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iPod Video Dissection 83

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the always-spare-parts-when-you-put-it-back-together dept.
alaswhatever writes "HowStuffWorks has gutted an iPod Video and taken pictures of everything.The article talks about exactly what's inside and explains how the touch-sensitive Click Wheel works." From the article: "Although the iPod is an Apple product, it works with both Mac and Windows machines. Since it's the top-selling media player in the United States, probably the big question is: What makes it different from any other digital media player?"
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iPod Video Dissection

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  • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Monday March 13, 2006 @01:53PM (#14909593)
    ...and the iPod doesn't give me a very quick way to access various songs on-the-fly.

    I have the exact opposite opinion. The iPod acceleration works quite well. It takes a second or two of frantic spinning to get it going, but once it does, I usually end up hitting the end of the list in no time.
  • by defy god (822637) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:09PM (#14909739)

    i'm confused... when you say de-geeked interface, i get images of "easier to use." isn't that a good thing? the world doesn't doesn't like compiling their own software, using a CLI, or tweaking every single option just to get a merginal speed boost. that's what i think of when i hear geek interface. that's what i see when i look at other MP3 players with "more features." yes, it's great that it can decode mpeg2, divx, ogg vorbis, and [insert latest codec here], but does it achieve its original purpose easily? people buy these MP3 players (it's become generic... MP3 player = digital music player, though MP3 is still the dominant format used) to play their MP3s. if it does it well, then great!

    and the iPod does indeed play MP3s well. no, i don't mean just sound quality, but on how people can actually play their music. people can easily browse and navigate their player to find the songs they want. they can easily create playlists with the provided software, iTunes. they can manage their giant music collections,again easily, and load them onto their iPod. from the clickwheel, to the iPod interface, to the syncing software, Apple has been very keen to look at the minute details on what it takes to actually play one's music.

    after that, everything else is secondary. now, Apple's made it easy to watch television shows and music videos on the iPod. i really do think that's the approach all these music player companies should take. first, make sure the very basic features are complate, then work on the added stuff. sure, as a geek i'd love more options and more codecs, but please, PLEASE, for the love of [deity], perfect your original function first before trying to add on other fluff.

  • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@@@pacbell...net> on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#14909819) Homepage
    You forgot one of the reasons for the iPod's rule:
    Perfect form factor.

    Prior to the iPod you had CD sized large capacity MP3 players, or iPod sized low capacity flash players. The iPod bridged that gap quite nicely by providing high density small size players.

    Now EVERYONE has a deck of cards sized MP3 player with touch pad and screen. Before the iPod it was a mess of buttons and UI elements.

    So the top three, in order of history:
    1) Perfect form factor
    2) De-geeked interface
    3) Marketing

    You can't after all, market crap. There has to be something marketable in the first place.
  • My Take (Score:2, Insightful)

    by polyp2000 (444682) on Monday March 13, 2006 @02:22PM (#14909876) Homepage Journal
    I have an iPod - I admit it, im a fashion victim.

    Actually there were some other reasons. Id bought cheaper mp3 players in the past , the build quality was terrible knackered after not very long. I decided that buying a cheap one was a false economy. I'd seen my brothers and the iPod seemed much better built and bigger capacity. The other reason was this click wheel thing everyone was raving about. Now i'll agree that it does to a certain extent make navigation easier - but the click-wheel could be so much better with the right software to drive it.

    I think that the Click wheel needs to be able to do more stuff. I have many thousands of tunes, albums and artists on my iPod. To be quite frank sometimes i have to go round on the click wheel hundreds of times before i can find the tune i am looking for. In my opinion that is not the best interface in the world.

    One thing i would change about the iPod is to get rid of the annoying dependancy on iTunes. Why in hell can't i just drag and drop a file onto the thing ala mass-storage device? and vice-versa?

    The other thing is that id really like the iPod to have the ability to look for tunes beginning with a specific letter. It would be nice for example if i could click a button and it paged down to the next letter of the alphabet (simple things like this would make the user experience so much nicer). I also think there should be a better, more interactive way of creating play-lists on the move.

    Just because the iPod has this cool thing called a "Click Wheel" , it doesnt neccesarily mean that the "Click Wheel" is a good thing no matter how geeky it is. I'd buy a different mp3 player at the drop of the hat if it could sift through my vast collection of music quicker than my iPod can.

    Nick...
  • by Thrudheim (910314) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:14PM (#14910299)
    Critics of the iPod consistently cite marketing as the number one reason for its success. Granted, Apple is very good at marketing, and iPod ads are all over the place, but if it is mostly marketing then why can't anyone else hire equally good ad agencies and grab a big chunk of market share?

    The most important factor is that no one else has the whole system (player, software, music store) working as seamlessly as Apple does. Apple has also been aggressive at bringing integration of things like podcasts and, now, video. It works well, and that leads to satified customers, who then become effective marketers for the device. So, yes, people see iPod ads, but endorsements from friends are far more influential.

    I remember two years ago reading commentary by some "technology analyst" who argued that Apple's share of the mp3 player market would soon be about the same percentage as its share of the computer market. Wish I could still find the article; it would be fun to see again. Instead, Apple has only increased its market share since then. There have been plenty of opportunities for competitors to use marketing, and larger distribution channels, to stop this from happening. It is not Apple's marketing, for instance, that made Sony completely inept at producing a competitive product. Likewise, Dell did not turn its prowess at low-margin mass-production into making an mp3 powerhouse. Walmart did not, as some predicted, turn its music download store into a dominant player. There is more to all this than marketing.

    How many iPod killers have we seen? None of them know how to run an advertising campaign?
  • by xouumalperxe (815707) on Monday March 13, 2006 @03:21PM (#14910360)
    Considering the marketing effort Apple puts into most its products, I'd say the reasons Apple is dominating the mp3 player market are: interface, interface, aesthetics (including size), interface, the fact that it's entering a new market (as opposed to its computer section) and interface*

    * Yeah and a bit of marketing

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