iPod vs iPod Photo (Battery / Buffer related)

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MrZebra77

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I've been rethinking lately about whether or not I should go for an iPod Photo 30GB instead of a G4 iPod 20GB.

Sure a color screen is nice, the fonts seem better on the photo one and the ability to show cover art would be nice, but I do not plan to load photos on it so now what is starting to concern me is Battery and Buffer (And of course price).

I have multiple copies of my music collection at different bitrates and on the 30 Gigs, I could fit the 256-320kbps version in it easily while with a 20 Gigs, I'd put the ~192kbps (LAME's --preset standard) to leave room for expandibility etc...

Now, the 20GB one has a 24 Megs buffer, meaning it would buffer up approximately 16 minutes of music at that bitrate and the 30GB Photo only has a 16 Megs buffer which would hold 7-8 minutes (Since I'll use a higher bitrate).

How far ahead does the iPod refresh the buffer, and what will that do in regards to possible skipping? Most of the time I'll be using my iPod while commuting, so it will be moving due to walking, climbing stairs, bus drivers failing to avoid pot holes etc... Is there a risk of shipping or HDD crash? How close to "Buffer Underrun" does it "Try" to rebuffer? Will it have time to rebuffer before it hits the end?

And what about battery life, the Photo has a longer battery life (Rated at 15h) while the regular has a rated battery life of 12h. Considering I'd be using a higher bitrate (More frequent HD Access) will that come down to the same and remove one reason to go for the photo?

I've rethinked my priorities lately and wanna make sure the consequences of more frequent Hard Disk access is not gonna add annoying pauses in the playback.
 

DenZ

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Now, the 20GB one has a 24 Megs buffer, meaning it would buffer up approximately 16 minutes of music at that bitrate and the 30GB Photo only has a 16 Megs buffer which would hold 7-8 minutes
Can you tell me where you got this info from? I'm curious.

I always thought the ipods had 32MB buffer...
 

narkerbyt

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come on, it seems when you decide to buy it there will be a 500 gb ipod. just get it, the photo is quite good than the 20gb.
 

gurdeep

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i thought it had 32 mb buffer also... and i think it refreshes it before it runs out so skipping is pretty much out of the question there....... just get the photo... way better...... i have one and ive had no probs ever.....
 

DenZ

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yes, ive owned a 40GB ipod 4th gen, id have to say even if u dont use the photo function its very pretty to look at a higher resolution screen + colors. get the ipod photo.
 

aawil

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I had my new 20G for about 2 months and upgraded to the 30G photo. For the extra money I'd say it's worth it. The battery seems to last better as well.
 

MrZebra77

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come on, it seems when you decide to buy it there will be a 500 gb ipod. just get it, the photo is quite good than the 20gb.
haha, well, aside from analysing every possible Pros and Cons between the Photo and the Regular the main reason why I'm waiting is because I lost my job 3 weeks ago... Now my main reason for holding back is not only financial (Sure, I could put it on my credit card) but that my family would so get on my case about spending so much money when I'm unemployed... But, what I plan to do, is to buy it as soon as I walk out of my boss-to-be's office after being told that I got the job. I'll make a detour by the Apple Store on my way home!!!

Anyway back on the topic here, the main question was that if I go for the Photo, I'll be using higher bitrates and since the buffer is supposedly smaller to begin with, I just would like to know what side effects would more frequent Hard Disk Access have.

I passed by Future Shop today and played with the Demo Unit (Again!) and tried this. Started playing a song from the songs menu, hit play, HD Spins for a sec or 2, then the meter starts running (It begun playing, I didn't jack my headphones in so that is my indication of playback), the HDD spun for 5 more seconds while the music appeared to be playing then all seismic activities stopped and then I started skipping tracks, once I hit track #5, the HD spun again for few seconds and the meter took a few seondes before it started, so track #5 was not yet loaded at all... Then I skipped all the way to Track #8 and let it play, half way through the Harddrive started spinning and the song didn't appear to pause.

According to the About screen, that iPod is loaded with 996 Songs and is using up about 5 GB and it was a 20GB G4 (Not a Photo), they also had a 60GB Photo next to it but it was not operational. So those were probably 192kbps files. If the buffer holds 4 Songs at that bitrate, that adds up to 24 Megs.

