It's the portable music player that's become an icon. The 20GB iPod's user-friendly interface and "Click Wheel" control continue to be just about the easiest way to find and play the songs you want. And the player's slender casing houses enough memory to store 333 hours of near-CD-quality music — almost two weeks' worth of tunes.

Four games are included — you can even play while you listen to your favorite music. A notes reader lets you view text that you've downloaded from your computer and the contacts list and appointment calendar help you stay organized. When you travel, use the iPod's handy wake timer as an alarm.

The iPod's coolness factor extends beyond looks. The player seamlessly integrates with Apple's iTunes program to let you easily organize your music and transfer songs from your CD collection. It also provides access to the iTunes Music Store's wide selection of downloadable music and audio books. With just a few mouse-clicks, you can fill your iPod with the latest best-sellers, as well as your favorite music.

For additional requirements, see Detailed Info.

Product Highlights:

  • 20GB hard drive holds approximately:
    • 666 hours of music at 64 Kbps
    • 333 hours at 128 Kbps
    • other bitrates also supported
  • plays MP3, WAV, AAC, AIFF (uncompressed), Apple Lossless, and Audible files
  • functions as an external hard drive for backup of computer files
  • backlit LCD displays track info
  • 25-minute skip protection
  • repeat, resume, and random play
  • 22 EQ settings
  • sleep and wake timers
  • notes reader
  • 4 games
  • appointment calendar and contacts list
  • 6-pin FireWire® (IEEE 1394) interface (cable included)
  • high-power USB 2.0 interface (cable included)
  • earbud headphones
  • AC adapter/charger
  • iTunes® CD-ROM (for Mac and Windows)
  • up to 12 hours playback with included lithium ion rechargeable battery
  • 2-7/16"W x 4-1/8"H x 5/8"D
  • weight: 5.6 oz. (includes built-in battery)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer Requirements:
    Macintosh:
      • built-in FireWire or high-power USB 2.0 port
      • Mac OS X v.10.1.5 or later (v.10.3.4 or later required for use with USB 2.0 connection)
    Windows:
      • Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 or later, or Windows XP (Home or Professional)
      • built-in FireWire or high-power USB 2.0 port, or FireWire or high-power USB 2.0 card installed

    Hands-on research

    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • 20GB iPod Digital Music Player
    • Earbud headphones with 45" cord (has a minijack stereo connector)
    • 4 Foam earbud pads
    • iPod Power adapter
    • 43" USB cable (has an iPod Dock connector on one end and a Type A USB connector on the other end)
    • 42" FireWire cable (has an iPod Dock connector on one end and a 6-pin FireWire connector on the other end)
    • iPod iTunes CD-ROM software (for Mac and Windows)
    • "Getting Started" booklet
    • Warranty booklet
    • Software License Agreement
    • iTunes information sheet

    Features and Specs

    General
    File Formats MP3
    AAC
    A. Lossless/WAV/AIFF
    Voice Recording Optional
    Radio Tuner No
    Display Illumination Yes
    Display Color White
    Equalizer Presets 22
    Maximum Battery Life 12 hours
    Included Battery Type Rechargeable
    Weight with Battery (ounces) 5.6
    Width (inches) 2-7/16
    Height (inches) 4-1/8
    Depth (inches) 0-5/8
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year
    Media Types
    Built-In Memory 20 GB
    Built-In Memory Type Hard Drive
    Removable Media None
    Inputs & Outputs
    Headphone Output Yes
    USB 1.1/2.0
    Other PC Connections None

    Product Research

    Features
    Music Management Software
    System Requirements

    Features

    Compatibility: This 20GB Apple iPod is compatible with both Macintosh and Windows operating systems. See System Requirements section below for minimum requirements.

    Storage Capacity: This iPod has a built-in 20GB hard drive, capable of storing over 5,000 songs (4-minute song average--recorded in AAC format at 128 kbps). In addition to storing audio, you can use the hard drive to store data files as well.

    Audio Formats: The iPod supports the following audio formats: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF, Apple Lossless, and WAV. When you import music from a CD using iTunes, it is converted to AAC format by default.

    Note: If you are using iTunes 4.5 or later on a Windows PC, you can convert non-protected WMA files to AAC or MP3 format.

    Display: The grayscale liquid crystal display measures 2" diagonally with 160 x 128 pixel resolution, 0.24mm dot pitch, and blue-white LED backlight. In the Settings menu, you can adjust the screen contrast.

    Backlighting: The display's blue-white LED backlight illuminates the LCD screen for a selectable amount of time each time a button is pressed. The backlight timer can be set for 2, 5, 10 or 20 seconds, always on, or off.

