iPod: The Founding Father
In the beginning, there was only the basic iPod. A monochrome backlit screen, white body and ear buds and ease of use set off a revolution which has become a godsend for Apple. The basic iPod is now no longer so basic. It comes in two storage sizes: 30GB and 60GB. This means that it is roughly capable of holding up to 7,500 or 15,000 songs respectively of the AAC or MP3 music formats. All of these tunes are stored on the players hard dive, which is similar to the type which stores your files on a computer. These music files are commonly either downloaded from online services like the iTunes Music Store or copied from CDs through software like iTunes onto your computer. The music is then transferred from your PC or Mac to the iPod through a USB 2.0 connection.
In addition to music, the iPod is also capable of displaying photos and playing videos. For photos, the player is capable of loading thousands of photos (JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG formats) which can be displayed on its 2.5-inch, 320 x 240 pixel TFT color display. These photos can be displayed in a number of ways. On the players screen you can view them either individually as a full screen image or 30 at a time as smaller pictures called thumbnails. If you desire a larger viewing surface, you can connect the player to a television or projector via a cable which is sold separately. Another neat photo function is the multimedia slideshow. This allows you to match songs and photos together as a slideshow which can play by itself.
With regards to video, the iPod can store and play up to 150 hours (on the 60GB version) of music videos, television shows and other video programming downloaded from the iTunes Music Store. This is in addition to being able to playback home movies converted into an iPod-friendly format through the iTunes software.
On the physical characteristics side, the basic iPod has some features which it shares with its siblings and others it calls its own. The front of the device sports the two most obvious: the previously mentioned color screen with backlight and the Click Wheel. The screen allows you to see the menus you navigate so you can, for example, select songs and options, as well as displaying current song and artist information, while a tune is playing. The Click Wheel meanwhile incorporates a touch sensitive function to allow easy scrolling through things like song selection and volume control.
Another important external feature is the dock connector, which allows the iPod to connect with a variety of third party products as well as connecting the USB cable which charges your player and allows it to interact with a host computer.
On the inside, Father iPods most endearing characteristic to many is its ability to support (and create on the fly as needed through the players interface) playlists. Playlists are basically groupings of songs or videos you create to fit a certain mood or fulfill a need for some type of greater organization of your music. For example, say you are heading to the gym and want to create a playlist of songs which are high energy. Without a playlist, you would have to navigate from album to album through the menus as you exercise to get your music the way you want it. A playlist created in iTunes, on the other hand, eliminates this navigation nightmare and makes your musical accompaniment as simple as selecting the playlist and hitting play.
Other notable features of this particular iPod include a weight of up to 5.5 ounces and a thickness of .55 inches, up to 20 hours of rechargeable battery life, song shuffle for random play, support of Audible audio books and portable storage for any type of file. The iPod is available in black or white colors as well.
The not so basic iPod is currently priced at $299 for the 30GB model and $399 for the 60GB one.