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iPod Killers For the Holidays 344

An anonymous reader writes, "MP3 Newswire has an excellent rundown of 29 new digital portables for the upcoming season. From the article: 'We have run the iPod Killers for Christmas/Summer series since 2004. In that time we [have] reported on 149 portable players and NOT one iPod killer from the bunch. That said, [this time] we may actually have a couple of genuine challengers to Apple. This holiday season will see Microsoft pump tens-of-millions of dollars to hawk their new Zune portable, and SanDisk's 8GB e280 flash unit is compelling high-end users. Both can realistically grab double-digit market share from the iPod... Whether they do or not waits to be seen.' The article also makes a good case as to why the Sony PSP should be included in market figures for digital media portables."
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iPod Killers For the Holidays

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  • The Archos 504 (Score:2, Interesting)

    It looks like an amazing product compared to the video ipod of today. The battery life alone is enough to make me want to toss my ipod down the stairs. I wish I had known more about it before purchasing the apple brand. Oh well, I suppose I'll have to deal with my awesome 6 hour battery life for audio and 1.5 hour life for video. At least I have my video ipod running linux? If only that counted for something.
    • Re:The Archos 504 (Score:5, Informative)

      by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <[dal20402] [at] []> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:18AM (#16441295) Journal

      You'll fall down the stairs if you carry one of these... while it's a neat gadget, at 11.15 ounces [], it's not exactly a direct competitor to any iPod. Using a 2.5" hard disk necessarily compromises the size and weight.

      (Your claimed battery life for the iPod is also way too short [].)

      • by yasth ( 203461 )
        For a previous generation version it sounds about right. iPods sucked for video, and now are... bad. Keep in mind that no one ever gets what the manufacturer says (Though Apple has gotten much better 2-3Gen iPods Audio times were 50% of spec for actual day to day use, now you lose 20% or so for both)

        That isn't to say you can't get them (with the normal low backlight simple video simply encoded etc conditions) just that real world times aren't there.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by iocat ( 572367 )
          I've gotten better than expected performance from my Nano 4GB. Flying to Bangkok from LA (~17 hours), I turned it on, turned the backlight off entirely, shuffled, locked (to prevent the temptation to skip songs) and didn't turn it off till we landed. It was sweet. My ears hurt like hell (from the ear-buds -- i was sleeping on them a lot of the time), but the Nano went 17 hours with ease.
          • My ears pricked up [pun sorta intended] at the mention of ears hurting like hell after 17 hours with ear buds in...

            I think I go almost that long EVERY DAY with the buds in. In fact, if you've seen that Doctor Who episode where everyone in the parallel universe London is walking around with implants, that's kinda like me.

            The thing is, I often don't even realize they're in, to the extent that I'll often have left them on when the music/podcast has finished. People will gesture to me as if I won't be able to
      • Um, I regularly fly LHR SFO. I always get 2 movies-worth out of my Ipod.

        That is all.

  • by Robert1 ( 513674 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:43PM (#16440839) Homepage
    Does it vibrate to the beat?
  • by BeeBeard ( 999187 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:50PM (#16440859)
    and instantly thought that Santa just delivered a sleigh full of Sony batteries to the iPod factory.
  • Let's make a rule (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrandre ( 530920 )
    Nobody gets to call something an iPod killer until it, you know, kills some iPods.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @10:55PM (#16440895) Homepage
    I don't think anything that i've seen really has the power to kill the iPod, or even in any way harm the iPod. Sure SanDisk has an 8 GB model. But I just checked the Apple site, and they have an 8GB model for the same price as sandisk. The Zune does look kind of interesting. It has a nice price point for the features, but I don't really see it being an iPod killer. Where do you buy videos to play on it? Nobody knows, but everybody knows you can buy videos for the iPod from iTunes. Same goes for songs. Although it's nice to see a couple of real competitors, I don't think either of these will take top spot.
    • I heard the same thing about palm pilot and their invincible PDA that was a must have. What is palm's share price? v$.23 a share the last time I looked and it owns less than 10% of the market. MS owns the other half.

      MS did it in less than 3 years and created another monopoly!

