Since the introduction of the first iPod in October of 2001, the iPod has become one of the most popular portable music players of all time, having sold over 220 million units. Newer versions continue to be designed and released on a yearly basis and millions of users have signed up to use Apple’s signature music player software, iTunes. Even with this overwhelming popularity, there are still a number of consumer complaints about certain aspects of the iPod.
Since their initial launch, iPods have been lauded for their large storage capacity (up to 160 gigabytes for the sixth generation iPod), high quality music playback, and easy portability due to small size. Other advantages include the ability to playback multiple formats, such as audio-books, videos, and photos. In recent years there has been discussion of iPod use in business management.
One other selling feature of the iPod is its compact design. Most MP3 players have numerous buttons, but the iPod design uses a patented scroll-and-click wheel that many users find less cumbersome than buttons. To prepare an iPod for file transfer, all that is needed is a USB cord provided with the unit.
The iPod contains a number of features that are associated with productivity, including a calendar, contacts list and notepad. It also can be loaded with applications and games through the iTunes program.
The most common complaints about the iPod are the high cost (ranging from $99 to $229), limited one-year warranty, and the inability to replace the internal battery. The iPod internal battery runs down over time, and must be sent to Apple to be replaced or the warranty is voided.
Other user-reported problems include that relatively simple tasks for other devices, such as flash drives, are complicated on the iPod. An iPod can be used as a hard drive for excess storage, but doing so involves taking several steps that are not widely known to less-experienced users.
The iPod's cost is another factor. Other MP3 players can be purchased for less, leading a number of users to claim that the customer is simply purchasing the Apple brand name instead of a superior product.
The Apple iTunes software could be considered both an advantage and a disadvantage. iTunes is the most popular and user-friendly method of managing an iPod, but many people have derided it in comparison with other MP3 manager programs because of the lack of file transfer options and the inability to interface with other MP3 player programs, such as Winamp and Windows Media Player.
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