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Apple releases iPod 1075

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-thats-not-very-exciting dept.
The BrownFury writes "At an invitation only event Apple has released their new MP3 player called the iPod. iPod is the size of a deck of cards. 2.4" wide by 4" tall by .78" thick 6.5 ounces. 5 GB HDD, 10 hr battery life, charged via FireWire. Works as a firewire drive as well. Works in conjunctions with iTunes 2. Here are Live updates". No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
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Apple releases iPod

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  • by Corrado (64013) <rnhurt@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:27PM (#2467251) Homepage Journal
    Lazy People click here [apple.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:35PM (#2467346)
    umm.. i've been using my personal jukebox [pjbox.com] for > 1 year.

    It's got a 40 gig HD. battery lasts 10 hours. Software is open-source.

    How is this apple thing a breakthrough? Firewire is nice and all, but...

  • Re:lame? (Score:2, Informative)

    by crayz (1056) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:37PM (#2467372) Homepage
    OK, well the Jukebox is like $250 MSRP(maybe $220 on the street), and this thing has:
    - firewire
    - much smaller form factor
    - 4x more anti-skip
    - much better LCD

    So asking for it to be $175 is being a bit unfair.
  • by Beowulfto (169354) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:39PM (#2467388)
    Upgradable firmware enables support for future audio formats

    So you might not have to wait that long :-)

  • Re:lame? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Snocone (158524) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:42PM (#2467421) Homepage
    Sidenote - As a firewire drive, I'm assuming it should be pretty straightforward to hook it up to whatever your hardware religion is.

    Yep. This is almost certainly the same .2x1.8" Toshiba mechanism as found in the SmartDisk FireLite for instance (I just posted the link in some other comment).

    And their price is $399.95 as well ... but they don't play MP3s.
  • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by JWhitlock (201845) <John-WhitlockNO@SPAMieee.org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:43PM (#2467438)
    Maybe it's not so lame. But Apple sells this device, while a VA Linux company [thinkgeek.com] sells Nomad [thinkgeek.com]

    (OK, it's a semi-troll - it's just fun to theorize about CmdrTaco / VA Linux / OSDN conspiracies)

  • by 4mn0t1337 (446316) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @01:49PM (#2467481)
    Most people I know with new Sony video cameras do not use Macs, and yet they are able to connect the camera's firewire port to their machines, which happen to be PCs with a firewire adapter.

    One thing to check is if the laptop/computer/adapter is the 4-pin flavor or the 6-pin. The Vaio's (and other Sony products) use iLink (their name for IEEE 1394) that is only of the 4-pin kind, which is *unpowered.* (The thought being that devices, like camcorders, have their own power supply.)

    From what I understand the iPod charges off of the IEEE 1394, which would require the 6-pin connector.

  • by Snocone (158524) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:09PM (#2467661) Homepage
    I wonder who makes such a small hard drive?

    Toshiba, as found in the SmartDisk FireLite.

    http://www.smartdisk.com/Press%20Releases/5GBHardD rive.asp [smartdisk.com]
  • by sfgoth (102423) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:14PM (#2467715) Homepage Journal
    The iPod has 32MB of RAM, which it uses to buffer data from the HD. So it only has to turn on the HD every 20 minutes or so for just a few seconds to refill the RAM cache. The drive spends most of the time off and heads parked.

    Saves tons of power, and should make it tough as nails.
  • Re:The price (Score:1, Informative)

    by altman (2944) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:21PM (#2467791) Homepage
    Forgot the link! [slashdot.org]
  • lame? No. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:31PM (#2467871)
    not lame:

    recharges/transfers with firewire

    integrates with iTunes

    mac ease of use
    lame:

    expensive

    As a happy iBook/Mac OSX user, I would definitely consider getting one of these (if I was made of money). The size limitation doesn't bother me so much seeing as how 1.) you can (theoretically) completely fill the drive in 2 minutes and 2.) it'd take you a lifetime to listen to the entire contents of a Nomad, while taking almost four hours to fill. Plus, the Nomad takes rechargeables/AA.

    The biggest problem with it is the cost, IMHO

    Sean

  • not 50MB/s (Score:3, Informative)

    by oneiros27 (46144) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:46PM (#2467996) Homepage
    50MB/s is the max throughput for firewire.
    Odds are, the drive can't handle the full bus speed.

    If it's using the Toshiba 1.8" drive, you're looking at a top end of 12MB/s, which means a about 50x the speed of USB.

