beware ipod

My inital experience with the new 40gb ipod was excellent but the honeymoon is over! The unit has completely died after only several weeks of use. Numerous glitches forced me to constantly "reboot" the unit until it stopped working completely. Battery life never came close to the claimed eight hours, plus you are unable to back-up audio files from the ipod thanks to apple becoming a lackey for the music industry. I really feel like I have been taken to the cleaners on this purchase. I spent the better part of a week loading .wav files onto the unit and to have it completely crash so quickly means that apple obviously has some quality issues. The ipod is based on an off the shelf Toshiba hardrive that retails for a couple of hundred dollars so you are paying apple for the interface and the cute plastic box. I love electronics and have spent a fortune on them over the years but no purchase has been such a huge disappointment. Avoid the temptation to buy what seems like a great unit. Steven Jobs has no clothes.
I have been using a 40g one since Christmas. It has been faultless so far (knocking on woods). You might have gotten a lemon. I would suggest you send it back to Apple for repair. I heard their services are great.
a friend of mine has his ipod and he loves it. We own a G5 and it has been faultless in OSX even if some of my old classic programs don't quite work the same.
My iPod has wqorked flawlessly for months. I store the music files on an external hard drive and just move the tunes I want to the iPod from there.
I recently read in Extreme PC magazine that have been faulty battery issues with ipods .


Beware anything that is electronic. Sometimes things do just go bad. I have had two 15g iPods for about 6 months now after owning a 10g I sold. Not a single issue and they are best sounding MP3 and formatted player I have used, while also giving me the ability to use uncompressed files. Nothing on the market comes close IMO. I would be upset though if one of them were to just stop working. Sorry to hear about what happened to yours.
My son and wife have one. My son's has already been replaced by Apple. My wife's continuously locks up and usually just needs to sit away from the charger for a day and then it works again.
Only a month or so in with my 40GB but I'm a big fan.
Only one GB or so left for new stuff!!

Although it does appear from what I read there seems to be the odd one with catastrophic problems....
I'm sorry to hear about your Ipod, I suspect you may have got a lemon. Why don't you take it to the nearest Apple store and ask for a replacement? Any moving part is subject to failure, in this respect the newer flash type memory disks may be more reliable (Ipod Mini). No one I know with an Ipod has had an issue with the hard disk, though many have complained of the battery dying out (first generation, I beleive issues have been ironed out for the 3rd generation). There was a class action suit filed against Apple last year in regards to the battery problem. Not sure what the resolution was.
I love my ipod. However, repeated attempts to have it make coffee have failed. Despite numerous demonstrations, it fails to learn these simple tasks.
I've completely given up. I'm only using the ipod for music. Yes, in that regard, it has performed flawlessly, but I still have to make my own coffee,
walk my own dog, and program my own Tivo.
It's worth noting as well you can back up files from an iPod with the correct software which is available to download...
I've had an ipod since last October - - works great; no problems. FWIW, I've used Macs for 10 years - have 4 of them - and wouldn't use any thing else now. As others have said, you probably just got a lemon.
I appreciate that most people seem to love their ipod but their is absolutely no excuse for the lack of quality control that I have encountered. As for their legendary "support"...the manual that comes with the ipod is an absolute joke...the dreaded folder with an exclamation mark icon that pops on the screen to tell you that you are hooped isn't even mentioned in the manual. Wading through apple's web site isn't much better. I called the 800 number and wound up in voicemail hell and finally gave up. For all you ipod lovers....may the force be with you. And to the fellow that mentioned the "hack" that allows you to "decloak" the audio files for downloading off the worked about as well as the unit. I love the concept of what the ipod is all about but I guess I am going to have to wait for a real manufacturer like Sony to come up with something. I should have known better than to trust a hard drive. As a side note...Sony's broadcast television division has pretty much given up on using hard drives to capture professional video....too unreliable. Their latest broadcast camera uses a 45gb optical disc.
can't back up files?
can someone explain this to me before i buy one? i figure it's going to take a LONG time to get all my cds into the ipod. is there no way to back them up? can't you convert your cds IN your computer, make a copy and download that copy into the ipod?
hi get music onto the ipod you have to:
1. Insert the CD into your computer and it will automatically pull up the track listings from the net.
2. Select the songs you want to import to your COMPUTERS hard drive. You cannot load songs directly onto the ipod.
3. Then you can upload the songs from your computers drive to the ipod.

