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Rip CDs Directly to Your iPod 85

Kevin writes "A company out of Taiwan has released a device that rips audio cds directly to your iPod. It converts them to MP3 and even does all the tagging for you." Zettabyte, the company producing the units, hopes to hit market within the year and while it could work for any MP3 player, it is being marketed exclusively for the iPod right now.
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Rip CDs Directly to Your iPod

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  • How Long (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GmAz ( 916505 )
    How long til the RIAA finds this out and makes them disappear from the face of the earth. Good idea, but I have a feeling it won't hit the market, and if it does, it won't be there long.
    • Re:How Long (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GmAz ( 916505 )
      And I didn't realize that the logo on the device uses the iPod logo with a "u" "l" "a" inserted into it. Talk about trademark infringement. These guys are brave.
      • "iPod logo"? Wuzzat?

        The only logo on an iPod is the Apple Computer logo.

        (Unless you bought one of those HP models from a couple years ago.)
        • If you look at the box an iPod comes in, or at any of Apple's ads for the iPod, they have a definite trademarked logo. It's the word "iPod" written in a particular sans-serif font.

          And at least on my 3G unit, it's printed on the back of the device itself, right under the Apple logo. Maybe they've stopped doing this on the newer ones.

          And printed down at the bottom of the back side, near the FCC ID, it reads "Copyright 2003 Apple Computer, Inc. All Rights Reserved." (Actually it uses the Copyright symbol but I
          • The product name is not a logo. The only logo is that picture of an apple right above the word "iPod." You can't trademark the use of a sans-serif font, any more than you can trademark the use of the color white.

            The copyright at the bottom is referring to the interface software, not the word iPod.
            • You are incorrect. You cannot trademark the sans-serif font (I believe that would be copywritten by the font foundry), but you can definitely trademark a particular word, written in a particular font. It's called a "Typed Drawing" in USPTOese.

              Apple has half a dozen different trademarks on the "iPod" name, for various uses, but the 'Typed Drawing' trademark, as opposed to the trademark just on the word itself (the "standard character mark"), is 78089144. Here is a link [uspto.gov], although I'm not sure if it will work.
            • I think colours are covered by patents. Like this link [onthecommons.org].

              From it:

              "Deutsch Telekom AG now owns the color magenta, which has been estimated to be worth up to 20 billion Euros. The maker of Milka chocolate owns the color lilac, which was made famous by its trademarked Milka cow. The color-trademark is estimated to be worth about 50 million euros."

              Also a German wiki page [64.233.179.104].

      • Doh! I read your comment before TFA, and thought the device was named iPod ula, not i u P l o a d
    • Well, this isn't an American company, though Taiwan relies very heavily on the US. It would probably be easier for the RIAA to lobby to make them illegal in the US than it would be for them to pursue a foreign company. I think they'll have to just deal with it in this case.
    • Re:How Long (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otis2222222 ( 581406 )
      I'd like to see them try. If you own a physical CD, ostensibly one that you bought legally, and you copy its contents to your iPod, no laws have been broken. If you got said CD from your neighbor there could be issues, but I'd say that a device like the one in question has, as they say, "substantial non infringing uses".

      After all, if it's well established that you can legally use an iPod in the first place, then what is the legal difference between putting a CD in your computer, ripping it, and copying

      • I'd rather not see them try. They might actually succed, despite the fact that it is legal right now. They'd just have to get someone to either believe the law says something else, or change the law.
      • yes, ripping cds to your ipod is legal.. for now.
      • The difference between using your computer and this device is that this device is dedicated for ripping songs. Go to your friends house and walk out with their entire collection in an hour. A computer on the other hand isn't meant just for ripping music. Joe Schmoe computer science major can program a ripping program very easily and upload it to the internet so everyone can use it. This machine's sole purpose is to rip music.
    • Re:How Long (Score:4, Informative)

      by dividedsky319 ( 907852 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:59PM (#14926265) Homepage
      How long til the RIAA finds this out and makes them disappear from the face of the earth. Good idea, but I have a feeling it won't hit the market, and if it does, it won't be there long.

      Why do you say that? This isn't really any different than ripping to iTunes on a computer and transferring it to your iPod. You have the physical cd that you purchased (well, possibly... it obviously works with burned cds too), you're just putting it right onto your iPod.

      This just takes out the "computer" step.

