Apple iPod (fifth-generation update, 80GB, black)
Manufacturer: Apple Part number: MA450LL/A
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CNET editors' review
price range: $315.71
- Reviewed by: James Kim
- Reviewed on: 09/19/2006
The good: The enhanced iPod has the same sleek design with improved video battery life and brighter screen; it brings gapless playback to the masses; up to 80GB; new features such as instant search and enhanced games; movies now available in iTunes 7; excellent overall value.
The bad: The Apple iPod has added no major functions such as FM radio, wireless, recording; small screen not conducive to movie viewing; proprietary USB cable; narrow native video-format compatibility; body is still scratch prone.
The bottom line: The amazingly low priced updated Apple iPod gets many under-the-hood improvements, but it's still not a true video player.
Great for everyday use
by Ch1nad0g on September 21, 2006
Pros: Ease of Use, Battery life, price
Cons: sound quality (emphasis), are these headphones?
Summary: I have owned a Sony NW-HD5 for the past year, and have been spoiled by the sound quality it produces. However, I couldn't pass up picking up this new ...
Summary: I have owned a Sony NW-HD5 for the past year, and have been spoiled by the sound quality it produces. However, I couldn't pass up picking up this new Ipod (as I've been an avid dissenter of "IPod Culture" for the better part of 3 years) because of the many features taht were added, battery life in particular. The ability to play movies, games, and such are very nice as well, and the 80 gig hard drive and 349 price make it a steal.
With the good comes the bad as well. The sound quality from the Ipod does not compare to the Sony, in terms of overall clarity. The bass often time blends into the music failing to define itself as the beat. I've listened to the same songs on both the Sony and the Ipod through the new Bose Quiet Comfort 3 headphones and there really is no comparison in terms of sound quality. However, the Ipod is just infinitely more convenient, which is why I like it. The ability to make playlists on the go, Itunes over sonicstage, and the many many available accessories for the product give it an edge over all other mp3 players on the market.
Please do yourself a favor if you buy this Ipod or any Ipod, go out and buy some real headphones. As much as Apple has done a tremedous job marketing their product the quality of their headphones is absolutely atrocious. For a 350 piece of equipment do yourself, and everyone around you (since they can probably hear your music leaking through the stock headphones) a favor and buy sony's $30 sound isolating ear buds, the clarity you will get out of the hi's and lo's of your ipod will increase tenfold.
33 out of 35 users found this user opinion helpful.
by itango on September 26, 2006
Pros: great user interface design; cool factor
Cons: no FM radio; poor sound quality; short battery life
Summary: Prior to buying an MP3 player, I borrowed a friend's 30 gig iPod for a trial run. I also borrowed this 80 gig iPod. I finally bought the Creative ...
Summary: Prior to buying an MP3 player, I borrowed a friend's 30 gig iPod for a trial run. I also borrowed this 80 gig iPod. I finally bought the Creative Zen Vision M 30 gig MP3 player. Although the user interface lozenge of the Zen takes some trial and error, I love the sound quality, the FM radio (for times when I tire of the music and books on tape), and it has an amazing battery life (compared to the iPod). The screen graphics are also far superior. I only listen to songs I rip and burn from purchased CDs, as I do not want the hassle of DRM, so not having iTunes does not affect me at all.
20 out of 25 users found this user opinion helpful.
it works great for the Practical and everyday human - yes I own one
by Stvveo on September 20, 2006
Pros: Slick and sturdy, with gapless playback & good battery life.
Cons: no EQ available, and scratches easily. I also wish it had a power adapter
Summary: Ok so this isn't exactly one of those rediculous PMP's yet. But The iPod isn't about what's on the paper. It can't record voice or ...
Summary: Ok so this isn't exactly one of those rediculous PMP's yet. But The iPod isn't about what's on the paper. It can't record voice or tv or anything like that. It can't play full movies comfortably on it's 2.5 inch screen. It also can't make you a pot of coffee or tuck you into bed at night. So what?
If you want to put some music videos or short commedy clips to share a laugh with friends on it, or throw some pictures so you can show how you broke you arm in a crash, then this works great. It's original design, remember, is music. not a full computer replacement.
The 80GB is big, and not many people I know have enough time to fill that, let alone listen to 80 GB of music or movies. It's small in size, making it easier than a brick to take around. Controls are always great, and no cumbersome buttons are around to find. It's a uniform machine.