    (assuming it's the same drive that someone pointed out in another post, is listed for $400, without the mp3 playing ability, at smartdisk.com)

  • Llithium polymer (Score:2, Informative)

    by 90XDoubleSide (522791) <ninetyxdoublesideNO@SPAMhailmail.net> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:50PM (#2468054)
    From the official specs [apple.com]:

    Power and battery
    Built-in rechargeable lithium polymer battery (1200 mAh)
    Playtime: 10 hours when fully charged
    Charges via FireWire connector to Mac system or power adapter
    Fast-charge time: up to 1 hour (charges to 80% of battery capacity)
    Full-charge time: up to 3 hours

    The battery is built in much like a cell phone or Palm, but it gets power over the FireWire cable, eliminating the need for a cradle. The battery will run out long before you listen to all the music since it stores about 1,000 hours of music, but 10 hours is quite respectable and will get most people through a day.

  • Comparisons... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Incongruity (70416) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:54PM (#2468086)
    Yeah, this should compete favorably with the solid state units, but they've already lost to the CD-MP3 units, IMO.

    Speaking of comparisons... Let's compare the iPod to a sampling of other units that share its form-factor... that excludes all CD-MP3 based units AND it excludes units such as the Nomad. So how does the iPod stack up to it's form-factor matched competitors? What are it's competitors? Looking at the ever-cool ThinkGeek's MP3 player selection [thinkgeek.com], here are the competition:

    1. 20 Gig Personal MP3 Jukebox (Designed by Compaq)
      Price: $499
      Capacity: 20 GB
      I/O Interface: USB
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Windows, & Linux (??)
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): Internal rechargable/ 12 Hrs
      Dimensions: 150 x 80 x 26 mm
      Weight: 9.9oz.
    2. Archos Jukebox 6000:
      Price: $249
      Capacity: 6 GB
      I/O Interface: USB
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Windows and Mac
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): 4 AA/ Max 8 hours
      Dimensions: 4.5" x 3.2" x 1.3"
      Weight: 12oz.
      Additional features: Can function as USB hardrive. Also, Archo's website is unclear as to whether the unit can charge "it's 4-AA rechargables" with the included power adapter but such is hinted at...
    3. Archos Jukebox Studio 20 MP3 Player
      Same as above, with 20GB of storage, for $349
    4. Toshiba Portable MP3 Player - MEA210
      Price: $199.99
      Capacity: 32MB int. Expandable w/ SD card
      I/O Interface: USB
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Windows only
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): 1 AAA/ Max 4 hours
      Dimensions: 2" x 2" x 0.5"
      Weight: 1.5 oz w/out battery
    5. Rio 600 64MB MP3 Player
      Price: $159.99
      Capacity: 64MB int. Expandable w/ add-on back of up to 340 MB
      I/O Interface: USB
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Mac & Windows
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): 1 AA/ Max 8 hours
      Dimensions: 3.5" x 2.5" x 5/8"
      Weight: ??
    6. Rio 800 128 MB MP3 Player
      Price: $219.99
      Capacity: 128MB int. Expandable w/ add-on back up to 340 MB
      I/O Interface: USB
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Mac & Windows
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): 1 Ni-MH AA Rechargable (built in recharger)/ ??
      Dimensions: 3.5" x 2.5" x 1"
      Weight: ??
    7. Apple iPod
      Price: $399.00
      Capacity: 5GB
      I/O Interface: Firewire
      Desktop OS Compatibility: Mac only (?)
      Battery Type/Life(playtime): Internal, (rechargable via external adaptor or via firewire bus)/ 10 hrs max.
      Dimensions: 4.02"x2.3"x0.78"
      Weight: 6.5 oz
      Additional features: may be used as firewire disk

    General discussion:

    First, why exclude such different form-factor units such as the nomad? IMHO, size plays a major part in dictating what one of these units will be used for. A CD player, or Nomad is simply too big for me to take to the gym and use while I am running, biking or using any of the machines. Therefore, it's gotta be small..

    So how does the iPod stack up? It looks like it's middle of the road, but if certain features are or are not important to you, the choice may be easier (for or against the iPod.) For instance, the Mac only (??) status of this unit makes it unacceptable for many consumers (I love my macs but single OS support IS a handicap for any MP3 player and when that one OS is not the numerically superior one, it's a real issue. On the other hand, the iPod is the only unit that supports firewire. That speed advantage can be really big. Additionally, the iPod blows many of the other units away as far as storage goes (such as the Rio's, Toshiba's, Samsung's, Iomega's and Intel's offerings) but it is matched and exceeded by the Archos units.