      However, other problems come up too... If a CD is ripped to the iPod, what happens when you plug the iPod into a computer? iTunes doesn't support iPod > computer, so the CD you ripped won't show up and, if automatic sync is enabled, the cd would be deleted.
    • Yeah, I suspect this doohickey might fall afoul of the AHRA. Looking back over the Diamond case, this seems too limited in purpose to be exempted.
  • by Doctor Memory ( 6336 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:54PM (#14926227)
    Will it cost less than the iPod itself? I mean, yeah it's cumbersome dragging out the laptop and stuffing CDs in it, but I already have it. I'm not going to shell out US$200+ for yet another device to clutter up a desk drawer during the 98% of its life that I'm not using it...
  • Really, once we know the iPrice we'll know if the iUpload would be worth it. For now it seems like a strange thing, after all, if you have an iPod you pretty much HAVE to have a computer, yes? Why buy something to do something that you already have a computer to do it? This is not something that is completely portable either. Honestly I just don't see much use for it - "oh no, I don't want to have to use iTunes or [insert CDripper software] to make mp3s! I'd much rather have yet another thing to plug i
    • One thing (Score:5, Funny)

      by Mille Mots ( 865955 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:08PM (#14926354)
      Why buy something to do something that you already have a computer to do it? This is not something that is completely portable either. Honestly I just don't see much use for it - "oh no, I don't want to have to use iTunes or [insert CDripper software] to make mp3s!

      Well, what if you're at a friend's house and (s)he, uh, sells you an old CD. Yeah, sells it to you. But, you don't want to take the actual CD with you, because you're afraid your car will get broken in to. So, you, you know, agree to leave the actual, physical CD at your friend's house, for, you know, safe keeping. You'll probably get it later, anyway. But, you'd really like to have those tracks on your iPod, like, now. So, you whip out your iUpload device, plug it into your iPod and blam!, now you have your newly purchased, perfectly legal music in your iPod.

      So, there you go, one reason why you would buy something to do something you already have a computer to do. And it's perfectly legal!

      Maybe.

      --
      Sig nificant

      • Okay. So you're afraid of having a used CD stolen from you, but you routinely walk around with something that measures 10x6x3 inches whose sole purpose is ripping CDs? Unlikely, says I.
      • Well, what if you're at a friend's house and (s)he, uh, sells you an old CD. Yeah, sells it to you. But, you don't want to take the actual CD with you, because you're afraid your car will get broken in to. So, you, you know, agree to leave the actual, physical CD at your friend's house, for, you know, safe keeping. You'll probably get it later, anyway. But, you'd really like to have those tracks on your iPod, like, now. So, you whip out your iUpload device, plug it into your iPod and blam!, now you have you
  • This device from Zettabyte will also save you from using all your ten fingers when changing or revising your playlist as everything is automatic.

    As much as it's dumb that iTunes is supposed to be the only interface to your iPod, I do like the ability to visually manage playlists and create smart playlists. I don't think this device will be able to automatically decide that I want $song on $playlist.
    • Personally, I prefer Winamp over iTunes. Winamp 5.2 has support for the iPod. You can create playlists, import mp3s, pretty much everything that iTunes can do. If you don't want to upgrade to 5.2, there is a plug-in for Winamp [winamp.com] that does the same thing. The nice part about the plug-in is that it allows you to copy songs OFF of your iPod and onto your hard drive.
      • I was one of those people who stopped at Winamp 2. Winamp 5 was never quite the same, and after I got an iPod I gave up on it altogether. It's been at least a year (probably more) since I've last tried it. With iPod support, it might be worth checking out again. Thanks!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Can Winamp sell me a poor-quality rip of an album for $10? No? How about a sub-NTSC rip of last night's Leno monologue for $2? No? BZZT! NOT USING IT!

        </pretentious-fanboy>
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist ( 898384 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:58PM (#14926257)
    Another company beat them too it, called it iLoad.

    http://www.iload.com/index.html [iload.com]

    They could be vaporware, but they were hitting the news sites in January. It didn't take long for an Asian company to rip off the idea though. Hopefully iLoad got a few patents in place first.
  • It's too damn ugly.

    /Mac and iPod owner
  • More functions? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jtorkbob ( 885054 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:00PM (#14926280) Homepage
    Notice the three (apparently) buttons? In, synchronize, out? Offering to burn CDs from your iPod, or back up music to an internal drive?

