The Boston Globe: ‘New iPod is not necessarily improved’

“The 15-gigabyte iPod introduced April 28 with a couple of cousins, one bigger and one smaller, is impressive. It can hold and play back thousands of songs, can perform somewhat like my Palm Pilot, is formattable for either PCs or Macs, and is impossibly sleek and light,” write Michael Prager for The Boston Globs. “I would probably want to run out and get myself one, if not for one thing: I have a 10-gigabyte model from the line’s first generation, and it’s better. After 10 days testing an Apple Corp. loaner, I can only vouch for the first half of that American ideal, ‘new and improved.’ Conditioned by decades of corporate marketeers, we demand that standard, and it’s usually not a problem: Most products could stand some improving. Undoubtedly the iPod, already acclaimed as the best of its type, could get better, too. But so far, it hasn’t.”

What Prager wants is more battery life, not more capacity, perhaps forgetting that iPod does not have to hold just music – it’s also a portable FireWire drive among other things. Prager also complains about the new FireWire interface requiring a special cable, perhaps not imagining what other uses Apple may have in mind down the road for all of those extra pins not currently in use. He also thinks the new buttons are “hypersensitive” and says his friend Doug “has to reset his player once or twice a day, and points to discussion pages at that reveal plenty of other buyers with the same or similar problems.”

“I won’t be surprised if one day I own one of these. Even a slightly less likable iPod is still better than its peers. But the satisfaction of having the best will always be tempered by the memory that it was better,” Prager concludes.

Full article here.


  1. You can add a battery pack from Belkin, but I can’t personally imagine ever listening for even SIX hours away from a power sourec, much less the eight hours the new models get. Getting only eight hours on throaway batteries would bother me, but with a recharchable unit, the loss of hours is well worth the smaller size to me.

  2. Nagromme, haven’t you ever been on a long haul flight, or a long distance drive (used in conjunction with iRock or iTrip)? The juice in a second gen iPod is barely enough for an international flight. However they still rock!

  3. Super-long flights, and super-long drives without a motel stop, are VERY rare for me. Plus I wouldn’t listen to my iPod non-stop anyway. My iPod running out will be so seldom as to be a very minor detail of the product. But you’re right, there are some who frequently travel over eight hours without stopping. The reviewer may be one.

  4. I feel the new ipod is much improved. 30gb capacity supporting 7000+ songs sure helps in my particular situation. I also use it to store large powerpoint files from work wchich I take home. Smaller, with a docking station, abailty to customize playists. I
    just purchased one and am very pleased with it.

  5. would like a new ipod, love the size, would consider one once the other rumoured docks are out, my second generation pod with the moving scroll wheel allows me to do one thing that the new one won’t do, and that is operate the old school buttons through the fabric of my jacket pocket… the remote, while a lovely object is too fiddly for me….

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