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Update: Dukebox.com are selling iPods again

This page is still available for the following reasons: honesty and consistency. If you read the below page you will understand that Apple managed to get up our noses quite successfully. If we were to turn around and just start selling the iPod again and just erase this page, like it never existed, it would be like denying that this ever happened, or that we no longer care that it did happen in the first place.

This page describes a time (not long ago) when Dukebox.com refused to sell iPods for the reasons given below. Apple have both resolved some of the bigger issues (particularly the battery fiasco) and reduced the price of the iPod to the point where we are now happy to sell them again. You may still find this page interesting reading but a more up to date review of the current iPod generation can be read on our detailed video iPod description and review page and here for a review of the 2nd generation iPod Nano 2GB, 4GB and 8GB models

Why Dukebox.com no longer sell iPods

We don't sell iPods

Due to the amount of email challenges we have had from iPod wearers who have insisted that the iPod is better than any other player on the market, we have decided to update this page. Just to show that what was true before is still true now, particularly in terms of value for money. This page is not a blog. We will not consistently update it, on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to save the blushes of Apple. As such the accuracy and relevance of the information herein may change with time. All facts correct at time of writing.

As a gesture of good will and for the avoidance of doubt let us start by saying that the iPod is a good MP3 player. The point was never that the iPod was a bad MP3 player. To re-emphasise the points were:

  1. The iPod is overrated.
  2. The iPod is over-priced.
  3. The iPod is under-featured

a, b and c can be summarised thus: the iPod can not do enough things based on the price charged by Apple.

If the iPod offered value for money it would not be overrated - plenty of other MP3 players do the same, or more than the iPod for a lower cost - it's a., the 'overrated' feature of the iPod, that allows Apple to milk you like a cash cow; it would not be over priced (by definition) and it would not be under-featured as you would get what you paid for.

Here is an updated direct comparison. To illustrate that the point is still valid there are 2 direct comparison tables.

Player Archos AV140 iPod 40GB Difference
Storage Capacity 40GB 40GB 0GB
Cost £393.63 £398.99 £-5.36
Stores data files Yes Yes Yes
Allows you to copy your own music on/ off at will Yes, of course. No. Additional 3rd party, unsupported software required No. Amazing. You own the legal Right to make copies of your music for your own use, but Apple don't think you are responsible enough.
Ultra fast connection/ transfer Yes. Yes 0
Clock, timer, nice extras Yes

Yes

0

Plays audio file types MP3; WMA MP3 & AAC Draw
Record Audio Yes. Without buying any extras through both line-in (from stereos, etc) and from live sources Yes. Cost £39 extra and only records from live sources (voice) still cannot record via line-in. Extra cost £39, but still does not offer full range of recording. No doubt that is being saved for an even more expensive upgrade.
Plays Video on built in screen Yes No - iPod can not
Record Video Yes, direct to the Jukebox from TV etc through DVR 100 Module (included in the price) No - iPod can not. Despite claims from iPod owners that this is available via Belkin add-on
Plays Video on TVs Yes. All cabling included in price Again with the no. - iPod can not
*Take* Digital Pictures/ stills and camcorder recording Yes, using the camera module. Comes at £70 extra (relatively inexpensive for a camcorder) cost, but what an extra feature! Nope. - iPod cannot take Digital stills/ home video
View Digital Pictures/ stills and camcorder recording in the field away from computer Yes, on the built-in screen once more Still No. - iPod can not

The new iPod still cannot do as much as this old model Archos and it still costs £5.36 more (excluding optional extras mentioned above). It doesn't stop with the AV140 though.

Player JBM020 iPod 20GB Difference
Storage Capacity 20GB 20GB Nil
Cost £279.99 £299.99 £-20

The rest of the comparison is pretty similar to the first table, but we currently have a promotion where you can get the JBM020 + Digital Camcorder module for £310. Click here if you are interested in having video/ taking digital pictures with your jukebox and making home video with your jukebox (as well as playing MP3s, etc.) for £10 more than the cost of an iPod of similar capacity.

Another comparison.:

Player Zen NX 30GB iPod 10GB Difference
Storage Capacity 30GB 10GB -20GB that's 200% more storage on the Zen Nx - more than 300 hours more music!
Cost £244.99 £248.99 £-4
Plays audio file types MP3, WMA MP3 & AAC Draw
Transfer files in the field (far away from your computer) Yes. Zen to Zen direct. No. Exceptional Portability
Battery Life up to 14 hours over 8 hours Over 5 whole hours - Per Day - more life! Portability redefined indeed.

iPod: It still costs more, you still get less. Double gyp.

So far we have only dealt with pricing and features. How can we say that the iPod is over rated? Here is a perfect example: the iPod was voted "Invention of the Year" (2003) by Time magazine.

Apple did not invent the MP3 jukebox and the iPod was released long before 2003. What would you think if a Ford Mondeo won Invention of the Year? or if The Rolling Stones won "Best Newcomer 2004" at the MTV music awards and a Nobel Prize for molecular biology while they were there? iPod is a good player, but is it worthy of all the hype? What do you want from your jukebox and how much do you want to spend? There are even better-value, no-video options available.

"Aha!" You may cry. "You have chosen categories where iPod comes off worst."

Yes. Are they not important categories and features though? What about categories where iPod comes off best.

As we said in the last incarnation of this page (about iPods): They are smaller; They are lighter, and they are relatively stable. None of these 3 things makes them inherently better than the other models available unless they are, in turn, too big, too heavy or too unstable. They are not.

As to the specific comments made by iPod users over the last year:

A lot of the comments were based around "everyone knows that a machine that tries to do too much can't really do any of the things it's supposed to properly". Is that a fact? We have no such complaints.

As to all the "... how dare you be so pro-Microsoft.." indignation, if you actually read what is said here you will find nothing pro-Microsoft.

Or "what else would you expect the iPod to do?" For this price? See above.

Is that the worst of it? No. Not by a long shot.

People, most notably Apple users, used to scream and shout about Bill Gates and his evil empire. With some justification, let's face it. However, it appears that Apple have taken a leaf out of Microsoft's book and then written a sequel. All it takes is one bad apple ...

Apple has fallen out with MuiscMatch Jukebox - the software of choice for most MP3 jukebox users. The latest version of iTunes (Jan 04) for Windoze actively seeks out and destroys crucial software components and files if it finds MusicMatch software installed on a users computer. It does this without offering a choice, or even notification to you. It sabotages your software that you have paid for behind your back. Unbelievable, but true. MusicMatch are aware of this and they are furious, as are a growing number of Apple faithful who are just beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that they might have been taken for a ride by Apple.

That's not the end of it though. iTunes is a little bit off topic as this page is supposed to be about iPods and how they are not worth the money. Last year a couple of brothers discovered that Apple have taken Planned Obsolescence (where a product is designed specifically to breakdown after a certain amount of time so that the customer has to buy a new one) to a new level when they realised that the locked-in battery in the iPod was never meant to be replaced. That's fine, if its designed to last for 50 years or so, and plenty of iPod users have told us that they intend on listening to their iPod until the day that they die. Let's hope for their sake that they are wrong.

This is worse than terrible; worse than unbelievable. This would make Bill Gates BLUSH - that's how quickly and how far Apple have fallen from grace with the iPod. Click the link below for the full story. Listen in disgust. (The link will open a new page. You only need to listen about half way through if you have a slow connection.)

iPodsdirtylittlesecret

The refurb option is not even (currently) available outside of America. Essentially this makes the Apple iPod "Built to last, unlike the other badly designed junk you sell" disposable. iPod: It costs more, you get less. Buy something with more features that costs less instead.

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