Is an IPOD hi-fi?

A guy on another website said he pluged his ipod into his big rig and it sounds the same as his main CD player. I told him he had serious issues with his system if an ipod sounds like a good CD player but I'm just guessing, I don't have an ipod. Any comments?

If he's enjoying it ,then there are no issues.A large body of music won't tax an iPOD's ability.

An iPod is just a small, portable hard drive with some software installed to manage music files. What the output of the iPod sounds like depends completely on the fidelity of the bits you put on the hard drive and what you choose to do with them as they come off the hard drive.

If you play mp3 files ripped at low bit rates through the headphone jack you're going to get low-fi, or maybe mid-fi, depending on the bit rate and your own standards for reproduction.

If you play lossless files through the line-out connection, then through an external DAC with good jitter control, most people would certainly consider what they're hearing hi-fi.

The point is that your question is impossible to answer because it makes the same sense as asking the question, "Is a speaker hi-fi?"
Hey if it suits him, who cares?
Dave Wilson used an ipod running straight into parasound amps and thence to some new speakers of his that he was demoing for the hifi press. That would count as hifi in my book.
Never heard a normal iPod in my system, but the Red Wine iMod is really great. Easily beat my $1000 CDP.
Agree with Muzikat: if that person likes it, who else actually cares?
Theoretically it must suck, but until YOU hear it in HIS system... who really knows... besides the dude who claims it sounds just as good!
I wanted opinions from the audiophile community. The possibilities are:

1. The IPOD is really better than I thought.
2. The guys system can't resolve the difference.
3. The guy can't resolve the difference.
4. I've wasted thousands on CD players and cables!

The guy is definately happy with his IPOD but is it hi-fi as critical audiophiles would define hi-fi? Inquiring minds want to know.
If you play lossless files through the line-out connection, then through an external DAC with good jitter control...

You would actually need a digital output to do this. Line out is analog.
Biggest variable is how he ripped and stored the music. If it was MP-3 files and he can't hear the diff, then its 2 and/or 3. If he is playing lossless files then might be pretty good, although still could not rule out 2 and/or 3. AS far as 4 goes, a lot depends on how much downloading you want to do. As far as 1 goes, it is a relatively user friendly device that provides excellent portable music. It is pretty darn good at it, IMO. Of course, there ARE problems with the software and download interface, IMO, but most of it is probably a matter of my limited practice.
More info: The guy was ripping uncompressed .wav files
I actually listen to the I-Pod over the holidays. Not for me junk in junk out. We can thank Steve Jobs once again for corrupting the music. Bottom line he has managed to sell a crap product to the masses and get even richer for it. I was hoping it was going to be much better than it was,its not, but Steve Jobs is happy camper. Caveat Emptor or something like that. But if it floats your boat and you want Apple to get bigger and bigger and bigger go for it. What I heard was akin to dragging your finger nails across a chalk board.
In a couple of previous issues of UHF magazine, they've been investigating using iPods, Squeezeboxes, and similar devices as a music sources. (You can find partial reviews on their website in their "Reading Room"). It's turned into a continuing project for them. Indeed, they've purchased an iPod to add to their reference system for further investigation. Their results to date are that they've been pleasantly surprised at how these things can be a very good source. When you are able to bypass the internal DAC and feed the signal into an outboard DAC of higher quality, they are very impressed. I'm not sure if you can do this with iPods as of yet, since I don't have one and don't know their capabilites, but with other devices you can. So using an iPod as a music source is certainly something worth investigating, even more so if and when they make them with a digital out. Perhaps I'll have to buy one for the kids as "present" and play with it myself.
My 80gb iPod playing uncompressed files sounds awesome through the Grado SR60 'phones when I listen to it at work and it sounds even better with my Senns HD-580 at home.

Ferrari, I would not call it a complete junk.
If the files are uncompressed(I use .wav for the stuff that I like the most) it sounds very acceptable.
However, I tried it via Belkin adaptor into my system at home and it was nowhere near the sound quality of my cd player. I never expected it to be, but still, it sounded pretty good.
The main purpose of an iPod, at least to me, is convenience. I can bring it to work and listen to it on a good pair of headphones and totally enjoy the sound.