What you can't do however is take songs OFF of the ipod's hard drive. You cannot burn CD's from the ipod for example or copy all your tunes onto another hard drive. The idea is to stop "piracy". The problem is that it does take a fair bit of time to "load up" your ipod. In my case several days to get approximately 1,000 tracks. If I used MP3 compression I could have loaded up 10,000 tracks. It is cool because you can go through all the CD's that are collecting dust on your shelf and just load the one or two tracks that you like. Unfortunately if your ipod dies so does all the time spent loading it up. It is as bad has having the hard drive on your computer fail. You loose everything. It's not the end of the world but I am disappointed that it crapped out so quickly and that getting any action out of apple means wasting yet more of my time. Can you imagine a large audio manufacturer selling you a preamp that completely fries after a couple weeks of use and maybe damages some other equipment? Audiophiles would be pretty upset and the company might go be out of business, but for some reason everybody makes excuses when it involves computer stuff.
People tolerate endless rebooting and other jiggery pockery to make the stuff operate but expect perfection from regular audio gear. The ipod concept is great but unfortunately the execution is lacking. If I had of known that .wav downloads from the ipod were verboten I would not have bought it. And if I had read that there was even a slight chance of them using a dodgy hard drive I would also not have bought it. The battery lie I would have lived with. Anyhow....anybody got any info on the iRiver forty gigger?...I wonder if they are using the same Toshiba drive?
Kublakhan-basically it'll take about 3-4 minutes on a reasonable PC to upload an album onto your hard drive from there the download takes seconds.
I've managed to just about fill my iPod over a couple of weeks so it's not horrific.
It takes seconds to download an album onto the iPod.

Of course once you have your whole collection you can back it up onto CD's or DVD's.

What the original poster referred to you can't officially upload back onto your hard drive from the iPod (obviously many people including my girlfriend do not want 40GB or more music stuck on their hard drive).
From what I can gather you can do this using non-Apple software but I haven't tried it.

The original poster is quite right to complain,the only valid experience is your own but you have to accept sometimes in life you get unlucky with a bad example of something it doesn't neccesarily make the technology bad.
Ntcsdan we were obviously posting at the same time.
Clearly Ntcsdan got a defective unit which if he takes the effort should be replaced by Apple under warranty. As far as downloading songs into an iPod, it takes less than an hour to transfer songs from my computer and completely fill my 30Gb model.

Portable HD players are fairly complex pieces of equipment. Effectively they are dedicated small format portable computers. In much the same way that notebook computers are semi-disposable products I really don't foresee individual iPods lasting 10 years. Also like computers you have to backup your music. The standard is if it ain't stored on 3 separate systems in 3 different places, then it ain't backed up.

If you really want to explore all things iPod, here's a link to the Apple iPod discussion group.
It's a shame you got a lemon -- they are fabulous devices when they work.

I have had the ipod for the last 6 months. It has been superb. Just yesterday, I was on a flight from San Diego to New Jersey via DC, and I heard 55 of my own five star rated tracks continually on my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones (which are equally awesome for what they do - not audiophile!) without the battery failing on either the iPod or the Bose. I will admit that the iPod is close to being completely drained, but I will take that length of usage anyday.

You sure appear to have a lemon; Apple is typically very good about taking care of such things. I have been a Mac fan for years, and (touch wood) have had them always be on the up and up with any issues.

