Saturday, April 28, 2012

iPod Series

John Marine | 4/28/2012 11:26:00 PM | | | |
(UPDATED: May 1, 2012)

The iPod debuted in 2001. Its evolution over time has helped it to become perhaps the most sought-after and most well-loved portable media players of all time. This blog post of mine is a celebration of the iPod series as well as my appreciation for the iPod. This post even takes a look at the iPhone. What will NOT be discussed here is the iPad. What you will be seeing is a lot of material regarding the iPod series and even some thoughts of mine regarding the iPod series. Consider this a continuation of my "Apple Appreciation" blog post, but on a specific Apple product.

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MAY 1 2012 - added some extra Resources along with more pictures

--- iPod at a Glance ---

Picture, please:

Apple iPod range
^ from: - The iPod is MUCH more than an MP3 player- it is perhaps one of the most technologically (and maybe even culturally) significant portable media players in our lifetime.

In my view, the iPod series is one of the most influential devices of any kind. Its allure lies in the many abilities in enjoying media. It is a device that has been a key part in the further evolution of enjoying music. Over time, its appeal has been expanded with the ability to store pictures and even even video. The simplistic design and various other capabilities have made the iPod to be more than just a portable media device. Note that I am NOT calling the iPod lineup an MP3 player. iPods may play MP3 players, but they can play MUCH more. In Apple's attempts to take its portable baby and expand its popularity and capabilities to points unfathomable, they've added many more features and made many more revisions to iPod models. Apple's finest offering

The iPod is perhaps the best way to enjoy music. It is as much of an evolution in enjoying music since portable cassette players and even portable CD players. Even with MP3 players gaining steam, Apple made the iPod to be much more capable than any MP3 player. Even as the iPod was becoming popular, not as many people could afford a base iPod. So along came individual models letting people enjoy the iPod experience, but for much less than the standard issue iPod. The first of these was the Nano- a slimmer iPod with a color display and plenty of features to keep you interested. Advancements in the Nano over time meant many improvements in the iPod Nano experience. However, the Nano was becoming more expensive. The cheapest way to enjoy the iPod experience was to enjoy it without a screen. Enter the iPod Shuffle. The Shuffle allows you to enjoy your favorite iPod material (obviously except pictures and videos) with a VERY portable device. While the base iPod is exceptional, the best iPod money can buy was launched in 2007- the iPod Touch. In addition to music, videos, and pictures; the Touch blew the minds of many people with what it has to offer. Among the biggest features were a handful of applications (apps) and WiFi connectivity. You can even play games with it. All could be controlled using its touch screen. A special sort of iPod Touch would come along in the future delivering all of its capabilities, but you can also make calls with it. That device would be called the iPhone.

In other words, the iPod and its lineup range have not only forced other makers of MP3 players and other portable media devices to step their game up, they've become a league of their own. They have become truly significant in today's technological culture. It is a device and a series of devices which distinguishes itself far and beyond others. Even today, getting an iPod still means a whole lot for the person who wants to enjoy music (and other media) on the go. It is a device that is great even if you don't like Apple. Even those who aren't Apple fans have to at least appreciate what all the iPod has meant and what it stands for in technology.

--- iPod Models ---

This is a celebration of the iPod, but it is NOT a proper historical piece on the iPod series. So don't expect too much here. I WILL highlight on each of the iPods with as much as I know about them.

NOTE: Some information provided by Wikipedia as well as Apple's home page were used to help complete this section.

iPod Classic Series.

Here's a look at the base iPod.

iPod Classic
^ from: - This is the classic iPod- tall and with a vivid screen.

• The very first iPod was released back in 2001 with a 5GB hard drive and a physical scroll wheel. It also had a monochromatic screen. It was also a great deal bulky. A FireWire connection allows you to charge it up and move music files to and from your Mac or PC.

• Touch-sensitivity began with the third iPod starting in 2003. It had a touch wheel along with the main controls (Play, Forward, Reverse, and volume controls)

• Around 2004 or so, the 4th Generation iPod came around.

• It was the 2005-released 5th generation iPod that I first got interested in. I played around with some iPod 5G models at some Sam's Club stores once. The biggest draw to the 5G iPod was its ability to play back video. In my Community College days, I saw a few students go around with their 5G iPods. Some even hooking them into PCs at the computer lab.

• In today's culture, the 6th Generation iPod is the current one, not to mention the first to gain the "Classic" nomenclature.