If anyone knows of a good quality cable to connect the iPod to the preamp, please post.
Ferrari ... what was the encoding format of the music ? It makes all the difference. Lossless and 192kbps AAC sound pretty good through my sennheiser cans.

128kbps MP3 on the other hand sounds absolutely terrible.
I'd agree with all the initial responses: If it makes him happy, why pinch a loaf in the middle of his listening room?

OTOH - since you are soliciting opinions, which are worth the aforementioned pinched loaf; I have done a bit of back and forth listening of my iPod (line-out with Signal Cables Silver IC's), through both my systems as well as through a great headphone setup. If it's not critical listening, but is being used for background music instead, I could see using it for the convenience. But I'm pretty confident I could tell the iPod from my front-end, and even from PC-Audio, every time. It is not as resolving, and does not get my foot tapping and my head bobbing. Through heaphones the differences are magnified even more. It's a great way to take lots of your music with you. I've used it at work, working out, on the road, and in the car. In all those non-critical listening scenarios works brilliantly. If you have a decent front-end at your disposal, and the software to play the music, I see no reason to use an iPod as a front-end in a home stereo.

Now who's going to clean up that mess in the middle of the room? It's starting to stink in here!


PS Per the tomato condiment dude - There is no native digital output on any current iPod (that I'm aware of) - you cannot go to an external DAC witout serious modifications. The best you get currently is a line-output, which still uses the mediocre DAC in the iPod for conversion. There is at least one company doing a digital-output conversion at a very significant price tag (why bother). Apple supposedly did release some kind of USB protocol for the Ipod, but has not implemented it in any of the models at this point.
I've been living with an iPod too, and with a variety of headphones (including Grado 60's). While the iPod is quite listenable, I don't see it as approaching hifi. I see it more like a portable CD player (i.e. walkman type) with a hard drive source. I don't think it was ever intended to be more than that, though I hope for the day when it is (i.e. USB out for streaming music to a decent DAC).
It is truly amazing to have 6,000+ songs in the palm of your hand; I couldn't imagine not having an iPod for portable access to music. I also can't understand why people here are so overly critical of iPods but with 70+ million units sold in a relatively short amount of time the market has spoken. While an iPod doesn't sound great through my high end SET system, my iTunes lossless database through a usb dac does. Internet radio with 128k streams also sound decent through my usb dac, possibly better than lossless through my iPod out to my stereo. My rambling point is that iTunes sets up the infrastructure for a computer based audio system that then supports an airport express, a squeezebox, usb dac, iPod etc.

A future generation iPod with a digital out would be another story.
No. It is not.
And Steve Jobs thanks you so very much. I am sure he is doing hand springs all the way to the bank, uttering the phrase of P.T. Barnum.(Nobody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence or taste of the American public.)
Ferrari, I do realize now that you are much more intelligent than most of us here and Audiogon.....heck forget are more intelligent than the American public! Simply by displaying the pride of non-ownership of an iPod.
Way to go man, because this is what I call intelligence.
So intelligent that he can't answer my question. What type of encoding did you listen to ? Apple lossless ? WAV ? AAC 192 ? AAC 128 ? MP3 128 ?
Don't get me wrong here - I applaud the crap out of Steve Jobs. He had a vision of what to appeal the masses and has sold it to death at the expense of others. This is marketing genius at its very best. Roughly only about 1 percent or less of us can be called audiophiles, so that gave him 99 percent of music lovers go to after and he made it and big time. Hell I wish I had thought up this idea myself. Never would have thought the masses would embrace the I Pod in the numbers it has, and to think his bare bones cost in these things is about $25.00 and they sell for WHAT???? Way cool man, now thats entreprenauership at its best. He should get a Nobel prize or something.

And remember the words of Adolph Hitler: The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

And to Audphile1, many thanks and I am most humbled beyond my wildest expectations.
The iPod is a toy, but it's one of the best audio toys EVER. Thousands of songs in the palm of your hand organized the way you want to hear them. Just because it's popular doesn't mean it's bad.

