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SanDisk Baits Apple And Woos Rockbox 374

Posted by Zonk
from the i-like-apes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET reports that SanDisk is courting open source developers to port Rockbox to its popular MP3 players. SanDisk is currently the world's second most popular MP3 player manufacturer after Apple. Rockbox is an open source OS for most major MP3 players. The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps' and uses a 'street graffiti style' to create the illusion of a 'counter-culture uprising against the iPod'. The writer says, 'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod. To do so is to fight Apple on their own terms.'"
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SanDisk Baits Apple And Woos Rockbox

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  • Clever Campaign. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) * <whineymacfanboy@gmail.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:21PM (#15456836) Homepage Journal
    Apple got it's dominant position largely through a clever (and cool, and the early) advertising campaign. They're firmly fixed as the 'cool' mp3 player to get.

    Everyone else who's tried to take on Apple has (as the article notes) has tried to differentiate themselves through technological features (doesn't work 'cause most people don't understand) or price (doesn't work 'cause people don't want a "cheap and nasty" music player). Differentiating by making iPod users seem like sheep [idont.com] is a pretty effective idea.... perhaps! (I am sure the inevitable replies will correct me).

    The rockbox news is far more interesting - vendor supported rockbox would be a cool thing to have (wish Rockbox worked on my 3g iPod - soon I will have ogg goodness). But (according to the article), its just a rumour, not a confirmed fact) - the submitter should perhaps have linked to another article?

    (Oh, and this [idont.com] was my favorite poster - allthough I think the "shackled" image is more appropriate for an iTunes Music Store mp4 than an ipod itself)
    • by Distinguished Hero (618385) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:28PM (#15456912) Homepage
      Differentiating by making iPod users seem like sheep [idont.com] is a pretty effective idea.... perhaps!
      The funny thing is that anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.
    • by ePhil_One (634771) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:28PM (#15456914) Journal
      Apple got it's dominant position largely through a clever (and cool, and the early) advertising campaign.

      Apple got its dominate position by creating a effective and user freindly UI to a useful and stylish bit of hardware. If the underlying UI & Hardware weren't up to the task, the ipod would have fallen flat when the first generation of users didn't like them. I owned a pre-ipod player, it had a painful UI, so despite its slick hardware, I hardly ever used it and bad mouthed it to freinds.

      • Apple got its dominate position by creating a effective and user freindly UI to a useful and stylish bit of hardware.

        bingo.
      • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:17PM (#15457437) Journal
        I remember skipping the first 2 generations of iPods as completely irrelevant. (I already had a nice in-car MP3 playing stereo system, as well as a nice MP3 music collection on my shared LAN at home. I couldn't really grasp why I'd want to spend hundreds on the ability to take yet another copy of those same files around with me in my pocket - especially since most of my music listening happened at home or in the car.)

        Then, a friend of mine actually invited me to play around with his new 3rd. gen. iPod, hands-on. I was immediately fascinated. The scroll wheel made it so easy to navigate the menus, and everything was on an easy-to-read display screen. It even had some basic PDA type functionality (contacts and calendar synching), making it more justifiable to carry around than I anticipated. Then I realized one could even boot a Mac from one of these things and use it for emergency recovery in case of a drive crash. A quick look at the available accessories for it made me realize another key point; the iPod was the industry standard! Anything you could imagine wanting to add on to a portable player was available in an iPod friendly version. They even had clock radios with iPod docks on top of them.

        Then it struck me. If you can't find some use for an iPod, you're just not trying hard enough. That's the beauty in these things. Photographers can take one around as a mass storage "vault" for their digital photos, instead of juggling a handful of memory sticks or cards. In the current form, you can watch podcasts with training videos for software products like Photoshop, or just the latest comedy skit while you're on the bus or train. It can totally replace music CDs (or even CDRs full of MP3 files) in your car. Take it camping with external speakers... 21st. Century Boom-Box! Battery life is excellent and they "just work", as Apple always promises of their products.
    • I don't know. If I'm an iPod user (and I am, but I'm speaking hypothetically here), I'm not sure that I'm going to want to switch to a competitor because they insulted me for using an iPod.

