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A Recap of the iPod's Life 236

Posted by Zonk
from the go-make-something-of-yourself dept.
BDPrime writes "Here's a good look at the iPod's five-year existence and how, it can be argued, the device saved Apple from rotting away. From the story: 'It's hard to overstate the impact of the iPod on the computer, consumer electronics and music industries since it was introduced in 2001. The iPod, arguably, is the first crossover product from a computer company that genuinely caught on with music and video buffs. It's shown how a computer can be an integral part of a home entertainment system, and it's led pop stars from U2's Bono to Madonna to trade quips with Apple's own rock star, CEO Steve Jobs.'" Just to give a little bit of the other side of the story, not everyone loves the iPod. An anonymous reader wrote in with a link to research on unhealthy iPod listening levels at New Scientist. Additionally, Achromatic1978 writes to mention that the iPod has won a Shonky award from the Australians. I don't know what Shonky means, but I think that's bad.
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A Recap of the iPod's Life

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  • by knightmad (931578) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:00AM (#16515011)
    The pertinent article [slashdot.org], for those who are not here that much time.
  • by shaneh0 (624603) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:23AM (#16515185)
    The Key Bank Promo was UNBELIEVABLE.

    Deposit $50 into a new checking account, get a 2GB 2nd Gen Nano, keep $50 in account for 6 months, withdraw $51.15 and close account.

    (It's possible--even likely--that other banks have a similar offer, but Key is the largest one i've seen do it)
  • Re:Rotting away!? (Score:4, Informative)

    by thebdj (768618) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:25AM (#16515233) Journal
    The company said Wednesday that it shipped 8.7 million iPods during its fourth fiscal quarter, which ended Sept. 30. In fact, Apple's $1.6 billion from iPod sales in the quarter was more than it generated as an entire company back in October 2001.
    Also, look at the stock [yahoo.com]. It was near dead in 2001. Now, look when the great climb began in 2003. What happened in 2003 you ask (two years after the iPod intro)? It is the year that Apple officially released a "Windows" version of the iPod. This isn't sensationlist crap, it is the truth in the eyes of a great many financial analysts. Also, the fact Apple has less than 10% of the PC or OS market and an estimate of upwards of 70% of the MP3 player market.
  • my nano (Score:2, Informative)

    by joerdie (816174) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:28AM (#16515259) Homepage
    I used to have a Samsung 1 gig flash. I really liked it. It used 1 AAA bat and ran for 40ish hours. It also had a pretty good radio tuner.... but then the Nano came out... I will admit that I bought it on impulse (mostly because of the 4 gig cap.) and sold my Samsung... I wish i had it back. The nano scraches easily and the battery life sucks. The sound is the same to my ears so im not loosing any more or less hearing now. I guess my point is, Ipod's are great for non-tech types that just need a basic service. For everyone else... there are better players out there.
  • by madman101 (571954) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:30AM (#16515281)
    The negative research is centered around the in-ear earphones, which Sony and others have had for years. If you read the research, if you use over the ear earphones with an ipod, the risk of damage is much lower.
  • Shonky meaning (Score:3, Informative)

    by SoulStoneBR (1016011) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:39AM (#16515393)
    I don't know what Shonky means, but I think that's bad.

    Well, I am not australian, but according to "Australian Slang" (Babylon):

    Shonky:
    1. dubious, underhanded;
    2. unreliable, very suspect deal: "shonky practice", "shonky business" etc.;
    3. mechanically unreliable;
    4. dishonest person
  • by endemoniada (744727) <nathaniel AT endemoniada DOT org> on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:44AM (#16515453) Homepage
    I didn't mean them specifically. I was talking of both the Sonys and the Sennheisers, both of which are in-ear buds which both act as ear-plugs.

    Don't nitpick just for the sake of nitpicking...
  • by k_187 (61692) on Friday October 20, 2006 @08:46AM (#16515485) Journal
    in the newer models there's also a volume limiter in the settings. It'd be kind of a pain to reset it everytime you move it from the car to the den, but its nice that the feature's there.
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:14AM (#16515743)
    I think the iPod has impacted our world in the following ways:

    1) It has pretty much consigned the old "boomboxes" to near-complete obsolescene (thank G** for that!). People now listen to their own music with generally not disturbing others in a package far more convenient than even the old cassette player Walkmans.