BTW, it's not really an audiophile toy, but it can certainly sound better than than any boom box/portable CD player/Walkman type device. As a mass appeal item it represents substantial audio quality progress.
Time for the blind test to rear its ugly head, with uncompressed files quality cables and good DAC I am confident many would not pass the test.
And remember the words of Adolph Hitler: The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

I seem to be missing something here: what "Lie" are the masses falling to in the case of the iPod?! What has Apple, and or Steve Jobs done to make you see fit to fit them in to a reference to Hitler? I'm serious...can you explain what it is specifically that you are objecting to? Your previous references are inflamatory at best, with the possible exception of the simple statement, "'s not for me," which is perfectly clear. I can understand that it's not for you, but what makes you believe so strongly that it's not for anyone else, and or that the masses have been brainwashed into buying some kind of poisoned snake-oil? Or are you just trolling the Internet seas?

To:Seandtaylor99 , I have no idea what the encoding was. The units were being demonstrated at a Best Buy or Circuit City or some box store I was in. A very hot latino gal came up to me and popped the ear phones in. She had me and the sale until she turned it on, like finger nails across a chalk board man. So naturally I let her do her thing and she played everything from classical,rock,jazz,gospel, you name it,it was on the I-Pod. To bad it sounded like crap. But as far as the encoding was, I have no clue. But one would think If your trying to sell a product one would use the best format.

One thing for sure, I'll won't forget her, till they plant me 6 feet under. Hopefully I can stab out the sound of that thing in my mind, before I die.
But as far as the encoding was, I have no clue. But one would think If your trying to sell a product one would use the best format.

It would make a HUGE difference how the music was formatted. I'm sure at Best Buy they were pushing MP3's to show off the capacity of the unit, as most folks clearly just aren't that discriminating about the quality of the sound, judging by what sells, and how popular downloads have become. The iPod holds far more music in compressed formats, and that would be something they'd be bragging about too, especially if it were one of the smaller units like a Nano. Not to wish more abuse on your ears, but you may want to give it another try with files that are uncompressed (WAV) or compressed in a lossles format (Apple Lossless), and make sure to use a decent pair of earbuds (like Shure E4's or E5 or E500). You may not have the hot Latino to make the experience as memorable, but I bet you'd be more impressed with the iPod. Then again, maybe not.

Do you understand the concept of compression as it is related to audio files?

Okay, tell you what I'll do, in the near future,will try the I-Pod again and ask them what format the files are in,using the knowledge from this thread. Yes I do understand the concept of compression as i was in the music business with CBS for many years. However I am not up to speed on compression as it relates to downloaded music.So enlightenment there is warranted.

I also have great concerns on file sharing and how it relates to the artist and record label and if the royalties are being paid. I have strong concerns about piracy and downloaded material that is copyrighted and the artist is denied his royalty. Thirty years ago I was involved in crushing a few pirate operations here in the U.S. Artist should not be ripped off and denied their royalty. Piracy hurts everyone from the casual listener to the most ardent music maven.

Thanks for the dialogue.
Yes I do understand the concept of compression as i was in the music business with CBS for many years. However I am not up to speed on compression as it relates to downloaded music.So enlightenment there is warranted.

If you understand compression, then you understand the notion as it relates to downloaded music. Most downloaded music is highly compressed to facilitate fast transmission. There is at least one smaller service that is offering less compressed music as downloads..can't recall the URL, but the big boys (iTunes) is highly compressed and you may as well be sticking nails into your ears if you are expecting hi-fidelity. I believe the losses are not just in the actual musical content, but also just as critical, in the timing of the music. All that information is held in those zeros and ones. When you start eliminating a whole bunch of those binary digits, the processor has to interpret what was once there as best it can. That "interpretation" is what is driving the stakes into your skull...that, and perhaps a crappy pair of headphones. Somehow I don't think the Latino babe will be able to answer your question about formats, but hey, there I go stereotyping.

