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Who Designed The iPod? A Genius, That's Who!

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June 1, 2006 12:21:34 PM

Our Barry Gerber doesn't like the iPod because he thinks it's a shallow, overly expensive piece of crap. Our Aaron McKenna on the other hand thinks that the iPod and, more importantly, iTunes are the best things since sliced bread. Watch two editors maul one another. Well, watch one of them maul the other one while he's not looking.

More about : designed ipod genius

June 1, 2006 12:56:41 PM

I don't see your logic in saying that an iPod is a barrier to using iTunes. Most people I know use iTunes and none of them have an iPod. My brother, in particular, buys songs and videos off of the iTMS quite frequently, and simply uses his laptop to listen to the songs, or burns them to a CD. iTunes is the door to the iPod in many cases, and not the other way around. 99 cents is a lot smaller investment than 69-399 dollars.
June 1, 2006 1:11:13 PM

anyone who buys an ipod or any....pod, is a dumb noob as far as I'm concerned. News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes, complete albums by genre for a pittance of $15.00/month or less, no DRM.

If you don't know how to get them..., don't ask, I'd rather you not know.
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June 1, 2006 4:33:17 PM

Quote:
My brother, in particular, buys songs and videos off of the iTMS quite frequently, and simply uses his laptop to listen to the songs, or burns them to a CD. iTunes is the door to the iPod in many cases, and not the other way around. 99 cents is a lot smaller investment than 69-399 dollars.


A Laptop can only go so far, a Nano is a pocket friend and can go anywhere, crap lets see your brother go snowboarding/Skiing, Mountain Hiking or anything like it with his laptop.

-------------------------------------------------

The problem we run into today, is some of us like to have content rather than digital content, Sure it is a pain in the a$$ to store 5 thousand CD cases, but the fact of the matter is People like tangible things, "CD's, Booklets, Cases" Now we all love things on a smaller level which is good.. I guess? But in the world of today it is all about the physical, what you have and what you own. Well at least in California it is.

I am a proud owner of an 4GB Ipod Nano and love it to death, have 1000+ songs on it which I think I only listen to about 100 of them. So now that points back to the “I want and I need more” basis. We will keep buying more just because it is so easy to do so, and as long as Apple makes it easy we will keep doing it. It’s kind of pathetic if you ask me. Who needs 100,000 songs? I can’t even name all the artists that have found there way onto my Ipod “Can you?”. But in general the human race in pathetic, you can change someone’s mind in a blink of an eye with lies, and pretty much make anyone believe what they read in today’s news. “Just my opinion”

I guess I am agreeing with your story, as the Ipod has become like a bad news story, it infests the world in an instant and we tolerate it and buy into it daily. Good Job Mr. Jobs.
June 1, 2006 6:36:18 PM

I own an iPod (3G 20GB) and have been using iTunes for years now as a media player. I still refuse to purchase music online if I can't have free reign with my purchase. This is the same reason I won't buy CDs from labels that have copy protection (well at least the kind that I can't break). I would gladly dish out money for mp3s, however, there are not stores in which this can be done. As for the argument that you can have them on 5 computers, I will likely own more than 5 computers in the next 10 years, so once I buy my 6th does that mean that I have to re-purchase all of my mp3s? I don't mind downloading mp3s illegally, I find it the best way to try out new music before I buy it. You can also get a lot of content that cannot be purchased (live, or obsure recordings). The only mp3s that I have downloaded that I don't have the CD for are ones that I either intend on buying in the near future or I cannot buy at all (I delete the ones I don't like).

We work on the honor system for CDs (you can rip mp3s, make copies and give them away, etc), so why not just sell mp3s?
June 1, 2006 9:38:52 PM

I won't buy an iPod for 2 reasons: First, the product and company, and second, the competition.

Main reason is the principle of the iPod, Apple, and their consumers. I see the iPod as an unnecessary watering down of the techie things that I enjoy. I'm not saying that I want a media player to be overly complicated and hard to use, I just think they're going at things backwards. From what I can tell, Apple is always late in the game for introducing features, instead going for simplicity. They had an iPod that could display in color, but didn't give it video playback. They lack radio tuners built in. They lack audio recording devices built in. And hey, who needs to support playback for common file types like WMV and things with DivX and XviD codecs? No, don't take your 640x480 video files and copy them to your iPod, let's convert them unncessarily first, wasting time and energy. It's just not cool with me. They start with really simple devices and gradually add features, while other players start with lots more features and only slightly confusing interfaces (though many seem to be on par with the iPod's in appearance and usability). Then when they put something out that everyone has, it's heralded as a breakthrough. I can't tell you how many people thought the video-capable iPod was an amazing feat of technology and design, even though there were devices that could do a wider range of video files on the market a year or more before the iPod showed up with video playback. Also, I find it humorous to support a company that asks you to "Think Different" and buy the same type of product that the last 80-90 out of 100 people shopping for an MP3 player own. Yeah, think different, until we're popular.