If the Photo only has 16 Megs, and I plan to load 256-320kbps files, the buffer will only hold 6-8 Minutes. So unless I manually skip tracks, it would have to load every other tracks.

Has anyone loaded High Bitreate files on a 30GB Photo? Is there any propblem (Shorter battery life, pauses at beginning of songs) due to more frequent HD Access?
 

gurdeep

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man there are no side effects of that nature.... i have alot of songs at a 320 bitrate ... all is wonderful....... no probs and i have a 60gb photo.........
 

DenZ

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I switched from a 4th Generation 40GB iPod to a 60GB iPod Photo, and I've seen NO real difference whatsoever. Most of my songs that I rip myself are encoded at 320kbps, and the harddrive usually spins up before the cache is ever used up (sometimes there will be a slight 1 second pause in every 5 songs or so).

There shouldn't be too much of a reason to consider this a major problem to the overall ipod experience. Batteries might drain a bit more if the hard drive spins up, but look at it this way, everytime you jump to another track out of the ipod's cache, the hard drive is going to spin up. Everytime you want to access the menus (options, settings, viewing notes, etc) the hard drive is going to spin up. Besides, theres always going to be atleast 14-15 hours of music playback (unless you view photos).
 

MrZebra77

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Just pulled the trigger!

come on, it seems when you decide to buy it there will be a 500 gb ipod. just get it
Haha, well, I just bought it. Just got my income tax return today, checked my budget and figured I could afford it so I pulled the trigger at around 3pm today and bought myself a 30GB iPod Photo with an iSkin to protect it.

I haven't done anything with it yet, it's still charging up but I do plan to go take a walk outside with it later on tonight...

If it reads from the HD every 10 minutes instead of every 25 minutes, as long as the impact on battery life is minimal and that it doesn't cause it to skip more than it would otherwise, I'll be fine...
 

narkerbyt

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Re: Just pulled the trigger!

MrZebra77 said:
Haha, well, I just bought it. Just got my income tax return today, checked my budget and figured I could afford it so I pulled the trigger at around 3pm today and bought myself a 30GB iPod Photo with an iSkin to protect it.

I haven't done anything with it yet, it's still charging up but I do plan to go take a walk outside with it later on tonight...

If it reads from the HD every 10 minutes instead of every 25 minutes, as long as the impact on battery life is minimal and that it doesn't cause it to skip more than it would otherwise, I'll be fine...
congratulations :D enjoy it
 

MrZebra77

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Thanks, ok, dinner's over, iPod is still charging...

Now, I'll load up all my music in iTunes, organise the Genres a bit (Not the final breakdown, but I'll start). Then I'll play my favorite album to see how often it has to rebuffer for 256-320kbps files.

Then, I'll go to the bus station, grab the map/schedule of the bus route I need to take tomorrow to get to that job interview, that should be a good "Field Test" for my new iPod.
 

TSchultz80

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would it be good if i got a 30gb ipod photo or would it be better if i got a 60gb photo? what new functions does this have (of course the photo thing) and does it have ALL the old functions of the ipod 20gig? i haven't decided what i am going to get. i could use photo functions a lot but is it really worth it? Thanks for your opinions!
 

DenZ

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It really depends on what you are looking for.
I found the ipod photo to be SOOO much better, especially with the higher resolution screen. even if you dont use the photo functionality its really great to see more text and everything in color.

The price tag is low too, now that apple has dropped all the accessories.

I'd go for 30Gigs if you want thin (very thin) or 60g (what I have) if you have lots of storage (and if you use photo functionailty, 5000 photos take up about 6GB for thumbs and an additional if you plan to copy original resolution). Its also a lot thicker.. but still slick
 

gurdeep

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i kinda like the 60gb thick and a little heavier ......... it makes it like its there lol i dont know how to explain it..... but its not that bad........ get a 60gb if you need space ...... get the 30 if you dont....
 

DenZ

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I agree, the bulky weight is great so u can actually feel if the ipods in ur pocket or not
 
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