PC Magazine’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for MP3 players: Apple iPod line

“It’s no surprise: Apple is a Readers’ Choice for a line of MP3 players known as iPods. You may have heard of them. But here’s some news: A company called Cowon America, part of a Korean multimedia giant, scores nearly as high for its players, which generally go by the iAudio moniker. And, radical as this may sound to Apple, a few of the Cowon players are actually compatible with music subscription services, earning the company a Readers’ Choice as well. Just a few steps below those two you’ll find Archos, Creative, and iRiver; on the low side, three vendors score particularly poorly: Philips, RCA, and Rio,” PC Magazine reports.

“Apple’s tech support and repair satisfaction numbers are relatively low compared with the company’s inordinately high scores for desktops and notebooks (6.5 compared with 8.1 plus; see go.pcmag.com/sr). With so many PC users buying iPods, this may support the theory that Apple’s desktop and notebook scores are artificially inflated by the anti-Windows crowd. Or maybe not,” PC Magazine reports.

PC Magazine reports, “We also notice that reader satisfaction with MP3 players increases as the capacity increases—and this applies even with iPods. Readers are much less happy with players with less than 1GB of storage—like the iPod shuffle—than they are with hard drive-based and large-capacity flash storage-based units.”

Full article here.

Related articles:
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’ – September 20, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006


  1. I think that the idea that people are less satisfied with the lower capacity players has more to do with the features on the higher end than it does with the capacity. The Shuffle has no screen; the Nano has a screen, but no movies; the regular iPod has movies, photos and a helluva lot of space.

  2. Why it’s . . . it’s . . . it’s stunning. People are actually more satisfied when something has MORE capabilities — and yet still does what the simpler, smaller version does with equal reliability!?!?!?!??! I’m just . . . shocked.

    That being said, there’s no way in hell I’m taking my 60GB iPod on the 6-day backpacking trips we do. Too valuable. But I will definitely be bringing my new nano once it arrives this week.

    So, “cheaper” and “smaller” certainly trumps “capacity” in some instances.

  3. My daughter loves her iPod Shuffle. We had a problem with the audio jack, and we got it replaced under warrenty, for no charge. Can’t complain about that! And it was replaced in a week. They shipped me the refurbished iPod shuffle, and I shipped them back the one with the bad left channel. She’s been excited ever since to have her iPod Shuffle back. I’m still using my 3rd Gen iPod, 30GB and I’ve had no complaints about it. I wound up replacing the battery on my own after it lost about 1/2 it’s capacity about 6 months ago. No bad, I would think, for a ‘non replaceable battery’. heh

  4. We’ve gone over this before. Smaller has it’s place. The shuffle and Nano are great for exercise – regardless of whether you jog with the Nike iPodamabob, er whatsit. My HD iPods (G1, G3) tend to skip a bit occasionally, are heavier and bulkier and incur more damage when dropped or otherwise impact a hard surface. But on a long plane flight, or airport wait, my iPod 5G is best.

  5. the customer support scores are lower for the iPod line:

    I think this is because customer support takes two to tango. The people on both side of the phone have to be of a certain bent toward civility, intellectual honesty and elevation, mutual respect and more. This describes many of the people that buy Macs, but not necessarily iPods. There are many dufuses that would never buy a Mac (because they are convinced by the FUD that circulates) who would buy an iPod because it is what everyone else does. When customer support has to deal with people who Apple has not traditionally targeted, the scores will naturally decrease.

  6. I’m sure the low-end/high end issue is right — my younger daughter complains about how few tracks she gets on her 2gb Nano from my MacBook Pro, but of course I import audio at highest possible quality, for which there is room on my 30gb iPod video.

    When she gets my old Powerbook G4 to use, she can import how she likes. It’ll probably sound like the dread BBC’s Radio 1 — hollow as if from the bottom of a bucket — but then she hasn’t refined her sensitivities with enough Mozart yet!

  7. The Windoze mafia, the regulators it owns and its fans are fond of saying the iPod removes users’ choice.

    Check this out.

    “WiMP11 will no longer allow you the privilege of backing up your licenses, they are tied to a single device, and if you lose it, you are really SOL. . . . This is nothing less than a civil rights coup, and most people are dumb enough to let it happen.”

  8. “With so many PC users buying iPods, this may support the theory that Apple’s desktop and notebook scores are artificially inflated by the anti-Windows crowd. Or”

    It proves that: Mac users are more above average intelligence are of higher average income, etc, etc I would quote the whole article but I can’t remember or find it, but you get the general idea.

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