iPod reliability vs Windows Mobile device reliability

October 26, 2009, 02:03 AM posted in General Discussion

I'm debating buying a new mp3 device player. I'm aware of the features/functions decisions that need to be made, but for me, the key feature is reliability.  How long are your iPods lasting you?  6 months? 2 years?  I tend to be a bit abusive of my electronics, and I'd like something that lasted for a couple of years or longer. Obviously, Apple might say something like the battery will only last for 2 years, and with "normal wear and tear" your iPod will last 2 years (i've never seen that anywhere by the way), but i'm wondering what people experience in the real world with their devices.  Thanks for any input.

Profile picture
October 26, 2009, 08:31 AM

I've had an Iphone for one year now with no problems.  I also have an Ipod nano 2nd gen and 2 Ipod nanos 3rd gen that I bought (used) on ebay and they all work great too with no problems for over one year.

I would say that my Iphone gets heavy daily use and my ipods get daily-light use.

I have silicone protectors on my ipods to protect from scratches and recommend them.  Or at least get a screen protector. 

Hope that helps.

Profile picture
October 26, 2009, 08:34 AM

I don't know about iPods, but I have no screen protector on my iPhone and it doesn't get a scratch. It's really quite amazing, I've even carried it in the same pocket as my keys from time to time. Very scratch-resistant. I assume the iPods are the same.

Profile picture
October 26, 2009, 12:58 PM

cigarmonkey, simonpetterrson, thanks for your thoughts. I guess iPods will stand up to most abuse except running for a year or so.

Profile picture
October 26, 2009, 11:17 PM

I had a Windows Mobile 5 device (phone) for a few years, then switched to an iPhone. I have to say that the difference in human engineering is enormous. The iPhone was designed with humans in mind. The WM5 phone was designed -- well -- apparently in a big rush to get something out on the market.

For example, in the WM5 phone, I would start the MP3 player, then put the phone away into the holster while I walk or run. The inside of the holster then pushes buttons on the phone, and the MP3 player turns itself off. This doesn't happen on an iPhone. Another example: on the WM5 phone I call a number then put the phone to my ear to start talking. My cheek touches the touchscreen mute button, and no one can hear what I'm saying. On the iPhone, the touchscreen automatically disables itself when you bring the phone up to your ear, and re-enables itself when you bring it down. Another example, on the WM5 device, the phone has a setting for ring volume. The lowest setting is Silent, and the second-lowest setting is Vibrate Only. So what if I want to hear an audible ring AND feel a vibrate? Not possible on the WM5 device. Another example: the telephone keypad on the WM5 device occupies only half the screen, and the remainder of the screen was empty. The buttons were correspondingly small, and I was constantly dialing the wrong number. Why couldn't Microsoft have filled the entire screen with buttons? The iPhone does. Duh... I could go on, but you get the picture.

Microsoft may have improved things in subsequent generations, but based on what I saw in WM5, it would take a lot of convincing for me to ever go back to a WM device.

On the other hand, the iPhone/iPod is remarkable! The only real detriment is that you have to use iTunes to manage your MP3 content. That makes it hard to use a less expensive paid music source to get your purchased tunes into the iPod. Not impossible, just a lot more difficult than just paying what the tune costs on iTunes. But if you're willing to just use iTunes, that too is well designed and human engineered. For example, setting up your ChinesePod podcast feed into iTunes (and hence onto your iPod) is trivial.

Good luck!

Profile picture
October 27, 2009, 02:14 AM

wwolfeld thanks for the detailed reply. I have casually heard that some of these problems in WM5 are a bit addressed in WM6.  But yours is a nice detailed review.

It sounds like your WM5 device is still working, but more because you don't use it, rather than use it daily and it's continued taking the pounding.  My problem is that I like my iPod Shuffle, but i've burned out 3 in the past 2 years.  the Shuffle doesn't seem to like it when I run.

Profile picture
October 28, 2009, 08:46 PM

I bought my iPod touch first gen two years ago specifically for use with  chinesepod as my first MP3 player. I am so glad I did its done a solid job and was simple to set up for this use via itunes.

Over the time I've had it, it has improved through software updates  and if it dies tomorrow I'd replace it. I do hate  the control Apple exerts on me and The artificially high prices it mandates for the hardware, but it IS so easy to use and reliably does what it does.

Adition of the Cpod application and a bunch of Chinese dictionaries  have just been the icing on the cake.

Profile picture
October 28, 2009, 09:31 PM

I have only owned one iPod, a first generation nano which I bought in 2006. It has been my faithful companion since then, following me everwhere I go and getting plenty of usage.

If something were to happen to it, I would get a newer one in a heartbeat. Anything which can live with me for that long must be pretty solid, as the multiple headphones who have kicked the dust in that time can confirm.


Profile picture
October 29, 2009, 03:11 AM

trevorb, christian, thanks for that.  I suspected there would be more discussion around the iPod reliability than the Windows mobile devices.  I suspected that usability engenders loyalty,and the need to replace a device if it breaks. 

I was also thinking of getting a cheap mp3 player, thinking that if i did break one while running, then replacing it wouldn't be a challenge. but we'll see.