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Apple releases iPod

CmdrTaco posted about 13 years ago | from the well-thats-not-very-exciting dept.


The BrownFury writes "At an invitation only event Apple has released their new MP3 player called the iPod. iPod is the size of a deck of cards. 2.4" wide by 4" tall by .78" thick 6.5 ounces. 5 GB HDD, 10 hr battery life, charged via FireWire. Works as a firewire drive as well. Works in conjunctions with iTunes 2. Here are Live updates". No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

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Apple releases iPod news... (-1, Offtopic)

Trolligula (527461) | about 13 years ago | (#2467177)

BSD is the software behind the world's most popular Web sites.

An open-source operating system like Linux, BSD was developed in the 1970s at the University of California-Berkeley, well before Linus Torvalds ever took a computer course. So why was it Linux that captured mindshare and public imagination? BSD's obscurity is just part of the reason it is now considered cooler than Linux among the geekiest geeks. But the software some say is the most secure operating system in the world may be poised to make a Linux-like leap to the forefront.

The list of big-name companies and Web sites that use BSD is impressive. Yahoo, UUNet, Mindspring and Compuserve are on the list - in fact, perhaps 70 percent of all Internet service providers use BSD. Also on the list - Walnut Creek CDROM Inc. and its CD-ROM FTP download site, which the company says delivers more than 1 terabyte of data to visitors every day. Microsoft's free e-mail service Hotmail resides BSD servers, and Apple announced in June its next operating system will be based on BSD. Microsoft and partner both use BSD for their websites. When asked about using BSD to power their own website, a Microsoft spokesperson stated that it was "ten times more stable" than Windows and "at least twenty times more stable and reliable" than Linux.
So why is Linux on everyone's lips, and why are there about 10 times as many Linux users as BSD users? After all, they are both free operating systems that offer free source code - and BSD had quite a head start.

Legal troubles tell part of the story. Right as the Internal began to reach critical mass, in 1993, the BSD movement was hit by a copyright lawsuit from AT&T, which still owned the rights to Unix. At the same time, Torvalds was welcoming help from all comers, mainly young computer science students enamored of with the coming information explosion.

There are other reasons - much effort has been put into making Linux user-friendly enough for use as a desktop operating system. BSD groups have focused on servers, never putting much work into appealing to a mass market. There has also been a large anti-BSD movement in the Linux community. Torvalds himself has encouraged some less than reputable business practices towards the BSD movement, including intentionally damaging BSD code, inflamtory public remarks, and making Linux less than 100% compatible with BSD.

Talk to BSD users, and a quiet but clear sense of superiority comes through. In a recent survey, it was found that 86% of BSD users have computer science degrees, hold management positions and have 10 years or more experience in the field. Linux users, on the other hand, are young hackers doing mostly destructive work and motivated in part by having too much free time.

Its plain to see why BSD is a clearly superior operating system.

Re:Apple releases iPod news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467286)

Hey, *BSD is dying!

Re:Apple releases iPod news... (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | about 13 years ago | (#2467294)

First Reply to a logged in f1r5t p0st! Wh00t!

Re:Apple releases iPod news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467313)

w00t! props to all logged in trolls and crapflooders. [] !


Re:Apple releases iPod news... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467344)

Insert more annoying bullshit here to further disrupt the width of the page. Help out, fellow crapflooders and trolls. Thanks.


But will they open up the hardware specs? (-1, Offtopic)

dave-fu (86011) | about 13 years ago | (#2467184)

Yes, open source as a hobbyist development model can and will persist long into the future, and I'm sure that there will be fun and exciting products as a result of it.
That said, now that the heady, greedy days of the dot com boom are long behind us, it's high time to re-evaluate the position. Money isn't growing on trees and being plucked from the asses of VCs star-struck by that beautiful three-letter phrase (IPO, IPO, IPO!) so much that they can overlook that little thing called "a business plan."
Internet advertising is the redheaded stepchild of the marketing family. Old media ads have no need to justify themselves with inanities like "click-through"; they know their demographic and their real estate is mindshare, that precious commodity which they assume that they're purchasing with their ad dollars, regardless of whether or not this purchase translates into a product purchase immediately or down the road. The internet is a fickle bastard: people gravitate towards the warez model of "buy none, get one free" and so there's the propensity towards stealing everything we can. To wit: the inevitable linking to anytime they've got an article up because registration is such a chore, but if you were to ask the average Slashdotter how they feel about someone using "their" resources without registration (think Anonymous Cowards here), one would instead getsthe impression that merely providing a name and e-mail address is as simple as could be. Hmm. To wit: proxies, ad-killing bots and specialized hosts files that insure that our precious bandwidth isn't eaten up by ancillary ads that might keep the sites afloat, but then again if we don't click on them and buy something might not even if we do see them. Hmm.
Ah, open source. Communism reborn, and who can hate that? Not the watered down Leninism that the Soviet Union ran through in short order, but honest-to-goodness communism. Take what you need, give what you have. Beautiful. A touching sentiment.
Also impossible to be a commercially viable entity when human nature comes into play. If we can get our content ad-free we will, even though it means economic hardship and possibly the closing of the sites we visit and love (or love to hate, as the case may be) and if we can get our software cost-free, without the dirty stigma of clicking through porno banners to find the 3rd word of the 4th paragraph to get entry to L33t b0b'5 h0u53 0f w4r3z, all the better. I whip up a weekend project that is derivative but I'm proud of and off to Freshmeat with you! Maybe even Sourceforge! Take it! Share it!
I'll pour a few hundred hours of blood, sweat and tears into it! Shiny new! Everyone wants it! It's hot!
But how do I parlay it into a commercial venture when everyone can get it for free and fix it up as they want? Hmm.
Open source is a lovely idea with lofty goals, and as long as talented, motivated, intelligent programmers buy into it, it will generate impressive results. Unfortunately, there's a very finite number of talented, motivated, intelligent, ascetic programmers out there who will buy into it.
OSDN's changing business strategies faster than you can say "we're a B2B play now!" (read: brushed up that resume yet?). If bigger ads or a subscription service to a website who doesn't give a whit about the quality of its journalism and doesn't know the meaning of the word "editing", relying on constantly inflammatory agitprop to woo its readership are the order of the day, then I'll just stick with Ars Technica [] , The Register [] and memepool [] (topical, informative, and normally journalistically objective sites), thanks. Slashdot's been a fun little ride, and like many other things, peer moderation was a sexy little idea, just unfortunate in that it pretty much disintegrated into ugly mob rule groupthink. Scene, not herd.

