PC Magazine Editor’s Choice: Apple iPod mini ‘the standard by which all other personal audio players

“Silver, gold, green, pink, and blue are the new white. If you’re looking at the new Apple iPod Minis, that is. The company that put the zap in the digital-music zeitgeist wowed us even more, by adding a colorful little buddy to the best-selling portable digital player line on the market. iPods are so popular that some companies actually make money selling white, Apple-style headphones to roving rockers who don’t actually own an iPod,” writes Jeremy A. Kaplan for PC Magazine.

“The right digital music player has to fit your lifestyle, whether it’s your workout buddy, a travel companion, or your portable music library. The differences were obvious in our testing: We can help you choose between one of the smaller, hard drive players or the lightweight, flash memory players. Our tests showed that all of the players were competent sonically; the earphones made bigger differences in sound quality. We’ve reviewed 13 portable digital music players, with an ear toward audio fidelity and an eye toward style,” Kaplan writes.

So what does PC Magazine end up recommending? PC Mag’s Editors’ Choice and highest-rated player (the only one to score 4.5 out of 5 stars) is Apple’s iPod mini.

The Apple iPod is the standard by which all other personal audio players are judged, from the packaging to the cables to the feel of the controls. The iPod Mini’s screen, though smaller than that of the original iPod, still makes you wonder why other manufacturers can’t produce displays this readable.

Pros: Excellent ergonomics, large storage for small player.
Cons: Won’t play WMA, no FM or voice record.

The Apple iPod was not reviewed. Full article here.

25 Comments

  1. Thank G=Me that someone has it right ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />
    MacPc Magazine knows what it is talking about = iPod rules

  2. “Cons: Won’t play WMA, no FM or voice record.”

    I don’t notice that the other devices have a “Cons: Won’t play AAC/Fairplay”. Of course, Apple won’t let them, so that’s probably not fair to complain about. Still…

  3. Did you all already forgot Motion/FCP HD (free download!!!)/Shake/Airport (free download!!)/New PowerBooks/New iBooks/Xsan and BBC/Panasonic announcements?

    This is nice. When MDN (probaply owned by CNET and Thurrot) tells negative news about iTunes and iTMS.. everybody forgets how great company Apple really is?

  4. Glick7 will beat his drum again and point out that the lack of an integral voice-recording capability is a big factor for many potential buyers – as highlighted by PC Magazine’s review. I just don’t understand Apple’s decision to leave it out of the mini. This feature, and this feature alone, will do more to promote Apple in the corporate world than anything else.

    Any rumours about voice-recording capability with the next generation of full-sized iPods?

  5. I needed to record a 20 minute speech at a meeting this weekend, I snapped the Belkin voice recorder onto my iPod and the software instantly reconized it and was ready to record when I press ‘select.’ I didn’t have to search the menus or anything. Once done recording I snapped the iTrip back on and got in my car to listen to tunes. I can’t imagine it being any easier if integrated.

  6. The Dell DJ is better than the iPod: voice recording is standard instead of optional.

    Oh wait… you can’t transfer your Dell recordings to your computer!

  7. Hi iSteve

    Yes, it sounds easy enough, and is a good workaround – but my request for integration has two reasons. Firstly, the Belkin device significantly increases the size of the ipod, and no matter how well it works, it’s still a jury-rigged add-on with the normal add-on problems of device loss, complexity and possible connection wearing. Secondly, by integrating the voice recording capability, the device instantly becomes a justifiable business case for the thousands and thousands (millions?) of corporate employees who currently use a digital recorder.

    Why wouldn’t Apple want these corporate and small business people as clients? Why wouldn’t Apple want to put iPods as trojan horses in every corporation?

    Anyway… iSteve… please tell me about the Belkin voice recorder as real operational info is scarce…

    1/ Can you record multiple recordings?
    2/ Is there any limit to the number of recordings? How do you file or name them? Any limit to the length of the recording other than drive space?

    Thanks iSteve

    Glick7

  8. Glick7 & others:
    I don’t feel the voice recorder ‘significantly increases the size’. Conversely, by having it in my briefcase for those times that I need it I feel like I am not having to carry around a voice recorder all those times I don’t need it. I also feel the design of the iPod is not harmed by the need for a microphone.

    Device loss might be a concern – it is really tiny. I just keep it in a certain pocket in my briefcase so that I always have it available.

    I don’t see any connection wearing any more than connecting headphones or my iTrip.

    I justified my iPod expense as I use it as a back-up hard drive for files. I can’t see businesses flocking to the iPod at $500 simply for voice recording ability. Maybe for some top execs as a way to give them an MP3 player but not strictly as a voice recorder.

    You can do multiple recordings – as many as you want providing you have the HD space. When you insert the Belkin the iPod goes into the ‘Voice Memo’ part of the software which can be found under the ‘Extras’ menu.
    You get only two choices – record or cancel.
    Once recording you have two choices – pause or stop & save.
    When you sync the iPod with your computer the file is transfered to a new playlist called voice memos.
    The file name is the date & time. Once in the playlist you are free to rename the file. It is a WAV file.

    I suppose if it were integrated I could go to the extras menu to voice memos to record but it is so easy just to snap on the Belkin and press record.

  9. Won’t “voice record” as a con? That’s like saying “won’t microwave my hot pockets” is a con. So what. That’s not what it’s intended to do. The iPods are music players. Let them be that. Geez.

  10. “The iPods are music players. Let them be that. Geez.”

    I agree! Accessories let people add features as they need without trying to make the base device be everything to everyone.

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