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Microsoft To Release 'iPod Killer' at Christmas?

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the happy-holidays dept.

614

ShellFish writes "According to a report from Engadget, Microsoft is poised to finally take on the Apple iPod this holiday season. Tired of uninspiring offerings from its hardware partners, Microsoft is getting into the ring itself. The new media player from Microsoft will feature a bigger screen than the iPod Video, have built-in WiFi for downloading music without a PC, and Microsoft will work with music and TV content providers to build an iTunes Music Store competitor. In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

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Not only that... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670364)

It'll be built with the reliability and simplicity you've come to expect from Microsoft.

Re:Not only that... (2, Funny)

tehlinux (896034) | about 8 years ago | (#15670404)

It'll be built with the reliability and simplicity you've come to expect from Microsoft.

If you want something that's built to last, get an iPod. ;)

Re:Not only that... (1, Insightful)

Ubergrendle (531719) | about 8 years ago | (#15670407)

Meaning it will allow for easy replacement of the rechargeable battery, not require proprietary vendor lock-in formats (ACC), and use generic cables/interfaces/devices to extend the use of the product? SIGN ME UP!

(proud ipod mini owner, but hate trolls)

Re:Not only that... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670488)

The Atlantic Coast Conference is proprietary?

Re:Not only that... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670549)

Damn NCAA basketball lockin.

Re:Not only that... (4, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | about 8 years ago | (#15670537)

Since when is mp3 a lock-in format? (the bulk of what is on my Pod is ripped from my own collection). Nothing is stopping you from from doing that or buying from online vendors that sell albums in mp3 format. Don't be dense.

Re:Not only that... (4, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 years ago | (#15670541)

YOu may be right on points 1 and 3, but not 2. It will be using a proprieatary vendor lock in format called WMA, just as chock full of DRM as the ipod.

Re:Not only that... (5, Informative)

steveo777 (183629) | about 8 years ago | (#15670606)

Well, you've got a few good points there. Except for the vendor lock-in format. What do you think WMA, WMV are? Think MS is going to let you use MP3's right on there? (I read TFA, I didn't see anything about it). And Apple learned from its mistakes, now you can use USB 2.0 or FireWire.

Proud owner of iPod Nano. But when it's time for replacement, I'll give this product a look-see.

Oh and it won't be hard to be better than itunes (2, Informative)

sterno (16320) | about 8 years ago | (#15670607)

Itunes on mac works pretty well. On windows is REALLY sucks. Among other problems:
  • Very slow and processor intensive
  • I have some podcasts that require a password to access them. When I get prompted (which it does every time in spite of telling it to remember my password), if I don't click the "ok" quickly enough, it crashes ITunes.
  • If you move your files around it forces to rediscover the files one by one. So if you move a whole directory, you have to tell it where each file is even though all the files were moved to the same place. Not too bad, but then try to see what fun you have if you mount your files off of a shared drive and the letter gets changed.


Lots of other general bugginess. The concept is good with the music store and all that, but the Itunes software itself is possibly the worst piece of crap I've ever used.

Re:Not only that... (1)

LearnToSpell (694184) | about 8 years ago | (#15670635)

Like what Creative's been putting out for years now?

(proud owner of a 120G Xtra, and three extra batteries)

Re:Not only that... (3, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 years ago | (#15670636)

Meaning it will allow for easy replacement of the rechargeable battery, not require proprietary vendor lock-in formats (ACC), and use generic cables/interfaces/devices to extend the use of the product?

Let's not forget also use music management software that isn't just ported over from the mac. I absolutely HATE iTunes.

As a Windows-savvy user I first found myself using iTunes on Boxing Day. I think the root of the problem is iTunes is a Mac application, ported to the windows platform. As a result, hard-core Windoze user will find a lot of what iTunes does to be counter-intutitive. For example, I put in an audio CD and an icon appears. As a PC user, my instinct is to right-click on that icon and be presented with some options (play, rip, copy to ipod, explore, eject, buy (?) etc.) That doesn't happen in iTunes - I've got to click somewhere else.