      Apple should be vyer scared
      • by Khuffie ( 818093 )
        Since when is 90% a half?

        PS: I hate the 20 second wait for posting comments. I can type fast damnit.

      • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:40PM (#16441139) Homepage Journal
        I think Palm made the mistake of standing still technologically. I really don't think Apple is going to make that mistake. Palm was somewhat stagnant, being pretty slow to offer high-res screens, color, audio and things like that. I really don't think their Palm Desktop software was as nice as it could have been, and maybe what really hurt them was poor or lacking integration with Office and Exchange.

        What has kept Apple pretty safe is the marketing, both in the media and in terms of "viral" marketing, and they've been a moving target in terms of design and cost. Apple made the iPod cool with nice, sleek aesthetics, good UI and making it generally easy for the less than computer-savvy to use, basically doing something very well, despite its unfortunate lack of certain features that competitors have built-in.

        The Zune does seem to be an interesting product, I will grant it that. My own personal skepticism to whether I will like it is that the screen is rotated on its side. I've seen several phones and music players like that, the apparent contrast ratio for each eye is different because the screen in question was not designed to be used on its side like that. I also wonder whether offering the color brown might make people think that it's so hopelessly out of touch. Personally, I think there is a spectrum of other colors to choose, I've never seen brown succeed with any piece of consumer electronics.
        • by dabraun ( 626287 )
          Ever own wood-tone speakers? Ok, not today's hot item, but 'never seen brown succeed' is a bit strong. And everything old becomes new again every so often. I have no idea what will happen, but it will be interesting to see what spread of sales against colors ends up looking like.
          • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )
            My first set of speakers were Royals, from back in the '60's. Had real wood body. Sorta' like that Apple computer thing back in the '70's.
        • I think Palm made the mistake of standing still technologically.... Palm was somewhat stagnant, being pretty slow to offer high-res screens, color, audio and things like that.

          That's one theory. But then, Palm had staked its reputation and built its business on usability over features. They credited their rise to targeting paper and pencil as their main competitor, instead of other PDAs. The iPod is similar in that respect. It is focused and has fewer features than most competitors, such as a radio,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by sakusha ( 441986 )
          You're right about the moving target. Apple is constantly expanding the iPod in unpredictable directions, the competitors are left eating dust. Case in point: the article describes a Sony player with a pedometer, this is obviously designed to compete with the Nike+ gadget. But the Sony device is just a pedometer, not an accelerometer like the Nike+, so it couldn't possibly be as accurate. Apple has all the best patents on the accelerometer anyway, so nobody can compete.
          I showed my Nike+ to my podiatrist, he
    • some of them are certainly not failures either. The Creative line, for example, has been around for quite a while. Also, I wouldn't really put any iPod against an Archos (another who have been around foe a long time) either, or any other primarily video player... they seem like completely different markets.

      I think if any had a chance of actually competing against the iPod, it would be the Sansa. I've actually seen ads on the side of buildings and on buses/trains around here.

      And I've heard people actu

      • Archos does seem to be a different product category.

        The Sansas are kind of iffy in my opinion. I had one for a while. It has nice features and capabilities, but I didn't like the UI. I can get used to its UI, but I really didn't see any reason to, if the buttons were thought of as arrow keys, the way some screens scrolled doesn't make any sense at all, I hit the left key after looking at a track's details and the previous screen moves down. The "arrow" keys were way too small for my fingers, in part bec
    • However, watch out for the Creative MuVo V100. At only US$88 for the 2 GB version that's just over HALF the price of the iPod nano 2 GB.

      I'm using a Zen Nano Plus 512 MB and it's actually a sweet little unit, great for listening to downloaded podcasts. The only downside is it does tend to use a lot of AAA batteries, so it's a good idea to invest in decent rechargeable AAA batteries and charger (I've found NiMH AAA batteries makes the Zen Nano Plus play as long as 17 hours before needing a recharge).
    • by Trifthen ( 40989 )
      The Sansa isn't just 8GB. That article doesn't tell you, but it has a micro-SD expansion slot. Current cards of that type are at 2GB, and you know they're only going to get bigger. Add in an FM tuner, voice recording, video playback, better scratch resistance, and a user-replacable battery, and you have what is in my opinion, a better overall product. And unlike Apple products, you can buy from 3rd party vendors for a discount. So far, Froogle tells me the Sandisk Sansa e280 goes for roughly $200, give
    • I strongly suspect that at this point, the iPod killer will not be an iPod-like device, but instead will be some device which will shift the paradigm.

