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Get Your iPod Fix From a Vending Machine 104

burnteternal writes "iPod Hacks reports that new iPod Vending Machines are popping up all over the U.S.; it includes links to pictures and a video of it in action."
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Get Your iPod Fix From a Vending Machine

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  • by PSXer ( 854386 ) * <> on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:43PM (#15438306) Homepage
    Watching the fight break out when the iPod gets stuck in the vending machine and thirty people claim they were the one who put the money in. Hey, free entertainment!
  • I thought it was kind of a bizarre concept. I watched it for a while and never saw anyone use it on a very busy day at the mall. It feels kind of risky since it is unattended (what happens if it eats your money and you don't get the product ... flaky vending machines are fine when your risk is a dollar, not so much when you might be making a $500 purchase). This also seems to emphasize spontaneity of purchase ... if you can wait to buy from some more reputable venue, why wouldn't you? And with a $100+ p
    • Most vending machines are far more advanced these days. If the item never made it through the delivery drop box it should not charge you for the purchase.
    • Risky? That's why credit cards have a thing called "charge backs". It's not like you're stuffing hundreds of pounds (literally) of coins into that thing...
      • by Surt ( 22457 )
        Charge back is great, if it works. You don't always win the dispute. If they say your ipod was dispensed, and there's nothing they can do, you'll probably lose.
        • Unlikely. Ask them to provide a signed receipt, or other evidence of acceptance of goods. Even if your credit card company doesn't believe you, they can't make you pay, or pay interest, while the item is in dispute. Of course the seller can sue you, but the onus is upon them to prove you received the goods...
        • not true. with _credit cards_ only, specifically not debit cards, the law is on your side. The burden of proof is on them to show you bought something. This is not true with debit cards. no matter what guarentees banks say they give with them, the law is still on their side and they can legally tell you to go away and suck it up. With credit cards you can do the same to them.

          the reason is that with debit cards, it is your money, losing it is the same as if someone swiped your wallet. No one refunds you if y
  • When buying electronics from machines that are barely passable for distributing candy, make sure not to be surprised when your 300 dollar electronics don't work because they've been dropped from a height of four feet.
    • Maybe you should watch the video?
      • Maybe you should watch the video?

        Are you suggesting that one should be aware of the reality of the situation before commenting? Forsooth!
    • by technoextreme ( 885694 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:07PM (#15438516)
      When buying electronics from machines that are barely passable for distributing candy, make sure not to be surprised when your 300 dollar electronics don't work because they've been dropped from a height of four feet.

      Actually they are robotic vending machines. Nothing actually drops. Heheh.. I've seen this things dispense coke before and the sounds and movements it makes is cool. Here is there website. []
    • Re:Keep in mind (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I take it you haven't seen one of these actually work. They use a system very much like the one used to dispense glass bottles (eg no dropping involved). At the one near me, there is a robotic arm that grabs the product from and then places it in the dispensing door. There is no dropping involved, heck it's probably safer than how most iPods are stored in stores. Also, I believe the machines only take credit cards (maybe debit cards) so if something does go wrong, you have a means of recourse. This isn't th
      • I've seen these ones before...but you say 'like the one used to dispense glass bottles...'

        I've seen many a Snapple machine that dispenses glass bottles the same way a regular one does. Dropping from 5 feet or so. I haven't seen one break yet, though I did see someone stupidly get two at once....and they fell on eachother...then the glass broke...
  • I'm still waiting for the French Fry vending machine! Anyways, its gonna be a long line, with people stuffing three hundred $1 dollar bills into a vending machine....

    • I'm developing a French Fry vending machine that stores residual oil in a hold tank for a Vegetable Oil car gas pump.

      I'm calling it the Pump and Fry.
    • I'm still waiting for the French Fry vending machine!

      I think you missed it.

      About 7 or 8 years ago, I did buy french fries from a vending machine at a highway rest stop, on I-81 N in New York, just past the Pennsylvania border.

      If my memory serves me, the results were not bad. Certainly closer to real fries than the "coffee with whitener" out of a rest stop vending machine is to real coffee.
    • Re:Still Waiting... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Phat_Tony ( 661117 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:19PM (#15438635)
      We saw french fry vending machines in Spain. They had good fries. They don't keep them hot, they flash fry them right then when you buy 'em. It takes a little while.

      Here's [] someone's photo blog with a picture of one of the machines.

      Barcelona also had a gigantic inflatable swarthy Santa Claus with a black beard with his arms stacked high with a giant mounded assortment of raw meats. That has no relevance to this discussion, it's just one of those things that's too weird not to mention when my trip to Spain comes up.