Or, *by default*, iTunes starts re-arranging music on people's hard disks. I'm sure this feature is handy - But by default? It's *very* confusing and all day long my wife was saying "Where did my song go!?!!"

I'm sure it's brilliant on the Mac, but on the PC itunes is useless and counter-intuitive.

Re:Not only that... (3, Funny)

ScottLindner (954299) | about 8 years ago | (#15670417)

When they say by Christmas, do they mean RC1, RC2, SP1, SP2? :-)

Re:Not only that... (2, Informative)

mrxak (727974) | about 8 years ago | (#15670560)

Here's the NY Times take on this [nytimes.com] . Of particular interest is that this move will probably anger the hardware companies that were convinced to use Microsoft's software. Now Microsoft is turning around and competing with them.

Re:Not only that... (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | about 8 years ago | (#15670574)

Those XBoxes are damned complicated.

Re:Not only that... (2, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | about 8 years ago | (#15670630)

Unlike my iPod nano which just rebooted because I pressed 'play'.

Question (0, Offtopic)

CRCulver (715279) | about 8 years ago | (#15670366)

If we can see stories "in construction", what's the point of becoming a subscriber? Sure, there's no ads on pages, but smart users already have Firefox with Adblock installed anyway.

Re:Question (1)

wixardy (950752) | about 8 years ago | (#15670497)

are you sure you didn't just get the story right before it was changed over to being publicly available?

Oragami (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670367)

What ever happened to that Oragami thing?

Re:Oragami (5, Funny)

sdpuppy (898535) | about 8 years ago | (#15670425)

"What ever happened to that Oragami thing?"

It was folded.

Not going to buy it (0, Redundant)

LordKazan (558383) | about 8 years ago | (#15670373)

I have no interest in a video or audio ipod, nor do I have interest in this. Why should i? If I want an MP3 player I'll get a much cheaper generic one that is less likely to be stolen and doesn't involve brand name price inflation. If I want a portable video player I'll get a PSP and hack it.

Re:Not going to buy it (3, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15670437)

Personally, what sold me on the ipod compared to generics was the 60gb of space. I've already taken up half of that with my "favorite" music directory from PC and could probably fill up the rest easily if i sat down for a few days and cherry-picked some more stuff.

A wide library was extremely important to me. I like being able to go weeks without hearing a song again, and none of the other players I saw even came close in capacity. They need more jiggawatts.

Re:Not going to buy it (1)

jumpingfred (244629) | about 8 years ago | (#15670439)

Please point out the much cheaper 30 and 60 gig mp3 players. The ones I see are all basically the same price.

Re:Not going to buy it (1)

LordKazan (558383) | about 8 years ago | (#15670526)

You assume that I need, let alone want, 30+ gigabytes of space for my MP3 collection. I don't store my mp3s in 1152kbps like one of my high school teachers did in 2001. I use 128kbit encoding - so about 1meg/minute

1GB=1024MB ~ 1024 minutes = 17.06 hours

plenty

Re:Not going to buy it (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | about 8 years ago | (#15670529)

The large harddrive-based players are only a tiny part of the market (Maybe 10% of iPod sales).

Personally, I think iPod will always dominate that segment, but the smaller players will be "killed" by phones and virtually every other device filled with cheap flash memory.

The Microsoft thing is probably more of a "PiMP" -- personal media player focused on movies and such.

No need to hack (1)

fistfullast33l (819270) | about 8 years ago | (#15670473)

You don't need to "hack" a PSP to play video. All you need is PSP Video 9 (it's free!) and a freshly ripped DVD movie and you can copy it to your memory stick. Of course, it's illegal but hey, if you're willing to hack a PSP you must be willing to rip a DVD.

