About the Different iPod Models
An iPod is no longer just an iPod, with the variations between models being enough to confuse even the most ardent technophile. Since the relative dark ages of 2001 when the first iPod came to market, the iPod family has grown by six generations and given birth to a number of different offshoots. By distinguishing each unique model of iPod from others in the range, you can ensure that you are purchasing the right iPod for your needs.
The History of iPod Design
Not many people realise that the first generation of iPods worked exclusively on Apple Macintosh computers, before Apple realised that absolute monopoly was not a business model likely to succeed in a PC dominated market. The second generation of iPods included two separate versions, one for Mac operating systems and one for Windows. From the third generation on, all variations of iPod could be used with either Windows or Apple software, and this is the position that we are still in today. The third generation also saw the introduction of a variety of hard drive and flash memory sizes, and the first real attempt by Apple to expand the iPod range.
The third, fourth, and fifth generation of iPods all integrated the use of a dock adapter, which can be used to connect an iPod to either a computer or a power supply. iPod docking stations also provide a convenient way for an iPod to sit in an upright position, and a way to connect stereo systems or headphones easily without having to worry about cables. The sixth generation of iPod is what you will find in the shops today, and there are four basic model variations that are available to choose from.
This sleek new model shares many features with its cousin the iPhone, offering a touch sensitive display and a Wi-Fi Internet connection. These features make surfing the web and interfacing with music websites an absolute breeze, and are the perfect solution for interfacing your iPod with the online iTunes store. The iPod Touch includes a version of the Safari web browser, a YouTube application, and an on screen keyboard, as well as providing a comprehensive media storage solution. You can find a built-in speaker and dedicated volume control on the left hand side of the iPod Touch, and the front interface has the same single menu button operation as the one on the iPhone.
The iPod Touch has become a major contender in the mobile gaming market, and there are a number of great games available that take advantage of its advanced motion sensor technology. The innovative touch screen operation and the included accelerometer combine to produce an amazing interface. The physical size of the iPod Touch is a little smaller than the iPhone, and Apple offers a number of different hard drive sizes to choose from. There are 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB models of the iPod Touch available, each of which comes with the same size battery and provides about 36 hours of music playback. Be warned however, that if you are going to be doing a lot of gaming or video watching on your iPod Touch, battery time will be significantly reduced and can sometimes drop as low as 6 hours.
The iPod Classic is the original design of this iconic piece of technology, and still features a larger hard drive than any of the newer models. While it may lack some of the bells and whistles of the newer designs, if you have a huge music collection and need 120 GB capacity, the iPod Classic may just be your new best friend. This kind of storage capacity is able to hold up to 30,000 songs or 150 hours of video, surely enough to exhaust even the largest media collections. The 6th generation of the Classic has not changed its interface from previous incarnations, with the same click wheel and button operation that has served it so well in the past.
The newer and smaller iPod Nano is the MP3 player of choice for many people across the world, and as it comes in a variety of different colours, you are sure to find one to your liking. The Nano does not have the large capacity of the Classic model, although it does include motion sensor technology like that featured in the iPod Touch and the iPhone. The smaller 2 inch colour LCD screen means that the Nano is not nearly as good at gaming as the iPod Touch, although you can still use the inbuilt accelerometer to do other cool stuff like shuffling your songs. The Nano is the smallest iPod design that is able to display video files, and is a fantastic all round solution as a compact media player. With the same click wheel and button operation as the Classic model, it is familiar and easy to operate for anyone who has ever used an iPod before.
This is the smallest model of iPod available, and is often described as tiny compared to its relatives. The iPod Shuffle comes with either a 1GB or 2GB capacity, and a physical size of only 1.07 by 1.62 inches. The larger 2GB model is able to hold about 500 songs, making the iPod Shuffle more of a playback tool than a permanent media storage solution. The minuscule size and weight of the iPod Shuffle makes it the perfect companion for people wanting to listen to music while they are doing exercise, and this is where it truly excels. The skip free operation and small size of the iPod Shuffle mean that portable glitch free music is guaranteed for even the most dynamic exerciser, and you only need to charge the battery at 12 hour intervals. The iPod Shuffle can also charge up directly from your computer without an optional power supply, and a low cost battery pack can provide about 20 hours of extra time with the help of a couple of AAA batteries.
All music lovers are unique, and Apple have realised this by giving each different iPod model a different feature set and design. While each generation of development sees Apple expanding their range beyond the well known and loved Classic design, the iPod shows no sign of losing its iconic appeal. The iPod is likely to continue its role as the dominant MP3 and media player of choice for many years to come, with the release of each new model in the series only adding to its success.