    • They used to have them in Zürich (where I live). I've been to Berlin last week, and they still have them in train stations.

      I bought french fries from such a machine once. It cost about five US$, and I got a tiny paper cup thingie with like four small french fries and a few crumbs inside. They were four damn good french fries, though :-)

    • Too late...they already make french fry vending machines. Can't remember the name of them, but back home in New Brunswick I use to go to a convenience store not far from school and buy a box of fries every day. Cost something like $2. On special days I'd get the fries and chicken nuggets. Probably wasn't the healthiest or greatest tasting things, but at 10 years old all you're thinking of is "OOOOH, fries for lunch!" Soon discovered the really good fries and gravy from the chip shop even closer to scho
  • Not just iPods... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uvsc_wolverine ( 692513 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:54PM (#15438399) Homepage
    If you watch the video...not only is the iPod NOT being dropped like a standard vending machine it's also not just iPods in the vending machine. The video features your average geek buying a power adapter. It's hard to tell from the video but it also looks like there are some cables and other things in there along with the iPods. I'm much more likely to buy accessories from a vending machine than an actual iPod.
    • My last hotel stay in vegas was at a doubletree club - my best hotel experience in vegas so far, down to the neutrogena products in the bathroom. Anyway they have one of these machines, and they have iPod, iPod Nano or Mini or WTFever it's called (nano? I just inhaled and snorted my mp3 player!) as well as a shuffle, but they also have a bunch of other stuff, like a bluetooth headset, a pair of bluetooth headphones that come with a stereo-miniplug-to-bluetooth adapter for a hundred bucks (fuckers) and the i
    • I saw one of these inside the international terminal of San Francisco Airport. Not only did it have every type of iPod known to man as well as power adapters, it also had GBA SPs, Sony PSPs (no games for either, sadly), a couple laptop travel accessory kits, and some headphones. It was rather shocking that one of the most exciting vending machines I saw during my trip to Japan was before I ever got on the plane.
  • not surprising (Score:4, Informative)

    by Eil ( 82413 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @03:57PM (#15438420) Homepage Journal
    Hello, here's a non-linkjacked URL: chine-133740.php []

    Don't expect to see iPod vending machines on street corners anytime soon. This one appeared in an Atlanta airport, where such a machine would make sense. Your everyday air traveller is an affluent entertainment-hungry impulse buyer willing to spend any amount of money to avoid being bored for the next hour or two. Plus, the machine is simply not going to get ripped off in an airport crawling with security.

    From the looks of it, this machine isn't even Apple's doing, but rather some company called Zoom Systems [].
    • Your everyday air traveller is an affluent entertainment-hungry impulse buyer willing to spend any amount of money to avoid being bored for the next hour or two.

      That was my first thought. And then I thought, "Wait a minute...a new iPod doesn't have any music on it, so it won't keep you from being bored at all." I'm wondering if the company is hoping that an air traveler will be making their purchase in between those two thoughts.

      On the other hand, it also sells iPod accessories and cables and such, w
      • Actually, looking at the picture of the vending machine, it looks like the bottom two rows are music to load onto it. How I don't know- how the hell do you load the music without a ocmpuer?
        • Re:not surprising (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
          Actually I was considering this problem, they need iPod-filling kiosks. This won't work well until they have a wireless interface on them though. Bluetooth would be just fine, in spite of the slow speed; it's QUITE acceptable for loading a song or three in a short period of time, and if iTunes is smart enough to remove a song to make space, then load a song, rinse, lather, repeat, then just any time you're in range of your iTunes it can be flipping songs around to keep your library fresh, so the low speed i
          • That's actually what I thought this was going to be when I saw the title. It seems like a kiosk/vending machine where you can but new songs on iTunes would be a pretty good idea in the same kinds of places this is (maybe right next to it? even better!). After all, leaving for a flight in 30 minutes and you want that new album/single, or the song you just heard over the PA system (special tie in bonus! the recently played music list where relevant), or maybe just an old favorite you don't have loaded on ju
          • That's what i expected, an article about ipod filling kiosks, it would make more sense, and it doesn't take as big of an impulse to plunk a dollar or two into a machine. If it screws ups, you'd be out a lot of money with this thing.
      • Actually, having been in Hartsfield-Ja'son Airport myself recently, which I presume is the Atlanta airport referenced, they have WiFi too, quite good wifi I must say, as I waited there for 3 hours using it. In any case, you plunk down $100 for a shuffle, $8 for internet access, and you have your music. (Why not use the laptop to play music? Tinny speakers? But that is a good point... Maybe the iPods come with wireless adapters and run Linux, so they can get their own music?)
      • They should bundle some music with the ipods - free music, like classical music, or even a bunch of free bands that just want some exposure. (Or even the beatles, just to piss Apple off)
    • Your right. When I am bored the best thing is an empty iPod. Last time I checked they didn't bundle any songs with them. You need a vending machine that sells CDs next to it, and then a PC to rip and load the music on an iPod.

