Thursday, July 08, 2004

Dell DJ vs. Apple iPod, etc.

I have been getting lots of hits based on searches of "iPod vs. DJ." Below is a list of posts on the subject. The basics go like this - a Dell DJ of the same capacity as an iPod (15 or 20 gigs) has much better battery power (nearly double Dell says) and is over $100 cheaper. The DJ also plays WMA files, which the iPod cannot (although the iPod plays AAC [an Apple format], which the DJ does not), both play MP3s of course.

My own experience is that iPods are very problematic, mine regularly wipes its memory and needs its OS reloaded multiple times in a row. Also, if you own a PC you can't charge the iPod while it is plugged into the computer (unlike with Apples) so you can only load part of your playlist at a time between recharges (if it dies during an upload prepare to reload the OS again). Also, the battery on my iPod dies after only a few hours of use (and yes, I've turned off all the battery draining options like the light and equalizer, etc.). Basically, if you buy the iPod you are paying for Apple's marketing campaign but getting less in terms of technology.

I think Dell should be paying me to say anymore on this topic, so I think I'll end it here (until I get a DJ, at which point I will review it).

Here are posts you may want to check out:
iPod vs. Dell DJ
iTunes selling low sound quality MP3s
problems with the iPod minis plus anti-iPod rant
The BBC notes that the iPod is a piece of crap
Save the iPod dot com

If you don't know about Congress' recently introduced INDUCE Act, which may make hard-drive based MP3 players illegal, but want to know more see here:
Hang onto your iPods: Here comes Orrin Hatch
INDUCE Act inducing me to do lots of research
INDUCE Act induces journalists to write some good articles


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comments here:

7/08/2004 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you sound like a PC user.... i.e a whinning sod by a mac and smile!

7/08/2004 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/08/2004 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on!

7/08/2004 5:02 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

I will remove comments that include any flaming, etc.

7/08/2004 5:35 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

The writer of the first comment notes on his blog that the Dell DJ is about 2 ounces heavier and a millimeter or so bigger. To me that isn't worth over $100 more.

He also points out that the iPod can be charged by a PC if the PC has one of the large Firewire ports (which many PCs do not come with).

You can see and compare the tech specs of the iPod and the Dell DJ by looking at these pages:

Dell DJ 15 gig:

Dell DJ 20 gig:


I understand that people get very excited about the Apple vs. PC stuff and all that. If you have something meaningful to contribute please do so. As I said before I will delete any comments that are out of line (i.e. merely flame).

7/08/2004 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ipod regularly wipes its memory and needs its OS reloaded?

I've never seen this.

The Dell unit is also very ugly.

7/10/2004 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've also never had to repave my iPod, even the one time that I let it run out of battery while syncing with a Windows box.


7/13/2004 9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another plug for the iPod -- I have never experienced any of the problems that you mentioned, nor has anyone I know. Mine has worked perfectly for the ten months that I've had it so far. Maybe you got a rare defective unit?

One of my favorite things about the iPod is its ease of use. If I have to do much more than plug something in and push a button or two, it generally ends up unused. The iPod is so intuitive and simple that a technophobe could easily use it and keep it updated. No manual necessary.

With the iPod, it's simple to use and keep updated. I haven't used the Dell player, so

7/14/2004 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/14/2004 12:30 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

I may well have gotten an iPod that was extra screwed up, but I have asked several other people about their experiences as well. Most of the PC-using people I've discussed the iPod with have said that while they do not experience regular problems with their iPod they had major problems getting it set up at first. Many said it took weeks to get it working right. (I still think that if you pay so much for something you just won't admit it's got major flaws, at the least.)

I am pretty technically proficient, so I know my difficulties are with the iPod itself.

Also, no matter how many people comment here that they haven't had the problems with their iPod that I have, they still paid at least $100 more than they had to for an MP3 player with half the battery power. That you can't argue with.

A final thought - my dream is to have a program for my hard drive based MP3 player that just allows me to drop and drag folders into my player. I want the MP3 player's computer program interface to appear as if the MP3 player was merely another hard drive that I can drop folders and files into. Then, after disconnecting the MP3 player from the computer, the MP3 player would just have the folders arranged in a similar fashion to playlists. I don't want to use crappy proprietary programs like iTunes or Music Match.

