Lets face it, the iPod has helped Apple a great deal getting the company were it is today. But is the iPod everything that the company would like us to believe? Mmmm… lets see… Yes, the iPod looks nice, and yes it has good sound quality. Is it the best-looking mp3 player out there? Well, like they say “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Is it the best sounding one? Who knows… but its hard to believe when there are competitors out there like Sony and Creative, which have excellent sound quality ratings and have been on the sound business for years. Is this another of Apple’s myths? Judge for yourselves…
Image by sabellachan
iTunes… Yes iTunes… why iTunes? Some might say, iTunes is a great program with great features, and it is. However, iTunes is the only way you can interact with your iPod. Other mp3 players can be accessed directly from “My Computer” just as if you were accessing a flash drive. This makes the iPod particularly inflexible and limited to what it can do, making Apple the intermediary when it comes to transferring media in and out of their product.
2) You can only play songs purchased from iTunes on your iPod:
Apple’s FairPlay DRM protection will only allow songs purchased trough iTunes to be played on your iPod, or in the computer you purchased the songs from. If you happen to trade your iPod for another brand of mp3 player, your iTune-purchased songs just became useless. Apple just punished you for the “sin” of being disloyal to their product. This type of behavior would get Microsoft crucified by public opinion.
3) Can’t play music purchased in iTunes in other (software) mp3 players:
Want to use Windows Media Player or Winamp, which is faster and less cluttered than iTunes?, well you can’t. Again, FairPlay DRM protected songs can only be played in iTunes or in the iPod.
4) Non-replaceable battery:
iPods come with an internal rechargeable battery. Rechargeable batteries are not eternal; they will stop holding their charge eventually and when yours does guess what? It’s over… If you have your iPod under warranty you can send it to Apple and you will get back a refurbished iPod that will probably not even be your own, if you are out of warranty, guess where your $300 iPod is going… yes you guessed it… to the garbage. You can choose to get it replaced by Apple for $100 but that is probably what your used iPod will be worth by the time the battery stops charging. In addition if your battery gets depleted you can’t change it by a spare one, keep this in mind if you need the device to be functioning for long periods of time, like a camping trip.
5) No FM radio, and therefore, no capability of recording from the radio:
There are many MP3 players in the market that have capability to receive and record FM radio and save these recordings in mp3 format. With the iPod you have to buy a separate adapter and pay extra for this feature. This adapter however will only work with newer iPods and will not allow you to record.
6) Cannot use the iPod’s memory as storage space:
Lets face it, you might not always have a flash drive or a blank CD with you, but you will most likely have your mp3 player. Lets say you have an emergency and you are at a friend’s house working on a important school project and you want to transfer the work you created in MS Word from his computer to yours… Better find something else, the iPod will not let you. Again this is due to the fact that iTunes is the only method of interacting with the iPod
7) No voice recording capability:
Want to record what your professor is saying in class or an unexpected important event. Many mp3 players out there will give this feature, the iPod will not.
8 ) Can’t natively play WMA format:
WMA gives companies the capability of using DRM and produces files smaller than mp3 format. For these reasons WMA is particularly convenient for audio book publishers, an industry where this format is widely used. However, since a competing company, no other than Microsoft, developed it Apple chose to ignore its existence. There are however ways to convert WMA to other formats compatible with the iPod but this can become a hassle if you have a big music collection, do to the time it takes to convert each song.
Yes. In general the iPod is generally more expensive than other mp3 players and the worst part is that competing products offer you more for less money, making the “real value” gap even wider. Reading all the previously stated reasons above you can agree with me that iPods just do not offer you your money’s worth. Again…. you are just paying extra for the Apple name, you are basically paying more for less.
And if all these concerns weren’t enough, a study recently discovered that iPods can cause pacemakers to malfunction when placed near them like in a shirt pockets. Who would have known that iPods could also be hazardous to somebody’s health? Of course to be fair, probably no other player has been tested for this. And they might have similar effects as well. iPods might have been unfairly chosen for the study due to their popularity. Before I start receiving hate letters from Apple lovers, bear in mind that this article is regarding iPod’s disadvantages not its advantages. I totally recognize that there are positive aspects about the iPod like its intuitive controls, battery charge duration and its accessory variety. The iPod does have more accessories than any other mp3 player out there, mostly because companies want to take advantage of the iPod’s big market share. However, this does not mean that other mp3 players do not offer you the accessory you are looking for. There are many mp3 players that have the FM Transmitter, the docking station and the long lasting battery. Just be a smart shopper and evaluate all your options before investing your money. Don’t become the bait of an advertisement hook. ;)