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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 sfgoth (102423) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:24PM (#2467211) Homepage Journal
    FireWire (400Mbps) data syncing _and_ recharging at the same time. That's cool.

    I wonder if it's hackable for a bigger drive...

    Plus, you can use it as a portable disk. No "content protection". Yay!
  • I happenned again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pi radians (170660) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:26PM (#2467238)
    Apple is being distroyed by the rumors that are being created. When they announce that they are going to have a new product, everyone thinks it's going to blow their worlds. Rumors start flooding in about even the most outragous products ( I even heard a few "sources" mention teleportion) This is getting plain stupid.

    Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them do the impossible?
  • LAME? WTF?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deander2 (26173) <`public' `at' `kered.org'> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:28PM (#2467263) Homepage
    Less space then the Nomad yes, but also MUCH MUCH SMALLER. You ever try putting a Nomad in your pocket and go for a walk? The Nomad is only good as a psuedo stereo component, or perhaps in your car. Not to mention the horrible battery life!

    Also, how many HOURS does it take to transfer your 6.4gb MP3 collection onto your Nomad? I know my USB player takes forever to even fill up its 64mb memory. Firewire let's you do it BLAZINGLY FAST.

    This is a marvel of engineering, very useful and I give apple much credit for coming out with this device. //lame my ass.

    Also, did I mention automatic playlist/sing library synching with iTunes2? THIS is what portable music should be.
  • Lame how? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TetOn (173570) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:29PM (#2467276) Homepage
    Nomad: 5x5x1.5 at 14oz
    iPod: 2.4x4x.78 at 6.5oz

    I'll give up a gig for size and weight.
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:35PM (#2467347) Homepage
    Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them to do the impossible?

    I think over history, Apple has shown with some regularity that they can pull "the impossible" out of their hat. Now with Jobs and NeXT genes on board, that sense is even more intense.

    Whether Apple's products are brilliant successes or bizarrely interesting failures, nobody can deny that what they're doing as a rule seems more interesting that what Dell/Gateway/Microsoft et al are ever doing. And occasionally (Macintosh, NeXT, Newton, iMac) Apple/NeXT have done things that were completely mind-blowing and heretofore impossible.

    I'm speaking as a longtime PC owner and Linux, not a Mac owner (though I do love my Newton)-- I have a healthy respect for the real innovation Apple has brought to the industry (compare to Microsoft's "innovation"...) and I have trouble understanding why Slashot users are such haters when it comes to Apple and Steve Jobs.
  • by mblase (200735) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:35PM (#2467348)
    Not only is this a lackluster MP3 unit

    Considering that it's got far more memory than your average 128MB MP3 portable, and that it's clearly smaller and more portable than a Nomad, I think this is a hasty judgement.

    which by virtue of being firewire will be limited to Apple Mac owners

    PCs have access to FireWire, as does Linux. The direct connection to iTunes is the only Mac-only feature that I can see; I should hope Apple will be smart enough to enable compatability with PCs, or if not, develop a Windows version of iTunes to do the same job.

    but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product.

    It has a six-line LCD display, backlit, a simple four-button interface, and a circular scroll wheel to navigate your songs (which can organize by CD, artist, or your own custom playlists). You call that "virtually no UI"?

    Methinks some people's "first post" ambitions are getting in the way of a decent review of the features.
  • by stripes (3681) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:37PM (#2467374) Homepage Journal
    but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product

    You mean other then the scroll pad, and the seriously small number of controls and options on it? (yes, cutting down on choice is a UI feature, and one that Apple is very good at)

    Having it all go through iTunes is also a good UI choice (a no brainer for Apple of corse), you don't need to deal with another little lame MP3 manager (my most despised part of my Rio). Of corse once you have more then 5G of music you actually have to do work...

    Still, not the product for me. I don't really need all that much music when I'm not already next to my laptop, or my car stereo...

