Dancers Anonymous > What's the Skinny on iPods?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by DWise1, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Now that I saw that CostCo has iPods, I'm toying with the idea again. But there are just too many answered questions, questions that are impossible to find on Apple's site -- it was hard enough just to find any pricing info.

    How locked into iTunes is it? For example, if I wanted to bypass iTunes altogether and just populate it with my own music obtained from any source, my own videos obtained from any source, and my own photos and other graphics files obtained from any source, etc, could I do it?

    For example, I mainly want to load music ripped from my own CDs and video clips of dance steps that I filmed with my own digital camera at the end of class in accordance with the instructor's permission. Would I be forced to use iTunes for that and would iTunes exert its controls over that content?

    The other question would be whether they are any good. Technical problems, etc.

    Oh yeah, looks like I'd be looking at the nano and the video.
  2. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I've had mine for about 4 years now. Love it, no real problems. Well, except when I tripped over the cord while it was recharging and it ripped the adapter out of the wall and broke it, but that hardly counts. Over the 4 years I think I've noticed the battery life decline somewhat, but I just keep it plugged in while I'm at work and it's not an issue.

    I can't comment about video, since mine is an older model. But I've been able to rip cd's into iTunes and load them without a problem. I've also been able to load music from other sources, in some other format with no problems.

    I don't believe you can bypass iTunes altogether. You can have music and files from other sources, but I think you have to use iTunes to actually load the iPod. I don't know what else you mean by 'exerting control,' but that's my experience.
  3. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I've heard horror stories of iTunes locking the files up in some kind of copyright control. Also, that it wouldn't let you load from another computer, which in one case where the user's computer died and he got a replacement then he was completely locked out by iTunes.

    The thing is that I'd hate to buy into a system where it ends up just getting in the way so that I have to work around it to get anything done. I've seen too many software tools that work just fine when you use them in the limited simple ways that they want you to do everything, but become frustrating obstacles when you try to do something that you want to do. The scuttlebutt that I've been picking up makes me suspicious of iTunes in this regard.

    Are there objective FAQs out there on iPods? Apple's site is big on hype and scarce on simple straight facts.
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    There are issues with switching from one computer to the other. They do warn you to back up your purchased music. A friend does that just by exporting the whole kit-n-kaboodle to an external hard drive without any problems. I don't know about files being locked up.

    You can try iTunes for free without purchasing an iPod, which might be worth playing with if you want. You can download it from Apple, then purchase music, burn cd's, and rip cd's into it. If you're seriously considering one, it might be worth it to try it and see if you like it.
  5. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I did that already. Only I couldn't find any music I'd want to buy. Their selection was very poor. Tried searching on a number of big band/Lindy tunes and couldn't find them.

    Which is why I'm much more interested in loading my own music. And there's just too little information available and enough distrust of iTunes that I'd much rather bypass it as much as possible.
  6. Yliander

    Yliander Member

    I got an ipod for my birthday in April - and I love it

    I have been able to load it with music - from all sources - mp3's I already had on my computer - have bought a few tracks from from itunes.

    I haven't tried to use itunes to rip cd's as yet - have stuck with using windows media player - and then just import to itunes

    have had mixed sucess with video - you need to have them in one of a few formats and then itunes converts for you - they all play fine through itunes on the computer - but a few have no sound when I play them on the ipod. I've had the best sucess with .mov files

    pictures no issues just load them and away I go

    you do have to use itunes for managing you ipod - and to be honest have found useful FAQ hard to come by - would highly recommend picking up a copy of "The rough Guide to iPods iTunes & music online" - very useful!! haven't had time to sit down with it and work out my video issues yet
  7. DancinAnne

    DancinAnne New Member

    I've had iPods for years, well as long as they've been around anyway... my entire music collection (CDs) is in iTunes and on my iPod. Everything I buy from iTunes can be placed on up to 5 computers, I think it is, so I share my purchases with DH on his PC and iPod/iTunes. Haven't played too much with video. I've never had any issues or problems at all with any of my iPods.
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Have you tried loading your own music?
  9. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    I just bought my first iPod yesterday! I debated endlessly about whether to get the video model and decided that I would be silly not to, given that I like to make videos of my dance lessons. I spent part of yesterday evening on the iTunes website, doing all the stuff you have to do to get started. Tonight I will work with it and, hopefully, will get some tunes and photos and videos actually transferred to my iPod.

    I had some of the same questions and concerns as you, DWise, but everyone I know who has an iPod is so happy with it that I decided to just do it.
  10. tj

    tj New Member

    Everyone that I know who has an iPod loves it.

    Then again, I went with a Creative Zen Vision:M, and am happy with that, too.

    (but I'm not very happy with Rhapsody/Best Buy...)
  11. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    [blinking in confusion] I don't have an iPod.
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Well, online I got a list of what CostCo carries and from apple I got the prices (had to lie to them that I wanted to buy the items before they'd name a price; that sure adds warm fuzzy feelings).

