The iPod: does it actually suck?

Sad iPodLuddite that I am, I’ve never owned, or even used, a digital music player, but I’m seriously thinking about getting an iPod at some point. As well as the obvious ease of integration with my Mac, they seem to be widely regarded as the best music players out there.

So I was intrigued by this recent article. Or rather, not so much the article itself, which lists three minor iPod user interface grumbles, but the torrent of comments after it, most of which are from iPod users frustrated by a whole range of hardware and interface annoyances.

Targets for users’ vitriol include:

  • No on/off button (seriously??)
  • Hard to select a song that’s in a long list
  • Freezes and lock-ups
  • Hard to jump to a specific place within a song or movie
  • No quick way to toggle repeat or shuffle modes
  • Backlight problems
  • Non-replaceable battery
  • Warranty issues
  • Screen scratches
  • Various podcast gripes
  • Weak headphone sockets

Is the iPod really that bad? Have “smug” iPod owners been storing up their anger all these years, only to vent spleen on this article, now that they’ve been given the chance? And if iPods suck this much, how come they’re the best-selling music players?

The mind boggles!

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