    Interesting. I wonder how much hardware this thing has. It looks big enough.
    • Or possibly "up" and "down." I don't know about you, but the CD-tagging I'm used to (mostly MusicMatch, before I stopped buying CDs) always returns more than one result. Perhaps there's a preview for what CD it think you've got in, so you can make sure your tagging is correct?
  • Auto-tagging? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Saige ( 53303 )
    Oh great, more crappily-tagged songs. I don't think there's a CD tagging service out there currently that's not half-crappy. I sure as hell wouldn't want stuff on my iPod until I've been able to run it through MusicBrainz and get things cleaned up and presentable.
    • by Pope ( 17780 )
      MusicBrainz is hardly the bastion of correctly-tagged anything. The way CDDB works is far better and doesn't rely on some vague "sampling" method. I've seen lots of times where MusicBrainz figures out tags for half an album, and half of those are labelled as coming from a "Best Of" rather than the original album.
      • The way CDDB works is far better

        What a load. CDDB is so full of CRAP it's become nearly useless. Music Brainz is far from perfect either, but it's pretty darn good, and at least it tags a song as having a title AND an artist, as opposed to the title being "my song--jonny musician" with no artist.

      • Sure, the MB tagger isn't perfect, but it's better than anything else I've found. Typically, I rip a CD, letting the program tag it from whatever database it feels like, I confirm that it's the right tags, then I run it through the MB tagger to fix the typically atrocious spelling and capitalization problems that plague all the other places. That's never been a problem for me. Ever. If the ripper would grab the data from MB in the first place, I wouldn't need that extra step.

        The only time I do have issu
  • Small market... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:01PM (#14926295) Journal
    What is the actualy intersect of people who own digital music players but don't own a computer? It's hard to imagine too many iPod owners out that that don't have a computer...
    • computer? i'm typing this from my ipod right now!
    • Re:Small market... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by oneiros27 ( 46144 )

      I don't know how large it is, but it does exist --

      one of my co-workers mentioned a friend w/ pre-teen daughters who requested iPods for christmas -- and their parents got them ... but they didn't have a computer, so they didn' have a way of loading music onto them.

      So, the problem isn't the typical yuppie, or college student, it's the families out there that don't have a massive income, and don't have a computer at home, but have kids who want iPods.

      Of course, this particular situation won't be helped b

      • Are you saying there are parents out there who can't afford to get their family a computer (a useful tool in today's world) but can afford to get their kids an iPod (an expensive luxury item that can potentionaly cost more than an entry-level computer)?? I'm sorry but those parents completely lack any sense of priority or responsability. They're the ones who created this stupid "problem" in the first place.
    • I think you're missing the point. This device has the potential to expand the market for digital music players to those that don't have computers. I know LOTS of people that are interested in iPods and other players but are intimidated by computers. iPods are a lot easier to use than general purpose computers. And hopefully this device will be easy to use too.

      However, I'm pretty dubious of Zettabyte's ability to successfully market this thing to this target audience. They really need to team up with Wal-mar
  • Borderline Useless (Score:3, Informative)

    by Y-Crate ( 540566 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:07PM (#14926343)
    I can't really see a situation where I would have a need for something like this.

    I can't think of more than a tiny handful of times in the past 6 years that I've wanted to rip a CD but haven't had a computer nearby. Furthermore, this thing looks heavy, or at least bulky, so what exactly are we supposed to do? Carry it around in a little pouch just in case someone has a CD we want to rip? You're probably going to need to keep it at home, which further negates the entire point of having one. iTunes - for all of the perplexing, intense rage people have towards it - is incredibly good at doing what this device does and it doesn't charge you a dime for the privilege.

    On top of all this, the industrial designer obviously put this together on his lunch break or something as it just looks incredibly shoddy.
  • Desktop (Score:1, Redundant)

    by jonoid ( 863970 )

    After all, don't you find it weird that you have to have a bulky device like a desktop or a laptop just to transfer a very small file into an equally tiny device?

    Why do I need yet another device to do something that my existing bulky desktop already does?

  • by ericdano ( 113424 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:11PM (#14926393) Homepage
    What we really need is a hardware device that can rip MOVIES to iPod video format quickly. Waiting hours to rip a DVD is just insane. Why can't they come out with a super fast way to rip them to an iPod??
    • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:33PM (#14926577) Journal
      Why can't they come out with a super fast way to rip [movies] to an iPod?

      Firstly, because video compression is a very CPU-intensive process. While faster CPUs or custom hardware may improve its speed, neither is likely to be very cheap. It's not as if people are making it slow just for fun, you know. Secondly, ripping commercial DVDs is currently illegal in the US due to the DMCA, so you might understand the reluctance on the part of manufacturers.