Re:No need to hack (1)

LordKazan (558383) | about 8 years ago | (#15670491)

if they want to try and prosecute me for format shifting they can bow down to my lawyers and die in a fire :D

Closed codec's and DRM I'm sure (3, Insightful)

walt-sjc (145127) | about 8 years ago | (#15670381)

I'll take a wait and see attitude before totally slamming it, but if history is a judge, ...

Re:Closed codec's and DRM I'm sure (1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 8 years ago | (#15670602)

Drm is a pain in the ass with the Ipod.

I dont like to steal music as I feel for $.99 that I should contribute to the artist at an affordable price.

My Ipod is locked up because I upgraded Itunes and accidently created another user account. Worse I have 2 installations of w2k on my desktop, one for work and one for games. Now I have a WindowsXP laptop that I would like to store some music.

The last time I tried to change the user I ended up losing all my music and Itunes deleted everything. Apple was nice and let me redownload everything with a warning not to do it again. Anyway if I didn't have work/school I could research everything and fix it and be carefull to get my music back so I dont lose anything. Yes I know Itunes lets you share music on up to 5 computers but still I have to do it right incase I accidently delete the drm for the music.

If Microsoft offers more leniant DRM then I am all for it! Yes I dislike microsoft but if they make better products and my life easier than I will buy their products. Itunes is a royal pain in the ass but all the labels want DRM or they wont sell you the music.

Woah (4, Interesting)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 8 years ago | (#15670389)

In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

I'll assume the summary leaves out the crucial word "free" in there. If so, that's pretty damn clever. I just wonder how/if MS will get the music cartels to agree to it, other than wholescale bombing of their headquarters' into submission by the Windows Air Force.

Re:Woah (5, Insightful)

davecrusoe (861547) | about 8 years ago | (#15670416)

Easy: they'll do the same thing they've done with the x-box (subsidize the music at their cost, to win market share)....

Re:Woah (5, Informative)

sdpuppy (898535) | about 8 years ago | (#15670616)

Possibly:

"...But it gets better. To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account....[MS has to pay rights-holders...they'll lose money to win converts] "

From: http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/06/microsoft-plann ing-wifi-enabled-portable-media-player-working-o/ [engadget.com]

Re:Woah (3, Insightful)

profet (263203) | about 8 years ago | (#15670432)

I'll assume the summary leaves out the crucial word "free" in there. If so, that's pretty damn clever. I just wonder how/if MS will get the music cartels to agree to it, other than wholescale bombing of their headquarters' into submission by the Windows Air Force.

Forget that, how will they enforce it?
Violate the DMCA and try decrypting the songs?
Hack Apple's servers for information?

Re:Woah (1)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | about 8 years ago | (#15670434)

FTA: Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.

They're actually going to lose a little to get customers to switch. May not be a bad idea.

Re:Woah (3, Informative)

DerGeist (956018) | about 8 years ago | (#15670442)

Actually, as reported here [engadget.com] the songs will be free to the user, with royalties being paid by Microsoft. In other words, you as the user get to move your songs over while MS re-buys them for you.

Albeit ostensibly benevolent, keep in mind Microsoft has a habit of trying to dump loads of money to gain initial market share. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Re:Woah (5, Informative)

RealSurreal (620564) | about 8 years ago | (#15670453)

From TFA : "They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it'll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player."

Personally I don't see how this will work. I can't imagine Apple being too keen on it.

Re:Woah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670482)

I just wonder how/if MS will get the music cartels to agree to it,

Just what I was wondering here. This isn't an MS feature, it would have to be an agreement reached by the copyright holders. If that's the case, it's hard to imagine iTMS not being able to do the same thing since I assume they'd have more leverage than M$ anyway.

Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in.

So lets see. If I use iTMS and already purchased some music, it's most likely for my ipod (rhetorically speaking since I don't own an ipod). So M$ will allow me to mosey on over to their store and download the same tune, presumably as an mp3 or wmv, for what reason? I can already burn my iTMS music to cd and then do whatever the heck I want, why to I need to be able to download it from M$ and how am I "locked in"?

