getting new ipod! - is the mini a downgrade?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Bay of Fundy
    okay here's the deal: right now i've got a 10GB 3g iPod and i'm looking to upgrade and hand down my previous iPod to my little sister as she goes off to university (best college tool ever I might add :p )

    but i can't decide whether to get a new 20GB 4g, or an iPod mini. i'm in love with the mini's size and versatility (for jogging, etc.), price, and the options in colour, but I have 9.5 GB of songs right now, so i'd have to take the time to make a play list of the songs i want. i know for sure i wouldn't mind only having 1000 songs with me, cause i usually make it back to the house for syncing by the end of the day anyway, but i'm not sure i want to take the time to decide what i want to listen to Before I go out.

    anyone with an ipod mini and a big collection please let me know about their experiences :)

    the other thing is the battery life. if the mini gets the same life as my 3g then there is no problem, but does it really last the 8 hrs apple claims? if not the new 4g's impressive battery life might be the deal breaker.

    so that's it, just post anything people! i'm looking for anything! HELP! ;)
  2. TreeHugger macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2004
    Well I just got a 4g iPod yesterday and completly love it. I have about 10 GB auf music, and frankly I dont want to go through the trouble. Also sizewise i think it is very versatile. Its not too small (like many minidisc players) where you forget you have it in your pocket and accidentily run into something, but its also not too big that it gets cumbersome. Bottom line i think its perfectly designed.
    Compared to the ipod mini, i also really prefer the 4gs design. I really like the simple yet elegant white of the regular ipod.
    I cant tell you too much about the battery but i have been playing with last night and this morning and it has hardly gone down.
  3. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    I have a series of playlists on my mini that allow me to pair down my fairly large (25GB or so) collection into 4GB. There was a lot of talk about interesting smart playlists to do this at the time, but I'll just let you know what I do. I have:

    1.5GB of my favorite stuff, the stuff I have to have on there
    1.5GB of the most recent stuff, using a smart playlist to weed out everything before a certain day I chose (I move it newer every so often), and then tell it to group by album
    and finally 0.7 GB of a smart playlist that simply chooses albums at random.

    The playlists overlap on some occasions, so I had to fiddle with the sizes to get it to fill up the iPod. The above values are good approximations, though.

    I was able to fit about 700 songs on there (and more than a couple are long classical pieces or full 70 minute DJ sets). I'm never hurting for music. And I love the aluminum, which is one of the main reasons I got one in the first place. I've had it since they came out and it doesn't have a single scuff, scratch, or swirl mark on it. Much more rugged than my old 3G. I run with the mini all the time, sometimes for 50 minutes or more with no troubles, which I can't say for my 3G. I'm not sure how the 4G performs in this area.

    If you can bring yourself to pare down your collection to a reasonable amount, and are considering jogging with it, I'd highly recommend the iPod mini.
  4. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    Mini has its own advantages, one of them from my personal experience would be its durable case. I have had it for a month now and no scratches. My 3G is covered with scratches with very very careful use and Evo covering its hide day and night. My 4G which is only a week old came with scratches that Apple store will not accept as a condition for exchange :mad:
    With the mini, I have to set up multiple playlists to swap music, but that really isn't a huge issue.
    Also, the clickwheel looks much better white. and the small design is really noticeably better.
  5. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    my two sense....

    Hey - As the proud owner of a 1G 5GB, I've been doing a huge amount of research into either a Mini, or a new 4G.

    I would go for a 4G, seeing as how your music collection is so large. I've been keeping my 1G in the InCase leather holster I got with it. It's been jogging, walked around New York City for 18 months and dropped numerous times. It's fine. Yeah, there's some wear-and-tear, but the fact is, you're using it. If you use something, it will start to look used.

    'Tis the nature of things.

    The Mini is great, but it just seems like it's made for a girlfriend or a mom. The fact that it's a 4GB HD just means that it's made for folks who don't have a ton of music or aren't interested in ripping their whole collection. All of the folks who have taken to intense Smart Playlists or spending hours every night re-mixing their 'pods are probably wasting their time. Unless, of course, having a slightly smaller, colored, aluminum iPod is more important. That's the trade off.

    I'm all over the 4G. It's not too big, and I wear tight-ass hipster jeans. I can even fit my 1G in my pocket still, or clip it to my belt. Get the leather case. My 1G doesn't skip. Literally. Never heard it skip. I'm sure the 4G is just as good. Also, if you work or go to school and you're away from home for an entire day, won't that 12 hours of battery life feel real good?