Then there are competing products. If I had the need for a new MP3 player right now I'd probably go for a Zen of sorts, though I would (unlike many people) take a look at what was for sale, instead of just shelling out for an iPod. Let's face it, there are products out there with bigger screens, better features, more codec support, better prices, and various combinations of those good things. There are products that are arguably just as good looking, though when you buy something you put in your pocket half the time, or hide behind an opaque case, that difference is really negligible (Would you get a wallet that looks a little better and costs more but only stores bills and business cards, or would you get one with space for coins and credit cards as well, but is arguably a little less stylish, and costs less?).

iTunes, iTunes, iTunes. Many of my friends have it, and lots of people say it's the best thing in the world. I just recently installed it and was unimpressed by the offline player itself (I find WMP 11 Beta to look and work better). As far as the music store goes, I don't buy a lot of music, but when I do, I don't like being locked in to one player. C'mon people, think about this for a moment. If you're talking about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on new music (which is the only way to make an iPod worth the money) do you want to be locked in to one device? Sure, the iPod is a wonderful thing now for some people. What happens if it turns sour at some point? Maybe they make a change that you personally object to, or you have bad experiences with them and decide you want a different player. That music won't work on your new player. Try to not think for the here and now, think about your music collection in 3, 5, 10 years, which will become increasingly large and expensive. Those people who bought old cassette tapes and can't do much with them feel kinda silly because something new and better came along. At least with protected WMA files you can switch to a new product, model, or manufacturer if it turns out you aren't satisfied with your current stuff. Yeah, the iPod isn't anti-competitive, they just use your own hundred to thousand dollar investment in music to keep you from straying to another media player. And Microsoft is called anti-competitive because they include Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer on their systems by default?! At least you're able to install and deeply integrate competing software!

Here's a final parting comment: Apple is trying to push their own hardware and software and codecs. Microsoft is trying to push their own software and codecs. Other companies, like Creative and Archos and such, they're not trying very hard to force proprietary codecs into the market, they're just trying to make products that play the greatest number and most useful files they can in the best way they can. Who really has YOUR interests in mind?
June 2, 2006 12:11:50 AM

I think people are missing the point about DRM.
I have some 50 Laserdiscs I stuppidly bought many years ago.When DVD killed Laserdisc, I should be able to go to my computer and freely convert the films into DVD (I payed for them, after all), which I have the expertise to do. The problem is they are all protected with macrovision and I can't capture them to the pc.
What will happen to your downloaded collection of DRM protected music when the formats become obsolete? You can throw your 500 albums in the digital trash bin.
With CD's at least, you will always be able to convert them to any future format.
For this reasons, I think iTunes (and all other DRM protected music) is a rip off.
June 2, 2006 3:02:33 AM

iTunes = DRM
iTunes = Low bitrate mp3's
iTunes = bad.

But nobody can argue that whoever designed this wasn't a marketing genius...
June 2, 2006 6:28:21 AM

Wake me up when iTunes sells normal/legal MP3s for $.25.
Until then I just buy CDs, no matter how good the player is.

I will also never consider a 4gb player with sealed batteries no matter how small the player. Looks are the last thing I am worried about.
June 2, 2006 8:19:33 AM

I must say I own an ipod (3g) and I am more and more disapointed by apple offerings. When I bought my ipod it was probably the best player around. However now most competing players from creative and archos offer much better features than the ipod with video, especially for video (larger screens, better resolution, the ipod with video screen is way too small and low resolution). If I had to upgrade my player now I would certainly not buy an ipod anymore since video is now much more important to me than 2 years ago.

The issue is that if you upgrate to an archos or zen vision if bought music from the Itunes music store the "unobtrusive DRM" becomes very obtrusive, you can't play the music you legally bought on your new player!! With apple's scheme you now have to either buy an underperforming and overpriced player, either re-buy your whole collection of music or try to burn and re-rip all your downloads, which will result in crap sounding songs.

The argument that the itunes DRM is unobtrusive only as long as apple provides competitively priced players with top features. Something they did in the past but have not been doing recently (since the ipod photo).

Also many play for sure stores now offer 192 kbps downloads, which offer better quality than itune's 128 kbps, but apple doesn't seems to be willing to upgrade, so even on that level the once top-notch itunes store is slipping behind the competition.

When I bought my ipod I expected to be buying into a high quality system and I didn't mind being tied to it, but since apple is unable to deliver the quality and features I expect the whole thing is a scam! I am not sure I will buy from them again.
June 2, 2006 12:05:29 PM

The only problem is that $0.90 or $0.99 is an insane ripoff for a song. Especially to say that in-store prices are sky-high? Excuse me? Most CDs can be had for under $10 new anymore, and then ripped to MP3 format to have unrestricted play. Go to a used CD store (even new CDs show up there VERY fast), and you can get that down to $5-$7. Even buying a used CD you still have the platter, incase something happens to your computer... something you cant say of a purchased song from Apple.

Until they get it down to under $0.50 and remove the DRM, it just baffles me that people pay for it. I mean, they have better, less expensive, and less restrictive legal options to get digital music. It just makes no sense.
June 2, 2006 2:33:44 PM

You know, it just occured to me that for a long time I've been doing a $/hour measurement system, but I've never tried to apply this to music. Let's see how it goes.

First let's look at going to a movie in a movie theater. $8/2 hours = $4/hour for one person to go. A little pricey for a one-time thing, but you get a massive screen, lots of sound, and day 1 access to movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, involving years of work from hundreds or thousands of people.

9-12 months later, you buy that same movie on DVD. $15/2 hours = $7.5/hour which is about twice as expensive as the theater, but you get to play it back as much as you want, pause and rewind, and watch with as many people as you want.