  • by deander2 (26173) <`public' `at' `kered.org'> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:37PM (#2467376) Homepage
    oh yeah, and did i mention that it doubles as a portable firewire HARD DRIVE?
  • by Snocone (158524) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:39PM (#2467390) Homepage
    $400!!!! for a freakin MP3 player!?!?!?

    No, $399.95 MSRP for a freakin' .2x1.8" 5 GB Toshiba FireWire bus-powered hard drive.

    http://www.smartdisk.com/Products/Storage%20Produc ts/Hard%20Drives/FWFL.asp [smartdisk.com]

    Apple's version throws in the MP3 player for free.

    Not such a bad deal looked at that way, yes?

  • by Fred Ferrigno (122319) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:41PM (#2467415)
    $399 for 5gb? Screw that. I'd rather pay $100 for a Rio Volt. 700mb of songs per CD with an unlimited number of CDs, provided you change them.

    Yeah, this should compete favorably with the solid state units, but they've already lost to the CD-MP3 units, IMO.
  • by jcoleman (139158) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:42PM (#2467418)
    ...Apple is the Mercedes Benz or BMW of the computer industry. They deliver the best-designed products with "why didn't I think of that?!" features that eventually become commonplace on the Fords and Chevrolets of the computer industry.

    How many computer makers let you into the case without turning screws? How many include an incredibly useful and easy-to-use external connection port like FireWire? How many include digital video editing? How many ship an optical mouse standard? How many include a full productivity suite? How many include a DVD-R/CD-RW drive as standard? How many have given up CRTs and moved on to LCDs, the displays of the future? One.

    Apple is the innovator in the industry. If you can't see that, then you're blind. Everyone else has been playing catch-up since 1984.

  • Lame? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MasterVidBoi (267096) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:44PM (#2467443)
    Lets see, in a portable mp3 player, you're looking for a few key features:

    Size
    Battery Life
    Capacity
    Price

    The Nomad blows the iPod away in capacity, as do CD-R players, but they are both far larger and heavier. The Nomad in particular isn't really portable. The iPod is practically small enough to hide it in the palm of your hands. Of course, then there is the battery life problem.

    Then there are the solid state players, with 32 or 64 megs of memory. They are small, have great battery life, and are cheap, but they don't hold enough music to make even their low cost worth paying.

    Apple termed it wrong, the iPod isn't a breakthrough. It's just another evolutionary step in consumer electronics, but an important one. While there are other players with larger capacities, smaller sizes, or cheaper price tags, the iPod is the first to really hit that sweet spot between each of those requirements. (OK, I admit, at $300, it would be a much much better deal.)
  • by node 3 (115640) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:46PM (#2467457)
    It may be lame but compared to *every* other mp3 player out there, it's the least lame there is. It's small, FireWire (copy a CD in less than 10 seconds? You know how slow my Sony mp3 player was to load?). It even charges over the FireWire port.

    So it's only 6GB. First off, that's a *lot*. It's about 100 CD's. How many CD's, MiniDiscs, 64MB flash cards, etc, does it take to equal that? Only a couple of HD-based systems are as convenient, and they all have other, more critical problems.

    All other HD based players' problems tend to be slow speed (USB, let alone performance), large size, poor battery life, and horrible interfaces. All but performance is *definitely* better in the iPod just based on the specs and demos. Performance has yet to be seen.

    iPod lame? Perhaps. It's just that everything else is more lame.

    -node 3

  • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:52PM (#2467504)
    Raise your hand if you have iTunes ...

    Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port ...

    Raise your hand if you have both ...

    Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device ...

    There is Apple's market. Pretty slim, eh? I don't see many sales in the future of iPod.

