IPOD batteries and basics

charlie2003October 6, 2006


I'm considering buying an IPOD. I hardly know anything about them except that they store tunes and photos, and I read something about a battery problem. I also know that there is a new model. Here are my questions:

1) What is the newest model of the IPOD?

2) Do I need to buy anything extra than what comes with it in the box to store songs or use the IPOD? (I know with my digital camera, I had to buy extra storage space on the little disc thing......is this so with IPOD too?)

3) Is there a battery problem? Or is this not true? Also, is it easy to replace the batteries? Any special kind needed?

4) Is it difficult to download songs onto the IPOD and computer and vice versa?

5) Does the 4GB one saying it stores 1000 songs really store 1000 songs?



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Hope this information helps:

1) There actually are several models of iPod. The very newest probably are the colored-case iPod nanos, but none of the line is more than a few months old. Here's a link to Apple's iPod product line page.

2) Have to buy? No. Your iPod will come with all the storage it will ever have. If the iPod model you're considering does not come with a case in the box (some don't), you should buy one to protect your iPod -- just as you would buy one to protect your cellular phone. You don't have to buy the case from Apple, either. Dozens of companies make cases in all kinds of materials, finishes, and colors. Your iPod will work without buying anything immediately. There is, however, an entire universe of products which will let you use your iPod in your car, as a clock radio, as a boom box, as an electronic organizer, ....

3. iPods come with rechargeable batteries. You own other items with rechargeable batteries, so you know the drill. How you take care of them defines how long they last. Here's Apple's page on taking the best care of iPod batteries. iPod batteries are not designed to be user-replaceable. However, there are a few companies out there which will replace your iPod's batteries when it's time for that; just send them your iPod and it will come back with a new battery. IMHO, the only battery "problem" is that people practically live on their iPods and they're disappointed when battery life does not meet their expectations.

4) Downloading is a piece of cake. When I plug my iPod into my Mac, it automatically starts iTunes (the software that downloads the music) and downloads anything new onto the iPod. It tells me when it's done, I remove the cable, and I'm good to go. Note that the iPod is not designed to move songs on the iPod to another computer that doesn't already have that music on it (that is, it will not upload music to a computer other than your own). (This is done to keep music from being copied illegally.)

5) Yes, if they say it will store 1,000 songs, it will store 1,000 songs. However, 1) they're talking your typical "pop" song, not movements of a classical symphony or such. And 2) I should mention that the songs on an iPod are converted digitally at what are called different "rates". The music will be quite enjoyable at even the default rate (the one used to advertise "1,000 songs"). The highest rates sound better (a difference that may or may not be noticeable to you), but you won't be able to store as many of those songs on your iPod. For the vast majority of people, the claim of "1,000 songs" is accurate.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 9:45AM
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Thanks Steve!

One more question.....can I download music from a CD I have onto the iPod? Or can music that I already have downloaded onto my laptop be transferred to the iPod?

Lastly, are there any cheaper or free sites for download music apart from itunes?



    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 7:59PM
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Yes, your cd music is easily transfered to your ipod using iTunes.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 11:30PM
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How about music I have downloaded onto my laptop? Can that also be transferred to the iPod?

Does it cost anything to transfer CD music to the iPod using iTunes?

Hope these questions don't sound too silly, I'm just trying to figure out the cost now versus later.



    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 6:39AM
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That's cool, Charlie. :-)

If you've downloaded music onto your laptop and it's in a format the iPod can play, that can be transferred to the iPod as well. If the music is in a format the iPod cannot play (Windows Media File, for example), there are (sometimes free) programs out there which will help you convert to a format the iPod can use. Still free (or low-cost) but not as direct as music already in MP3 or some other formats.

The only cost to transferring CD-based music to an iPod and iTunes is the time it takes to "rip" (transfer) the CD onto your hard drive. The iTunes software itself is free, the iPod will come with everything you need to transfer.

I suppose if you have a lot of CD music, ripping it could take up a chunk of hard-drive space. I ended up buying a bigger hard drive for the computer I'm using as the music library, but, then, I'm ripping several hundred albums.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:49AM
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I have the iPod mini, which they no longer make. It was replaced by the nano, which is even smaller and has much longer battery life btw charges. My batteries last about 3 hrs before needing a charge, while they say the Nano's last about 8. I just plug mine in every night along w all the other things that need charged.

It is easy to transfer CD music to your iPod, as Steve said. You use software (iTunes or other free software that's out there) -hubby uses some other free software for that. This converts your CD's into a format that iTunes can recognize. Then you just drag and drop the tunes or folders into your iTunes library. We each have iPods and named each after ourselves, so that we have a master library w everything in it, and then created separte places for "his" or "hers" tunes. It's much less complicated than it sounds. Honest.