Good on you for fighting for the rights of the artist. Somehow I can't help but believe that the artists could be getting a better shake from the corporations that distribute their work as well. There seems to be a movement of more and more artists forming their own labels.

As far as anti-piracy - there is more than one side to that coin. If you are viewing it as black-letter law, then the agenda is very clear, but I don't believe the world is so black and white. Certainly I believe that on a mass scale piracy does hurt everyone. But I have to confess, I openly receive CD-R's from friends who have wanted to introduce me to new music, and have done the same in sharing music with friends. In many cases it has lead me to hear music I otherwise would never have heard, and to both buy and recommend music by same artists. Same thing applied to cassete tapes shared the same way in my younger days. Having heard a cut or two while visiting a friend, or previewing at a retail store would not have convinced me to necessarily buy or recommend same music. Does that make it ethically 'right'? No. Am I hurting the artists I enjoy? I really don't believe I am because I'm actually buying their stuff, recommending them to others, and seeing their shows in many cases. Had I not recieved the CD-R, I'm sure there would be many, many artists I would simply not be supporting in that way. You have a unique viewpoint having been on the other side. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Ferrari, I have to correct you on the contents being $25.

Modern electronics is largely software, and software is not free. Perhaps the BOM for the hardware is $25, but it's evident to me that a significant effort went into the software both on the ipod and on the Mac/PC platforms, and in the itunes website. A large part of apples' success is because it all "just works". Many of their competitors sell nice products, but getting them to work is a nightmare. Do you think they should give away their software ?

And, last, if people felt it did not represent value they would not buy it. I think that BMWs represent terrible value in a car, and I prefer a Toyota. Does that make all BMW drivers dumb ? No, they just have different interests and priorities to me.

Okay, tell you what I'll do, in the near future, will try the I-Pod again and ask them what format the files are in using the knowledge from this thread. Yes I do understand the concept of compression as i was in the music business with CBS for many years.
Ferrari, be aware of the preset EQ settings imbedded within iTunes.

This allows the user to do massive boosting of both high frequencies and bass.

There are also slider controls which can be used to set levels throughout the spectrum, drastically changing the original program. This EQ can be set up to transfer (EQ and all) to the iPod's hard drive for final listening.

Why do I mention this?

Have you ever gotten into a rental car and had your ears blown out? Checking the controls you find the volume at near maximum and all EQ controls at 100% boost.

I suspect the guys at Best Buy are the ones that had that rent car before us. They go back to work and "help out" with MP3 demo material by creatively adding EQ and volume to cinch the sale.

It kills us but the average 10 second listener is so blow away, he hands over his Mastercard with a smile.

Am I hurting the artists I enjoy? I really don't believe I am because I'm actually buying their stuff, recommending them to others, and seeing their shows in many cases. Had I not received the CD-R, I'm sure there would be many, many artists I would simply not be supporting in that way. You have a unique viewpoint having been on the other side. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

If radio stations were doing their job, you would not have to resort to that means of exploring new music. FM radio today is a wasteland of tired, overplayed music that follows promotion guidelines.

If you love Britney Spears you're in luck. But if your searching for alternate art or an emerging garage band, forget it.

I own a 30GB iPod video and with lossless, uncompressed files and a $300.00 set of Ultimate Ears (buds) I get decent sound.

My home two channel system is light years ahead of it, but I find it difficult to board flights with it, what with bin space so limited.

Even at the gym where I'm welcome to bring along the Dali's and VTL's, by the time I get everything in the truck, I'm too tired to leave home.

Seriously Ferrari, I have never download a single song nor have burned a single CDR of borrowed music. Everything on my iPod is from CD's I purchased new.
Albert, if the RIAA were doing their job we could rent music and then pay an ownership fee if we wanted to keep it. With practically all other products I am able to return it if I really don't like it, but with CD's I'm supposed to fork over $15 and hope that the album I'm buying isn't a couple of cool tracks and a bunch of turkeys.

The RIAA gave people virtually no legal way to sample music, and now they're paying the price.
Your correct, Seandtaylor99.