    Now in a few weeks I'll go back to CostCo and compare prices.
  13. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    To see how it handles. Or am I confuzzled again? (Happens easily, I assure you.)

    One other thing... I know there are plenty of other gadgets out there that do the same thing. Personally, I like iTunes and iPod because they're so damn foolproof. I'm an absolute ignoramus when it comes to computers, so anything that takes care of everything on it's own with no problems gets extra props from me.
  14. Ampster

    Ampster Active Member

    The price for CostCo and iPods are the same. You can use your own music on iTunes. I do it all the time. You just get your files (e.g. composed on synthesizer) and drag and drop into iTunes. That's it. If your talking about CD's iTunes just plays them and then asks you if you want to import them. The only time tunes are protected is if you bought them from iTunes. Other than that, iTunes is basically an operating system for the iPod which is basicall a computer build for music and video.

    For video, they do have to be converted to iTunes. You drag and drop your raw generic format saved video to the iTunes icon. That's it.

    iPod pricing for the iPod video, nano, shuffle are all open to the public in the apple store right here (you don't have to lie):

    The horror stories you've heard are probably from people who don't have experience with them. Or have tried to pirate music from them.

    You can share your whole collection with up to 6 computers.

    For backups, you ALWAYS back up your important files when working on a computer--- REGARDLESS. iTunes has a function for this.

    The combination of iTunes and iPod are nearly idiot-proof. The good thing about this HW/SW combo is that they were made for each other and they really work. Unlike Windoze/MS stuff that are jury-rigged. If you want a nightmare with jpeg, mpeg, movie players, get a cheapo one from any other company and find out for yourself. You get what you pay for.
  15. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that's the page where I got the prices from. Only way I could see to get to it was to lie about buying it.

    Drag-n-drop, huh? Great. Hopefully it also supports opening a file the normal way too, but being Mac who knows? I've found those Macs to be too difficult to use -- you have to guess where they're hiding that one particular dialog you need to do the simplest thing -- , so if iTunes is too Macky it looks like I'll be in for a lot of fun. Well, as the Woz said, never trust a computer you can't throw out a window.

    Actually, I didn't have much trouble working with an OS X iMac. Once I stumbled across the terminal I was able to work from the command line. But I was stumbling blind before that point.

    Bummer that CostCo doesn't give us a price break.
  16. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    Just finished charging and syncing my new iPod. Somehow my videos didn't make the transfer but I'm not giving up. I'll figure it out. Except for that one minor detail, I like my iPod, so far.:)
  17. SlowDancer

    SlowDancer New Member

    So the "Rough Guide" does cover video issues? If so, I want one. I'm going to go check Amazon to see if I can get it there.
  18. NielsenE

    NielsenE Active Member

    I don't have a video iPod (got mine the "generation" before they added video. But I've never had trouble adding music from any source to the device -- purchased via iTunes, ripped from my CD collection, various format's produced by other audio mixing programs, etc

    Yes I believe you're "stuck" using iTunes as the "interface" to the iPod. iTunes, the software, NOT iTMS (the iTunes Music Store). And as others have said only tracks purchased via iTMS have the FairPlay DRM added to them. I've always done the graphical drag-drop to add to my library on non-purchased,non-ripped CDs. (ie open folder, Apple-A (select all), drag-drop from folder to the iTune library pane -- the whole pane works ... theres not some esoteric dialog or drop zone/icon to locate)

    I've heard that video is exactly similar, but I haven't tested it yet. I wouldn't be surprised if there were a few codec restrictions.... but apple tends to support more video formats/containers than other vendors.
  19. jennyisdancing

    jennyisdancing Active Member

    DWise, if you ripped your music into normal mp3 files, there should be no problem importing them into itunes. Itunes won't impose DRM i.e. copy restrictions on music that you own. In fact, the files won't change in any way at all, and you can still use those music files outside of itunes, for other purposes such as emailing to a friend, uploading to a website, sound editing, etc. I do this all the time.

    Even if your music files are currently wma files, itunes can still import them as long as they are not copy-protected, which they should not be if you ripped them from your own CD's.

    The restrictions exist only for music you buy through the itunes store, and even then, you can authorize up to five computers to play the music (plus your ipod). Also, the itunes store now offers some of its music in DRM-free formats if you pay a little more.

    I don't know if that answers your question. I wasn't entirely sure what you mean about 'exerting controls over its content'. But I can tell you that I love iTunes and my iPod. I own both a PC and a Mac and the iPod has worked beautifully with each. iTunes is very easy to use and is really helpful for organizing a large music library. I've had no problems at all.

    That said, I believe there are many programs that allow you to put files on an iPod without using iTunes, but I'm not familiar with whether they offer any advantages. And iTunes is free anyway.
  20. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    I dunno...the time I tried iTunes I wasn't thrilled with the way it handled files. I'd rather just handle them myself.

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