Apple should STOP advertising hard drive-based iPods for joggers and runners

“It’s hard not to be impressed with the turnaround at Apple Computer, or the general beauty of the iPod and the overall marketing of the Mac,” Herb Greenberg writes for MarketWatch. “But I have a gripe and something tells me I’m not alone: My iPod is terrible if I use it while running for any longer than 20 minutes or so. And it doesn’t really matter if I have it on an arm strap, as salespeople advised when I bought mine almost a year ago. There was certainly no reason to think the iPod would consistently freeze after 20 minutes, which isn’t cool if you like to run for any period of time over 20 minutes, as I do — and like listening to music while you’re doing it!”

Greenberg explains that, although it didn’t used to happen, now his hard drive-based iPod stops after 20 minutes and how he can’t fix it, can’t find somebody to fix it and then he asks Apple for a new one, writing, “I think Apple can do better, and this is my suggestion: For goodwill’s sake, give current iPod users claiming exercise-related freezing one-time amnesty to swap their iPod for 50% off on an iPod Nano, which doesn’t have a hard drive. (I don’t care if the Nano scratches easily, as long as it works!)”

Full article here.
We agree with Mr. Greenberg that Apple shouldn’t promote hard drive-based iPods for jogging (iPod: http://www.apple.com/ipod/color/musicandmore.html). Hard drives – we don’t care what Apple says – aren’t meant to be pounded and shaken around repeatedly. Apple does promote jogging on their iPod nano (http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/) and iPod shuffle (http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/musictogo.html) web pages. This is good, because these flash-based iPods are perfect for jogging. Should Apple give 50% off iPods for people like Greenberg? We’re not completely sure about that; mostly we want to tell Greenberg to just crack open his wallet and drop $99 on an iPod shuffle or $199 on an iPod nano. After all, these aren’t $60,000 sports cars we’re talking about. iPods are becoming pretty much disposable. (Why does it seem everybody these days immediately goes looking for a handout or someone to blame? They can’t figure out not to bang a hard drive around, but they have no problem determining their just compensation in a flash!)

The very first time we jogged with hard drive-based iPods, they made quite a nasty sound as they reloaded their cache memory at the 20-minute mark, so we stopped running with hard drive-based iPods. A little common sense goes a long way. We can debate forever if Apple owes the common sense-impared a special deal, but Apple does tell people to go jogging with hard drive-based iPods. So, it seems to us that Apple lacks the most common sense here. Apple should STOP advertising hard drive-based iPods for joggers and runners. If you’re going to run on a treadmill and can put the iPod on the machine’s magazine rack or somewhere else (not on your bouncing self), that what works for us. For people that want to run outside and bounce around with iPods, get an iPod shuffle or an iPod nano – those models are perfect for joggers.

29 Comments

  1. It’s called technology evolution. You bought what was the best in the market at that time for a good price. Now, the flash technology is improving. Quit whining and get a new iPod if you please.

    Why did the other flash based players market saying that it is best for joggers? Did you miss that?

  2. If an iPod fails to operate properly when used in a manner suggested by Apple (e.g., it will not operate for longer than 20 minutes without having to reset it — which is what Herb Greenberg claims has happened to his iPod) and if it fails within the one year warranty period (which is also what Mr. Greenberg claims) then Apple should replace it. Period. There should be no “50% off” of a different model. The warranty covers malfunctioning iPods which are used in a manner consistent with Apple’s suggested uses.

    If after Apple replaces the iPod a person wants to buy one that is practical for jogging/running/active sports/etc. then they will have one for static use and a new one for high impact activities.

    However, I agree Apple should stop advertising — or even suggesting — that the hard drive based iPods are fine for high impact activities (and yes, I consider jogging high impact).

  3. “Why does it seem everybody these days immediately goes looking for a handout or someone to blame?”

    Because no one wants to take any personal responsibility anymore. They’re always looking for the government or some corporation to bail them out of their own messes. And then when anything goes wrong, they sue and/or scream about it to the media. It’s all a product of the “Great Society” and everyone thinking they’re entitled to everything. Personal responsibility and common sense have taken a nose dive ever since…

  4. I agree with MDN.
    This is a brainless customer problem.
    The writer has had his iPod for over a year, give me a break.
    He’s used it all this time and now that the iPod Nano is out he wants to flip it for something cooler.
    I’m sure he didn’t use his iPod exclusively for jogging.

    Let flame this idiot and let him know he’s just trying to use his exposure for a new iPod.

  5. I use a 4G 40 GB iPod with an arm-strap and it rarely freezes when I jog. My music is encoded at 160 kbs and I also listen to podcasts that are 20-40 MB in size. The only times when my iPod freezes are the days when the weather is really hot. I would recommend a full-size iPod for jogging to anyone. Just because some people have a bad experience with their iPods does not mean that everyone else will too.

  6. I have only owned 2 iPods and used them both for running – with NO problem. Of course, I hold it in my hand so it doesn’t get “pounded” I like the way it fits in my hand and I use my thumb to skip songs, turn volume up or down etc.

  7. My Sony (cassette tape) Walkman did work that well during hard running either. Songs sounded a bit garbled and once a tape got tangled and stuck inside. It’s not that these things SHOULDN’T be used this way… they can be… but they might not work as best as they can.

  8. I use a first generation 5 g ipod (that I put 2-3,000 miles on). It was clipped to my belt. No problem except having to replace internal battery once.

    Based on my experience, fine to jog with…

  9. I bought my wife a 3rd gen, 30GB iPod when they first came out. My wife does long 1-2hr runs and the iPod crashed consistently at about 25 minutes into her runs. We tried all kinds of differerent ways for her to hold it, strap it on, etc., and nothing worked. To Apple’s credit, they replaced the unit *twice* because of my complaints, each time reminding me that “it’s a spinning hard drive in there – not a good idea to be bouncing it around.” I later noted that just before they released that model Apple removed language from their website specifically encouraging running and jogging with the iPod.

    So I kept the 30GB iPod and my wife limped along with a Rio unit – until the 1GB Shuffle came out. It was an absolute hit with her! She says it is perfect for her needs and even declined an iPod Nano because she likes how incredibly tiny the Shuffle is.

    I think anyone doing more than very light jogging with a HD-based iPod is “running on borrowed time”…

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