Drug testing

The Ipod Mini: Why Its Not that Hot

I got my eyes set on a iPod mini, as it looked good for quite some reasons: it's small enough to put inside a pant's pocket, it has a lot of accessories to choose from and it obviously has enough hype you begin to wonder what all the fuss is about.

But you really have to see the cons of it and cut all the hype. It looked good from the start; it's small and simple, easy to use and has that nice Apple logo. But quickly the downsides surfaced, and they sure are annoying.

Firstly, the headphones are horrible: they are so uncomfortable they are totally unusable, and also they do not sound good at all. Well, any other $5 headphone will do, so that's not that bad. (It's also not advisable to use them, as the white color alerts any potential muggers you have an easy sellable item.)

The interface seems a good idea, with the scroll being able to be controlled with a circular motion. For scrolling fast it's great, but for selecting carefully one item, it's difficult. Also, for 'marking' a song for how many stars, it sometimes works, sometimes you spend a full minute twiddling it to get it right. Any other player with a sensible scroller works much better.

I was excited to know it had games to play, so when I'm bored waiting in line or on a bus, it could be a great way to pass the time; but even the breakout rip-off is only entertaining for about 5 minutes.

I even thought that maybe I could upload some text files to read some e-book, but the screen is not big enough for that, and reading is so cramped it's just not worth it.

The biggest gripe is that you cannot change the volume, unless you are on the 'Now Playing' menu! Any other player has dedicated buttons for this basic function, but in its decidedly minimalist point of view, it's a pain to go search for that specific menu just to adjust for a small change in a song. It supposedly was thought out carefully, but I see a lot of problems in the interface.

Also, there seems to be a big problem with the duration of its internal, non-replaceable battery. After 2 months of use, I did notice, it does not hold a charge for long now. After two house of continuous play, it just shuts down. Other reports on the web also say the battery fails, and has to be replaced.

I have also read on the web that the headphone connector is badly soldered and you eventually have to open it up and resolder it again.

I wouldn't buy it again. The iriver or the Creative seem to be a lot better options.

For more reviews, news and updates on the latest and best mp3 players, go to http://www.mp3playerguide.info

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Longtime wildlife biologist Jim Ozier unties and then boards a small boat on Lake Jackson, an hour south of Atlanta.

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