Which iPod is right for you? (Playlist)

By Christopher Breen

In the beginning (OK, in 2001), there was the original 5GB iPod—and we were lucky to have it. But in the past four years, Apple has made things a bit more complicated, adding several new members to the iPod family. Not too long ago, making an iPod-buying decision boiled down to exactly one factor: whether you had the money to pay for it.

Now that Apple offers three versions of its diminutive music player—the iPod shuffle, the iPod mini, and the color iPod (including the iPod U2 Special Edition and most HP-branded models)—at prices ranging from $99 to $400, there’s far more to consider. Will a small iPod or a large iPod serve you better? And is there any advantage to owning Apple’s iPod instead of one branded with the HP logo? I’ve had my hands on every iPod model Apple has released, so I’m in a unique position to give advice on finding the iPod that’ll be the best fit for you.