Re:Woah (1)

funkmasterbillis (949560) | about 8 years ago | (#15670527)

I would think that putting Apples market share down a couple of tens of percents would be worth a couple billion out of pocket. and I'm willing to bet MS doesn't have to pay the full dollar. It's not like their going to buy it from apple, strip the DRM and then sell it to you. the real problem will be making it any song. I mean will I be able to get unsigned bands like, say, (shameless plug alert) Dr. Doctor [myspace.com] ?

Re:Woah (5, Funny)

Jtheletter (686279) | about 8 years ago | (#15670542)

I just wonder how/if MS will get the music cartels to agree to it, other than wholescale bombing of their headquarters' into submission by the Windows Air Force.

"Why those are some real nice computers you got there at the RIAA, running some fancy Windows OS too. Sure would be a shame if WGA suddenly listed them all as pirated...."

Re:Woah (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | about 8 years ago | (#15670563)

I think the music cartels are getting a bit nervous of Jobs & Co. setting their pricing for them. The only reason cartels exisits is manipulate pricing. If Microsoft were savvy they might be able to find a way to exploit this unhappiness.

Re:Woah (1)

discstickers (547062) | about 8 years ago | (#15670619)

Yea, because customers will be rushing to use a service that charges twice as much for the music.

Re:Woah (1)

ta ma de (851887) | about 8 years ago | (#15670586)

By the time this thing is released apple will have sold close to two billion songs. So if we all buy their player, sell it on ebay, then M$ will have to buy some two billion songs for nothing. Bummer for them. I wonder if you could do this more than once?

Europe already is doing this. (1)

MarkByers (770551) | about 8 years ago | (#15670614)

In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

I thought most European governments were already working towards forcing Apple to open up its formats? Let's see who gets there first:

  * Europe with the speed of democratic decision making or...
  * Microsoft with err... whatever they've got.

Ipod killer? Not unless... (5, Funny)

SoCalChris (573049) | about 8 years ago | (#15670401)

Not unless it has wireless, and more space than a Nomad. Otherwise it's just lame.

Re:Ipod killer? Not unless... (0, Troll)

Andrew Nagy (985144) | about 8 years ago | (#15670461)

FTA: Microsoft's new portable audio and video player will have a screen that's "bigger than that of the iPod video" (which isn't really saying much) and built-in WiFi so you can not only download content directly to the player (sort of like with the MusicGremlin), but actually participate in an Xbox Live-like social network that will help you connect with other people with similar taste and interests.

Re:Ipod killer? Not unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670503)

It's a joke.

Read CmdrTaco's take on the ipod here [slashdot.org] .

Re:Ipod killer? Not unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670472)

from the makers of RTFA... read the fucking summary

Re:Ipod killer? Not unless... (3, Informative)

PaulMorel (962396) | about 8 years ago | (#15670500)

Have you used a WiFi enabled microsoft device lately? I have. I got suckered into buying the HP iPaq 1950 with Wifi, bluetooth... etc.

Without being long-winded, the technology just isn't there. The iPaq (with Windows Mobile 5) freezes up constantly (have to take out the battery to restart it). The handheld web browser only supports a small SMALL subset of Java (it basically has no Java support at all). In addition to that, even with the screen turned sideways, browsing the internet (especially the CSS enabled internet) is a nightmare!

Having used an iPaq, I will bet that the rumor of MS releasing a handheld this christmas is exactly that: a rumor. The technology just isn't there yet.

Re:Ipod killer? Not unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670520)

Dude, you didn't even read the summary, much less the article. You just wanted to throw out yet another Microsoft slam.

"... have built-in WiFi"

Does it literally kill ipods? (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 8 years ago | (#15670402)

Can I point it at someone dancing around like an idiot in public, and it explodes their ipod? I'll take two for dual wield.

also.. (5, Funny)

solidtransient (883338) | about 8 years ago | (#15670403)

But wait, there's more! Microsoft's iPod killer will also: - double as a powered beard trimmer (small fees apply per trim) - provide a conveneint space to store change (small fees apply per coin) - allow you to pause time and move really fast (small fees apply per pause) - allow you to transport from one place to another (small fees apply per transport) - melt competitor iPods within 30 feet of the device (free of charge!)

