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Apple releases iPod 1075

The BrownFury writes "At an invitation only event Apple has released their new MP3 player called the iPod. iPod is the size of a deck of cards. 2.4" wide by 4" tall by .78" thick 6.5 ounces. 5 GB HDD, 10 hr battery life, charged via FireWire. Works as a firewire drive as well. Works in conjunctions with iTunes 2. Here are Live updates". No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
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Apple releases iPod

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  • by Brand X ( 162556 ) < .ta. .epsoyn.> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:27PM (#2467244) Homepage
    I need a fast, really small, 3GB+ hard drive, for software project transfers. This will do nicely, I think. Back in the day (early 90s) I used to use something called a Pocket Rocket, a SCSI HD about the size of a TV remote. When it comes to stuff that, for size reasons, really needs to be sneakernetted, this is the ideal solution. Any songs that I want to listen to can fit in the remaining 2GB with ease...
  • I would get one but (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GiMP ( 10923 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:27PM (#2467255)
    I think this is neat. Firewire is nice, and this can be used as an external harddrive as well.

    The only problem is the failure to play ogg files. I no longer have any mp3s, so this isn't as useful as it could be.

    Waiting for those ogg-compatable players :)
  • Lame? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John_Booty ( 149925 ) <johnbooty AT bootyproject DOT org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:32PM (#2467311) Homepage
    Yeah, what about Lame? How else would you encode your mp3's?

    Seriously, this device is far from lame in my eyes. 5GB is plenty of storage. I have like 20GB of mp3's anyway, not like they're really going to fit on anything out there. And uh... I never really need more that 5GB at a time, ya know.

    The recharging via Firewire is cool too. The size is a plus... the Nomad is too big for me to carry around. And being able to use it as a portable harddrive is cool, too... burning CD's to ferry files back and forth is a pain. I'm gonna buy one if it works with other OS's.
  • Looks impressive (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alexhmit01 ( 104757 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:32PM (#2467312)
    I like it. iTunes, for those that haven't used a Mac, is REALLY slick. It is a great UI and makes things really easy and intuitive. My fiancee recently got an iBook, and she loves how easy it is to rip CDs into her machine and burn CDs. Rather than swapping applications, she does it all within iTunes.

    Us geeks, who always acknowledged that Macs had a great UI (but we called them idiot machines) miss out on some of the impressive stuff that Apple does.

    The Macintosh way is to organize things by things the users do, not the underlying file system. This is a HUGE paradigm shift from the Unix (everything is a file) paradigm, and from the Microsoft (everything is about something).

    On a Windows box, you run a program to rip your CDs into MP3s. If you want to burn a CD, you use a program to convert them to WAVs, then you burn the WAVs to CDs.

    On a Mac, you pop an audio CD in to your computer and add the songs to your library. If you burn a CD, you pop a blank in and hit burn CD. Now with iTunes 2, you'll have the option to make MP3 CDs (which previously would be done as burning a data CD).

    In UNIX, you focus on the files. In a Mac, you focus on the activity. My fiancee doesn't have to think about file formats, she thinks about music. She barely touches her Windows PC or MIT's UNIX network anymore.

    This device extends the Mac functionality. Instead of firing up Creative Lab's software and pick and choose which songs you want on it. Want to listen on the computer? Fire up WinAmp. Want to rip CDs, fire up that application.

    With the iPod, it integrates into your system. You plug it in, it keeps your songs available. No need to mess with a clunky interface, the thumb-rolling thingy-ma-bopper looks like a clean way to use the device.

    The Nomad Jukebox 20G with the batteries is about a pound. My brother loves his, but it mostly sits in the car now. He used to take it to the gym, but it wastoo big and bulky.

    I realize that most Slashdotters are looking at the specs, but realize what this actually does. Its tiny, it'll fit in a jacket pocket (or pant pocket), its convenient.

    Take it jogging, to the gym, etc. Sit in the park, walk around.

    The Nomad Jukebox is too damned heavy.

    This device rocks, I expect them to sell plenty.

