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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 zephc ( 225327 )
    5 GB still is more than my whole mp3 collection
    • Heh. While it has less capacity than the Nomad, it's also substantially smaller (and lighter). That 5GB would be enough for my current collection. Price it low enough, and I'd buy one. It would make a good substitue for my CD/MP3 player and a pile of CD's.

      Sidenote - As a firewire drive, I'm assuming it should be pretty straightforward to hook it up to whatever your hardware religion is.

      • Re:lame? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Snocone ( 158524 )
        Sidenote - As a firewire drive, I'm assuming it should be pretty straightforward to hook it up to whatever your hardware religion is.

        Yep. This is almost certainly the same .2x1.8" Toshiba mechanism as found in the SmartDisk FireLite for instance (I just posted the link in some other comment).

        And their price is $399.95 as well ... but they don't play MP3s.
  • can make those who defended it eat crow. All in one day! It just doesn't get better than this....
  • by sfgoth ( 102423 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:24PM (#2467211) Homepage Journal
    FireWire (400Mbps) data syncing _and_ recharging at the same time. That's cool.

    I wonder if it's hackable for a bigger drive...

    Plus, you can use it as a portable disk. No "content protection". Yay!
  • by leviramsey ( 248057 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:24PM (#2467213) Journal

    ...until Apple releases their new line of pastel contact lenses:

    The iEye! [ducks]
  • I happenned again. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pi radians ( 170660 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:26PM (#2467238)
    Apple is being distroyed by the rumors that are being created. When they announce that they are going to have a new product, everyone thinks it's going to blow their worlds. Rumors start flooding in about even the most outragous products ( I even heard a few "sources" mention teleportion) This is getting plain stupid.

    Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them do the impossible?
    • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:35PM (#2467347) Homepage
      Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them to do the impossible?

      I think over history, Apple has shown with some regularity that they can pull "the impossible" out of their hat. Now with Jobs and NeXT genes on board, that sense is even more intense.

      Whether Apple's products are brilliant successes or bizarrely interesting failures, nobody can deny that what they're doing as a rule seems more interesting that what Dell/Gateway/Microsoft et al are ever doing. And occasionally (Macintosh, NeXT, Newton, iMac) Apple/NeXT have done things that were completely mind-blowing and heretofore impossible.

      I'm speaking as a longtime PC owner and Linux, not a Mac owner (though I do love my Newton)-- I have a healthy respect for the real innovation Apple has brought to the industry (compare to Microsoft's "innovation"...) and I have trouble understanding why Slashot users are such haters when it comes to Apple and Steve Jobs.
    • I even heard a few "sources" mention teleportion...

      Is that like half a telephone?

    • You are misattributing the source of the rumors. These rumors are not being created by mindless masses who expect Apple to save the world--they are being created by Steve Jobs and his faithful band of marketeers. He probably is just trying to get press by being the only other thing going on in technology this week (aside from WinXP launch). "And in other news...". They've been leaking that they have a revolutionary secret new product that they can't tell anyone about for a while--these rumors are part of their marketing scheme.

      Apple invented the mythos that they weren't a normal company, and that they could do the impossible. If they continue to perpetuate these ideas, and if (as you claim) it hurts them, then its their own fault.
  • by Brand X ( 162556 ) <`moc.cam' `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...

  • iPod, uPod, we all Pod for iPod!
  • I would get one but (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GiMP ( 10923 )
    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 :)
    • Upgradable firmware enables support for future audio formats

      So you might not have to wait that long :-)

    • 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.
      * * *
  • LAME? WTF?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deander2 ( 26173 ) <publicNO@SPAMkered.org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:28PM (#2467263) Homepage
    Less space then the Nomad yes, but also MUCH MUCH SMALLER. You ever try putting a Nomad in your pocket and go for a walk? The Nomad is only good as a psuedo stereo component, or perhaps in your car. Not to mention the horrible battery life!

    Also, how many HOURS does it take to transfer your 6.4gb MP3 collection onto your Nomad? I know my USB player takes forever to even fill up its 64mb memory. Firewire let's you do it BLAZINGLY FAST.

    This is a marvel of engineering, very useful and I give apple much credit for coming out with this device. //lame my ass.