      And SanDisk is insulting every single member of the market that it is trying to gain. Historically, that sort of approach doesn't tend to work very well. [amazon.com]
    • by timster (32400) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:09PM (#15457359)
      Apple got it's dominant position largely through a clever (and cool, and the early) advertising campaign.

      Apple got its position by having the foresight to think of their product as a "premium" device. They put in lots of storage capacity, made the thing as small as possible, made more than half the case out of metal, and designed an interface very carefully. When that was done that had a player that was much more expensive than the competing players but much more useful, and the market responded.

      Consider that the supposed "iPod killers" today still often have plastic-only cases, are often twice the volume, and usually have a confusing interface (see the Zen Vision:M).

      tried to differentiate themselves through technological features (doesn't work 'cause most people don't understand)

      Nonsense; people know quite well what an FM tuner and a stopwatch and a voice recorder are. They just don't care, or not in large numbers (and various add-ons exist for the iPod anyway). I told my dad that other players included a built-in radio, and he told me that the reason he wanted an iPod was that radio now sucks.
    • Re:Clever Campaign. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ptur (866963)
      The contact between SanDisk and Rockbox is real, not a rumour.
    • Everyone else who's tried to take on Apple ... has tried to differentiate themselves through technological features ... or price. Differentiating by making iPod users seem like sheep [idont.com] is a pretty effective idea.... perhaps! (I am sure the inevitable replies will correct me).

      Well, people keep saying things like that, but I don't buy the argument.

      Quite frankly, I have a 1GB iPod shuffle, and for my needs there is no technology missing from it. I use is, literally, 4-7 hours a day, 5 days/week. I

  • Al Gore (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:22PM (#15456845)
    I hear Al Gore puts all his music in a Rockbox
    • Re:Al Gore (Score:2, Funny)

      by jhsiao (525216)
      I presume he has the "I'm So Ronery" song from the Team America: World Police soundtrack in his playlist.
  • Thats a way to compete with the competition, call all its buyers sheep. Worked real well last presidential election I heard
    • It's more a way of going about the other thing.

      Rather than saying, "ours is cheaper, works as well, and is also capable of playing everything that an iPod can play" they're saying
      "Why are you buying that? Because somebody told you it's cool. Ours is the same, but CHEAPER and equally technically capable! Only a mindless follower would buy an iPod with reasons like that to buy a Samsung instead!"

      Seems like a pretty good idea to me. It's working for Vonage, which is ironic considering that they're one of t
      • Actually, Vonage is one of the best VoIP providers out there. Of course, that says more about other VoIP providers than about Vonage -- the bar is not set high. In any case, the cheapo plastic SanDisk crap is not going to influence iPod sales in any meaningful way. Apple wins because it's player has the best UI, the best design, the best sound quality, the best accessories, and the best integration. If SanDisk wants to make cheap low-margin crap, that's their prerogative. They aren't going to make the
    • Yeh. And Apple's sales sure took off when they tried it too.

      This'll probably go over like a lead zeppelin.

  • by Jeremi (14640) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:24PM (#15456867) Homepage
    Oh goody, a corporate-manufactured "cultural backslash" to a corporate-manufactured "cultural movement".


    I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...

    • well lets be honest, the iPod was not a result of a corporate-manufactured cultural movement at first. It has become that after word of mouth and Apple laching onto the momentum it created.
    • by McNally (105243) <[mmcnally] [at] [gmail.com]> on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:51PM (#15457170) Homepage
      Oh goody, a corporate-manufactured "cultural backslash" to a corporate-manufactured "cultural movement".
      I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...
      Or maybe you just think you do..
    • by GlassHeart (579618) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:25PM (#15457515) Journal
      I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...

      Would this be the days when a diamond was forever, or the days when an apple a day kept the doctor away? Corporate manipulation of popular culture, despite your low user ID, probably predates you.