    I think that they should sell a Windows version of it with a Windows version of iTunes and a Firewire card, but that's just me.
  • Not "innovative"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Geoff ( 968 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:33PM (#2467321) Homepage
    A few comments have already come in saying that this product isn't "innovative" enough. You can get more-or-less the same thing elsewhere.

    But what does being highly innovative get Apple? Think Newton. It still runs circles around the Palm, but was a commercial failure. It was too innovative.

    But, how about if you took the idea of an MP3 player, made it look nice, gave it a Firewire port for fast transfers and easy recharging, and made the whole thing sync seamlessly with iTunes.

    Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I imagine they'll sell quite a few. It's the right feature set at the right time.


  • oh no not again (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jchristopher ( 198929 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:34PM (#2467342)
    First, let me preface this by saying, "this is not another Apple is going under" post. Apple has plenty of cash, I think they have some great products, and they aren't going out of business.

    That said, I am both a shareholder and consumer of Apple products. When I read the announcement and specs I went straight to the Apple Store. At $199-$250, I would have bought two, immediately. Instead, at $399, I am buying zero, and expect that many other people will feel the same way.

    I am very sad that Apple seems to be repeating the same mistake they made with the Cube - great, nifty product that anyone would love to own, except that it's burdened by an unbelievably poor price/performance ratio.

    A laptop hard drive of that size in the quantity Apple buys is about $30 these days. I am more than willing to pay a premium for Apple designed hardware and software. This thing will undoubtedly have a great interface. But that is not worth $200 extra (double the price!).

    I know Apple prices it's products to maximize profit. But I wish they'd realize they could make the same amount of money, and have more marketshare, if they'd sell 3 times as many at half the cost instead.

    All I can say is, as an Apple "fan", I'm sad.

  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot AT stango DOT org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:48PM (#2467476) Homepage Journal
    Neodymium magnets are nothing new. I remember that being listed as a feature in Sony headphones years ago. From a little quick reading on Google, they are just damned strong little magnets.

  • Re:oh no not again (Score:2, Interesting)

    by adavidw ( 31941 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:53PM (#2467513)
    A laptop hard drive of that size in the quantity Apple buys is about $30 these days.

    Actually, these aren't your regular laptop hard drives. These are 1.8 inch, considerably more expensive. (Which of course leads to the discussion of whether apple would have sold more big $250 units or small $400 units)

  • Sosumi (Score:5, Interesting)

    by arete ( 170676 ) <areteslashdot2.xig@net> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:53PM (#2467517) Homepage
    Apple (AAPL) essentially already violated that. The engineers, at least, seem to think they violated it when they added sound effects, speakers, and microphones.

    Therefore, one of the original sound fx was called Sosumi ("so - sue - me")

    Your daily dose of apple trivia.
  • by raresilk ( 100418 ) <> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:10PM (#2467673)
    Well, with the disclaimer that I don't know much about how portable MP3 players implement their codecs, is it possible that someone could hack this device and add ogg capability? I mean, unless the MP3 codec is completely hardwired into a ROM, this device contains a processor, memory and bus sufficient to call and run one software codec, so why not another? It seems that if it can serve as a portable hard drive, it must have OS capability sufficient to operate as a file server, and may have a reasonably competent version of OS X running in there. Certainly the hard drive provides sufficient space for such an implementation, and the Firewire port would allow you to load an executable onto the device. And there seem to be many on /. who love hacking such embedded devices. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems theoretically possible, and people have done some amazing hacks on Palm, etc.
    * * *
  • Re:Apple vs. Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcc ( 14761 ) <> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:15PM (#2467731) Homepage
    So at what point does Apple violate the terms of the agreement with Apple Records for ripping off the name and logo?


    Here's a nice summary of the whole thing. [] Basically, in 1981 (after years of squabbling) apple computer entered into a written agreement not to compete with apple records in any way. In 1989, Apple records decided that apple's computers had reached the point of qualifying as "musical editing equipment", and sued apple claiming that the agreement had been broached and Apple was infringing on Apple's trademark.

    (I for some reason thought for a very long time that this was because 1989 was the year apple started putting built-in sound input ports on all shipping machines, but the apple-history [] site claims that the first apple machines to ship with onboard sound input-- the IIfx and the IIsi-- didn't come out until the beginning of 1990, so maybe that isn't it. Or maybe Apple Records was, in 1989, reacting to advance news from apple describing the upcoming IIfx and IIsi machines. I don't know.)