Pc (0)

JohnHegarty (453016) | about 13 years ago | (#2467185)

Will it connect to a pc?

Re:Pc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467291)

Do you mean will it connect to Windows?

Re:Pc (0)

JohnHegarty (453016) | about 13 years ago | (#2467331)

Ok , will it connect to a computer running and x86 family processor ?

An iPod? (1, Funny)

Wind_Walker (83965) | about 13 years ago | (#2467186)

Ok, I guess I'll be the first to make the obligatory bad pun.

Will people who enjoy using this be iPod People?

*ducks rotten tomatos*

Re:An iPod? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467310)

I guess the moderators don't ever watch MST3K. Shame on them. They'd be laughing as much as I am if they only knew....

lame? (2)

zephc (225327) | about 13 years ago | (#2467187)

5 GB still is more than my whole mp3 collection

Re:lame? (0)

JohnHegarty (453016) | about 13 years ago | (#2467206)

5 gb is more than you would need for a good mp3 site

Re:lame? (3)

thegrommit (13025) | about 13 years ago | (#2467280)

Heh. While it has less capacity than the Nomad, it's also substantially smaller (and lighter). That 5GB would be enough for my current collection. Price it low enough, and I'd buy one. It would make a good substitue for my CD/MP3 player and a pile of CD's.

Sidenote - As a firewire drive, I'm assuming it should be pretty straightforward to hook it up to whatever your hardware religion is.

Re:lame? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467300)

Unfortunately, it's not priced low enough: $399. $250 and it'd be a "maybe", $175 and it'd be a fersure.

Re:lame? (2, Informative)

crayz (1056) | about 13 years ago | (#2467372)

OK, well the Jukebox is like $250 MSRP(maybe $220 on the street), and this thing has:
- firewire
- much smaller form factor
- 4x more anti-skip
- much better LCD

So asking for it to be $175 is being a bit unfair.

Linux cost analysis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467189)

Let's have a close look at the costs involved when running a Linux system.

An important factor in Linux' cost is its maintenance. Linux requires a *lot* of maintenance, work doable only by the relatively few high-paid Linux administrators that put themselves - of course willingly - at a great place in the market. Linux seems to be needing maintenance continuously, to keep it from breaking down.

Add to this the cost of loss of data. Linux' native file system, EXT2FS, is known to lose data like a firehose spouts water when the file system isn't unmounted properly. Other unix file systems are much more tolerant towards unexpected crashes. An example is the FreeBSD file system, which with soft updates enabled, performance-wise blows EXT2FS out of the water, and doesn't have the negative drawback of extreme data loss in case of a system breakdown.

According to Linux advocates, an alternative to EXT2FS would be ReiserFS. Unfortunately, ReiserFS is still in beta stage. This means it is not intended for production use (although according to many Linux advocates this shouldn't be a problem, which makes me wonder how (little) valuable they find your data).

The other proposed 'solution', EXT3FS, is nothing more than an ugly hack to put journaling into the file system. All the drawbacks of the ancient EXT2FS file system remain in EXT3FS, for the sake of 'forward- and backward compatibility'. This is interesting, considering that the DOS heritage in the Windows 9x/ME series was considered a very bad thing by the Linux community, even though it provided what could be called one of the best examples of compatibility, ever. When it's about Linux, compatibility constraints don't seem to be that much of a problem for Linux advocates.

Back to Linux' cost. Factor in also the fact that crashes happen much more often on Linux than on other unices. On other unices, crashes usually are caused by external sources like power outages. Crashes in Linux are a regular thing, and nobody seems to know what causes them, internally. Linux advocates try to hide this fact by denying crashes ever happen. Instead, they have frequent "hardware problems".

The steep learning curve compared to about any other operating system out there is a major factor in Linux' cost. The system is a mix of features from all kinds of unices, but not one of them is implemented right. A Linux user has to live with badly coded tools which have low performance, mangle data seemingly at random and are not in line with their specification. On top of that a lot of them spit out the most childish and unprofessional messages, indicating that they were created by 14-year olds with too much time, no talent and a bad attitude.

I could go on and on and on, but the conclusion is clear. Linux is not an option for any one who seeks a professional OS with high performance, scalability, stability, adherence to standards, etc.

Re:Linux cost analysis (0, Offtopic)

Merlin_Z (3296) | about 13 years ago | (#2467241)

You, sir, are a coward and a troll. I only hope this gets moderated down to a _very_ low score. Promptly.

