IPOD Basic Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cooks4, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. cooks4 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    #1
    My 15 year old daughter has asked for an IPOD for Christmas. She currently has about 700 downloaded songs on our computer.
    1. Can these be transferred onto the IPOD?
    2. Do you have to subscribe to ITUnes in order to download the music or can you use any source?
    3. We have a Dell computer that is about two years old....will it be compatible?
    4. I have no idea what Firewire..etc is........is this a complicated process
    5. Is the 10 mb sufficient?
    Thanks for your help....I don't want to buy without being a bit more informed and this is confusing to me
    Thanks!
     
  2. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #2
    Re: IPOD Basic Questions

    -cooks4

    I will do my best...

    1. Can these be transferred onto the IPOD?
    Find out what kind of files they are. The songs on a CD are a kind of file called AIFF - just go with me on this. AIFF is an uncompressed file, meaning even silence takes up disk space. There are other files that actually compress the file to much smaller size because they throw out things like silence, or frequencies that are silent. The mainstay of this kind of file is mp3. mp3 is a file who's type is controlled by a standards body known as MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group), not by a single company (this is a good thing).

    Conversely, there is a file type which sounds just as good, but is controlled by a company. This is the WMA format from Microsoft.

    mp3's and AIFF's are transferrable to the iPod.

    WMA's are not.

    Look at the file name extension of the song files, that is the easiest way to tell.

    AIFF: "filename.aif"
    mp3: "filename.mp3"
    WMA: "filename.wma"

    2. Do you have to subscribe to ITUnes in order to download the music or can you use any source?
    You do not have to subscribe to iTunes at all - for any reason. the iTunes application itself is free. The use of it is free. The only thing one would have to pay for is buying songs from the music store, which is a pay-per-song/album model.

    Your daughter can transfer her [compatible] song library to iTunes by simply drag-and-drop to the interface.

    3. We have a Dell computer that is about two years old....will it be compatible?
    In a word: yes.

    4. I have no idea what Firewire..etc is........is this a complicated process
    Well, the iPod doesn't have to use FireWire, but it is designed to primarily - read: it will provide the best experience. It comes with a FireWire cable, you need to purchase a USB (the little flat-looking port) cable separately for your machine - unless you bought a FireWire PCI card for it.

    FireWire is not what is used for connecting Keyboards, Mice, Printers, and Scanners - USB does this (again, that flat port). FireWire is a very fast, very smart connection for devices that require fast connections, like Video cameras, iPods, Hard drives, Music Capture.

    One caveat: There is a new version of USB called USB 2.0, which is designed to be as fast as the original FireWire (called FireWire 400 these days), but still had its 'clunkyness' - e.g. not as smart.

    5. Is the 10 mb sufficient?
    Disk space? Probably, but the better bang for the buck is the 20. For $100USD more she would get twice the space, a dock, and remote. To buy the 10, then the dock and remotes separately, you would equal the price of the 20.

    One tip: All Hard drive manufacturers - including those that make the little ones for the iPod, play a semantic game with the HD size. When the marketing department says 10gb, they are saying it has 10,000 megabytes, and when they say megabytes, the are really saying a megabyte is 1,000 kilobytes, and so on.

    Be aware that there is a significant difference between marketing and technology here. Your computer will pay attention to the technological truth - not the marketing one.

    The technological truth is that a gigabyte is actually 1,024 megabytes, and a megabyte is 1,024 kilobytes, which is really 1,024 bytes (computers count in factors of two. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024)

    This being said, a drive that is marketed as a 10gb drive actually is 9.31gb - and that is the figure the computer will show.
     
  3. cooks4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    #3
    Thank you!

    Thank you for the information, Patrick. It was very helpful.
    One final question....the 700+ songs she has are on the Kazaa site. (Note: We disabled the sharing section so she will not be obtaining any more songs from that site in the future...this is part of the reason I want to get her this IPOD.)
    Are you at all familiar with it? I cannot seem to find out what types of files they are such as the AIFF you described. Any thoughts?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #4
    -cooks4

    Well, if they were obtained from Kazaa, they are definitely not AIFF's - they'd be huge (~60-70mb). And AFAIK WMA didn't really make good inroads there.

    They are likely mp3's.

    Wise for you to lock out Kazaa - there are many eyes there now. Wiser for your daughter to begin to replace her illegals with legal music over time. That's the nice thing about the iTunes Music Store, they are high quality. Apple got their hands on the studio masters.

    As for finding the Kazaa files, they will be in a directory somewhere. Hit F3 while at the desktop and do a search for "*.mp3"
     
  5. cooks4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    #5
    Thanks again!

    Thanks again, Patrick!

    I appreciate your help.
     
  6. rueyeet macrumors 65816

    rueyeet

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Location:
    MD
    #6
    Re: IPOD Basic Questions

    Wow, Patrick! that was thorough. There's maybe just one nuance you've not quite covered.

    iTunes is not a subscription service at all. It's a store, so you only pay for what you buy, when you buy it. However, it's the ONLY online music store that will work with the iPod, so you can't buy songs from Napster or BuyMusic or MusicMatch and put them on the iPod (these services use WMA files). The only other legal online music service that works with the iPod is eMusic, which uses MP3's but is a subscription service only.

    I have a 10 GB iPod, and just to give you an idea, I've got over 1,000 songs on it, plus a 2 GB backup of some files (it can also be used as a hard drive). But the iTunes Music Store makes it very very easy to find new and interesting music, so my collection's growing faster than it ever has. You'll want to take into account when buying how fast your daughter's collection might grow.

    I think that together with Patrick's in-depth answers, that covers more than you ever wanted to know... ;)
     
  7. Richter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    FL
    #7
    IIRC, the iPods require Win2000 or WinXP

    if its 2 yrs old, its a pretty safe bet you're running one of the above

    .
    .......



    .......

    unless you have WinME......-_________-
     
  8. molotovc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    #8
    I have only recently considered buying an iPod, and this is indeed my first post to clear some unestablished areas.

    I am considering buying an iPod for £100, 10GB. I am unsure whether it is 2nd or 3rd generation (I don't believe it can be 1st can it?!).

    I have Dell 4300 bought in 2001, and I believe that it only has usb 1 ports not usb 2 ports, or firewire. I need an adaptor in order to use an iPod in this case then don't I? Is this example too expensive or too good for basic music transfer: http://www.orangemicro.com/fw800pci.html I think that my system specs can handle an iPod, as I checked on the apple website.

    Also, is there anyway I can convert my WMA files to others so they can be played on an iPod?

    In my situation, would anyone recommend any accesories in particular?

    I have talk of 'refurbed' iPods. Is this what I am buying, and what are they?

    Is there anything else I need to know before I go ahead and spend £100??

    Any help at all would be greatly appreciated, Thank you!!

    Alex
     

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