Now you're bored with the movie, so you play a game. $50/15 hours = $3.33/hour with unlimited playback, viewed or played by as multiple people, at the same time or independently. It's much cheaper than the DVD because it's much cheaper to make and has lots of "down time" and repeated areas with less cinematic polish than a movie.

Now it's time to relax with some music you bought off iTunes. $1/4 minutes = $15 per hour. It's twice the price of a movie on DVD with some similar features. You can play it repeatedly, pause and rewind, multiple people can listen at once... and that's where the similarities end. Unlike a DVD, you can't play your iTunes song on any device, you can only play it on the iPod. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be if certain DVDs would only work on certain players? Oh wait, that's like the upcoming Blu-ray vs HD DVD format war. Standard and interoperability benefit the user. DVDs are also very good quality. Granted they're not the best resolution if you have an HD system, but unlike >128 with kbps audio, the hardware and discs to support 1080i/p video haven't been around for years. So basically you pay twice what you would for a movie on DVD per hour of entertainment, and find yourself restricted needlessly and inconveniently to one product, while there are higher-quality versions of what you just paid for floating out there in stores and on the internet. Consider that movies also have a mixture of regular and specially-composed music played in the background, and you should be wondering why you're paying so much for the music.

Really, it's not so great when you think about it. If I could get 2 songs for $1 and they'd have at least twice the bitrate per channel, recorded and distributed in >2 channel audio whenever possible, I might start coughing up money. 2x the quality, 2x the channels, and 2x the music, and I might be hooked. Assuming of course they were to drop the stupid iPod-only policy. DVDs can do without it, why can't Apple? Even HD DVD and Blu-ray, which are criticized for not being FULLY supported by all the movie studios out there, work with more than just one product line. Can you imagine what a nightmare things would be if such a needless and anti-competitive practices like iTunes' were picked up by other businesses? You can only get gas at a gas station if you have their particular car, even though it's the same gas everyone sells. Can't drive on a road unless your car, again, is a particular type, even though the roads are all the same and compatible. You can't buy ice cream without getting ice cream cones as well. You can only buy Nike shoes if you're wearing Nike socks. Getting the picture yet? Locking consumers out unless they give unnecessary support to your other products, which may or may not be up to scratch, just sucks. Here's something more realistic though: Can't transfer to an iPod unless you use an Apple-specific interface, Apple's own software, compatible ONLY with music from their store, not your old MP3 collection... so basically the only way to access their music selection or their "MP3 player" would be by going Apple-only on their products. Now, Apple isn't entirely stupid, if they had such an exclusive product their ultra-dedicated fans would eat it right up and they'd sell 100,000 iPods, instead of 10+ million a year.

So they do the bare minimum to survive. They let people access non-iTunes music and expand their potential consumer base from a few million to a few hundred million. And for people who still have CD players and cars without iPod hookups, they let people burn CDs. But ask yourself, how much longer are they going to offer that? CDs are fading fast, cars with iPod mounts are being designed and manufactured, and if they were to get rid of CD-burning support for iTunes songs, it would eliminate people trying to circumvent their DRM by re-ripping to MP3. Sounds like a winning option for Apple, the only reason not to do it is the users who would complain. But hey, Apple's always done its own thing and chosen to support or drop support for whatever technologies they want... (PowerPC processors anyone? I hear some enthusiasts were pissed when they stopped making more powerful models).

The problem is when people are passive and satisfied by what they've got. Isn't that Apple's whole marketing thing? Don't be satisfied with your PC, here's what's wrong with it, even if you didn't realize it. But don't question our products and services. And don't even THINK of moving away from our stuff, because we go out of our way to make a transition away from them to be inconvenient and expensive (rebuying iTunes songs for example).

Remember this about iTunes, iPod, and Apple marketing. The voice which shouts the loudest isn't always the smartest.
June 2, 2006 8:11:34 PM

Quote:
anyone who buys an ipod or any....pod, is a dumb noob as far as I'm concerned. News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes, complete albums by genre for a pittance of $15.00/month or less, no DRM.

If you don't know how to get them..., don't ask, I'd rather you not know.


"News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes....." ok dumb noob, what the f*ck does an ipod owner has to do with buying songs in itunes? you only buy them if u want.
And as for being expensive...I don´t care. iI love the design. Every time I fart, a 100€ bill comes out of my as*!
Jesus, these kids have so much crap in their heads...
June 2, 2006 9:09:28 PM

The iPod is just like all other Apple products. It sucks, but they make misleading commercials and people buy it. They market it as 'stylish' or some other BS becauses otherwise, there are no redeeming qualities that make you 'think different' (or, more correctly, 'think differentLY') .. oh well ..
June 2, 2006 9:52:40 PM

At least someone has money coming out their... What does that feel like?