However, since that does not exist there is always the internet. With a bit of searching we can listen to samples or complete songs of new artists, which helps make up for where FM has gone.

My favorites are All Music Guide, Pandora Internet Radio and the streaming music at iTunes (all of which is free).

Prices of CD's have fallen too. Many of my purchases are made at where $5.99 buys the CD and the shipping is free.
Albert - Pandora is great, but does have limitations. Nevertheless it does fill a gaping chasm that radio has left largely unfilled (with the possible exception of Public Radio and some College stations). Sampling music over the Internet is all well and good if you can discipline yourself to dedicate time and effort to the task. Pandora will only give you one song at a time and you have very limited control over what gets played (I think you can only make a few rejections over a period of time). With Pandora you cannot sample an entire CD, you can hear one or two cuts perhaps. As Seantaylor99 points out, one or two hits does not necessarily make for a great CD, and with retail prices of a CD at around $13-18 finding those one-hit wonders is not much fun. I end up buying most of the music I actually take a liking to anyway, and tend to buy more CD's by the same artist unheard at that point. Sometimes that is a disappointment, but most of the time it is not. Interesting point you make about the RIAA and CD's Seantaylor99. I don't know if it makes that much sense to me, since by the same logic you should be able to get your money back if you didn't like a movie you paid $10 to go see at the theatre. What if the entire world operated on the same money-back guarantee that seems to be more and more expected here in the U.S.? So if your employer wasn't completely happy with your day of work you don't get paid. If you don't like the taste of the donut you chose, return it. If the doctor didn't cure you demand a refund. At some point, and we may be there, this stuff gets way out of hand - the expectations of a overly litigious, capitalist society where the finger of blame always seems to need to point elsewhere.

As far as Steve jobs, and the cost of developing a popular gadget and the software that makes it whirr - I too doubt very much the expenses to make those things are $25. According to this article from PC World from 2/05, at that point it was estimated Apple was making around 40% profit on it's iPod Shuffle. I agree, if Apple can make its customers happy, and make a profit, all the power to them. It is a luxury item used in a leisurely pursuit of enjoyment. Purchasing it is a matter of choice. If you want to talk about abuse of an industry that is out of control, take a look at the pharmaceutical industry. In that case the product is not a luxury item, but a necessity for many, sometime making the difference between life and death. If you want to make references to masses of victims of a capitalist society fostering corporate greed and misplaced priorities, you can talk about our medical care system, our education system, and care for our elderly population. An iPod seems like a pretty silly thing to be making such a fuss over in that perspective, especially with the kind of moral outrage that would prompt references to Hitler.

I dare say a fire storm has been ignited over the reference to the Hitler quote. I only offered that quote because in light of the so called global economy we have now. However in 1938 Time Magazine gave its man of the year award to Adolph Hitler and the following year Joseph Stalin won the award and of more recent times in 1979 the award went to Ayatullah Khomeini. History has now shown the results. No this is not to disparage Steve Jobs or Apple, the jury remains out on that one.

However I do have concerns that this is purported to be the Holy Grail of portable music delivery systems, after what I heard, but will give it another chance.

Also this product is made off shore in questionable facilities. See below.

Worker exploitation:

On 11 June 2006, a British newspaper Mail on Sunday reported that iPods are mainly manufactured by workers who earn no more than US$50 per month and work 15-hour shifts.[37]

Apple investigated the case with independent auditors and found that, while some of the plant's labor practices met Apple's Code of Conduct, others did not: employees worked over 60 hours a week 35% of the time, and employees worked more than six consecutive days about 25% of the time.[38] Apple's supplier—which initially denied the abuses—[39]has promised to disallow workers from working more hours than allowed under the Code. Apple has hired a workplace standards auditing company, Verité, and joined the Electronic Industry Code of Conduct Implementation Group to oversee these measures.

On December 31, 2006, workers at the Taiwanese factory (owned by Foxconn Technology Group) in question formed a union. The union is affiliated with the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which is controlled by the Chinese government.[40]

First of all this should not have been allowed to happen and Apple only after the fact took some action. In my opinion this is shear profiteering at the expense of others to make yourself rich. The robber baron mentality is alive and well.