      At this point, the best contestant in the horizon seems to be the mobile phone which can play MP3s. My reasoning is as follows:
      - Nowadays most people already have mobile phones.
      - The cycle of replacement on mobile phones is about 3 years. Mobile phones that can play MP3s just came out.
      - Carrying around just a mobile phone is always lighter than carrying around
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ejp1082 ( 934575 )
        The biggest barrier to an mp3 playing phone isn't a technological one, it's the mobile phone carriers. They're all chomping their bits at the idea of a music player phone - but they want to make sure you can only buy music from them, at an exorbitant price, with no way to move the tracks off the phone (forcing you to buy again if you lose or replace the phone). In short, they're greedy SOB's that can't see past the ends of their noses, so a viable mp3 phone is going to be a long time coming.
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:10PM (#16440971)
    The PSP is a digital media platform for the simple reason it was basically built for it. It has a bigger screen then most devices, and it has games on it as a bonus. I purchased one and have used it quite a bit in the 2 monthes I've had it. Probably 90 percent of the usage is with anime eps that I convert myself, or Mp3s.

    The biggest problem with the article is thr's little data on price ranges for some objects. If the Ipod killer is stylish but costs 1000 dollars, what's the use? On the other hand, if it's 100 bucks and looks like crap (those football helmets for most people) who cares what size the ram is?

    The Ipod is stylish, "inexpensive" but with a good sized ram. Now however they have made them more expensive then they should be but still easy to use. Competitors go for so many markets but they fail to miss the reason why the ipod is the killer is because it's a status symbol as well as a mp3 player, and it's easy to use (supposidly)
  • by Vr6dub ( 813447 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:14PM (#16440999)
    I can't wait for this one to come out! I feel it's a great bridge between your home computer and your portable life. I was initially interested in a UMPC but I realized I didn't need all the features and added cost...>$1000. The only reason I considered a UMPC over a video iPod was for occasional internet access. With the 604 Wifi I get everything I wanted in a smaller, lighter, more power efficient product. I just wish they would announce a release date and offer it with a larger hard drive.

    I do like the iPod's size but my primary use would be in the car or visiting a friends house, or my bedroom for that matter (much lighter than a laptop). I guess if you were walking around a campus or just plain need something that will comfortably fit in your pocket the iPod or similar product is for you.

  • by superkpt ( 958938 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:16PM (#16441019)
    Anyone been to a Walmart/Target/Best Buy/Circuit City/Fry's/Apple Store lately? Notice the insane amount of accessories available for the iPod? Anyone notice that more and more car manufacturers are including ports or docks for iPods in their cars?

    I'm not sure what the 'average' consumer is thinking about when purchasing a digital music player, but to know that there are a gazillion after-market items I can get for an iPod is somewhat comforting. Plus, the ubiquitity of the iPod means millions of websites devoted to tips, info, hacks, etc. for the iPod. And don't forget the 'cool' factor (which is hard to put into words).

    Do not get me wrong. I have a couple of issues with the iPod. I used to own a Minidisc player (EXCELLENT hardware, TERRIBLE software). It had swappable, rechargeable, gumstick batteries. Plus, the exterior didn't scratch easily. And the battery life was incredible.

    But come on, iPods are INSANELY easy to dump music to. I don't even use iTunes and it's still insanely easy. Drag and drop will always be the best way for us geeks to get our music on these things, but the ease of use, the ubiquitity of accessories and information, and, finally, the cool factor will make it very hard for any other player to make strong inroads into the market.
    • Itunes may be nice and all, but it still runs like the PC is 200mhz or emulating a PPC 601.