    Anyway, all of this ended in 1990 when Apple and Apple settled; Apple computer had to something like 26.7 million dollars to Apple records, and in return Apple computer gained the right to do pretty much anything with the name "apple". The iPod would be, i am certain, covered under that 1990 agreement.

    (There was, after the 1990 agreement, some rather long drawn out legal proceedings involving who paid for the settlement and legal bills from all this [], Apple Computer or their insurance company; i think their insurance company finally won. I can't say i really care either way, though.)
  • High fidelity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cmpgn ( 200265 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:33PM (#2467884)
    For the best audio quality, simply carry around uncompressed WAV's. The specs [] indicate that WAV is one of the supported music formats. Assuming 700 MB per CD, 5 GB of storage still gives you enough room to hold 7 uncompressed CD's. Pretty cool if you ask me.
  • by Chakat ( 320875 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:34PM (#2467899) Homepage
    As a previous poster has mentioned, this thing could in the future be modified to play .oggs. It already can play wavs and aiffs as well as the MP3 feature that everyone's commenting about, so I'd imagine that Ogg Vorbis support wouldn't be too far off.

    Personally, I can personally think of a much cooler hack, though its probably much less probable. Throw a firewire-ethernet converter (they exist, they're just hard to find). Then, throw a hacked version of apache on there (they mention that it runs a tweaked version of OSX, so its not too difficult to believe). Badda boom, you've got one tiny network storage box.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:36PM (#2467909)
    What would REALLY rock is if Apple entered into a deal with one/more major car audio manufacturers to place a FireWire connection on the front of the car stereo. Then, by connecting the iPod via a Firewire cable to the car stereo's FireWire jack, the car stereo would be able to play the music as if it were a CD changer AND the iPod would run off the car battery...
  • by Sj0 ( 472011 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:47PM (#2468006) Journal
    just IMHO, LCDs aren't the displays of the future. I use one quite a bit since I use a laptop as my primary computer, but I prefer the better refresh of a CRT(hey! Where'd the mouse go!?). The technology I'm keeping an eye on is that organic display technology. As far as I can tell, it's going to be big when they start putting the safe, low power (even lower than LCD) monitors out there with this technology.
  • by adamspiers ( 45617 ) < minus cat> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:48PM (#2468023) Homepage
    Can't believe noone's mentioned the PJB100 [] (Personal Jukebox) yet. 6GB/20GB models available now, apparently they're messing around with 30GB ones too. It receives rave reviews from everyone who buys it (including me), and the SDK's already open and being actively hacked on here [] on sourceforge (it already does everything you need, and is stable AFAICS). There are kde and gnome frontends, not to mention my personal favourite, pjb-manager.el [] for emacs!

    What else? It has a clever power-saving mode which spins up the disk, reads a whole track into memory, and powers down the disk immediately. That means 5 mins anti-shock (or was it 10? can't remember) and 10 hours listening per Li-Ion battery. Support is nothing less than fantastic, with new firmwares containing features such as minesweeper :-) And I can upload via USB faster than I can rip CDs, so who cares about FireWire?

    This is the hacker's choice of MP3 jukebox. It's a no-brainer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:48PM (#2468025)
    I can store 500 MP3s and all of my OS9/OSX troubleshooting tools, a system install image (oh yeah, Firewire is bootable these days) and some pr0n on this thing that will always be with me and recharges during synch?

    I'll take two, thank-you-very-much.

    Get it down to the size of my Nokia 8290 and give it auto-synch-within-airport-range and this thing will own the geek market.

    Try reading the specs a bit more, and weigh in just how valuable Firewire Disk Mode and size are in a package that small.

    Also plays WAVs and AIFFs for what it's worth...
  • by mattvd ( 44096 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @06:51PM (#2469240) Homepage Journal
    Yes, the new iPod is expensive, but you are getting what you pay for:

    Look up a 5GB 1.8" hard drive on PriceWatch. They're currently going for about $350. Add a firewire interface to that, battery, the MP3 player functionality, and some headphones.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.