    2) It has changed the way we buy music, by legitimizing music downloads.

    3) It has actually made radio talk shows more popular, as many on-air talk shows are now available for subscription-based download (ESPN Radio's Radio Insider and Premiere Radio Networks' Streamlink programs for example). We are seeing rapid growth of specialized downloadable talk shows (This Week in Technology (TWiT) being one of the best examples of this).

    4) It has made it far more practical to not have to carry around your Compact Discs when listening to music in the car. Thanks to increased storage capacity on today's players you can "rip" your CD collection at higher sample rates and still put quite a lot of music on a single player for car playback. Also, many cars now offer standard auxiliary 1/8" jack input for all portable music players and some even offer special connectors to connect your newer-generation iPod so you can control the iPod from the car stereo controls and/or recharge the iPod's battery at the same time.
  • by bmgoau (801508) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:19AM (#16515803) Homepage
    I am Australian.

    Shonky is an adjective used to describe how some objects are poorly designed, or more commonly, easy to break, as is the case with the ipod.

    I'll take your comments on our dialect, you have provided just evidence and made a worthy argument. Although however, i believe you are mistaken in trying to overly exemplify the negative qualities of the language, esspecially in comparison to others. Surely, there are many dialects around the world, and many different people speaking them, Australias' is simply one of the them, and like any has its own features.

    I would says its very must based on levels. Even in Australian society, as multicultural as it is, you'll find that there is a huge variety in the dialect. As a result of culture, background and the community you grew up in. The term 'shonky' does not have common usage as one might believe. If one really indeed must draw conclusions, the nature of our dialect, the shortening of words and commonly ill-pronouncement of words stems from the laid back nature of Australian life. But should never transpire into the working world. Just as one feels more comfortable talking freely at home, perhaps swareing as some might in other nations, Australians take pride in relaxing the language at home, but not to the extent that it should form any noticeable divergence from standard English.

    You're true however about your claims of our hatered for Indian calling centres. I myself, excluding those that i miss while at work recieve 3 a day, specifically around dinner time, and often very early in the morning. But as i think most Australians would agree, its no reason to abuse them, they are simply doing their jobs. I do know a few people, and by that i mean alot, who take very offensive tones with the callers, that i cannot explain, i am sorry. An aubsive tone with anyone, doing their job, and earning a living, in the best way they know how, is something to be happy with, and if one does not like it, hang up.

    Alas, to conclude, one must understand, Australian language is varied as much as the land it inherits, the multiculutral society, and friendly culture it embodies. Stereotypes like the one you painted are a means of ignorance, i am sorry, for i know many a forigner who will come here, and ask us please to speak 'Australian', all the while making fun of a stereotypical American accent. Please remember sir, that during those times, i accept that within america there are differences in the way you speak, the additues of people and the words you use, just as you should remember of ours.
  • by xenolon (469955) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:21AM (#16515829)
    I guess my question to you is: if itunes is difficult to use and a stinker, what legit alternative have you used that's better? i'd like to give it a try.

    A few responses:

    1. yes, wireless could be a useful and interesting. but there are a lot of drawbacks: battery life, security, legal complications, and ease of use are all to be considered.

    2. drm? (i'm assuming you're talking about the itunes store here, not the app.) yeah, drm sucks. simple as that. but we need to keep reminding each other that drm is imposed by the owners of the content, not the distributors. the record companies and movie studios, in this case, would not have signed on to the itunes store if there was no way to lock down the content. they're old school, they don't see new business models.

    3. the owners of the content are also to blame for the inability to pull songs of the device easily. they want their content protected. you're only supposed (according to them) to own one copy of each album or song you own, if you have a portable music player, you inherently own two. the record companies originally wanted to DELETE songs from your computer when they were transferred to an ipod. (i'd like to cite that, but don't have the time)
    you're right about the re-naming of files within the structure of the ipods software, it sucks if you pull them out raw. however, there are programs that allow you to suck songs off an ipod with ease. they're not legal, technically, but they're out there. ;)

    as for your wish to be able to set a photo as a wallpaper, i don't quite understand the function of such a feature. when you're not using the screen to navigate through the UI, how much time do you spend looking at it? when i'm not choosing songs, the screen to my nano is in my pocket.
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday October 20, 2006 @09:52AM (#16516199)
    1) It has pretty much consigned the old "boomboxes" to near-complete obsolescene (thank G** for that!). People now listen to their own music with generally not disturbing others in a package far more convenient than even the old cassette player Walkmans.