I know that the Dell DJ comes with a program call "DJ Explorer" and I believe it works in this drag and drop way. I am excited about finding out if this is true. I have a friend who just got the DJ so I'll let you all know.

The iPod owners are representing themselves in these comments, where are the DJ peeps!? Let me know if you have the DJ and what you think of it.

7/14/2004 12:39 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

By the way, here's a decent (but sort of old) review of the DJ -

7/14/2004 12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I LOVE my Dell DJ. The explorer is drag-and-drop/copy-paste. Also, in my opinion, the Dell DJ looks better than the ipod.

12/14/2004 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the Dell DJ do the same thing as the ipod? cause it says the product type is a mp3 player.

1/07/2005 6:51 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

Yes, it is essentially the same.

1/10/2005 3:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am going to buy an mp3 player but i dont know which one is better. I know some people who have a ipod and they love it. But i looked at a dell dj and i saw it was cheaper and it played more songs but i dont know if there is a catch please help me make this decision!

1/13/2005 5:47 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

I recommend the Dell DJ plus the aftermarket software called Dudebox (an extra $20 for the dowload), which makes it very easy to use. The iPod doesn't do much of anything to make it worth the extra money, excep that that it is more of a fashion accessory these days.

1/14/2005 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do i put all my songs from my CD's on the DJ exactlly...and can i put the music i downloaded into it?

1/20/2005 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I am thinking of buying a Dell DJ but by the time you buy everything like the dock the FM radio plug, the faceplates covers and holders it will cost about the same as an the way, does the DJ have an accesorie that you can plug something in your car and you can listen to your music from your DJ in your car?...besides a cassete player because i dont have a cassete player in my car?

1/20/2005 3:29 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

I would bet there is an accessory that will send the DJs music through an FM receiver for use in cars. I will leave you to search it out, though I suspect it won't be too difficult to discover.

What music can you put on the DJ? Any music...except of course music you've bought from iTunes. Apple puts a DRM on the music they sell so that it may only be played on an iPod. Yes, it's totally f*cked up of them. That's how they play the game.

1/20/2005 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a technophobe who probably shouldn't be posting on a blog that seems to be more for those who are not as technology challenged as I am; however, there seems to be some good information sharing going on, so I hope my ignorance can be forgiven.

I'm looking into purchasing a DellDJ20 or the iPod 4(?) pretty soon to replace my little Yepp MP3 player that recently bit the dust. Though it was tiny, it was relatively unsophisticated and sometimes not very convenient to use. There was no way of arranging the music to my liking, and, of course it only played MP3s. In addition to that, it only held about 60 songs and used AAA batteries like it was drinking water. This device is the only experience I've had with players of this type.

I've researched both the iPod and the DellDJ20 on the internet. The prevailing opinion I seem to be getting is that the iPod is better, but the reasoning has been vague. I'm seeing the comment that the DellDJ20 doesn't have "extra features" that the iPod has and that its scroll pad is harder to use. I'd really like to know what "extra features" I'd be getting with the iPod. Also, another user commented that DellDJ20 purchasers have to purchase the car kit and the faceplates covers and holders (what is this?). Do you not have to do the same with the iPod? As for the scroll pad being easier or harder to use, I'm sure that's a matter of personal opinion and would vary from user to user. Am I understanding correctly that I can put music from CDs I already own onto both the iPod or the DellDJ20? I mean, technically, I have already bought the music, so I'm not stealing (technically).

Finally, does either gadget have a way to make playlists? Judging from the sheer volume of music it looks as though it's possible to have, it would be unfun to scroll through each song, which is what I had to do with my (now dinosaurish) Yepp unit.

What sort of setup would I be looking at with either unit and which accessories are "worth" purchasing?

I realize that this is an old topic, but I do appreciate any responses I can get. The stuff I've been reading about both units on the internet has been very vague to someone who doesn't know much about the product to begin with.