Good luck. As someone else said, the iPod is a fabulous device. Now if could get it to be compatible with my car's system ...!
There are ways to get your ipod to play through your car's system. Consult a car stereo installer in your area. Many car stereos have an auxilary input that isn't being used. Your installer can connect a jack to that into which you can
plug your ipod using your headphone out. There is another solution which
involves a small transmitter that connects to your ipod and allows you to play it through your car's radio. You can also get an attachment which will allow
you to plug the ipod into either a car lighter or or a similar DC input in an
airplane so you can keep your ipod (or laptop computer) charged. Most of the larger jets have these inputs in their first class seats.
Also, Alpine Car Stereo company is coming out with car stereos that will connect to your ipod, take over its functions and keep it charged so you can
use your ipod as a portable hard drive and play it through your car stereo. If you have bought an Alpine car stereo recently, it may have this capability, but you will need to purchase an interface that will allow you to take advantage of it. Check with your local Alpine dealer.
Right now, I have a jack installed which connects to my Alpine car stereo through an auxilary input so I can play my ipod directly through my car's audio system -- and it sounds great. The interface which will allow my head unit to take over the ipods functions and keep it charged was introduced at CES and I am eagerly awaiting its release so I can get that puppy installed. The solution I am using now works beautifully, but it could be a little more elegant if I didn't have to have the wire to the cigarrette lighter to keep the ipod charged and it would be cool to have a Head Unit that would display the songs and artists from the ipod.
From Alpine's press release ---

With a simple one-cable connection, iPod users will be able to operate key playback features from the Alpine receiver's buttons and have display of playlists, album, artist and songs on the head unit. The iPod can then be safely stored in the glove box or console because it acts like a portable hard drive connected to the head unit through Alpine's powerful Ai-Net system bus. The Alpine connectivity solution also provides charging of the iPod's internal battery.

For the rest --
Currently, there are several companies that make hard drive units for Car Audio systems. The largest of these hold 15 Gigs and costs more than a 40 Gig ipod -- and it is dedicated to the car. The 40 Gig ipod has more than twice the storage, is less expensive, and is portable.

No -- I don't work for either Apple or Alpine.
so, because of one isolated incident we should all be wary? i'm not going to stop driving cars because someone had one die. same with my iPod. my 40gb has been perfect out of the box and continues to be so. i'm terribly sorry yours is fubar'd and i certainly hope you get a new replacment unit and give it a 2nd chance.

btw, all of the things you say you couldn't do (burn CDs from it, take files off, etc) i've done, you just have to do a little research...
IMO, the ideal situation is to manage all of one's music files on an external hard drive. These days, you can get a lot of storage for relatively little $$. This way, you don't take up your computer's hard drive with music files. Then, you circulate your music through your ipod from your external hard drive. You burn CD's with your computer using your external hard drive. To me, asking your ipod to manage all of that, or being disappointed because you can't do all of that from your ipod is a little unrealistic. Before the 40 Gig ipod, I was carrying around a notebook computer so I could carry that much music. The ipod conveniently separates the portable music capability so I
don't have to carry around a full fledged computer. For me, a portable hard dive player like the ipod is the Holy Grail -- it is THE solution. To have THAT much music THAT portable, to be able to plug my ipod into my home stereo,
take it with me and plug it into my car stereo, then take it out of the car and listen to it at the beach or on an airplane makes the ipod THE answer. Carrying around a notebook computer, which was the alternative, was way more costly, way less convenient. As I said in an earlier post, there *are* hard drive solutions for the home -- like the Escient Fireball -- which cost far more than an ipod -- and are not portable. There are hard drive solutions for the car -- Sony makes one -- which cost a lot more than an ipod and have a lot less storage -- and are not portable. And, neither of those solutions are nearly as easy to load as the ipod. Then, you've got car stereo manufacturers like Alpine coming up with products that will let you plug your ipod directly into your car's audio system. And a 40 Gig ipod only costs around $500. To me, that's a hell of a deal. Of course, if you get a lemon, that's not a deal at any price, but my guess is that Apple will replace it and then, like others have said, for people to avoid the ipod with all of it's convenience, portability, and efficiency at such a reasonable price, because of one bad experience, would be a shame.

I'm on my 3rd 30GB ipod. This one's working well though. When they work they're great, when they don't... Sounds like you're using USB 1.1 if it's taking you that long to load music onto your ipod. Get a USB 2 card or FireWire and your life will get much easier.

