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Microsoft, Sony Announce iPod Competitors

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the running-for-the-money dept.

Music 610

Pfhreak writes "According to the Denver Post -- Las Vegas section, a little over halfway down the page -- Microsoft will begin selling a $50 music player that will 'look and feel as good as the iPod' later this year. Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft VP, is quoted as saying that the player will give customers more choices than Apple." In related news, Tetsugaku-San writes "The Register has the scoop on Sony's new portable audio/visual playback device. Impressively it plays MPEG2, MPEG4, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and MP3 (finally they got the message Apple was gonna whoop em!) straight out of the box. Not as good battery life as I'd like to see, but real world tests remain to be seen."

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610 comments

Is there any way (3, Insightful)

BizidyDizidy (689383) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272517)

this is going to have a similar capacity? If so, IPOD should be out of business with that price difference.

Re:Is there any way (5, Insightful)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272537)

Of course it's not going to have a similar capacity. All he said was it's going to look neat. More Microsoft FUD and vapor.

Re:Is there any way (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272546)

"this is going to have a similar capacity? If so, IPOD should be out of business with that price difference."

Wow, I don't think anyone could come up with a more succinct statement that summarizes why the Slashdot crowd has absolutely no clue about the portable music player market.

Re:Is there any way (1)

Bob Zer Fish (568540) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272555)

it seems a bit big though?

Re:Is there any way (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272588)

Steve Jobs uses slave labor. The cost of iPod is round $35 to him, most of it spent on monthly salaries for prison guards in Indonesia.

Only on Slashdot (3, Funny)

Atario (673917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272615)

...does the first reply in an article get modded "redundant".

Re:Is there any way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272629)

you get what you pay for

Re:Is there any way (1, Insightful)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272670)

you get what you pay for

Wow, the gasoline I just bought must be super extra-special gasoline that's better than the stuff I bought 6 months ago cause I'm sure paying a lot more for it.

Now, don't be silly, just because something costs more doesn't make it a superior product. Take Macintoshes for instance. A $1000 Athlon system will wipe the floor with a top of the line G5 system costing over $3000.

Re:Is there any way (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272708)

"A $1000 Athlon system will wipe the floor with a top of the line G5 system costing over $3000."

Awww, everyone look at the liddle peecee fanboy.

Good fanboy good!

Re:Is there any way (2, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272711)

To use your own phrase, "don't be silly". Only a fool would question the idiom 'you get what you pay for', since its not intended in the way you're deliberately misrepresenting it.

'You get what you pay for' simply means this: when a product/service involves any sort of quality, either in materials, labor, skills in construction, etc., you cannot expect an unreasonable amount of quality for a given amount of money. Rather, there is a reasonable exchange, as determined by the market: the conclusion then is that if everyone's selling their 30-40gig portable music device for a few hundred dollars, dont be surprised that the $50 device is a peice of shit.

Re:Is there any way (1)

pballsim (119438) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272730)

So does that make open source code worthless and that's why nobody should ever use it?

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272520)

just bought an ipod

No .ogg, no sale. (4, Insightful)

Agent Green (231202) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272529)

That's just the way it is. I want my open-source, patent-free, DRM-free codec.

drunken moderation (5, Funny)

Unit3 (10444) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272675)

It's a fun game! Moderate the first mention of OGG Vorbis as a troll, because, you know, people aren't allowed to express format preferences... and then, moderate the second mention [slashdot.org] as redundant, because it is too politely worded to be a troll!

Yeah, I know "don't complain about moderation". Good thing this is an open forum and I can complain about retarded moderation if I want.

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272533)

xpto@freebsd.pt

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272534)

FP Nigggaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Re:BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272590)

nigga please.

Competition? (4, Funny)

SubTexel (715118) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272535)

Finally some competition in Apples handheld audio monopoly? Good to see the underdog(s) stick it to 'em.

Re:Competition? (2, Funny)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272636)

And when I think of "underdogs" that produce digital devices... Sony and Microsoft are the first to some to mind.

(note: that's a 10 on the sarcast-o-meter)

Re:Competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272698)

Audio Monopoly? Since what? IMHO Apple deserves the success it has for creating such a great product. There are good alternatives, thought, if you don't like the iPod: Archos Jukeboxes are greatly expandable (althought big), Rio Karma is a great player with OGG support, and if you want a stylish player that's not apple-branded, you can always try the Creative Nomad or the Philips HDD120... All of them are great products that can offer competition. You cannot blame Apple for making a good product at a right price.

Well... I guess you like WMA a lot more than ACC or OGG. Chances are that you will not be able to play such formats on a Microsoft Player.

Re:Competition? (1)

SubTexel (715118) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272747)

Read the guy just below my post..Sarcasm buddy.. He caught it just fine. =)

funny you should mention that (5, Funny)

switcha (551514) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272542)

Microsoft will begin selling a $50 music player that will 'look and feel as good as the iPod' later this year.

What a coincidence. Apple's lawyers are already filling out a lawsuit with the very same title!

Look and Feel (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272737)

Personally, what I'm after is one that sounds as good as an iPod, or as good as my Rio Nitrus. For $50.00, how much storage do you get. Are we talking GB, MB, or KB?

That's nice, but... (1)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272543)

...will anything ever beat the value of my 15GB, 16-hour battery life, personal voice recording, $200 Dell DJ?

Re:That's nice, but... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272575)

I can't think of any other device that will get you laughed at more in public than a Dell DJ.

Don't they give you a free t-shirt that says 'Lamer' with ever DJ?

Indeed (-1, Flamebait)

Noose For A Neck (610324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272619)

I do believe that such non-Apple appliances are a major fashion faux-pas in the faggot community.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272659)

I can't think of any other device that will get you laughed at more in public than a Dell DJ.

Actually, there's a point to be made in that trollish comment: the general public cares a lot more about look and feel than features. If Microsoft makes a player that looks like the iPod, but only has a 32MB flash card inside, they can still charge $50, and it will sell well.

Re:That's nice, but... (1)

mrklin (608689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272638)

It has always been hard to beat Dell on value. But for everything else, such as innovaiton, aesthetics, and ease-of-use, the iPod is still the one to beat.

Re:That's nice, but... (4, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272723)

Yup, you get what you pay for. Dell makes some cheap laptops, but they have this tendency to fall apart in about a week. That doesn't happen with powerbooks.

And as for their music player, it's rediculous. They make you pay extra for "enhanced" (i.e. non-crippled) software, and I'm sure the hardware isn't as good as Apple's. Apple, unfortunately (for their sales department), always adds features that are hard to market. For instance, read any review of MP3 players and you'll find that Apple's sound output hardware (DA converters, amp, etc.) is the best. But you can't really market that.

Oh well. The people who want a good music player will buy the Apple and the people who want a new toy will buy the M$ box. That's the way things have always been, and I don't see how it affects me if M$ makes a $50 music box. Whatever :P Apple has earned my loyalty by making a great product; Microsoft's business practices (and OS) make me want to blow up their headquarters on a daily basis. I'm sure others agree with me :)

Whoop De Do. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272544)

Loss leaders like this are illegal in Europe. Why the Xbox is allowed, I don't quite understand. I presume it's because they argue that they make money through the software.

How this argument will work with MP3s when there are multiple vendors, I don't quite get.

Loss leader or POS (1)

nonameisgood (633434) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272625)

Exactly. While I don't think it should be illegal for someone to sell below cost, if they think that is a wise business plan (Xbox is such a money maker.) But this is a sign that Microsoft wants to get into a market, get a dominant position, then exploit it.

Either that, or this player is a real piece. Them:"Wow, look what I got for fifty bucks!"
You:"Uh huh, it sucks don't it."

Could the justice department go after Microsoft for selling a product which facilitates unlawful music sharing?

Re:Loss leader or POS (1)

femtoguy (751223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272738)

I suppose that they could be hit with a dumping penalty on the international markets, but I am not sure that dumping inside of the United States is illegal. It certainly is illegal if they are a monopoly (which the courts have judged they are) for them to dump product to get into a new market. I just wonder if the current administration has the stomach to go there after their total capitulation on the original DOJ suit.

sony audio quality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272548)

i hear the sony player has terrible audio quality. that's why it's cheap. also the sony music service is plagued by technical problems. just something to consider... you might want to check around a little before getting one of these.

