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Say Hello to Apple's new MP3 Players

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November 22, 2007 12:14:53 PM

Want the best of the iPhone's media playback capabilities without the phone? The iPod Touch offers just that, with all the advantages of the iPhone's musical interface and touch-sensitive screen.

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/2007/11/22/say_hello_to_apples_new_mp3_players/index.html

More about : apple mp3 players

November 22, 2007 6:45:12 PM

Quote:
Unfortunately, the design is too small
Yes, it's small. Hence the name: Nano. For my hands it would be an uncomfortable fit. For my kids or smaller adults, it's fine IMO.

Quote:
Poor headphone quality
On one hand, I'd expect as such, not too much of a negative IMO. On the other hand, enough public ribbing might make manufacturers more inclined to be a little more generous in that respect.

One thing the summary missed entirely – a significant shortcoming of the entire iPod product line – no user-replaceable batteries! :non: 
November 22, 2007 9:12:26 PM

Well anyways, I would have to agree on the fact of poor headphone quality, because my iPod headphones died within a week of moderate use. The volume I used it at was near 60%, and all of a sudden I hear the bass all floppy and inaudible. I switched to more expensive JVC headphones and it was like night and day. The sound Quality was beautiful, and it had very deep bass. Compared to the iPod headphones with flattened out bass and poor quality plus it did not have any sound insulating. Othewise The iPod Touch is a very nice piece of work. It feels like its very Strong, Sturdy, yet it has a tiny size. thats my opinion on the new iPods. ^^
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November 22, 2007 9:17:08 PM

Ipod touch might be a nice mp3 player but at the price of a 16gb you can buy an archos 605 wifi 160gb which has a larger screen 800x480 pixel display, according to archos can do 720p, and no file conversion needed, plays xvid,divix, mpeg4.

Besides buy the pvr dock and you can plug the unit into your big screen tv that has a qwerty remote control and records right from your cablebox or satdish and you can watch movies on your big screen tv.



November 23, 2007 12:44:09 AM

techguy911 said:
Ipod touch might be a nice mp3 player but at the price of a 16gb you can buy an archos 605 wifi 160gb which has a larger screen 800x480 pixel display, according to archos can do 720p, and no file conversion needed, plays xvid,divix, mpeg4.

Besides buy the pvr dock and you can plug the unit into your big screen tv that has a qwerty remote control and records right from your cablebox or satdish and you can watch movies on your big screen tv.


Totally gotta go for the 605 WiFi. Absolutely a better product. Unlike the iPod touch it offers space to, you know, store videos and files. What's the point of buying a portable video player which doesn't have enough space for your music collection, let alone your pictures, personal files (whoops, I forgot, you can't use it as a storage device) and some videos? The 605 WiFi can store 100 movies, 1.4 GB DVD-resolution and in DivX or XviD (you know, exactly the sort of thing you might actually have on your computer), and still have, left over, 20% more space than the entire iPod touch has.

This was a really, really, REALLY pointless review. The only things it offers which Apple's site doesn't is pointing out that the iPod touch screen can smudge (gasp), the Nano is small (fancy that) and that displaying multiple images in 3D space with fading reflections on a device a smaller than a pad of Post-It notes is slow (who would've thunk it?).

There are two things I really take issue with, though. "It's impossible not to find this model appealing" and "It is impossible to criticize Apple when it comes to its devices' designs and interfaces". Guess what? I don't find either of those products appealing, and yeah, it's entirely possible to criticize their designs and interfaces. Hell, you yourself did it when you pointed out that CoverFlow makes the Nano's interface less responsive, the Nano is too small, and the touch screen can smudge. Those are design and interface issues.

People who buy this trash disgust me. Time and time again, Apple goes nice and slow with developing and rolling out new products. A touch screen on a cellphone, what a novel idea, I'm sure there weren't already DOZENS of other models in the years leading up to 2007. And a touch screen on an MP3 player, I'm sure that Archos hadn't been doing that since 2006 and before. Being able to play videos on your MP3 player too, wow, that's an amazing feature, nobody tried that trick before fall '05! People keep buying iTrash because "they're just so easy" and "the interface is really nice", because apparently, picking a song or playlist by artist, genre, album, year, etc is SUCH a difficult task unless you have a sliding menu animation.

You buy your iPod though, and give Apple more profits to waste on ads and minor aesthetics, while starving the other media player providers, who are the first to incorporate features like color screens, touch screens, cameras, wireless web browsing, 800x480 displays, and the novel combination of large screens with lots of storage.

The existence and changes of the iPod are actually damaging to the entire portable media player industry. The iPod keeps getting smaller and smaller, at the expense of other features and attributes. If somebody has seen an iPod touch, and I then show them the Archos 605 WiFi (which is somewhere around 3/4 inches thick), they say they don't want it because it's way too large to carry around, even if it does offer that 800x480 screen, lots of useful codec capabilities, a touch screen, and 160 GB for the price of 16 GB on an iPod touch. When I point out to them that the 605 WiFi is about the size of a DS Lite, which tens of millions of people are delighted to carry around in their pockets, they inevitably say "Ehhhh... mffff... it's just too big...".

