There have been a few threads on specific issues. As audiophile who travels a lot and at times uses the IPOD for background music for parties thanks to its playlists etc, I am just creating this thread for any IPOD related discussion: we can be free flowing in our discussion.

I will start: I saw in 6moons and someone's comment in another thread that using the dock instead of the headphone jack of the IPOD to connect to your main system provides better sound quality. Really? How much? Why? How do you connect via the dock? Doesn't it just have USB/Firewire connections?
I connect my iPod via the dock to my Tivoli Radio (model2) for the simple reason its easier!

This way it sits safely in its dock and is charged (maybe not good for battery life though..)at the same time.

There is a 3.5mm stereo socket marked line out next to the USB/Firewire socket. Use a 3.5mm stereo miniplug to phono lead, the same as if you were connecting via the headphone socket on the iPod.
but when you connect it via the headphone out the signal must first make it through the ipod's amplification, which due to size limitations is not very good. However, when you use the 3.5 output on the back of the dock the signal bypasses all amplification and feeds nothing but a line level output. therefore running it via the dock adds less jumble to the signal path thus making it easier to resolve better sound.
Why is Apple everything. Is it the one that sounds the best?
Thanks Asonicyouth: makes perfect sense
Even if the ipod doesn't sound the best... it is the only portable mp3 player with a good interface. Apple hit gold with the design and the interface.
Good for Apple. Pamper's hit gold with their diapers, but what's that got to do with us?

I prefer sound over interface.

Which one sounds the best?
I finally experiemented hooking the IPOD to my main system: into the DCC2/Linn Klimaxx/Kharma 2.3F. Previously I had all my files in mp3 and was disappointing when hooked up: since then I have been undergoing the laborious process of deleting all files and re-recoding my CDs vis Apple Loseless. Using newly purchased Cardas cable for the IPOD, the sound was more than listenable. Pretty good. While soundstange suffered a bit and bass got a bit muddy, still fine for background listening or for playlists for parties & such. Pleasantly surprised. However I have heard that connecting via the dock sounds better: but when I tries that, no sound. I wonder why? Only when using the headphone jack did it work. Anyone know why this may be the case?