Neutered PDA? (1)

RingDev (879105) | about 8 years ago | (#15670405)

Wifi, larger screen, other assorted goodies... It sounds basically like a PDA geared for music play back.

I picked up a Dell Axim x3i off EBay about half a year ago for under $200. Snagged a 1GB SD card for it a month later. And have been enjoying my play lists ever since.

-Rick

Re:Neutered PDA? (1)

cmdr_beeftaco (562067) | about 8 years ago | (#15670592)

so you bought a $300 1GB mp3 player, makes Apple's pricing sound downright cheap.

Re:Neutered PDA? (1)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | about 8 years ago | (#15670638)

Hopefully it has better sound quality and battery life. I haven't seen PDAs to be very good for music listening in the long run.

Stop saying iPod Killer! (0, Flamebait)

MarkByers (770551) | about 8 years ago | (#15670409)

There is no such thing as an "iPod killer". iPod is here to stay.

Re:Stop saying iPod Killer! (1)

grungebox (578982) | about 8 years ago | (#15670467)

There is no such thing as an "iPod killer". iPod is here to stay.

You're obviously oblivious to the last 20 years of consumer electronics history. Remember the Walkman? Yeah, that was "here to stay" too. This might not be the "iPod killer," and "iPod killer" might be a stupid phrase, but your second statement is myopic.

20 years != Christmas time (1)

MarkByers (770551) | about 8 years ago | (#15670534)

Yeah obviously in 20 years time people are going to want to buy new players to play their *.drm files since by then it will be a legal requirement that all audio files use the *.drm format which iPods cannot play.

But I hardly think that iPod is going to disappear by Christmas time, which is what the title suggests!

(Sorry if I am misunderstanding something, I haven't read the summary yet.)

Re:Stop saying iPod Killer! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 8 years ago | (#15670566)

Of course, it has zero GB, can't play MP3's nor videos, can't synch to your mail program or calendar, but here's a real iPod killer [northerntool.com] .

One jailer for another (5, Insightful)

Mister_IQ (517505) | about 8 years ago | (#15670414)

unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in

... and locking them right back in again in to Micrsoft's vendor lock-in. Brilliant.

Next, I hope they'll let me "upgrade" all my paperbacks to MSReader encrypted format too!

Smart move from Microsoft? (2, Insightful)

Rockenreno (573442) | about 8 years ago | (#15670419)

I think it is a brilliant move to allow users to download songs they've purchased from iTunes. Eventually I'd like to be able to purchase the rights to movies, music, and other copyrighted works for a fixed fee and then be able to view/listen to our purchased items from any location via streaming. If we want a physical copy, the only cost would then be the media itself and a device (or store-offered service) to burn the copyrighted material to disc. If the rest of the consumer world is anything like me, they are tired of paying for a single work in multiple formats. It may be great for money-hoarding industry executives, but eventually the market will demand this change.

Time to dust off... (1)

DaveM753 (844913) | about 8 years ago | (#15670420)

...my Passport.

Re:Time to dust off... (1)

hunterkll (949515) | about 8 years ago | (#15670533)

Microsoft or Government style?

one bad turn deserves another? (1, Troll)

Burlap (615181) | about 8 years ago | (#15670421)

Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."

and lock you into another.... just great

Re:one bad turn deserves another? (1)

VendingMenace (613279) | about 8 years ago | (#15670578)

of course we can all hope that once one company does this, many more will follow suit. Especially if microsoft makes a killing with this "feature."

Not that i have much hope for this, but it could strike down a fair amount of the DRM annoyance -- if you are allowed to switch services, it seems like it would become easier to switch beetween devices too. But then again, i am not a programmer, so i really don't know i guess. Just makes sense to me. :)

Translation: (1, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 8 years ago | (#15670423)

Microsoft's new portable audio and video player will have a screen that's "bigger than that of the iPod video" [...] and built-in WiFi


Translation: The Microsoft device will be bigger than the iPod, and have signifigantly lower battery life.

