The Independent inexplicably calls Apple iPod ‘hard to use’

“Everybody wants Apple’s digital music player, but few realise how hard it is to use. It’s the epitome of cool, a must-have item rated No 1 with teenagers, oldies and muggers alike. Yet the iPod digital music player has confused so many thousands of new owners that the gadget has spawned its own service industry – to help technophobes download their own songs,” Charles Arthur and Helen Johnstone report for The Independent.

“Even though the designer-creation from Apple has been flying off the shelves in a storm of favourable publicity, few realise how complicated it can be to operate. Some music fans complain they have to upgrade their computer to get the iPod to work. Others report spending hours or even weeks transferring just a few tracks from their CD collection to the new player,” Arthur and Johnstone report.

“It can take around 40 hours to transfer 150 CDs on an ordinary computer, even though this barely dents the iPod’s massive capacity… Now companies are springing up to meet the need, including the London-based wePod, which does the hard work of converting disc tracks into electronic files for the iPod, using its own specially developed software,” Arthur and Johnstone report.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Either thier editor royally screwed up this piece after they submitted it or Arthur and Johnstone can’t muster a pinch of logic between them. This piece calls the iPod “hard to use,” but it is really an article all about the length of time it takes to rip a bunch of CDs with iTunes or any other piece of ripping software. This piece has nothing at all to do with iPod beyond the fact that having one likely means you want to convert your old CD collection for use in an iPod. In fact, the iPod is clearly one of the easiest-to-use digital devices ever created, as umpteen reviewers have noted. And, yes, it does take a long time to convert hundreds of CDs into AAC or MP3 files. But, that’s not the iPod’s fault at all, now is it?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
New iPods causing temporary ‘iPod Widows’ worldwide – January 26, 2004
A Coke drinker’s forced migration to Pepsi in quest of free Apple iTunes – February 04, 2004: “First, you must know that I recently upgraded to a 40 GB iPod and I have been re-ripping my 400 or so CDs into AAC 192 kbps files (yes, I have deluded myself into believing I can hear the difference over 128 kbs AAC; I suppose I read too many issues of “The Absolute Sound” way back when). This ripfest is a life-changing event in and of itself, as those who’ve gone through the same process at least once can attest. I have the CDs in alphabetical order; yes, I am a “Type A” Mac-using personality and I’ve just finished ripping The Cranberries, so I have a long way to go. Of course, I must have pristine artwork for each CD, too. Woe is me!”


  1. Laura and Cary are only two people who make up the hundreds of thousands of Pod owners. This drivel clearly illustrates how the lack of statistical power renders the conclusion of the article null and void. What about the vast majority of Pod owners who are both content with their Pod and technically competent to use it?

  2. These idiots obviously needed to work the word “iPod” into their piece in order to generate hits. It has nothing whatsoever to do with iPod as MDN correctly points out. Another crap article from The Independent.

  3. Upgrade their computer to get iPod to work? Sounds like these iPod-inept users are running Windows. How the fsck do they manage to do anything with their computer if they can’t handle something as obvious as an iPod/iTunes? Weak.

  4. Aparently one of the “problems” with the iPod is the time to convert files from compact disc to the iPod. I hope that the next version of OS X will allow users to bypass the time-space barrier.

  5. at least they are probably too stupid to figure out how human reproduction works. So no worries about another generation of morons spurned by the creatons of whom i speak.

  6. Hey, the iPod _is_ hard to use. I was told that my iPod could hold 100 CDs, but I _still_ haven’t figured out how to fit a CD into it, let alone 100.


  7. It seems they don’t like any modern gadget. They are all too complicated to use. Just a fluff piece of journalism for technophobes its a wonder they can work out how to use a refrigerater, I mean all those temperature settings on dials & OMG how can you work out the ice maker. Besides it takes too long to get ice when you first turn it on.

  8. You colonials have failed to appreciate the problem we have here in England. You see, cousins, because we have to work so long and so hard to earn the money to pay the taxes to keep our socialist government programs afloat we haven’t the time to convert our music from our CD’s to our iPods. Add to this the commuting time, standing in the queue, etc. etc. Well, I think you now know our predicament. Other than that the Pod really takes the biscuit.

  9. These morons have obviously never heard of multi-tasking. I transfered my 200 + CD collection to my iPod and didn’t really feel that it was that much of a hardship. I did other things while the lions share of the process was being carried out. So when they say 40 hours that is utter and total bullshit. The actual time you spend DOING anything is a very small fraction of that.

    Of course if you are stupid enough to think the iPod is hard to operate, you might also be the kind of person who feels it is necessary to sit there and watch every minute as the bar graph slowly creeps to the right.

  10. No.

    The article actually proves that iPod is becoming the ubiquitious standard. There is no mention of competitors. These people are clearly associating music ripping and/or downloading with iPod, and iPod only.

    So it’s a good thing

  11. 40 hours to rip 150CDs on to a computer…. and the problem with that would be what? (then about 10-12 minutes to transfer 8GB of tracks onto my iPod over USB 2.0

    If the writers of this article were given brains they obviously werent shown how to use them

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