MP3 Players Vs Apple iPod - Today's Reigning Electronic War

Apple-iPod Touch

This is one million dollar question that music lovers ask themselves before grabbing the latest from the world of music players. We attempt to answer it. Read on...

Apple iPod

Apple iPod - mention the name and it brings a smile on the lips of any music lover. Considered the market leader, it attracts all the attention from techno savvy consumers across the globe. Infact, 2007 industry statistics show that the iPod has sold more than 110 million units worldwide. This makes the iPod the best-selling product in the history of digital audio players. Let's try to dissect the reasons behind its popularity:

  • Its interface is simply great, and has only improved over time.
  • It is the most user-friendly gizmo till date. You just have to love music and you can start playing the moment you lay your hands on it. It does not require reading any technical manuals, a good news for technophobes. The Apple iPods are indeed the simplest and coolest MP3s players.
  • Moreover, they are typically the smallest and lightest music players available.
  • It has a large memory capability built into a compact concoction, and little headphones that fit right into your ears.

But, then let’s check out do these features really make the iPod worth buying?

Latest MP3 players Vs Apple iPod

A quick search turns up nearly 500 players on the market, and maybe even more.

Now, the question is why would you pick an MP3 player instead of an iPod?

Well for those of you who are concerned about the price and capacity you can often get a competing product with the same capacity for less than you would pay for an iPod. Often much less for example:

  • The SanDisk Sansa m 240 is about half the price of an iPod Nano, both with 1GB of storage, and the Sansa also has an FM radio and an SD card slot, which the iPod does not.
  • The MobiBLUs, which are actually the smallest in the world along with the new Apple iPod Shuffle, actually has a display.
  • The Creative Zen MicroPhoto offers 8GB of storage, while the highest-end Nano offers 4GB.
  • Well let us dwell more on the war between Creative Zen Player and the Apple iPod. If you want a portable music player with a rock-solid user interface the iPod mini is definitely the winner. Again, the Creative Zen Micro is a music player that records audio, plays FM radio and is compatible with a massive subscription music library at the price of a more cumbersome user interface, and it emerges as the winner. When it comes to money, prices are closer on the standard iPod (with hard drive), but you will still have to pay some premium for the Apple.
  • The RCA MP3 player is also a great invention. It is small, capable of adding space by memory card and comes with armbands. The battery life of iPod did not keep in with the hype of its launch. On the other hand, the RCA MP3 player uses an AAA battery, which lasts 20-30 hours. This is a great deal because you get to keep your own music player, and can replace your battery whenever you need to.

Apple iTune and Bluetooth

Unlike most mass-market MP3 players, the iPods use the Apple iTunes software to transfer music to the music devices. Using iTunes you can store a music library on your computer, burn music from CD, transfer photos, videos, game and small applications (when supported by the player). Now here's the big problem with all that:

  • You cannot use iTunes with any other portable player except the iPod.
  • You cannot download music from the iTunes Music Store and play it using anything except an iPod.

Apple even pushes its own audio format, AAC, which is not widely supported by non-Apple devices (even non-DRM-protected music), though iTunes does support MP3 and other formats, too. In other words, if you jump into Apple's version of the world of music, you might just get stuck.

But here too, you would have a problem; iPod only runs on iTunes, which can cause a problem for those with older computers. Using iTunes, whenever you hook up your iPod, all the music on your computer placed onto the device. This means you have no choice of what music to put on your device unless you go through your entire music collection, manually. Since the iPod only works with iTunes, this is the only online store you can purchase music from, which severely limits your choice of music. Of course, you can use your own CD’s but the whole point of a music device is to ‘not have’ to buy every CD you like to hear.

SanDisk-Sansa Shaker

What about Bluetooth?

While Bluetooth seems like a natural feature for an MP3 player, it is conspicuously absent in the iPod. This feature when properly configured, allow you to quickly sync your playlists, share songs with buddies and wirelessly feed your songs to speaker docks.

Hence, today almost all digital audio-player manufacturers add Bluetooth to their devices. However, Apple, the dominant player in MP3 players, has shunned the feature. Even Apple’s iPhone, with Bluetooth, holds over the non-stereo standard, rendering it useless for wireless listening.

Watch Movies and Play Games on Apple iPod

MP3 players are multi talented for music lovers can be download music from the internet. But, if you prefer to use the tool to watch movies and playing games, an iPod is the best version with its superior memory efficiently performing these functions. Of these, the iPod touch is of course the frontrunner. This amazing device can be summed up in two words: style and ease. The media player's touch screen controls, ‘cover flow,’ album art, EQ settings, play list management, and even screen transitions are simply beautiful.

Even though it is more expensive and have fewer features, music lovers still prefer the iPod, all for its lightness, special characteristics and ease of use. Buy the latest iPod and wear it as a badge of your musical devotion.