At a Glance
Apple IPod (10GB Hard Drive, Firewire) (Apple-M8709LLA)
Apple has produced an MP3 player with a great look, an intuitive interface, easy-to-use controls, and fast transfers. At the moment, its high price and lack of Windows support will put off those who don't
Though this version of the IPod is cumbersome for Windows-PC owners to use, Apple has announced both a $100 price drop for this 10GB model (making it $399) and the arrival in late August of truly Windows-compatible IPods in 5GB, 10GB, and 20GB drive sizes. (The new IPods will work only with PCs using Windows Me, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Home or Professional.) As soon as the new units are available, we'll review them and fill you in.
Meanwhile, to get the current version of the IPod to work with your PC, you'll need a relatively inelegant software workaround--either EphPod's EphPod and DataViz's MacOpener file-conversion software (the latter is $30 if ordered through EphPod) or Mediafour's $30 XPlay. (You can download EphPod and MacOpener from our
Additionally, this version of the IPod pulls power from the FireWire port, but most such ports on Windows-based notebooks are not powered. This means you have to boot up the player in a special mode to get it to work--a significant annoyance. You then need to use the included power adapter to charge the IPod from a wall socket.
If you want to use an IPod with Windows, we suggest you wait: The new IPods will ship with Windows-compatible software, a FireWire cable, and a FireWire adapter, all of which should make using an IPod as easy for a PC owner as it has been for Mac owners. (Note, however, that if your PC isn't FireWire equipped, you'll still have to buy and install a FireWire card.) The new Windows IPods will have Musicmatch Jukebox Plus, which should eliminate the need for third-party software. Prices on the new models have been announced as $299 for the 5GB version, $399 for 10GB, and $499 for 20GB. The two larger-capacity models will also come with a wired remote, calendar and clock software, and a carrying case, features that aren't currently available. Buyers who purchase or have purchased a current non-Windows-compatible IPod are stuck; Apple says there will not be any firmware or software upgrades available for these players.