iPod vs Nomad

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by TheFallGuy, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. TheFallGuy macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2003
    Here's the situation. My little brother is going out to Iraq for the National Guard. He has a collection of music that he wants to take with him, we bought him a cheap RCA POS (it's being returned because it is garbage), and now he's without a player.

    I've been looking at alternative MP3 players that would be best for him. And so far, I've come up with the iPod and the Nomad as the best alternatives. What I'm concerned about is the fact that he may or may not have access to an outlet to recharge the device.

    I know that this is a mac forum, but I need some advice on this issue. I would like to purchase this by Monday (Aug 2) and so I can get it out to him ASAP. What is everybody's opinion. (pros/cons to either; experience; etc.)
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    There's nothing really wrong with a Nomad - which one are you looking at?

    However, for $299, the new 20GB iPod is state-of-the-art and has a 12 hour batttery life. You can also pick up discontinued 3G models - still great items! - for discounts virtually everywhere.

    If you're looking to spend < $250, and you need to buy in a store (ruling out Apple's $169 10GB iPod refurb), then the Nomads aren't bad deals.

    iPods are nice bc you can store music andaudiobooks from Audible - nice to eat up 10-15 hours if you're bored. Auto bookmarks books, too, so you can stop listening, then resume where you left off, even if you listened to somehting else in the meantime.

    Belkin's battery pack for the iPod can be had for < $50 and uses batteries - I know you're concenred about his ability to recharge. However, I'd guess that, any time he has time to listen to music, he'll prpbably be near a charger. Perhaps not.

    In any event, I wish your brother the best of luck, hope his stay is a short one, and hope that his greatest worry over there is whether or not he can listen to his tunes. With luck, he will be back home before you know it, safely, and with a beat-up iPod.
  3. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I don't know..... I don't think I wold recommend the iPod because it is so delicate, and there are many things that could go wrong. I wouldn't even recommend a hard drive based mp3 player. But if you do have to get one I would recommend the Nomad. (seems more durable than the iPod, imho)

    I'd recommend a flash based player because:
    - Most of them take AA or AAA batteries, and those are easy to find
    - They have better battery life than HD based players
    - (in most cases) they are more durable
    - (in most cases) they are smaller and lighter

    (I got an iPod for myself because I know I'm not going to Iraq any time soon :D )
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I stand corrected. 'pyrite has some very good points - a non-HD-based player, although it has less capacity, will be much more likely to survive unscathed after being dropped. However, the capacity is ~1-5% that of the iPod.

    That said, a co-worker has been in Irag for five months now, and his iPod is still going strong. However, everyone's deployment and situation are unique.
  5. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    Actually I read a story about iPods in Iraq and they have faired well there. One advantage to the iPod is that you can get the world travel adapter kit so he can plug into the power no matter where he is. Also the Belkin battery pack might be a good idea since it may be a long time in between charges for him.
  6. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    My friend that took his iPod over there tells me that he can't use it, because he doesn't have convienient access to a computer for him to keep loads of music. He is now using a CD player. That and he mentioned that he can't charge it often since his squad moves a lot. This may not be the case for your person depending on his role and where he is stationed.
    So you should figure out if that iPod suits the person that needs it.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Forget the iPod and Nomad.

    Go with either a CD player which lasts for 120 hours at a time, or go with a 512MB iRiver iFP-700 or 800 or something. They last for 40 hours on one AA battery (supposedly), or less in real-world usage. There's no HD to break, either. Its around the same price as an iPod mini, so that shouldn't be a problem. 512 MB is a lot. The 1GB player costs US$399, if I remember correctly.

    If you don't have a Mac at home, the other alternative is to get one of those new Sony high capacity Minidisk players. Each one of these new minidisks can store 1GB of music, and the battery can last 40+ hours, so carrying a few disks and a few batteries isn't so bad. They're also quite small. :)
  8. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2003
    Montréal (Canada)
    I just want to point out something about the iPod: its way more robust that what you think. Of course it has a HD that can fail but I have dropped mine several times from various height (from 30f on the grass to 10f on concrete) and it never failled. The new technologie used to make HD is much mopre durable than what were used too a few years ago. I had a nomad (very old model) made out of plastic that broke appart the first time it hurt the ground which look prety cheap compared to the iPod metal shell (well, one side).