For many years now,I thorougly research individuals and the the companies they run, before I buy their product. I believe if we all did due diligence before the purchase, we as consumers would have a greater impact on the market place than we do. But instead we run out and can't wait to get the latest gizmo and fork over the funds for it, totally believing in the hype. Remember the hype is their for one reason and one reason only, and that is to sell you the product. Perhaps it was my years at CBS, that has always prompted me to do research before acting and to ask the hard questions.

As far as the piracy issues go, it is by far more prevelant in todays digital age than in the 70s and early 80s and far harder to catch and remedy.

The music business was a guaranteed sale item. If the sale did not take place it could be returned for full credit, the risk was assumed by the label. Well when you get back more of a title, than you pressed, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that piracy is at hand. Just ask Boston on their first release, that was pirated to death. I could go on and on, but you get the idea and the aftermath of the piracy on the label and artist. I would be more apt to download music, if the assurance was there that royalties were being paid. For I have seen first hand the results of piracy. Countless jazz musicians died in near poverty and some worked till they dropped to support themselves. I am long removed from the battlefield of the music industry so I do not have a first hand account on sales practices today. But sales tracking at the retail level with the UPC code, was something we only dreamed of at the time.

I for one applaud everyone that continues to support the retail chain in the music business. It is my hope that in the future downloaded music will totally support the industry and artist. I firmly believe that the music industry can be killed. If there is not an incentive to create all will be lost. This hobby which we all enjoy, to me is much more about the music than the gear that is used to reproduce it. Music is the critical element, without the music, the gear means nothing.
Ferrari, you are making good progress.

I don't understand your hatred for Steve Jobs and Apple. I use their system and love it. How about you compare Apple to Bill Gates monstrous money making machine, and realize Apple is the bit player.

Did you stop to consider that many products we take for granted fall into the same category of being built by abused labor, the same as you accuse Apple of?

This stressed out, overworked Asian labor force has taken manufacturing away from Americans simply because of cost. They have a lower standard of living and massive population AND they don't pay the taxes nor do they have OSHA, FEMA, a labor Union or other forces raising their cost of production.

Consider the line up at CompUSA, including all the Windows computer machines built in those factories.

Next, take a look at the cell phone manufacturers, other brands of MP3 players, accessories, computer monitors, mouse and keyboards, desktop lights, CD cases, battery chargers and on and on. There are precious few items in persistent everyday use that don't fall into this category, even our paper shredders, Blackberry's, wireless household phones, ink jet printers and fax machines.

Stop and tally up the items that DON'T source some or all of its labor from the same place and in the same way that Apple does. Even worse are some of the other industries we worship, such as clothing manufacturers. Designer items that we pay hundreds of millions of dollars for, born from some of the crudest sweat shops on the planet.

Not all that long ago, those same work conditions existed right here in America. Some involving child labor with long hours and very low pay. So, do we continue to trade with these countries passing though a stage of evolution that we have already gone through?

Perhaps it's better if we trade with them, continue to press for change as we become more dependant on one another and work toward rights for their people, the same as we have (mostly) accomplished here.

Or Is it preferable that we live in isolation, hoping things will improve by accident? Should we just hope and pray that other governments and power brokers will accomplish a better life for them, hoping they are less "corrupt" than our own capitalist motives?

I'm not happy with things either, but Steve Jobs is not the anti Christ nor is he the problem here.

If you hate Steve Jobs for the way he runs his company, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. For me, he represents one of the few rare creative marketing forces in computers today. Certainly not as gracious as those supporting open source and free internet, at least he does not purposefully build flawed software with source code built in to spy on the buyer.

If you doubt this code exists, download a copy of PeerGuardian and put it on your Windows machine. You cannot even launch a copy of Word without it spitting out data to Microsoft to let them know who you. Same for PowerPoint, Internet Explorer and other popular software.