Re:Linux cost analysis (-1)

Dead Fart Warrior (525970) | about 13 years ago | (#2467371)


A low uid baiting a troll, with a pitiful reply.

You hope it gets modded down to a low score promptly?!?!? It only takes 1 mod to down it to -1, which is the lowest!

Someone with your UID *should* know this. Are you some kinda moron disguising yourself as a geek??

Oh (1)

trash eighty (457611) | about 13 years ago | (#2467190)

well thats nice but not exactly insanely great. it goes well with an iBook. but as i got no firewire enabled macs i'll have to give it a miss.

Re:Oh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467337)

buy a firewire's cheap...

AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467191)


So now everyone that laughed at the iWalk... (2)

Teancom (13486) | about 13 years ago | (#2467195)

can make those who defended it eat crow. All in one day! It just doesn't get better than this....

Re:So now everyone that laughed at the iWalk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467299)

iWalk was such a joke - I'm shocked that anyone believed that

Re:So now everyone that laughed at the iWalk... (1)

Serk (17156) | about 13 years ago | (#2467314)

Wouldn't that be iCrow that they'll hafta eat?

whoopdeedoo (1)

themeistre (118506) | about 13 years ago | (#2467196)

Its cool...but its not that cool...

Not all lame (1)

Lord Kenja (45995) | about 13 years ago | (#2467198)

Less space (1 gig). But it is also a great deal smaller than the Nomad. This one will easily fit in a jacket pocket.

Nothing huge. But it moves a bit further than anyone else right now.

Also acts as a data drive (2)

acomj (20611) | about 13 years ago | (#2467257)

data drive is kinda neet.. You can haul around some images. videos etc.. Firewire makes syncing fast too..

Not bad. The big question is whether they'll let /it can be used on "Non" apple computers...

Trolls and Slashbots (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | about 13 years ago | (#2467201)

Trolls and Slashbots: A Symbiotic Relationship

If you ask the average slashbot, he (I can say he with confidance, cause no women use linux) would tell you that he would want the troll off of slashdot as soon as possible. I argue that slashdot needs trolls to be what it is today. Most posters to slashdot are repressed geeks that no one cares about and everybody pickes on. They are never on the winning team and are always left out. Slashdot readers have latched on to Linux and the community that has arose around it; they love to defend it; even if they are wrong.
Most trolls are helpful and caring folk who care about their fellow man. Trolls help the poor linux user by giving him a easy target to flame, or to attempt to flame, as the case me be. Troll try to be there for slashdot readers of a wide variety of mental capacities. Some trolls are easy to spot; they are designed to be that way. But, to give some of the smarter (and that term is very subjective) slashdot readers a challenge, some of the trolls are harder to spot. The troll might be an easy topic, like the death of BSD, or it might be a harder topic like Natilie Portman and the grits that occupy her pants.
No matter what the level of trolling, it can be said hat slashdot readers love responding to trolls as much as much as the trolls like being responded to. Keep in mind that when a (logged in) troll makes a first post or gives a link to, it is his way of saying "I love you, man!"

Please discuss

Re:Trolls and Slashbots (-1)

TRoLLaXoR (181585) | about 13 years ago | (#2467322)


Do you want to write up a story about Taco and crapflood SLashdot with it next Tuesday!?

Me and Asul and CmdrTaco on have all decided to do this!

We could use your talent!

Apple site has info on new device... (1)

surajrai (61661) | about 13 years ago | (#2467208)

Apple has just updated their product page about this device. Looks very cool and will probably get it to match the colors of my ibook.

So...Apple has been on Slashdot quite bit lately no?

Just shows how cool they are. Yeah!

Re:Apple site has info on new device... (4, Informative)

Corrado (64013) | about 13 years ago | (#2467251)

Lazy People click here [] .

FireWire Sexy though... (4, Insightful)

sfgoth (102423) | about 13 years ago | (#2467211)

FireWire (400Mbps) data syncing _and_ recharging at the same time. That's cool.

I wonder if it's hackable for a bigger drive...

Plus, you can use it as a portable disk. No "content protection". Yay!

Re:FireWire Sexy though... (1)

Fly (18255) | about 13 years ago | (#2467381)

I agree that Firewire is cool for this gadget. Though some people may think Firewire relegates the iPod to Mac-only status, I do not think this to be the case. Most people I know with new Sony video cameras do not use Macs, and yet they are able to connect the camera's firewire port to their machines, which happen to be PCs with a firewire adapter. Usually the firewire on the PC is just a PCI card.

I think it's great that there is a new mp3 player that will take advantage of firewire. Complaining that the device is firewire only is like complaining that some fancy 166MB/sec hard disk is SCSI-only. There are plent of alternatives, and just that one's system cannot use a particular device does not make the device lame.

Is anyone waiting... (4, Funny)

leviramsey (248057) | about 13 years ago | (#2467213)

...until Apple releases their new line of pastel contact lenses:

The iEye! [ducks]

Re:Is anyone waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467275)

Linux is a trademark of Linus "Not as sexy as Elvis" Torvalds [From an IBM ad]

Linus isn't as sexy as that CalFed guy? Man, he must be really ugly!

mediocre (0, Troll)

greysky (136732) | about 13 years ago | (#2467214)

People need to realize that all apple ever really delivers is mediocre equipment that, while it may look really cool, is less technically advanced/powerfull/whatever than competing products that cost 20-25% less.

Re:mediocre (1)

Arcturax (454188) | about 13 years ago | (#2467323)

That's a rather broad statement there. Apple has put out some mediocre, and yes, downright crappy products in the past, but some are really really good. Their current G3/G4 lines are quite nice actually, especially the iBook. The Newton was awesome before they killed it. Also think about some of their software products. OS X for one is shaping up to be a damn fine OS and seems to be making far faster progress then Linux has to date. Hypercard was also a fantastic product which they really should bring back from the dead.

This MP3 player has some important innovative features. Yes the price is outrageous right now, but it will come down in a few months, probably after the next revision, think 3-6 months down the road. The VCR was prohibitively expensive when it first came out and look how ubiquitous it is now. Give it time to come down in price and for Apple to get user feedback and make refinements on the product.

Apple's problem isn't really the odd mediocre or crappy product, but the fact that they seem determined to kill or otherwise screw up every really great thing they have ever made. I'm hoping that they will break that trend with their current great products and resurrect some of the now dead ones (Newton + Hypercard).

Re:mediocre (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467329)

Hmm, a 5g MP3 player that runs for 10 hours, and has firewire doesn't seem "less technically advanced/powerfull/whatever".

I think people need to realize that all apple ever really delivers is the next great idea that in a few quarters everyone else produces for 20-25% less.

Anything else would be revisionist history.

Who wants to be first to add linux/win32 support for this thing? Oh wait, most PC laptops don't have firewire built in. (Noted exception: sony)

Re:mediocre (2)

singularity (2031) | about 13 years ago | (#2467355)

I have been looking at getting a portable MP3 player. Will I get the new iPod? I am uncertain. I will definitely consider it, however.

What you need to realize is that while other products may be more "technically advanced/powerfull/whatever," Apple products win, almost hands-down, in the ease-of use department.

Ease of use is something that I am willing to spend a little extra money on. Sure, I might be able to find a 10 gig system that is cheaper than the iPod, but if I hate the menu system and the syncing on the cheaper one, I am not going to enjoy it as much. If it is bad enough, I will think to myself "I wish I had payed the extra $50/$100/$200 to get the iPod."

A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else. (1)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | about 13 years ago | (#2467221)

Agree with the article poster - Lame. Not only is this a lackluster MP3 unit (which by virtue of being firewire will be limited to Apple Mac owners), but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product.

A total waste of time.

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (2)

John_Booty (149925) | about 13 years ago | (#2467259)

It's not limited to Apple users... you can get firewire ports on any type of computer, you know. It would be in Apple's best interests to release drivers to make this thing work with other OS's, unless they want to reduce the market for this thing by like 99%.

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467278)

Let my go get you a spoon so you can eat my ass.

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (1)

BluePenguin (521713) | about 13 years ago | (#2467293)

(which by virtue of being firewire will be limited to Apple Mac owners),

You can get fire wire controllers for PCs... I think it's beginning to crop up on mother boards as well. These Guys [] have fire wire goodies and they're just in the first 10 sites you get when you Google for "FireWire".


Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467308)

Yea it does. The management on it is many times better then any other MP3 player out there. On top of it when it is in FireWire mode it will mount on the desktop of just about any FW enabled machine so that files can be transfered like it's a hard drive. I bet you could even transfer other files along with MP3's. Plus it's integration into iTunes it cool. I agree. It's not revolutionary but it's a nice step with a little bit of innovation. Says a lot about Apple that they are attempting a new product like this in a market like the one we have now.

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (2)

(H)elix1 (231155) | about 13 years ago | (#2467318)

Ah, not so.... My x86 boxes have SCSI and FireWire. Heck, check out the specs on this [] from a few days ago - note firewire - think drive for car, with the option to go personal...

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (1)

rekoil (168689) | about 13 years ago | (#2467327)

Firewire is not an Apple-only technology - it's the same thing as Sony's iLink and IEE1394 (the "official" name of the protocol). However, it's unlikely that Apple will write software for other platforms to support it, and unknown whether or not the iPod communications protocol can be reverse-engineered (possible DMCA issues?) so that third-party commercial and/or open source software will be compatible.

Think before you gripe.... (5, Insightful)

mblase (200735) | about 13 years ago | (#2467348)

Not only is this a lackluster MP3 unit

Considering that it's got far more memory than your average 128MB MP3 portable, and that it's clearly smaller and more portable than a Nomad, I think this is a hasty judgement.

which by virtue of being firewire will be limited to Apple Mac owners

PCs have access to FireWire, as does Linux. The direct connection to iTunes is the only Mac-only feature that I can see; I should hope Apple will be smart enough to enable compatability with PCs, or if not, develop a Windows version of iTunes to do the same job.

but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product.

It has a six-line LCD display, backlit, a simple four-button interface, and a circular scroll wheel to navigate your songs (which can organize by CD, artist, or your own custom playlists). You call that "virtually no UI"?

Methinks some people's "first post" ambitions are getting in the way of a decent review of the features.

Re:A waste of time. Probably OEMed by someone else (3, Insightful)

stripes (3681) | about 13 years ago | (#2467374)

but it has virtually no UI wizardry that might define it as an Apple product

You mean other then the scroll pad, and the seriously small number of controls and options on it? (yes, cutting down on choice is a UI feature, and one that Apple is very good at)

Having it all go through iTunes is also a good UI choice (a no brainer for Apple of corse), you don't need to deal with another little lame MP3 manager (my most despised part of my Rio). Of corse once you have more then 5G of music you actually have to do work...

Still, not the product for me. I don't really need all that much music when I'm not already next to my laptop, or my car stereo...

