by April 9, 2002 0 comments

Coming from a company that is always pushing the outer envelope of IT design, the iPod, at first, seems a bit of a letdown. Almost sanitary white, and with no visible embellishments, it seems minimalist, but for a largish display. Fortunately, the opposite is the truth. The iPod is one of the easiest MP3 players to use, and you will be able to put it through its paces using just one finger! For the curious, it does not use the graphical and colorful MacOS, but a simple single-color text based display.

Compact in size (2.43 x 4.02x 0.78 inches), the iPod is only slightly bigger than a small cell phone, but is on the heavy side. The heaviness is possibly due to the 4.5 GB (useable space) FireWire hard disk that is inside. And this gives the iPod its second big USP–large capacity and fast transfer rates.

The iPod (price to be disclosed) will be launched in India soon

Contact: Apple Computer, Bangalore. Tel: 080-5550575. E-mail: 

The only controls that you have is a dial, four buttons around it and another one at the center. The dial brings up context sensitive menus on the clear LCD display. Thus, if no music is playing, the dial lets you choose from amongst available music, but if you have a song playing, then the same dial becomes a volume control. It is the physical arrangement and the context sensitiveness that lets you control the iPod completely with just one finger.

The headphones, which claim to have Neodymium transducer magnets for increased fidelity, produce crystal-clear audio, with good sound quality and a very good response range.

You connect the iPod to your Mac through the FireWire port, and you can use the connection to transfer music to the iPod. You can also charge the iPod the same way, or using the separate charger provided. Apparently, as a copy protection mechanism, you cannot copy music from one Mac to the iPod, and from the iPod to another. We could not check this feature out.

Natively the iPod supports only the Mac, but you can buy software like Xplay from Mediafour that will help you connect the iPod to a Windows PC with a FireWire port. Apple will soon launch the iPod (price to be announced) in India.

Krishna Kumar in Singapore

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