2/08/2005 3:56 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

In all honesty the two players are very much the same. Important differences - the Dell DJ has longer battery life, is minutely larger, has less aftermarket components available for it, and is less expensive. The iPod has proved very popular in part because it is a solid device, but also because of massive and popular advertising campaigns, which of course are meaningless as to how good of a machine it is. Frankly, if you don't care much about buying into the "style" of iPod-ness then you may as well save some cash and get the Dell DJ since they are very similar in most respects. You won't find iTunes or the Dell music programs to be very different either. The Dell DJ does come with an extra program called DJ Explorer that lets you drag and drop music files into the DJ for super-simple usage, but to make playlists you'll have to use the included programs. I have no idea what this car kit thing is all about, these two devices has similar aftermarket stuff for them, although the iPod has more since there are more iPod owners out there to buy them. Good luck with whichever you choose.

2/09/2005 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My daughter was using her one week old Dell DJ outside while walking on campus in Canada, just after Christmas. The temperature was -20C/-4F and when trying to push the start button the screen cracked. The unit still plays but with no display.

Dell has considered this an Act of God. To further complicate matters they have responded by saying at this time there are no replacement parts available and if she still likes the product she would need to buy a new one!

On her behalf I am still pursuing a resolve.

2/21/2005 4:21 PM  
Anonymous Crystallj said...

Out of all sanity here, most people know thzat different products suit people differently. just like computers we could go all day back and forth saying that an imac, dell, gateway , hp or soemthing else but they all suit people differently. personally no one person is right or wrong.
since I havent fully completed my research I think its safe to say start with the fine print. I havent checked the ipod yet but so far when comparing the pocket dell dj and ipod mini its the same price but has a GB more. it says "actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less.
2 Assumes audio format is 64kbps WMA encoding with average song length of 4 minutes.
3 Battery life is based on continuous play.
4 Weight is for unit only."
also I think it'd be wise to look at service/warranty plans for both.
theres also ipod mini specs.
Also I liek to look at how they update their prices and decrease them.
For cheaper options there is an ipod shuffle.
Both options allow for financing also.
One cool thing I noticed is they offer free engraving on the mini..
If shine is important and you plan to use the dj for long i doubt it would last anyways...
Also remember both of them also offer student discounts...
have fun and good luck...too bad you cant test drive them, lol

3/19/2005 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absolutely incredible. I can't believe people are actually mad at one another over an opinion! It's like buying a Toyota or a Lexus. If you DO NOT have a lot of funds, but you want a reliable mode of transportation, you buy a Toyota. Plain and simple. If you want to 'splurge' you buy a Lexus! Now, we all know that a Toyota Camry is the exact same car as the Lexus ES 300...right? Except for the Lexus you get better leather, more buttons and nice wood. Soooo...with a Dell, you get BANG for the BUCK! With the apple, you get the 'prestige' and status of showing that you purchased one. BOTH CARS GET YOU FROM POINT A TO POINT B!!! So, we just switch this around and make it relate to these players. And in case anyone wants to make it more personal, you can compare Chevy to Ford, Honda to Nissan, etc. By the way, I have a Dell. I don't HATE or Dislike an Ipod. I had a certain amount of money (very little) and felt the Dell would get the job done just the same as the Ipod. If I had more money, I'd gotten the Ipod...maybe! I'm very practical!!! I hope I've cleared some of the smoke!

7/22/2005 9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I DO NOT recomend the Dell DJ at all. WARNING DO NOT BUT THE DJ!!!!! I got one and had problems with it ever since I got it. They try to tell you your getting a better deal and price but you get what you pay for, and its crap. I wasnt the only one that had problems with my dj a friend on mine also did. The stupid thing crapped out on me after only 3 months and I never even dropped it or anything. What gave out was the sound in the DJ I know have to old down the ear phone plug just to get any sound at all. I called dell and they did nothing to help me. I asked to extend my warrenty they wouldnt let me. They then directed me to about 3 or 4 different wrong numbers, and when they finally gave me the right number no one answered the phone and I was left waiting for over an hour. My friend sent his back like 3 times and they still crapped out on him. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Why do you think DELL stopped making them. Its worth a hunk of crap.

1/02/2007 1:24 PM  
Blogger CRC said...

the product was solid. one of my friends had a problem with her dj after a week or so and dell just sent her a new one, no problem. anyway, who cares since they dont make them anymore.

1/02/2007 1:39 PM  

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