Apple does NOT do this and their software does not keep count of how many Apple computers you install your operating system on. Combine that with the fact Apple sells their operating system for a fraction of what Windows commands and perhaps you will have a bit gentler idea about what kind of company Apple is.

Are they perfect, hardly. Guilty of making money the Capitalist way? Yes. But considering the conduct of the other players, Apple is a very fair and balanced operation and one that had earned my deepest respect.
I started a response earlier this morning, but just don't have enough time to spit out all that comes to mind. Here's what my initial response was:

For many years now,I thorougly research individuals and the the companies they run, before I buy their product. I believe if we all did due diligence before the purchase, we as consumers would have a greater impact on the market place than we do.

Just a further note on the same topic; I'd bet if most of us did the same due diligence on their wardrobes they'd be walking around in the Emperor's New Clothes. Do you do the same kind of research on everything you buy? What about the chips in the computer you're typing on? Who wrapped the transformers in your audio gear? Yes, I agree, if more people did that, the world might start to change. But it seems to me like a daunting task to actually consistently follow through with. Again, of more urgent concern to me are the more national issues I mentioned in my previous post, simply because they are more about our immediate fundamental needs, and the future of our youth and our planet. Our country consumes on the order of five times more of the natural resources of the world, than the world average, and is so far behind on regulations that would curb our horrendous contribution to poking a hole in our atmosphere. Not to say a world-view should not be ignored, but it seems we need to take care of things at home before we tackle those much more broad-reaching issues. What any of this has to do with the quality of an iPods output is beyond me.

As far as Apple and Steve Jobs is concerned; I agree with Albert, they make brilliant products that actually function as they should, are easy to use, and look good as far as working with those materials are concerned. My understanding is that Bill Gates' benevolance is more far-reaching and profound than Jobs. I still find no reason to condem either of them for running a successful company.

Okay - It is readily apparent that few if not none contributing to this thread have seen 3rd world work force exploitation first hand. To say its gut wrenching is to say the very least and to turn a blind eye to it for sake of profit is in my opinion damning. There are certainly other countries where labor is less than here. Take Rawlings for example. All of the Major Leaque Baseballs used in a season are made there, and these people are paid a decent living wage in a modern facility, and the locals love working there. Been there seen that.

No I do not hate Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, I know of them only through their dealings and what has been made public.

Even here in the U.S. we have sweat shops, that should turn the stomachs of any of us. But these are faceless workers, not worthy of consideration, because we continue to support the goods manufactured by them.

I know I am in the minority here, but I do look for goods,products and services whether made here or elsewhere where the standard of living is commensurate with their local economy. Face it $50.00 a month buys damn little anywhere in the world today.

I have no problem buying goods from Canada,UK, or most EU countries and do so. Someone made a comment about the garmet industry. Well guys very little of what I put in my closet that does not have a union label. See one sweat shop and you get the idea very quick.

Finally I don't condemn Steve Jobs, or Apple or Bill Gates, but in my opinion they can do much better. Remember there was a time when we all demanded the best from each other, sadly that appears to be dying for no other reason than pure greed.

But I am in the minority here and readily admit that. In the final analysis buy what you want,whenever you want it and turn a blind eye on the practices that brought it to you.

And back to thread itself. In my opinion the I-Pod is not HiFi by a long shot. However it appears to be an excellent storage/retrevial system for down loaded music and precious little else.

Even here in the U.S. we have sweat shops, that should turn the stomachs of any of us. But these are faceless workers, not worthy of consideration, because we continue to support the goods manufactured by them.

Remember there was a time when we all demanded the best from each other, sadly that appears to be dying for no other reason than pure greed.

And back to thread itself. In my opinion the I-Pod is not HiFi by a long shot. However it appears to be an excellent storage/retrevial system for down loaded music-

-and precious little else.


It's an excellent storage/retrevial system for loading UN COMPRESSED compact discs for listening in situations where the iPod is preferable to what else is offered.

This includes (but not limited to)

Airplanes in flight, bad music combined with the sound of jet engines and cockpit chatter over the crappy intercom system.

