Fighting Talk: Apple iPod v SanDisk Sansa

I like its simplicity. You get all the features you need and a lot that you don't. Seriously, why do you need a crappy FM radio in an MP3 player when you can create your own radio station using playlists? No adverts, no DJs, just the music you love. The jog wheel/menu system is so simple even my 5-year-old can use it.

Those accessories. There are thousands of them. Yes some of them are terrible, but when you get the big boys of the hi-fi world offering up iPod docks you know Apple is doing something right. I'd no more stick a CD in my hi-fi now than I would put my hand in a blender. I drop the iPod into its Arcam rDock and bingo - instant musical goodness. I'm currently saving up for an iLoo.

Ask yourself this: why is the iPod so successful? Could it be because the competition is terrible? Look at the Microsoft Zune, the Sony Connect music store, Sony's Walkmans: absymal failures every one. Plus as a Mac user I've been deliberately excluded by Microsoft, Sony, Napster and others because my choice of computer isn't compatible with their hardware and their online stores. That's their loss, not mine. If they don't want me as a customer I'm fine with that. I'm sure the Sansa's OK. It's just not on my radar. Move along...

It's all about the music... and the videos, the photos, podcasts, games. If it weren't for the fact that I need to make and take phone calls occasionally, the iPod would be the only gadget I'd carry around. I'll remedy that too when the iPhone comes out. In the meantime I can enjoy CD-quality music (using Apple Lossless) and watch movies on the iPod's admittedly too small screen. The battery life on my 5.5G model is good, and the sound quality's excellent as long as you use decent cans.

The Apple experience. I'm a Mac fanboy through and through. I love the way it all works together, the way the iPod seamlessly works with iTunes, which works beautifully on my Mac. I like feeling like an outsider in a PC-centric world. It reminds me of the cult bands I used to like that no-one had ever heard of. I like the way the Mac/iPod experience makes you feel. Comparing the iPod to other music players is like comparing an M&S sarnie with a curly, out-of-date bap. I like being wrapped in my Mac/iPod cocoon. That way I don't have to put up with PlaysForSure, renting - not owning - my music; malware, bloatware and all the other stuff that goes with Windows. Vista. WTF? Even PC users don't like Vista. I'm glad I don't have to put up with that.

Rob Mead

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