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Supacase's avatar

Is there any reason to buy an ipod instead of another mp3 player?

Asked by Supacase (14538points) April 18th, 2010

I am finally joining the rest of the world and getting an mp3 player.

Are there any features or other reasons to purchase an iPod instead of a Zune or other player? I am specifically considering the Nano. The only feature that I know I want for sure is the ability to choose the songs I want to hear and see what song is currently playing.


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22 Answers

ChaosCross's avatar

Well, the nano certainly has those features, and the ipod has a larger online store in general.

As fantastic a device the Zune is, it simply does not have as much leverage and approval as the Ipod.

You can also (not all mp3 players can) watch TV, movies, play games, record voice logs (depending on the model) and all sorts of other cool stuff that most others cannot.

Only drawback would be the price of apple products :/

dpworkin's avatar

iPods are very elegantly deigned. For me the drawback is iTunes, which has become unmanageable bloatware that no longer works correctly. I have a Classic 160GB iPod and an iTouch, but I sync them with MediaMonkey so I never have to go anywhere near iTunes.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I received an iPod Touch as a christmas gift, and it’s amazed me at how much I use it for other things besides music. I’ve downloaded a number of apps that make routine things easier, get my e-mail on it, use the maps feature, etc. It’s made me give serious thought to getting an iPhone when Verizon offers them in the fall.

dpworkin's avatar

(Yeah, I think it’s hard to find people who don’t like their iPods.)

crankywithakeyboard's avatar

We have 2 IPod Nanos and an IPhone. The IPod has many, many more cases, skins and other accessories than other mp3 players. You may not think you need these things but they may catch your eye. I bought a really cool IPod lanyard that wouldn’t work with other players. It is awesome! Hands-free music. Also, I have an armband IPod holder so I can run with it. Very cool.

Just an aside on IPods: my husband’s Nano went through the washer and we let it dry and it still works. Amazing.

I go agree that ITunes generally sucks and I find it difficult to navigate.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Don’t buy an iPod—Apple has implemented anti-consumer strategies such as making the battery hard to change.

Don’t by a Zune – It is made by Microsoft and there is more to say than can be written here.

I use my Google Android based phone as my MP3 player and I am very happy with it. I also use my laptop instead when I am colocated with it or often a netbook.

Supacase's avatar

I wouldn’t have to get my music and other stuff from Apple, would I?
I know, I really am a moron about this.

dpworkin's avatar

@Supacase: Amazon is a great place to go for music, and you can rip your own CDs to your iPod.

gggritso's avatar

@malevolentbutticklish I don’t like your reasoning at all.

Making the battery hard to replace isn’t anti-consumer. It’s anti-certain consumer, you just happen to be one of them. It was a design choice; Apple are known to favour making their devices pretty instead of making them easily maintainable.

Bashing Microsoft products because you disagree with the company itself is useless. I don’t like Apple at all, but I give credit when it’s due, and iPods are generally fantastic devices.

I have a Nexus One which I use for a music player, and it works fine. That said, it’s clear that is isn’t a media-centric device like an iPod. I have a Nano as well, and I think it does a better job of handling and playing my music.

@Supacase Buying an iPod doesn’t necessarily tie you down to anything.

kevbo's avatar

You might look at Sansa’s products if you don’t care as much about extra features. They seem to be consistently well rated.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@gggritso: My reasoning is sound. A an aesthetically pleasing device doesn’t have to void your warranty if you attempt to change the battery yourself. This is an anti-consumer practice put in place by Apple to fuck its own customers.

As far as Zune it is a horrible product even if it wasn’t made by Microsoft because “the Zune software is used to manage the Zune, and runs exclusively on Microsoft Windows”. This means if you purchase a Zune you are locking yourself into a particular operating system and could never switch to better operating systems such as OS X or Linux and take your Zune with you.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Supacase: Buying a Zune does necessarily tie you down to something.

gggritso's avatar

To get back to the original question, there are several reasons why you might like to buy an iPod as opposed to another mp3 player.

1. iPods are very aesthetically attractive devices, some of the best available on the market.
2. In general, they’re very stable. I’ve had two different iPods so far, over the course of several years and have not had a single problem.
3. The bundled software, called iTunes makes it very easy to purchase and manage your music. Some people complain that it is bloated, like @dpworkin. Generally, I’d agree with this, but it does its job.
4. Due to their popularity there is an abundance of accessories, supplies and information about the devices.

There are disadvantages as well:

1. They’re more expensive. Not much more, but still.
2. As @malevolentbutticklish pointed out, don’t expect to rip it apart and replace anything if it breaks. If you have any problems with it you’ll need to get it looked at by a professional.

cockswain's avatar

@dpworkin I didn’t know you could sync an ipod with something besides itunes. That’s new info for me (even if that’s been true for years). How do you like media monkey? I’ve spent a LONG time organizing my itunes library, but don’t really like itunes either. Do you think it would be laborious to switch over to media monkey?

dpworkin's avatar

No, it’s transparent. It offers to import your library as is, and then it will monitor your music folder and make additions and subtractions every time you add or delete something. It also does another thing I love: It offers to fill your iPod with a random mix from your library up to the iPod’s full capacity, so you can get new surprises every time you sync. I only have 160Gb of space on my iPod, and maybe 300Gb of music files, so that’s a great feature. It also gets album art and does tagging much better than iTunes, and it has a much smaller footprint. Big improvement all the way around.

cockswain's avatar

Sweet. I’ll check it out, thanks.

Supacase's avatar

Great information here! Thank you all so much!!

@dpworkin I may ask to pick your brain a bit about MediaMonkey soon.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I think not. I’ve had good luck with my Sansa e280, which was marketed as a “Nano Killer” years ago. I have yet to have a single issue with it, it had more features than the Nano did until they added the camera (something I don’t care about; I prefer having an FM tuner) and didn’t require me to install another program to sync it to my PC. I really like the expandable storage; plop in a micro-SD card and voila! The user-replaceable battery was another plus

Oh, and it was half the price :)

I suppose I should upgrade since it’s about 4 years old now, but it still works well enough that I might not bother.

zophu's avatar

If you just need to listen to music or talkshows/lectures, might as well get an inexpensive mp3 player that doesn’t have a large breakable screen. I use the Creative Zen Stone Plus. It has a small display where I can see what I’m listening to, it’s small and light, perfect for what it does. Cost me 30 bucks, I think.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@jerv: Good point! I wouldn’t want anything without the ability to accept a non-proprietary memory card. I also don’t like devices that require a proprietary battery and generally prefer devices which use AA/AAA rechargeable although I accept that AA/AAA rechargeable batteries may not be appropriate for TINY or THIN devices. It is too bad there is no set of generic battery sizes for such a device.

Buttonstc's avatar


If you get an iPod Touch, there’s all those great apps you can get, many of which are free.

The app store really has some impressive stuff there. You would be amazed.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc Assuming Apple doesn’t disable/delete them on you…

@malevolentbutticklish I am not a fan or proprietary formats either, but at least I can open my Sansa up in a factory-approved manner. You’re right though; too bad.

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