The iPod Classic (6G) is sold in stores at about $249 US Dollars.

iPod Nano Series.

iPod Nano
^ from: - If a base Nano is too big for you, try this slimmer iPod for size! (5th-Generation Nano featured in pictures)

Created as a lighter and more fun iPod, the iPod Nano made its grand debut in 2005. The iPod Nano is an answer to those who can't afford a proper big iPod but still want to enjoy the iPod experience. So it's an iPod for those who can't afford the big iPod.

• The very first iPod Nano was a less bulky and much slimmer iPod than the big ones.

• A smaller wheel and slimmer appearance- along with many splashes of color- would occupy the second generation iPod Nano models.

• The third generation iPod Nano is shorter vertically, but is wider than the previous iPod Nano generation models, making it appear much more like the big iPods... only not the big iPods. The biggest element of the third-generation iPod Nano is its video-playing ability. So you don't need the big iPod to enjoy watching videos.

• Fourth generation iPods got a curvy appearance along with a tall screen. However, the wide-body appearance of the third-generation model went back to a slim model for the 4th-gen Nano.

• An even taller screen along with video-taking capabilities and a microphone help flank the 5th-generation iPod Nano. So you could listen to music and even take some pictures or videos if you so please.

• In today's Nano culture, the sixth-generation iPod Nano is the latest model. It is also the smallest iPod Nano as it can easily be clipped onto whatever garments or items you want to clip it on. It has a touchscreen as well as an FM Radio feature. It also has a watch feature where you have a stylish watch to check time. A watch band for the iPod Nano will allow you to wear the iPod Nano as a watch.

Personally, I considered wanting the 5G Nano early in my YouTube video work. I wanted something to enjoy seeing video as well as making videos comfortably. I couldn't really connect with the Nano much because I was too much into the Classic iPod model.

iPod Shuffle Series.

iPod Shuffle
^ from: - The iPod Shuffle is the only iPod series that lacks a screen. (4th-Generation Shuffle featured)

Apple wanted to deliver the iPod listening experience with an even smaller price tag. So to prove this point, enter the iPod Shuffle. The Shuffle entered the world in 2005. The Shuffle is the easiest model to identify because the Shuffle iPods do NOT have a screen. It is essentially a device that has a big Play/Pause button, the Forward and Reverse buttons, and volume controls. That's it.

• The first-gen Shuffle had an unlockable bottom piece that can be hooked into a USB port.

• Much smaller and wider, the 2nd Generation iPod Shuffle retains many of the features of the 1st Shuffle, excluding the USB connector. This Shuffle was the first to feature a clip. So you could clip this onto something and enjoy music on the go. This would be a mainstay with Shuffle models since.

• The third Shuffle had a feature that allowed you to connect to a USB port with the headphone portion. It has a status light as part of its design.

• Today's iPod Shuffle is the 4th-generation model. Its appeal is in having an appearance more like the 2nd generation Shuffle, but with many color choices. In fact, it is the ONLY Shuffle to have your choice of color.

A Shuffle starts off at about $49 US Dollars.

iPod Touch Series.

iPod Touch
from: - the iPod Touch. This specific one is the iPod Touch 4G model.

Apple's ultimate offering for iPod lovers came in the form of the iPod Touch. Touch screen navigation along with WiFi and photo/video features make the iPod Touch even more top-of-the-line than any other iPod in the range. The iPod Touch is even its own gaming platform. In addition, wireless access to iTunes can be had with this device. And if you are ANYTHING into Apple, you're crazy for applications (or apps in this day and age) for all kinds of purposes and uses. You can even browse the Internet using Apple's answer to Internet Explorer- Safari. It is also capable of taking videos and pictures. I personally think while the standard iPod is one of the most influential and significant media devices of any kind, the iPod Touch is an absolute marvel and really- the ULTIMATE iPod. The Touch's only negative is that smudges easily with its touch screen as well as the aluminum back. So it would be wise to get a case for it unless you want to have to clean it often.

• The iPod Touch made its debut in 2007. The first generation Touch was a good bit bulky while delivering MANY more features that made this device a solid hit. All of the apps and WiFi connectivity was a start for what would be a portable media device with no equal.

• The second and third generation iPod Touch models are essentially the same. Only the third generation Touch models have engraving of the iPod Touch capacity. The second-gen Touch does not have any engraving except for the iPod name and the Apple logo.

• Today's iPod Touch is in its 4th Generation. The 4th Generation iPod Touch is thinner and sleeker than any iPod before it. It is also more powerful than its previous models and with a wider screen. And unlike previous iPod Touch models, this model features two cameras- front and back. Its back camera is also exposed rather than covered up. Among all iPod Touch models, it is the only one offered with different colors; but there are only two color choices- black and white.

The iPod Touch starts out these days at $199 US Dollars for the 8GB model and goes up to about $399 US Dollars for the 64GB model.

iPhone (Honorable Mention!).

At an address, Steve Jobs (rest in peace) was trying to get an audience attached to his latest vision- iPod and phone. The iPhone was conceptualized starting in 2005 and made known to the world in 2007. The iPhone was actually released before the iPod Touch. The first iPhone was released in June 2007 while the first iPod Touch was released in September 2007. To many people, the iPhone is an iPod Touch with a phone contract. You had to have a contract deal with a provider like AT&T or Verizon Wireless to take advantage of its calling capabilities. In its history, it has seen over five difference iPhone models. Two of them are no longer offered- the iPhone and the iPhone 3G. Today's models include the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4, and the iPhone 4S. The iPhone features some additional programs and capabilities that the iPod Touch doesn't have. Among the many additional features is Siri, which is like your own personal assistant. Activating and using Siri will allow you to do things like take reminders, request information, and activate commands.

The reason why I put this as Honorable Mention is because the iPhone is still essentially an iPod. So you still can enjoy all or most features as you would an iPod Touch, but also use it as your mobile phone. This is just an iPod where you can also send and make calls with.

Most of the real part of this blog post is complete. Want to see more commentary from me on the iPod range? Make sure you are reading the full blog post if you want to see more. If you see "Read More," you are NOT reading the full blog post. Click on "Read More" to continue your experience of this post if you have enjoyed your reading so far. I have more to get to here.

--- My iPod Interests and Thoughts ---

Time now I share some iPod thoughts.

Basic iPod Thoughts.

For one, I've always considered the iPod to be one of the most significant and distinctive portable media players of all time. My initial interests began with the iPod Classic back in my community college days. I had interests in wanting to download videos and listen to music. I knew I didn't have the money to get any iPod. So to curb this, I bought myself a 2GB capacity SanDisk Sansa Clip back in 2008. I wanted a new MP3 player apart from a previous one I had. It served me well up until it finally gave out on me after Hurricane Ike. Since Christmas 2008, I have enjoyed my 4GB SanDisk Sansa Fuze.

I have long wanted an iPod all the while. With prices going down and me actually making money from blogging, I want to eventually get the iPod Touch- preferably the fourth-generation iPod Touch. Part of my reasoning is because I have been fascinated with what all the iPod Touch can do. Two of my family members have iPod Touch models. I just want my own. Really, one of the big reasons I want the Touch is because I want to enjoy WiFi access as well as being able to have this more-than-suitable device in this modern world. And in case you're wondering, the 8BG model iPod Touch is what I'd want. I don't have an excessive amount of media or want to get too crazy with apps that I'd want an iPod of any capacity greater than 8GB.

Also, I wouldn't go overboard buying and downloading tunes and apps from iTunes. That too is a reason why I'd let most of my iTunes activity be minor.

Would I Want the _____?

Just like in my "Apple Appreciation" post, it's time I answer if I want certain iPod models over others. So check this out:

Would I want the...

• ...iPod Shuffle?
No! I understand it as an entry-level iPod, but there are a number of reasons why the Shuffle just doesn't suit me. For one- it's so small, you barely even know it's there. I'd prefer a screen to actually know what it is I am listening to. But really, I've just never really wanted a Shuffle.

• ...iPod Nano?
Maybe the 5G, but especially not any other (including the new 6G Nano). The newer Nano was a downgrade for me with the camera feature gone. The newer Nano is surely the most stylish with its touchscreen and clean-looking visuals. Another redeeming quality is its ability to play FM radio. Other than this, I've never been fully excited about the Nano. The main reason I was interested initially in the 5G Nano was because of its camera feature.

• ...iPod Classic?
Yes... until I became interested in the Touch. Considering the 6G Classic iPod retails for about $249 US Dollars, I've lost interest in the Classic ones that I wanted a few years ago. I think it was the 4G or 5G Classic (this was before the "Classic" namesake came along for the standard iPod) I wanted around the time.