    ~LoudMusic
  • by starfoxmac (80314) <[moc.liamekaens] [ta] [20kinj3y9]> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:52PM (#2467506)
    The Apple product has 83% of the storage space, 20.% of the volume, and transfers files 16500% faster (assuming 2.4 Mb/s USB spec and 50MB/s firewire, im unsure).
    Just because Apple didn't choose to significantly increase its volume by adding a 802.11a antenna, just to add a *very* slow transmittal solution (compared to its firewire), means it's "lame?"
    I don't have a religious bent for or against Apple; when intelligent people make these kinds of comments, it confuses me.
  • by Josuah (26407) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:59PM (#2467565) Homepage
    The direct connection to iTunes is the only Mac-only feature that I can see; I should hope Apple will be smart enough to enable compatability with PCs, or if not, develop a Windows version of iTunes to do the same job. Have you seen the new Windows XP commercials? It looks like Microsoft is bundling something like iTunes (and also something like iMovie, gee, who woulda thunk) with it's latest OS. So, I think it would be up to Microsoft to support firewire MP3 players in its new software. Plus, I don't think Apple would or should port iTunes to Windows. The fact is, iTunes is part of the Mac OS experience Apple is promoting in an attempt to show that using a Mac is faster, simpler, more productive, and more powerful. Porting iTunes to Windows would make the Mac OS lose one of its selling points and would no doubt provide a worse experience of the software than a user would have using it on a Mac. Providing a port that results in a worse user experience is not something that Apple would ever do.
  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:00PM (#2467566)
    but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product.


    With your reply ...


    It has a six-line LCD display, backlit, a simple four-button interface, and a circular scroll wheel to navigate your songs (which can organize by CD, artist, or your own custom playlists). You call that "virtually no UI"?


    Hey, how about you read what you're responding to first. They clearly stated "define it as an Apple product". He didn't say the UI sucked, he said it didn't look like Apple. That's very true, but I don't see the relevance ... (: Maybe they're trying to say that Apple bought this product, not created it. I've got no problem with that. They essentially bought iTunes as well, used to be SoundJam. Tada! Instant product.

    ~LoudMusic

  • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SirSlud (67381) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:03PM (#2467599) Homepage
    Since when is Apple concerned about market share? They do what capitalism was born to do. Cater to a small market, and do it the right way.

    I don't have an OSX box, and consequently, no firewire and iTunes, but if I /did/ (and many do/will have OSX within the next year), this piece of gear was BORN for that market. All while keeping Apple gear at the front of the pack in terms of usability, transfer speed, and respectable battery life.

    Apple has never been about selling the most number of units. Just look at the market leaders for cars, OSes, books, movies, CDs .. you'll understand why having a big market share essentially garauntees tha you you have to give up innovation. Heck, Intel shipped their latest chip with features /disabled/ .. so I, for one, am glad that apple is content to own just a small slice of the pie, because its the most /delicious/ slice.

    And no, I dont own any Apple gear. I wish I could justify it tho; unfortunately, MS keeps underselling quality, thus keeping wk2 on the the corperate desktop, and *nix just happens to serve the 'net industry better than anyone else.
  • by veddermatic (143964) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:07PM (#2467634) Homepage
    Breaking news: Aplle doesn't CARE about windows, or about market share.


    Last time I checked, they only sold hardware and software to the "tiny percentage" of Mac users, and yet they somehow manage to stay in business... unthinkable! We all know that market share is the only indicator of a company's success!


    At the end of the year, look at who had a higher profit margin.... Dell, Gateway, or Apple.


    Apple is making an MP3 player for the Mac users. It's an AMAZING product tied into the hardware they deliver (when will all Winderz boxes ship with firewire), OS X, and iTunes


    If you have a Mac, this is a SWEEEEEEET thing. If you don;t have a Mac, guess what, Aplle does not care.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:10PM (#2467674)
    To be honest, this is going to be a low margin product and probably won't make Apple too much money. But for Mac users that want a way cool MP3 player they'll be the envy of their Windoz friends. Its about time. You don't like it? Fine. You love it but don't have a Mac? Tough Tooties. Welcome to what used to be our world!
  • by DaveWood (101146) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:11PM (#2467691) Homepage
    Goofy internal projects, expensive gaffes trying to "diversify" into areas it has only a tenuous relationship to, a complete inability to understand markets, and a constitutional immunity against learning from their mistakes.

    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.

    When you see silliness on this level, though, normally you expect to see a raging egotist who is immune to common sense and criticism in some position of power in the company... oh wait, Steve Jobs. Never mind.

    This just reinforces my steadily growing sense of foreboding about Apple. Yes, I've said this before and been wrong, but I'll say it again anyway. They're living on borrowed time.
  • lame comments (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rainer3 (517427) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:13PM (#2467707)
    The only really lame thing I've read so far are the comments people are posting. A quick scan so far results in only 2 comments garnering a 5 and 2 comments garnering a 4. I would like to go to one of the Apple Stores and try it out, see how it works. Then I'll say whether or not it's lame.
  • by arloguthrie (318071) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:14PM (#2467713) Homepage
    ...they make their products for Mac users. Period. And I don't see this as a problem.

    Apple places itself in the market to be the *prestigious* computer company, the Bang and Olfsen of PCs. Apple owners (which I will be when I start school next year and can get an educational discount) treat their computers as sacred. Apple may have a small market share, but their market share is fervently adamant about their products. (And justifiably so -- I think they make great hardware, and they make it easy enough for novices and powerful enough for nerds, not to mention stylish as hell.)

    It's much akin to the religious fanaticism Open Source folks have toward spreading the Word about Linux and praising Linus Torvalds as a Jesus. I get as much criticism from Apple owners for begrudingly using Windoze as I do from Linux users. To keep this religion metaphor going as long as possible: it's one thing to oppose the evil Satan of Microsoft, but Linux-users and Apple-users arguing at this point is like the Pope arguing with Martin Luther over the 42 Theses -- you're both worshiping the same God, just one has more money than the other.

    Okay, so that made very little sense, but it certainly sounded good.

    This is what it boils down to, folks:

    Apple has made a fairly smart business decision with iPod, saying to themselves, if we can't earn more market share, then let's give the market share we do have more items to buy. And they will becuase they're freaking crazy about our stuff. For Mac users, the iPod is most likely a super convienent, super cool MP3 player.

    Those of you complaining that you can't use it on your PC or your Linux box or your TRS-80, go buy a Nomad because that's the market share you're in.

    And good luck fitting that Nomad in your pocket. (Ha-ha!)
  • The price (Score:2, Insightful)

    by altman (2944) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:18PM (#2467759) Homepage
    Note that the Fuji 1.8" 5GB PCMCIA drive costs $400.

    Note that the iPod has a 1.8" 5GB hard drive (probably a Fuji, as Calluna who also made 1.8" drives went bust) plays music, has a display battery and firewire port, and also costs $400.

    Bargain!
  • $400, for now... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sfgoth (102423) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:19PM (#2467772) Homepage Journal
    Keep in mind it's $400 right now becuase the Apple Fanatics will have to have one. They'll pay anything for the latest cool toy from Apple.

    In 6 months, hopefully the rest of us will be buying the 20GB version for $200.
  • Interface anyone? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by swgs (235424) <swgs@youlovCOLAe ... m minus caffeine> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:22PM (#2467802) Homepage
    Ok, everyone keeps talking about the Nomad Jukebox and other similar players, and must of the crazy apple people have defended the iPod with it's other features.

    but this crazy apple guy (that would be me) has a better defense....have you ever used the interface on the jukebox or other large MP3 players? they have horrible navigation, i cringe everytime at the idea of finding one paticulair song out of over a thousand on one of those players.

    but the iPod is different, its taken a lot of influence from the iTunes software, the interface is intuitive easy to use and fast. You can sort by just about any tag, and furthermore it fully supports ID3 tags, not just ID3 v1.1, but all the way up to 2.3 i believe.

    also, the iPod has a scroll wheel type thing on it to further help you navigate quickly.

    maybe im insane, but ill take an overpriced, well designed, easy to use apple product any day over some cheap generic device.

    SWGS
  • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sfgoth (102423) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:25PM (#2467824) Homepage Journal

    Raise your hand if you have iTunes ...
    Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port ...
    Raise your hand if you have both ...
    Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device ...


    What, is there a large market for mp3 players with people who don't own computers?

    Apple knows that their biggest market is existing Apple customers. If Apple sells one of these for every 5 iBooks they sell, they'll be sitting pretty.

    Why should Apple fund a software team to port iTunes to Windows, just so they get a few $400 slim margin sales of an mp3 player?

    Better to let the Windows users wish they had an iPod, and go out and buy an iBook to get it.

    Apple's finally learning to bring the market to them, instead of chasing it all over the map.
  • Re:oh no not again (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Gibecrake (149754) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:35PM (#2467902)
    Actually what you are sad about is that Apple is apparently forging new road. That new road this time is a completely new hardware paradigm. That 5gb Hard Drive they crammed in there is not the run of the mill Maxtor crap you can get at staples for a dollar. This is a hard drive smaller than the ones in the smallest portables to date. This is state of the art, not status quo packed into a big shiny box.

    PC manufacturers typically have less expensive products because they buy what is common (parts-wise) and make a sucky product. Apple chose to buy the best, in order to make the best.

    So now instead of the 500 dollars you were going to spend on two (one for each ear maybe) you will have to settle for one. Oh that's right, you can only buy two of them or nothing, I guess Johnny get none...So sad.
  • by sfgoth (102423) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:40PM (#2467936) Homepage Journal

    How about using it as a storage device for your firewire camcorder or digital camera (if there are firewiere still cameras).


    5GB is about 22 minutes of DV video. It's easier just to pop in another 15GB DV tape.

    Since firewire devices are peerless, it shouldn't be much of a problem to connect the devices.

    They're peerless when they provide a unique service on the bus. FireWire video cams are DV publishers/consumers. The HD claims to be a mass storage device. The camera would need UI for selecting a mass storage device other than the one built in (the DV tape).

    For example, hook 3 DV cammeras together with FireWire. Hit play on one, record on the other two, and you should get two perfect digital copies. Hit play on two of them, record on the other, and unless the recording camera provides a UI for selecting from multiple DV streams, it's probably random which one you'll get.
  • The fine print? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evanbd (210358) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:56PM (#2468102)
    Did anyone else notice this?


    iPod and iTunes are for legal or rightholder-authorized copying only. Don't steal music.


    Apple seems to have the right theory on "content protection"

  • by zerocool^ (112121) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:57PM (#2468114) Homepage Journal
    No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

    And why does everything have to be wireless? I don't understand this.

    1.) plug firewire cable into the back of your computer
    2.) bring other end of cable on to desktop
    3.) plug in MP3 player when needed

    I don't get how this makes life easier. By adding a wireless recieving unit in the thing, it would be bigger, weigh more, and cost more. Probably be more complicated, slower, and use more batteries, too. Or to cut costs you could put an IrDA port in it, although I think less people own an IrDA port for their desktop than firewire, and it would be sitting there transfering data wirelessly so long, you might as well have taken the 4 seconds to plug it in. Why is this a good idea?

    I guess i'm just not getting it. Mabey i'm too practical from a monatary standpoint, but i wouldn't spend $400 on a wireless setup for my apartment when i can run $6 worth of cat 5 myself anywhere it wants to go in the apartment. Wireless is for cell phones and possibly for laptops at how much it costs right now, and i can't even afford it at that. Beyond that its just extra gadgets.

    ~z
  • by jgalun (8930) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:03PM (#2468175) Homepage
    Apple is in the rich person's market now. Create expensive, beautiful, top of the line products. Market them to rich people as part of a "lifestyle" in elegant stores. Have extremely high profit margins.