    Also, did I mention automatic playlist/sing library synching with iTunes2? THIS is what portable music should be.
    • by deander2 ( 26173 ) <publicNO@SPAMkered.org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:37PM (#2467376) Homepage
      oh yeah, and did i mention that it doubles as a portable firewire HARD DRIVE?
      • by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:57PM (#2468114) Homepage Journal
        No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

        And why does everything have to be wireless? I don't understand this.

        1.) plug firewire cable into the back of your computer
        2.) bring other end of cable on to desktop
        3.) plug in MP3 player when needed

        I don't get how this makes life easier. By adding a wireless recieving unit in the thing, it would be bigger, weigh more, and cost more. Probably be more complicated, slower, and use more batteries, too. Or to cut costs you could put an IrDA port in it, although I think less people own an IrDA port for their desktop than firewire, and it would be sitting there transfering data wirelessly so long, you might as well have taken the 4 seconds to plug it in. Why is this a good idea?

        I guess i'm just not getting it. Mabey i'm too practical from a monatary standpoint, but i wouldn't spend $400 on a wireless setup for my apartment when i can run $6 worth of cat 5 myself anywhere it wants to go in the apartment. Wireless is for cell phones and possibly for laptops at how much it costs right now, and i can't even afford it at that. Beyond that its just extra gadgets.

    • All they did was take small, firewire hard drive technology that someone else developed and then add a little layer of glitz to it. It seems to me that virtually all of the "marvelous engineering" was done by the hard drive manufacturer...not by Apple. They just added a layer of candy coating.
    • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:5, Informative)

      by JWhitlock ( 201845 ) <John-Whitlock@noSPAm.ieee.org> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:43PM (#2467438)
      Maybe it's not so lame. But Apple sells this device, while a VA Linux company [thinkgeek.com] sells Nomad [thinkgeek.com]

      (OK, it's a semi-troll - it's just fun to theorize about CmdrTaco / VA Linux / OSDN conspiracies)

    • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:52PM (#2467504)
      Raise your hand if you have iTunes ...

      Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port ...

      Raise your hand if you have both ...

      Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device ...

      There is Apple's market. Pretty slim, eh? I don't see many sales in the future of iPod.

      • While most Mac owners may not hang out here on Slashdot, there are quite a few of us around... Apple shipped 850,000 machines in the last year alone... This will sell...
      • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:03PM (#2467599) Homepage
        Since when is Apple concerned about market share? They do what capitalism was born to do. Cater to a small market, and do it the right way.

        I don't have an OSX box, and consequently, no firewire and iTunes, but if I /did/ (and many do/will have OSX within the next year), this piece of gear was BORN for that market. All while keeping Apple gear at the front of the pack in terms of usability, transfer speed, and respectable battery life.

        Apple has never been about selling the most number of units. Just look at the market leaders for cars, OSes, books, movies, CDs .. you'll understand why having a big market share essentially garauntees tha you you have to give up innovation. Heck, Intel shipped their latest chip with features /disabled/ .. so I, for one, am glad that apple is content to own just a small slice of the pie, because its the most /delicious/ slice.

        And no, I dont own any Apple gear. I wish I could justify it tho; unfortunately, MS keeps underselling quality, thus keeping wk2 on the the corperate desktop, and *nix just happens to serve the 'net industry better than anyone else.
      • by Doktor Memory ( 237313 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:24PM (#2467813) Journal
        Raise your hand if you have iTunes

        Bundled for free on every Mac sold in the last 18 months, and installed retroactively on god only knows how many other ones. Easily in the high hundreds of thousands, possibly in the millions.

        Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port...

        Every iMac, PowerMac, iBook and Powerbook sold in the last two years, plus almost every Sony VAIO and a good chunk of Compaq and HP's product lines. Easily in the millions.

        Raise your hand if you have both.

        See above.

        Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device...

        Looking at the sales of (picking three examples) Pilots, Rios and Digital Cameras, I'd say the number of people willing to spend $200-500 on a "cute" electronic device is "lots and lots."

        There is Apple's market. Pretty slim, eh? I don't see many sales in the future of iPod.

        I guess you don't. This is why Apple is a company with $4 Billion in the bank, and you're trolling on slashdot. Want fries with that?
      • Re:LAME? WTF?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sfgoth ( 102423 )

        Raise your hand if you have iTunes ...
        Raise your hand if you have a FireWire port ...
        Raise your hand if you have both ...
        Raise your hand if you have $400 to spend on a cute Apple device ...

