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Microsoft Portable Media Center Reviewed 177

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the movies-movies-everywhere dept.
dhopton writes "The first public review of the PMC that I've seen is interesting. It's critical in places, but also praises. It also covers Windows Media Player 10 to some extent. Overall, I'm looking forward to reviews of the non-Creative devices."
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Microsoft Portable Media Center Reviewed

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  • Just Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by intekra (754612) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:19PM (#10084279) Homepage
    More goodies to spend my unemployment check on!
  • DRM? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by russint (793669) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:20PM (#10084285) Homepage
    DRM-Enabled media players? No thanks.
    • Re:DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by FlipmodePlaya (719010) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25PM (#10084329) Journal
      "I'm Corey Gouker (obviously); I'm a Media Center MVP who hangs out in the Microsoft newsgroups for everything Digital Media and Media Center related."

      Also worth noting that the review was posted by someone likely to exhibit bias. I did not RT whole FA (did you see how long that thing was?!), so it may be completely impartial, just something to keep in mind...
      • Not only that, but his apparent obsession with details of Microsoft internals was a little spooky:

        So recently out of the blue I got an email from my MVP Lead, Andrew, if I wanted a PMC to play with for a bit. I was like, what in the world, why me, why now? Especially since the PMC is not an eHome product like Media Center is. It's a Windows Mobile device that's really under the Digital Media Division at Microsoft. So except for the fact that it's called a Portable "Media Center" and that it's got a very s
    • Re:DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by e9th (652576) <e9th@tupodex.cPOLLOCKom minus painter> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:29PM (#10084357)
      Yeah. Gouker even seems to feel that licensing, rather than owning, music is the way to go. Maybe it is if all you listen to is here today, gone tomorrow top-40 crud that you'll be bored with in a month.
    • Re:DRM? (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by SilentChris (452960)
      Yeah, you know, they'll never take off. I mean, that white one, the iPod, with the support for AAC files with DRM crust -- who's buying those?

      Oh, you say, "But these will *only* play DRM files". Au contraire. From what I'm reading, they'll play standard MPEG2s. A few hacks and we'll see DivX on these things.
      • Maybe people who realize it can also play non-DRMed MP3's, other formats? But apparently not anti-Pod trolls like yourself.
        • Anti-iPod troll? I OWN 2 (an older 3rd-generation and a mini). They're great devices. My point is to cast down a product just because it *supports* DRM is foolish.
      • And, I think it'll be easy. I didn't RTWFA (not enough time, and it WAS a Microsoftie's review), but I was under the impression that it was essentially Windows CE Portable Media Center Edition (as opposed to Windows CE Phone Edition, Windows CE Pocket PC (also available in a Phone Edition of it's own), Windows CE Handheld PC, Windows CE Car PC (not very common at all), and of course, Windows CE). A 400MHz XScale? That screams WinCE-box-with-an-HDD-strapped-to-it.
    • by 1984 (56406)
      Beg to differ (a little):

      DRM-Enabled only players? No thanks.

      I've found the iPod to be a nice mix. I can buy stuff conveniently through iTunes, I can load stuff that isn't on the Music Store. Of course bleep.com is better, but having both is a good enough compromise for some of us.

    • Re:DRM? (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think DRM is great because it prevents people from listening to music that sounds like shit anyway.
    • I'll happily give you twenty bucks for your iPod, then ;-).
  • by joeldixon66 (808412) * <joel@jMOSCOWd53.com minus city> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:23PM (#10084312) Homepage
    From TFA: And please, I don't mean to get you worried at this point, I don't find them attractive in a sexual way or anything like that, I'm much more drawn to a nice 5'8" red head than anything made of silicon, LOL, err, no pun intended.

    If only there was a way to combine the red head with the silicon. *ponders*
  • Homestar... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hypermike (680396) <hypermike AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25PM (#10084322)
    I'm Corey Gouker (obviously); I'm a Media Center MVP who hangs out in the Microsoft newsgroups...
    I'm pretty much an average geek...

