New Apple User with iPod Questions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Pomme, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. Pomme macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Hi everyone! I bought my very first Apple computer at the end of June. I got an iBook--the perfect computer for me. I'm in love with my little 'Book; he's a darling, and I'm terribly excited to be taking this computer to my first year of college next month. Thanks to everyone on this forum for help in making the leap to a Mac. I had to convince some very PC-oriented parents to fund my purchase, but armed with the advice I gleaned as a visitor to these boards, I succeeded.

    Of course, just two weeks after I bought my iBook, Apple announced the Cram and Jam deal. I was bummed, but I can't be bitter. I bought my iBook early to acquaint myself with the new technology, and because I was so eager to have the product in my hands, I missed out on a great deal. No point, though, in crying over spilt milk.

    After much hemming and hawing, I've decided to buy myself an iPod for school. 1) My current Creative Zen mp3 player just doesn't seem to work with my Mac. 2) I'm going to school on the other side of the country, and can't ship my huge, outdated stereo. 3) I'm stuck working an awful, hideous summer job, so I've got some extra money and a desire to reward myself for sticking it out at a job I hate. I'm calling this my graduation gift to myself.

    So, here are my questions:

    I was torn between buying a refurbished 10 GB 3G and a 20GB 4G, but now the 10GBs have disappeared from the deal page! Any chance they'll come back? And if they do, are there any outstanding reasons I should shell out the extra hundred dollars (I'm getting the edu discount!) for the 4G? Should I worry about theft on a college campus, and do you recommend engraving a new iPod with a name to prevent loss or theft? What sort of protection do you recommend, if any at all? (I want to keep my iPod slim and portable, able to fit in the pocket of my blue jeans or a jacket or such, so I don't want a huge bulky case.)

    I've been to Best Buy and CompUSA, but haven't been able to put my hands on a 4G model. Truthfully, after handling the Mini and the 3G, I think I'd prefer a click wheel; the buttons on the 3G just seem too touchy. But, should the 10GB model reappear on the Special Deals page... a $100 is a $100. I'm torn.

    Basically, I'm looking for a little advice and guidance. $200-300 isn't cheap; I make that working 35 hours at a job I hate. I'm also a relatively poor college student who's trying to save up a nest egg for the next year away from home. Any thoughts, anyone? I really appreciate anything you might be able to share with me. I've become a relatively obsessive reader of these forums since I bought my Mac, and I value your opinions and advice. :)

    EDIT: I forgot to mention the size of my music collection! I currently only have around 650 songs on my current mp3 player, but I've fallen in love with iTunes. Also, the college I'm going to has a deal with Napster that allows for free downloading, and Mac users will be getting a voucher for iTunes of equal value. (Whatever that means.) So I expect my collection will be growing slowly but surely over the next four years.
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Any chance of getting a mini for $229 (edu price)? Granted, you'll have to wait a month (4 week delay or so now...), but it's priced between the not-available-anymore $169 10GB and the $269 you'd pay for a 4G 20GB.

    The mini is nice, and since, with your iBook, you'd never be far from the source of all your audio, 4GB should be enough. Yes, you can get a 3G 20GB for $249, but, in that case, I'd spend the extra $20 on the 4G.

    I'd like to say the 10GB will be back, but I don't think it will, except sporadically, perhaps.

    While engraving will reduce your ability to resell any iPod, it might somewhat reduce the chance of theft. Of course, people could just keep in in a case after taking it. At least an engraving would allow you to prove it was yours if you spot it around.

    As far as portability, you can't beat the mini.

    I have a 40GB iPod - just got it last week. I love it, and it's portable enough for me. But it cost me $400.

    For you, a $229 mini would be a nice item, very slim, very stylish, and big enough to hold days of music at a time. A $269 4G 20GB would hold a lot more, would make it easier to record lecture notes (would you do that anyway? and, if so, couldn't you just use the iBook?), etc. The extra battery life in the 4G 'pods isn't a big deal when you can charge yours every night.

    My uneducated opinion is to either wait to see if the 10GBs come back, or order a mini. You want one. You know you do. ;)

    Edit: BTW, welcome as a poster here!
  3. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    I would buy the Mini or the new 4G... they may not seem much smaller but I've grown to appreciate the difference! The 4G iPod may also have a better future with Software Updates... not to mention the 4 hour battery life increase! That, combined with twice the space, makes it worth the extra $100 I'd say. If you opted for a smaller iBook hard drive, the iPod will also make an excellent storage alternative.

    By the way, which college are you attending? I'm also going to college next Fall and that sounds like a sweet deal they have going there. :)

    Also: congrats on making the switch!
  4. Kingsnapped macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Go for the 4G for sure. If you can afford to shell out for it, you won't regret it come fall. Theft isn't a big issue if you keep it on your person, and trust your roomate. Just don't be flaunting it around with those white headphones, leave it in your bag and wonder what happened to it. Engraving it would be a good anti-theft device. If you ever get yours stolen, then see someone using it... you can be sure enough to kick them in the arse.

    On another note, I wonder exactly what that iTunes voucher would be worth. Unlimited Napster downloads may cost quite a bit... that might turn out to be a hella' deal.
  5. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Thanks for the help, everyone! (And the welcome! :) ) I think I'm going to go wih the 4G. It's a hit to the pocketbook, and I'm kicking myself for not snatching up a 10 GB, but I think it should be worth it. I'll use it as an external hard drive during the school year. I went to visit the mini during my lunch break today. I've got serious mini-lust; the little things are just so cool! The aluminum body also seems much... studier. But I'm not patient enough for the 4-week wait on the mini, and when the prices are so similar... I'm opting for the extra space. Just in case.

