Apple’s new iPods are a sounding success, but touchy on the accolades….

In July of last summer I bought my first iPod, a 10gb generation one model with the physical wheel. I loved everything about it, except I always wanted a line out for my stereo and car. When Apple announced the new iPods this week, I drooled, but I was not willing to spend the money for one.

Then I remembered that I had a slightly busted headphone jack (caused by a cable in the car) and that I had paid $30 for a 2 year Comp USA warranty (half price, cuz I am a lucky guy) I called Comp USA and they verified that I would receive a new iPod! I then asked about the cost for upgrading from my 10gb to the 30gb. They asked how much I had paid for my 10gb, which was $499. Since the new 30’s are also $499, I was to get that model!

So I quickly headed off to Comp USA and swapped iPods, after restoring mine to factory 1.3 software. Seeing as the warranty is a “one shot” warranty, I bought a new one for $60 on the new iPod. Still a great deal, as it covers accidental damage as well.

So what does The Geek think? Overall these new iPods are very, very nice. I’ll start off with my criticisms, and end with the positives.

First off, the screen seems harder to read in the daylight. I don’t know why, it just does. It is darker and has less viewing angle or something. I can live with it, however.

This iPod also has full touch sensitive controls. Mine was all physical. The plus is that there are no moving parts to break. The minuses are that I end up touching buttons by accident a lot, and sometimes buttons like Menu just don’t respond. The jury is still out on these new buttons.

The hold button is smaller, has no ridges on top and thus is harder to slide.

Becase the new iPods are so thin, there is no longer a firewire port. Apple has a proprietary thin port on the bottom, which plugs into the dock. I am worried about the connector, which use spring loaded connectors to hold them in place.

The battery life is claimed to be 2 hours less.

So, why do I like the new iPods? Sound, sound, sound. The line out, coupled with no sound check nor equalizer, sounds amazing. With my Apple Powered Speakers, my Denon receiver, or my car stereo, all three sources are bright and crisp. Songs that I purchased with the iTunes Music Store that sounded muddled are now bright. What really made the change, I don’t know, but it is there.

I was worried about connecting to line out in the car, as the current method to get line out is by using the dock. However, the dock fit perfectly on my center console, above the shifter, and stayed put, through some hard turns and over speed bumps. The only problem was those touch sensitive buttons, which would activate every time I went to pick up the ipod.

The 30gb disk space and smaller size/weight are indeed nice. I am really happy I upgraded and i hope Apple listens to customers on the buttons and refines the design. Sometimes, a tactile button is the best solution.