Which iPod?

After taking a skeptical back seat on compressed mobile music all this long, I finally think it is time to take the plunge. Have decided on Shure E4C for earbuds and now wondering which iPod to go with.

Done some research on the net and came across various versions such as the mini, nano, photo etc. Now, I'm not too crazy about watching videos or photos on a 2 inch screen. My primay need is AUDIO and need to find the one that sounds best with Apple Lossless Compression. I will go for the video/photo version if they have better sonics.

Any advise or exprience sharing is highly appreciated.

It comes do to how much space you need and what you want to carry. I have 2) 15 gigs which were enought then I just got a NANO because of the size I am using enoymic 4p phones. I have to say I think the 15gig I have version 2 or 3 i think have better sound than the nano. I guess that would make sense though since how good can the amp in the nano be given it's size, I was a bit disappointed. Still I am using that the most. But it is nice on car trips to have your entire music collection.

Note if you are looking if a 15gig I was going to list it for sale jason@programmergeek.com, I just don't have a need for 2 of them. One was mind one was the girlfriends.
I too was going to purchase a Nano, but they were selling 15GB iPods at the same price and since the iPod is still small.....I paired up mine with a Headroom Micro Amp and Ultimate Ears UE10Pros. It's awesome.
Amal, like you I was sold on the Shure E4c earphones until I read this review of Shure E4c vs. Ultimate Ears Super.fi 5pro. Take a look at the review before you buy the Shure earphones.

As far as iPods go...buy the smallest and lightest with the most memory you can afford, and know that as soon as you plunk down your dough, Apple will release an even smaller, lighter version with even more storage...

Isn't this the beauty of this hobby? I spent countless hours reading and listening to Shure E4C against the Etymotic ER4-P and decided on Shure and was going to buy it this evening, and then, Bham!!

Thanks a lot for the advise. While I came across the UEs during research, never had a chance to listen to them, so they kind of slipped thru my fingers. Now thay are firmly back on the table, so I need to go find a dealer for an audition.

As for the iPod, I am not entirely sure if Nano is the way to go. Besides the woes of construction quality, it is very small and light, so I am not sure how compromised the amplifier is. Not very many things come is such smaller packages with the whole goodness retained, unless the designer is David Berning, so...

Thanks Programmer and Lenny for your responses. Could you guys please clarify this 15GB iPod you are fererring to? Is this the Original iPod that had a monochrome screen?

The Nano is the coolest piece of hardware I've ever touched.

But, lots of complaints about scratches on the Nano's screen, and 4gb just insn't enough space for high quality music. It's ok for low bitrate stuff, but if you use better phones you'll definitely hear quality loss.

Nano for short listening sessions (the gym?) 60 GB (or more) for work. The new video ipod is a nice blend between the two.

Isn't it great to have options!

Good luck
Sheesh, sorry to confuse you, it's a standard 20 gig.
I use a 3rd gen(i think) 15 gig with the shure headphones. Sounded great, until I hooked it up to a Headroom Total Airhead portable amp. It's a HUGE improvement over the iPod alone. Now I can't stand to listen to the iPod without the amp.

Have you had a chance to compare the audio quality between the 60GB Video iPod with the 20GB audio only version? While I have nothing inherantly against a device that features a color display and video capabilities, I'm wondering if the prominence given to video would cut back the audio performance. Not to mention the associated video noise. My primary need is audio.

Why get an iPod? Don't you want WMA capability? Other brands make mp3 players. And if you get an iPod you'll only be trendy until they come out with the next version in a few months.

With Apple everything is proprietary including the music.

I agree with most of what you said. I'd love to have the WMA capability, if I could get my hands on another player with decent storage.

What other players have sonics better than or at least at par with iPod?

sorry to ask too many questions, but my knowledge in this area is very limited.

The reason the iPod is so successful is because it has the best ergonomics. The ease in which you can navigate thru your iPod music collection is unsurpassed. What's the point of having 300 CDs at your fingertips if you cannot intuitively access them? Additionally, iTunes software provides a very slick and seamless integration with your computer and the on-line Apple Music Store. While there may exist some product that audio-wise out performs the iPod family, there is no product that is easier to use. As with nearly all computer products, at a practical level the human interface overwhelms more technically oriented issues. (And it's not like the iPod even sounds bad.)
Amal, no I haven't compared the sound quality of the 20 vs 60 video. Probably have to buy or borrow to do that.
I agree with Onhwy61. It's all about the interface. All mp3 players I have heard sound the same. There is nothing wrong with apple, but there are others that also good.
I always thought the apple-appeal for the audiophiles was the Losless compression (ALC) which was tested by the likes of Stereophile and confirmed to be the most superior compression available today.

I do agree with the ergonomics and the user friendliness etc., but that is not part of the selection criteria for me. I am living with the monstrosity of a ‘tubed-furnace’ in my living room, yet make peace with it!

If you get a nano (highly recommended!) be sure to get a case right away. I really like the ones at Podplus, just google Podplus.

The nano sounds very dynamic, even more dynamic and liquid than my old Apple mini.

If you want to run lossless for highest audio quality, get the larger unit (20gig or 60 gig). Again, be sure to get a case.

"I always thought the apple-appeal for the audiophiles was the Losless compression (ALC) which was tested by the likes of Stereophile and confirmed to be the most superior compression available today." - Amal

Is this correct? Or can this be done on any PC and transferred to any MP3 player?

I may be wrong, but as far as I know, Apple Lossless Compression is propeitory.

For the benefit of anybody reading this archived thread, the best performance portable music player I have found at the moment is the Cowon iAudio7 player. The 16GB version comes just under USD 200. It suppports FLAC and works great with Shure earbuds.

Happy Listening.

I have the 160GB Classic I-pod, and I rip my CDs using the Apple Lossless file format for my music. If you haven't already made your decision (since this was a thread started some time ago), for an audio-only portable digital player, I'd go with the 160GB version, which will hold a ton of music in the hi-rez file format. You can also rip using AIFF or WAV as well (both also hi rez formats).