      Why so slow, even a DHTML version of itunes in mozilla would be faster, is apple just that crap at coding
      windows apps?

      It even skips like its a 66mhz computer, winamp never drops.

      Someone should tell apple, just drop all the 1 layers of emu of carbon / osx wrappers, and re-write the damn application
      from scratch using some cool high end gui or even 100% in directx so its faster, not 100% GDI windows cpu crapola.
      • Umm, iTunes 7.0.1. runs just fine on my PC and it isn't anything special these days.... Athlon 64 3400+, 1.5 gigs of RAM.....
  • Killer (Score:5, Funny)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <(eldavojohn) (at) (> on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:20PM (#16441039) Journal
    [Setting: the Slashdot editors sit around a meeting room]
    CmdrTaco: Ok, it's Saturday night and anyone with a life is out doing stuff. But we need more material to keep our ad revenue coming in.
    *Everyone nods*
    CmdrTaco: So what have you got?
    kdawson: KILLER!
    CmdrTaco: Quiet, kdawson, Zonk is speaking.
    Zonk: Well, I could write in as an anonymous reader and we could talk about MP3 players. The kids love those, don't they?
    kdawson: KILLER!
    CmdrTaco: Kdawson, I don't want to have to warn you again. I love it, Zonk. But what will we title it?
    Zonk: How about 'Some More Electronics for You to Buy.'
    CmdrTaco: Nah, not enough edge, anyone else? kdawson, do you have something constructive to suggest?
    kdawson: Yeah, 'The Killer Devices that Kill iPods in the Killing Fields for the Killing Season ... Killer.'
    CmdrTaco: You may have something there, kdawson ... there's something fresh and new with the word 'killer.' Print it, push out the plum.
    kdawson: Killer.
    • Re:Killer (Score:5, Funny)

      by Khuffie ( 818093 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:26PM (#16441069) Homepage
      Your writing is unbelievable. Slashdot readers having a life? Out doing stuff on Saturday nights? Jeez, why don't you write something realistic for once!


      • by Gilmoure ( 18428 )
        I've only been out past 9pm once this year (4th of July, returning from family bbq). I have computers all over the house so that I can be online just about any time I want. I went to college for 15 years but only got 3 dates so I dropped out. Oh yeah, technically, this is my mother's house, though she doesn't live here anymore. I'm saving up to build my own house. I have $120.00 in the bank. This house doesn't have a basement (sigh). All of these statements are true.
    • FYI. This is probably the first time I've smiled BROADLY on /. in a few weeks.
  • The problem with any ipod killer is that the ipod has set the bar. When people think about what they want/need they think about what they know they like, which for most people is the ipod. Telling somebody you're DAP has an FM radio may be true, but only adds value if it's something the person wants. Somebody who's happy with their ipod isn't going to see a radio as a feature that makes them want to change DAPs. People don't listen to radios anymore because they've all got ipods. I didn't listen to the radi
    • Assuming you already have an iPod (else you couldn't buy another as you say), what's wrong with AAC audio? It's an open standard, unlike mp3, and is quite a bit more versatile than ogg (not that it makes much different for a simple audio player).
      • by reldruH ( 956292 )
        To be honest, I haven't looked at aac all that much. Ogg seems to be the de facto standard on Linux, boasts better quality than mp3 and is free. But based on the little bit of research I've done since reading your comment it looks like ogg is also better than aac. Here's [] a comparison between mp3,ogg and aac. And because I don't trust random blogs all that much, here's a previous slashdot article [] that says the same thing. The article's been taken down but the summary, well... summarizes it. And if aac was re
        • Ogg is certainly a good alternative. I suggested AAC in case you wanted to have both an open format for all your files and an iPod. As far as quality goes, it depends on the encoder. I do recall though that the test did not use variable bitrate AAC files, whilst ogg vorbis is a variable bit rate format. Such a comparison is not really fair -- variable bitrate AAC should yield comparable results. There's also the fact that only 41% of those surveys chose the uncompressed version as their preferred format, wh
        • Ah, the one thing I forgot.... open source AAC codecs:
        • Re:Nothing new (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Toby_Tyke ( 797359 ) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @01:09AM (#16441537) Journal
          I used to think along the same lines. I was planning to buy a player that supported ogg, but I never found one that I liked, and I have since given up on the ogg format. It is simply never, ever, going to be widely adopted enough for the player manufacturers to bother supporting it. Sorry.