        What, is there a large market for mp3 players with people who don't own computers?

        Apple knows that their biggest market is existing Apple customers. If Apple sells one of these for every 5 iBooks they sell, they'll be sitting pretty.

        Why should Apple fund a software team to port iTunes to Windows, just so they get a few $400 slim margin sales of an mp3 player?

        Better to let the Windows users wish they had an iPod, and go out and buy an iBook to get it.

        Apple's finally learning to bring the market to them, instead of chasing it all over the map.
    • by Rombuu ( 22914 )
      This is a marvel of engineering

      Yes it certainly puts the Apollo program, the Golden Gate bridge and the Great Pyramids in their place...

      Its a freakin' firewire hard drive... whoppy shit.
  • I like it, mainly because it's small, has a nice UI, and auto-syncs with iTunes. I was thinking of buying the Archos jukebox [thinkgeek.com] (20GB) but might get iPod instead - though since it requires FireWire it costs me an extra $100 for a FireWire PC card. (Old powerbook)

    Why? It's pretty and light, and it auto-syncs. Style and convenience matter!

    • Locally, NC, USA,

      firewire cards are $40 USD for PCI. I think I saw them at about $60 for PCMCIA.

    • Think twice. Or at least beware.

      The iPod can draw power through a Firewire connection, but I don't think PCMCIA cards can supply the juice needed. I've got a PCMCIA Firewire (VST) card in my Lombard PB... unfortunately, it can't power an external Firewire drive unless it has a separate AC adaptor hooked up.

      I'd be thrilled to find out I'm wrong, however...

  • Lame how? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TetOn ( 173570 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:29PM (#2467276) Homepage
    Nomad: 5x5x1.5 at 14oz
    iPod: 2.4x4x.78 at 6.5oz

    I'll give up a gig for size and weight.
  • by nebby ( 11637 )
    And I was all excited they were going to release a OS X based wireless web pad. Instead we get yet another portable MP3 player .. "groundbreaking" I think was the term I heard them use to describe this new secret product the other day. How "groundbreaking" can something be when I can walk up the street and buy something with similiar (and in some cases, additional/better) features?

    Sigh. One day Apple will live up to the hype. OS X is cool, and their plastic molding team has skills, but the hardware just sucks.
  • Lame? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John_Booty ( 149925 ) <johnbooty@bootyprojec t . o rg> 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.
    • I have like 20GB of mp3's anyway, not like they're really going to fit on anything out there

      creative has released a 20gb jukebox.
  • 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.
    • I like it. iTunes, for those that haven't used a Mac, is REALLY slick.
      I've used it. It's not insanely great.
      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.
      Uh, there are rip/(encode/decode)/burn scripts for UNIX... you see, when you have flexible tools it's trivial to make them work together.
      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.
      I will NEVER claim that the Macintosh is a "great UI". It is easy-to-learn. It is not easy-to-use for people used to a better interface (focus-follows-mouse? Multiple desktops? Remote display? Auto-select-to-clipboard? Give me my nice custom-configured X interface or give me death!)

      Sure, it's easy to learn the Mac. I did when I was 5. But I need to be more productive now, and the Mac interface makes it too hard.

      Speaking particularly of iTunes, how do I script it into apache? How do I use it from the command line? How do I run it on the machine hooked into my stereo from my desktop with the display that is in the other room? This is trivial and elegant in my UNIX environment.

      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).
      The Macintosh way (much like the Windows way) is to have applications that do everything you want to do. All your word-processing needs in Word. All your web-browsing needs in Internet Explorer. All your audio needs in iTunes.

      The problem with this way is that in the end it is too restrictive. If all you have is internet explorer, what if you want to do an ``internet-explorer -dump http://go-gnome.com | sh'' Or maybe you want to use internet explorer to recursively download a site for mirroring or archival?

      Ahhh... you say... but with OS X or Cygwin I can use bash and lynx! True, true. But at the point you're using lynx and the bourne shell and scripts pulling together cdparanoia, lame, and cdrecord, you're not doing things the Mac or Windows way, you're doing things the UNIX way.