As always, it comes down to price. (1)

Onan (25162) | about 13 years ago | (#2467237)

And $400 is a bit too high, I'm afraid. It's not completely offensive, the thing does have some distinctive features: data and charging over firewire, ten hour battery, very small and light, and, for those of you who swing that way, seamless integration with iTunes.

I'm guessing that they'll drop the price to $300 after Christmas (perhaps at macworld expo in January), which will be more reasonable. Still a bit of a premium on a sheer dollars to bytes scale, but perhaps worth it for the other features.

Re:As always, it comes down to price. (1)

Corrado (64013) | about 13 years ago | (#2467292)

$400!!!! for a freakin MP3 player!?!?!?

What kinda crack are they smoking!?!

umm (1)

crayz (1056) | about 13 years ago | (#2467324)

You guys were all singing the praises of the Nomad Jukebox when it debuted at $700...

I happenned again. (3, Insightful)

pi radians (170660) | about 13 years ago | (#2467238)

Apple is being distroyed by the rumors that are being created. When they announce that they are going to have a new product, everyone thinks it's going to blow their worlds. Rumors start flooding in about even the most outragous products ( I even heard a few "sources" mention teleportion) This is getting plain stupid.

Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them do the impossible?

Re:I happenned again. (1, Flamebait)

Lxy (80823) | about 13 years ago | (#2467284)

because it's not impossible. This Mp3 playing thing just sucks. Yes, it runs OS X, but so what? WHAT THE HELL happened to the Newton? That thing was the PDA that could have changed the market completely in Apple's favor. No, Jobs killed it. Instead he releases the Hello Kitty laptop and now this pathetic attempt at an MP3 player. Steve Jobs is an idiot. I want a Newton.

Re:I happenned again. (1)

schwatoo (521485) | about 13 years ago | (#2467382)

They have an MP3 player that runs OSX? Cool? What is the URL... Where do I order that?

Re:I happenned again. (5, Insightful)

aussersterne (212916) | about 13 years ago | (#2467347)

Apple is a normal company. Why does the public constantly expect them to do the impossible?

I think over history, Apple has shown with some regularity that they can pull "the impossible" out of their hat. Now with Jobs and NeXT genes on board, that sense is even more intense.

Whether Apple's products are brilliant successes or bizarrely interesting failures, nobody can deny that what they're doing as a rule seems more interesting that what Dell/Gateway/Microsoft et al are ever doing. And occasionally (Macintosh, NeXT, Newton, iMac) Apple/NeXT have done things that were completely mind-blowing and heretofore impossible.

I'm speaking as a longtime PC owner and Linux, not a Mac owner (though I do love my Newton)-- I have a healthy respect for the real innovation Apple has brought to the industry (compare to Microsoft's "innovation"...) and I have trouble understanding why Slashot users are such haters when it comes to Apple and Steve Jobs.

Idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467350)

Perhaps you didn't notice Apple itself referring to this product as a "breakthrough" when they first announced the media event?

Think, McFly, THINK.


What's really lame... (1)

qon (445909) | about 13 years ago | (#2467240)

Is that iWalk [] thing you dopes fell for. Photoshopped Apple 'product' shots are a time-honored tradition. Do you guys ever check your sources?


Solid State? (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | about 13 years ago | (#2467242)

What happens when I drop it? Is it solid state? If not, it doesn't make it note worthy in my books.

Lame? (1)

Havokmon (89874) | about 13 years ago | (#2467243)

Because it's smaller and has a wire?

How would wireless benefit you?

It's like the argument that mail servers witl web-based configs are better than sendmail. What does it matter if I sit down, open a web browser, and type in an URL, or sit down, open vi with a parameter to edit configs?

You sit down at your Mac, and initiate a transfer to the MP3 player sitting right next to you. It's not like the MP3 player is going to be in your car.

Though it could be, and that would be cool. Too bad your PC is in the basement on the other side of the furnace. Don't try and deny it.

I'm buying one purely for the tiny firewire hd (5, Interesting)

Brand X (162556) | about 13 years ago | (#2467244)

I need a fast, really small, 3GB+ hard drive, for software project transfers. This will do nicely, I think. Back in the day (early 90s) I used to use something called a Pocket Rocket, a SCSI HD about the size of a TV remote. When it comes to stuff that, for size reasons, really needs to be sneakernetted, this is the ideal solution. Any songs that I want to listen to can fit in the remaining 2GB with ease...

Re:I'm buying one purely for the tiny firewire hd (1)

schwatoo (521485) | about 13 years ago | (#2467297)

I have a LaCie 30GB PocketDrive. It has Firewire and USB interfaces and runs off the bus power if you're running it over Firewire (comes with a tiny adaptor if you have to run it over USB). I swear by it. It's one of the few devices that have changed the way I work (Airport being another). The really cool is that I originally bought a 6GB version but had an accident with it (ahem). I sent it back to them and they sent me back a 30gigger in return. Sweet!

Sing Along Boys and Girls! (2, Funny)

webword (82711) | about 13 years ago | (#2467247)

iPod, uPod, we all Pod for iPod!

Lame? (-1)

PowerTroll 5000 (524563) | about 13 years ago | (#2467248)

If this is so lame, then how did this become an article here, and a front-page one, no less?

Worse than a Nomad? (1)

spencerogden (49254) | about 13 years ago | (#2467253)

I would much rather give up some gigs to have a deck of cards form factor. The nomad is just to big to carry regularly, and this unit still has magnitudes more storage than other small MP3 players, sounds perfect.

I would get one but (2, Interesting)

GiMP (10923) | about 13 years ago | (#2467255)

I think this is neat. Firewire is nice, and this can be used as an external harddrive as well.