          The reasons are many and varied, but the main one is, quite simply, the problem it solves is not a problem many people actually have. Ogg was an attempt to create a compressed audio standard unencumbered by licensing, which could replace MP3. Which is all well and good, except I have never, since the day I first became aware of MP3, been unable to download a piece of free (as in beer) software which would encode MP3s for me. I have never been unable to do something with an MP3 because of the license the format is issued under. In short, MP3 is free enough for me.

          If you look at the two other most widely used compressed audio formats, WMA and AAC, they both have (near) monopolies pushing them. The most popular digital audio player and online music store uses AAC. The OS preinstalled on 90+ percent of computers sold in the world ships with a media player that supports playing and ripping WMAs. Who is pushing ogg?

          The market for ogg is basically limited to linux users, and most of us are using MP3 anyway. There is no reason for any company to push it, and really very little reason to use it. I know it's supposed to be highter quality, but A, I can't hear the difference, and B, why would I want a high quality compressed audio format? To play on my portable music player, which supports which formats? Oh, yeah.

          *NOTE TO PEDANTS - Yes, I am aware of the difference between the ogg container format and the vorbis codec. I just can't be bothered to type ogg vorbis every time.
  • by mitchell_pgh ( 536538 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:31PM (#16441097)
    I own both a PSP and iPod.

    Unless Sony comes out with something similar to iTunes... the PSP is little more than a novelty music player. It's much larger than the iPod, more expensive (when you add a good sized memory card) doesn't hold as much music, doesn't have a music store, doesn't have the market share [must I go on?].

    I could buy a nice 2GB iPod mini for $149... or hundreds more for a PSP with similar storage.

    In my case, I purchased both... because they both have their areas where they excel. The iPod for portable music, the PSP for portable gaming.
    • If the PSP is an iPod killer, so is my GP2X. And unlike my PSP, it can do stuff without requiring a firmware downgrade after every time I play a game.
  • Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Comatose51 ( 687974 ) on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:33PM (#16441107) Homepage
    Are these going to be iPod killers or more along the lines of those henchmen sent to kill James Bond? The iPod's still going strong after years of predictions and they're still making Bond movies. On a more serious note, why is everyone so obsessed with making an iPod killer? How about just making a damn good MP3/music player? When companies become so obsessed with killing the iPod, they will inevitably try to imitate it and box in their own thinking. Maybe the iPod isn't the thing to focus on at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:37PM (#16441127)
    While it might be a moderately enjoyable gaming platform to some, PSP is by no means a portable mp3 device in the traditional sense and should not be included in the same category. For one, it's crippled from the outset with a sub-standard storage media - UMD. It has a terrible battery life, does not offer the same kids of options you would get from Archos, Cowon, or even iPod.

    The writer (Richard Menta) has a well-known bias for PSP. For example: []
    It's interesting how the best portable media player on the market today is never mentioned as an iPod Killer. That honor goes to the Sony PSP, which offers a good MP3 player and a superior video/movie player that trumps the iPod in picture quality.

    PSP is the most user-hostile portable device out there, complete with awful, proprietary technologies usually found in Sony products. That's the reason why DS/Lite is eating Sony's lunch. The market even rejected PSP on its own turf.

    Plugging PSP into the iPod competitor column is disingenuous. My cellphone can play MP3s too, I don't see it on there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by shimpei ( 3348 )
      UMD is not the storage media you would use to play MP3s on a PSP--there is no consumer-writable UMD disc or drive on market today. MP3 and video files go on a Memory Stick Duo, which--though still a Sony format--is widely available from non-Sony vendors. I do agree that PSP does not make a good competitor to an iPod, though, unless you are solely interested in playing movies, in which case the bigger screen definitely helps. (By the way, the battery life should improve significantly if you play video off of
  • by AaronLawrence ( 600990 ) * on Saturday October 14, 2006 @11:57PM (#16441203)
    Calling a product an "e280" is completely uninteresting and stumbles at the first step of competing with iPod. "I bought an MP3 player." "Oh, which ipod?" "Not an ipod, an ... er... e280" "a what?"
    Of course you can't have brand product recognition immediately, but you can't build it with just another anonymous product number, swimming in a sea of technology with similar numbers.