Of course, given that it's from Microsoft, I'm sure they'll take a cue from every other product they make, and give it a worst-in-class user interface to top things off.

And Steve B. was quoted as saying (2, Funny)

R2.0 (532027) | about 8 years ago | (#15670435)

Cue Ballmer "going to fucking kill...throw chair" jokes.

Re:And Steve B. was quoted as saying (1)

spellraiser (764337) | about 8 years ago | (#15670627)

Also, cue Ballmer's Ipod [macboy.com] . I'm sure Microsoft could use some ideas from this as a basis for a marketing campaign.

From the description ... (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | about 8 years ago | (#15670441)

it doesn't sound alot different than my trusty iPaq which I have been carrying for several years and absolutely love. I guess the difference might be a built-in hard drive (I am limited to SD storage - 4GB), and perhaps a more up-to-date and smaller industrial design. But I already have a big (touch) screen, built-in WIFI, a camera, lots of games, outlook syncing, and the ability to play videos, MP3s or subscription WMAs.

Microsoft Hardware (1)

phorm (591458) | about 8 years ago | (#15670443)

Hmmm, well I'm torn about this. Microsoft's ventures into hardware have proven to be all over the scale. I remember back in the day when the best mice (IMHO) were made by Logitech and MS. Of course, the first wireless optical mouse I bought from MS ate batteries in three days and after set #2 was sent back, logitech continued to be a quality choice.

MS keyboards on the other hand have generally been rather utilitarian and nice to use. I've always been fond of the MS natural keyboards (with built-in USB hub).

Outside of the computer realm, the big projects would be the X-box and X-box 360. Mixed results there, but my first impression is that one should probably avoid the early models in case of bugs, but later models might actually be rather good.

Re:Microsoft Hardware (1)

griffjon (14945) | about 8 years ago | (#15670494)

What I wanna know is if it'll overheat in your pocket and cause sterility :)

If so, they could make great gifts!

I predict... (0, Flamebait)

crazyjeremy (857410) | about 8 years ago | (#15670446)

I will make some predictions: There will be no support for ogg, flac, etc. It will be DRM infested. It will not play xvid. There will be some monthly fee to Microsoft involved unlock it to it's full capacity. Lastly, this device will NOT have the much anticipated taser/stun gun feature http://users.mtrx.net/image.php?user=funnypics&ima geurl=2006%2F2006-07-06-0001%2Fcell_phone_taser.gi f&showfolder=0 [mtrx.net]

uhh (2, Informative)

blackmonday (607916) | about 8 years ago | (#15670452)

In what may be the crucial competitive stroke, Microsoft will also allow you to download from its store any song that you've purchased from Apple, unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in.
Hey dude! Get out of that horrible iPod prison! Check out my all-new Microsoft prison! come on in, its free to try!

Unless Microsoft is providing DRM free files, I will stay far away from this. At least iTunes lets me burn the songs to CD as many times as I wish.

Re:uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670570)

Not if they're downloaded from the iTMS, however.

Could be sweet (1)

Nightspirit (846159) | about 8 years ago | (#15670471)

It may be nice to download music anytime I want onto my device with wifi, or even better stream to it from a server.

Not sure I would buy or use such a thing, but I am sure others would. If anything, it may convince apple to integrate wifi into ipods. /currently use my pocketpc as my mp3 player, already does most of these things, albiet with a limited space compared to an ipod

Please think of the children... (1)

colanut (541823) | about 8 years ago | (#15670476)

will Boing Boing have a fit [boingboing.net] over MS scanning your iTunes directory? Even if it is to "unlock" your music. When do the DBD [google.com] protesters arrive at the MS campus?

Let me guess... (1)

WhitePanther5000 (766529) | about 8 years ago | (#15670484)

It's going to be about the size of the original GameBoy and suck up battery power faster than a laptop.

