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Also it can take time to get to the option you want. One feature that I loved on the Creative Zen Vision: M, that I reviewed yesterday, was the shortcut button. This can be programmed for a particular task, and it would be great to have something like that on the iPod. One feature is that I’ve always wanted is a way to quickly change EQ settings. Sometimes a track really could do with some help or you switch to another type of music and need to change the setting. Once a track is playing, you have to press the menu button five times, scroll down to settings, scroll down to EQ and press enter and then make your selection. Getting back isn’t as painful; you can either leave it or choose the Now Playing option.
Photo playback on the iPod is great, thanks to the cool transitions lifted from Apple’s iPhoto application. You can have music playing underneath but you have to go into the Slideshow settings menu first and choose the music source or your music will stop when you start a slideshow. However, what you can’t do is use a photo as a background wallpaper, which you can on the Creative Zen Vision: M, which is a real shame.
As with every iPod since Apple introduced the colour screen, album artwork can be displayed. Unfortunately, iTunes still doesn’t automatically pull album artwork down when you put in a CD, whereas applications such as MusicMatch do. Come on Apple. Instead , I have been using this third party application, which searches Amazon when you select tracks and imports them for you.
One of the big selling points for the iPod is its fantastic integration with iTunes. If you’re looking for convenient and legal way of getting music online and onto your MP3 player, there’s nothing out there to beat the iPod and iTunes, while features such as Autosync make it easy to keep your library and your iPod coordinated. However, if you’re a fan of Autosync you have to put up with the highly restrictive limitation imposed by Apple that you can only sync with one master PC.
Take your iPod into work and you’ll find that it will ask you if you want to replace the contents of your iPod with the contents of the iTunes library of the PC you’ve just connected to – even if that library is empty. Say yes by mistake and you could replace gigs of music with – nothing. You can just set iTunes on the second PC to connect manually so you could drag music onto it freely. But if you then Autosync at home, you’ll then wipe out that music you just put on there. This means that you can’t buy a CD during the work day and copy it to your iPod and expect it to be there when you Autosync at home. Is that fair?