Do the world a favor. Spend a half hour looking for a better competing product, and then 15 minutes reading the manual for said product. You'll get features Apple won't offer until '08 or '09 (if ever) and at prices below their less-equipped models, and in the process you'll give a little money to companies who are actually trying hard to innovate. Every Apple product is part of a monopoly that is almost entirely unresponsive to the features and prices of other products, and every iPod sold is a vote of confidence to the company which says you value an animated, anti-aliased user interface over timely release of new features.
November 23, 2007 1:30:23 AM

Wow, Twile... what's left to say? A little harsh, but i absolutely agree with you.
November 23, 2007 5:04:46 AM

Wobbly said:
Wow, Twile... what's left to say? A little harsh, but i absolutely agree with you.
What's left to say? How about "iTunes sucks". I love my 5.5 gen player, but IMO iTunes is a sluggish confusing mess. It's quirky, and in some respects a bit non-intuitive. The article probably should have touched on this as in this case the hardware and the software go hand-in-hand.

@Twile
One thing Apple has over it's competition is 3rd party support. iPods plug into everything - clock radios, car stereos, portable stereos and video players. I WISH other manufacturers would pick up some ground on this issue. Since I want to plug in and control my iPod from my car stereo iPod was my only option. I would have loved to be able to consider a Zune or Zen.

Maybe bluetooth together with some as of yet undefined mp3 player command protocol could be the answer. Until then this is the one major area where iPod dominates.
November 23, 2007 5:16:33 AM

And there it is: yet another set of overpriced gadgets from Apple.
Yes, I am not (at all) a fan of Apple so I have a hard time being objective.
It is no doubt that Apple manufactures stylish (and sturdy) phones/MP3 players ... but at what cost?
No 3rd-party accessories (i.e. for a reasonable price) are available for few months since apple does not disclose the design till launch.
They're still using proprietary batteries. This, for me, is a no-no. The user should be able to replace the batteries and to buy new ones for pennies *anywhere*.
Yes, AAA batteries may not be as thin but you will never run out of batteries anywhere you go. They're manufactured in huge volumes, don't explode and cost a small fractions of the lithium ones that Apple sells.

And, sorry, but a video player that does not support Divx? I can understand WMA, but Divx?!?!?
And ... you have 16GB and you can't use it as storage? Why can't you make the 16GB visible like a normal drive? Oh, duh, because otherwise nobody would use iTunes anymore.

Nobody should buy *pod products: if not for technical reasons, just to protest the coercion and anti-consumer policies that they represent.
November 23, 2007 12:28:46 PM

More Apple b@ll washing.

The iTouch sucks. 16 gig for a video player? SIGN ME UP!!! While you are at it, please bring back VHS-C tapes that record 20 minutes of video when you need 2 hours worth.

The iTouch is impossible to use unless you are staring at its smudge-tastic screen, meaning that you have no tacticle response to switch songs if it was, say, in your jacket pocket. And the whole "touch" thing is fairly hard to do correctly. Microsoft got the "touch" thing right with a slightly textured pad that provides tacticle feedback and can be used as a standard click pad as well. WHAT A CONCEPT!!!

The iPod nano has been and always will be an ugly player (first it was just too damn small, now its too damn small and fat) that has mediocre at best sound quality.

Do yourselves a favor: STOP KISSING STEVE JOBS' A$$. These players are overpriced gadgets for spoiled trendwhores and little else. Why don't you do a fair comparison between the new Zune (which mops the floor with ANY iPod) and the iPod Classic? That would be worth reading. Or maybe a good honest review of any other player aside of Apple based crap as other posters have stated.
November 23, 2007 1:40:38 PM

spongebob said:
Maybe bluetooth together with some as of yet undefined mp3 player command protocol could be the answer. Until then this is the one major area where iPod dominates.


Stereo BT has been around for a while, and it consists of 2 profiles: 1 for playback, and 1 for a/v control (A2DP and AVRCPAudio/Video Remote Control Profile).


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A2DP#Advanced_Audio_Distri...

i will say that sound quality is definately inferior to hard wiring, even when we're talking about compressed audio. Personally, I love my Hi-Fi car system (JL Audio FTW :D  ) and i would rather listen to a K-fed CD than wirelessly stream audio to my system. However, i have a set of BT headphones that i use with my phone, and they are pretty cool (and they can remotely adjust volume, skip tracks, play/pause, and answer/end calls).

For a site that prides itself on benchmarking the latest and greatest, i'm dissapointed that there was no objective comparison to any other player.

November 23, 2007 1:41:22 PM

spongebob said:
What's left to say? How about "iTunes sucks". I love my 5.5 gen player, but IMO iTunes is a sluggish confusing mess. It's quirky, and in some respects a bit non-intuitive. The article probably should have touched on this as in this case the hardware and the software go hand-in-hand.

@Twile
One thing Apple has over it's competition is 3rd party support. iPods plug into everything - clock radios, car stereos, portable stereos and video players. I WISH other manufacturers would pick up some ground on this issue. Since I want to plug in and control my iPod from my car stereo iPod was my only option. I would have loved to be able to consider a Zune or Zen.