Gapless playback it wonderful. It's smooth and crates a wonderful listening experience, especially with Pink Floyd's The Wall. 20 hours of battery life is just fine, as I can charge it up almost every night, after maybe 5 hours of listening a day, 6 hours tops. I'll get a power adapter so I can charge it on the road. No personal EQ, unfortunately, but that doesn't mean that the music sounds bad. It still is crisp and clean.
Video is good, but remember, it's not made for long movies yet. I got a portable DVD player that is 10 inches, and is much better than a little 4 inch screen on a PMP. And dealing with DVD copywrights and all are a pain, so keeping it simple here is what it's all about. And who takes bunches of cords around with them for recording a tv show???
They have iTunes, which helps the artists make a deserving profit off of what they make for everyone, everyday. Pirating is a problem, and apple has helped the industry a lot. That may seem bad, but music is what I use everyday, and have no problem paying a few bucks for it.
I used to HATE iPod as many still do, but after going through iRiver, iAudio (which I still like), archos, samsung, and creative, iPod seems to just work.
16 out of 16 users found this user opinion helpful.
Why I "Sold Out" to iPod
by joonbeams on January 29, 2007
Pros: iTunes content, memory, 3rd party accessories, sleek
Cons: Average sound quality, sharing is a nightmare, stuck w/ Apple forever
Summary: "iPod World"
I'm one of those "wouldn't be caught dead with an iPod on my waste" types. Like many of you, I've had or tried several portable ...
Summary: "iPod World"
I'm one of those "wouldn't be caught dead with an iPod on my waste" types. Like many of you, I've had or tried several portable music devices - waiting in vain for the proverbial "iPod Killer". It never came and I doubt it ever will. I've used an Archos 400 for a couple of years and it has been great (especially sound wise), but I outgrew it. I've also toyed with Zune, Zen, and Toshiba Gigabeats. I took them all back for 2 big reasons: 1) getting content I wanted wasn't easy, 2) we live in an iPod world.
I hate to admit it, but the signs of the times are clear - iPod will be dominating the market for a while because iTunes has the widest content in one place, iPod has the largest number of 3rd party accessories (including BMW/luxury car integration!), and they've mastered the space/size thing better than anyone.
"Sound is a Real Issue. Sharing is painful"
The principle downside, other than conformity, is that the iPod sound quality is average - not bad, just not great. This is a real issue for any sound gurus. There are ways to hide it with equalizer setting, other accesories (i.e. docks, headphones, etc.), etc. but there is no getting around this obvious weakness. It is even apparent to my wife who by no means considers herself a techie. Again, it's average and many people won't notice or care. However, I expect this to improve with later versions. My other gripe is the "sharing" issue, especially since I use both an iMac and a PC. Why can't I push my non-iTunes content to another computer? (I hope Apple changes this annoying limitation). After days of tweaking and 3rd party add on software, I now have my libraries almost set.
"Jam-packed with Content. Only going up."
My 80 gig iPod video is packed with iTunes songs, my CDs, music videos, movies, tv shows, audiobooks, and podcasts and I'm still only about 40% full! 30 gigs just can't cut it anymore. Plus, we know Apple won't stop at 80 gigs - we all want portable Libraries of Congress!
I give a 9/10, mostly for the average sound, otherwise it's a 10. In my mind, the "total package" is hands down the best out there.
Bottom Line: if you don't plan on buying online music and you are happy with few accessories, don't buy an iPod - gigabeat, Zen, and Archos all have much better sound and equally good or better video. If you are like me and see yourself buying TV shows, movies, music, audobooks, etc. online and you don't want to restart your collection again in a couple years, play it safe and get an iPod. You can be guaranteed that you will have a "player" in the game no matter who else tries to compete. - Sorry so long...
11 out of 14 users found this user opinion helpful.
A bump for the better, but only a bump....
by lacene on September 28, 2006
Pros: slim, large capacity, new low price, gapless, ease of use with iTunes, accessories
Cons: No user EQ, bland GUI, few video codecs, battery not replaceable, SCRATCHES!
Summary: I rate this iteration of the iPod a 7 because to me it's not really a new generation of the iPod, even tho it's being called the "5....
Summary: I rate this iteration of the iPod a 7 because to me it's not really a new generation of the iPod, even tho it's being called the "5.5G" iPod. The fourth generation ("4G") iPod started out with the removal of the four buttons under the screen of the 3G, and integration of those functions within the click wheel, ala the Mini. But the initial 4G iPod was a monochrome screened iPod.....later, the 4G iPod got a color screen, and was then called the iPod "Photo", but it was still the "4G" iPod....so the latest iPod upgrade is still the "5G" iPod, IMO.
