It's intuitive to find one's way around the controls of Apple's iPOD MP3 System once you've realised that the circular surround of the centre button enables you to scroll through the menus, and to back this up, it has enough room to store your entire CD/record collection. Toshiba manufactures the storage inside the iPOD and has just announced two new identically-sized drives: one which is double the iPOD's storage capacity, and one which quadruples it. Accordingly, it's possible to increase the size of the storage in the iPOD, though we're not sure what's involved to do so and with the convenience and speed of transfer between computer and iPOD, you may never need more space. The iPOD comes with iTunes software, which digitises the CDs, and allows even the most hapless goof-off to organise their music collection. But the single aspect of the iPOD which raises it to genuine killer app realms, is the downloading of the MP3s into the unit. Apple invented the lightning-fast, plug-n-play firewire (IEEE-1394) protocol and it has employed it well in this instance. The iPOD downloads massive lumps of digital music inside a minute or two. If there's something to complain about, it's that the earpods which come standard are unworthy of the task; the iPOD deserves better. Last but not least, if you don't have a Macintosh computer, visit www.mediafour.com for its XPlay software which offers Windows compatibility to the iPOD. XPlay is free to download now but will cost once it is out of beta testing phase.At $895, Apple's iPOD is the current benchmark for MP3 excellence!
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