    Skip Protection: In addition to the hard drive, the iPod has a memory cache. Since it is solid state, there are no moving parts, so it is not affected by movement. The memory preloads up to 25 minutes of music to the cache at a time, and the iPod plays the music from the cache instead of the hard drive. The 25 minutes of skip protection is nearly twice the amount found in other hard-drive-based MP3 players.

    Controls: The iPod's touch-sensitive controls are located on the front of the unit. There is an iPod Click Wheel, which gives you the enhanced durability and sensitivity of the iPod Touch Wheel, with buttons underneath. There are 3 Playback Mode buttons (Play/Pause, Previous/Rewind, Next/Fast-forward) and a Menu button located under the Click Wheel. The Select button is located in the center of the Click Wheel. The Click Wheel and Select button allow you to navigate through menus and song lists, highlight the desired selection, and select the item. To avoid unwanted actions due to accidental button pressing, you can disable the iPod's buttons with the top-mounted hold button.

    Playback Functions: You can set the iPod to repeat one song over and over, or repeat all songs in the list (album or playlist) from which the song was selected. You can also have the iPod shuffle songs or albums. When set to shuffle songs, it plays all the songs at random from the list the song was selected. When set to shuffle albums, it plays all the songs on an album in order, then randomly selects another album and plays it through in order. During Shuffle play, the songs do not repeat until all songs have been played.

    Optional iPod Dock: The optional iPod Dock holds the iPod upright as it charges or transfers music. The iPod cable attaches the iPod Dock to the power adapter or to your computer. In addition, the iPod Dock has a 3.5mm minijack stereo line output for connecting the iPod to a home stereo or external powered speakers.

    Note: Since this iPod is thinner than previous models, it will not work with older iPod docks.

    On-The-Go Playlists: You can program the iPod to play the songs you want in the order you want. The songs are queued in the On-The-Go playlist. In addition to individual songs, you can queue entire lists of songs (albums) in the On-The-Go playlist. There is no limit to the number of selections you can put in the On-The-Go playlist.

    Equalizer: The iPod's built-in equalizer has 22 EQ presets to change the sound to suit a particular music genre or style. The presets include: Acoustic, Bass Booster, Bass Reducer, Classical, Dance, Deep, Electronic, Flat, Hip Hop, Jazz, Latin, Loudness, Lounge, Piano, Pop, R&B, Rock, Small Speakers, Spoken Word, Treble Booster, Treble Reducer, Vocal Booster, and Off.

    Headphones: The iPod comes equipped with earbud-style headphones with 18mm drivers using Neodymium magnets. If desired, you can use any headphones with a 3.5mm miniplug.

    Clock Functions: The iPod has an internal clock with time/date settings, a calendar, an alarm clock and sleep timer. The calendar can be advanced a day at a time or a month at a time. The alarm clock can be set to any minute up to 24 hours in advance. The sleep timer can be set to automatically turn off the unit in 15, 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes.

    Contacts/Calendar Events: When using a Mac with OS X v10.2.8 or later and iSync, you can import contact information (name, address, phone, e-mail, etc.) or calendar events (appointments, to do lists, etc) automatically into the iPod for use on the go.

    Note Reader: The iPod has a built-in note reader that lets you download text-based information and read it on the screen.

    Games: In addition to enjoying music and books, you can play one of four pre-loaded games on your iPod. The games that are available include Brick, Music Quiz, Parachute, and Solitaire.

    Computer Interfaces: The iPod can be connected to your computer via 4-pin or 6-pin FireWire (also called IEEE 1394 or i.LINK), or by USB 2.0 or 1.1. The unit comes equipped with cables both with the proprietary iPod dock connector on one end and a 6-pin FireWire and a Type A USB connector on the other end.

    Note: This unit does not include a 4-pin to 6-pin FireWire adapter.

    Power Requirements: The iPod has a built-in rechargeable, non-removable, lithium ion battery. You can charge the iPod by placing it in an optional iPod Dock, or plug it directly into the power adapter via the iPod Dock Connector to FireWire cable. When fully charged, the battery provides approximately 12 hours of playback time, and about 4 weeks standby time. It charges via the FireWire connector when connected to a compatible computer system or the supplied power adapter. The battery charges up to 80% of capacity in 2 hours and fully charges in 4 hours. A battery life indicator appears at the top of the display. You can also operate the unit while it's connected to the power adapter.

    Note: All Macintosh computers and some Windows PC computers with 6-pin FireWire ports can charge the iPod through the FireWire cable.

    Specifications:

    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
    • Weight: 5.6 ounces
    • Operating Temperature: 32° to 95°
    • Maximum Operating Altitude: 10,000 feet

    Music Management Software

    iTunes: The supplied CD-ROM software provides iTunes 4.6 music management software for Mac and Windows users. This software allows you to organize and manage your music and audio downloads. With the software, you can buy music and audio books from the iTunes Music Store, create your own custom audio or data CDs, import tracks in AAC, rate tracks and sort your library based on ratings, create mixes automatically with Smart Playlists, share playlists with other users, play audio books, or learn a foreign language. With iTunes 4.6 and an AirPort Express Base Station, you can stream music wirelessly from your Mac or PC to your home stereo or powered speakers.