Oh, I can just see it now in my head, (0, Redundant)

tpjunkie (911544) | about 8 years ago | (#15670492)

An ugly little monkey-looking device that throws chairs (it's a feature!) and only plays songs involving the phrase "fucking kill the ipod"

'Killer' dooms it to failure (1)

Sarusa (104047) | about 8 years ago | (#15670502)

Anything labeled an '[X] Killer'... won't.

More seriously, it means you're being reactive instead of disruptive.

here he is (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 8 years ago | (#15670509)

the assassin [www.djfl.de]

If I had a dollar for every "iPod killer"... (5, Insightful)

ptomblin (1378) | about 8 years ago | (#15670515)

...I'd have enough money to buy a newer iPod.

Apple and RIAA are laughing softly (4, Insightful)

snowwrestler (896305) | about 8 years ago | (#15670521)

There's no guarantee that Microsoft will be able to negotiate the same rates with the recording labels that Apple has. In fact from previous stories we know that the labels are aching to raise online prices and introduce differentiation, but were overpowered by Apple's market share. Microsoft will have a market share of 0% as they negotiate their deals--expect them to pay more per song than Apple for recent "hit" music. So the RIAA is laughing because not only are they going to get paid twice for one consumer purchase, but the second payment might actually be bigger than the first.

Apple is laughing because Microsoft seems to have no profit foothold anywhere in the business plan. As new entrants their players will most likely have to compete on price, reducing the profit margin there. And by re-paying labels for music already purchases, they are in essence subsidizing their customers' libraries--a huge expense. Compare to Apple who commands a healthy profit on the players AND a small profit on every song sold. The only thing better than beating a competitor is making them lose a lot money and STILL get beaten.

Microsoft iPod killer video leaked early... (0, Redundant)

daveschroeder (516195) | about 8 years ago | (#15670531)

Here it is! [google.com]

So how easy (1)

quokkapox (847798) | about 8 years ago | (#15670532)

will it be for me to liberate my DRM-encrusted content purchased from microsoft? Do I get to burn unencumbered audio CDs that I can then rip? Can I virtualize this process from within the latest, greatest windows OS (Vista)? Somehow, I doubt it.

Who wants to run a Vista powered MP3 player (2, Informative)

gelfling (6534) | about 8 years ago | (#15670550)

Because let's face facts that what it will be. Or more properly, a WindowsXP media edtion pocket PC that needs 1GB of RAM, an 80GB drive, 20GB of which will be the operating system? Is this really device you want?

Janus? (2, Interesting)

andrewman327 (635952) | about 8 years ago | (#15670553)

Microsoft has exclusively stood behind its Janus DRM in the past. It is refreshing to see that this new player will have a more open approach to music files. I have never liked the iPod; I use my Palm LifeDrive for music, video, and everything else. I do think that Microsoft might be able to take some market from Apple if they can address the biggest frustrations of iPod owners, including screen and body durability, battery life and user replacebility, etc. I have many friends in college who are very annoyed with the iPod and might be willing to switch.

I'll wait for Apple's next iteration after this (0, Flamebait)

JeffHunt (129508) | about 8 years ago | (#15670572)

If Microsoft is going to release an "iPod Killer", you can bet your bottom dollar that Apple will one-up Microsoft with a player that's 100x better.

Apple, I'm sure, does not want to be outdone by Microsoft. I'll wait until Apple's response to the Microsoft media player before I vote with my dollar.

"unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in." (1)

Mononoke (88668) | about 8 years ago | (#15670573)

"unlocking users from iPod's vendor lock-in."
There is no "iPod vendor lock-in." I can mp3s from any source. I can play AACs from any source. I can play WAV files. I can play AIFF files. Etc. Etc. Etc.

No, iPod users are not restricted to a single source for music. Period.

However, I should buy one of these from MS just so they can double-pay the licensing on the 1000+ songs I've bought from iTunes Music Store. Then I'll just sell the player on eBay, and we all win.

