Apple iPod Video 5th Gen 30 GB Player Review

A playa who never quits!


A very good music player and photo slideshow viewer, but the video could have been better.


Looks, sounds, and performs perfectly…


Nothing major but it scratches very easily like all iPods.

Last weekend I got the chance to play around with my brother-in-law’s new Apple iPod Video 30 GB (black) and I just loved it. He got interested in the iPod since he saw mine and my dad’s new one. He finally decided to get it for himself for Christmas as he was getting sick and tired of carrying all of his CD’s around all the time. At first glance, I thought it was an iPod Nano but then he told me it was the iPod Video.

So I checked it out for myself and truly it is amazing with its huge screen. He also bought the Digital Lifestyle TransPod FM transmitter for it because he could not find the iTrip that is compatible with it. He purchased this iPod from Circuit City for about $300 plus tax and the FM transmitter cost him about $60 plus tax. I told him that he could have saved some bucks if he had spoken with me to find the best deal possible, but he does not regret his decision at all.


Like all other iPods, this one is designed very similarly with a Click-Wheel for easier navigation. It is much thinner than my 15 GB one and even my dad’s 20 GB iPod Photo. The only major difference I noticed so far was that it was black and much thinner than the ones I had seen before. Another thing I liked was that this baby can do photos, music, and video clips. I was so jealous that he got one of the newest iPods and I am still stuck with the older model. Well, to tell you the truth, I am still waiting for that settlement for all the older iPods that are still pending as of now; I just hope they decided to replace all our older iPods so I do not have to buy a new one.

I did feel that this new model is a bit easier to use than my older 15 GB one because of the newer Click-Wheel. This is an improved design that makes navigation much easier and faster, but it may take some time to get used to it if you have been using the older design like me for some years now. The black color makes it look very sleek and sexy which makes me even more jealous. Other than that, I did not notice any other differences from the iPod Photo.


I personally loved the 2.5-inch full-color LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen with back-light for better visibility. This new iPod Video and the iPod Photo just make my older 15 GB 3rd generation iPod seem so ancient. You will be able to view your digital image library right on this iPod and best of all you can even have full movies or just little clips for portable fun. You will be able to view your pictures as slideshows with music if you like.

I also like the newer Click Wheel a lot as it makes navigating easier and quicker. I had to keep switching my fingers to and from the touch wheel to the play/pause, menu, and skip buttons on my older iPod (can be a pain sometimes). With this newly improved design, I do not have to remove my thumb from the wheel at all. Apple’s engineers are getting better and better at their job.


It is not much you have to install; all you do is plug in the USB (Universal Serial Bus) cable to any USB 2.0 compatible port on your computer and transfer all your music to your new iPod with the easy to use iTunes software that will allow you to rip, burn, purchase, download, and transfer all your music/photos/videos to you iPod quickly and easily. The CD-Rom that is included in the package has all of the software you need to make your iPod fully operational. By the way, you will have to format your iPod the very first time before you can use it (this is a one time process only).

The iTunes software is easy to use and is extremely customizable to your needs. It allows you to create many different types of playlists (regular or smart). Smart playlists are very nice and you can customize them to all your specific needs. You can also go to the website and look for new operating system updates for your iPod and so you can have the most stable iPod. The updates may also increase battery life and add new more features to your iPod.


I used this iPod Video over the weekend just to test it out and see how long the battery actually lasts. I told my brother-in-law that I will put songs on there from my library if he lets me use it for the weekend and he agreed willingly. I was sad when the time came to return it to him as I loved every moment of my time with it. My older 15 GB iPod seems so old now and I do not like it that much anymore. I want one of the iPod Videos for myself now; but instead of a 30 GB one I would personally get the 60 GB one because I want to be able to have room for all my music, photos, and videos.

I transferred a little more than a thousand high quality (MP3 and AAC) songs from my personal library and there is still room for thousands more. Before my two full days of use, I fully charged it and plugged it into my stereo. To my surprise, it lasted a whole day and a half before needing to charge again (about 11 to 13 hours maximum because I just let it play through my whole library without any interruptions).

I also transferred about a hundred pictures on the hard drive to show my brother-in-law and put a video clip or two that I downloaded from the Internet (like that Paris Hilton video… just kidding!). First I had to read up on how to work with the slideshow thing in the manual; I also read up on the video feature too. The photos are great as the screen is a little bigger than before but the video clips would be better if the screen was a little larger.

This iPod is just like the iPod Photo on the outside since it gets scratched just as easily. I only took it in my car once or twice and I already noticed some fine scratches on the rear chrome finish. The front panel will eventually get some scratches also over time. I hope Apple comes up with a new material that shines just like the current ones but does not scratch as easily.

The built-in equalizer is very nice and helpful, but it will cost you some battery life (but you do not need to worry as you have roughly 12 hours of battery life) when in use. Also, the back-light helps when in dark areas or in a car at night. One thing I will suggest is to set your back-light timer to 2 or 5 seconds; it will just stay on long enough for you to see what you need to see and automatically turn off so you save battery life.

Apple-designed the headphones with comfort in mind, so they go on easy and hardly ever irritate your ears; you will not even notice they are there. On the other hand, some people say that it hurts their ears after a long period of use. It has a long cord so you can put the iPod in your pocket, backpack, purse, etc and it will not pull your head down as you walk or jog. The sound quality is clear and sharp through the earphones and even through the FM transmitter. Now, all I am waiting for a Bluetooth iPod? so there will be no need for wires at all; hey maybe I should relay this idea to Apple and make some money from them to buy a new once for myself (hmm).


Since I have been using the older version of this iPod I have noticed some major and positive upgrades or changes in this newer model. There are a lot of things that were improved in this model that just makes listening to music and looking at photos fun and easy. I have always recommended Apple iPod to everyone and I will continue to do so until I find some major flaws. So if you were thinking about it, do not wait just go and get it; you will not regret it (believe me).


Family LineiPod Video Fith Generation
 Storage Capacity30 GB
Storage TypeHard Drive
Song Capacity7500
Supported Audio FormatsMP3
MP3 Bit-Rate16 kbps to 320 kbps
Video FormatMPEG-4
Video Bit-Rate768 kbps
Max Video Resolution320 x 240
On Screen DisplayID3 tag info
Battery level
Table of contents
Play mode
Elapsed time
Charging info
Screen Size2.5 inches
InterfaceUSB 2.0
Power SourceRechargeable via USB cable
Internal battery
AC/DC adapter
Battery TypeRechargeable Lithium
Battery Life14 hours
Dimensions2.4 (W) x 0.43 (D) x 4.1 (H) inches
Weight4.8 ounces
 Warranty1 year