|Low: Shuffles Run $59-$99||Medium: Nanos Run $149-$179; Classics Run $225-$249||High: iPod Touches Run $249|
Think of an MP3 player and likely the first thing that comes to mind is an iPod. (For other MP3 players, see: How Much Does an MP3 Player Cost.) The four models in the iPod range offer very different features (for iPhones, see: How Much Do iPhones Cost) Choosing the best one depends a lot on how you intend to use your iPod.
Related articles: iPod Speakers, iPhone, MP3 Player, MP3, Mac
- The iPod shuffle is an entry-level, ultra-compact flash-drive player without a display. Flash-drive players feature no moving parts and are shockproof, which makes them ideal for working out or enjoying sports such as mountain biking or snowboarding. The newer iPod shufflesfeature 4GB of memory (about 1,000 songs) and a voiceover function that says what song is playing. Expect to pay $59 to $99 for an iPod shuffle.
- The iPod nano is a mid-range flash-drive-based player, still small enough for use while commuting or working out, but offers a 2-inch LCD screen for viewing playlists and even watching videos. The nano is available in nine different colors in either an 8GB or a 16GB version. Expect to pay $149 to $179. The 16GB nano is capable of holding up to 4,000 songs or 16 hours of video and costs about $179.
- The iPod touch is the newest addition to the iPod line. Similar to an iPhone (without the phone functionality), the iPod touch operates by selecting and dragging icons on the 3.5-inch touchscreen. The touch is a flash-drive player so, unlike a hard-drive based device it has no moving parts that could be damaged, making it ideal for traveling. It also offers wireless networking and its battery provides enough juice for up to 22 hours of music playback or 5 hours of video playback. With many different applications available to download, the iPod touch can be used to play video games, read books or access social networking sites. Available with a capacity of 8GB, 16GB or 32GB, an iPod touch costs $199 to $399. The 32GB iPod touch can hold up to 7,000 songs or 40 hours of video.
- The iPod classic is the top of the range iPod, a hard-drive-based player with a capacity of 160GB, sufficient for music enthusiasts to carry their entire music library in one pocket-sized device. Expect to pay around $249 for an iPod Classic.
What should be included:|
- Each iPod includes Apple earphones, USB cable and Quick Start Guide, and is compatible with iTunes .
- The nano, touch and classic models also include a dock adapter, and the touch also comes with a polishing cloth to remove smudges from its touch screen.
- While there is no cost to using the MP3 encoding software from iTunes to convert CDs into MP3s and download them onto an iPod, purchasing additional music from the service costs about $1 per song. See: How Much Does an MP3 Cost.
- Protective cases for an iPod range from less than $10 to $200 or more.
- Armbands cost from $10 to $50 or more.
- In-car transmitters for listening to an iPod over a car's speakers cost $10 to $100 or more.
- Noise-canceling headphones or ear buds cost $20 to $500.
- There are more than 15,000 different applications available for the iPod touch from the iTunes Apps Store, including games, books and financial tools. Some are free, others cost from about $1 to $15 or more.
Shopping for an ipod:
- Buying an iPod directly from the Apple Store can include free laser engraving, which makes for a nice gift.
- Apple offers refurbished iPods at a discounted price.
- Find competitive prices online at sites such as Amazon or J&R Music World . Then look for comparable or discounted prices at local electronics retailers such as Best Buy .
- CNet.com offers a comparison chart for the iPod range.
- When new iPod models are released, it can often lead to sharp price drops on older models. The Mac Rumors website offers a guide as to the best time to buy an iPod, based on rumors of new product launches.
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