    • by goldcd (587052)
      there's an awful lot of people looking to get away from iDRM
      I've bought music from iTunes. If I stop buying iPods between now and the end of my life, I've got to either lose that music on the go, or re-buy it (and add that cost to replacing my iPod).
      The MS system isn't as slick - but at least I know I'll have more choices of vendors to buy from in the future (who might actually try to compete with each other) and sooner of later one of them is going to produce something much better than the iPod of that t
      • but at least I know I'll have more choices of vendors to buy from in the future (who might actually try to compete with each other) and sooner of later one of them is going to produce something much better than the iPod of that time.

        No, you don't know that. I mean, it hasn't happened so far, has it?

        Face it: you're still just as locked in with "Plays For Sure [sic]" as you are with "FairPlay [sic]." The only good DRM is no DRM at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:26PM (#15456881)
    I... don't know who to support! It's Apple vs open source software! My world is crumbling - fanboy fighting fanboy, zealot fighting zealot. Cats and dogs living together!
  • Facts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel (976630)
    SanDisk is the second most popular mp3 player? I thought Creative held that (with about a 5% market share).
    • Re:Facts (Score:5, Funny)

      by moorcito (529567) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:32PM (#15456957) Homepage
      Second most popular? Hell, I didn't even know sandisk made an mp3 player.
    • SanDisk is the second most popular mp3 player? I thought Creative held that (with about a 5% market share).


      As the second most popular .mp3 player manufacturer, SanDisk should be very wqary of Creative's legal department - especially since some of the folks from Creative have been taking notes from SCO's legal department!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:27PM (#15456905)
    Dear Rockbox,

    Oh no, not that! Nobody has ever accused iPod owners of being slaves to fashion before! I'm sure everybody in the world will now rush out to buy your heroic piece of shit music player now. What ever will we do???

    Love,
    Steve Jobs

    P.S. Why not just make unlicensed stickers of Calvin pissing on the Apple logo while you're at it? The rest of your ads are almost, but not quite, that cool.
  • iZZZZZZZ (Score:5, Funny)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:29PM (#15456932)
    The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps'

    What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

    and uses a 'street graffiti style' to create the illusion of a 'counter-culture uprising against the iPod'.

    And nothing says "street cred" like a modern Western corporation. Hey, I be down wit dat, um, dogg... or word, or whatever. Shizzle-something.

    The writer says, 'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod.

    Thanks SanDisk! I was just thinking this morning that, gosh, there simply is not enough mental illness^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ideology in this world.

    • Re:iZZZZZZZ (Score:4, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:46PM (#15457130) Homepage Journal

      The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps'

      What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

      Your knee hath jerked too soon. First, engage brain.

      The primary target market for Sandisk is people who don't have an iPod. Why? Because they already have a fucking mp3 player. Their targeted market segment (with this campaign, especially) is the people who can't afford an iPod, or who don't want to patronize Apple because of the lingering air of fanboyism that permeates their products.

      These people will likely respond favorably to being led to believe that they are not sheep (though clearly anyone who buys based purely on advertising is indeed a member of the sheeple at large.)

    • Re:iZZZZZZZ (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mobby_6kl (668092)
      >"Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

      The iPod owners aren't their target market. Those people are a lost cause.
    • Re:iZZZZZZZ (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EvanED (569694)
      What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

      As opposed to the recent Apple commercials that feel as mudslinging as anything you see around election time?

      "Finally, the Intel chip is freed from dull little boxes performing dull little tasks"
    • Re:iZZZZZZZ (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Atzanteol (99067)

      And nothing says "street cred" like a modern Western corporation. Hey, I be down wit dat, um, dogg... or word, or whatever. Shizzle-something.

      I think you give suburban middle-class kids with lots of 'guilt money [investinkids.ca]' *far* too much credit. Take a trip to a local high school - you'll see more walking billboards than at a NASCAR event...

      Corporations have figured out teens for some time [pbs.org] now.

  • More Info: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shrapnull (780217) * on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:30PM (#15456934)
    I "accidentally" stumbled onto the iDon't [idont.com] website the other day when I was researching Ogg alternatives to iPod.