The only problem is the failure to play ogg files. I no longer have any mp3s, so this isn't as useful as it could be.

Waiting for those ogg-compatable players :)

I'd like an iPod in my Bedpan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467260)

If I'm going to lay here and rot away, why not rot over an iPod?

LAME? WTF?!? (5, Insightful)

deander2 (26173) | about 13 years ago | (#2467263)

Less space then the Nomad yes, but also MUCH MUCH SMALLER. You ever try putting a Nomad in your pocket and go for a walk? The Nomad is only good as a psuedo stereo component, or perhaps in your car. Not to mention the horrible battery life!

Also, how many HOURS does it take to transfer your 6.4gb MP3 collection onto your Nomad? I know my USB player takes forever to even fill up its 64mb memory. Firewire let's you do it BLAZINGLY FAST.

This is a marvel of engineering, very useful and I give apple much credit for coming out with this device. //lame my ass.

Also, did I mention automatic playlist/sing library synching with iTunes2? THIS is what portable music should be.

Re:LAME? WTF?!? (1)

schwatoo (521485) | about 13 years ago | (#2467325)

No. Definately not lame. But very very overpriced. Take it down to $300 and it would be much more reasonable. Gotta love Cmdr Taco and those one liners.

Re:LAME? WTF?!? and hard drive (4, Insightful)

deander2 (26173) | about 13 years ago | (#2467376)

oh yeah, and did i mention that it doubles as a portable firewire HARD DRIVE?

Re:LAME? WTF?!? (1)

Cutriss (262920) | about 13 years ago | (#2467377)

Agreed. AirPort-ready would be cool, but it'd take forever.

Now...Recharging through FireWire? 10 hours drain, 1 hour recharge? That is awesome...

not lame! (2)

sulli (195030) | about 13 years ago | (#2467264)

I like it, mainly because it's small, has a nice UI, and auto-syncs with iTunes. I was thinking of buying the Archos jukebox [] (20GB) but might get iPod instead - though since it requires FireWire it costs me an extra $100 for a FireWire PC card. (Old powerbook)

Why? It's pretty and light, and it auto-syncs. Style and convenience matter!

Wow how earth shattering (0, Troll)

Minter92 (148860) | about 13 years ago | (#2467271)

A freaking mp3 player. Wow yeah Job's thinks that changed the world. What a waste of developement dollars.

PS (1)

Minter92 (148860) | about 13 years ago | (#2467296)

Still want one though :)

Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467272)

It figures that the monopoly wielding company of Cupertino would want to break the law in other ways by introducing the ability to play illegal MP3s on their systems.

Lame how? (5, Insightful)

TetOn (173570) | about 13 years ago | (#2467276)

Nomad: 5x5x1.5 at 14oz
iPod: 2.4x4x.78 at 6.5oz

I'll give up a gig for size and weight.

Argh (2)

nebby (11637) | about 13 years ago | (#2467295)

And I was all excited they were going to release a OS X based wireless web pad. Instead we get yet another portable MP3 player .. "groundbreaking" I think was the term I heard them use to describe this new secret product the other day. How "groundbreaking" can something be when I can walk up the street and buy something with similiar (and in some cases, additional/better) features?

Sigh. One day Apple will live up to the hype. OS X is cool, and their plastic molding team has skills, but the hardware just sucks. (1)

oranjdisc (530731) | about 13 years ago | (#2467302)

...what REALLY knocks me out about this is that it's essentially an insanely small, light, portable firewire hard drive. In case you didn't get this, any space not used by MP3s is mountable on the desktop. So I could transfer a bunch of design files to it, plug in my headphones, walk to a company I'm freelancing for, take off my headphones, plug it in, and transfer a couple of gigs worth of stuff. That sounds really, really cool to me. And the fact that it recharges via FireWire. USB is looking pretty lame right now.

Speed matters (1)

JHromadka (88188) | about 13 years ago | (#2467307)

Well I read the specs and think that the iPod looks pretty cool. While I was personally hoping for something I could better hook into our home stereo, being able to transfer files at firewire speeds is pretty sweet, not to mention that you can also use the iPod as a regular 5GB hard drive.

And for those who poopoo the significance of firewire, speed matters. In the handheld world, I compared 2 MP3 modules [] whose biggest difference is the speed of file transfers. Our readers cared more about speed than the size of the modules themselves, and I think iPod users will too.

Lame? (5, Interesting)

John_Booty (149925) | about 13 years ago | (#2467311)

Yeah, what about Lame? How else would you encode your mp3's?

Seriously, this device is far from lame in my eyes. 5GB is plenty of storage. I have like 20GB of mp3's anyway, not like they're really going to fit on anything out there. And uh... I never really need more that 5GB at a time, ya know.

The recharging via Firewire is cool too. The size is a plus... the Nomad is too big for me to carry around. And being able to use it as a portable harddrive is cool, too... burning CD's to ferry files back and forth is a pain. I'm gonna buy one if it works with other OS's.

Re:Lame? (2)

Coolfish (69926) | about 13 years ago | (#2467341)

I have like 20GB of mp3's anyway, not like they're really going to fit on anything out there

creative has released a 20gb jukebox.

Looks impressive (5, Interesting)

alexhmit01 (104757) | about 13 years ago | (#2467312)

I like it. iTunes, for those that haven't used a Mac, is REALLY slick. It is a great UI and makes things really easy and intuitive. My fiancee recently got an iBook, and she loves how easy it is to rip CDs into her machine and burn CDs. Rather than swapping applications, she does it all within iTunes.