    The iPod is an integral part of Apple's "digital lifestyle" idea, and fits perfectly into their Apple stores. Apple may not be brilliant, but they are not Commodore. Commodore had no plan. Apple has a plan - it just might be the wrong plan.
  • I am a recovering Apple fanatic. Now that I've escaped the famous Cupertino Reality Distortion Field, let me tell you why I have such a love/hate relationship with "All Things Apple."

    I still enjoy using and playing with their products. It started with my Mac LC in high school, then my killer Mac Quadra 840av in college. When the iMac came out in '98, I was the first one buying to replace the aging Quadra. My family has purchased somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 Macs (I'm one of seven kids), most recently the iMac DV I helped my sister pick out on her way to college.

    What's my point in all this? Apple almost died once by losing touch with reality. Steve bought them back from the brink, but now he's marketing a device that is very nice when you sell it at $199.95; but at twice that price, it looks like as goofy and unmarketable as a Platypus in an Edsel swinging a CueCat around.

    I still love talking about new Apple technologies and products with friends and coworkers. Apple loves to release clean products with gee-whiz features. Sometimes even at reasonable prices.

    But when the realization hit my wife that the 233MHz G3 wasn't cutting it anymore, and we looked at new computers, I could not bring myself to fork over another $1000 to $1500 to get a non-upgradable unit. I'm really sorry Mac enthusiasts, but here is what I built instead:

    A PC in a cute, customized penguin-shaped ATX case with a Celeron 900, 512 megs of RAM, 16x DVD drive, 16x10x40 CD-RW, 30 Gigabyte ATA-100 hard drive, GeForce2 MX video, SoundBlaster Live audio, and 3Com NIC with a 17 inch monitor.

    For under $800.00.

    I sold the iMac to a friend in trade for a 1976 Mercury Cougar with 60,000 original miles. I guarantee I'll get mileage out of my machine than he'll get out of his. Oh, the iMac runs OS 10.1 quite nicely on the 36GB drive I stuck in, on the 288 megs of RAM I installed. But nothing can beat the commodity cost of PC upgrade peripherals. Right now, I could put an ECS motherboard and 1.4GHz Athlon in the new PC for $200, and keep right on using the rest of the components.

    Yes, creative engineering clearly requires Apple charge a premium... but at this point, it's too high to pay. I have a house to buy and kids to father someday soon, and I'd much rather spring for a 4th bedroom than another overpriced tech toy.

    YMMV.

  • Apple.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:20PM (#2468304)
    You guys are missing the big picture. The iPod is silently showcasing Darwin in the embedded market. This would get Apple into a market currently dominated by Linux and Embedded Windows (moreso by Linux). It shows Darwins ability to be used in a multimedia device with updatable firmware, so it can accept new formats if needed.

    Moreover, the iPod is one piece to a total user experience. On one (UNIX) platform you can easily rip mp3s, transfer them to a MP3 player of your choice (does not have to be an iPod), burn them to a cd as MP3 or AIFF, make digital movies, burn them to a DVD or back to tape, author professional DVDs, edit video, produce visual effects equal to what is done in the movies (I worked on Star Wars EP II, they are using mostly Macs for production). iPod is just another piece to a total user experience.

    While I personally feel iPod is at least 100 bucks too much, it has some unique features. Being able to transfer MP3s with firewire vs. usb is great. I am sure someone will devise a way for it to hot sync with a pc, and considering firewire cards are about $35 bucks, and firewire is becoming an industry standard on both PCs and Macs, I applaud Apple for firewire as the preferred connectivity. Also, the ability to use it as an external, portable firewire drive is nifty, although if you are going to use it mainly for that reason there are much cheaper options.

