iPod is crap

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
This is a rant, it's probably covered in other posts but I have to vent this poison lest I take this lovely iPod and smash it with a hammer...



I've finally shelled out the dosh for an iPod, looks great, a 30GB video iPod all in black, I was so pleased when I got it last week.... but since then...

I am finding using it an uphill struggle, this wheel thing I guess if you've been using iPods a while it may be quite good, I find it unpleasant to use, it's inaccurate, I've nearly deafened myself by trying to turn the volume up a bit only to have it fly up to the max. It takes some bloody co-ordination and practice to hit a menu item and not go flying to the wrong one. User error? Probably.

On many occasions I cannot turn the frakkin thing off, the backlight dims then comes back on. Resetting makes no difference. Certainly a hardware/software fault, NOT GOOD ENOUGH. At this present moment it is just sitting there, draining power because IT WILL NOT TURN OFF!

The battery life is crap, pure crap, just playing with it for 15mins after a FULL charge leaves the battery at 50%, oh someone has told me the iPod battery guage is notoriously innacurrate, is that so? WTF? Why hasn't Apple fixed it then?? Even so, watching a 25min cartoon, kills the battery leaving it in the red and wanting a charge. Music is to be tested properly since I've not taken it outside yet.

The device LOOKS fantastic, but the looks are deceiving, even with the flimsy pouch and my near-obsessive-compulsion for keeping things immaculate, the pouch is filthy already and the unit is already scratched because the plastic used is USELESS. They could have done much better than this, and for the price it is CRIMINAL that they haven't.

I should have learned this from my time buying Sony crap, bling does not equal quality.

"iCal syncing, ooh..." I thought, yeah right, even after enabling timezone guff in iCal, the appointment times on the iPod are all wrong, out by an hour each time, another USELESS function.

No dock, no charger, basically it's USB charging or go to hell. Of course, this can be fixed buy spending EVEN MORE money.

In short, I'm beginning to hate this thing, if I had bought it from a shop rather than online, I'd take it back, shout and scream and get my money back. As it is, I bought it off eBay, the seller won't re-imburse me as it's not faulty, it's just a bit crummy, actually crap is more descriptive.



If you're thinking about buying one, do a LOT of research first, I thought I had, only to find niggling problems which I've SINCE discovered other users have too..
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
It's finally powered off, it only took 20% of my battery and an hour of SCREAMING at the frakkin thing.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
if you hold down 'play/pause', the device goes to sleep. if you then put it on hold, then it won't ever wake up, until you want it to.

battery life is very good for music, which is it's primary function. it's by no means sony beating, but to keep the device small and light, they compromised. most users will use everyday, always touching base at some point in a 24 hour cycle. it's a commuters device, at which point the battery life is more than adequate. it's last as long as almost any flights.

for video, they'll admit it's not brilliant, but no device will play high quality video for long on a battery, not at that quailty anyway - it's decoding perfect quality (ie no visible compression) 30fps video. it's not a Video iPod, it's a normal regular ipod that also plays video, to silence their critics who said they were behind the times. technology isn't good enough just yet for that type of device to be any good.

the click wheel has five obviously placed and generously spaced buttons, which have a good enough travel. the wheel itself is a well-textured smooth and accurate accellerating pointing device. it is, without a doubt the simplest and most effective solution ever created for this use. it can be used by everyone, and you appear to be the first person to find it 'silly'.

the pastic is shite, but it's also bulletproof, so take that as you will. you can get invisble shields for this, if you need to keep it nice looking. mine is over a year old, and still has very minimal scratching to the chrome, and virtually none on the plastic. because i never put it in as pocket with anything else. that's just common sense. i use my phone, and my camera in the same way.

they don't bunlde a dock, or a remote, or a charger, or anything else, because that would make the device more expensive still. you are getting that for the cheapest it comes. ipods used to be £500, back in the day when they did bundle everything. most people never use the extras, and if you want them, you can buy them, pick and mix style. you never pay for anything you don't need. i have the charger, but i never use it, really. the firewire cable works fine for me. ipods are now £300 and play video and are smaller than ever.

if you still hate it, i'll take it off your hands for £100
 
I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. I'm afraid I've had mosty good experiences myself. Are you sure it's not faulty though? Some of the things you're describing dont sound right.

The fact that you got it off eBay increases the likelyhood of this. I'm always a little weary when I see people selling items on ebay that were only released a few weeks/months ago. Why would they buy an iPod and then sell it a few weeks later? often because it's faulty (or they dropped it) and the store won't give them their money back.

Just speculation, of course, but that is what happened to my brother in law recently when he bought a video card. Seemed like a great deal because it was brand new, but when he got it it had clearly been dropped and it didnt work properly.



The click wheel
It does take some getting used to to land on the right menu item without going too far, but it's hardly as dramatic as you make it seem. It shouldnt be that sensitive. For example, in order to increase the volumefrom 0 to 100% it requires more than a 360 degree spin.

Can't turn it off
Well, clearly it is faulty. WOuld be nice if Apple could ensure all iPods worked but they can't make that guarentee. Should be still under warrenty, shouldn't it?

Battery Life
15mins and 50% gone. Again- faulty. I had mine going for around 4 hours during a party the other week and it was just above 50% at the end of it.

Puch and Plastic
No arguments here. My pouch looked like a dead rat 48 hours after opening it, and my iPod is scratched despite my absolute best efforts. It would be nice if Apple made it from tougher materials, or included those clear protective films, but they're under no obligation IMO. It's plastic -- plastic scratches. it's what it does. You should see my mobile phone.

iCal sync
Haven't had a problem, but haven't used it much so I'm not in any position to say.

No dock or charger
I was a little miffed at first, but then I thought about it and realised that Apple released a new iPod with a colour screen, video capablities and re-made, thinner design, but did not increase the price. As such, they had to save money somehow. They could have included the dock and charger, but then it would have been an extra $100, and people would have been even more pissed off.
 

pds

Registered
I will grant that the click wheel takes a bit to get used to. I also have a 30gig 5th gen. I have a clumsy thumb and often get the item next to the one i want. Bad eyesight further complicates the process.

Your battery life is way off. I flew from Seoul to Cairo with a long layover in Dubai listening to music all the way and had battery to spare when I got to the flat. As for video, I don't even foresee burning up watts even to test it - maybe it's the bad eyesight thing. :D

About the syncing - do you have your time-zone set right? You say it's off by an hour, so I'd check whether you have the default clock set correctly.

I really don't care much about the scratches - I want uninterrupted music. Anyone who notices the scratches is looking too closely.

But - if it really is too much of a problem, my birthday is coming up - :D
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
I don't know....I haven't had any problems since using my mini, and my wife and everyone else that I've recommended the nano to are enjoying the heck out of it. And these are mainly PC users! Click wheel works fine for me, came to understand that putting the iPod in the Hold position when off will keep it off....

The only complaint I had about my iPod was when my wife ended up washing my earbuds in the washing machine. Of course, Apple replaced that without any problems when I went to the support website and it was free since it was still under warranty.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
They replace your headphones if you WASH them?! That's freakin' *hilarious*! If I were Apple, I'd strangle you with those washed headphone cables... Then again, maybe it's good I'm _not_ Apple. :p

fjdouse: I guess you got a vegetable. It's certainly not normal, what you're describing. Sounds like a faulty clickwheel to me. Have it replaced. Even if you've ordered it online, you still have some consumer rights. ;)
 
my right earphone has stopped working recently. iPod is still under warrenty but I'm not sure if i can be bothered, especially seeing as I plan on buying the radio remote earphones when they're available at my local store.

what's the procedure for returning them (in Australia)? I bought my iPod at Target, so do I have to go to Target or do I contact apple directly?


In other news, today they finally delivered my 4Mac Powershield iPod protector. It's one of those scratch-proof plastic films. I'm pretty happy with it, you seriously could not tell it is on f you didnt know.

Unfortunately I didnt clean the white portion of the iPod properly, and there are several teeny tiny bits of dust that produce small bubbles. They are very small, and only easily visible in the sunlight, but just knowing they're there ticks me off a bit. I'm more mad at myself than the product, because the screen, which I was much more careful with, is 100% clear of bubbles and has not reduce the quality of the image at all.

Anyhoo, despite my stupidness, I highly recommend it. If you make sure it is clear of dust and hair, it works very well. I got adventurous this afternoon and tried to scratch it with a 5 cent coin - not a single scratch. brilliant!
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
I took it to a fellow iPod users house last night, it was also the first proper test of it I'd made, it seems the battery is great for playing music, I went out at 2pm and came home at 10pm with the battery hardly dented. So I guess it's ok.

The clickwheel is correct, it's just me, I think it's fiddly but I've been assured it's because it's new to me and it may take a little getting used to.

As for the power-off thing, google is thy friend, I'm not the only one, it appears to be an 'issue' for some.

Also, I appreciate all the comments but when giving your account of battery life, I am talking about video on a 5G not an older device playing just music.

