I’ve been looking at the iPod since they first came out. I originally wanted one back when they were just 5 gigs but couldn’t really make a case for it, since it could not be used (easily) as a firewire drive on my PC.
Now that they are up to 40 gigs and work out of the box with Windows, I thought it might be the right time to get one.
One of the other things that concerned me was the fact that I had used iTunes on my Macintosh and REALLY didn’t like the interface. I was worried that if I put all my music on my iPod, I would be forced into using iTunes. That’s one of the things about Apple Computers — if you don’t like the way they do something, you are just out of luck.
Besides, I do most of my music listening on my Windows machine with Winamp (I even like Winamp3.)
When the iPod arrived, I installed the Windows drivers and stuff. It comes bundled with Music Match Jukebox, which has an even worse interface than iTunes. The first thing I did was found something else to use to keep my iPod and PC synched. I tried Ephpod which does pretty well, but the winner by far was Anapod Explorer. It works incredibly well.
When I heard that Apple was releasing a Windows version of their iTunes software, I decided to download it and give it a try. I installed it and started looking around the iMusic store. I decided to take the plunge and purchased 5 tunes from and I have to say Apple has done the music purchasing part right.
The process was VERY easy (almost scary it was so easy!) and the quality of the music was great. And the whole thing with the Digital Restrictions Management (the stuff that keeps you from making illegal copies of the music you bought) doesn’t bother me, either.
I still don’t use iTunes as my player of choice, but once you purchase music with iTunes you can then burn it to CD, then rip that to mp3 or Ogg Vorbis or whatever your favorite format is. That way, I can stay with Winamp and listen to all my stuff.
In addition, I found another program to keep up with my iPod’s music. Anapod is a great program and is far superior to iTunes interface. It even handles the purchased music, so long as you use iTunes at least once to authorize your iPod to hear purchased songs.