      Then you find out that the battery is dead.

      This may suit the needs of a business traveler that has a laptop with music on it, but I figure that most people who are that with it would have an iPod.

      So we can chalk the sales up to:
      1) People who are interested in the novelty of purchasing
      • 3) Gifts.

        Bingo! Just another way to get your loved ones a last minute gift from your business trip. It would make even more sense if you could purchase your iPod duty-free from one of those vending machines if you travel internationally.

    • That machine has been in the Atlanta airport for over a year. I flew through there a couple of weeks ago and saw it again. I even remember saying to my wife, "That iPod vending machine is still here."
    • I first saw one of these at the Argent hotel in San Francisco. I can't say I felt that the Ipod was useful, but they did have wireless cards and some other hardware that you might need if trying to get ready for a demo the next day.
    • I hope that machine downloads songs into too, or that's still going to be one boring plane ride.
  • oh ! I thought, I would be hooking up my i-pod and getting all the goodies instantly, one sec let me call my VC, this would work with pr0n. © 2006
  • Bad Idea (Score:2, Informative)

    by MrSquirrel ( 976630 )
    It states the poor-quality idea right in the article: "This vending machine was spotted at the Atlanta airport. So you're getting ready for your long, grueling flight across the country by purchasing an iPod from the vending machine, then on the plane what do you do? Oh, nothing, because it doesn't have any damn music on it. Lets say by chance you actually have a laptop full of music and iTunes to sync with your new purchased iPod, well then why did hell did you buy it to begin with. Damnit!"
    Buying a port
    • "Buying a portable media player should be a THOUGHT-OUT decision, considering is is a substantial investment"

      I'm not is the following group but I know quite a few people who would be both able and willing to buy a 300-500 dollar iPod on a whim. These same people also take quite a few flights in a given year (2-3 a month). I think you would be suprised at how well this vending machine will be.

      I doubt you will see these in High Schools or anything but in an airport I think it makes perfect sense.
      • I doubt you will see these in High Schools or anything but in an airport I think it makes perfect sense.
        There's also one in the Georgia World Congress Center. Presumably, their target market is the kind of people who fly to business conventions and such.
        • There's also one in the Georgia World Congress Center. Presumably, their target market is the kind of people who fly to business conventions and such.

          There's one at the Claremont Lounge too. Oh wait, no there's not.
    • Here's a likely scenario.

      Busy business traveller/father is on a stop over/arriving/departing to return to family. Traveller is guilty for spending last few weeks away from kids, and maybe even missed birthday. Too busy to shop on the road, they want to buy something for them.

      So they are rushing to their gate and see iPods for sale - and what better opportunity to take the 3 minutes to buy an iPod as a "make up" gift.

      And for everyone else... the "Oh SH*T! I forgot my adapter!" works just fine too...
    • Oh, nothing, because it doesn't have any damn music on it.

      The solution to this problem was the machine I saw at San Fransisco airport selling single-purpose players preloaded with audio books. I could just about imagine buying one of those if I was facing a 10-hour flight and I'd forgot my iPod/book/suicide pill.

      In the UK, Heathrow and Gatwick have far more pronounced airside shopping malls than I've seen in my (limited) sample of US airports - so you could easily buy your iPod, a laptop and some music

    • Buying an iPod is something we've all had five years to think about. It's not inappropriate to buy it from a machine because that implies 'not giving it enough thought'. That's pretty unrelated.

      But this machine needs to offer music on the spot! It would be cool if you could surf the iTMS and purchase albums before the iPod was dispensed, but logistically I suppose there are issues like getting it out of the box (and charging it?) before the music could be loaded from a port on the exterior of the mach
      • I can see the feasability of iPod accessories in a vending machine (headphones / chargers / cases), but if you've waited five years and thought it through, why not just buy it online for cheaper [don't say "because you might need it right then" because it's an empty iPod and it's useless without music [no, the games don't count, they suck"]. If you don't want to buy it online, buy it at a store (even a trendy Apple store). Buy it someplace where you can point your finger at someone and get some help if so
  • This is perhaps the stupidest thing I have ever seen in my life, and I once watched a monkey eat its own feces at the Washington Zoo. What, exactly, happened in that particular marketing meeting?