    As Homestar would say: More like NOT AVERAGE GEEK!

    • Re:Homestar... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PoprocksCk (756380)
      Pfft, yeah... and you know what else? He said he was writing his article using Word. He calls himself an average nerd?
      • Re:Homestar... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by crtfdgk (807485)
        well of course he was using word...the whole thing is really an advertisment by microsoft...check back at this "blog" in a few weeks and see if its actually a blog. it smells entirely like a microsoft job to me..
    • Re:Homestar... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dasmegabyte (267018)
      Actually, it seems he's pretty much an average liar [auroravisions.com]. This site is the resume of a man who works for Microsoft named Corey Gouker, whose skills in rhetoric are identical to those of this one-entry blog.

      Smells to me like fishy soup.
      • You don't understand. He doesn't work for Microsoft - well not by the common meaning of the term that he gets paid for it. He does all this beta testing and advocating of Microsoft for no money whatsoever. He's most certainly expecting to get a job at Microsoft from his trouble when he finishes uni, but he isn't working there yet.

        Either way though, his pro-Microsoft bias is the same. In the light of that, I'm actually surprised that he did have some negative comments to say about the PMC - though of co

  • by tao_of_biology (666898) * <tao.of.biology@g ... minus physicist> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25PM (#10084323)
    Hey, since it's getting slashdotted already. ;)

    He has a link to mirrors of his photos and videos of the device (which I'm mainly interested in anyway). They are:

    WMV: External Overview of Creative Zen PMC (temporarily down) Mirror 1 [coreygouker.com] Mirror 2 [coreygouker.com]
    WMV: Demo of Portable Media Center UI (temporarily down) Mirror 1 [coreygouker.com] Mirror 2 [coreygouker.com]
    Gallery of Images from Creative Zen PMC [coreygouker.com] Mirror 1 [coreygouker.com] Mirror 2 [coreygouker.com]

  • My favorite quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PunkPig (738544) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25PM (#10084325)
    "...so I had high hopes that they might be a breakthrough device that would fit my needs perfectly. Something that would really do damage to Apple's iPod."

    This guy has a real hate on for Apple doesn't he?

    • Re:My favorite quote (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My thoughts exactly. He'd probably be more than happy to see Apple go out of business and have all consumers stuck with nothing but MS for their portable audio needs. That is the MS mentality though. Also you just know he could afford an Ipod but would never buy it soley because its made by Apple. Sad really.
      • I wouldn't buy this Windows media player crap but I wouldn't buy an ipod either. Apple is not the cool hip post-hippie company that people make them out to be. Apple has a long history of bringing lawsuits against people for stupid reasons just like every other big company does.

        I can understand many geeks alliegence to free software, Linux, etc. But I could never understand why so many geeks have such an allegience to Apple. If you think their products are cool then that is one thing but the company itsel
    • Re:My favorite quote (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jest3r (458429) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:23PM (#10084688)
      Why even bother comparing a portable video player to the iPod? Oranges and Apples really.

      In reality there is nothing special about the PMC OS. The Creative Zen PMC Player [creative.com] looks like a cheap version of the upcoming Sony PSP [playstationportable.com].

      Either way you can't really call the Creative player portable ... its as thick as a brick.
  • It's a blog! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Philippe (3665) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:25PM (#10084330) Homepage
    It's long-winded, reminescent of Jerry Pournelle's columns in Byte. It takes forever to get to the point. It's from a guy who (apparently) has a 204 MB music collection!

    And we should pay attention to him why?

    P.S. that thing looks huge. It has a GUI, for cryin' out loud!
    • Re:It's a blog! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) * on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:33PM (#10084382) Homepage
      It takes forever to get to the point.

      He doesn't ever actually make any points other than showing off at his DVD, music, TV, and movie collections. Honestly I don't give a flying rats ass WHY you were chosen to test something and I certainly don't care about how much music you have...