    Volume Levels: iTunes can adjust the volume of songs automatically, so they play at the same relative volume levels.

    Audio Books: In addition to music, you can download audio books from the iTunes Music Store (approximately 5,000 titles), or from Audible.com, an independent website with over 18,000 titles. The iPod will keep track of where you left off when you listened last like a virtual bookmark, and when you sync up with iTunes, the bookmark will continually update between the iPod and iTunes. You can also set the speed at which the audio book is played back. 

    High-Speed Transfers: Transfer time varies depending upon how much music you want to transfer from your computer to your iPod. With its FireWire connection, iPod can transfer data at up to 400 MB per second (Mbps), allowing you to transfer an entire CD in as little as 5 seconds. When you connect the iPod to your computer via FireWire, it not only syncs quickly, it charges itself in the process. If your Windows-based PC doesn't have a FireWire port, you can connect the iPod using USB 2.0, which transfers data at up to 480 Mbps.

    Note: Although the iPod is compatible with USB 1.1, data transfer speeds are much slower.

    Auto-Synching: Each time you connect the iPod to your computer, the unit's Auto-Synch feature automatically updates it with any changes made to the iTunes program on your computer, including any new music purchased at the iTunes Music Store.

    Song Ratings: You can assign a rating to a song from 1 to 5 stars to indicate how much you like it. Song ratings can be used to help you create playlists automatically in iTunes.

    Smart Playlists: You can create customized Smart Playlists from the songs stored in your music library. Smart Playlists can include only certain genres of music, songs by certain artists, or songs that match particular criteria, such as songs rated 3 stars or higher or a playlist that's no more than 3 GB in size. After the Smart Playlist is created, any songs you import that meet the Smart Playlist criteria will be automatically added to the Smart Playlist.

    System Requirements

    Minimum Requirements for Macintosh: To use iPod with a Macintosh, you must have the following:

    • Macintosh with a built-in FireWire (IEEE 1394/i.LINK) port or USB 2.0
    • Mac OS X v10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X v10.3.4 or later is required to use iPod with USB 2.0
    • iTunes 4.6 (included on the iPod CD) or later
    • iSync 1.1 and iCal 1.0.1 or later (optional for synchronizing contact and calendar information with iPod--works only with Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later)

    Minimum Requirements for Windows: To use iPod with a Windows PC, you must have the following:

    • A Windows PC with 500 MHz or higher processing speed
    • Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional
    • iTunes 4.6 (included on the iPod CD) or later
    • Built-in FireWire or a FireWire card installed, or built-in high-power USB 2.0 or a high-power USB 2.0 card installed

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Apple iPod™ 20GB Reviews

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    Greatttttt

    Written By Ray, Panama City Beach, Florida on Thursday, May 26, 2005

    I recieved this for Christmas and wow. I have as of now 838 songs and i still have 18.4 GB left. So if you figure that 838 songs take up .1 of a gig, your in good shape for 19000 songs. The only thing i could complain about is that it scratches like a warm knife through butter. Even on the metal side it scratches. The sound quality with the right speakers is very good. Though after 5 months of use the volume dial response isn't like what it use to be. The battery doesn't last as long as you would hope but it is still exceptional. Overall if you hate carrying MP3's/Cd's then get the IPOD. The 20 Gb is perfect its compact a little heavy but it lets you know its there.

    Music Bliss

    Written By John W. York, Evansville, IN on Sunday, May 15, 2005

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This MP3 player is awesome. It sounds good and the click wheel makes it very easy to navigate thru the menus. Apple really did their homework on this product.

    Battery life could be better.

    A slice of heaven

    Written By AliciaDeK, central ny on Saturday, April 16, 2005

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I was always a little saddened for my old CD's, left in the holder, knowing that it would be a long time before i could enjoy them again... fear no more... i can listen to every song in my collection (the ones i like) at any time. If it doesn't fit my mood at the time it is only a click away. Speaking of click.... one spin of the click wheel, and you are hooked. I cannot imagine life without this product and i have only owned it for 2 days.... Thanks Apple genius, you must have been a music lover too... Alicia

    Apple iPod™ 20GB

    Written By Bbugsbbuny, St. Louis, MO on Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    I think this is a great product, and would recamend it to my friends.

    Life changing

    Written By epoxybrain, Seattle, WA on Friday, February 11, 2005

    If the music industry wants to save itself, they'll buy everybody an iPod and then every week they'll make people trade it randomly. Music will blossom. Bands will fall out the wallpaper, and peace will prevail.