    My take, overall is that this is a good start and there is a lot of potential in the iPod, but for my $$, right now, I'd buy one of the Archos units.

  • Re:oh no not again (Score:3, Informative)

    by jgilbert (29889) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:04PM (#2468183) Homepage

    At $199-$250, I would have bought two, immediately. Instead, at $399, I am buying zero, and expect that many other people will feel the same way.


    At first I thought it should be more in the $300 range. However, after looking at the link someone supplied for a device from smartdisk (that most likely uses the same harddrive), I have to realize I was wrong. The smartdisk device is a 5GB firewire harddrive. That's all and it's the exact same price. Suddenly, it looks like a good deal!

    http://www.smartdisk.com [smartdisk.com] (It's the firefly)

    jason
  • iPod is multilingual (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:14PM (#2468265)
    From http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html

    "iPod supports English, French, German and Japanese, and can even display different languages simultaneously. So you can view French songs (with native language information tags) alongside German, Japanese and American ones."

    Listen to Kraftwerk as it should be heard!

  • by arete (170676) <areteslashdot2NO@SPAMxig.net> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:38PM (#2468442) Homepage
    Firewire, in fact, is a total of 50 MB of transfer. Furthermore, it's QOS'd and has significant overhead, so you're likely to peak at 10 MB/s (although you can perform 4 transfers each of which is GUARANTEED 10 MB/s, so you'll have 4 quality video transmissions, for instance) But that is certainly less than ATA 100. Except that no single current hard disk or CD drive can match ATA 100. (and, incidently Apple's hardware is essentially the same now)

    What you forgot is MP3 compression. IF you already have your whole CD transfered into your computer as MP3s, then you can transfer it in those seconds. This works well because the mac stuff is very seamless... So IF you've got your whole music collection already on your PowerMac, then it's 10s/CD.

    This doesn't work for data, of course.
  • by FlexAgain (26958) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:53PM (#2468572)
    There is no future in a $400 (about $250 too expensive) firewire-only (5% of computer users) hardrive-based (read: fragile) mp3 player. Any one of these critical flaws might doom the product - take them all together and you have another classic corporate farce.

    (i) I'd love a $150 MP3 player, but it isn't going to happen, you can't even get much of a flash memory based MP3 player in the UK for 150UKP let alone $150, $400 isn't cheap, but this is a bleading edge MP3 player and Apple technology to boot. I don't think its as stupid a price as some seem to believe.

    (ii) Firewire is in a bit of chicken and egg situation, devices like this are what will drive its popular support. Being able to transfer a whole CDs worth of MP3s in minutes rather than hours is a godsend. Somebody has to try and lead the way.

    (iii) As others have noted, the buffering will largely ameliorate any fragility, and anyway, how else are you going to get 5G of memory? This is not going to happen with Flash memory any time soon (at least not at a sane price anyway).

    I'm unsure whether this thing will take off or not, but I don't think you are justified in damning it to the degree which you do, or with these arguments.

    --
  • by HerrNewton (39310) <thoiigd3pn5p25001@sneakemai l . com> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:24PM (#2468766) Homepage
    No it comes with an AC adapter as well. See the bottom of the page [apple.com]
  • Re:Lame? (Score:2, Informative)

    by edrugtrader (442064) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:00PM (#2469566) Homepage
    i have a 40GB archos studio 20 (i upgraded the hd... just swap them out)

    your 20GB will fit fine on there... AND they have it on thinkgeek... this is bound to be moderated up.

    http://www.archos.com
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @08:00PM (#2469821)
    Firewire Disk mode is traditionally on Powerbooks and iBooks where you reboot the computer so it can act act as an external hard drive to another Mac.

    It would make no sense to reboot your iMac or iBook so that it was an external hard drive for the iPod.

    So if anything, it means that you might have to "reboot" the iPod to transfer files (which would probably take 1 second). But I'm guessing this is more a misused marketing term than anything else.
  • Re:Lame? (Score:2, Informative)

    by 10seconds (85686) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @11:23PM (#2470555)
    The PJB-100 [pjbox.com] now works with the latest Toshiba 40GB hard drives. Smaller than a Nomad, 10-hour battery, great community, open source software (but not the firmware unfortunately).

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