Maybe bluetooth together with some as of yet undefined mp3 player command protocol could be the answer. Until then this is the one major area where iPod dominates.


You've got me there, that's one thing a consumer really can't complain about... a lot of choice with connectivity just because it's popular and having your products compatible with it helps to sell it.

Well, almost. You mentioned Bluetooth. However this is something Apple isn't going to rush to embrace, which will hurt consumers.

Apple tends to incorporate some fairly high-end stuff in their devices, or at least the iTouch and iPhone. Why is it then that the iTouch doesn't have Bluetooth, and the iPhone's bluetooth can only be used for monaural headsets and not stereo headsets, wireless sync or streaming audio? The Zune has supported wireless sync and filesharing with other Zunes for a year, but Apple didn't incorporate that in any of their products. Why? Simple, they're greedy. As you pointed, there's a rich add-on market for Apple-only products. Apple already makes a lot of money selling sync cables and being paid by companies to use the Made for iPod logo. If you didn't have to buy sync cables and other products were compatible with bluetooth headsets, bluetooth car/home stereos, etc, Apple would lose a lot of that revenue and people would be able to more easily switch from their products.
November 23, 2007 9:15:37 PM

I suppose this is a bad time to mention Time Advertzine's winner of "Invention" of the year???????
November 24, 2007 4:31:51 AM

This article if very misleading an incomplete.

First, the cons are not even fully noted at the end:

- can't use as plug and play storage device (even thought author noted it:
- proprietary software required and locks one user only.
- no WMA or OGG playback
- no video conversion included (not every video is a movie or music video!)
- lack of an FM tuner
- (nano) the Cover Flow interface is slow
- (itouch) Volume Control! Have to look at screen just to change volume.
- remote?


For many users who never used and i"gadget", the article is misleading, and doesn't indicate the mandatory need for a computer and itunes to transfer any decent amount of songs into them. (sure there's wifi on itouch, but it's not like you can sync the music you bought previously. Unless your rich enough to buy that many songs).

Users would think you can just go out an buy one and just use it, and they locked into this luck laster itunes player, that in many cases defaults in converting all you music over and doubling your storage use.
Also saying "The menus are clear and intuitive and there is no need to refer to the instruction manual. " as if they came with music and you can listen and put music in as a "no brainer".

I stopped owning ipods after the ipod video (my very first ipod). @ least I was easily able to use anapod and put itunes in the trash. now that some goon stole it, I rather spend the money on a phone/player with ability to expand storage.

November 24, 2007 10:31:46 PM

I'm using the 4GB Nano reviewed.

labtroll said:


- can't use as plug and play storage device (even thought author noted it:


hmm... cmiiw, but you can tick the "Enable Disk Use" option on iTunes and use it as an external drive for XP.

plus side:
-great looking gadget. the design is awesome. well.. it is subjective.
-sharp display on such a small screen.
-the usb transfer speed is quick enough for me.

negative side:
1. limited support for open and proprietary file format. even a limited option for Apple's own Quicktime. I can't even add a Spiderman 3 trailer, and it was a high-def QUICKTIME!!! (iTunes says, my Nano can't play this format and it doesnt even offer to convert it! come on!)
2. the Clickwheel interface is too sensitive. i can't find any option to adjust it's sensitivity! sometimes instead of getting where i want, i selected the next option.
3. the usb cable that connects under iPod is kinda hard to take off. i have to press both side of it at the same time, but it is too small.
4. the quick start manual is too short! i have to google to find how to reset mine. (YES people, an Apple can hang! if it has a blue-screen-of-death, it will display it.)
5. its ability to display text-file is silly. i can't get past the copyright notice on books downloaded from project gutenberg!

this is my first iPod. but considering the price and my experience with it, i am happy that i got this thing as a present! i will NEVER buy an iPod. i pity those who throw money on such a over-hyped gadget.
Steve Jobs IS EVIL! :pfff: 
November 26, 2007 4:23:06 AM

There's a reason why a product is #1, people want it and buy it.

Is it expensive? yea, so is a BMW, but a Kia is a good buy as well. They are both cars right?

No matter, my phone plays mp3s so I'm content with that. I even still own an mp3 CD player.
November 26, 2007 7:39:45 AM

Nah, not for me.

iPods don't support OGG or (more importantly) FLAC codecs.
November 26, 2007 3:05:32 PM

kingssman said:
I even still own an mp3 CD player.


Ahhh, those were the days. I still remember spending nearly $200 on a really sweet CD player back in '01 or '02... it could handle CD, CD-R, and CD-RW, as well as MP3s, and it had a radio tuner, and adjustable equalizer, and a nice back-lit display, and it could navigate through nested directories and such... even had a leather case and a wired remote. Combined with good headphones, one CD-RW, and a pair of recharable AA's I felt pretty superior to everyone else... a slick player that held 10 CDs worth of music, and only needed one disc and one pair of batteries for as long as I was to own it? Those were the days.

A couple years later I bought a 20 GB player that was a fraction of the size, had built-in batteries, a color display, and could play video. Oh, how times change.
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