    "Boomboxes" died out around the middle of the 90s and certainly weren't that popular, at least from the point of view of portable ones. At any rate, they died long before the iPod came to fruition. I for one had an MP3 CD player (similar to a CD Walkman) a couple of years before MP3 players took off.

    2) It has changed the way we buy music, by legitimizing music downloads.

    There are still far more illegal music downloads than there are legitimate ones going on and I seem to recall Apple almost getting caught up in a "monopoly" suit for automatically bundling iTunes with it.

    3) It has actually made radio talk shows more popular, as many on-air talk shows are now available for subscription-based download (ESPN Radio's Radio Insider and Premiere Radio Networks' Streamlink programs for example). We are seeing rapid growth of specialized downloadable talk shows (This Week in Technology (TWiT) being one of the best examples of this).

    Ah, so what you're saying is that the iPod introduced the concept of "paying for radio programs".... and that's a *GOOD* thing???

    4) It has made it far more practical to not have to carry around your Compact Discs when listening to music in the car. Thanks to increased storage capacity on today's players you can "rip" your CD collection at higher sample rates and still put quite a lot of music on a single player for car playback. Also, many cars now offer standard auxiliary 1/8" jack input for all portable music players and some even offer special connectors to connect your newer-generation iPod so you can control the iPod from the car stereo controls and/or recharge the iPod's battery at the same time.

    Firstly, what you describe can be done with just about any MP3 player at about 1/4 the cost of an iPod.

    Secondly, if you're in the car long enough to justify having your complete music collection with you, then you're probably selecting songs while you are driving which is probably quite a dangerous thing to do. Personally, I've a 6 x CD player that came built in with my car, on long journeys I load the player with 6 and keep 6 more CDs in the glove compartment. The inconvenience of having to reload the CD player at a stop once during my journey has never justified the cost of an iPod for me - and a cheap 1MB player holds enough songs to last me at the gym or on the usual 2 hour flights I take.

    The point I'm trying to make is that the iPod is just another little electronic gadget that you either like or think is overpriced for what it gives you - it's just an opinion, no different to supporting a particular football team or liking a particular TV series.

    Apple has a similar duty as Microsoft when it comes to making as much money as possible for its shareholders - the sooner the Apple fanboys get to grip with this the better, rather than assuming that Apple is just this generous charity out to do it's best by them.

  • by AusIV (950840) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:01AM (#16516317)
    Yeah, but all Linux support for the iPod is third party, and simply because of the popularity of the device. Apple provides no Linux support for the iPod, and as such encrypted files cannot be moved from a linux machine to an iPod. This isn't a big deal if you use Linux and want to get an iPod, but if you're a long time iPod and iTunes user who would like to switch to Linux, the lack of Linux support for iTunes music can keep you tied to Windows.
  • Re:Rotting away!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by thebdj (768618) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:46AM (#16517013) Journal
    Actually, I do know what a split is...believe it or not, I am not totally clueless about the market. My father spent a lot of time doing his own investing and was an accountant, so I actually have pretty good understanding of how the market works. Next, your split occurs in 2001, and the dive that it is responsible is a minor cut that is to be expected, like the 2005 split. The problem is the stock going from $20 a share in late 2000, to almost $6 in early 2001. The stock stayed down in this range until almost 2003, when the current up turn started. Look at the chart [yahoo.com] now. In linear and zoomed a bit, you can see that there is approximately 6 months between the split and the GROSS dive, which actually appears to approximately coincide with when a quarterly report would've come out. Now, look at this [yahoo.com]. Near the bottom, you see the daily price from 9/28 to 9/29 is almost $14 a share different for the Adjusted Close (your far right column). Two pages prior [yahoo.com], in June is where your split occurs. So, to say AAPL was not in a downturn in 2000 and leading into 2001 is a joke.
  • by ktappe (747125) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:53AM (#16517151)
    What happens when your computer crashes and your iPod is the only place you have your music stored? Or if you buy a new computer and want to use your iPod to migrate your music?
    In the first case, Apple's official stance is that you should have kept a backup. No, I'm not being a troll or a hardass, I'm serious: Apple will not allow you to redownload songs you have purchased. Once you download them the first time, the onus is completely on you to keep them safe.

