Article: Greasy Mitts First Look: Apple iPod with Video 30GB

by on December 5, 2005

After having a Third-Generation iPod for the last two years, I decided that it was high time to upgrade my music “experience” to something that at least had a Click Wheel. I almost went for getting one of those iPods that were introduced over the summer, but decided to hold off until the next revision—whatever that may be.

About $300 later, I thought it would be a good idea to start at the very basics—comparing old and new. This is not intended to be a review, as one of those will come later. This is merely intended to compare the two products, since they are so vastly different.

iPod 5G and 3G Playing Podcasts

iPod Thickness

iPod Tops

iPod Playing a Video

The first thing I noticed was that the new iPods are almost like they chopped the front off the old iPods (sort of like if you took the heel off of a loaf of bread). The edges are sharp, but still rounded on the back. Overall, the feel is not much different than previous generations.

The iPod is much thinner—almost half the thickness of the original iPods. The other dimensions are similar, meaning that it should fit fine in many accessories, such as docks, speakers, and car mounts.

The controls have been simplified and cleaned up even more. Just like all the other iPods, the newest models feature a Click Wheel. This took some adjustments from my old one, but I’ve found the Click Wheel to be much easier to use through cases (a near impossible task on the 3G). The Click Wheel is the same size as the iPod mini’s, a shrunken size due to the larger screen.

As most know, the remote port is gone, which is a bummer, but this will allow many accessory manufacturers to refresh their lineups. The hold switched has been moved to the other side, and the headphone/AV out jack has been moved to the right-hand-side. Unfortunately, this means many older cases will not fit, including Matias’s nearly universal iPod Armor. The Dock Connector remains unchanged, other than that anything FireWire doesn’t work (apart from chargers), a result of the ever-shrinking and more-efficiently made iPod.

The screen has also been changed a bit—it’s bigger. More lines of text can be seen at once, so the result is less scrolling. The screen is also wider, so you can see even more of those long song names. The interface has a more Mac-like feel, complete with aqua scroll bars, and photorealistic icons. The font is also Myriad, just like the iPod photo, a change from the Chicago/Espy Sans combo featured on the older monochrome iPods.

The software is generally the same as previous iPods, with the only exception of the newly-added video capabilities. They work much like audio playback, with the only exception being cool translucent controls over the video.

In the next few days, we’ll have an actual review of this iPod and the ins and outs of the newest iPod software.

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