Getting crazy and bashing people for having an opinion shows how childish YOU are my friend PMR. Good for you that money is not an issue for you and you can spend it on this overpriced quality product and service. The iTunes only playable on an iPod does indeed suck for those who want more than that. They are in MP3-128k format, nowhere the quality of the real CD, SACD, or better... Especially played on a high end car or home theater system. I know! I would rather buy the disk used for $5 or new if I can not wait to have it, and rip the tracks I want and use ANY player for the music on ANY system ANYWHERE.
I have a friend that has an iPod and it is a good product. But he has to lug that tape adapter or the connector plugs for anything he wants to connect to, and he can only play the songs. I would much rather have a 2gb USB stick or any other music player and plug directly into a PC and play. Or burn a disk compilation of MP3s and play on a MP3 DVD player or car unit with an MP3 cd player. Or just do ANYTHING I WANT WITH IT!!!

itunes is a great product for those who can use it for what it is able to supply and do not need anything more (or have money coming out certain orifices). But there is so much more that some of us want, and this product simply can not supply us with those needs. This is my personal opinion and should not be taken personally or bashed by overly egotesticle, (get it?) narrowminded people.
June 2, 2006 11:38:12 PM

My friend, I never start a fight. I´m just tired of kids in these foruns. The first oppinion is calling someone "dumb noob". I just fired back, because I´m "all kinds of apple sh*t" user, and I´m tired of these wars.
I can afford paying for "style and design" (if you can call it that), no 5th grade kid should tell me how to spend my money.
Just that.
June 3, 2006 9:19:11 PM

Yeah, because a REAL adult gets all cranky about what a "kid" says.

And what, you're trying to stop a flame war and get pissed off at a "kid" because he posts anti-Apple sentiments on a discussion of Apple products and services? If he's a kid, he's gotta be under 18-21, depending on how you define a kid. In 1984, Apple aired their infamous "1984" commercial during the Superbowl, and for all I know they've said the same "Everybody else are mindless drones" before 1984. PC manufacturers and Microsoft don't trash-talk Apple, but Apple trash-talks PC manufacturers and Microsoft (the only people who regularly benchmark PCs vs Macs are those putting up stats for the Apple site, so far as I know!). APPLE STARTED THE WAR. And if this person is a "kid" he was born after 1984 when Apple made it massively public. If this person, like me, was born after 1984, it's just retaliation for all of the stuff Apple has done since them. So yeah, blame us for a flame war Apple started.

The funny thing is that Apple, if anything, should appeal to the younger generation. Adults mostly use Windows at work, that's what they're used to. They're not children of the modern computer age (people with computers in their house since childhood), they care more about getting the job done cheaply and efficiently than style. College students and younger people should be the Apple lovers. Who do you think buys the most iPods, or who are the iPods bought for? The kids. Who already has tons of music on records and cassettes and CDs? Adults. Who does Apple portray as the hip Apple user in its own ads? The kids. Who does Apple portray as the uncool, bland PC user in its own ads? The working adults. So when kids, teens, and college students who already love to rebel against conventions, express themselves and be stylish say they think iPods are crap, it sure is a lot more telling than when a late-40's self-proclaimed computer guru raves about how great an iPod is.

That having been said, I hope we can return to the regularly scheduled forum posting.
June 4, 2006 12:43:15 PM

Genius he maybe is.. Adolf Hitler was too. Making millions of people belive thats the onely way to do it.
I thing you will onely buy an ipod if you not aware of what other things ther are on the market. (or 14 years old and need to have the same as the mainstreem).
I have a Qtek s100 (HTC device). I surre spend a lot of money on it. But this littel device (as small as an Ipod) can do every thing I need it to do. If I don't have the software for the needs I have I just download som opensource, becase I'm sure I'm not the onely one whit this needs.

Why buy a divce more when my phone can playback any codec of any music and movies, have my calender up to date, play games, VPN connection to my work.. mention any thing ... (sorry it can not make coffe.. damn..)

Itunes go home !!!
June 4, 2006 2:25:12 PM

Quote:
Adults mostly use Windows at work, that's what they're used to. They're not children of the modern computer age (people with computers in their house since childhood)


Now, wait a second. I fall into your generalization (being a 34 yeard old software developer), except for one thing. I AM a child of the modern computer age. I grew up with the Tandy CoCo / Commodore Vic-20/64/128 and moved onto an Amiga which I used until 1997. I used those computers as much as the computers today surfing bulletin boards and then moving onto to the internet once a decent TCP/IP stack was available for the Amiga. I only started using a Windows PC because I was tired of not having the one thing that makes a computer useful: software. I do not use Windows because it is what I grew up with or because it's what I'm used to due to my ties to a certain profession/career.

At any rate, 9-10 years ago, I was in college and just making the switch to Windows 95 based PC's. I thought about bucking the trend and sticking with the Amiga - but still did not consider Apple because I have always thought they had inferior products that cost too much. That being said, I think Apple really does lose their appeal to the younger crowd (as you said, essentially their key demographic) due to the fact that college students who ARE up on technology do know that their products are not worth the cost OR their restrictive/limiting nature (this applies to both the iPod and the Mac).

I find Apple's latest commercials where they portray Windows (and Windows users) and office dorks very offensive. It's also funny how they flat out compare their OS to Windows and say it's 'better' despite the fact that everything they portray that it can do can be done (IMHO) better on a Windows based PC. The way they say that the Mac is better at graphics, web design, etc is laughable.

I digress, but the iPod is the same. Apple creates this smug cloud by making statements like 'it JUST works better' without providing ANY means to quantify their assertions. Their products will never be better, and as time progresses, Apple becomes more and more like the companies that they wish to differentiate themselves from.