  • There is no iPod Killers there. All I see is a list of Media players. Nothing more.

    There only way to kill the iPod is to change they way we think about Media players and make it stylish to boot.

    I see the ideal iPod killer as a device that can kill both the need to carry laptop and ipod around. It would have a fairly decent screen size. A screen that's much bigger then PSP's screen but easy to carry. It can browse the web, communicate with friends, coworkers, or clients on the intern
  • by SeaFox ( 739806 ) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:22AM (#16441319)
    I am so sick of seeing that phrase attached to devices that never make any sizable impact on iPod marketshare and many times cease to exist themselves first.

    There needs to be some kind of rule that until a new media player has been shown to effect the marketshare of the iPod at least 20% (I know it sounds high but we are using the term "killer" here) it cannot be mentioned in any press release or news story that contains the phrase "iPod killer" unless the sentence is "iPod killer strikes again, slaughtering another competitor!"

  • by astrosmash ( 3561 ) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:28AM (#16441365) Journal
    We've reported on 149 portable players since 2004, all duds.

    So, is there any non-emotional reason why I should bother to listen to these guys?

    Back in 2004, after extensive research, I finally moved my large MP3 collection off of my linux server and on to my first MP3 player, an iPod, and it was a slam dunk. For me and my music collection it's all about iTunes, and back in 2004 the only alternative was WMP 9, which I'm sure we can all agree is complete junk, so the choice then was obvious. And since then Apple has continually updated and improved both the desktop and client software, while adding new features such as podcasts. As I said, for 2004 it was an absolute slam dunk.

    Since then there have been lots of attempts to entice me to upgrade my old iPod; features like Photos, Video, FM Tuners, etc., from either Apple, 3rd parties, and other MP3 manufacturers, all of which have meant nothing to me. I've been quite determined to keep the old iPod until its hard drive dies. With all of the new competition on the market, including Microsoft's Zune, it's ironic that the only new product I've seen that has made me even consider upgrading is iTunes 7, with its gapless playback and additional playlist fields (Skip Count, Last Skipped, etc.) which aren't available on the old 3G iPod.

    The other MP3 manufacturers have added lots of technical features to complete against the iPod, but in my opinion Apple still does the best job of addressing the needs of the real music fan.

  • How many times have we seen the iPod killer story? If it's not the sony "walkman" it's the MS Zune. There've been iPod killer stories ever since Gen 1 hit it big. And yet everyone keeps buying iPods, more or less ignoring the so-called competition.

    Something, somewhere will make the iPod obsolete, but it isn't going to be another mp3 player, and it's definitely not the Zune; having said that, I can't wait to see what it's going to be. Til it gets here, I'll just continue adding to my iPod collection. The la
  • No player that's currently on the market can do podcasts half as well as the iPod/iTunes combo. For some people podcasting may be irrelevant. For others it's the sole reason they bought an iPod. Apple keep their player on the edge of what's new end trendy on the net and that's why they get the lion share of the market as a result. Until those "also ran" copycats manage to emulate all of iPod/iTunes great features they are doomed to languish in single percentage points of market share.
    • Why cannot the winamp guys who made millions or AOL at least just put in a solid 6months * 10 people work on winamp to be as good
      as itunes, as pretty, and as cool. Add import itunes db options in even if its 3rd party.

      And AOL then could partner with who ever and try to out do itunes, hello time warner idiots.
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) * on Sunday October 15, 2006 @12:54AM (#16441485) Homepage Journal
    Look at many advancement in "content delivery" and we see that consumer acceptance of the machine is only half the issue. The other half is convincing "content owners" to buy into the product. These are somewhat competing goals. Consumers want a cool product and don't necessarily want to buy new content every time the format changes. Producers want to sell content and make sure consumers can't steal it.