      He said that the UI is fast while loading the songs he put on the device. How long did it take to put those songs on the device? Did you have to load a special driver for it (possible DRM) or did it just use USB mass storage that is standard with more recent Windows versions?

      He did mention that the external sound sucks and that the display isn't any good in the daylight. Sounds like a bummer to me. I am not exactly going to be sitting at home watching movies on my portable media player.

      I am more concerned with battery life and heat from the 400mhz XScale CPU.

      I guess he didn't spend enough time explaining that afterall he did have to type out 204GB several times and count all his tracks in his music collection (44,190).
      • Re:It's a blog! (Score:3, Informative)

        by mrklin (608689)
        "I am more concerned with battery life and heat from the 400mhz XScale CPU."

        Many PDAs, like the Dell Axim, use the 400mhz XScale CPU. It gets warm but never hot. More details can be found at Intel [intel.com].

        I am surprised they did not go with the 624Mhz XScale.

      • Re:It's a blog! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by IronChef (164482) on Friday August 27, 2004 @02:58AM (#10085915) Homepage
        I guess he didn't spend enough time explaining that afterall he did have to type out 204GB several times and count all his tracks in his music collection (44,190).

        Whoa. I couldn't even get that far. I was skimming but I had to stop because I kept wanting to swallow my tongue and end it. Let's hear it for the weblog revolution!

        44,190 music tracks? That is an awful lot of music to own legally. I am impressed.

        Assuming that half that is legal freeware/PD music (like the stuff you used to be able to get from MP3.com, or stuff from your buddy's band), that still leaves a lot of music to buy. Or license. Whatever it is these days, I can't keep up.

        Let's just say 21,000 non-freely-distributable music tracks... and a generous average of 15 tracks per album... That's about 1500 CDs to buy, and at a conservative cost of US$12 each we are talking about $18,000 in music.

        I like music a lot, but not $18,000 worth.

        I am more concerned with battery life and heat from the 400mhz XScale CPU.

        This is the same CPU as in a Pocket PC. Heat isn't really a problem, that 400MHz isn't doing as much work (or making as much toast) as you would think. You can get a few solid hours out of a Pocket PC with a teensy battery, so if these things are bigger than a Pocket PC I would expect batterly life to be decent.
    • that thing looks huge. It has a GUI, for cryin' out loud!
      It looks to me like it was designed by the same guy responsible for the Xbox, and more importantly, the original big chunky controller.
    • 204GB of music. Wonder if the RIAA reads slashdot.
  • What the hell? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Site is already slashdotted but why are we supposed to read a review on a blog on coreygouker.com? Is there not some more reliable site we could get a review from? Maybe a little background on who this Corey guy is would be nice?
  • Slashdotted Already (Score:2, Informative)

    by bburton (778244)

    Creative Zen Portable Media Center Review, Part 1...
    I guess first things first A brief introduction Some of the people reading this will be friends of mine who have been eagerly waiting (impatiently) for some time in fact. If you&#146;re one of them, then too bad, you&#146;ll have to wait a bit more.

    I&#146;m Corey Gouker (obviously); I&#146;m a Media Center MVP who hangs out in the Microsoft newsgroups for everything Digital Media and Media Center related. I&#146;m 20 years old and sta

    • by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:53PM (#10084832) Homepage Journal
      Wow. This guy is a dork. If he's the market for the PMC, Apple has nothing to worry about -- nothing these guys think is cool EVER becomes popular.

      I mean, shit, remember the Archos? I had to listen to assholes tell me how great that ten pound, boat sized piece of shit was for three years. Then when I bought my svelte little 30 gig, I had to listen to them scoff about how it does nothing new and had a small screen and terrible battery life and no microphone or radio or ogg features.

