The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

December 02, 2004

iPod or iPod mini?

I just can't seem to be able to decide.

And why aren't the darn things getting any cheaper? I thought the whole tactics behind the free fall of the dollar compared to all other currencies was to boost American export sales?

Posted by Horst on December 2, 2004 02:25 PM to the body electric | Tell-a-friend

We received this ping from Stormgrass on December 2, 2004 06:53 PM:

MP3 player revisited: In an earlier post about my desire to get an mp3 player I mentioned that I'd stop smoking until I'd be able to afford it. Well, I've cut down on pre-rolled cigarettes and am now doing roll-ups. It's not exactly not smoking, but it's definitely mor... [more]

dieter said on December 2, 2004 04:35 PM:

I am afraid you are wrong, Horst. Globalized economy is already so intertwined that retailers in Europe manage to make all the windfall profit, since the producer refuses to sell the product directly out of consideration for his European partner.
At least that is the gist of a story told by a colleague who wanted to buy an upgrade chip for his cube for 499 USD and was referred to the European retailers who offer the same hardware with less additional software for 600 EUR.

Apart from that, what is the point of buying an iPod mini? You get 20% of diskspace for 60 EUR less...

dieter said on December 2, 2004 04:40 PM:

Apart from that. Prices of iPod will not chute with the fall of the dollar but rather with growing competition. I seriously consider waiting for an adequate product from a different provider. Anything welcome except products specially adapted for seamless integration with Mediaplayer.

Horst said on December 2, 2004 05:10 PM:

The question about the prices was purely rhetorical, of course.

Pro mini: small, light, €60 cheaper, much sexier than the regular iPod.
Pro regular: 20GB hard disk, much more expandable (they got really weird add-on gadgets for this one).

But will I take advantage of the expandability? The €60 difference is a lot of money, almost 1000 of our long-forgotten former Austrian Schillings...

What makes the choice so difficult is that both aren't exactly cheap, and that makes me think more than twice on whether and how to spend all that money. It takes me quite a while to earn those €330 (okay, €307 with educational discount, but still a lot)...

gibarian said on December 2, 2004 07:09 PM:

I trackbacked this post from my site, and somehow the only indicator is that "1" stating that there's a trackback?! What is going on?

gibarian said on December 2, 2004 07:10 PM:

Sorry, I just made an ass of myself...please ignore me for 24 hours, until my blushing has subsided.

Horst said on December 2, 2004 07:23 PM:

No need to blush, it's not your fault. There is an incompatibility in MT-Blacklist that prevents Trackbacks from showing up on the page until someone posts a comment (as you did) or I rebuild the page manually. See also my recent post on the 600 trackback spams that were all in vain because due to excactly this incompatibility, none of them actually appeared on my site.

Pascale Soleil said on December 2, 2004 10:42 PM:


Seriously, wait until after the Mac expo in January. Rumor mill says a cheaper (perhaps EVEN SEXIER) flash-based iPod is on the way. You might as well know _all_ your options before you buy the best.

shree said on December 3, 2004 08:48 AM:

go with the new generation 20 GB ipod, horst. I have the previous version and its the best thing I've ever purchased (or been gifted, in this case). and IT IS getting cheaper, at least in the's now $300, as opposed to $450 when mine came out. also the new click wheel (carried over from the mini) seems pretty cool. and from the looks of your music collection, you're gonna need a 5,000 song capacity player. the mini is good for casual listeners but music enthusiasts like us need the real deal. just my two cents. good luck. p.s.: have you seen the special edition U2 version? ugliest thing I've seen in a while...

Horst said on December 3, 2004 09:41 AM:

Well, $300 is without taxes, so that's a bit misleading...

The Austrian price without taxes is €274, but that's still quite a way from the €224 it could be according to the current dollar exchange rate.

As for the Macworld Expo, a flash-based iPod doesn't really tempt me (unless it turns out to be VERY sexy), but a lower price for the current iPods would be something of an incentive to buy one.

scott partee said on December 6, 2004 01:36 PM:

I went with the mini and I love it. My reasoning was that I wanted the smallest one, and storage was something I was willing to sacrifice for that. The reason: I have 180 GB of music. Therefore, I'm always going to be syncing some subset of my collection, and not the whole thing. To me, 4 GB is the same as 60GB.

However, my usage pattern makes that reasonable. I sync it every few days, and use it primarily for commuting to and from work and going for walks. If I had been travelling on an extended trip, frequently for business, or moving abroad, I'd have bought the largest capacity iPod I could in order to take a larger portion of my collection with me.

That being said, the 1000 song capacity of the mini is a lot of music -- plenty for a few days' worth of travel w/o repeats, and definitely more than enough to take to a party.

I bought mine just before the 4th generation iPods came out, and am still not disirous of other models. I can definitely see the appeal of the larger, more capacious iPod, and, were I a wealthy man, would purchase a 60GB iPod Photo to serve as my "big daddy" iPod for extended stay use (like when I checked into my Italian villa for the summer and fall), but I'm not a wealthy man, and the mini is one of the finest consumer products I've ever owned.

One thing I can say for sure. Don't be lulled or fooled into an imposter. I've tried them, had many friends who have, and everybody ends up with iPod. Since I know you use Mac as your primary platform, the integration, ease-of-use, perfect "just works"-ness of the platform and product together is worth the perceived premium price.

I've heard the rumors of the flash-based player, too, but do you really want that? It won't be much cheaper than a mini and, if it is, it will have only 512MB or so of storage. To me, that would have to include a phone and PDA or something along those lines to make it worth it.

Personally, I find it more likely that they will up the capacity of mini iPod's in January, or perhaps slightly lower the price.

And beyond that, is it in any way cheaper to buy iPod via a U.S. channel and ship it? I don't know what this does to support, but it may be worth considering. For reasons stated above, it seems that most products besides rain-forest-destroying furniture, corporate staffing, and that which can be produced by unskilled child labor are the only things that benefit by price reductions from the "globalization" economy. One can get a cheap-ass table from rare Thai or Brazilian woods, but a top-of-the-line computer is still $3,000 US or more at a minimum.

AD++ said on December 6, 2004 11:14 PM:

I´m also in the hard decision process between the iPod mini and the bigger one. Same situation as for Scott: I have lot of music, not so much as Scott, but still over 30 GB. An iPod 40 GB is even more expensive at € 439. Well, that´s too much. Besides, I still most often listen to a small subset of that.

The iPod mini´s appeal: I like (reasonably) small things, as an average sized phones in contrast to a device such as the T-Mobile MDA (which is huge).

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