Do I need to input password... (4, Funny)

cyfer2000 (548592) | about 8 years ago | (#15670580)

Do I need to input password every time I
  • play a song
  • change volume
  • display lyrics
  • rank a song
  • display a piece of artwork related to the song
  • upload a song to the player
  • ...

What their iPod killer will be... (4, Funny)

CherniyVolk (513591) | about 8 years ago | (#15670583)


You know how you can order an iPod from Apple with a custom etching on the back?

Microsoft just placed an order for a few thousand blue iPods with "Microsoft" etched on the back. Internal reports suggest they won't even bother opening up the boxes as they come in the mail, instead just redirect them to their "customers".

Bigger Screen... (1)

gooman (709147) | about 8 years ago | (#15670587)

Will it be blue?

'This holiday season' (1)

ikekrull (59661) | about 8 years ago | (#15670591)

Does this mean they will ship an actual product, without any of the features talked about here, in 4 or 5 years time?

So what... (1)

creimer (824291) | about 8 years ago | (#15670593)

You still have to wait until version 3.0 comes out to have a stable product. Even then, you should wait for the Service Pack. Or would that be a Firmware Upgrade?

fools (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | about 8 years ago | (#15670594)

Nothing on that list is what iPod owners care about, so this'll be another money bleeding mistake, not an "iPod killer" (besides, didn't we already have an iPod killer this week? I thought they're scheduled every two weeks).

The iPod is a) simple, b) reliable, c) user-friendly, d) cool, e) well designed and f) ties in well with iTunes. That's what sells it, not bigger screens or WiFi. Nobody who owns an iPod wants to fiddle around for 5 minutes to get the WiFi to work.

This I gotta see... (1)

merdaccia (695940) | about 8 years ago | (#15670598)

From the article...

"To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you've already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They'll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account."

I hope they'll do something a bit more clever than look at the Purchased playlist. If someone injected track names into their iTunes parsing mechanism, that person could sit back and watch while Microsoft downloads those tracks free of charge. Who needs the headaches of peer-to-peer when Microsoft has such a nice centralised system all ripe for the picking. On the other hand, if they go the opposite route and start looking at user key repositories and other FairPlay goodness, it might be JHymn's lucky day.

In other news... (1)

markov_chain (202465) | about 8 years ago | (#15670604)

Steve Jobs' turtleneck has seen ripping as his neck muscles strained in anger. The other Steve's polished head was seen shining smugly in camera lights.

Microsoft DRM needs work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15670610)

But the Microsoft DRM (as experienced with Rhapsody) needs a lot of work to make it work the correct way every time. This will stop people from buying Microsoft's player.

Anyone reminiscing the X-Box 360? (1)

l33t_f33t (974521) | about 8 years ago | (#15670617)

Can anyone else see another 360 scenario coming on here? They say it will be out by Christmas, but how many? In my opinion Microsoft have successfully proved that they can't hold the hardware market, they release over priced, slightly above average products and expect everyone to buy them like their software, and it doesn't happen.

It's funny to see..... (2, Insightful)

Marcos Eliziario (969923) | about 8 years ago | (#15670632)

How easily Microsoft gets media attention for products that basically don't even exist yet. And then there will be a lot of rumor around wall street, some nervous people will start selling their apple stock, and the, 2 years after the promised date, Microsoft will come with a clumsy product with a blueish screen, hard to use, with lots of useless features, with lots of DRM, incompatibilities and various glitches. Come on guys, Microsoft should concentrate on delivering Vista. Even cutting most of the promised features, Vista is delayed beyond the point where it becomes ridiculous. How can someone believe that a company that isn't even able to deliver what used to be their main product has some chance with a product in a market they don't know, and where consumer's perception about then is definitelly bad, as they are seen as the bad guys. Too bad the media is stupid enough to give voice to such spin. Let's wait for them to show us a product, and then, and only then, let's discuss if it's really an iPod killer.
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