    Anyways, if he is a mac user, an iPod will delight him and you can go to any jewel shop to engrave anything on its back.

    if he is not a mac user, go for the mini disk. They are the only logical alternative to the iPod anything else just fall short.

    I hope the best for him and hope this stupid war stop asap.
  9. jared_kipe macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    I would recommend the ipod over the Nomad. All things considered, they are both HD players, and thus have those problems. But I think most people would prefer the ipod over anything else after using it for 5 min. As for battery life, I think he is probably concerned for nothing, all the people I have talked to have had access to power on a routine basis. And remember folks, he is going there to work, and he needs to keep his wits about him, not get lost in the music for hours in the hot desert.
  10. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    If he is stationed at a always up and firing weapons I would reccomend a flash player. My reason is it is a smaller target to get shot. If he is just a traffic controler or a place where it is a boring place get the ipod.
  11. letterbox macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2004
    Quagmire, while your post has a somewhat of a decent point, on the whole it seem a bit unsensitive to the deployment of a soldier to Iraq. I feel that those kinds of short sarcastic comments should be left to less fragile topics. I don't underestimate your devotion to the troops as seen in your signature, but my case remains the same.
  12. TheFallGuy thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2003
    Thanks for all the posts!

    Yes he will be out there in Iraq, I'm not sure exactly what he's going to be doing. But, I know he's not stupid enough to be using it while he's out. He'll use it at base camp while he's resting or sitting around wishing he were home.

    As far as getting music, we're just going to be putting that on it and ship it to him while he's still state-side, everything that he has right now, he's already been out of the music world for a year and a half, so another won't mean all that much. I like the Belkin Battery thing, that'll be good for him in case he just can't plug it in all the time.

    I've read a couple reviews about the Nomad and people have consistently complained about the headphone jack. I don't know if they've solved that issue or not. Personally, I own an iPod and I love it. (I've recently converted from PC to Mac.)

    Again, thanks for all the posts and responses. Any last minute advice, etc?
  13. Koree macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2004
  14. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    Sorry, I didn't mean to sound insensitive. But, after looking at my post again, I guess it was. Once again I apologize.
  15. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    The iRivers are VERY sturdy, and have good battery life. A flash based version is a good choice, as they run on AAs or AAAs.

    I don't think the military will like it if he takes one with a camera inbuilt, like the iFP-1000. Get a iFP-700 or iFP-800 model. They are identical, except for the case. Honestly, the internals, and price are the same, so get a player, from the line he likes the look of.


    If you want a Hard Drive based player, that has replacable batteries, then get an iPod. iRiver's Hard Drive Players, while they do have rechargeable-replacable batteries, are non standard.
  16. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    get a flash based one with SD/MMC expansion slot. that way, you can send him new music via mail by simply filling up a card (which, as you probably know, is very small) here.

    i know SD/MMC cards aren't cheap, but i think it works well for the purposes here... i think flash ones are the way to go because they are more robust than CD or HD based ones. and the battery is easier to get... (though at base stations, they should have power outlets...)

    check http://dealram.com for prices on SD/MMC cards.

    p.s. good luck to him. i hope he returns from iraq safely.
  17. TheFallGuy thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2003
    Thanks everybody, I appreciate your concern and I really hope he returns safely too.

    I was thinking of getting him an iPod, but apparently my aunt already went and got a Rio for him. So I'm debating on the iPod because I can put _all_ of his music on it and a few audiobooks to boot. The audiobooks, I think, will help draw him out of the 'real world' and give him a little break from what's going on. But with the Rio I can send him new audiobooks as they come out.

    Thanks for the input everybody! I appreciate your concern and your well-wishing. I'm sure he'll appreciate the support that he's receiving here too!
  18. iBert macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2004
    Doode, get it for him!

    Hey doode, if you have the money I think an iPod will be great. Seems like you care a lot for your brother. I know he'll come back soon and in great health. I know you aunt all ready got the Rio, now he has an mp3 that he can carry around and can just get it all sandy. But with the iPod your sending he'll cherish it so much, I think he'll use it in safe locations.
    If battery life was ever a concern, I'd say go with a mini disk. i own one and that is the only reason I still don't have an iPod. Mine gives me around 50 hrs of battery life with a single AA and 5 hrs of music per disc. I can't complain. But the iPod vs Nomad, I'll say iPod for looks and other features. Hope everything turns out great.

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