Us geeks, who always acknowledged that Macs had a great UI (but we called them idiot machines) miss out on some of the impressive stuff that Apple does.

The Macintosh way is to organize things by things the users do, not the underlying file system. This is a HUGE paradigm shift from the Unix (everything is a file) paradigm, and from the Microsoft (everything is about something).

On a Windows box, you run a program to rip your CDs into MP3s. If you want to burn a CD, you use a program to convert them to WAVs, then you burn the WAVs to CDs.

On a Mac, you pop an audio CD in to your computer and add the songs to your library. If you burn a CD, you pop a blank in and hit burn CD. Now with iTunes 2, you'll have the option to make MP3 CDs (which previously would be done as burning a data CD).

In UNIX, you focus on the files. In a Mac, you focus on the activity. My fiancee doesn't have to think about file formats, she thinks about music. She barely touches her Windows PC or MIT's UNIX network anymore.

This device extends the Mac functionality. Instead of firing up Creative Lab's software and pick and choose which songs you want on it. Want to listen on the computer? Fire up WinAmp. Want to rip CDs, fire up that application.

With the iPod, it integrates into your system. You plug it in, it keeps your songs available. No need to mess with a clunky interface, the thumb-rolling thingy-ma-bopper looks like a clean way to use the device.

The Nomad Jukebox 20G with the batteries is about a pound. My brother loves his, but it mostly sits in the car now. He used to take it to the gym, but it wastoo big and bulky.

I realize that most Slashdotters are looking at the specs, but realize what this actually does. Its tiny, it'll fit in a jacket pocket (or pant pocket), its convenient.

Take it jogging, to the gym, etc. Sit in the park, walk around.

The Nomad Jukebox is too damned heavy.

This device rocks, I expect them to sell plenty.

I think that they should sell a Windows version of it with a Windows version of iTunes and a Firewire card, but that's just me.

Well since its not the iWalk (2)

evilned (146392) | about 13 years ago | (#2467316)

Oh boy, another overpriced mp3 player, just what I need. I really dislike memory or hd based players as you can buy a burner and an mp3cd player for less than the cost of these devices I'll go buy a portable mp3 cd player and be done with it.
But, since its not an iWalk, let the Apple buying palm rumors return.

Not "innovative"? (5, Interesting)

Geoff (968) | about 13 years ago | (#2467321)

A few comments have already come in saying that this product isn't "innovative" enough. You can get more-or-less the same thing elsewhere.

But what does being highly innovative get Apple? Think Newton. It still runs circles around the Palm, but was a commercial failure. It was too innovative.

But, how about if you took the idea of an MP3 player, made it look nice, gave it a Firewire port for fast transfers and easy recharging, and made the whole thing sync seamlessly with iTunes.

Sounds like a pretty good idea to me. I imagine they'll sell quite a few. It's the right feature set at the right time.


Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet (3000 m) ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467333)

Well, tech specs give a max altitude of 10,000.
Have they really tested this???
So, I can't listen to my music when the plane will go over 10,000 feet? :)


cool but much too expensive (2)

Dr. Awktagon (233360) | about 13 years ago | (#2467335)

This is exactly this sort of MP3 player I'd like to buy, decent space, tiny size, light, simple interface and doubles as a hard drive.

Unfortunately $400 is about twice as much as I'd want to pay for something the size of a pack of cards. Too bad, it's an otherwise well-designed product.

Waiting for iPod 2.......

Umm...ok? (1, Flamebait)

Hassman (320786) | about 13 years ago | (#2467338)

yea, transfering a whole CD in 10 seconds is lame...idiot.

oh no not again (5, Interesting)

jchristopher (198929) | about 13 years ago | (#2467342)

First, let me preface this by saying, "this is not another Apple is going under" post. Apple has plenty of cash, I think they have some great products, and they aren't going out of business.

That said, I am both a shareholder and consumer of Apple products. When I read the announcement and specs I went straight to the Apple Store. At $199-$250, I would have bought two, immediately. Instead, at $399, I am buying zero, and expect that many other people will feel the same way.

I am very sad that Apple seems to be repeating the same mistake they made with the Cube - great, nifty product that anyone would love to own, except that it's burdened by an unbelievably poor price/performance ratio.

A laptop hard drive of that size in the quantity Apple buys is about $30 these days. I am more than willing to pay a premium for Apple designed hardware and software. This thing will undoubtedly have a great interface. But that is not worth $200 extra (double the price!).

I know Apple prices it's products to maximize profit. But I wish they'd realize they could make the same amount of money, and have more marketshare, if they'd sell 3 times as many at half the cost instead.

All I can say is, as an Apple "fan", I'm sad.

Yeah, but can I drop it on the floor? (3)

corky6921 (240602) | about 13 years ago | (#2467343)

I submitted this as an article as well, but I must have been slightly behind the other guy.

I have two major problems with this. First of all, yeah, it's tiny (the length of a credit card and less than an inch thick.) However, what happens when it gets dropped on the floor? For now, hard-drive based players are bulky for a reason -- tiny laptop drives are FRAGILE and need to be protected! The spindles won't hold up to much abuse, and MP3 players are subjected to a large amount of abuses on a daily basis, from being shoved in a backpack to being put in a pocket while the person is running. How well does the Apple player stack up?

Secondly, the Apple player is competing with many others on the market. Steve Jobs makes it sound like Apple is the only player in the arena, but in reality, there are several. [] Sure, Apple is the only one doing Firewire, and Firewire offers a faster transfer rate. But that's all for moot if my player pukes once I throw it in my bag.

If you're interested in finding a really tiny player, check out the Flash-memory based ones. Flash memory is getting a lot cheaper. [] is offering a 128MB player that also accepts Flash memory for $135 after discount. Plus, these things are about half the size of the iPod. Flash memory players can be neat as well -- infinitely expandable storage, rewriteablity, and most players automatically plug-n-play as removable drives on Windows systems. Plus, you can do voice recording and cart around lots of other files as well, so the players double as mini Zip disks. :) Sure, hard-drive based players do this as well, and they have a much higher storage capacity -- but they are much more bulky and require careful care and feeding.

Not entirely lame (2)

imadork (226897) | about 13 years ago | (#2467345)

The clueless can use it in permanent "hotsync" mode, and have it automatically synchronize your MP3's between your iPod and your computer. Combine that with the charging-through-firewire and the relative simplicity of iTunes, and you have a product that even the village idiot can enjoy. (at least, the Village Idiot with a Mac.)

For the clueful, it can be used as a 5GB firewire hard disk if you need it to. This can come in very handy -- my wife already wants one, and this is one of the reasons.

However, there are two critical problems I see with it. The first, of course, is the price. Expect this story to be the sequel to the Cube, which everyone thought was cool, and too expensive to actually buy.

Second, expect the RIAA (and Apple Records) to SUE THE PANTS off of Apple! (And hear the Village idiot cry when his new, un-rippable CD's won't work on his new iPod).

breakthrough? try hango. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467346)

umm.. i've been using my personal jukebox [] for > 1 year.

It's got a 40 gig HD. battery lasts 10 hours. Software is open-source.

How is this apple thing a breakthrough? Firewire is nice and all, but...

Apple vs. Apple (2, Funny)

The Second Horseman (121958) | about 13 years ago | (#2467354)

So at what point does Apple violate the terms of the agreement with Apple Records for ripping off the name and logo? At what point have they engaged in music-related business?

Does anyone else see this as a non-event? (1)

Shwang_Shwing (514910) | about 13 years ago | (#2467358)

Apple makes a portable music player... whoopee. It has some advancements over typical MP3 players, but my god it's NOT revolutionary.

System Requirement for the IPod (1)

luvbug412 (530928) | about 13 years ago | (#2467363)

How lame can it get?!?! Just found the requirements on the website To add insult to injury: Mac OS 9.2.1 or Higher FireWire built-in Itunes 2 *Not released till early Nov to the general public*

In the Tech Specs... (1)

Beowulfto (169354) | about 13 years ago | (#2467364)

Upgradable firmware enables support for future audio formats

How many other players have that? Plus acts as a firewire data drive, (full data transfer in 10 min!), has 20 minute skip protection. I have been waiting to get a portable MP3 player. Guess it has payed off big time. My order is already in!

iPod or iPoo? (1)

compugeek007 (464717) | about 13 years ago | (#2467365)

why release a propritary mp3 player when it should be so easy to add USB connectivity to it as well. It may suck compared to firewire - but I want my MP3's from my Windows 2K server, or my Linux server.

I think Apple is trying to pull a little "Mi[ro$of7" marketing on this one.

Well fuck you too! Just because you don't like it (0)

SensitiveMale (155605) | about 13 years ago | (#2467369)

What an ass.

Wireless? For an MP3 player? just so you can hear music 150 feet way? How fucking stupid can you be?

Look at what it is.

It has the BEST interface to date.

It connects with FireWire for blazingly fast DLs and NO charging cable! It charges over the FireWire connection.

It works as a FireWire drive so you can carry your files and such with you.

Show me another device that has ALL of the above.

You biased, short-sighted bastard.

Perfect player, but very pricey (1)

90XDoubleSide (522791) | about 13 years ago | (#2467373)

The argument that it is not a step forward because it is not as big(capacity) as a nomad is rediculous; the nomad is huge(physical bulk) (talking about the jukebox, of course. Nomad IIs are quite nice, but they have the capacity drawback; this player is about the size of a Nomad II). This product fixes the major issues with the jukebox: size and bad user interface, it gives you wickedly fast downloading via FireWire (look at the movie at [] ) and can be used as a HD for files like some of the other HD based players, but in typical Apple style they make a near perfect product and the only issue is that no one can afford it.

The other news that you may have missed is that iTunes 2 will be released in "early November" and will FINALLY feature an equalizer and is supposed to burn CDs twice as fast. This free upgrade may be of more significance to us poor Mac users ;)

"bash" may be your favorite shell... (1)

Archon (13753) | about 13 years ago | (#2467375)

...but lately it seems as its the favorite form of response for many of the people to this product. It's very small, very light, made of stainless steel so likely very rugged, using FireWire so it's _very_ fast, and most importantly for Apple consumers -- it integrates nearly seamlessly with their existing hardware and software thus _very_ easy.

It may not be what a lot of you technogeeknophiles want, but for the majority of Apple customers, I think they'd be more than happy with it. It's a good portable audio media player compliment to their system, likely the best you could find at the moment, plus it makes a convenient portable FireWire drive.

So I don't get all the vitrol. No, it's not a PDA. It's not a toaster, either. So get off your high horses and evaluate it for what it is instead of what it's not.

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 13 years ago | (#2467383)

Like more than a dozen people actually have 1000 hours of LEGAL music. That's like 1000 CDs. Or, about $15,000 worth of CDs. Apple joins the piracy [] tool [] supporters [] of the world [] .. right on! Fight for your "freedom!"

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