    It's not so much that the iPod is without it's flaws, but for them to masquerade as a "revolution" counter-culture and have me find out that it's a sponsored astroturf really pissed me off. Not only that but the link to the SanDisk player on the site, also went to a SanDisk-sponsored page Anything But iPod [anythingbutipod.com].

    I can judge for myself based on the qualities and features of a player for myself, but blogs are getting more and more worthless every day since big media will simply continue to masquerade with a false list of "satisfied customers" for everyone to see. A previous employer of mine has actually added astroturfers to their PR team that do nothing but spam forums with their excellent experience with the product they secretly happen to sell.

    sigh...
    • Re:More Info: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by siegesama (450116)
      Slightly off-topic, but I'd like to mention (regarding your search for Ogg alternatives to iPod) that Rockbox runs awesome on my 5G iPod. Originally I would have preferred that apple would have stepped up and provided the Ogg support on its own, but the features and UI of Rockbox are actually better than the stock Apple firmware. There are some bugs and missing features to contend with (lack of video playback), but if necessary you can have rockbox boot back to the original firmware!
    • Re:More Info: (Score:4, Informative)

      by ElGuapoGolf (600734) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:54PM (#15457200) Homepage

      Anythingbutipod.com is not a sandisk site. They're an independent site that reviews MP3 players, as long as they're not iPods.

      • Perhaps SanDisk would have gotten better karma if it started a site that happened to give preference to its products for review (that is, SanDisk products are reviewed first; all SanDisk mp3 players get reviews) and actually seemed fair about its ratings and honest with its reviews?

        It would have impressed us if we decided to trust it.
      • Re:More Info: (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbearNO@SPAMpacbell.net> on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:51PM (#15458664) Homepage
        How can we trust, then, that their reviews are both accurate and meaningful if they do not review iPods? That means their reviews are effectively unable to compare to an iPod because they cannot review an iPod to the same standards as the rest of the MP3 players on that site.
    • Re:More Info: (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Keebler71 (520908) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:06PM (#15458344) Journal
      It is a shame that the vast majority of the mp3 player market treats the consumers as if we all have precisely the same requirement... I was in the market for one a several months ago and I settled on a 2gb nano. I hated it as it was completely ill suited for my needs. Before I get castigated as a troll, let me explain. I use my mp3 player to listen to music while exercising, listen to language lessons, and listen to podcasts. The latter two drive a requirement to be able to frequently pause and resume, have a large capacity, and have a display (I can think of nothing more painful than to try to find a specific podcast on a shuffle). The exercise requirement dictated that it had to be rugged (I will drop it) or so cheap that I don't care about scratches. What.I founf was that the Ipod interface, while great for playing playlists while strapped to you arm, was very difficult to navigate with one hand while running and sweating on it. There is no tactile feedback to tell you thaqt you have your finger on the right button and presuming you want to do a lot of pausing and playing (language lessons) it can be awkward to hold. The player I ended up exchanging it for (iRiver) fit nicely in my hand and I can easily control playback and song selection without looking at it (and while running).

      . Moreover, and this isn't flamebait, I prefer to use windows media player on my pc. I realize that this is not the norm, but I hated the itunes app. It took two updates and three restarts to install, forced me to dl quicktime, and of course was incompatible with my ogg and wma files. My nano had a smaller capacity than my collection, so itunes decided to just randomly select mp3s to synch and then I found it surprisingly non-intuitive to select music to be synched (keep in mind that I was more comfortable with WMP).

      Finally, the image thing, looking around my gym I sort-of generated a stereotype for the type of person that used an ipod. It is a very stylish device, but I am not a stylish person... So it just felt too metrosexual for me. By no means is the iRiver perfect, I have lots of complaints... but they mostly fall under categories that are minor to me and it gets the important things right. Forgive typos... Blackberry.

  • Yuck. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:30PM (#15456941) Homepage Journal
    "'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod. To do so is to fight Apple on their own terms.'"

    "Fighting Apple on their own terms," they say? I see it as more of a "sinking to their level."

