottom of the iPod box. I am not impressed. I got it to work by uninstalling iTunes, iPod and QuickTime, then manually deleting those applications from all Program Files directories and starting over, including installing a manual update. Apple is supposed to be reknowned for idiot-proof software. Phtt!

To import a song from CD (Compact Disc) to disk, you click on the folder representing the CD drive and select all the tracks and click Convert to AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) . The converted files will end up in the library folder. You can then drag them from there to the folder representing your iPod. You can’t drag them directly from the CD folder. Beware of clicking the little nub on the iPod folder or the CD folder. This means eject. There is no hoverhelp to warn you. The iPod folder just disappears.

My iPod was defective with an intermittent left earpiece. There is no way to independently control the volume to each ear. The sound is advertised to be near CD quality. That is simply not true. It is more like AM transistor radio quality.

Apple is so cheap they don’t even give you a few song downloads to get started. I am not impressed.

The iPod Nano model comes with either 2 or 4 gigabytes of storage, enough to hold about 1000 songs. The iPod comes with 30 or 60 gigabytes of storage. The 60 gigabyte iPod is rechargeble giving up to 20 hours of battery life. The 60 gigabyte iPod can hold about 15,000 songs or 25,000 photos. You need either a powered 6-wire firewire port on your computer or a powered USB-2 port to download songs into your iPod and to recharge it. The firewire port is much faster than your Internet connection at 50 Mbytes per second and the USB-2 is even faster at 60 Mbytes. It is about 5 times faster than a LAN (Local Area Network).

The iPod can handle quite variety of song formats, the most important being MP3, Apple’s even more compact and higher sound quality but copy protected AAC and even AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format), an uncompressed format, pretty much raw off a CD. To play your CDs (Compact Discs) on an iPod you must first import them and convert to compressed AAC format, then download them into the iPod, a fairly time consuming process.

The big catch is your iPod is locked into at most one PC (Personal Computer). You can’t share your iPod with anyone else, without totally erasing it. So you and your partner cannot each download stuff onto a common iPod without erasing the other’s material. You can’t use your iPod to transfer songs between machines.

The upscale iPod Touch model has a wireless Internet connection to let you rapidly upload large amounts of data, such as music and movies. It is designed to play animated games with rapid graphics. It has 480 × 320 pixel colour touch screen. It has an 8 to 32 gigabyte flash (solid state, no moving parts) drive. Its primary purpose is to play MP3 music. You code for it in Apple’s proprietary xcode language. For eBook reading, use ePub or PDF (Portable Document Format) format. Apple won’t tell you anything about the language or the development system until you give them $99.00 USD .

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