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As part of our series designed to help you with your shopping during theholidays, today we're looking at iPods. Last week we looked atMP3 players, but there are such a variety of iPods that I feltthey needed their own space. Here are some tips that I hope you'll findhelpful.
The Big Cheese
The standard iPod has become the "big cheese" of the musicplayers. It holds a lot, it's easy-to-use, and there are lots of coolaccessories you can get for it. Apple kicked it up a notch when theygave the iPod the ability to display pictures and movies. This makes theiPod your mobile media center.
The iPod has a huge number of accessories that are made just forit. You can find everything from attachments that let you play your iPodthrough your car radio to a media center from Bose to give it realpower. There are also a wide range of cases and chargers to pick from.On top of that you can also find things like a camera connectorso you can sync your iPod with your camera. I don't believe any othermusic playing product has so much support around it. The iPod comes intwo colors, black and white. It also comes in 30, 660 and 80GB sizes.
The iPod Nano
If you're looking for something a bit smaller, you might find theiPod Nano interesting. These are available in five (5) colors.They're also available if three sizes, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB. The iPodNano is thinner than the iPod and the 8GB model can hold about 2,000songs.
The iPod Nano can also display photos, play audiobooks, andpodcasts. 2,000 songs is a lot of music, but consider this. The 8GB iPod Nano lists for $249.00 US, the same price as the30GB iPod. At this point you have to decide which you want toget. The Nano is a tiny bit thinner, but the iPod will hold nearly fourtimes more for the same price. Something to think about.
To me the iPod Shuffle is an intriguing idea. It's roughly thesize of a matchbook. That's right, I said a matchbook. It's theone you may have seen on TV commercials where people keep moving itaround and clipping it onto their clothes.
The clip is built-in. Believe it or not this picture is about actualsize. The iPod Shuffle holds 1GB, about 240 songs. It's tiny,compact, and as the commercials demonstrate it's easy to clip on and go.I'd say 240 songs was a good amount if you're jogging or exercising. Thething weighs one half of an ounce so it's no chore to carry it around.The controls are easy-to-use and the battery lasts about 12 hours. Justremember to take it off before your clothes go in the wash.
Playing Music - Which Is Best?
The iPod collection alone gives you lots of choices for takingyour media with you. From 1 gigabyte to 80 gigabytes they span the rangeof possibilities. The biggest thing you need to ask yourself is:
"How much do I want to carry with me?
If you want to carry some photos and some music you may be able to usethe iPod Nano. If all you want are some tunes while you workout,then perhaps the iPod Shuffle. If, however, you want to takealong movies, podcasts, audiobooks, videos, songs, and pictures, you maywant to invest in the iPod.
Summing It Up!
There are a huge number of "MP3 players" out there and many arevery good. Some are not. The iPod's are well-established and verypopular, but only you can decide if an iPod is right for you.Remember, if you're into strenuous exercise you'll want to lean towardsa flash drive player. That's what the iPod Shuffle is. If you'rein doubt, try to borrow the type you're looking at from a friend andtry it out. Personally I've never had an iPod "skip", but I'm not outjumping hurdles either.
You can read all the reviews you want, but ultimately the choice is upto you. What matters is how a device works for you, not for me. Ihave a 30GB iPod and my wife has a 60GB. Other family members have hadMP3 players from iRiver, Creative Labs, andSandisk. All have performed well.
The iPod has a tremendous number of enhancements you can buy forcharging, playing in your car, and more. If those things are importantto you, look at an iPod. If not, think about the following:
How many songs do you want to carry?