      I do computer architecture as my job. It would be impossible for us to use Mac or Windows machines. Some of the things would work -- the assembler would be fine to do in Windows (and there's one that works in Windows) and the simulator would work ... but there are times when we redirect the trace output of one simulator into another to verify things... piping *that* output into a scrpit that gathers statistics and such. You don't just open up the ``save trace as...'' dialog box when you are about to spit out a 100-gig trace file, you need the flexability of being able to stream it into another application. And you don't want to have to open dialog boxes for 80 different possible configurations and sit there and wait for them to run when you can script together doing all the configurations on all the test files spreading across several machines over the weekend.

      The UNIX way is about flexible tools. Tools that work well together. Tools that are elegant and flexable. Tools that work well regardless of where you are, where you're coming from, or where you're going. This provides power for the UNIX user that surpasses that which someone using GUI tools on Windows or a Mac can ever know.

      Sure, it takes longer to learn. Most of the best things do. The sharper the learning curve, the bigger the payoff. That's why most UNIX gurus use emacs or vi... they're not easy to learn, but they are powerful.

      A UNIX guru can't take working with inferior tools. She can't stand sitting there doing a repetative task when she should be scripting it. She understands that her job is to be the master, and the computer is the tool to do the repetative job.

  • Oh boy, another overpriced mp3 player, just what I need. I really dislike memory or hd based players as you can buy a burner and an mp3cd player for less than the cost of these devices I'll go buy a portable mp3 cd player and be done with it.
    But, since its not an iWalk, let the Apple buying palm rumors return.
  • 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.


  • This is exactly this sort of MP3 player I'd like to buy, decent space, tiny size, light, simple interface and doubles as a hard drive.

    Unfortunately $400 is about twice as much as I'd want to pay for something the size of a pack of cards. Too bad, it's an otherwise well-designed product.

    Waiting for iPod 2.......

  • 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.

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

      by adavidw ( 31941 )
      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)

    • Re:oh no not again (Score:3, Informative)

      by jgilbert ( 29889 )

      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.

      At first I thought it should be more in the $300 range. However, after looking at the link someone supplied for a device from smartdisk (that most likely uses the same harddrive), I have to realize I was wrong. The smartdisk device is a 5GB firewire harddrive. That's all and it's the exact same price. Suddenly, it looks like a good deal!

      http://www.smartdisk.com [smartdisk.com] (It's the firefly)

  • by corky6921 ( 240602 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:35PM (#2467343) Homepage
    I submitted this as an article as well, but I must have been slightly behind the other guy.

    I have two major problems with this. First of all, yeah, it's tiny (the length of a credit card and less than an inch thick.) However, what happens when it gets dropped on the floor? For now, hard-drive based players are bulky for a reason -- tiny laptop drives are FRAGILE and need to be protected! The spindles won't hold up to much abuse, and MP3 players are subjected to a large amount of abuses on a daily basis, from being shoved in a backpack to being put in a pocket while the person is running. How well does the Apple player stack up?

    Secondly, the Apple player is competing with many others on the market. Steve Jobs makes it sound like Apple is the only player in the arena, but in reality, there are several. [cnet.com] Sure, Apple is the only one doing Firewire, and Firewire offers a faster transfer rate. But that's all for moot if my player pukes once I throw it in my bag.

    If you're interested in finding a really tiny player, check out the Flash-memory based ones. Flash memory is getting a lot cheaper. MyDivaPlayer.com [mydivaplayer.com] is offering a 128MB player that also accepts Flash memory for $135 after discount. Plus, these things are about half the size of the iPod. Flash memory players can be neat as well -- infinitely expandable storage, rewriteablity, and most players automatically plug-n-play as removable drives on Windows systems. Plus, you can do voice recording and cart around lots of other files as well, so the players double as mini Zip disks. :) Sure, hard-drive based players do this as well, and they have a much higher storage capacity -- but they are much more bulky and require careful care and feeding.
  • The clueless can use it in permanent "hotsync" mode, and have it automatically synchronize your MP3's between your iPod and your computer. Combine that with the charging-through-firewire and the relative simplicity of iTunes, and you have a product that even the village idiot can enjoy. (at least, the Village Idiot with a Mac.)

    For the clueful, it can be used as a 5GB firewire hard disk if you need it to. This can come in very handy -- my wife already wants one, and this is one of the reasons.

    However, there are two critical problems I see with it. The first, of course, is the price. Expect this story to be the sequel to the Cube, which everyone thought was cool, and too expensive to actually buy.