Also, the ipod is advertised as an mp3 player which is also capable of playing wavs. However, you cannot expect to get the advertised battery life when playing wavs. The ipod has a 32mb buffer I believe. This is adequate for mp3's, but not large enough for wavs. Because of this your hard drive will constantly be spinning up to read and your battery life will plummet. This is not unique to the ipod. I don't know of another HD player with a larger buffer so all players will suffer the same result (although most players do have better battery life than the ipod to begin with). I highly recommend alt-preset-standard VBR mp3's made with EAC and LAME mp3 decoder. On an ipod, there is absolutely no sound difference (this is with Senn 600's and ety's).
Hey ultraviolet thanks for the info on the wav's...that makes a heck of a lot of sense...basically the ipod is not up for heavy duty wav playback which means that I am likely going to run into the same problem when I get my replacement...I am still waiting...the only reason I bought it was for .wav files....I have zero interest in compression schemes since I have a hard enough time listening to CD' are probably correct that using hi rez mp3's I wouldn't notice the difference with earbuds...but I would in my car and certainly hooked up to my home rig...all the folks that love the ipod do so because of the convenience of all that music in a nifty little package...I guess I just expected too much from the little plastic box...I guess that is why no legitimate consumer electronics company has jumped into the "ipod" only offers a 1 gig flash player and mini disc...they are wise because they value their brand more than apple does...or as I mentioned before, computer companies seem to be able to get away with selling ill conceived "dream" products and consumers seem not to care when they don't perform as shouldn't sell the ipod as working with .wav files unless it does so with some degree of reliability...I am considering using an outboard drive to store and access all my CD's though...are the LaCie's any good?...they have some that go up to a terabyte...maybe too good to be true huh?
thanks for all the replies though...audiogoner's are a first rate bunch...
Ntscdan I use Apple's AAC compression for my music and the Lanstec inmotion speaker system which is a portable speaker set.

I bought some Senheiser ear phones too to replace the iPod ones;for listening via headphones imho the iPod sounds very very good,occassionally the odd track can be a bit off on overall sound but for music on the move it's a fantastic little machine.

The Inmotion speaker set are a dinky little piece and great for a casual system,I use mine mostly in the kitchen and again for the cash paid the sound quality is pretty decent with reasonable power.

However I have plugged myiPod into my main system at home and as you might expect with the compression etc. it's rather poor.
I'm not disappointed by that because it's not what I bought the iPod for BUT audiophilles should be aware it is not an audiophille machine but it is imho a piece of equipment that makes music exciting again which is a major triumph in itself.
Ntscdan, your statement that "basically the ipod is not up for heavy duty wav playback" is not true. The type of hard drive used in the iPod is a common typed used in numerous laptop applications. Using WAV or AIFF format files will increase the number of times the hard drive in the iPod is accessed which in turn will decrease battery life, but it has a negligible effect on the hard drive's durability. I have a 30Gb iPod and have used it with both compressed and uncompressed files without any problems.

I agree entirely with Ben Campbells above statement that the iPod is not an audiophile oriented product.
The ipod, at less than $500, is certainly not an audiophile level player, but
for a casual player if offers incredible convenience and if you load it with uncompressed CD's, it can sound amazingly good considering its price and convenience. How much compression one uses is a factor of how much quality degradation one is willing to suffer during casual listening. When I play my ipod through my reference system using the headphone out, it sounds better than CD's played on my $400 Denon DVD player.
Ntscdan, before dismissing current portable music players altogether, seriously try out the method of encoding mp3's that I mentioned. I cannot tell the difference on my ipod with any headphone I have tried to date. I cannot tell the difference in the car (after being converted back to wav). And, in a double blind test on my home stereo (also playing wavs converted from alt-pres-stnd VBR mp3's) I barely got a statistically significant result. Oddly enough, the ones I could differentiate, was because of a volume disparity between mp3 and original pressed cd--don't know why.

Also, check this out for more interesting information.

The mp3 encoding method I use is far superior to anything used in these tests.

I was the biggest basher of the mp3 format. I have heard (and still do) appallingly bad mp3's. The fact is, mp3 is lossy compression--but there are ways to encode for it that minimize (most times eliminate) audible differences. If you can get over the theoretical shortfalls and honestly evaluate it done correctly in practicle application, I think you'll find there's a lot of enjoyment to be had from them.
I like the sounds from my ipod.
However, i am reencoding my CDs as 256 AAC instead of 160mp3. Seems to have better dynamics.