  • and make it their core? This is the best way to get things moving.
  • by deltagreen (522610) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:31PM (#15456951) Homepage
    Don't be a sheep and copy everyone else. Be an individualist and buy a completely unique looking MP3-player that resembles nothing else [sandisk.com] :-P
  • by kindbud (90044) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:33PM (#15456973) Homepage
    Their propaganda site www.idont.com used to have a message when you logged in with Javascript disabled that said "You're a sad individual who needs to get with the program." Really. This message was surrounded by a bunch of slogans like "Think For Yourself" and "Resist Conformity."

    They've changed it to say "This site requires Flash and a sense of humor" but I thought the earlier message was a lot more funny.

  • Or does this article stink like a press release?
  • by X_Caffeine (451624) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:38PM (#15457028)
    Since it has that sort of stink of knee jerk "anti-corporate subversion" advertising (see David Foster Wallace's E Plurabus Unam), it fails to astroturf. The graphic mentally reinforce "ipod ipod ipod ipod" in the viewers subconscious. In the end, it just makes you feel sorry for all of Apple's competitors.
  • I don't get it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by craigtheguru (919530) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:40PM (#15457053) Homepage
    Siding with Microsoft and a conglomeration of other Plays For Sure companies sure sounds like stickin' it to the man and independent thinking to me! *shakes head*

    It is obvious that these companies don't get it. Instead of trying to compete by offering a compelling and highly integrated product they've moved on to what is essentially name calling. Next they'll say that every time you buy an iPod Jesus cries and kittens die.

    Just produce a must-have product and the sales will take care of themselves! Until that time I'll keep buying iPods because that is what iPod+iTunes is!

  • by Infernal Device (865066) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:41PM (#15457062)
    Good luck with that advertising campaign, Sandisk.

    adjusts iPod earbuds for slightly more comfort. Goes back to happily munching grass ...
  • by abscissa (136568) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:42PM (#15457073)
    Psychologists have consistently shown that people actually prefer fewer choices to more choices. It just makes life easier and more straightforward, even though it is counterintuitive.

    Part of Apple's strength is that there aren't ten trillion different models with model numbers to purchase, only 3 that come in difference sizes. Has anyone seen Creative's lineup of MP3 players? They have an MP3 player for every occasion.

    Copying one part of Apple's marketing strategy alone is not sufficient to match their unparalleled marketing genius.
    • "Copying one part of Apple's marketing strategy alone is not sufficient to match their unparalleled marketing genius." No, you have to work very hard at it, and first acquire 15% of a growing market, and then figure out some way to get steadily down to 2%, while having your fans cheer all the way and proclaim your unparalleled growth and extraordinary marketing genius. There may not be room for two of these in the world.
    • Indeed. Meaningless distinctions between products in the end create confusion more than anything else.

      I was just shopping for a Thinkpad for work - figured an R43 would be good. Turns out there's a bunch of R43's, with some silly distinction on the end. Different drives, different screens etc.

      Apple's computer marketing has been very succesful for the same reason it's iPod marketing has been. You buy an iPod that holds 4,000 songs. Not an jPod II Model 3-8 with the optional FM transmitter.
  • On Apple's Terms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bahwi (43111) <incomingNO@SPAMjosephguhlin.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:43PM (#15457093) Homepage
    Apple's terms haven't been popularity, "counter-culture" or anything else. Yes, that's helped, a lot, but the biggest thing about it is it is easy. It's a music player. Nothing more. It's not a strange new fangled USB device that connects to the computer in some weird way, and you have to load weird software and jump through hoops to get it to work. Apple integrated everything it could, made it as simple as your CD player, and then sold it.

    It's cool for geeks to have an iPod cuz they're expensive, but for most of the world, iPods work. I've known people who have bought most others and spent days figuring it out. With an iPod you go home, install iTunes, rip a CD, plug it in(or sit it in the dock) and that's it. You don't have to click through 15 menus to copy music over, you just connect it with the computer and it does the rest for you.

    Not trying to sound like an Apple Fanboy here, but it looks like SanDisk is only targeting geeks with this. The counter culture thing is cool, but when you tell your friends you're gonna go get a sandisk whatever it's called, they'll say "Oh, that's really hard to use. I just sold mine on ebay and got an ipod" what's all that counter culture crap gonna do for you?