      Man, STFU. Nobody cares who made your webcam or what make and model your 7.1 speaker system is or how many MP3s you pirated from eJackass. Just tell us: was the thing convenient, did it have good response from the controls, was it easy to get your shit on and off it, was it comfortable to hold, did it feel durable, and is it worth $300 over the cost of a comparable iPod?
  • Philistine! (Score:5, Funny)

    by spellraiser (764337) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:30PM (#10084362) Journal
    Overall, I'm looking forward to reviews of the non-Creative devices.

    I'm not. As a patron of the arts, I find this statement unexplicable. Creativity is what separates us from the lower animals! It is the foundation of civilization!

    Go and play with your non-Creative devices, plebeian. Some people were just not born to appreciate the finer things in life. Run along now, you're cramping my contemptuos sneer.

  • by gargonia (798684) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:31PM (#10084368)
    If it's a Microsoft product I'm pretty sure you can count on it being non-creative.
    • Whoa dude. I'm all in for a little Microsoft bashing, but this thing's style and interface seem to be hella creative. In fact, all of my Microsoft branded HIDs are comfortable, durable and responsive with an understated look. I'm selling a pair of MS Gamepads on ebay right now that lasted me for 6 years and still run fantastic -- only reason I'm selling them is they were made before USB and therefore don't work with my Mac. These things were comfortable to play with for hours, had a great daisy-chain in
  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:32PM (#10084372)
    It's a Media Center, perhaps, but it looks about as portable as a Mac Portable. Can I carry it with me? Sure. Do I _want_ to carry it with me? Absolutely not.
    • Mac Portable (Score:3, Informative)

      by green pizza (159161)
      Mac Portable

      For those not in the know, the Mac Portable was Apple's first portable Mac. It had about 8 hours of battery life, a full size real keyboard, a full size trackball, a 3.5" hard drive with desktop performance, and a whole slew of I/O ports on the back--but it weighed almost 20 lbs!!!

      http://lowendmac.com/pb/portable.shtml [lowendmac.com]

      (This was a few years before the Sony-designed/built Apple PowerBook 100 and Apple-designed/built PowerBooks 140 and 170)
  • by SilentChris (452960) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:32PM (#10084376) Homepage
    Ignoring it's Microsoft, and ignoring that there will probably be a million posts about iPod in a few seconds, I think this is going to be very interesting to watch for an entertainment and psychological standpoint (outside tech).

    Will people actually carry one of these around for their commutes? How much of an increase will we see in TV viewing? Will it contribute to the growing social isolation I'm beginning to see (a world full of people wearing headphones)?

    I'd give it a few revisions and then consider buying one.
    • Given that my Zaurus and iirc both Palm and PocketPC will play video, I don't see the hubbub, bub.

      I suspect that PDAs will eventually get a full miniature hard-drive attachment, and you'll put your music/video on that. PDAs will continue to pick this sort of thing up is my prediction, and these media-only devices will fall by the wayside.
    • Will people actually carry one of these around for their commutes? How much of an increase will we see in TV viewing? Will it contribute to the growing social isolation I'm beginning to see (a world full of people wearing headphones)?

      Are people socially isolated if they read the paper or a book, or just stare blankly ahead a fixed point in space.

      Isn't the real problem that other people are less interesting than music or reading and that it is socially unacceptable (generally speaking) to communicate with

      • That's not really the same; someone is much more isolated when they're listening to music than when reading something. I wouldn't try to start a conversation with someone listening to music on the train, but if it's just the newspaper the person is still accessible.
    • I don't think headphones create too much social isolation. Before the walkman, a lot of people used to just stand stock still not looking at people because they didn't want to talk. Now, they don't have to worry about it and are much more at ease in public. Shit, the iPod's conquered my agoraphobia in malls completely. I dial up some Slayer and walk as fast as I fucking well want, not getting pissed off at people or wondering if they're looking at me funny. Call that isolation if you must -- I call it
  • by topham (32406) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:34PM (#10084385) Homepage


    Maybe it's just me being paranoid, but, this looks like a setup.