    Second, expect the RIAA (and Apple Records) to SUE THE PANTS off of Apple! (And hear the Village idiot cry when his new, un-rippable CD's won't work on his new iPod).

  • So at what point does Apple violate the terms of the agreement with Apple Records for ripping off the name and logo? At what point have they engaged in music-related business?
    • Sosumi (Score:5, Interesting)

      by arete ( 170676 ) <areteslashdot2NO@SPAMxig.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.
    • I'm replying to someone who might've been already modded into oblivion, but I'll try anyway.

      Normally, it's difficult to trademark a word like Apple, but you can go ahead and try. It's NOT incredibly hard to defend a name like "Apple" in a relatively narrow field, like music. (It'd be much harder if, say, you were "Apple Sauces, Inc.) Furthermore, this already happened, and Apple Computer signed a settlement agreeing not to delve into music.

      When they did, they said "so sue me"; see my post above.
    • Re:Apple vs. Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mcc ( 14761 ) <amcclure@purdue.edu> 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. [mercurycenter.com] 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 [apple-history.com] 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 [lowball.com], Apple Computer or their insurance company; i think their insurance company finally won. I can't say i really care either way, though.)
  • Well? Is that true?

    I read the cnet article and went to the apple store but there was no mention of anything.

    The mention of firewire and iTunes make me suspect it is only a mac peripheral. And that would suck.

    Any help here?

  • I just checked at the Apple Store. Oh well.
  • Well, I was hoping for something along the lines of the Terapin Mine [mineterapin.com], especially after seeing how well the new iBook and TiBook came out, but this thing is destined to fail. For $400 you can get a 5GB MP3 player that will only (officially) work on Macs running the very latest versions of the MacOS, but will run for 10 hours. Or, for half the price, you can get a smaller MP3 player and enough batteries and flash cards to keep most people happy, and which won't depend on the computer you use, and for the rest of the price you could get a low-end 3GB Digital Wallet [mindsat.com] for more storage. I can't offload my digital pictures to an iPod. I can't move files to any computer I want on an iPod. I can't use standard rechargeable batteries in an iPod. I can't find a reason to buy an iPod.
  • I won't buy one until the unit is available in at least lime, strawberry, and grape color.
  • Lame? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Lets see, in a portable mp3 player, you're looking for a few key features:

    Battery Life

    The Nomad blows the iPod away in capacity, as do CD-R players, but they are both far larger and heavier. The Nomad in particular isn't really portable. The iPod is practically small enough to hide it in the palm of your hands. Of course, then there is the battery life problem.

    Then there are the solid state players, with 32 or 64 megs of memory. They are small, have great battery life, and are cheap, but they don't hold enough music to make even their low cost worth paying.

    Apple termed it wrong, the iPod isn't a breakthrough. It's just another evolutionary step in consumer electronics, but an important one. While there are other players with larger capacities, smaller sizes, or cheaper price tags, the iPod is the first to really hit that sweet spot between each of those requirements. (OK, I admit, at $300, it would be a much much better deal.)
  • It may be lame but compared to *every* other mp3 player out there, it's the least lame there is. It's small, FireWire (copy a CD in less than 10 seconds? You know how slow my Sony mp3 player was to load?). It even charges over the FireWire port.

    So it's only 6GB. First off, that's a *lot*. It's about 100 CD's. How many CD's, MiniDiscs, 64MB flash cards, etc, does it take to equal that? Only a couple of HD-based systems are as convenient, and they all have other, more critical problems.

    All other HD based players' problems tend to be slow speed (USB, let alone performance), large size, poor battery life, and horrible interfaces. All but performance is *definitely* better in the iPod just based on the specs and demos. Performance has yet to be seen.

    iPod lame? Perhaps. It's just that everything else is more lame.

    -node 3

  • One thing I haven't seen addressed here yet, is that this device appears to be "Mac-only". That's their choice, but it seems to be a really poor one. They just chopped of their potential marketshare by 95%.
  • The iPod is suprisingly small, compare to the Archos (which is quite a bit smaller than the Creative Nomad):

    Dimensions: 115 x 83 x 34 mm. (4.5 x 3.2 x 1.3")
    Weight: 350 g (12.3 oz.)