      • I wonder if you could produce a product that, out of the box, would only transcode DVDs that didn't have CSS applied (home movies on DVD-R, etc.) but was built using a system-on-a-chip that stored its programming in a way that would let it be re-flashed. So you could download a new image ("for use in Sweden only") and re-flash it so that it would do the De-CSSing in software. It seems like this would be at least technically feasible, especially if you used ASICs for MPEG-2 decoding and MPEG-4 encoding, both
        • Your two main enemies remain the law and cost. Judges are not dumb. They may not establish a substantial non-infringing use for your device, because not many people actually need to rip home video DVDs. This would give your device the same fate as Playstation modchips and such, which also have theoretically non-infringing uses. Secondly, the box could cost as much as a laptop, and almost certainly more than a cheap desktop, which means that only people who rip a lot of movies would buy one. This wouldn't he
      • Firstly, because video compression is a very CPU-intensive process.

        Not really. A tivo that can do realtime MPEG2 encoding only runs a 100Mhz processor. For certain tasks, using a general purpose processor really isn't the brightest idea.

        CSS is a nasty snag though.
        • Not really. A tivo that can do realtime MPEG2 encoding only runs a 100Mhz processor. For certain tasks, using a general purpose processor really isn't the brightest idea.

          The problem is that realtime is not good enough, because it would then take an hour and a half to rip a typical movie. CDs typically rip within a small fraction of its playing time, which I believe is why people are still willing to do it. Secondly, a TiVo box is not cheap. A new one (including subscription) seems to require a $610.20 com

        • Yes, really. MPEG4 encoding is several orders of magnitude more computationally intensive. And it's MPEG4 that folks would be interested in for video iPods...the MPEG2 found on DVD's is just too big to be practical for loading on them (unless you plan to load only 3 or 4 movies at a time) Sure, you could have a specialized chip that could trancode MPEG2 to MPEG4 (or the various flavors..divx, h.264, etc) but as it stands now there's not much of a market for development of such a chip due to the aforement
  • Why not just get an Archos Jukebox or any other mp3 player that already has the feature to record from any audio source?

    Sure it won't automatically tag the files for you but it is much more convenient being able to record anything while anywhere...

    Heck, mine has a standard audio in, an optical audio in, and a built in mic.

    I just keep a patch cable with it and I'm good to go.
    • Hell yeah! I bought an Archos AV420 last spring and have never regretted it once. I was watching my ripped DVDs while riding trains and planes across europe before the iPod video prototype even existed!

      There is really no excuse for any proper geek to own an iPod besides trying to look cooler than they actually are. iPods are overpriced and under-featured. There are many good mp3/mpg4 players which are much cheaper and provide far more functionality than the iPod. Of course they aren't designed with you
  • I work in in the merchant marine. On board ships I work a large number of us have laptops and MP3 player. Ripping to a player seems obvious to us. I have the opportunity to talk with a number of people out here who don't have either. Several have asked if there was a way to buy and ipod preloaded as they have no desire to buy a laptop.

    Seems this device would hit the older crowd who would like the advantages of the ipod without having to learn several new piece of technology in order to use the IPod.
  • by ross.w ( 87751 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {yelrednowr}> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @05:34PM (#14927718) Journal
    There are absolutely no legal uses for a device like that here. The very job it is designed to do is completely illegal, even though most people still do it and no-one prosecutes anyone for it.

    The problem is that we don't have legal fair use here, making everyone who has an iPod and most people with a CD burner or a VCR a criminal.
    • Don't be silly. Of course there's a legal use. If the copyright owner permits you to copy the CD to your iPod then your entitled to do so.

      For example:

      * You are the copyright owner.
      * You are a client of the copyright owner and you license that use.
      * The content is public domain.
      * The copyright owner explicitly permits this use for any reason.

      For an example of the latter in the electronic book market, Baen Books has included a CD with a number of the novels they publish containing electronic versions of these
      • You're assuming that whoever wrote the Australian law (if their system works like it does in the US, probably a record company lobbyist) didn't inadvertantly write the law such that it's actually illegal for the copyright holder to make copies of his own works. You may be overestimating their intelligence.

        It may very well be technically illegal for the record label to even press new CDs. You never know.

        In my state, the legislature passed a law allowing cities to charge a "right to work" tax of $52 a year

        • You're assuming that whoever wrote the Australian law (if their system works like it does in the US, probably a record company lobbyist) didn't inadvertantly write the law such that it's actually illegal for the copyright holder to make copies of his own works.

          No, I'm not assuming that the law in Australia is sane, and it's quite possible that at least some of the non-infringing uses I thought of are actually illegal. But it's vanishingly unlikely that "There are absolutely no legal uses for a device like t
  • Sorry guys, but from that photo, I'm not convinced that this "product" is anything more than an early April Fool's joke.

    -jcr

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