    I mean, poor english, no train of thought and a site with a single blog topic.

    Sounds like Microsoft advertising department to me. (trying desperately to not be an ad).
    • by dasmegabyte (267018) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:07PM (#10084928) Homepage Journal
      You may be on to something. Check this out [auroravisions.com]. If this is as it seems, Corey's not a 20 year old student...he's been working with Microsoft for 8 years.

      Fucking insidious.
      • by segfault7375 (135849) on Friday August 27, 2004 @12:15AM (#10085271)
        From the Academic Overview of his site:

        With the completion of the 8th grade in July 1997 I was taken out of the public school system in favor of private tutelage by my grandfather, a college professor in English and Comparative Literature, at the California State University of Fullerton, for over 40 years. My family and I agreed that the offerings of the local small town high school were limited, and would interfere with my growing professional responsibilities.

        This guy is a smug little prick, isn't he?

        Seriously, he is an overachiver if half of what he claims in the Academic section is true.

        ~Segfault
        • This guy is a smug little prick, isn't he?

          no more and no less than what I would expect from a nerdy kid who has been out of school and financially independent since age fourteen or thereabouts.

    • by huchida (764848) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:24PM (#10085029)
      I believe it's a setup too. Google "Corey Gouker"... Wade through some of the results, interesting what you'll find.

      This is either the biggest-- and most clueless-- Microsoft fanboy in existence, or Microsoft's ad department is creating a fake blogger (actually, blog community) to give their products some "street cred."
    • Thing is, if it IS stealth marketing.. it's not very good. I mean, having read most of TFA, the thing actually sounds pretty crap to me:

      Screen quality is poor and hard to see in light
      External mono speaker sucks horribly
      DRM'd up to it's eyeballs
      Doesn't register as a standard USB storage device in windows
      Files on the device are read-only, and have to be copied to a PC for editing in any way
      Too big to be properly portable
      And.. this may just be me.. but who the hell WANTS to watch movies on a 4" screen? at lea
  • by FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) <(fuzzybad) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:42PM (#10084445)

    This does sound like a neat toy, though it's portability would certainly be limited. The ability to load up video files and play them on any TV certainly is an attractive prospect -- but I would only be interested if it can play back non-DRM encumbered Divx/Xvid files.

    Back to the portability issue, this thing looks huge, and would only fit in the largest of pockets. I recently picked up a Rio Karma, and really can't imagine walking around freely with anything much larger than that. Also, I wonder how long this thing can run on battery power. With that huge color screen, I would think not long. (though maybe the screen can be turned off)

  • I plan on waiting at least a few months after the holiday season to see what kind of competion is available next year. I have to imagine these devices will really catch on, and if I decide to get one, they will likely be a bit cheaper once their is lots of competition.

    Also, things like quality of product will be at least partially available for review within a few months. Who wants to get one right away only to find out that 1/2 of all of them die or something?

    Personally, I am just trying to get my iPod
  • Mind numbing review (Score:5, Interesting)

    by IamGarageGuy 2 (687655) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:50PM (#10084495) Journal
    That has got to be the most long, drawn out review for a product I have ever seen. How about not writing it like a book that involves your mothers TV viewing habits, and your walk to the store.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:51PM (#10084499)
    FTA:
    "But really one of the main things in WMP10 is Janus [DRM technology]."

    <sarcasm>Remember, kids, it's a feature, not a bug!!</sarcasm>
  • I guess you've been asleep while Apple have been DOMINATING the personal audio market?!