One other company comes to mind that I hate as well: Sony. I don't want to make this post any longer than it already is, so I will just end by saying that I will never own/purchase an Apple or Sony product.

Stephen
June 5, 2006 3:56:34 AM

There are only 2 explanations for the existence of the article:

1) Apple, realising that their iPod is functionally inferior to many players on the market, have paid Aaron McKenna a handsome sum of money to write a pro-iPod article in the hope that people won't see it as a barely disguised advertisement.

2) The article is a hoax.

I mean, seriously, you PAY MONEY for compressed audio. CD's have only been available since, what, 1984? What is the point of advancing technology if the end result is going to be a regression (the retarded cousin, if you like), of the very thing that the newer technology is trying to advance from?


"Instead of wasting their time trying to find a legal download service to fill their Creative Zen with, they just start downloading illegally."

Or "they" put music on there from their CD's, because "they" aren't going to pay for inferior audio. I should know, I am the proud owner of a ZEN 20GB (by the way, when the Creative HD DAP players freeze you can force reset, rather than having to take it back to the dealer). Damn it must suck to be treated like a retard *cough* Apple customers *cough*.

By the way, there are heaps of legal download services that aren't iTunes that will work fine with a ZEN. Quite frankly, I'm quite nonchalant about people downloading illegal audio because then it means that iTunes will have to offer something of quality. If I can get 256Kbps and 320Kbps on an illegal P2P network than why the hell can't I get it on iTunes?


"I do think it's a lot better looking than many of the other Personal Music Players (PMPs) that have crossed my desk, but I'm not quite so design conscious as some iPod owners I know."

And to think that the iconic design is now a barrier to entering the DMP market. Compare the video iPod to the ZEN Vision; the ZEN Vision doen't have half of the chassis being taken up by a control surface so therefore it can devote more chassis space to a bigger, clearer screen.

Apple need to change the design so that it remains functionally competitive (iPod? functional? Ah ha ha ha). However, if they do that it will cease to be a "true"' iPod.
June 5, 2006 5:44:13 AM

Well, I'm going to be the odd man out. I'm a previous owner of a deceased H320, returned it to the store, only replacement they could give me, an anti-ipod person, was an ipod :( . Ironically, now I have this ipod (5g, Black, 60 gig) and it's not quite enjoying. I don't like this ipod that I hold in my hand (actually, to maintain it's neat condition, I have it in its case at all times). It's not durable for one and Itunes is the crappiest form of software I ever dealt with. DRM is the most retarded concept I ever heard of, if you buy something, don't you own it? Why must there be restrictions in place when you bought a song. The only good news I have about my replacement player is that it supports Rockbox which is perfect because I did have experience with rockbox on my H320. It's UMS and is released from the clutches of Itunes. I still don't like the slow USB interface and the scroll wheel, but I didn't have much of a choice when it came to dap replacements.

If anybody body has an ipod, they should really try out Rockbox, it's the best firmware you could have on this player, the default firmware sucks, only pro is that it can play video.

Anyways, cheers :D .
June 5, 2006 5:48:24 AM

Damn right, CDs are the best way (well, DCC and MFSL CDs ;)  ) to obtain audio. Buying a crappy transcode of a crappy codec sucks. Some people don't know they are just burning money in products that suck, kind of like spending $300,000 on a Civic. Quality is cheap, price is expensive.
June 5, 2006 12:45:32 PM

Lets start with:
Quote:
My friend, I never start a fight. I´m just tired of kids in these foruns. The first oppinion is calling someone "dumb noob". I just fired back, because I´m "all kinds of apple sh*t" user, and I´m tired of these wars.
I can afford paying for "style and design" (if you can call it that), no 5th grade kid should tell me how to spend my money.
Just that.


Who do you tihnk is the main buyer of PMPs'? 80-yearolds in nursing homes?

In iPods the everything (hardware & software) is pretty bad because:
1 Small - have to conserve space so uses parts not as strong/reliable
2 Small - smaller battery, less play time
3 Small - smaller harddrives require more power to spin up sometimes, the motor has less torque
4 Small - easily damaged because of wear
5 Small - screen size
6 Proprietry - connectors, can't easily buy a new USB cable ey?
7 Proprietry - software, have to use iTunes to access it
8 Proprietry - software, slows down your usb
9 Proprietry - DRM very intrusive
10 Proprietry - DRM is poor quality
11 Proprietry - DRM redundancy - what if your house gets broken into? computer - gone, ipod gone all hope in hell fo getting your music back legally - GONE
12 Proprietry - Firmware, seriously lacks features, cmon, a bunch of normal techy guys can do it for free, why can't apple?
13 Hardware - sealed battery, want to get a new one? lets send it away for a few months! - then have to fork out alot of money


Price - ok, we may not all have a job, so we all want something that doesn't cost us an arm and a leg, I bought my Creative Zen Touch before any of this fandangled crap came out, sure it was a brick, but hey! It was cheaper than an iPod, i had it way before anyone else had a PMP, it only cost me $325 AUD, and i think its the only PMP with a SNR Ratio good enough to plug into a home theater, also, its a brick, yeah, but hey, its only a brick because its probably older than anyone here has know of iPods, and its battery has probably played longer than most of your music collections, it has an astonishing 25 Hour practical battery life! Also, the screen is large, easy to read and has a very logical menu structure. The player has a dedicated "power" button, dedicated Volume buttons, as well and a very easy to use up-down scroll pad, ever feel dizzy?