    I'm not saying any of this because I hate the Mini, I love it. This was an issue I've been having over the past couple of weeks as I start my shopping/saving excursion into a new 'pod, and I eventually came to a conclusion that it was all about the 4G.

  6. davefan6435 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2004
    Madison, WI
    go for the 4G

    in my opinion, the one thing the mini has going for it is its size, which isn't that much smaller than a 20G and its durability. but on the trade off, you spend $50 more for a 4G and you get 12 hour battery life vs. 8 and you get 4x the memory, that alone makes the difference for me. if you like the colors or the mini and the durability, for about $60 bucks more you can get it painted, which deals with the scratch problem, but not on the back

    or just get a skin, which solves both of your problems, i recommend radtech because of its size and usability, only problem is they dont come out till september 1 for the 4G.

    good luck on your decision, don't forget you can get 4G's right away and mini's you have to wait quite awile.
  7. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I Would agree to that.

    You have to remember that the regular iPod is more of a functiona/economical device, while the Mini is more of a trendy version. It depends on what type of music device suits you best.

    Be careful though, once you touch a mini, its extremely easy to get swept away by the trendyness.... and washed down the river, and then the river widens..... and you go over the some rapids.....which leads to goin head first over the waterfalls, which is only the begining, of even bigger water falls, and then you swept into the ocean.....................................................................
  8. Apmonia macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2003
    I have about 40GB's of music and the mini, believe me, the mini is the way to go. If you are planning on jogging or using to workout, then it is the best option out there. As for the durability factor, it is so much better than the 3G models (which I had owned before the mini) and the previous remarks about scratches are true, I have yet to scratch mine in the two months. The main reason for my purchase of the mini came down to two factors: 1) Can I live without my whole music collection? and 2) Will I be using this for working out? If you can answer no to both questions, then don't buy the mini. Either way though, you will be pleased with both options.

  9. tekno_geek911 macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2004
    Phoenix, AZ
    Definately go for the 4G 20Gig and slap a Pod Shield on it to prevent scratches(
  10. jemeinc macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2004
    South Jersey
    I have a 4G iPod & a mini...So far I hate to say that the mini has been nothing but trouble... The first one I got locked up the first day... Took it to the Apple store had them do something to it, brought it home , reimported everything, & it promptly locked up again... Took it back to the Apple store & got a new one... Went well for a few weeks then the battery stopped holding any charge at all, like less than hour... After a few trouble shooting steps from Apple they replaced that one too... Then last week the dreaded static problem came up... They didn't even make me go through any steps with that... Took one listen & replaced it on the spot...

    This whole debacle with the mini has been a bummer because I really like the scroll wheel & size of it, but I'm on my 4th one , so I gotta believe those things are still a little bit of a problem yet...

    The 4 G has been good so far..
  11. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    Definately get the 4G. My music collection just exceded my mini's capacity, and it's so annoying to have to not put certain songs on it. The 4G looks better too. I wish my mini would "break itself" so I could get a credit to the AppleStore and put in a little extra to get the 4G. (does apple let you do that?)
  12. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2002
    Bay of Fundy
    hmmm, thanks for the advice guys. last night i tried to make up a play list and limit it to the size of the iPod mini , to see if it was comfortable for holding what i might listen to on the road. let's just say it wasn't the most pleasant experience. after that i'm leaning more towards a 4g 20GB model, it seems like the more elegant solution (in terms of ease, not style - stupid gray scoll wheel)

    anyway, my mind being what it is i'm worried about spending the dough. the only reason i'm considering this purchase is cause my work extended my contract 2 weeks, and now i'm earning more this summer than i planned on, so that means i have some pocket money in surplus. it's a close call between getting a new iPod, a barebones winbox for games/msn video chat, and a b!tchin' set of new speakers for my powerbook. GAH! tough decisions! :(
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Haha, that's funny. If mini owners have to make "intense" smart playlists and such, does that mean that a Mini user actually listens to the 700 to 1000 songs on their Mini every time they use it? How about every week? Do you think they listen to every song once a week? What if they listen to all their songs twice before they switch their songs? Is listening to all their songs twice a big deal?

    The reason to get a Mini is because it's SLIGHTLY smaller, the design, and believe it or not, the price. Some people can barely afford the Mini, let alone the full on iPod. No, we're not talking about your little problem of either buying a Mini or a gaming PC....real people who want something nice on a very limited budget.