    I don't say this to say "Apple Forever!" I'm saying that everyone else needs to make it simple. I'm tired of calls from friends and relatives who got an MP3 player and can't get it to work, the others I tell to get an ipod and poof, no trouble. Just cuz you have an MP3 player doesn't mean you know what an MP3 is, what a computer is, or how or why the CPU is not the big black box that everything plugs into with the Dell logo.
    • by Lussarn (105276)
      It's not a strange new fangled USB device that connects to the computer in some weird way, and you have to load weird software and jump through hoops to get it to work

      Uh, the iPod may have some strength but what you described is the iPod. 99% of all mp3 players you just connect to your computer and put your music on. No software required, no hops to make them work, and they work everywhere (on any OS) as long as you bring the USB cable. The iPod on the other hand does require software to be installed. And i
  • Apple got its position due to a catchy and flexible prefix: 'podcast', 'podslurp', pod-anything.
  • 0.o

    Sansa(TM) e270 MP3 Player 6GB Price: $279.99
    Sansa(TM) e260 MP3 Player 4GB Price: $229.99
    Sansa(TM) e250 MP3 Player 2GB Price: $179.99

    A bit high there. My music collection won't even fit on their highest end product. Not to mention any videos you might want to load. They do realize it takes a little bit more than direct attacks against "the fad" to gain customers over.
    • Yes they are. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Andy Dodd (701)
      The SanDisk units do not use mechanical hard drives, but use solid state flash memory. Thus their direct competitor is the iPod nano, Apple's solid-state player.

      iPod nano 2GB - $199
      iPod nano 4GB - $249
      iPod nano 6GB - does not exist
      The 2 and 4 GB SanDisk variants are $20 cheaper. Not sure how they compare on features, but in terms of price per GB, the SanDisks beat the iPod nano.
    • True, the prices are a bit high, however one of the nice features the e200 series has is a microSD slot to add more capacity to the player. Not entirely sure how large you can get that media in, nor how much it costs... but is a plus to have.
  • Their right but (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coeurderoy (717228) on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:51PM (#15457166)
    Currently the SanDisk line required Window XP and WMA 10+
    So let's say it's tito raging against staline, or Franco against Musolini.
    If they offer a rockbox version and find some distributors willing to support music and video distributions in some open format i'll be able to aplaud.

    Right now I'll keep my PMA400 (archos PDA+Player Linux based :-))

    • Actually the e200 series works fine on Linux and Windows 2000 (for me at least). My mom got an e250 for Mother's Day and I hooked it up to my Ubuntu box, copied MP3's straight over, no problems. I think for the MTP (media transfer protocol) mode used in Windows Media Player, you need XP. Otherwise the player comes up straight as a flash drive.
    • Re:Their right but (Score:5, Informative)

      by prockcore (543967) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:57PM (#15457827)
      Currently the SanDisk line required Window XP and WMA 10+

      No it doesn't. I have a sandisk player, it mounts on my ibook as a regular drive.. I drag mp3s over to it, and when I unplug, the player itself automatically indexes the new files.

      That interface is waaay better than iPod which requires special software.
  • The only problem is that they're not masters at it.

    :-D

  • Perhaps they'll help get Audible out into the open with their proprietary codec. Doubt it though Audible everyone shuts down everyone who posts tranfer methods from their proprietary format to MP3. Sorry, no links since those get taken down too (i.e. GoldWave)
  • 1 part - Good UI 1 part - Stylish and different hardware 1 part - Integration to computers and music store 1 part - Marketing
  • by m874t232 (973431) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:08PM (#15457341)
    Apple has made a career out and a fortune out of portraying their competitors as evil and dominating, and people who buy their competitors' products as boring and conforming. It is only fair that when Apple dominates a market, others do the same thing to them.
    • Apple hasn't complained so far, that I know about anyway. Were you expecting them to do so? The way you've put your comment makes it sound like Apple has already been whining about this. Is that fair to paint them that way?
      • The phrase "Apple shouldn't complain" has nothing to do with Apple actually complaining; it's a colloquialism.