Re:sony audio quality (1, Insightful)

senatorpjt (709879) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272585)

$563 is cheap?

No Problems for the MS Model, Though (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272617)

i hear the sony player has terrible audio quality. that's why it's cheap. also the sony music service is plagued by technical problems. just something to consider... you might want to check around a little before getting one of these.

The Microsoft model works great, it is truly a wonder of modern engineering. Microsoft again shows the superiority of their engineering and products.

Oh, and those rumors of subliminal messages, they're pure fantasy and Linus Torvalds is the devil and open source is an evil which must be stamped out.

Re:No Problems for the MS Model, Though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272688)

i'm not familiar with the ms model so i can't comment on that.

Re:sony audio quality (1)

phatsharpie (674132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272645)

From the article:

The HMP-A1 will go on sale in Japan on 26 June for around 63,000 ($563/310).

I would hardly call a 20GB MP3 player that costs $500+ "cheap". Granted, it does a lot and all, but from its description, it's kinda big and heavy. So we'll see. Sony will probably lower the price before it's introduced to the US.

My main complaint with Sony digital audio players is Sony's obsession with their ATRAC3 audio format. I used to have a MiniDisc player and I thought ATRAC3 was quite good, but for digital audio, most of my files are in MP3 formats. Yet you can't play MP3's, the most popular format out there, on their machines unless you convert them to ATRAC3. They instantly lost my interest when that was announced. Hopefully this one will play MP3 natively.

-B

Re:sony audio quality (1)

Kumkwat (312490) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272681)

RRTFA the player will support MP3
Not only does the HMP-A1 support MP3 natively, but Sony will ship it with MusicMatch's Jukebox software.

Re:sony audio quality (1)

phatsharpie (674132) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272697)

Sorry to reply to my own post, but my bad... I just saw that it does support MP3 natively. Should've read more closely.

-B

the big question.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272549)

who gives a rat's ass?

Less $$ = More problems? (1)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272550)

Ipods are over priced peices of shi%. but thats not hte point, the point is that everything in this area is over priced atm. We need someone to produce a "low" cost version, it might not last as long, but we wont care, for when it dies we will have one 10x the size. Plus this is m$ meaning it wont work on apple / linux ?

dumb. (1)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272553)

look at every article on the front of slashdot...

every single one is consumer electronis companies releasing equipment for P2Pers, and contries making it illegal.

eventually i'll have 30 mp3 players and a life sentance.

Prediction ... (4, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272559)

The Sony device will be quite good, and will compare favorably to the iPod. The Microsoft device will be a POS, but will sell like hotcakes despite that, and in a few years we'll have fanboys and pundits gushing about how Bill Gates "innovated" the personal MP3 player.

Re:Prediction ... (0, Troll)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272640)

You mean like Mac Zealots think that Steve Jobs created the mp3 player market with the iPod?

Re:Prediction ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272690)

What a sad and twisted little punk you must be.

Find a link to anyone, anywhere, anytime ever claiming the iPod was the first mp3 player.

Re:Prediction ... (4, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272752)

There weren't really and HD-based MP3 players before the iPod. So the "Mac Zealots" are pretty close to the truth anyway. But BTW, I didn't see any zealots saying anything about this. You are putting words in their collective mouth.

Anyway, I think it's great that microsoft wants to sell me $200 hard drives for $50 in a nice shinny box. Me buying a new mini hard drive == M$ losing $150. What a deal :)

Realistically (4, Interesting)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272560)

Well, was bound to happen some day. Hard drive is probably the most expensive part of the hardware, and one can assume Microsoft already has software development covered.

However, even Dell's digital jukeboxes [dell.com] start at $200, and beating Dell pricewise is something out of ordinary (possible, but few have done it).

Re:Realistically (2, Informative)

FlipmodePlaya (719010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272633)

A 20GB Neuros [neurosaudio.com] is only $200, for one. Mad featureous, too.

Re:Realistically (1)

LenE (29922) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272682)

Who said they wanted to make a profit from the music player?

Access to media (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272563)

I hope these players let us access the content normally through the filesystem, unlike the iPod :)

Re:Access to media (2, Informative)

The Ancients (626689) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272742)

While not there by default, there are third party solutions to this: ipod.itunes [crispsofties.com] .

Typical (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272566)

In order to let folks know just how cool Microsoft is, they always seem to pre-announce products by several months to years and invariably when they come out, they always seem to be somehow less than they promised. The iPod is good.....damned good. So I am certainly going to take a wait and see approach, but one usually gets what they pay for.

I likely will be sticking with the iPod I suspect.

Nice, but where's one with OGG Vorbis support? (2, Interesting)

Unit3 (10444) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272569)

That Sony one looks really nice, and it does everything I need except one... I need OGG Vorbis support, as my entire audio library is on my server in Q6 encoded files. :)

So, does anyone know of another similar player, that does both MPEG4 (or compatible, like XVid) and OGG Vorbis?

Re:Nice, but where's one with OGG Vorbis support? (2)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272597)

Bingo! Who cares that it supports GIF and PNG? I want a music player to support MUSIC formats!

Re:Nice, but where's one with OGG Vorbis support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272674)

Yeah, the one that you'll be forced to build because nobody gives a shit about OGG and its ridiculously small userbase!

neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272572)

Get a better battery life span and i might consider one

Price is too low? (5, Insightful)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272581)

How can they possibly sustain a business selling a player for $50? Oh, I remember, kill the competition with your low-priced alternative, because your Windows and Office products are such cashcows, and then when everybody else is laid waste, jack up the price and add useless features for years and years to come. Oh, and by the way, you need Windows to download the music for your player. Funny that.

Not trying to flamebait or anything, but haven't we seen this type of strategy before?

Dejavu is such a wonderful thing.

Re:Price is too low? (1)

riptide_dot (759229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272658)

..yeah, I agree that the price tag probably won't support their manufacturing costs, but the $50 price tag sure is a whole lot more palatable than $600. Am I the only one who remembers the days you could buy (what was then) a decent walkman for $100? Ahhh...memories...:)

Re:Price is too low? (1)

smurf975 (632127) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272703)

I'm sure they will use Windows Media Player for file management which als works on Apple OSX.

Re:Price is too low? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272763)

How can you sell an mp3 player for 300 bucks [amazon.com] when most portable mp3 cd players cost 50-100 bucks? Same question, why do mp3 players have to be so much more expensive than tape or cd players which may not be more mechanically complex, but still require more materials.

look and feel? (4, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272582)

'look and feel as good as the iPod'

Look and feel are cheap. The question is whether it will work and sound as good. The principal attraction of the iPod is that it's intuitive and meshes well with iTunes. That's worth money to users.

I'm glad that iPod is getting some competition (it will make iPods better to) but I don't see that this is necessarily a death blow for them.

Re:look and feel? (2, Insightful)

djsmiley (752149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272608)

The look and Feel of the Ipod is what makes it so popular, its now a item of STATUS and not of use to some. Why do you think the adverts dont actually play much music? Why do you think the posters only show its "looks" and not its audio propities...?

Re:look and feel? (4, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272680)

No, they aren't cheap. Apple spent a large amount on R&D for the iPod design and interface, that's why they sue to protect it.

Not on the iPod (1)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272745)

Look and feel are cheap. The question is whether it will work and sound as good.

Not on the iPod. Style is 80% of that player.. It is a piece of art. Even if it had mediore sound and the the tech sepcs was genarally bad, the iPod would still sell.

The Sony device is not even halfway there on style. It looks like any other portable player.

Is video really needed? (3, Insightful)

antarctican (301636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272583)

Alright, how many people actually have the need for a mobile video device. I mean, audio I can understand, but how often have you sat on the subway going, "I'd really like to watch a movie right now." That must be one long commute....

I mean the only use I can think of is for mobile pr0n needs, and if that's the case, I sure as hell don't want to be sitting next to them wthhout a raincoat.

Observation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272584)

Ya know, I've written tons of websites using SQL Server (tm) 2000, and I have never, ever had to put up a message saying "golly, our database is under maintenance, why dontcha try again later or something?"

Is that the kind of quality you can expect from "Free" or "Open Sores" software? Cause that's the impression I get after trying to read "Slashdot" last night.

ip-p-p-p-pPod! (3, Interesting)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272586)

It looks and feels just like an iPod! (of course, they don't mention it working, sheesh).

I can just see MS coming out with something the size of an ipod, but with a tiny flash memory instead of a hard drive. And if MS markets it hard enough and makes it ubiquitous enough, the uninformed consumers will just slurp it up and think they're getting a huge bargin (despite there having been flash players that cheap for a long time).

Re:ip-p-p-p-pPod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272679)

long live MyNameIsJeff

My PocketPC is the best MP3 Player ever. (1)

tisme (414989) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272592)

With 1GB of flash memory, I have more than enough space for hours of songs. As for battery power, I easily get over 20 hours... plus I have all the added bonuses of having a mini-computer. I am not sure what I would do without my Axim X5...

Ummm ... BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF? (5, Funny)

dmarcov (461598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272596)

Impressively it plays MPEG2, MPEG4, BMP, GIF, PNG, TIFF and MP3


Really? I can't wait to rawk to my .bmp files. I wonder what my desktop wallpaper sounds like.

Re:Ummm ... BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF? (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272726)

Well, it plays the sound component of a BMP. Which, of course, is silence. Easy to implement, that. I'm thinking of adding it to all my programs.

Re:Ummm ... BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF? (1)

neonstz (79215) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272739)

Really? I can't wait to rawk to my .bmp files. I wonder what my desktop wallpaper sounds like.

Then I have the perfect program [darkside.no] for you!

Re:Ummm ... BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF? (4, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272758)

I wonder what my desktop wallpaper sounds like.

bzzzzt, crackle, fft, pssssst, bzzt, ffft, bzzzzzt, pst, eck, bzzzz, bzzzt, psst, crackle, bzzzzt, crackle, pssst, pst, ffft, bzzt, bzzzzzt.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272603)

will it run linux ?

Wow the Sony plays BMP? (1)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272606)

Actually it looks like a pretty decent device, I just thought it was funny that it "plays BMP."

These devices are great and all... (1)

riptide_dot (759229) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272612)

...and I understand that part of thier cost is associated with making the technology so small, but really, from a consumer standpoint - for almost $600 what am I getting? A walkman that doesn't need CDs or tapes. For $600 (not to mention what you'd spend on accessories), it makes more sense to me to buy a laptop and "suffer" with my NoMad, which holds plenty of songs for use when I'm working out, or going on a run, or whatever else. I can't imagine needing the ability to store 4GB worth of songs (as the new Nomad will be able to).

I think that it will take more time and much less cost to convince me to justify the price tag of these types of things. For now, they're still only for the really rich or those who just HAVE to have the newest stuff (that was me before I got married BTW) :)

Re:These devices are great and all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272712)

Well I shake my head at the irrational. I don't know where you get the $600 figure you use in your arguement. That is your first mistake. The second is thinking everyone should think like you and want what you like. The third is to think that only the rich or "must haves" want this. I sure hope you are driving a 20 year old Beetle, and only for distances longer than you can ride a bike. Otherwise your car is a complete waste.

The benefits of these devices (4, Interesting)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272761)

from a consumer standpoint - for almost $600 what am I getting?

Well, for $300 you can get 15Gb of storage on the low-end iPod. For $500 you can get $40Gb of storage on the high-end iPod.

The iPod/iTunes combo has become the core of my audio system. I don't have a boom box or home stereo system. I hook my iPod into my stereo TV when I want to listen to tunes downstairs. When I want to listen to tunes upstairs, I listen to the tunes through my computer's speakers. When I'm driving in the car, I plug in my tape deck adapter and go.

When I go for a run or go to work out, I take my iPod and have all of my tunes with me. So in that sense it's not just "a Walkman that doesn't need CDs or tapes." A CD Walkman is fine if I just want to listen to whatever CDs I happen to have with me at the time. But when I'm mobile, the last thing I want to do is decide which tunes I think I'll want to listen to at some point in the future. I want the whole range of my music library available.

I'm not rich. Not even close. I like my music a lot, but I'm not the music freak I was when I was in my teens. All the same, the iPod has really changed my listening habits quite a bit. It allows me to listen to a broader range of my own music than I otherwise would, lets me listen to music pretty much anywhere, and eliminates the need to haul around discs or tapes wherever I go.

Prices will doubtless drop on these devices as they become commoditized. Someday they'll drop to a price that will be acceptable to you. In the mean time, the investment in my iPod has more than justified the cost several times over for me (and for my non-technophile wife, who is an iPod addict as well).

Oh not again, Bill (5, Funny)

BandwidthHog (257320) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272634)

Ours will be just like Apple's, only better.

This time we're serious. It's really cool.

Really.

Apple must be nimble now (1)

spankalee (598232) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272635)

Couple these devices with the recent news that the iPod may not be as dominant as people think [macnn.com] , and it's very clear that Apple needs to stay on their feet to keep the lead they have.

Jobs may be right that portable video may not be all that great, but that doesn't mean that Apple shouldn't come out with a video iPod just to throw at the media. If Sony's and Microsoft's devices get too much attention just because of the color screens, Apple has to counter.

I wonder about how Microsoft's offerings will affect their effort to make WMA the "standard" for portable audio? Maybe other portable makers will look to a real standard, not one controlled by a competitor. If MPEG finally adds a standard DRM to AAC, I think we could see AAC take off.

on Microsoft product announcements... (2, Interesting)

Keith Gabryelski (65602) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272646)

Microsoft announcement of products before they are available are always 120% of the truth.

Their inability to get the gist of things they copy except for the superfical (i.e., I'm sure the MP3 Player will be a small white box) reminds me of the kid in school looking over my shoulder during a math test... copying all my answers onto his paper including my answer for the question "Name:"

Value (2, Insightful)

nfotxn (519715) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272648)

I really fail to see what value is added with having a colour screen and video playback. I don't think many people have any need for video playback they'd be using a portable device. Unless they have other behaviours in mind like using it primarily as an audio player and a video player or data storage when you arrive at your destination. Just from the perspective of my own behaviours I'm definitely not sold on video playback as a must-have feature. For the same reason portable RF televisions or DVD players aren't terribly popular I see this Sony unit as being similar.

Yes but (3, Funny)

smartin (942) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272652)

It will be the size of a postage stamp and hold one song.

I want my OGG! (1)

ender's_shadow (302302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272661)

Seriously, I like ogg a lot, and wished players were gearing towards it. Not that I expected MS to support an open source codec (but the should).

Re:I want my OGG! (1)

pdbogen (596723) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272729)

I'd rather have Vorbis, or Theora.. You know.. actual media, as opposed to containers...


I love my .AVI!

Yay. Microsoft miss the point... Again... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272662)

It's amazing how they manage this time and again.

A *music* player which they are designing to "look and feel as good". Which uses what? A PC speaker to play the music through?

MP3 Player? or WMF Player? (2, Insightful)

TheCeltic (102319) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272672)

I'll bet it only plays Windows Media...

There's More to Beating the iPod than the iPod (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272699)

While developing a competitive audio portable against the iPod certainly is a possible feat, there's more to the iPod's success than just the actual player. What about ease of file-transfers and syncing? The iPod killer has more to beat than just the iPod. It'll have to beat the iPod-Winamp combination [winamp.com] .

While yes, existing portables have their own merits, very few of them are supported by an application like Winamp that can flawlessly sync my audio files (and ratings and playcounts) from my media folders to my iPod, or reverse-syncs my iPod so that my media folders match up with what's on my iPod. It'll have to beat Winamp's intuitive artist/album views, ipod-media library integration, mp3 transcoding, and other features...

Winamp and the iPod "just work."

It's just a shame... (1)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272705)

That sony's playback device won't handle DVDs. With 20GB storage space, that's 3-4 DVDs in storage capacity. I wonder if the processor is just inadequate or the CSS is too much a pain...but $1000 for a portable dvd player is still far enough outside my budget that it would seem like a good idea.

Re:It's just a shame... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272746)

Nor can it handle OGG-encoded audio apparently.
BIG oversight there and the reson I won't be buying one.

Sony Player's Name (1)

mirio (225059) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272706)

Too bad for Sony that 'Digiman' is so close to Digimon.

Upcoming enhancements? (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272709)

The story so far:

Portable music player - useful device.
Portable video player - yes, that goes well with the music player.
Still photograph displayer - might as well, we already have all the required hardware.

Next episode:

Why settle for just looking at photos? We could add a camera to this.
Hey, it has audio, and takes photos - let's add a cellphone.

Whats the odds there are engineers somewhere in the world working on this right now?

Look and Feel? (2, Funny)

quantaman (517394) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272710)

Microsoft will begin selling a $50 music player that will 'look and feel as good as the iPod' later this year

Please note thatt by "look and feel as good as the iPod" they mean they're selling a rounded green and blue plastic shell, they also threw a couple a couple beads inside which you shake, when they rattle it makes the shell a music player.

What choices? (1)

dema (103780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272714)

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., will release a number of music players when it launches its online music service later this year, giving customers more choices than Apple, Mehdi said.

What exactly does that mean? The write-up here makes it sound as though MS will release one player that will give users more "choices" (which I would imagine to mean more codecs that will playback). But the article makes it sound like the "choices" will be between players.

Time to buy an iPod! (1)

Matt Clare (692178) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272725)

Soon the iPod will be sold at a price that reflects its components, not its demand. Finally I'll be able to afford the iPod I've been waiting for.

Geeks don't understand fashion (5, Insightful)

HonkyLips (654494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272727)

These articles shit me. The thing is, Apple is a fashionable company. They make fashionable computers and fashionable products and this puts them in a different league to Microsoft et al. Geeks do not, by their very nature, understand fashion. Microsoft's competing product may be cheaper, Sony's may have more features etc etc. That will mean nothing to a kid who wants an iPod. I doubt that Ferrari were worried when Kia/ Daewoo/ Hyundai popped onto the car scene; I don't think Armani is worried that you can buy shirts for $20 at Kmart, and so on. The Apple iPod is a fashion accessory. Paris Hilton ( or insert vacuous celebrity here) won't be caught dead using a cheap Microsoft rip off and millions of teenagers will feel the same way. Apple could double the price of their iPod range and they'd still sell them. Apples are desirable. They're cool. Microsoft has never been cool and never will be no matter what they do. Can you really imagine a company owned and run by Bill Gates producing something that teenagers everywhere go nuts for? Compare their interface designs to Apple's.... Sony are too sensibly Japanese to be cool. There is no iPod killer. When cool people start saying "Levis are dead - I can buy jeans for 1/5 the price at Target" then maybe, just maybe, Apple should start to worry.....

Another "iPod killer..." (3, Insightful)

sillivalley (411349) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272732)

Geez, not another one! I expect the Sony product to be well designed, a lot of attention to detail -- and high priced. And don't forget, Sony has built-in schizophrenia -- their music division -- MP3 is evil, remember? Sony could have owned the market with mini-disc, but their own paranoia crippled the product (no high-speed digital download, clunky proprietary software, etc.)

But a friend points me to the Sony announcement -- it plays movies, all these formats. Does it have a corkscrew, I ask? GPS?

What? Corkscrew? GPS? Yeah, if it's going to replace things, it should play my AV stuff, have a corkscrew, show me where I am, and be sturdy enough to pound nails...

Really -- what I want in a portable music player is to play music. I don't care about video, GPS, cell phone, or anything else.

As to the iPod killer? It's already on the market. It stores enough of my music, the battery lasts long enough, it drives my earphones (Etymotics ER4), and it's small enough to carry in a pocket.

It's the iPod mini. It does what I want, and I love it.

capacity? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9272749)

"Microsoft will begin selling a $50 music player that will 'look and feel as good as the iPod' later this year."

and the upgrade to 4 GB will cost $249! Duh, microsoft doesn't make hardware or the microdrive. Apple iPod sells cheaper than retail cost of microdrive and is only $70-90 more than OEM cost of microdrive. Apple charges only a small amount for iPod hardware/software.

I'm sure there is a catch (1)

psychogentoo (582658) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272751)

On top of the $50, you'll probably have to sign up with a Microsoft music service...

All you have to do is sign up and buy 100 tracks at the regular club prices or sign up with MSN dial up for 5 years? :)

FUD (3, Insightful)

Coward Anonymous (110649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9272754)

Classic Microsoft. There is no way MS could or would want to release such a cheap device but it sure as hell is great to FUD everyone out of buying an iPOD.
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