Oh, and can i say, this product has all of this 4 years ago, and apple still dont have it all!
June 6, 2006 4:17:39 AM

Quote:
3 Small - smaller harddrives require more power to spin up sometimes, the motor has less torque


A DAP requires, for 1441kbps (uncompressed) WAV, a minimum read rate of 10.5MB/min. You don't need a fast hard drive for that but for accessing songs then a quicker hard drive would be benefcial. That's one thing that sucks about Hi-MD's; access takes SECONDS, not milliseconds.


Quote:
4 Small - easily damaged because of wear


*cough* nano screen *cough*


Quote:
5 Small - screen size


Hence why the iPod video is so mediocre. Or is that because of the poor colour depth. The pathetic screen resolution could explain the problem. Hmm...


Quote:
11 Proprietry - DRM redundancy - what if your house gets broken into? computer - gone, ipod gone all hope in hell fo getting your music back legally - GONE


That is a REALLY good point; I wish I'd thought of it sooner. At least CD's can be backed-up (NO, I DO NOT advocate piracy). The only way I can find some of the music I want is on P2P, which is still at higher quality than iTunes; I wil buy the CD as soon as I find the frick'n thing.


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Price - ok, we may not all have a job, so we all want something that doesn't cost us an arm and a leg,


In my hometown (Adelaide, Australia), a 2Gb nano casts AU$299. A 20Gb Toshiba Gigabeat costs $329. The 4Gb nano costs $359. iPod = poor value for money.

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I bought my Creative Zen Touch before any of this fandangled crap came out, sure it was a brick, but hey! It was cheaper than an iPod, i had it way before anyone else had a PMP, it only cost me $325 AUD, and i think its the only PMP with a SNR Ratio good enough to plug into a home theater, also, its a brick, yeah, but hey, its only a brick because its probably older than anyone here has know of iPods, and its battery has probably played longer than most of your music collections, it has an astonishing 25 Hour practical battery life! Also, the screen is large, easy to read and has a very logical menu structure. The player has a dedicated "power" button, dedicated Volume buttons, as well and a very easy to use up-down scroll pad, ever feel dizzy?


My friend has one and it has never let him down, even though he's dropped onto a tile floor about 10 times. The worst that's happened is he (and me, and everyone else I know who has a Creative HD-DAP), has had to force reset because of the Creative HD-DAP's self-preservation mode. Sure beats having to take it back to the dealer for expensive repairs though.
June 6, 2006 9:43:49 AM

I live in sydney, so im with you on the prices bit, Zens are awesome because since they are bricks, they can also take the beatings of bricks, since mine is 4 years old it has probably been dropped on tile floors atleast 100 times, battery hasn't descreased in lifespan either, iPod batteries seem to be very bad at holding charge after the 6month mark. The most amazing feat of my Zen is that it survived the washing machine....TWICE!

And another thing about the iTunes store, ever tried getting good Power Metal, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal and Indie. Also, with iPods, the large capacity ones cost a fortne more than the small ones, the only difference is the harddrive, and maybe the case a lille, but the Zen, there is a rather proportinate price rise between capacities, and the fact that it is easy to upgrade a 20GB Creative Zen Touch to a 60GB model, so if you buy a 20GB for now, if you want more storage you just whack a new harddrive in it, instead of buying a whole new iPod
June 7, 2006 4:03:54 PM

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I don't see your logic in saying that an iPod is a barrier to using iTunes. Most people I know use iTunes and none of them have an iPod. My brother, in particular, buys songs and videos off of the iTMS quite frequently, and simply uses his laptop to listen to the songs, or burns them to a CD. iTunes is the door to the iPod in many cases, and not the other way around. 99 cents is a lot smaller investment than 69-399 dollars.


That said, quite in contrast to what the article purports, Apple makes most of its money off the iPod, not iTunes. iTunes is designed to practically break even so as to sell more iPods. If they opened up iTunes more, they'd lose all their profits off selling those little pretty boxes.

iTunes is designed to entice people into wanting an iPod and originally, an iMac (although they eventually saw the wisdom of making a Windows version). I believe iTunes is a great idea and a great service that is poorly delivered (it should be a standard web service until I click "buy" or "preview" which can then go to iTunes for playback / purchase).
June 7, 2006 4:04:51 PM

One word PodCasts
iTunes just does them better than others when it comes to integration. Okay I'll admit there are some things missing like bittorrent support but at least it works
my 2c

As far as music on iTunes is concerned they can't come to South Africa 'cause our legal system won't allow online purchasing of music, or so I gather
June 8, 2006 2:47:27 AM

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One word PodCasts
iTunes just does them better than others when it comes to integration. Okay I'll admit there are some things missing like bittorrent support but at least it works
my 2c

As far as music on iTunes is concerned they can't come to South Africa 'cause our legal system won't allow online purchasing of music, or so I gather


Hmm...aren't podcasts just MP3 files? The one's i've seen are. And if they're just streaming audio, then virtually any player out there that handles MP3 can play them just fine.

