This was my very first mp3 player purchase. It is very easy to use except that the little "dial" on the front took a bit of getting used to for someone who had never owned an iPod before. I love having an Mp3 player especially having bought a Klipsch iGroove HG All-in-One iPod Shelf System. The earbuds that come with iPods are uncomfortable and the sound quality is not that great. I would say anyone who wants to buy one, should buy something else to listen with.
One big, huge downside of iPods is having to use iTunes. Now there are freeware and shareware programs out there that one can use with an iPod. I like Winamp, but have yet to try it's iPod capability out. When I do I will add to this review. At any rate, iTunes automatically formats all your music to MP4. It arranges everything in your iTunes Music folder by band name, then album. While that in and of itself is not a horrible thing, audiophiles like myself can find it pretty annoying when a program decides for itself how to arrange your files. I also find that deleted and renaming or rearranging tracks in iTunes when you have a lot of music is a huge pain.
The iPod itself has an On-The-Go option, where you can create a kind of favorites playlist right from your iPod. You can also load certain playlists you've created in iTunes. You can view your music by artist or album. There are a couple of lame cell phone type games, a clock function (although it seems that it would be more useful if you didn't have to go through a bunch of menus just to see the time) and the ability to play videos and view photos. The video and photo quality (assuming the files themselves are of high quality) are crystal clear in the display. The audio playback quality really rests on what you're listening through. As I mentioned, the earbuds that come with the iPod do not do your music any justice. There is a feature among the iPod menus that allows you to choose equalizer presets by genre, for example "rock" or "jazz." I have found that moderately useful, but only with my iPod stereo, not so much with earbuds.
Overall, this is a great MP3 player as long as you don't mind Apple controlling everything or you are comfortable using some of the freeware programs. I have never owned another brand of MP3 player, but I tend to believe that if you're not a iSheep, you would be just as happy with another brand that has similar features and a lower price tag.