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Several months ago, I saved up enough money and along with a nice student discount, was able to purchase a new Fith Generation iPod with video. I went with black because I am one of those who loves to be a bit different than the rest of the crowd. I like the idea of that choice and I really hope Apple keeps that trend going in all of their products.

For those who have never seen or handled one of these new iPods in person, one of the first things you will notice is that the moment you take it out of its packaging and you touch it – your iPod will forever be smudged from that day on. This is something that really plagues the iPod Nano. My suggestion would be to buy a case that you like for the model that you have and as soon as you can, place the iPod in it so that minimal smudging occurs. Widespread rumors have been reported that Apple may soon change the material used to enclose their wildly famous music player.

For me, the iPod proved to be all that it is cracked up to be, and more. Going with the 30GB was more than enough for me, although Apple does offer a model that is 60GB – about the size of most laptop hard drives these days. The weight is just right, and the thin nature of the device is mindblowing when you think of just what it is made to do – and that is even doubles as an external hard drive. This makes it perfect to use the iPod to back up your documents, however, it shouldn’t be purchased to fulfill that exclusive role as a hard drive. It is designed to be a music player first, video player second and hard drive third. Because the iPod with Video contains an actual hard drive, this isn’t a music player for athletes or people constently on the go. The constant motion will take its toll on the device, like any laptop hard drive.

The video quality is quite impressive over all. The screen is pretty small at 2.5” inches; so, having to hold it up to watch video in your room seems kind of odd. Watching your favorite TV shows on your iPod is definately not going to be like watching it on your living room TV, but it is perfect for traveling. The battery life is a bit sub-par for watching movies at around 2 hours of video playback. However, if you are just wanting to watch occasional news clips and sitcoms from the iTunes music store, it will suit you just fine. For music, the iPod will give you about 14 hours of playback time. Apple claims that the 60GB model will give you around 20 hours of music playback.

However, with the idea of Apple soon to release a new video capable iPod, you should really keep in mind what you want the iPod for. If you are primarily wanting a music player and like the idea of watching a show occasionally, it would be what you want. But, if you are wanting a pure hybrid between a iPod music player and an iPod video player, I would hold onto my money and wait and see what Apple reveals this fall. It is rumored that the new iPod will sport a larger screen along with some other great features.

Speaking of the future for the iPod, it appears that Microsoft will be soon entering the ‘iPod Chase’ with its music device to be called ‘Zune.’ Will this be better than the iPod? Technically it could be, however iPod sports such a ‘hip’ factor and has become so popular, and it takes more than pure technology to overcome a ‘coolness’ factor that the iPod holds. One thing is for sure – Microsoft is going to attempt to become a real player in the mobile music market. That will lead to even more and better innovation from Apple.

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