Muzak at the gym when you are trying to concentrate on a decent work out.

Worse, same gym is tuned to the local hard rock FM station, complete with screaming DJ running his mouth about some contest or traffic conditions.

iPod through existing car system (many have jacks for this now) to avoid listening to FM or talk radio and carrying a case the size of a Zero Halliburton case full of CD's that are likely to be stolen if left in plain view.

Unplug the iPod, put in shirt pocket and all is well.
Ferarri - your recent post brought to mind a documentary I saw recently. The series "30-Days" originally done by Morgan Spurlock (of "Supersize Me" fame). The first two seasons are now available on DVD. The series is an extension of what Spurlock did in Supersize Me in that he takes an individual and puts them in a situation, place, condition and or circumstances that they would not normally experience (a fish out of water)....for 30 days. The first episode of the first series is the only one Spurlock was the subject of, along with his fiance. The two of them locked away their credit cards, gave themselves the equivelant of a week's worth of minium wage pay (around $260), flew to a town in Ohio and tried to live for 30 days on minimum wage (which has not changed since 1997, and is only now being seriously considered). This doesn't speak to sweat shop labor, which is less, of course. The two of them got whatever jobs they could (diswasher, day laborer) and got a taste of what it might be like to have to survive on minimum wage. I found that episode to be devastating. The entire series is definitely worth watching, especially if you enjoyed Supersize Me.

I didn't suggest you turn a blind eye, just that I don't know how far you'd get in trying to adhere to a rigid practice of such high standards. Bravo to you for holding them and practicing them yourself.

You are mistaken in describing the ipod's limitations to listening to downloaded music only. The secret to getting the most out of an iPod is, as has been previously pointed out, to use hi-resolution files. You can extract (rip) these files directly from CD's (or LP's if you prefer, though you will get the same surface noise) using a computer and appropriate software (iTunes, Foobar, etc.). Most downloaded music comes in the form of low-resolution (compressed) smaller files. I suspect that's where the daggers in your ears are coming from.

Time for the blind test to rear its ugly head, with uncompressed files quality cables and good DAC I am confident many would not pass the test.

You can not use a DAC with an ipod. There is no digital output. When there is, I think most of us will agree that an ipod is a VERY good source provided, of course, that lossless comperssion is used.
Jax 2 thanks for the lead on that DVD, will add to my list.

Also if you get the chance view the Tape or DVD of "Harvest of Shame". done in 1960 by Edward R Murrow, part of the CBS Reports series as only Murrow could do. Gut wrenching account of povertry in America at that time. Sad thing we have not come all that far in 2007. First time I saw this I was 16 and it has remained with me ever since.

Most libraries have this program, as it remains to this day as the definitive white paper on poverty in the U.S.
Thanks for the tip, Ferrari. I've put it on our Netflix queue. It's not listed there by title, but it is part of a larger collection of Murrow listed as part of a set where it is disk #4. Alternatively, it is listed on imdb, here.


Well that shows you how much I know about an IPOD!
That's about all I know about those things! When they come with a digital output i might buy one. I do a lot of travel, so it would be nice, but I can't bring myself to buying one. The digital output would seal the deal. It makes it a much more versatile thing.
At the recent CES in Las Vegas, I believe that it was MSB who were demonstrating a new product. It was a docking station sort of thing that came with a heavily modded iPod. The iPod was modded so that they were able to get a digital out. By all accounts, it was a very good performer. This reinforces the idea that iPods or similar devices can be high end sources if you can get the digital out and into a good DAC.
As I read this post, I cannot help but feel sad that Ferrari, and the likes, are becoming “a dying breed” of this hobby. It blows my mind to witness an iPod becoming a subject of discussion in an audiophile forum.

Ferrari, hung in there – some of us need you!
Planckscale, this forum is under Misc Audio. Once it gets to Digital or Amps/Preamps section, then be alarmed.

Keep your mind open as well, not only your ears.
Although I dont have an IPOD why cant a music lover enjoy the thumb drive for what it is, then have Audiophile performance at home.....isnt this all about loving music?