    As for Apples hardware, I do not feel their prices are all that far out of line. The iBook is very competitive for its price, as is the Titanium PowerBook. The dual processor machines are pretty sweet. As for performance issues, I have no complaints. I do understand however most Linux users argument that they prefer to recycle parts from older machines or build machines from scratch. I own more than one mac and I can tell you the quality of the machines is very good, better than my Dell or Gateway boxes. While I do not believe Apples mHZ myth marketing, I do not believe Intel marketing either. We all know that there is more to performance than mHz.

    I am a multi-OS user. I am a MCSE (only because my career forces me to be), a Linux user as well, and at home I choose Macs. The total user experience, especially with OS X is very, very good.

    If Apple made the iPod work on Windows and Linux it would detract from the overall experience in OS X. Why then would you consider OS X?

  • by Pfhor (40220) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @04:25PM (#2468335) Homepage
    Ok, listen the 1.8" drive apple is using in the damn iPod is $400 by itself (to purchase it in a firewire enclosure). The sucker has 32 megs of ram to load music then spin down the drive (which is something I was waiting for someone to start putting in their MP3 players).

    It uses Firewire to transfer files and recharge. It can be used as a portable hard drive.

    Apple is trying to add value to their current product base. Wow, all of a sudden all those machines apple just sold in the last 2 years are now able to interface with currently the coolest MP3 player ever. That is very significant for an "average joe user" trust me. So you don't like it, or don't want to spend money on it, big freaking deal, but I doubt Apple is going to lose big on this, and in a few months apple with probably announce a cheaper one, and put a 20 gig model in the $400 ones place. If the drives get there.

    This is by far the coolest MP3 player out there. And yes, it is upgradable, so people can get Ogg working on it. And It is sturdy, if you have seen how much effort it takes to break one of the first ibooks, and usualy by break, it was a screen that broke, apple knows how to consumer harden their stuff. This thing will rock.
  • CmdrTaco, you SUCK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Durindana (442090) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @05:54PM (#2468947)
    What is the problem with you Linux freeks? It's a small, light, fast, featureful mp3 player that pushes the usability envelope in its niche. Plus it's usable with other OSs (though Apple created FireWire, other cos. have been smart enough to license it). It's a little costly, but so was the first Newton - and the Mac Portable was like $6,000 when it came out. Didn't stop notebook computing from hitting it big. Don't bitch about the product cause it costs too much. And don't say it's lame because there's no AMD hardware or free software running inside it.
  • Re:ogg? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @06:10PM (#2469053)
    Well, whose fault is that?
  • by Triv (181010) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:33PM (#2469449) Journal
    It's about product placement (and it's a good thing).

    Think about it - how many people have you seen jogging with their iMac hefted onto a shoulder, 80's - style?

    Seriously. It's a way to get the apple name out onto the streets instead of sitting on a desk. This started with lots (and I mean lots) of iMac TV placements and hasn't ended yet. Think about it - how many iBooks have you seen out and about, and how many of these did you notice becuase of the big glowing apple on the back, or the candy-colors? The iPod's got the logo on the back too, big and white. Whether it glows or not is yet to be seen.

    I guarantee (meaning I really, really hope) that the price tag won't hold too long. Probably drop after the holidays.

    And to apple I say 'good for you.' It's a much better way to get attention than the new (and horrifically tasteless) Microsoft / Compaq ads - 'Like stars and stripes - perfect together.'

    Oh, and please - think before you flame, particularly on the frontpage. It's closed-minded.