    Lackwit 1: Hey! We have these high-investment electronic products to sell, what should we do with them?

    Lackwit 2: I'm hungry, anyone want a candy bar while I'm up?

    Lackwit 3: How much are they?

    Lackwit 2: Seventy five cents.

    Lackwit 1: Hmmm.... if Mars can sell low-cost products for under a dollar in a vending machine,

    • When I read the headline, I thought they'd be coming out with vending machines buy songs for your ipod. Just plug it into the vending machine and browse the iTunes music store and buy music for cash or on a card right there at the machine. Then it would transfer back to your computer too when you next dock.

      Individual music tracks strike me as the sort of impulse buy and at the right price where they might be a good thing to sell from vending machines. Especially in bars and clubs and at concerts and other

      • What i think would be neet and would more than likly work in vending machines is to have a memory module (like for game consols) that connect to the dock port and upload an album to your ipod.. sell them for the cost of a cd.

        and they can even retrive from your ipod your drm info and lock it so that the card is only good for your registered equipment.. but make it so that you don't have to have the card in to listen.

        the amount of memory needed for an album with losy acc isn't much and memory is cheep..

        i thin
      • Thay have internet Jukebox so thay can just a usb port to it. But thay run windows and hacker may be able to plug in the usb port and hack in to the jukebox.
    • Next up: mail order Goobers. $0.50 + $4.00 S&H

      They already tried that, minus the $4.00 S&H. Remember []?
  • Last February I was in the airport taking the train between terminals and there was one selling video iPods and such right before you took the escalators down to the train didn't see the prices but they had a lot of other things in there too but the iPods kind of stood out.
  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thefirelane ( 586885 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:03PM (#15438474)
    For a site where people think they are of 'above average intelligence' everyone here has completely missed the point: 1) These things are primarily advertisements. Hey, it worked, we're all talking about iPod... clever eh? 2) You can buy accessories there too, which are high profit items and more likely to be purchased on impulse 3) Half of all people flying will be arriving from the first flight of a round trip. They buy the iPod for their next flight because right now, the only thing they are thinking is "gee, that was miserable, I wish something could have made it better" There, happy?
    • That would work...if the vending machines were Apple owned...which they're not.

      So tell me why this third party would be advertising for Apple, because I can't figure it out. And I don't buy the reasoning that Apple made a company to advertise for them.
  • This is the Atlanta Airport they're talking about... seriously, if you've ever been through there, you know they sell EVERYTHING! You want a new Dell to use on your flight? Sure, aisle 327. Oh, you wanted a LAPTOP? ...the upshot is, I am not at all surprised at a measly iPod being sold from a vending machine where they don't have to hire a full-time cashier to babysit it.
  • like 2 years ago in an chain hotel in Oakland. They also had overpriced electric shavers, and pay as you go cell phones... *yawn*

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What about receipts or warranties? I'd rather purchase the iPod from a store, just in case something does go wrong or I want to purchase an extended warranty.
    • Apple doesn't make you buy the extended warranty at time of purchase. when you register your iPod with Apple they will offer you an extended warranty. if you use a real email address they will remind you when your initial included warranty is almost up. you can add AppleCare at any time during that period.

      i know some people instead get a warranty through the store they bought the hardware from as opposed to manufacturer. that's why Best Buy/staples/circuit city/etc employees will always promote how much awe
  • If you're a criminal, easy access to thousands worth of easy to sell hardware behind a glass is a dream come true.
    • Yeah, because getting away with breaking a vending machine and clearing it out is so easy when you're in a fucking airport...I mean, it's not like there aren't any security personnel...or cameras...or witnesses...
      • I guess you can just hope they are too bust with all the terrorists that seem to inhabit Airports these days.

        Guard: Hey, that guy is breaking into a vending machine.
        2nd Guard: Well, he ain't no terrorist then. He aint our jurisdiction.
  • I read an article in my college newspaper [] about one of these vending machines. The idea seemed dumb when I heard about it and even more so when I read this little nugget:

    Since its premiere this semester, only one iPod Shuffle has been sold. Four, however, have been stolen.

    Whoever came up with this idea should be fired, bankrupted and exiled.