    -psy
  • What about Archos? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cj171 (687355) <cj1171@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @09:56PM (#10084536) Journal
    Archos has had these kinds of portable media players out for at least a year now..with no drm, and recording from video sources to mpeg4 or divx I believe. Definitely something fishy in that blog
    • by mrchaotica (681592)
      Just "something fishy"? It seems obvious to me that he's nothing more than a Microsoft shill, and probably a complete liar. For example, he claims to be 20 years old, yet has hundreds of gigs each of movies, music, and pictures. I find it highly unlikely that he's had the time, let alone the money, to amass that much stuff. Also, considering this post [slashdot.org] he might be lying about his age. And, he even talks as if he's a Microsoft employee.
  • I mean, come on! It's full of Microsoft goodness! Just look at the fun you can have trying to turn it on!
    I unplug it and try turning it on, it doesn't come on, I take the battery out and pop it back in, still nothing. Keep the battery out and plug it in, still nothing, then I pull the power out slowly and with the plug in half way the screen goes white. I was baffled. I thought the device might be dead. After letting it charge again for another hour or so I tried again, still nothing. I tried some tricks to get it to turn on that sometimes work with electronics and such. Like holding the power button in and popping the battery in and plugging it in, trying the reset button, holding the Start (aka green) button and pressing power, everything I could come up with. Finally, somehow the device turned on.

    Yeah, I'm going to break my iPod into teeny little pieces and use the polycarbonate shards to open my veins before I buy one of these POSes.
    • You forgot to mention this part...

      Getting back on track now, I ended up adding about 14GB of actual content to the Sync List. That includes pictures, TV, video and music. I hit sync and minimized WMP10,

      a couple hours later it had converted everything and copied it to the device.

      So not only does it take ages to copy stuff over, but it actually has to convert it too. If you want to use this thing, you can't just grab it and go like any portable device. You have to plan way ahead of time.

      • Rrriggghhhttt...because copying 14gb of content over a USB connection should only take a few minutes ...
        • copying 14gb of content over a USB connection should only take a few minutes

          USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) is supposed to be comparable to FireWire 400 at full data transfer speeds, and it only takes minutes to fill up that much content on an iPod through FireWire 400. Actually, USB 2.0 can work at 480 Megabits per second while FireWire 400 works at 400 Megabits per second, although FireWire performs [digit-life.com] slightly better than USB 2.0 for some reason.

          Whatever the reason is that this thing takes hours to complete, it is

  • multimedia? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hdd (772289) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:04PM (#10084581)
    all i saw in the gallery is nothing more than some wma/mp3 palyback screenshots. Where are the tv play back, wasn't that suppose to be the key feature of this device? or perhaps at least some divx/xvid riped movie? Pocketpc with intergated svga resolution and powerful 624 intel processor(powerful enough to play dvd riped move at full speed with no frame lost, confirmed on axim x30 high) will be out before holiday, as far as i am concerned, that will be my mobile media center, after all there are a lot more you can do with a pocketpc-GPS navigaion, for instance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:09PM (#10084605)
    "Besides that, I'm just an average guy with an anything but average collection of digital media. Some stats I compiled about a month ago are pretty out there. I was sitting on a 204GB collection of music. That's approximately 44,190 tracks for the curious."

    So that's about $80,000 of CDs (which of course he purchased legally, right?)...all college students should follow his example.

  • I was in Silicon Valley last month when Microsoft debuted these at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Technology. Honestly, I loved the things.

    There are three models and all of them are excellent. All of them feature TV-out as well which was truly awesome.

    The software was excellent, the GUI was pretty intuitive, and the formats it supports are entirely up to the manufacturer outside of WMV and WMA. They can support whatever they want, be it OGG, AAC, whatever.
    • To reply to myself, I notice there's not a lot of mention of the iRiver and the Samsung devices.
      The iRiver PMC was awesome and the Samsung is a flitop style device that fits in the palm of your hand and still makes video look good.

      The battery life is supposedly pretty good, but I didn't get to spend hours with it.
  • by H_Fisher (808597) <hvfisher@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:12PM (#10084630)
    I'm not sure who's supposed to be the target market for this player, or others like it.