    In the second case, Apple provides you the ability to authorize & deauthorize your Macintoshes as you buy new ones and retire old ones. If you want to use your iPod to transfer your music library (and this is not a recommended methodology), you must use the iPod's data functionality, not its music functionality. That is, drag copy your music to the iPod icon on your desktop and use the iPod as an external HD. Apple's officially recommended methods for data transfer including using your iDisk on .Mac, using the Data Migration tool that pops up on screen when you perform a new install of MacOS X, or putting one of the Macs into Target Disk Mode and connecting them directly via firewire.

    -Kurt

  • by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday October 20, 2006 @10:59AM (#16517235)

    I am a professional, but a lot of the people I work with have gone stone deaf working the way we do, so maybe I have everything backwards, but here's what I was taught (from the mouth of Tom Holman [wikipedia.org] himself.

    • Hearing damage is like radiation: it's cumulative over your entire life.
    • I'm not sure anyone has done any conclusive studies on earbuds versus headphones, but both are equally effective in causing damage if you listen at a bad level.
    • Your eardrum is sensitive, but relatively robust compared to the Organ of Corti, which lives in your chochlea and actually tranducts the sound into the nerve; it gets damaged at the high end of your listening response and the damage travels down the spectrum as it accumulates. You won't generally notice cumulative hearing loss at first because it occurs at the top end of the spectrum, away from speech.
    • Your response to sound level is logarithmic, and also relative. If you're in a loud car, or driving with the window down, you may be applying 90-100 dB SPL to your ears from all the energy from wind and engine, but it will seem quiet compared to a loud stereo which you crank to 11 to put it over the din, thus you can trick yourself into listening to things much louder than you could otherwise tolerate.
    • Your acoustic reflex protects you from loud sounds by involuntarily contracting muscle in your middle ear to pull your eardrum tight, thus reducing your eardrums displacement and the amount of energy it passes to the inner ear. The muscle in your ear has tone like any other muscle, however, and will being to release your eardrum after 2-3 hours of continuous loud noise. It does this gradually, however, and you won't notice the effect, but your eardrum will register the strain and pass it along to your cochlea.
    • Sudden dynamic (loudness) changes can be more damaging than dynamic changes that you acclimate yourself into. If you listen to your music at a comfortable level and turn it up over 10 minutes or so your acoustic reflex will protect your eardrum from immediate stress.
  • by ostermei (832410) on Friday October 20, 2006 @02:12PM (#16520017) Homepage
    You can get meat pies in the States, yet now I've seen two sources talking about them as if it's something exotic, surprising and even disgusting.
    It's all just a misunderstanding based on the terminology. The term "meat pie" is not really used in the States, although the food item itself is actually rather common. Generally we tend to use chicken for the majority of our savory pies, rather than beef or lamb, however. As such, instead of calling them "meat pies" they tend to be more commonly known as "chicken pot pies," or just "pot pies" if another meat is used. (Or "pasties" if you're in the UP of Michigan, but I believe those are a bit different than pot pies, although perhaps closer to a true "meat pie")

    Or are you just disgusted by the non-specific use of the word "meat"?
    I can't speak for the GP, of course, but I'd assume he's disgusted by the listing of various parts that can be legally described as "meat." However, as I believe another commentor pointed out, it's really no different in essence than a good ol' hot dog. There are good ones and bad ones, and the bad ones tend to contain bits that normally aren't considered edible.
  • Re:"Shonky" (Score:3, Informative)

    by complete loony (663508) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <namekaL.ymereJ>> on Saturday October 21, 2006 @06:01AM (#16527161)
    Shonky : dubious, dodgy, underhanded. E.g. a shonky practice, shonky business etc.

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