I have now fixed the iCal thing, the fix was SO simple. I just had to delete EVERYTHING and then enter the whole friggin lot all over again, but now it works. Not good, especially if I'd had hundreds of entries.

Battery life for VIDEO playback though is unacceptable, a little googling shows there are some concerns with other users that the 2 hr claim (which I DIDN'T know) is a bit of a stretch, some aren't getting much more than an hour. Even so, 2hrs is unacceptable and I'm going to challenge some points raised by a previous poster though..

but no device will play high quality video for long on a battery, not at that quailty anyway
That's just bull. I've been using a cheap Acer PDA for watching DivX's on the train/coach from York to London with heaps of power left. I've also got a cheapo Chinese-import camera/mp3/video recorder/video player thingy which runs off semi-standard NP60s, you can watch a WHOLE movie with no problem. Don't get me wrong, I've had a few lame machines like the Goodmans/Mustek PVR doodah, which was even more useless than video on this iPod.

it's decoding perfect quality (ie no visible compression) 30fps video.
That's purely a bitrate issue, mate. Both devices I just referred to had erm.. 'perfect' decoding quality.

it's not a Video iPod, it's a normal regular ipod that also plays video, to silence their critics who said they were behind the times.
No, Apple are actively marketing this as a video device. You may see it like that, but I can tell you that people who don't have one and are looking at the iPod for the first time see it as a VIDEO IPOD.

technology isn't good enough just yet for that type of device to be any good.
That's just codswallop, the technology has been there for years, I was watching the whole of Star Wars on a Sony Clie years ago off a battery, also done the same with the two devices I've previously mentioned as well as on a Sharp Zaurus. The battery technology exists, Apple have just COMPROMISED PERFORMANCE to make the thing smaller. I'd settle for the thing being an inch thick, if the battery was up to standard.

I'm not picking an arguement with you, you raised valid points and I'll concede those but on video, you're just wrong.


As for things like charger, dock etc. Well, I told this to a friend last night who owns a previous model and they too were disgusted that they weren't included, don't insult my intelligence by coming up with excuses for them, a AC adaptor would cost them less than $1. They just wanted to make a small and trendy box and to make more money at the till by FORCING people to buy the items NEEDED.. I cannot use this device to watch a movie while travelling long-distance, I would have to book a seat with an AC outlet and BUY a charger to run it off. It's a bit of a rip-off.


The comments about the headphones are funny, really funny. But after having a shuffle, I'd come to the conclusion they (headphones) were crap and the first thing I did was swap them for some Sony ones.
 

Porce

Registered
I have an iPod mini, 4 GB, (first generation of iPod minis).

The battery is crap, always was, and getting worse, but keep in mind that it's over a year old now. I think the advertised length at the time I bought it was 6 hours, but now it's capable of an amazing 3.5 hours. Fortunately I got one before they removed the AC charger from the package, as I have to take the AC charger with me if I'm going anywhere overnight. USB charge is slow and inconvenient.

I don't mind the lack of color, photos, videos. It does what it's supposed to (for a ridiculously short time) - play music. If I get a new one I'll definitely go for the 60 GB hard drive, though. When I got this iPod I never dreamed I could fill up that little 4 GB of space. Now I have about 30 GB of audio (partially because I now use Lossless, but also my music collection grew like crazy), and God knows how much video.

The earphones went bad after three months or so, and they kindly gave me a replacement. They went bad after another five months, when I gave up and got a pair from Sony.
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
Yeah, I don't rate Sony anymore - stung too many times, but they can make a decent pair of earphones. The Apple headphones are just a throw-away item for me, as I say, I had a shuffle for a while and I went through THREE pairs of Apple headphones, all developed a 'pop' then failed. The cable isn't secured inside the earphone, it's just hanging off the solder point - weak. Plus I don't like walking down the road like an iPod conformist. ;-)


Having said that, I've been told and seen a demo video of replacing the battery in older models, really not sure about iPod minis though, seems trivial and the new batteries produced today are supposed to be better than their older counterparts. So I'm not worried about the battery long term, I'll replace it myself, even the hard disk if possible.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
actually, you're right, the video playback is shite on it. never mind, eh?

also, those flimsy little earphones are the most laughable thing about iPods. i've been through 4 sets of them, the bass always goes out on them until it sounds like a whoopee cushion. i currently use an old pair of sony Groove earpbuds, with the additional rubbery bit on it. good for bass, good for not getting mugged...