    Techno-saavy users who want to watch / listen to media on the go? I may be in the minority, but a main reason I have a laptop is so I can play my movies and music on the go. (Oh, there's that whole job thing too...)

    Mr. & Ms. Adult Consumer? They don't know what "Creative" is unless they also fit into the computer geek category. They're going to spend their money on the portable DVD player for home and car at Wal-Mart or Best Buy.

    Mr. & Ms. Consumer's kids? They're going to go with what all the "cool kids" have, and around here that'd be an iPod.

    I think only the techno-saavy are going to go for this, and look how many of them won't buy these things because of DRM or Apple loyalty or because they already own 3 other devices that'll do the same things and possibly do them better. I just don't understand how the companies expect to crack this market.

  • cat got my tongue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by atari2600 (545988) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:13PM (#10084633)
    Any article that has "LOL" in it is not worth reading.

    Your friendly neighbourhood troll.
  • wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That's a pretty small, lightweight, and easy-to-carry device.

    Sincerely,

    The '80s Cell Phone
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday August 26, 2004 @10:28PM (#10084707) Homepage Journal
    more disappointing then this article is the fact that it has not been slashdotted.

    BTW: if nobody on /. reads the articles, how are these sites getting slashdotted?
  • by p0 (740290)
    Yeah it looks nice, but does it run linux?
  • A Slashdot thread bashing Microsoft and Creative Labs. What next dogs sleeping dogs, water falling from the sky, gravity pulling things towards the earth? Yes, we all know Apple is the king of cool and never makes any shitty hardware... that Newton thing worked out real well.
  • by Sinner (3398) on Thursday August 26, 2004 @11:36PM (#10085087)
    Corey Gouker is a 20 year-old geek who likes 5'8" redheads. He sits on 204 GB of music. He has one media device. His hobbies including hanging out in Microsoft newsgroups.

    He is reviewing Microsoft's "iPod killer". It is gonna be like iTunes, except instead of buying music, you rent it. We all know this is a foolproof business model. It is loaded up to the gills with more of that tasty DRM that everyone loves.

    The first thing he did was plug it in to the mains. Then he tried to take it apart. I think we have a potential Darwin Award nominee, folks. Then he had trouble turning it on.

    The device has a 400MHz XScale CPU and 64Mb of RAM. It can play videos on its 320x240 screen. It performs well, apart from the artifacts and frame drops.

    The device has cables coming out of every side but one. The good news is, you can add blue LEDs and make it really sexy.

    Battery life is 22 hours for audio and 7 hours for video. The device weighs as much as a can of coke.

    If you scroll to the bottom, you can download a 23Mb video. I'm too bored to watch it, maybe someone else can post a summary of that.
    • Don't bother downloading the video, it's a five minute fanfare with Corey's head floating in the middle of the screen whilst intense orchestral music plays.

      Words like "Microsoft beta tester!" and "Smug Microsoft schill!" float past his head whilst women in the backround swoon as they see his manly fingers caress the smooth, polished surface of the iPod killer whilst Windows XP icons zoom around his chiselled features. Corey's disembodies head then goes on a rampage, takes a bite out of a giant apple, and s
    • Mussstttt...destroy...mental...image.

      Argh!

      I read "iPod Killer" as "iPod Puller"...

      Excuse me. I must go scrub my brain.
  • by Fussen (753791)
    with all these bells and whistles and Janis DRM glistening in the sun, did they installan ALARM CLOCK? Or is that just too passé?



    /.BANG
  • by jlouderb (460024) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:20AM (#10085605) Homepage
    I'm pretty down on the PMC. I put my reasons together here on ExtremeTech [extremetech.com]. It's not a review, but I've had hands-on time with all of them (real reviewers are forbidden to post a review until the Non-Disclosure expires sometime in the near future).