  • The Gizmodo article brings up a great point:

    So you're getting ready for your long, grueling flight across the country by purchasing an iPod from the vending machine, then on the plane what do you do? Oh, nothing, because it doesn't have any damn music on it. Lets say by chance you actually have a laptop full of music and iTunes to sync with your new purchased iPod, well then why did hell did you buy it to begin with. Damnit!
  • by rlp ( 11898 )
    I'd be surprised if they didn't have Ipod vending machines in Japan. Next to the Pocari Sweat machines, the Pocky machines, the Ice Cream machines, the Manga machines, and the ... uh ... never mind.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday May 31, 2006 @04:45PM (#15438885) Homepage
    There's a vending machine with some iPods in it at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco. It's in the store on the second floor that sells laptop cases, jelly beans, and video projectors.
  • that may be a lot of the point. if i saw an iPod vending machine i would maybe look twice. the iconic packaging would probably draw my eye on some level and if i needed a cable then i would think of that. otherwise i would probably ignore the whole machine as one that sold snacks or nail clippers.

    ever left home without a charging or sync cable? i can't tell you how many times i have been traveling with people that forgot their phone charger. maybe they also sell those adapters to power your gearo from the a
  • I wouldn't expect the iPods themselves to be big sellers (not going to do you a lot of good on the flight with no music loaded onto it), but you could make a killing selling accesssories out of that thing at an airport. How many times have you packed your bags and forgot your charger? Just buy a new one at the airport. Tired of all that loud airplane noise? Get some noise cancelling headphones before your flight. Plus, having seen these high-end vending machines in use before, most of the time they don't
  • What happens if the iPod you get doesn't work? I'm guessing you can't bring it back to the vending machine.
  • We have one of these at our local Pavillion's supermarket. They're a division of Vons, who are owned by Safeway. You can buy all your iPod stuff long after BestBuy and Radio Shack have shut for the night.

    Funny thing is that the same machine started out selling general office stuff like ink jet cartridges, as well as a few iPod things. Then suddenly it was all iPod all the time.
  • They've had this around San Diego for a while. From talking to the employees at the Vons(Safeways for the rest of the country) where the machines are located, they said that a lot of the purchases have been with stolen cards. And that is exactly what happened my friend this weekend when her purse was stolen. $800 in less than in hour from the super market down the street.

    Not sure who takes the loss, but its probably going to be the biggest problem for the company running the machines.
    • For the most part, the credit card companies take the loss. As much as it goes against my grain to compliment a company, my hat is off to them. Since long before the internet became a player in the economy, they have very carefully been calculating the losses from fraud for each new venture vs. the profit, and going in with an acceptance of that fact. If they lose $75 MILLION from vending machine fraud every year but make $400m in net profit, it's worth paying the losses. Better that than not going into bus
  • Control your iPod from a voting machine

    Now, that would be cool.

  • You guys aren't thinking straight! How many times have you come home form a business trip or travel trip and someone back home is expecting something when you get back. This is the perfect way to get that last minute gift for people waiting back home...Say you are coming home for little timmy's bday and you dont have that gift yet...Why go to the mall or best buy and wait through lines..Or better yet for all those christmas travelers!
  • I'd like to see an iPod accessory vendor release a dock-connected Wurlitzer-type jukebox that would turn your iPod into a vending machine. To wit:

    1. Insert coin.
    2. Select your track.
    3. Profit!

    Seriously -- put a Mac mini inside a Wurlitzer, connect it to the Internet and you can update the tracks remotely. Cool! (I'll accept 10% of the gross if you want to run with the idea...)
  • I saw one of these monstrosities in a freakin' supermarket. You know - eggs, butter, video iPod. While I admit it was a nice display of every accessory available for the iPod, swiping a card for a $300 toy from a machine just seems totally whacked.

    It's another one of those occasions where I see what the human race has "accomplished" and fervently hope for an asteroid come by and clean the slate.

    Now if they had a way to preload it with tunes, *that* would be something.
  • From one of these machines.
  • Do these iPod vending machines remind anyone else of the Replicators (vending machines) in System Shock 2? hehehe... ;)
  • Believe or not but to fix iPod is the worst thing ever! Firstly, it is impossible to fix battery, you have to send iPOd back to Apple and it cost around $60. Secondly, there are no way to replace any parts. Even headphones, it is impossible to buy them! All you can find, headphones with some tricky remotes or holders with the price $40, $50. P.S. Never buy iPod in Best Buy. Their customer service is a pain in neck. 99% they don't even know what to do and how to help!

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"