• ...iPod Touch?
Yes! All of the different features and capabilities of the iPod Touch are why I want one. You can say that I've been enamored with the Touch and its capabilities so much that I became very fond of it. The 8GB Touch is just right for me considering how much media I have on my PC and how much material I would plan to use with the iPod Touch. Of course, I'd even be interested in using WiFi to use the Internet as well as enjoy various forms of media from around the Internet with an iPod Touch. I haven't made mention to it or really want to engage in it, but the Touch is also its own solid mobile gaming device. More people (according to some reports I've read online) game with the iPod Touch than with the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

There is only one thing I'd be fearful of using the Touch- getting it dirty and smudged up. So I would have to invest in a cover or a skin for the iPod Touch and maybe even get a screen protector so that I won't have to continually clean the touchscreen after use. If I feel like I can't use the icons effectively, I may elect to get a stylus to cleanly touch the screen. So really, that's TWO things I would be fearful of- trying to clean it constantly, and spending too much money on accessories and such trying to make the most of the iPod Touch. Otherwise, I hope for my next portable media player to be the iPod Touch.

• ...iPhone?
No! Even though the iPhone came before the iPod Touch 4G, and even though the iPhone has some features even the iPod Touch 4G doesn't have (like Siri and GPS); I am not much of a phone person. So there would be no point in getting a mobile phone when you're not a phone person. An iPhone has usually been considered an iPod Touch 4G, but without the phone contract. I've seen from YouTube videos that the iPhone has some better capabilities than the iPod Touch. I saw how the iPhone has better video quality and picture quality than the iPod Touch 4G. The iPhone even seems like a device of great quality you can actually feel in your hands. I am just not a phone person, and it is unlikely you'll see me going around town with an iPhone doing whatever.

And those are my own iPod thoughts and if I would want any of these models.

--- iPod: Final Thoughts ---

I mentioned the iPod as one of the single most influential devices of any kind in this lifetime. What the iPod has done to go far and beyond what a portable media player should be capable of is just mind-boggling. This especially holds true to the iPod Touch and iPhone. Many imitators and those trying to topple the iPod range have all tried to steal the thunder and swagger from the iPod. You name it (some I am afraid to include in this sentence)- the SanDisk Sansa line, the Zune series from Microsoft, even various fake iPods- have all tried, but can't top the iPod range. I didn't make too many mentions to it, but part of the iPod's appeal (especially with the Touch) is in this being a solid mobile gaming device as well. I have great respect first and foremost for the iPod series.

The iPhone is everything good the iPod range is (especially with the iPod Touch), while also being a solid mobile phone. Here is a case of a portable media player that can also serve as a quality mobile phone. All this does is further expand upon the portable media playing capabilities of the iPod and iPhone. Not only expand, but also expand with a quality product. Only reason why you wouldn't want an iPhone (to me) is if you don't want to be tied to a certain contact to use it or to enjoy high-speed mobile material.

Regardless, the iPod series is something you have to appreciate and respect even if you are not a fan of Apple. It has been greatly significant in today's technological culture compared to almost any other heralded and popular device in our lifetime. Anything from the base Shuffle to the top-of-the-line iPod Touch and iPhone represent the goodness only Apple can provide, not to mention what only the iPod series can provide. You just have to show some respect for the iPod range even if you couldn't care less about it.

--- iPod (and iPhone) Resources ---

Resources online for the iPod (and the iPhone) are as follows (more may be added in future edits):

Apple iPod
iPod - Compare iPod models and find the one right for you.
iPod on Wikipedia
List of iPod Models - Wikipedia
Identifying iPod Models « a helpful resource to aid you in identifying certain iPod models.

iPod/iPhone on
All things iPod, iPhone, iPad and Beyond | iLounge

Apple iPhone
iPhone on Wikipedia

(More links may be added in future edits)

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Dominika :) said...

I can see that you're really determined to get an iPod Touch and as an owner of two of them: 3G and 4G, I can give you some advice.  My third generation iPod has the capacity of 32GB, while the fourth generation one just 8GB. I can totally understand the fact that you don't feel like putting too many songs or applications on your iPod, but there are so many opportunities when it comes to iPod Touch that you can never really be sure- more and more amazing applications come up every single day. Even though I usually visit YouTube when I want to listen to some music, sometimes I feel like putting a bunch of my favourite albums on my iPod so that I can listen to music basically everywhere. That's when I have some doubts- will 8GB be enough? I have a number of applications and 1 album at the very moment and I have only 3GB left. So you might still consider getting a 16GB one if that's likely to happen to you as well. :) I have a black sliding case and a screen protector and I'm totally satisfied- even when my iPod accidentally falls down, I don't have to worry and it doesn't really require too much cleaning. So, if you're still hesitating- stop. You won't be disappointed if you buy an iPod Touch. Possibilities are endless- you can even watch movies on Netflix from your iTouch. I hope I helped at least a little bit... if not, feel free to ask about anything. :)

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