mrbarister wrote:You said it. Proprietary. You have to get your music through iTunes,
Corvettejoe already addressed this, but I feel like I should echo/repeat it. The above-quoted statement is not only completely false, it has NEVER been true, in all the years that iPods have existed. I have NO IDEA why this falsity springs eternal.
iTunes (the application that runs on your computer) is the software Apple supplies to manage music and sync it with your Apple device.
The iTunes Store is an online music retailer. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PURCHASE MUSIC FROM THE ITUNES STORE. You can rip CDs you already own, or purchase music from Amazon, or purchase music from artists' web sites. Though I don't endorse this, you can copy your friend's entire mp3 collection. Whatever. iPods play almost all standard music formats, including mp3, mp4 (also known as AAC), WAV, AIFF, etc. There's nothing proprietary about them.
there's no room for memory expansion,
Correct -- there is no memory card slot. If that's important to you, buy a player with an expansion slot. The players being sold in this Woot offer have 32 GB built in, which isn't bad.
and you need to buy their charger when every other company will let you use the same micro usb charger your non-apple phone uses.
This is not true. The iPod can charge using USB standard current -- 5 VDC, 500 mA. You can use any USB charger you like.
What is proprietary is the cable that connects from the charging block to the iPod, called the lightning cable. This is included with the iPod, so no -- you don't have to "buy their charger." Use any charger with a standard USB output, or plug it into your computer. It'll charge.
If you want extra lightning cables, you can pay Apple's ridiculous price for one, or you can take a chance on the third-party market. I recently bought five VERY cheap lightning cables in various lengths from three different sellers on eBay. Four of the five work fine. One was a dud and I tossed it. The total cost was less than the cost of one of Apple's.
That said, the little Apple cubelet-style wall wart charger is one of the best USB-standard chargers available. See this article for more information, if you're interested.
All that said, Apple should include one of these wall wart charging blocks with the iPod Touch, and they don't. So if you want one I would seek it out on the used market. Just be careful that you're actually getting an Apple charger and not a cheap knock-off. They can sometimes be found in used, good condition for around $5 or $6.