    As for colleges, I'm going to Middlebury College (in VT... most folks have never heard of it, but I'm in love)! I'm so excited. As for the iTunes deal, I'm not sure what the voucher will entail... but the Student Government finnagled an "unlimited download" plan with Napster, and are promising something of equal value for iTunes users. So, I can justify my iPod purchase by telling myself I'll be saving money on buying music. :)
  6. Aoes macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2004
    the 10gb refurb came back as of last night.... i just bought one :)

    oh and since we're on the issue of ipods... since the refurb doesn't come with a dock... do you think its necessary to get one? if not i'll just return it... $43 = two weeks gas money :(
  7. bluebull macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2003
    You don't need it. All it does is make it stand up while charging and syncing. It also has a line out port, which has better sound quality than the headphone jack if you wanted to connect it to a stereo (I think?).
    But yeah, you don't need it to connect to a computer.
  8. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Oh dear. I convinced myself at work today to take the plunge and get the 4G... only to have the 10GB refurb reappear to torment me. Why? Why?

    So now I have to stew for another few hours. Is the new one worth an extra $100? I'm right back at square one. Apple is laughing at my indecision.
  9. Aoes macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2004
    i would probably ask myself these questions if i was in your situation...

    do i need 20gb?

    do i need a new gen ipod to feel satisfied? (i know i asked myself this question when the new ibooks came out earlier this year when i bought one 4 months b4 it )

    and finally what else can $100 do for me?

    i hope that helps you :)
  10. dav macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2004
    Ahh.. that is good insight.
  11. AppleMatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2003
    eh? Did no-one tell them that iTunes is cross-platform.

  12. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, I did it! Yes, the extra $100 would be nice, but... I went ahead and ordered the 4G 20GB iPod. It had nothing to do with needing the trendiest, newest gadget. I just want this purchase to last me a couple of years, and who knows how much space I'll need at that point? I also went ahead and got my name engraved on the back; the folks I'm going to school with are nice, and for the most part, I think someone would get it back to me should I lose it or leave it somewhere.

    The sales tax was the hardest part to take! :eek: There goes my edu discount, really. But I'm totally excited, and since I won't have a stereo system at school for the next four years... this seems like a justifiable expenditure. Not something I HAVE to have, but something I'd like to have, and something I'll use.

    La la la la la. The cheaper 10GB does not exist. La la la la la! ;)
  13. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    I know! As much as I adore the school I'm going to, they're about 80-85% PC. Why haven't they seen the light yet?
  14. SolidGun macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2004
    Twin Cities
    What school is this?

    Yeah, most of the schools are PC oriented, even though Mac is easier to pick up. Congrats on your new purchases, hope you get your money's worth. Now all you have to worry about are software for your iBook. When I bought my Mac, I had to purchase almost $300 worth of software, and the list seems to be growing. Not too many people add this into their calculation of purchasing PC/Mac. Now I have two office suites and find it irritating that I have to continue doing so in the future, since I will never abandon PC platform, even for a Mac.
  15. Aoes macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2004
    ahhhh you have chosen well young cricket... follow your heart and don't let anyone tell you other wise...... way to go dude!!!
  16. JDOG_ macrumors 6502a


    Nov 19, 2003
    I don't know, between the peculiar Best Buy color labels that popped up earlier last month & the fact that the minis have been around for more than six months, leads me to belive that they're up for an update in color choices and possibly a small size bump in the next few months...especially with that Toshiba (or Hitachi) annoucement of their new 6GB Microdrives (the same ones that are in the mini).

    The 4G 20 should do you fine, it's practically half as big as the new 40 and asthetically pleasing. Enjoy your purchase :)
  17. Pomme thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2004
    Middlebury College, in Middlebury, VT. :)

    As far as software goes... haven't bought anything yet. I'm probably going to cave and get Office, because it's what I've grown up on. I just don't like Apple Works as much. But I'm going to wait until I get to campus for that one, and pick it up (relatively) cheap at the bookstore. I think that's all I'll need... what else would you say I need?

    As for the iTunes bit... I just learned that the Napster half of the deal means that students can download songs for free, but can't burn or copy them without paying. Anyon have any idea if there is there a chance the iTunes voucher will be similar? Would I still be able to listen to songs on my iPod if this were the case?

    (And my iPod shipped LAST NIGHT. Apple was super quick on this one. :D )
  18. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    Congratulations I am sure you will love your new purchase. I am sure you made the right choice it is amazing how quickly you can fill it up. My original iPod was a 2G model, 10GB, which at the time I thought was loads of space, but after six months I ran out of room and opted for a 30GB, which is now 2/3 full.
  19. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    if you actually use the firewire hard drive capabilities of an ipod, the hard drive seems quite small, even at 40gb.

    i personally dislike every version of the ipod other than the 1 & 2 G's, as well as the mini (although if you compare them side to side, the size tradeoff for storage is highly disproportionate, the mini really isnt that mini, unless we're talking disk size, which is worse than my 1st generation 5gb).

    hope you enjoy your ipod and good luck in school.

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