Usually the iPod has been known to raise the standard bar to a certain degree in styling and ease of use, and other Digital Audio Player (DAP) makers would follow. In the case of the 5.5G iPod, however (as well as the 2G Nano, it seems that Apple is having to play "catch-up" to respond to other DAP-makers challenges.
The 5.5G iPod is basically the 5G iPod: still looks the same, still feels the same, with only a few feature upgrades. New features such as gapless playback, the brighter screen, brightness control settings, and the interactive search feature, are all features that have been implemented by other DAP-makers for quite some time. In fact, the gapless feature is not a feature of the iPod at all: it's implemented into the new iTunes 7, which analyzes your music library, and "adjusts" the music by removing the gaps, before it's downloaded, or synced, onto the iPod. There is new firmware for the iPod that accepts the new implementation, but really iTunes 7 should get this credit more than the iPod. But since the iPod can now play this gapless music, with the assistance from iTunes 7, then I guess it's better than nothing.
It's just funny to me how when this feature, along with the brightness control, interactive search, a FM tuner, a user EQ, voice recording, or on-the-go playlisting was always listed as "Pro's" for other DAP's, they were summarily dismissed and laughed at by the iPod faithful as being "geeky" techno frills, and irrelevant. Now that the iPod has (some of)these features, CNET has to provide an unprecedented, in-depth analysis and dissection of each feature (gapless, brightness control, etc.), which was never done before with the other DAP's. But then, if CNET didn't, there would be nothing to review here, would there?
The brightness control is a good thing, if for no other reason you can adjust it down and save battery life. I thought the screen brightness was fine before, with the 5G iPod. The big problem, though, is the wasted screen real-estate of the iPod's screen. There's too much empty white, which makes the added brightness even more uncomfortable to view, unless you're viewing photos or a video. Why could'nt Apple come up with colorful wallpapers, backgrounds, and themes?? Now that the Creative Zen Vision:M, Toshiba Gigabeat S, iRiver Clix, and soon the Microsoft Zune have these features, the iPod's GUI looks old, and dated. I'm surprised at this ommitted upgrade...
The search feature, like gapless, is also welcome - as any added feature to the iPod would be, since the iPod has so few features. But seriously, any DAP with the storage capacities of the iPod really should include some form of interactive search function as a default, as the libraries are just too large for manual seek-and-find expeditions. But once again, as with gapless, the iPod is playing "catch-up" here. The interaction of this feature is definitely inferior to the feature on the Zen Vision:M, which uses a graphical qwerty keypad, and can search more categories than the iPod's feature, such as genre, etc. The Vision:M's feature looks nicer, and more thought-out and refined than the iPod's. This may hark back to my GUI issue above...
About the only upgrade to the iPod that I consider to be both exclusively attributable to the iPod, as well as a pro-active upgrade, is the capacity increase. But again, I have to consider that the vast majority of the iPod masses, or the DAP masses for that matter, do not have such massive music libraries that will require such size. I know 2 other people that have the large 30GB 5G iPod, and they both have 5-10GB of music, photos, and videos on them. The discontinued 60GB 5G iPod would've been more than sufficient for holding music, as well as a vast video library....the 80GB 5.5 iPod will be excessive.
Of course, there will always be some out there who would prefer a 200GB iPod, but they do not represent the iPod nation at all: there's a reason why the 4GB-6GB iPod Mini was (and still may be) the best-selling iPod ever, and why the 1GB iPod Shuffle and 2GB-8GB iPod Nano easily out-sells the full-sized iPod....
So after that, we are left with the same iPod, with the same (basically) design since 2001, and the same highly scratchable body. There have been more people screaming for a user EQ than there have been for gapless. The color screen and video playback is still bested by other DAP's that have been out there for the better part of a year (Vision:M, Gigabeat S), and the audio quality is bested, as well (Vision:M, iAudio X5). The new prices are great, but even tho the 30GB Zen Vision:M was at $299 (MSRP: it has since been lowered to match the 30GB iPod's $249), you could buy it for around $250-$260 at several online sites. So based on what's really put on the table, I give it a 7: OK, but definitely could be better.
6 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
80gb Goes Back to COSTCO
by george_fbi on September 30, 2006
Pros: Siae, weight and looks
Cons: Poor sound quality
Summary: I have been using a Zen Micro 4Gb for about a year. I though I needed more storage space. I bought the iPod from COSTCO as soon as it was ...