    Triv

  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:45PM (#2469504) Homepage Journal
    This thing must get pretty warm after an hour of use. I've had a couple of laptop HD drives get pretty damn hot on me. I don't see any vents on this toy. For $400 I'de get cheesed off if it just decided to stop working.
  • the ways i sees it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rootofevil (188401) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:57PM (#2469559) Homepage Journal
    this thing is perfect for anyone who is getting a computer/mac for the first time. and is going to use it to play their mp3's.

    you get 5gb of storage. you can put ALL of your mp3's on that. most ppls collections dont get above that. and if they do...well there will be a bigger one by then. that way you get back the 5gb from your internal HD, and you can take all your music with you wherever you go. since its buspowered you dont ever have to do anything more than plug in ONE cable. all your file management can go on through iTunes, and playback on the desktop as well. this is ingenious.
  • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _Quinn (44979) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @08:51PM (#2469797)
    Stupid question time: how long will it be before I can plug this baby into my PS2? :)

    -_Quinn
  • by Erich (151) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @09:09PM (#2469854) Homepage Journal
    I like it. iTunes, for those that haven't used a Mac, is REALLY slick.
    I've used it. It's not insanely great.
    It is a great UI and makes things really easy and intuitive. My fiancee recently got an iBook, and she loves how easy it is to rip CDs into her machine and burn CDs. Rather than swapping applications, she does it all within iTunes.
    Uh, there are rip/(encode/decode)/burn scripts for UNIX... you see, when you have flexible tools it's trivial to make them work together.
    Us geeks, who always acknowledged that Macs had a great UI (but we called them idiot machines) miss out on some of the impressive stuff that Apple does.
    I will NEVER claim that the Macintosh is a "great UI". It is easy-to-learn. It is not easy-to-use for people used to a better interface (focus-follows-mouse? Multiple desktops? Remote display? Auto-select-to-clipboard? Give me my nice custom-configured X interface or give me death!)

    Sure, it's easy to learn the Mac. I did when I was 5. But I need to be more productive now, and the Mac interface makes it too hard.

    Speaking particularly of iTunes, how do I script it into apache? How do I use it from the command line? How do I run it on the machine hooked into my stereo from my desktop with the display that is in the other room? This is trivial and elegant in my UNIX environment.

    The Macintosh way is to organize things by things the users do, not the underlying file system. This is a HUGE paradigm shift from the Unix (everything is a file) paradigm, and from the Microsoft (everything is about something).
    The Macintosh way (much like the Windows way) is to have applications that do everything you want to do. All your word-processing needs in Word. All your web-browsing needs in Internet Explorer. All your audio needs in iTunes.

    The problem with this way is that in the end it is too restrictive. If all you have is internet explorer, what if you want to do an ``internet-explorer -dump http://go-gnome.com | sh'' Or maybe you want to use internet explorer to recursively download a site for mirroring or archival?

    Ahhh... you say... but with OS X or Cygwin I can use bash and lynx! True, true. But at the point you're using lynx and the bourne shell and scripts pulling together cdparanoia, lame, and cdrecord, you're not doing things the Mac or Windows way, you're doing things the UNIX way.

    I do computer architecture as my job. It would be impossible for us to use Mac or Windows machines. Some of the things would work -- the assembler would be fine to do in Windows (and there's one that works in Windows) and the simulator would work ... but there are times when we redirect the trace output of one simulator into another to verify things... piping *that* output into a scrpit that gathers statistics and such. You don't just open up the ``save trace as...'' dialog box when you are about to spit out a 100-gig trace file, you need the flexability of being able to stream it into another application. And you don't want to have to open dialog boxes for 80 different possible configurations and sit there and wait for them to run when you can script together doing all the configurations on all the test files spreading across several machines over the weekend.

    The UNIX way is about flexible tools. Tools that work well together. Tools that are elegant and flexable. Tools that work well regardless of where you are, where you're coming from, or where you're going. This provides power for the UNIX user that surpasses that which someone using GUI tools on Windows or a Mac can ever know.

    Sure, it takes longer to learn. Most of the best things do. The sharper the learning curve, the bigger the payoff. That's why most UNIX gurus use emacs or vi... they're not easy to learn, but they are powerful.

    A UNIX guru can't take working with inferior tools. She can't stand sitting there doing a repetative task when she should be scripting it. She understands that her job is to be the master, and the computer is the tool to do the repetative job.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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