A Look Inside the Think Tank...

Some thoughts about Apple's iPod 4G

Created on and categorized as Technical.
Written by Thomas Steiner.

On yesterday's 12 hours train ride back to Grenoble I had some time to think about my iPod.

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I pretty much love its design and storage capacity (at present I own about 12GB of MP3 music). I replaced the original iPod ear phones with Sennheiser ear phones but this was less a measure of improvement of the already excellent sound, than a measure of camouflage in order to attract less attention from potential iPod robbers.

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But there are also some things I don't like:
  • iTunes is big, dull and over-sized in my opinion. I neither want to manage and organize my music with iTunes nor do I want to get QuickTime and background services installed. iTunes forces me to do so.
  • ID3 tags are a great thing if they are used consequently. I don't. I have managed my collection in folders sorted by artist, style and album. This way I can listen to music for hours without changing the style (i.e. listen to French HipHop). The iPod forces me to use ID3 tags to sort my music and does not keep to the folder structure I use on my desktop.
  • Long titles are just cropped in the list views. I would prefer scrolling them because I have lots of album titles like BAP - 1984 - Zwesche Salzjeb?ck un Bier.
  • Power consumption is not too bad when playing but what I dislike a lot is that I cannot leave my iPod untouched for three weeks, because it runs out of battery then. I would prefer a physical power off option.
  • The back side of the iPod looks really cool - when it is polished and never gets touched. IMHO brushed aluminium would have been just as elegant but less finger print sensitive.


I really know my music collection. The 12GB have slowly grown and reach back to 1998. For me it is important to have proper file names and consistent namings (always feat. instead of featuring, & or and for example). As I am aware of new tracks I don't need the synchronize feature of iTunes. I would prefer to just drop the new file in the particular folder and done.

Hope the iPod Linux Project will support the 4G iPods officially soon. Maybe I can implement some of my wishes in the OpenSource software then. And I am looking forward to playing Doom of course...