Summary: I have been using a Zen Micro 4Gb for about a year. I though I needed more storage space. I bought the iPod from COSTCO as soon as it was available.
I transferred about 10 different albums of various types. I connected my Shure earphones and I thought the quality of playback was a little off.
I connected the iPod to some decent HifI equipment and the sound was really poor no matter the equalizer settings.
I connected my old Zen Micro and played the same music. There was almost no difference between the original CD and the Zen.
If you are into sound quality, don't waste your money on the iPod.
10 out of 18 users found this user opinion helpful.
by vijayms23 on December 14, 2006
Pros: Itunes not offering to convert DVDs & other formats, poor performance
Cons: Design, looks
Summary: Its just 3 weeks old I bought & it's sitting at the apple service center, dont ever go for Ipod, when enquired at Apple service center, they say after ...
Summary: Its just 3 weeks old I bought & it's sitting at the apple service center, dont ever go for Ipod, when enquired at Apple service center, they say after your warranty period, nobody is resp, which unfortunately is just 90 days and no repair can be done instead u go for a new one again..so thnk before u invest on a 80GB...
And also the most important is the life of 80 GB is only 1.5 yrs as told by Apple
7 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great value for me and huge storage in an easy to use device
by hwky556 on September 20, 2006
Pros: Price, 6+ Hr video battery life, Ease of Use, Good Games, Bright Screen, Very slim for 80GB device
Cons: No removable battery, fingerprints, no Power Unit included only USB
Summary: I got this unit a week ago as an upgrade from my 30GB iPod Photo and am very glad I did. I did a one time batch conversion of all ...
Summary: I got this unit a week ago as an upgrade from my 30GB iPod Photo and am very glad I did. I did a one time batch conversion of all my FREE downloaded tv shows and movies, and now have 6,000 songs, 26 full length movies (were DIVX and converted easily for free), 8 Gigs of photos, and tons of free video podcasts on it.
Had never gotten into the whole podcast thing but found a ton of great free video podcasts on iTunes and are great to have new ones to watch every day.
I also decided to lay down about $50 to get all the new games offered on iTunes and am glad I did. Thought they'd be bad but have enjoyed them a lot, especially Mahjongg and Zuma (haven't played the others a ton though yet so they could be bad).
I can understand that there are some devices that offer more features or bigger screens in the same price range, but the fanboyism and name calling is pretty rediculous. I'm not a sheep or lemming because I like this device. I've owned many mp3 and video players. The iTunes/iPod combination is easy to use for me and does everything that I want it to do without a ton of tweaking, managing, wires, setup, etc. It just works and works very well.
Also, I don't care at all about lack of in-line recording as I do it all on my computer and have no use for FM radio. The reason I use my iPod so much is because I can't stand FM radio, its commercials, and playlists of only 20 songs. Would like to have AM but nobody offers that. Sure many people use iPods as an image thing to look cool, and they're the popular thing to have. That fact does not mean that they aren't great, useful devices.
5 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Another Broken out-of-the-box iPod
by NickS22 on April 1, 2007
Pros: Very bright screen, smooth interface, sleek design, video always good
Cons: Everything inside has a very good chance to be broken from the get-go.
Summary: After my 1 year run and complete disgust with my 30GB ipod which spent as much being repaired as it did playing music I decided to give Apple one more ...
Summary: After my 1 year run and complete disgust with my 30GB ipod which spent as much being repaired as it did playing music I decided to give Apple one more try to redeem itself. I was still skeptical when I first started up hearing already of the horror stories.
Week 1 and 2 passed without a hitch, and all was well in iPod land. Finally week 3 came and I wake up and unplug my ipod from charging for about 4 hours and nothing happens when I hit the buttons. No light. No icon. Even when I hold the buttons to reset it. I take it back to the store and they tell me it's a manufacturing defect, and "That it's pretty common with the new video iPods." And with that I politely requested my money back.
Maybe some people somewhere in the world have an amazing iPod that works consistantly, and they should by all means stick with it. But Apple seems to just want to pump these things into as many people's hands as fast as possible while compromising their overall quality.
I've had my Toshiba gigabeat S for almost 7 monthes now and have not had a single problem with it. It works today just like it did the day I opened it and I couldn't be happier.