        As for whether Apple will actually publicly "whine" about it, I expect not. That's not because Apple is a nice company, it's because SanDisk isn't big enough and doesn't have enough brand recognition to bother with.

        What I do expect is that if they ever started feeling that RockBox affects them in any way, Apple would try to shut it down with threats of legal action for anything they can find--after
  • by ZipR (584654) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:10PM (#15457376)
    Neuros has chatted with the Rockbox developers too, last fall: http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/NonArch os#Upcoming_Models [rockbox.org]
  • I own an iPod. I didn't buy the iPod because I saw other "cool" people using it. I didn't buy it because I saw commercials with dancing silhouettes sporting white earbuds.

    I bought the iPod because I have a massive collection of music that I wanted to carry around with me.

    What does Sandisk have to offer? 6GB max? I've got 30GB of space in my iPod. I have fit all of my all-time favourite pieces on it. It doesn't contain every mp3 I have, but I'm not too sad that "I've Got A Boner For You" by the Teen An
  • Everyone remembers the "1984" spot Chiat-Day did for Apple when they introduced the Mac. Many of us, however, also remember the dreaded "Lemmings" campaign that followed. This basically called "IBM PC users" morons and flopped miserably. You don't steal your competitor's customers by calling them idiots.
  • SanDisk is courting open source developers to port Rockbox to its popular MP3 players...Rockbox is an open source OS for most major MP3 players.

    Hey, it's open source. Why don't you port it yourself, instead of asking someone else to do your work for you for free!!

  • And it would be very cool to be able to re-write its interface and song ordering, since they don't quite fit what I want as they are. Would moving to rockbox allow this to happen? If so, this is great news!
  • Forget the ad campaign, I want Rockbox! I use a Rio Karma (which is very nice, gapless playback, etc.), but since they stopped supporting it I have been wishing for a number of UI and functionality improvements. An open-source OS would make those a lot more likely than the current scenario...hopefully it will get ported, but otherwise when my Karma finally fails I'll be looking for a player that supports an open OS.

  • Hardware manufacturers! I'll make this easy for you. Here's what I want:

    • At least 60GB of capacity, but more if I can get it
    • At least 10 hours of battery life, but more if I can get it
    • A built-in FM transmitter
    • Filesystem-based library (i.e. no database rebuilds necessary)
    • The ability to build custom playlists on the fly
    • The ability to play whatever I want, in whatever format I want, but especially Ogg, FLAC, and Speex
    • Open-source firmware

    I don't care about video. I mean seriously, it's a

  • You know what would really kill the iPod? A better product! iPod has one heck of a marketing campaign, but let's face it that isn't the only reason for it's sucess. I'm a techie just like most of you, and I'm borderline anti-Apple. I been wanting an mp3 player for a while now. After about 18 months of researching it, I went with the iPod for numerous reasons.

    1)It has by far the most accesories of any portable player.

    2)It's by far the thinnest of any Mp3 player. The closest resemblace to the iPod is the Sa [samsung.com]
  • by delire (809063) on Friday June 02, 2006 @05:03PM (#15457888)
    From where I sit, I welcome the competition.

    It's rush-hour on a Friday night. The train carriage I'm in has an odourous ambience of smug techno-arianism and revolting self-ordained hipness. I look over either shoulder and realise the source of my discomfort. All my fellow passengers have little or no surface features. To put it more clearly, they are in fact all silhouettes striking obtuse dance poses in what appear to be exaggerated representations of a person enjoying music in the privacy of their own home... the entire carriage is full of 2-Dimensional Private Dancers..

    One of these creatures hands me a single white earpiece and says something like "Do you feel it?". I hear what appears to be RadioHead's "Ok Computer" coming from the earpiece. Barely suppressing a sudden onset of nausea, I sidle away. I reach into my pocket and crank up an Ogg Vorbis rip of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triange' on my iAudio and breathe deeply.. i'm going to make it. Down the other end of the carriage I make eye contact with the only other three-dimensional being on board. She smiles nervously and points to her Sony Discman..

    SanDisk, Bring The Humans Back.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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