    And then there's the casing and design. I believe it's nicer than the iPod. It has a nicer feel. If you want 17 GB or something on your player, then obviously the Mini won't do that. But I never understood the fascination of having your entire collection with you all the time because having only 4GB is a hassle. Seriously, how big a hassle is it to "only" have 700-1000 songs on you?
    You didn't grow up in the Portable CD player age, did you?
  14. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    The fact is, I have about 15GB of music, a lot of it from the same 10 or 15 bands of which I have their entire catalog. This isn't randomly downloaded Top 40. When I'm in the mood for The Stones, I'm also in the mood for Let it Bleed or Sticky Fingers or Aftermath or whatever. The Mini does not let you do this. It does not let you be fickle. The Mini, in fact, ironically enough, is fickle..

    We're all very lucky people to live in a time and a place where portable music is a reality. Here here. Since it is a reality, we should milk it for all it's worth. Yes, it rocks having my entire music collection in one easily accessible place. I wouldn't want it any other way now that I have it. Playlists are nice. I grew up in the "Portable Tape Player Age", and all we had were mix tapes. Playlists are a huge hobby of mine. Still, it's nice to know I have the entire Replacements' catalog at my disposal, and I do use it! Playlists are a perk of having all that music, and The Mini makes them a necessity.

    As far a budget concerns go, barely having enough money to buy a Mini?? If you're scrounging and saving for a $250 luxury item, you should really reconsider your station in life. It is a luxury item, something that comes after putting the kids through school or feeding your family or putting shoes on your feet. At that point, as a lower-middle-classer, I realize that the difference between $250 and $300 should be negligable, especially if I'm spending a huge amount of my hard earned money. I don't want to not get my money's worth simply because I can only afford the "little status symbol". Let's not mince words about it, it's a status symbol, as much as a jukebox. People have to come to terms with that. If the thing looked horrible I'd still want one simply because of how it works. The icing on the cake should be the styling, exclusivity and affordability (whether or not you can afford it).

    The bottom line is, that the iPod gives you greater flexibility at a slightly larger size and in only one color. The Mini is for those who cherish a more compact, more "unique" iPod and a compromise in space and flexibility.

  15. gottalaugh macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2004
    iPod mini -v- iPod ?? Decisions....decisions....

    I also found myself deliberating on this question (good to know I'm not alone :p).
    If your major concerns are the difference in weight (which, when you think about it) are negligible, and durability of the casing (bearing in mind the "mini's" casing leaves it's bigger brother for dead).....both of which I pondered for hours...& hours....then the clincher for me was the following:

    The larger size of the iPod means you don't have to stuff around making playlists UNLESS you want to - the mini makes it a necessity.

    Even if I decided to go with the mini I'd still buy a casing for it to protect it (I did this with my iBook, bought a really cool casing from Macskinz website - affordable; cool & always has the "wow factor" when people see it). Macskinz has a huge range of skins for FRONT & BACK of the iPod (& no, I'm not one of their employees, just a very satisfied customer !!). So the (important) issue of colour & protection for my iPod is no longer an issue for me. Apart from the convenience & functionality that the iPod has, for most of us it's also symbolic of cutting-edge coolness - & I love the flexibility of 'dressing it up' with different casings whenever I want (not to mention the shock & envy factor of my friends !!).

    Lastly, as there's not a huge difference in price between the two, why wouldn't you want one that's bigger ?? Very convenient for transporting those large files; pics of the family etc.......

    Good luck with your decision :) Whichever way you go, enjoy !!

    "Once you've had a Mac, you NEVER go back"
    G5 dual 1.8ghz
    900 mhz iBook
  16. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    I couldn't decide, so I bought both. and then Apple introduced 4G, so I bought that too, only after 7 months of my 8th iPod (3G) and only 1 month after I got my Silver MINI.
    I don't recommend doing this, since I see my credit card bill weekly online and that gets to me, but from my personal experience, I don't see MINI as weaker. If I had to keep one iPod, I wouldn't hesitate to choose Mini because the darn thing is tough and stylish and noticeably smaller.
    I have only 158 albums converted now and I use my playlist to keep Mini up to date. That and I am not lazy enough to keep all the songs on the player that I don't listen to.
  17. crowdaddy macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    I got an ipod mini...I love it! For the active user it is awesome; I bought an armband at future shop and I take running with me all the time. The battery life is far from superior but I am not planning on being away from an electric outlet for an extended period of time. I've got about 65% of it filled up with all of my music, I only have 2.4GB or so of music in my whole library so it suits my needs perfect.