Bottomline: If you don't mind very possibly and very frequent breakdowns and irritations iPods are fine. But there are mp3 players out there which are much better IMO both price and quality wise. Being first doesn't make you the best.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good, but over rated and certainly not the best.
by Jeff187342 on October 2, 2006
Pros: Simple, outstanding controls, slim and very sexy, seamless integration with itunes, excellent battery life (this time around), cheap for what you get, very high capacity.
Cons: No removable battery, scratches easily, limited codec support, no accessories, no features, mediocre screen, protection on files is ridiculous.
Summary: Over all it's a very simple and easy MP3 player which I think is part of it's appeal. It looks gorgeous, but it falls short when it comes ...
Summary: Over all it's a very simple and easy MP3 player which I think is part of it's appeal. It looks gorgeous, but it falls short when it comes to capabilities. Virtually no features most other MP3 players have. Not very far along on the MP3 player evolutionary scale. But I will say the price for an 80 gig player is amazing.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Part number: MA450LL/A
- Description: Now that you can buy movies from the iTunes Store and sync them to your iPod, the whole world is your theater. With a 30GB or 80GB iPod in hand, those movies fit comfortably next to TV shows, new iPod games, podcasts, audiobooks, photo albums, and, of course, an entire library of music - up to 20,000 songs, in fact. How much can your pocket hold? That's up to you and your iPod. It holds up to 20,000 songs, up to 25,000 photos, and up to 100 hours of video - or any combination of each. So you can browse movies on the iTunes Store, download the ones you want (Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, perhaps?), and then sync it to your iPod. Same goes for TV episodes, new iPod games, 99¢ songs, best-selling audiobooks, and an entire universe of free podcasts. Go ahead. Fill 'er up. With all that music at your fingertips, you may never want to stop listening. Lucky thing your iPod plays audio for up to 20 hours. Or, if you'd rather watch, you can feast your eyes on movies and TV shows for up to six-and-a-half hours. It might be a miracle. Otherwise, it's hard to explain exactly how 30GB of storage can fit into an iPod that's over 30% thinner than the previous fourth generation. Or how an 80GB iPod can be the same size as the 60GB model before it. However it happened, it means you can carry your entire music collection - plus a nice selection of video - absolutely everywhere you go. And a 60% brighter, more vibrant display gives your album art, photos, and video extra oomph. Finding what you want to hear among 20,000 songs could be quite a chore - unless you have an iPod. A new interface lets you search your iPod using the patented Click Wheel. And if you're a fan of live albums, classical works, or anything that sounds best when it's continuous, iPod supports gapless playback that seamlessly transitions from one song to another.
- Product type Digital player
- PC interface(s) supported Hi-Speed USB
- Digital storage Built-in 80 GB Hard disk drive
- Weight 5.5 oz
- Dimensions (W x D x H) 2.4 in x 0.6 in x 4.1 in
- Color Black
- Included accessories [Jul 2, 2008 from CDS: Miscellaneous] Docking station adapter,
- iPod Generation 5G
Digital Player / Recorder
- Supported digital audio standards Apple Lossless ,
- Playback modes Random play / shuffle,
All tracks repeat,
One track repeat,
- Response bandwidth 20 - 20000 Hz
- Supported bit rate 16 - 320 Kbps
- ID3 tags support Yes
- External hard drive function Yes
- Additional features Variable bit-rate compatible
- Audio system built-in display LCD
- Diagonal size 2.5 in
- Resolution 320 x 240
- Backlight display Yes
- Display illumination color White
- Display menu language Danish,
- Sound output mode Stereo
- Timer Stopwatch,
- Built-in clock Alarm,
- Addtional features Photo wallet,
Volume limiter ,
Battery level indication,
Built-in games ,
Playback speed control ,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Equalizer factory preset qty 20
- Remote control None
- Headphones type Binaural Ear-bud
- Sound output mode Stereo
- Response bandwidth 20 - 20000 Hz
- Impedance 32 Ohm
- Connectivity technology Wired
- Cable(s) included 1 x USB cable - External
- Connector type 1 x Docking station,
1 x Headphones / remote control / composite video Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
Battery / Power
- Battery Lithium ion Rechargeable Player batteryIntegrated
- Mfr estimated battery life 20 hour(s)
- Recharge time 4 hour(s)
- Operating system Microsoft Windows 2000 SP4 or later,
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2 or later,
Apple MacOS X 10.3.9 or later,
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 or later
Specs: 30 GB,
Player battery - Rechargeable - Lithium ion,
Specs: 80 GB,
Player battery - Rechargeable - Lithium ion,