Have you ever had a PDA, such as a palm pilot or anything else that requires you to synchronize data, such as calendars, email, or whatever between your PC and the device? Well, iPods - using the iTunes software that come with them - work the same way. If you have added new material to your music library on your PC, and you plug your iPod into your USB or firewire (upgraded type of USB ports that most all computers have now and are much faster), iTunes automatically detects your iPod and transfers all of the new music over to it. It does this super fast. For 20 tunes it may take less than a minute.

You might want to poke around the apple site to see if they have any PDF's of the iPod instruction manuals posted. I am sure they do. A quick read through the basics, and also the FAQ's and pictures they show of the iTunes library will help clear up some of your questions and make it easier to visualize what these terrific products do. Better yet, get thee to the local Apple store and have them give you a demo. In our area, the staff are super nice and will explain and demonstrate everything to you. They are set up for that.

The only thing you cannot do, is transfer music from an iPod back to the computer (yours or anyone elses). Apple saw to that to prevent pirating/sharing of music. We learned that the hard way after our computer crashed and we did not have a backup of anything in our iTunes library. A lot was from CD's, so that was easy to redo, but we lost some rare british guitar music that hubby had downloaded from emusic.com. It's still there on the iPod, but if he ever plugs it back into the PC, it will write over what he has and put the contents of the new library we built onto it.

Re-charging is no big deal at all. If you are going to play music through one of the hundreds of devices with speakers, you sit your iPod in its charging stand and then plug that into a mineature speaker system - or the system has its own stand that you sit the iPod in. Then batteries are not an issue, since it runs off of the speaker system power, not its batteries. The only time you are using the batteries is when you are away and using the iPod w the headphones.

I travel between the East and West coast a great deal and cannot live w/o mine. It gets me through all those long bumby rides in cramped quarters and I can relax or work on the laptop while listing to what I want to hear. Once checked into the hotel, I get out my 3 charging devices: iPod, Blackberry, and Bluetooth cordless headset (for my blackberry/cell phone). Oh, and my digital camera if I happen to bring it. Everything gets charged during the evening so they are ready to go for the next day.

I believe all the iPods they are selling today, come with their charging stands and of course, all the cords you need. I HATE the headphones they provide though. They give me an earache (hard plastic w rubber things that keep falling off and they get lost in the first week anyway). But they have some other nice ones with much better design, so that's what I did in the first week - got rid of the awful headphones.

Must-haves today are Tivo, XM satellite radio (we have 4), and iPods.

Let us know what you end up getting. These are the best thing Apple has ever come up with in terms of functionalitiy, design, and price point.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2006 at 5:48PM
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Hi L!

Thanks so much for all that advice.

You mentioned that you can't transfer music from your IPOD to your computer. Does this mean that whatever music you get of itunes to put on your IPOD does not stay on your computer? Just wondering. I thought it would stay in your itunes library and also, transfer to your IPOD.

Also, let's say one changes computers or gets a new one, does this mean you can't put the music onto the new computer?

I think I definitely want to get the Nano. I just want to make sure I'm sticking with this laptop for a while before I go and buy the IPOD.



    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 9:53PM
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You mentioned that you can't transfer music from your IPOD to your computer. Does this mean that whatever music you get of itunes to put on your IPOD does not stay on your computer? Just wondering. I thought it would stay in your itunes library and also, transfer to your IPOD.

You have it right. What we're saying is that if you somehow got music on your iPod that wasn't already on your computer, the iPod is designed to not allow you to upload to your computer the music it does not already have on it.

Also, let's say one changes computers or gets a new one, does this mean you can't put the music onto the new computer?

You can. Apple allows you to authorize each song you buy from iTunes on up to five different devices. Your computer is one. Your iPod will be another. If you had a computer in your house that served as a media server, it would be a third. And so on. You can choose to "deauthorize" a computer if you know you will not be playing iTunes music on it anymore. That will free up a "license" so you can move your music to another computer. But then you won't be able to play that particular song on that computer anymore.

One more thing: it's smart to make a backup copy of music you purchase from iTunes. Instructions on how to do that are on the Apple Web site (for both Mac and Windows PCs). That way, in case the worst happens, you have copies of what you paid for.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 8:47AM
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Thanks so much for the clarification steve-o.

I'm ready to go and buy mine now. I'm so excited. I want the green one. Haha.

Cheers again!


    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 6:35PM
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PS: we lost all of our downloads bc our system crashed and we had not backed it up. Stupid. Had we backed up, we could have just restored our iTunes library and been fine.

For another good music download site, take a look at emusic. Hubby likes them a lot as they are strong in folk and jazz. You can pay by the month for x # of downloads per month. They have several different options.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 4:48PM
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