Seriously, this is some basic-level shit. I think I'm the only person left on the planet who has never come in contact with an iPod of some flavor or another.
...but I'm thinking that an iPod Shuffle would make a perfect gift for my wife this Christmas to replace her existing Sony mp3 player. The only thing standing in my way is the sizeable collection of mp3's that we've already accumulated for the Sony player. From what I understand, iTunes uses a proprietary format to put its music onto the iPod, but I'm certainly not going to buy songs off of iTunes that we already own on CD just to be able to listen to them on the iPod.
So, for these plain ol' mp3s that I've ripped from CDs, how easily will they 'import' onto the iPod? Is this something that the iTunes software can do out-of-the-box? Is there any other reason that I should be concerned about using non-iTunes music tracks on an iPod?