    If you: want to work out with your music with a smaller, more manageable player and/or have around 4GB of songs you want with you at all times its awesome, remember you dont have to put the WHOLE library on either, just what you want to hear!
  18. vouder17 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2003
    I'm in the same problem as u, my parents have promised me a i-pod mini for my birthday but with the new 4G released its made my decision alot harder.My brother has the 3G 15gig i-pod and normally only holds about 4 gigs of music on it.When i use it for the day i dont have enough time to get through all the tracks and i always get on my mac at he end of the day so i can add the tracks i want for the next day.Basically 4 gig is enough for me ....Another thing that bothers me bout the i-pod ,that it gets easily scratched .

    peace DjVoTeZ brother
  19. dongmin macrumors 68000


    Jan 3, 2002
    The capacity of the ipod is not such a big deal, imo. Your listening habit may differ from mine, I use playlists to listen to music 95% of the time. I have a playlist for new music (250 songs) and 9-10 mixes (about 300+ songs) I listen to regularly. The playlists change regularly as I add new music and modify my mixes. But this level of playlist management I was doing even before I got the ipod. It's just how I listen to music. So, even though my Mini holds only 15% of my music collection, I don't feel cramped at all.

    The size difference also depends on your use pattern. The mini is small enough that I can keep it in my pants or shirt pocket without being conscious of it. The regular ipod, especially with a protective case, requires you to keep it in a bag, clip it to your belt, or hold in your hand. I have the armband for my mini which is SUPER handy when I'm lifting weights, riding my bike on the trails, or running.

    Finally, I'm amazed how durable the mini is. I've used my mini for about 2 months now and honestly, I can't find a single scratch. And I don't even use a case.

    My lone gripe with the Mini is its short battery life. Eight hours is a bit of a lie imo. I get maybe 7 hours on a good day. 90% of the time, this isn't an issue but on occasions when I have a long day out, this is a problem. I really hope Apple fixes this in the next iteration of the mini, whenever that happens.
  20. crowdaddy macrumors regular

    Mar 25, 2004
    East Ontario
    I agree with the battery life issue, it is way to short, I find mine is less than 7 hours, but then again its a sacrifice. You cant have it all in one package, something has got to give.
  21. daxdagr8t macrumors member

    Jun 1, 2004
    I wanted to get the mini but opted out for the 4g because the mini does not support voice recording.Im waiting delivery for my 4g and excited but sooner or later I wil get the mini especially when they get upgraded.
  22. gottalaugh macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2004
    Have eaten my words !!

    Earlier on this thread I was rooting for the 20G iPod.....after reading some comments made after my post I have changed my mind !!!aarrrggghhhhh:eek:
    Have decided to go with the mini now due to it's size - as has been rightly pointed out my some, I won't possibly listen to more than 1,000 songs in one go & it's perfect for working out.
    So if you want extra features to use re; portable storage & voice recorder, & if you can live without having your whole iTunes collection on your iPod, then the mini is the way to go :p

    (I use to be indecisive, but now I'm not so sure :eek:)
  23. HardHatMac9 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2004
  24. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I needed a music player for the commute to school every day, and for the gym, when I go. I was debating between the mini and the 4G, though from what I've heard, the regular iPod isn't the best thing to go running with. So I went for the mini, and I really like it so far. It's small, comes with a belt clip, and I usually don't even notice that I have it with me.

    Though, the 4G iPods are nice too, it just depends on what you're going to do with it.

  25. hulugu macrumors 68000


    Aug 13, 2003
    quae tangit perit Trump
    I have both a 10 2G and a mini (for the wife) and I think that they both work very well, but are for different people. I want all my music, and when my 2G gives up the ghost, I will be getting a 20 4G. Why? Because I want all my music and playlists, and I want to be able to hook it to a recorder or the flash reader because I'm greedy. I want everything, and I don't mind the slightly larger size. Now, my wife doesn't want both Johnny Cash and Vaughner, she wants the Chicago soundtrack and and Joss Stone, and to her the small footprint and weight is ideal. Plus, the silver 'so pretty.'

    The mini's battery life is about 8 hours (give or take the screen illumination, EQ settings, how much you diddle with the scroll wheel, etc.)

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