I know this show has been around for quite a while, and seeing as how the manga has finished a while back, I decided to pick up from where I left off. But I have a question though, what is the difference between FMA: Brotherhood and the other FMA. Are they the same, are there any changes, etc.?
Uh, pretty much everything but a few characters, settings, and ideas are different.
The beginnings are roughly the same. However, while the first anime went way offtrack and was left open-ended, Brotherhood finishes it up in a way that's a bit more faithful to the manga. Forget parallel Germany. The focus is on homunculi.
The Beginnings of the first FMA follows the manga, while the beginning of brotherhood doesnt. After that, its vice versa, as brotherhood follows the manga the rest of the way.

Brotherhood is also alot better in terms of animation IMO.
Around episode 15 (I think, whenever Ling is introduced) is where it really splits off.
Having finished both the animes, I'd have to say Brotherhood is 10x better.
The storyline of the two are complete polar opposites of each other after episode 15.