    What Apple has done, and is continuing to do, is forcing the "content producers" to stop the chain of forced redundacy. My father replaced discs with 8 tracks with LPs. I replaced tapes with LPs with CDs. Now with music in MP3 form, will I every have to buy an old song again. No. Do I think it was easy for Apple to convince the music label to give up this cash cow. No, even though the labels had little choice because it was the only way to have sales. However, Apple has done us a great favor by insisting on a reasonable price.

    Now that the labels have done the hard work, all the other electronic manufacturers are on the band wagon, claiming superior products. The problem is that I buy music in WMP format, I am not any better off than just buying a CD. So I have a choice of buying a player whose songs might have a limited lifetime, or a player that will likely be supported for a long time. Face it, MS has already given up on play for sure, so how long will those songs be useful?

    But music isn't really the issue. Apple is moving against the movie studios, and right now video is not even a huge issue. A good quality half hour show is going to be twice as big as a good quality copy of a CD. Other than hugely popular shows, the level of sharing of movies is not as great as music. And despite the fact that the movie studios are not a present threatened, Apple is still forcing them to make deals that will force a new model of making money, even more so than the VCR, which was a huge cash cow, and now the DVD.

    And the competition is responding by making MP3 players with radios and 'wireless' sharing, even though we have been sharing "wireless" for years. Maybe if it was a HD radio I might be impressed, but style has always been secondary to content. Look around you. The 12-25 year old demographic is thinking which one of these can I get free music on. It is like the the 12-25 demographic 20 years ago, buying computers based on what had free software. One kid buys a CD, rips it to WMP, ops, can't give load it onto another play for sure player. Another kids rips the CD to ACC. No problem loading it onto many iPods, or burning it onto a CD. As the past 50 years of widely profitable Music has shown, the kids will eventually buy music. And everyone will be rich beyond belief, but the labels ignore history. Just remember how much they hated MTV, and in a large part was responsible for the lack of music on MTV, even though MTV was arguably a major player in the revitalization of music. I see the same thing with iTunes, with people buying music for the first time in years.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bky1701 ( 979071 )
      "One kid buys a CD, rips it to WMP, ops, can't give load it onto another play for sure player. Another kids rips the CD to ACC. No problem loading it onto many iPods, or burning it onto a CD. As the past 50 years of widely profitable Music has shown, the kids will eventually buy music." Or... they can take 10 min to rip it to MP3 and play it on anything they can think of with a speaker and 2-5 MB of space.
  • The fact their objective is to be "Ipod killers" is enough to notice how hard it is going for them to conquer market share. I think that no matter how good a product is it would take it at least a year to start being an actual competitor for the ipod.
  • PSP (Score:3, Funny)

    by minus_273 ( 174041 ) <> on Sunday October 15, 2006 @01:17AM (#16441559) Journal
    I thought the PSP was just a portable media player. Its not like it has any games on it.
  • Saw an add for Coby 20gig Mp3 for only $120-140.

    Not bad.
  • No reviews, just product info and links to Amazon with their affiliate ID in it. Is Slashdot running advertorials now???
  • Batteries... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Sunday October 15, 2006 @03:18PM (#16445157) Journal
    I have precisely one criteria that has never been met by ANY DAP... NORMAL BATTERIES

    I don't want crappy, low capacity, hard to change batteries. I want to swap a few AAAs (or AA) in 10 seconds, and have my DAP working non-stop. No need to be plugged-in to a cord for hours every day. Not to mention that battery capacity is continually increasing, and CD players that had a 10 hour battery life some 10 years ago, now have about 30 hours thanks to newer rechargable batteries.

    Just add that simple feature to a couple DAPs, and you'll have something that might actually appeal to people like me who wouldn't ever consider an iPod. Meanwhile, I'm sticking with my MP3 CD player that gets 50+ hours on a pair of rechargable AAs.

    My other criteria are large (40GB+) hard drive and FLAC/Musepack/Vorbis playback, and any rockbox-supported players will handle those easily.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."