Regardless, I wouldn't install iTunes just to play them. First thing I do hafter I install quicktime is uninstall itunes....then again, since I discovered VLC, I no longer use quicktime.
June 8, 2006 4:38:07 AM

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Hmm...aren't podcasts just MP3 files? The one's i've seen are. And if they're just streaming audio, then virtually any player out there that handles MP3 can play them just fine.

:roll:
Not necessarily, quite a few are enhanced with content you can't put on an mp3, but those also play on VLC (???)

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Regardless, I wouldn't install iTunes just to play them. First thing I do hafter I install quicktime is uninstall itunes....then again, since I discovered VLC, I no longer use quicktime.


My point wasn't the iTunes is great, it just does PodCasts great, and the sync thereof, better than any other proggie that I have found (I am also happy with the way it manages my music, as it does a better job than I would. Using VLC as a music player is awquid at best, video is fine (imho)

If you have an iPod (I do) , you don't really have a choice though do you :) 

Yes VLC is great but it is only a player, you cannot pull rss feeds with it and this is the reason I got an iPod (the topic being the device, not iTunes)
June 8, 2006 6:58:37 AM

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Hmm...aren't podcasts just MP3 files? The one's i've seen are. And if they're just streaming audio, then virtually any player out there that handles MP3 can play them just fine.

:roll:
Not necessarily, quite a few are enhanced with content you can't put on an mp3, but those also play on VLC (???)

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Regardless, I wouldn't install iTunes just to play them. First thing I do hafter I install quicktime is uninstall itunes....then again, since I discovered VLC, I no longer use quicktime.


My point wasn't the iTunes is great, it just does PodCasts great, and the sync thereof, better than any other proggie that I have found (I am also happy with the way it manages my music, as it does a better job than I would. Using VLC as a music player is awquid at best, video is fine (imho)

If you have an iPod (I do) , you don't really have a choice though do you :) 

Yes VLC is great but it is only a player, you cannot pull rss feeds with it and this is the reason I got an iPod (the topic being the device, not iTunes)

No, I was referring to quicktime, which forces itunes on you whenever you install it.

Like I said, I don't really worry about podcasts. I guess if I did listen to them regularly, I might consider installing itunes, if it does, in fact, work better than everything else, but I haven't had much interest, so it won't happen. I found the traditional uses for iTunes lacking (though it's probably great if you own an iPod).
June 8, 2006 10:03:50 PM

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Adults mostly use Windows at work, that's what they're used to. They're not children of the modern computer age (people with computers in their house since childhood)


Now, wait a second. I fall into your generalization (being a 34 yeard old software developer), except for one thing. I AM a child of the modern computer age. I grew up with the Tandy CoCo / Commodore Vic-20/64/128 and moved onto an Amiga which I used until 1997.

You might have taken an interest in non-graphical computers as a kid, but most kids probably didn't care so much for text commands and whatnot. I was 8 when Windows 95 was launched, for example, on which I was more easily able to play games. I used computers with color displays and increasing levels of graphical detail and interaction in every grade of Elementary school from 1st onwards. Before I could write an idea as long as this paragraph I was playing games and messing around with computers at school and home, and lots of other kids did as well. That's sorta what I mean by being children of the "modern" computer age. I don't doubt that you were growing up during an important phase of computing as well ;) 
June 8, 2006 10:09:18 PM

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No, I was referring to quicktime, which forces itunes on you whenever you install it.


Actually you don't have to install iTunes with Quicktime, it's a common misconception. Go to http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download and search for the following text: QuickTime Standalone Installer. That should highlight the link to the iTunes-free version.
June 8, 2006 10:59:07 PM

One thing that just occured to me about DRM... consider some of the older forms of media, before everything went digital. Magazines, books, newspapers... magazines primarily, though. Here's magazine DRM: You can only read it if you're sitting in a particular type of chair. The pages are impossible to cut and highlight, so you can't edit the pages in any way, be it to focus on a particular section or make a collage or let your kid put a picture on his/her school poster. Silly restrictions.

But that's just what DRM does to music. You can't modify a song, like re-encode or apply filters for whatever reason. Can't put them in a music video if they can only be played by one program or device.

People need to step back and take a look at the overall picture. It's MUSIC. Sure, it's in a different format, but it's still just music, and if you pay for it, you should be able to listen to it however you want. Most people probably won't even share a song with more than 1 person, so the whole "safeguarding sales" argument doesn't even hold up... people and places claiming how many MP3s are being swapped illegally won't say that the majority of those are by a minority of people who might each download hundreds or thousands of MP3s in a sitting, just because they're free. If you make it impossible to trade them for free, people won't pay for all those songs, they just won't share them, because the people doing the file sharing are cheap college students who aren't about to throw $10k at iTunes to get their music--they simply don't have it, or that much interest in getting the music if they have to pay for it.

But let's ignore the reasons DRM is supposed to exist. Let's see what it does. Locks you into software and hardware, just to help the company peddling it to pull a profit? I mean, how much worse does DRM stuff have to get before people say "This whole concept is a load of shit"? "System error. You may not play this MOV file because Quicktime has detected that you are currently running Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer." or how about "Sorry, this content is reserved for computers running the newest version of OS X" or "This computer is running Windows XP. Please trade it in for a Mac to enjoy this media file." Sure, it sounds absurd, but it all falls in line with the effective of DRM: For the company distributing things to ensure you use their hardware and their software.