    Then, after being raked over the coals by Microsoft apologists, I revised my opinions. The PMC is actually a brilliant trojan horse that'll let Microsoft take over the porn industry! [extremetech.com]

    jim
  • by Anonymous Writer (746272) on Friday August 27, 2004 @01:28AM (#10085626)

    ... as Tablet PC's. iPod killer, my ass. This thing is too big. If portable TV's [google.com] were popular, people would be carrying them everywhere, but they're not. There are portable DVD players [google.com] out there, but I've never actually seen anyone running around with one either. Microsoft just thought "hey, let's make it better than the iPod by adding video." Unfortunately, that was the wrong idea.

    If they had any brains, they would simply add HD capacities to their existing Pocket PC PDA's so they could store a lot of media. Something this size would only catch on if it were a portable XBox, combining the Media Center features with it. In fact, if they combined the XBox and a Windows Media Center set-top box, and let this thing be a portable extension, then maybe this would work. Then again, why bother with that kind of a setup if this device [oqo.com] is already on the market?

  • Gotcha... (Score:4, Funny)

    by ayjay29 (144994) on Friday August 27, 2004 @04:46AM (#10086267)
    >>I was sitting on a 204GB collection of music. That's approximately 44,190 tracks for the curious. My main Media Center Edition PC has a 250GB HDD which at any given time has about 200GB of recorded TV. Then there's about 500 or so DVDs as well.

    This is the RIAA.

    You are surounded.

    Come out with your hands up.

  • Cheaper open way to go is to just burn MPG files to a DVD-RW disc and watch up to 8 hours worth on a portable DVD player. Most of the players out there can play MPG, JPG, and MP3s. I just bought one with a 7-inch screen for $299 that can also double as a video screen for a camcorder (VIVO). Now they just need to add DivX/XviD and OGG support.
  • by Kn0xy (792482)
    Is this a review of this guy's qualifications and choice in schools, or does he get on with the review after 3 paragraphs?
  • by callipygian-showsyst (631222) on Friday August 27, 2004 @08:11AM (#10086882) Homepage
    For those who don't want to read the whole thing.

    Hi! My name is Corey! I love myself. I'm a big geek and take lots of photos and have a big movie collection. And I like girls! I spend all my time on the Internet chatting about stuff

    I spend lots of money on electronic things. And because I'm so important and special I got a Portable Media Center! It's way cool! It's not an iPod! It's something different

    I have such a large movie collection, I'll wear once of these out a week! I have lots of on-line friends who love to read my blog. I live in my parents basement

    Even though I just said I'm an ultra high-tech geek, I serve this web site on a slow DSL connection from my l33t Linux box. Please use a mirror!

    • Come on, you really think this kind of Microsoft fanboy is going to run Linux?

      $ lynx -head -dump http://blogs.coreygouker.com/
      HTTP/1.1 200 OK
      Connection: close
      Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 23:03:44 GMT
      Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
      MicrosoftOfficeWebServer: 5.0_Pub
      X-Powered-By: ASP.NET

      What the hell is Microsoft Office Web Server? Surprisingly, he is on a Speakeasy DSL line, not MSN or something.

  • More like a 'first impressions' or a 'steaming pile of subjective blabber.' He drones on and on rarely talking about the actual device. He fails to compare to other 'PMC's like the Lyra or Archos. No mention of Divx, mp4, ogg, And the whole time he sounds like he's plugging DRM, monthly subscription licensing, and WMP of all things. Either he is truely a cool-aide drinkin' fanboy or he's getting a paycheck.

    As for being a geek, he didn't try to take it apart because he didn't have a small enough screw
  • From the article:

    I get back in after an hour or so and check the PMC. I unplug it and try turning it on, it doesn't come on, I take the battery out and pop it back in, still nothing. Keep the battery out and plug it in, still nothing, then I pull the power out slowly and with the plug in half way the screen goes white. I was baffled. I thought the device might be dead. After letting it charge again for another hour or so I tried again, still nothing. I tried some tricks to get it to turn on that sometimes

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