I want a new ipod at some point, and i'm glad they are making them smaller. my ipod is thick enough, too thick, even. the 4G 60GB ipods were getting that way (they were nearly an inch thick) and they were far too bulky. if music playback is good, then i'll get one. if the video playback is acceptable enough to put my showreel on, then that's perfect. full movies i'm guessing are slow and clunky anyway on an ipod, they definately are on itunes or quicktime...

i just need one that has more than 100gb, or i won't buy one
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
I agree that the video playback time for the 5G iPod is not really that good. I wonder if it's rather the constant harddrive spinning or the actual decoding or the constant screen-light. Ah. All of them, probably. ;) ... I know it's no excuse, but I truly think that the 5G iPod is an evolved music player, not a video player, really. Their energy management is based on playing music, screen off most of the time etc. The battery also isn't very _large_. I mean: They _could_ make the "big" iPods thicker with 2x or 3x the battery life.
 

Lt Major Burns

"Dicky" Charlteston-Burns
isn't the music playback something like 18 hours, and the video playback something like 2 hours?

how come a little clie can play a star wars movie quite happily, but the ipod can't?
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
Actually Major, sir, you'll find video is good, I've got 1264 photos, 1269 music tracks and 19 videos totalling 20.4 hours, most are full movies in excess of 1:30 and access time is fast, I'd heard there was upto a 10 second delay, 1-3 secs is the reality. It seems able to handle whatever I chuck at it.

Fryke, I think you're right, unfortunately, Apple haven't enabled the backlight to be switched off during video playback, this can be corrected via an update and WILL extend battery performance. I realise video without a backlight seems unappealing but in good light it could be an option.

Also, I mentioned I've seen a video of replacing a battery, so here's an idea, why doesn't a third party make a NEW back cover, a bit thicker and capable of supporting a more powerful battery? I'd buy one.

Someone is going to make SOME kind of extender for the power. It will probably be vile to look at and totally ruin the aesthetic beauty of the device though.

I'm gonna stick with it, yeah I am let down by the battery when it comes to video, but I will be making use of it by taking movies with me to play on a TV set, so I'll be investing in the dock, remote, AV cabling etc. I tested mine on a TV and was very happy with it, it just needs a mains adaptor.

You never know, there could be further optimisations via firmware which will extend video performance further.
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
Lt Major Burns said:
isn't the music playback something like 18 hours, and the video playback something like 2 hours?

how come a little clie can play a star wars movie quite happily, but the ipod can't?

Good point. Having adjustable brightness and using something with a bit more 'punch' than a paper thin battery probably helped. :)

I've got an old beaten up Zaurus 5500 (the Zaurus I mentioned before was a C860), it's battery is totally shagged and even IT can do a good hour of QVGA video at 25-30fps.
 

fjdouse

UNIX - Live Free or Die
Although you can't kill the backlight during playback I've found that if you go into the settings and kill the backlight completely, it won't come back on during video playback, you'd need some strong light to view it under but I'm sure it would extend playback time. This info may be of use to someone.
 

nixgeek

Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
fryke said:
They replace your headphones if you WASH them?! That's freakin' *hilarious*! If I were Apple, I'd strangle you with those washed headphone cables... Then again, maybe it's good I'm _not_ Apple. :p

fjdouse: I guess you got a vegetable. It's certainly not normal, what you're describing. Sounds like a faulty clickwheel to me. Have it replaced. Even if you've ordered it online, you still have some consumer rights. ;)

Well, I didn't tell them that they were washed. ;) I mentioned in the description that the right earbud had lost a significant amount of signal. The sound it produced was very tinny. The left one was fine, but the failure of the right earbud kept me from having the listening experience I had before it was washed. And since my iPod was still under warranty, they replaced with nary an issue. :D

Of course, I found out that I could do this after I ordered another pair through We Love Macs. So now I have a spare set for either my wife or myself if the buds go bad. Personally, I like the earbuds that shipped with our iPods. I would prefer not to use the noise cancellation earbuds since I wouldn't be able to hear what's going on around me. And since I usually have the volume at 50% or less, I can still be aware of people speaking to me while still enjoying whatever I'm listening to. :)
 

applemaz

Registered
Sounds like the original poster's problems stem from buying it off ebay to save money. Chances are pretty good that the original owner either did something to it or it was just defective and they decided to pawn it off on some other unsuspecting soul. Even if it was shrink-wrapped, that doesn't mean it wasn't opened. All you need is to know someone in retail to get it rewrapped for sale.

The scratch issue and iCal sync issue are worthy rants, but everything else is just that individual's opinion. They probably shouldn't own any music/video player, because they are bound to find problems with any manufacturer's player.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
You can address people directly instead of talking about them in the third person. ;)
 
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