This stuff is absurd and it's got to stop. Everybody buying songs from iTunes (and other similar stores) are giving the companies their money and vote of confidence. They're saying they don't have a problem with it, and they're quite comfortable shelling out more money in the future for similar things. People need to start considering the implications of their buying decisions, and what the company is really trying to do. Are they just selling a product that has to remain open, competitive, and high-quality, or are they trying to strip away your choices in compatable hardware and software?
June 9, 2006 1:25:39 AM

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One thing that just occured to me about DRM... consider some of the older forms of media, before everything went digital. Magazines, books, newspapers... magazines primarily, though. Here's magazine DRM: You can only read it if you're sitting in a particular type of chair. The pages are impossible to cut and highlight, so you can't edit the pages in any way, be it to focus on a particular section or make a collage or let your kid put a picture on his/her school poster. Silly restrictions.


Ha ha ha :lol:  What a great analogy. At least you get a physical product that is YOURS, FOREVER.


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This stuff is absurd and it's got to stop. Everybody buying songs from iTunes (and other similar stores) are giving the companies their money and vote of confidence. They're saying they don't have a problem with it, and they're quite comfortable shelling out more money in the future for similar things. People need to start considering the implications of their buying decisions, and what the company is really trying to do. Are they just selling a product that has to remain open, competitive, and high-quality, or are they trying to strip away your choices in compatable hardware and software?


Yes, hypocrites shit me off too. "DRM sucks, but I use iTunes because I'm too stupid to realise that I'm getting screwed. My petty brain is unable to comprehend the difference between 1441kbps audio which has been available for 22 years and heavily compressed audio."


A joke for you all:

George Bush walks into a doctor's office with a frog on his head. The doctor looks up and says "Can I help you?" and the frog replies "Yeah doc, I need you to get this wart off my arse".
June 13, 2006 7:50:44 AM

I don't know why everyone always wants to knock the big guy all the time. It's the done thing to bash MS but we almost all use Windows because
we can play games
Linux is too complicated (as a sysadmin it rocks but not for general use)
we can download almost any program and not have to look for our version
we can buy a computer for a reasonable price to run it

I used WMP9 for ages until a friend with an iPod showed me iTunes and after that I never went back. I've never bought music because like many people say - a CD is better quality and is physical. There are shortcomings in iTunes (I've yet to see a complicated program without them) but I've used MP3 music since WMP7 and ID3 tag handling in it, 8, & 9 was appalling whereas iTunes was excellent. Don't mention WinAmp, I know heaps of people loved it but I just didn't like it. Also, where in most people's dismissal of iTunes is the acknowledgement of PodCasts? I don't subscribe to any and never have but I know a lot of people do and I think kudos go to Apple for helping it get going.

As for the price of iPods I agree that you'd have to be a naff to buy a Nano. 4GB Nano for AU$369 or 30GB iPod for AU$449? Hardly a decision I thought - that's why I bought the 30GB from Apple Education and paid AU$404 (wanted the 60GB but money is money). I waited about a year (before buying) for someone to make an obviously better player for obviously less but noone stepped up to the plate. I don't care about video (but if it was there = bonus), radio or voice recording. If they're features you're after I'll tell you right now - they aren't there without paying lots more money. But they're things you can get on your phone nowadays.

Conclusion:
For all the knocking the iPod gets I reckon it's a good product. Maybe not the very best value for money but it's certainly up there and when you polish it it really does look nice. :D 
June 26, 2006 2:41:39 PM

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I used WMP9 for ages until a friend with an iPod showed me iTunes and after that I never went back.

Also, where in most people's dismissal of iTunes is the acknowledgement of PodCasts? I don't subscribe to any and never have but I know a lot of people do and I think kudos go to Apple for helping it get going.


Firstly I'd at least TRY WMP11, it's a pretty nice product and it's still in Beta, so it can only get better. If you don't use podcasting or get music through iTunes then those two arguments don't much matter to you. Try it :p 

As far as PodCasts in general go... am I missing something, or are they just audio files your computer gets for you when they're posted? O.o That sounds a lot like a mailing list for files or something. An interesting idea I suppose, and in the future more media and website updates will be sent to you rather than you browsing until you find them, but Apple makes it sound like nobody had ever made a web-based radio station or downloadable audio shows available. And suing anybody that uses a word that contains "pod" is just silly, but they do that...
June 26, 2006 3:13:34 PM

I first off wanted to throw my 2 cents in.... iPOD is crap. my g/f had to have one (she has a nano), so when i said i wouldnt buy her one (she never listens to me) her mom got her one fro x-mas last year. now she is dropping big time cash to load it up. Not only that, but earphones are crap, no way to recharge the battery outta the box besides usb?

Now what did i get....Creative zen micro photo...all i can say is wow....140 off ebay, yea earphones suck, but i am gonna get some in canal sony's which still put me under the 200 tag of the nano. and this is where i dont think the review went far enough into the competion over the iTunes....


The Rhaposdy To Go(there are are few others too...) services....you pay a monthly fee, and you can load your device till your happy. To my knowledge there is no limit on amount. best of all it works with many other PMP's out there. not all, so buy carefull, but many do. I would love to see a comparison between the 2. I think it would put shame to iTunes, and therefore to the iPod!!!
June 27, 2006 2:15:46 PM

nice article lol
!