    Of course the Archos is cheaper, can record, and supports up to 30GB (just swap drives). The Archos drivers have no digital rights protection, and no special software. The device just appears as a standard USB external drive (FAT32) when you plug it in.

    Firewire is quite appealing, consider copying a few GB at USB speeds... ughhhh.

  • by starfoxmac ( 80314 ) <9y3jnik02 AT sneakemail DOT com> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @02:52PM (#2467506)
    The Apple product has 83% of the storage space, 20.% of the volume, and transfers files 16500% faster (assuming 2.4 Mb/s USB spec and 50MB/s firewire, im unsure).
    Just because Apple didn't choose to significantly increase its volume by adding a 802.11a antenna, just to add a *very* slow transmittal solution (compared to its firewire), means it's "lame?"
    I don't have a religious bent for or against Apple; when intelligent people make these kinds of comments, it confuses me.
    • not 50MB/s (Score:3, Informative)

      by oneiros27 ( 46144 )
      50MB/s is the max throughput for firewire.
      Odds are, the drive can't handle the full bus speed.

      If it's using the Toshiba 1.8" drive, you're looking at a top end of 12MB/s, which means a about 50x the speed of USB.

      (assuming it's the same drive that someone pointed out in another post, is listed for $400, without the mp3 playing ability, at smartdisk.com)

  • Oh goody. Another over-priced MP3 player with too many bells and whistles. And a price that's way higher than it should be.

    All I want is a decent MP3. I want one that supports some sort of smart media card, supports at least 128MB, and has USB. And most importantly, doesn't cost $400! Is that too much to ask? The Diamond Rio 500 came closest to that, but of course it's not made anymore (and cost too much anyway). Instead, SonicBlue produces the vastly inferior Rio 600 or the way over-priced 800. If I can buy a camcorder for $300, a freaking MP3 player oughta be under $100.

    I don't need a built-in CD player (that's why I have MP3's fer crissakes!) I don't need a built-in hard drive. I don't need a goddamn built-in toaster oven. I just want a little MP3 player that holds more than 5 songs that I can stick in my pocket when I go for a walk. I certainly don't need to put my entire MP3 collection on it all at once.

    Let's see a cheap MP3 player that does one thing exceptionally well, instead of an overpriced MP3 player that does half a dozen things poorly.
    • You are so correct it hurts. I'm an "apple person" but I have to say this is nonsense. For a car, yes 5 or 10 GB is good, but for something to tote around with you, I'd be happy with 150 Megs or so, enough to carry a couple dozen songs or so.
  • Why don't you moderate yourself down to -1 for that lame ass remark. This thing's component's, individually, aren't revolutionary, true. However it is the combination of them and the finess of the execution that is. An MP3 player. A hard drive. Firewire. No power supply needed. SMALL AS HELL. Now combine those. I think you are just pissed because you didn't think of it first. I agree, it is a bit expensive. However, I think the price will come down.

    Wasn't the 6GB Nomad $400 when it first came out? Could you use that as a HD? Could you fill it up in under a minute? Could you charge it over the same cable you were loading it up with? Did it automatically sync with your computer? Nope.

    Get off your high horse and realize that just because the individual comonents aren't unique, the combination of them all is, and that's why it'll sell, regardless of whether some /. moderator thinks so.

  • $400, for now... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sfgoth ( 102423 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:19PM (#2467772) Homepage Journal
    Keep in mind it's $400 right now becuase the Apple Fanatics will have to have one. They'll pay anything for the latest cool toy from Apple.

    In 6 months, hopefully the rest of us will be buying the 20GB version for $200.
  • by adamspiers ( 45617 ) <adam AT spiers DOT net> on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:48PM (#2468023) Homepage
    Can't believe noone's mentioned the PJB100 [pjbox.com] (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 [sourceforge.net] 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 [kolumbus.fi] 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.

  • The fine print? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @03:56PM (#2468102)
    Did anyone else notice this?

    iPod and iTunes are for legal or rightholder-authorized copying only. Don't steal music.

    Apple seems to have the right theory on "content protection"

  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Tuesday October 23, 2001 @07:45PM (#2469504) Homepage Journal
    This thing must get pretty warm after an hour of use. I've had a couple of laptop HD drives get pretty damn hot on me. I don't see any vents on this toy. For $400 I'de get cheesed off if it just decided to stop working.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun