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Mac Mini and iPod Hi-Fi Over-Hyped? 317

RX8 writes "Analyst Michael Greeson takes a look at Apple's new products, the Mac Mini (Intel based) and iPod Hi-Fi and explains why they were over-hyped and how that can damage Apple. Michael explains that when you are 'an industry innovator - when your products fall short of being truly original, your own success becomes your worst enemy.'" Update: 03/04 00:07 GMT by Z : As many posters have pointed out, the article here has little to do with the synopsis. This article is mostly about the design for the mac mini and its remote, which is a fairly interesting topic. Mea culpa, folks.
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Mac Mini and iPod Hi-Fi Over-Hyped?

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  • Wait just a minute (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Michalson ( 638911 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:26PM (#14845361)
    You mean to tell me that advertising a screenless MP3 player with random mode as a life changing revolution could be a bit over the top?

    /Doesn't own a Shuffle
    //But already owned another cheap generic brand no-feature MP3 player with the same chipset
  • by Matey-O ( 518004 ) <> on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:26PM (#14845373) Homepage Journal
    Apple held an event in it's 'Cafeteria(*)' fer chrissakes!

    When they pull out the stops, it isn't in an event of this level.

    Overpriced leather case aside, the stuff they rolled out was worth holding a minor event over...That's what this was, a minor event.

    *=yeah, it wasn't the Cafeteria, but it was held in a location they already own, it's cheap floorspace to hold an announcement.
  • Re:Amateur Hour (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stupidfoo ( 836212 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:29PM (#14845392)
    Zonk's an idiot. I think this has been fairly well established by now.
  • by YouHaveSnail ( 202852 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:32PM (#14845433)
    I usually pay pretty close attention to the products Apple introduces, and I have to say that I nearly missed the most recent introduction entirely. I may have been a bit inattentive, but when there's a really big announcement coming from Apple, everybody knows about it. For one thing, Apple generally introduces important products at major events, such as MacWorld or WWDC. This time, though, they just invited a bunch of reporters to show up and see their new products.

    Overhyped? More like hardly hyped at all.
  • by blackmonday ( 607916 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @04:42PM (#14845517) Homepage
    Thank god you're not in charge of making business decisions at Apple. People are already buying iPod HiFi systems - Bose, Altec Lansing, etc. Apple wants in on that. They know they can charge a premium for their system, and they're gonna do it. And you know what? People are going to buy it. In droves.

    Most of your complaints can be traced back to the iPod itself. When it was first announced most people around here laughed it off as being nothing new and overpriced. Don't underestimate Apple's excellent product design and marketing expertise.

  • What hype? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biglig2 ( 89374 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:05PM (#14845743) Homepage Journal
    There wasn't any hype. "Come and see some fun new products" was all they said. How exactly could they have played it any less? "We've some new stuff, it's pretty crappy, but someone might want it I suppose."

    And they could have hyped this. Look, they announced the switch to Intel last year and said they'd have Intel Macs in June this year. It's March, and already they have a mid-range desktop, high-end notebook, and two low-end desktop machines out.
  • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:12PM (#14845823)
    "The new platform features a variety of entertainment-specific goodies, including... a dedicated TV output"

    Where? I see a Firewire and a DVI port, no composite, S-Video, 75ohm coax, or component video you'd expect for the term "dedicated TV output". Indeed, from the specifications:
    S-video and composite video output to connect directly to a TV or projector (using Apple DVI to Video Adapter, sold separately)
    So Apple makes a scan converter, which could probably be used with any of their machines. It still doesn't make the DVI port a "dedicated TV output".
  • Re:Amateur Hour (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tooth ( 111958 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:14PM (#14845852)
    I'm sick of Zonk articles too, and the come in waves, 6 at a time. I notice it as the times when I read /. are the time when he posts a heap of articles. Can't there be some more effort put into getting this right?
  • The new masthead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mille Mots ( 865955 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:25PM (#14845952)
    Perhaps the masthead should be changed to something like:

    News for nerds. Summaries that bear no resemblance to the articles they summarize.


    Sig null

  • by freerangegeek ( 451133 ) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:27PM (#14845970)
    The cable is NOT a scan converter. The Apple "DVI output" has both the DVI and S signals, you just need a cable to convert the connecter.
  • Re:New revision (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Urusai ( 865560 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @05:45PM (#14846129)
    Maybe what you want is a full scale Mac. The Mac mini compromises power for compactness and price. What, do you expect a $359 Walmart box to play Doom 3, too? Do you expect a $13K compact car to have a V8, 450 HP, handle like a GP car, and get 150 mpg, in addition to the leather seats and 1500 watt stereo system?
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:09PM (#14846324)
    there are already multiple stand-alone speaker systems for the ipod from Bose, JBL, and others

    Have you listened to any of them?

    I sepnt some time in an Apple store comparing them (not even to buy, just curious) and frankly all of them soundly really weak. Yet people buy them.

    If the Apple unit produces much better sound then the extra cost may well be worth it for the same people that are buying these things already (I must admit I am not quite sure who they are, though I suppose they'd be nice for a sewing room or shop or something).

    and the Intel Mac mini is simply a retool of the same offering on a faster chip.

    Sort of true but it also offers improved graphics support for video (even with the dreaded integrated Intel video chip), and standard bluetooth/wireless. These are really important features so that third party makers of things like bluetooth or IP remotes know that there will be a substantial market for such if enough minis are sold.

    these 2 products are more evolutionary than REVolutionary, and hardly deserves the fanfare of a separate launch party hosted by Jobs himself

    I agree they are more evolutionary, though in the case of the mini it jumps from a device that is not really usable as an HTPC for a number of reasons to a device that is actually well suited to the task - that is something more of a jump than a basic evolutionary step. It's like going from cro-magnon to wall street stock broker, I was pretty happy as I thought it would take more models to really add HTPC support.

    And it was not a party but a press briefing! He came on stage, announced the two items, and took off. Actually the mini alone probably deserved a little more fanfare than that but they wanted to keep it low key I iamgine until other products that tie into it (like HD video on ITMS) are released.
  • Re:Amateur Hour (Score:5, Insightful)

    by baryon351 ( 626717 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:10PM (#14846327)
    Sadly, I don't think the summary was a troll or a joke, rather an expression of how poor many people are at truly reading news articles for meaning, as opposed to the habit of skimming over them in 30 seconds and getting a few key words to highlight mentally.

    I've written articles for a few sites in the past, not as anything professional, but come across the same problem. Enough of the feedback in site comments or email comes from people who betray their lack of comprehension by their comments. I'll write about how to install an apache module for example, and specifically state three steps to be taken in order to get everything working; the responses indicate people have jumped in and tried only step three, done all steps in a random order, or in some cases completely misread the point of the article. "Hi B, I'm writing about your article on how to get eaccelerator working, and I'm getting errors decompressing the archive according to Step 2"... so I reply "Hello user, I have never written an eaccelerator article, step 2 is how to decompress the archive for installing mod_gzip". Any & every permutation comes back at me. It's possibly a reflection of bad writing skills, but honestly I don't think my writing is THAT poor.

    So it goes on, and I blame half-hearted attempts in school to introduce speed reading, where anybody can be taught in minutes to skim over two paragraphs and get words like "hype" "apple" "mac mini" and "intel" then make up their own story in-mind, without getting any real context or meaning from what's read.
  • by shotfeel ( 235240 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:11PM (#14846334)
    I'm not following that. If there's so much content, then sorting by keywords or other criteria that has something to do with the content would be what's wanted. Not a random number that happens to be associated with the content.

    So if you're looking for CNN, you look for CNN, not a number that happens to be associated with CNN.

    Kind of like my post last week about Vista still using letters to designate drives. Its necessary to have a simple designation, but these sesignations are meaningless to the end user. Where do you find the G drive, or what's on channel 48?
  • by Have Blue ( 616 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:30PM (#14846490) Homepage
    Channels are one-dimensional. You can deliver the same functionality (and much more) with a tree- like the iPod music browsing interface. You can already sort of do this on digital cable boxes with the sort by title or theme buttons, but when there's a real computer driving it there's no reason to stick with an organization that was first designed for a single mechanical dial.
  • Re:Remote Controls (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tgibbs ( 83782 ) on Friday March 03, 2006 @06:48PM (#14846625)
    Few remotes are very well designed. The two best I've seen are the TiVo remote and a remote for an older device called VideoGuide that added TiVo-like capabilities to VCRs. Of course, making a simple remote for a simple device like an iPod is not exactly a huge challenge. I'll be interested to see what Apple comes up for a remote when and if they finally release a true media center PC.
  • by Powercntrl ( 458442 ) * on Friday March 03, 2006 @08:09PM (#14847141)
    Apple screwed the pooch on the iPod Hi-Fi.

    My first thought upon seeing the picture of it was, "where are the tweeters?"

    Frequency response: 53Hz to 16kHz ± 3 dB
    (From Apple's "Tech Specs")

    16kHz? Absymal. It's not Hi-Fi - I've seen ghetto blasters with better specs. For what Apple's charging, you could buy a Chinese-made tube amp from eBay and still have enough money left over to buy a pair of speakers with better specs.
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Friday March 03, 2006 @09:10PM (#14847498) Journal
    One question: have you heard one yet, or are you just guessing?

  • Re:Amateur Hour (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ceejayoz ( 567949 ) <> on Saturday March 04, 2006 @12:12AM (#14848253) Homepage Journal
    16.2 fps in doom 3 @ 640x480, nice.

    How many people do you know who bought a Mac mini for cutting edge gaming?

    Would you whine about your new Dodge Neon not doing very well in the NASCAR standings?

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato