To iPod or not to iPod. . .

By Mir
November 4, 2006

… that is actually not the question.

Because unless you’re buying for a child under 10 or someone you don’t like very much, if you want an MP3 player, you want an iPod.

No, the question is which iPod. And the Apple Refurbished Store has a ton of options in stock. When you can get a Shuffle for as low as $29, you start to understand why the question isn’t whether you should go iPod, but which iPod to get.


  1. You are beautiful, but I disagree with you on the iPod issue. There are many wonderful MP3 players out there that are not made by Apple. I have the Creative Zen. Awesome little piece of technology. Works beautifully with more functionality & memory for less money than the iPod. We bought a Sandisk for my son. Again, works wonderfully for the fraction of the price of an Apple product. One has to shop around and read reviews. The iPod is a fine product, but you are paying quite a bit for the name. The iPod is the top seller because most people just follow the herd. Many people don’t realize there are lots of other options out there.

  2. Ditto. I LOVE my Zen and would recommend it over an iPod any day. Plus, I can still get the songs I download off of iTunes and I back up the songs at the same time, which is something that iTunes suggests.

    However, that said, if you are in the market for aniPod and you won’t accept anything else, than definitely check out the refurbished ones too.


  3. I have both an iPod Shuffle and an RCA brand mp3 player. I don’t prefer one or the other. They both play songs.. which is what I bought both of them for. The only difference between an iPod and another mp3 player is that iPods are more expensive. The software might be different but I just use windows media player to upload songs onto both of them.

  4. But what if you ARE buying an MP3 player for a kid? had very small players for $15 a few months ago, and I stupidly ignored it. Any recommendations for a player that holds even only 20 or 30 songs would be very appreciated!

  5. My husband has the Creative Zen Micro, and I have the Zen Nano – and we LOVE them. The Micro is the size of an iPod and comes in lots of different memory capacities (5 GB is the smallest), is cheaper than the iPod and is a LOT more windows-friendly (and none of that nasty copyright protection crap you have to through with iTunes).

    The Zen Nano is the size of a pack of gum (smaller than a Shuffle) and you can find brand new ones for less than $100. That one comes with an armband for exercising. I got mine at Circuit City during one of their sales (labor day, I think).

  6. Wow. Thanks for all of your (politefully conveyed) divergent opinions. IMHO (and you’re welcome to disagree!) iPods offer the best user interface, best customer service, and greatest support in terms of accessories. Of course there are other perfectly good MP3 players. But in terms of total package, I believe Apple has outshone the rest.

    But then, I also believe that chocolate is an inalienable right. So make of this what you will. 😉

  7. I, too, believe chocolate is an inalienable right. Except for my husband. He’s diabetic.

  8. Coming out of lurkdom on this one! I made the mistake of buying a cheap MP3 player for my 8yr old. It is totally unusable now because I deleted songs via the computer interface rather than with the device itself (nothing said in the users manual about this.) The songs were deleted but the memory is still used up and not accessable. The menues on the device were never great in the first place.

    So – if I had it to do over again, I would have paid extra for an iPod. And with the thought of a refurbished iPod before me (and Christmas right around the corner,) I may just go head over there and take a look-see. Thank you pretty Mir!

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