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Behind The Development Of The iPod nano

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the teeny-tiny-product dept.

Media (Apple) 502

bonch writes "A Time Magazine article on the behind-the-scenes development of the iPod nano reveals that development work began just nine months ago, when the iPod mini was still a top-seller. Every internal component was redesigned and packed into every millimeter of the space inside. Famed Apple designer Jonathan Ives spent months on the tiniest of details, like the laser-etching of the logo and the roughness of the clickwheel compared to the smoothness of the rest of the exterior. 'I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'"

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Danger, Slashdot, Danger! (5, Funny)

Knight Thrasher (766792) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551894)

Incoming "My Preciousss!" jokes!

At any rate, my bet is that Apple didn't run their prototypes over with cars. Or did they??

Re:Danger, Slashdot, Danger! (5, Funny)

Praedon (707326) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551930)

No... but Creative and Microsoft seem to be stealing them out of trucks and running them over with the big rigs to ensure the sales don't get out.... they just can't quite reproduce the same results of throwing it up in the air a good 40 feet and letting gravity have its chance for distruction...

Re:Danger, Slashdot, Danger! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13551959)

Steve Jobs: "It's not done until it fits into a crack whore's ass!"

Bill Gates: "You mean like the NexT Cube? BWAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

Re:Danger, Slashdot, Danger! (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552084)

Incoming "My Preciousss!" jokes!

What? You think we'd stoop to the level of must ... ree ... zist .... mere punsters? We can't the power ... strong .. too strong ... write something interesting, insightful or even can't hold out ... must hold out informative? You really think that? aaaaarrrggghhh You might have a point.

one iRing to rule them all
ahhh...

my precious (0, Offtopic)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551895)

ob gollum quote.
-nB

Ah, the laser etching... (2, Insightful)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551896)

Worth every penny of the $10 it adds to the price.

worst. mouse. ever. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13551902)

perhaps Mr. Ives could tell me which end of my imac hockey puck mouse is up. I'm lost

Re:worst. mouse. ever. (2, Interesting)

mr i want to go home (610257) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552158)

Look. For a group of people who spend a load of time with problems cause by our hardware (like carpal tunnel syndrome) you (we) aren't very perceptive about the causes of these problems (ok this sounds a bit flame-ish, so I'll tone it down now...sorry)

The puck mouse was designed to address a real issue/problem. With a normal mouse, you need to rest your wrist on the table, and then to move the mouse, you have to move your whole wrist sideways/forwards/round in circles...you get the picture. It's slow, cumbersome, and causes all sorts of prolonged use problems.

Now enter the puck mouse. You still rest your wrist on the table, but you can move the whole mouse with ONLY your fingers! Very fast, light, easy, and sensible.

Now, I'm not going to deny it sucks the first time to use a puck mouse. In fact I'm one of the people who threw them away when they started coming with the Macs for the labs at university. But one week I was forced to use one - and guess what, your body starts to remember/know which way around the mouse is after about...ohhh...an hour of use.

When you think about it, this is no where near the learning curve of a Dvorak keyboard, which is everyone's darling at the moment. So - enough of the lame puck mouse bashing. Go get one on ebay for like 10c. Your wrist will love you, and you too will have the chance to marvel at possible the most underrated and misunderstood computer inventions of the past decade.

Ok - off my chest now...peace :)

Vista? (-1, Offtopic)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551903)

Like windows was rushing to deliver Vista just 9 months ago?

Engineers @ work (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551911)

WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!

"It's still not slim enough, give me the BFH.

Re:Engineers @ work (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552019)

BFH? Bastard from hell? Big Fucking Hammer? Beta-Field Heuristics?

Re:Engineers @ work (0, Offtopic)

Basehart (633304) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552024)

What's BFH again?

And is there a /. acronym directory page for future reference, I'm RCART (really crap at remembering them).

Re:Engineers @ work (5, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552125)

What's BFH again?

BFH has the specific meaning of Big F***ing Hammer among engineers. Always has, always will. An engineer without his BFH is as lost as a chemist without his CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics.

"What? No CRC Handbook? Must be an E-winger."

Re:Engineers @ work (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552207)

And I think that you'll find that chemists refer to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics as "The Rubber Bible" (CRC standing for the Chemical Rubber Company).

Canada? (1)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551913)

Anybody know who has these in Canada? Been waiting on one for some time now... they look totally awesome.

Re:Canada? (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551981)

It's being reported that Canadian customs is stopping shipments because they believe that Robert Redford may be trying to hide inside a Nano.

Re:Canada? (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552004)

Been waiting on one for some time now

But they just came out? Anyways, go to Apple.ca.
If you ever buy a pc from apple use the student discount and enter some random digits for the student number.

I like the nano but... (2, Insightful)

dreold (827386) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551923)

... wouldn't it be cooler if there was a conceptual innovation offered rather than only a smaller mousetrap? The iPod concept is about 5 years old by now. The iTMS is not exactly the only kid on the block (even though its market share is).

What is the next BIG thing?

Re:I like the nano but... (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552011)

What is the next BIG thing?

Music worth listening to? Live organ donor transplants? Politicians that tell the truth? Apple users who aren't demented little toads?

Re:I like the nano but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552233)

>>What is the next BIG thing?

>Music worth listening to? Live organ donor transplants? Politicians that tell the truth? Apple users who aren't demented little toads?

Pffft. You had me going for a little bit there - you should have ended at Ludicrous instead of Pigs Flying. ;)

Re:I like the nano but... (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552266)

Music worth listening to?

Funny that. I bought a car stereo about 4 years ago which specifically could play MP3 CDs, but also had satellite radio. I've heard so much music on the various channels I've developed a broader taste and acquired a greater affinity for swing, in particular Louis Jordan, whom I'd never heard before in my life (quite a job it seems missing so large a catalog, too.)

Oddly, in those 4 years I've yet to burn an MP3 CD. When I'm out and about, driving, I've got more than an iPod offers. Maybe the iPod phone will offer something akin to satellite broadcast.

Re:I like the nano but... (2, Interesting)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552136)

I am not a super fan of the iPod and yes it is now an old thing;
    MY iPod is a Gen 1 I swapped some parts for and put a new battery in. I am not one to buy the latest gee whiz when it comes out...but...have you actually HELD this thing? I went to a local Apple franchiser and picked one up. Not look at, not see commercial, not read review...picked one up. That is all it took. I want one.

Re:I like the nano but... (2, Interesting)

dancpsu (822623) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552190)

iMac mini server system media edition. Something with a built-in wireless AP, broadband connector, and separate dumb wireless set-top box to make your HDTV a terminal with wireless keyboard and mouse. Also include software to access the mini-server anywhere in the house, and as many laptops as necessary and there you go. The fully media-encompassed house.

Or better yet, iBook mini's that are ultra-thin, flash-storage only laptops designed to work primarily with a server, or host computer like the iMac mini.

Huh? (2, Insightful)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551928)

"'I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'"

Then why do they matter? As long as my product works, and works well, and I notice the quality, shouldn't that be enough? Why should the product cost more money simply because someone labored over it to add features I will never notice? I don't buy a product because the developer decided to make it "precious" by worring about it too much. Just a thought.

Re:Huh? (0, Offtopic)

sH4RD (749216) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551988)

To add to the matter, I've posted a few iPod bashing comments over the past few days, simply with my analysis about the Apple strategy. Mind you, I own an iPod, I use an iPod, I like the iPod, and yet anything that in some way criticizes the iPod gets modded as a Troll? I know the product, I know what makes it tick, and I'm a real user of it. How is stating a simple thought without bashing, unfounded ignorance, or general stupidity trolling in any way?

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

tkdog (889567) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551998)

Because you notice the gestalt effect of all the little features that you don't notice individually.

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552048)

You would notice many of them if they were missing. The overall affect of the product would be diminished. Attention to all those details is what will make an "average" product "good" and a "good" product "great".

  -Charles

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

mstroeck (411799) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552129)

"I don't buy a product because the developer decided to make it "precious" by worring about it too much."

Which is why you are not head of industrial design at Apple -- or anywhere else, probably ;-) Incredible attention to detail is a common trait of many successful people, especially those in art and design. It may not be obvious, but there _is_ a reason why people who normally don't give a rat's ass about electronic gadgets are going crazy over iPods. Their design pushes many people's buttons just the right way.

fingerprints! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13551939)

I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'

"At which point in the interview, Ives, began sandpapering his own fingerprints from his fingers in order to leave no smudges on The Precious."

Re:fingerprints! (1)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552237)

This is only complaint I have so far about my Nano... The back of mine has a ton of fingerprints all over it. They should have used a different metal or put the same white color on the back as they have on the front, because the front doesn't have any fingerprints that I can see.

I'm very happy with my purchase. I've used and have had other MP3 players, and can honestly say the click-wheel alone is worth the extra pocket change.

Why not just get an MP3 flash card w radio/record (1, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551961)

for less than $30 you can buy a 256MB flash card, MP3 player, FM radio, and voice recorder.

That's about the same size.

So, my question is, why bother? I'd much rather have something that gives me extra features and plugs into my laptop and work PC or Mac and lets me transfer files and do all that, and runs off of rechargeable AA batteries.

But that's just me.

Now, if someone wanted to do a case mod of the iPod nano and get it to run Linux or BSD, now we're talking!

Re:Why not just get an MP3 flash card w radio/reco (1)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551991)

Style, functionality, the interface's ease of use. Oh, and peer pressure. Those are reasons enough!

Never underestimate the power of peer pressure (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552191)

Style, functionality, the interface's ease of use. Oh, and peer pressure. Those are reasons enough!

Never underestimate the power of peer pressure.

That's why most iPod users keep using the original earbuds even tho they're really pathetic and you can get a $5 pair that works better for hearing ...

4GB (2, Funny)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552153)

Does your 256MB flash card hold 4 GB of data?

If not, it's hardly a replacement, is it?

Re:Why not just get an MP3 flash card w radio/reco (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552205)

Have you seen the size of these things? I have handled one at the local compUSA store and (to put it politely) you are out of your mind to think that its the same size as a 256MB flash card, MP3 player, FM radio, and voice recorder. These things make the iPod mini look big and clumsy. and it makes my mp3 player (with its radio and 1.25GB) look like a dinosaur

It's IVE, not IVES (4, Informative)

aixou (756713) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551964)

The name is Jonathan Ive, without an "s". Sheesh. It's even spelled correctly in the article. ::sigh::

Re:It's IVE, not IVES (1)

kberg108 (175765) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552106)

You've clearly forgotten what site you're on. Cut and paste mistakes are cool... didn't you get the memo l00z3r :)

Dual Personality (5, Funny)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552193)

He's already calling the Nano his precious. Obviously the dual personality displayed by Gollum/Smeagol is beginning as well. "Tricksy little Ballmerses stoles our interfaces!!"

@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (0, Flamebait)

markass530 (870112) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551974)

Sorry I've been waiting all to long to get this off my chest. There are so many flippin mp3 players out there, Most as good as, if not better then the damn ipod for better prices. Want a flash based one? How about one that takes compact flash disks (NEX IIe, 50 bucks) hard drive based? Hell even creative is better, nothing gets my blood boiling quicker, then to hear some jackass who knows shit about tech talk about how bad he wants an ipod. You are paying 50+ Bucks just because its fucking white and is called an IPOD. GOD DAMNIT

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (2, Insightful)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552036)

The user interface is one of the top reasons people buy iPods - almost every review of every MP3 player compares the interface to the iPod and almost every other brand falls short - the iPod truly is the standard against which all else is compared.

In industrial design, as with programming, the best solution is difficult/expensive to attain but is elegant and almost mind-bogglingly simple. A perfect example: the iPod click-wheel and the way it works with the iPod OS.

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (1)

superspaz (902023) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552055)

Ah, fashion. What causes people to pay $300 for a little white t-shirt with a logo on it?

Same thing with the iPod. People are paying a little for the style, but namely for the brand and class associations with it. Almost enough to make you want to go all Fight Club anarchist.

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (3, Interesting)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552072)

Yep. You are paying extra 'cause it's white and it's an iPod. And also for that genuine "new apple smell". Them mind-bending chemicals they stuff in there to make your purchase seem totally justified and explainable don't come cheap :) That said, it doesn't play windows media audio files. So it's doing a damned fine thing by trying to get people NOT to use that shitty format. It's also the only player on the market that legally allows you to play files from the worlds most popular online music store. It also has one of the best audio-quality ratings of any handheld device (beating even some large hi-fi's). It's also not made by creative, who despite making the worlds best soundcards make the worlds worst quality players. But yeah, who needs extreme over-engineered precision quality audio-heaven. After all, these are people that will accept and PAY good money to rent 128k WMA files. They deserve shit.

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552208)

(beating even some large hi-fi's)
ahahahaahahaahahahahaha
*sniff* *sniff* *wipes tear from eye*
haahahahahahaha good one!

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (1)

Basehart (633304) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552092)

"There are so many flippin mp3 players out there.....etc etc etc"

But they don't work with iTunes.

You're just pissed because Apple isn't dead yet. Get over it already.

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (1)

markass530 (870112) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552119)

You are right, and it also be a cold day in hell before I Payed to downlaod music,

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552113)

The NEXII is a buggy piece of garbage. I bought one off of EBay three years ago, and it will deafen you with electrical noise every few minutes.

Re:@#(*(*&@# The Ipod (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552249)

After being an iPod user for several years, I took everything that the iPod offered for granted. After purchasing something different (iAudio U2 1GB) for my exercizing needs, the drawbacks became clear.. let me list what I found so far.

Accessories. This is a key point for me. iPods, being the most popular MP3 device, has a TON of addons, accessories, and etc for it. It gives you a ton of options later on, should you decide to add something. Meanwhile, I STILL haven't been able to find a damn belt clip for the iAudio U2. You know, something to hold it on my waist. Yes, it's that bad if it's not an iPod.

User Interface. Most people take it for granted, but UI of iPods are superior to anything I've used. It's simple, clear, and easy to use, which by far appeals to the mass than something complicated. My iAudio U2 isn't that bad, but I miss my iPod interface. Easy and simple, with no complicated controls. I looked through my friend's iRiver 799 manual the other day, and it was horrible. You had to memorize combos to access certain features. Ugh. And the clickwheel is a godsend. Simple things like a joystick on the iAudio U2 doesn't compare at all.

iTunes. Very important. With this, you can easily buy songs off the music store and sync them to your iPod. And sync is amazing. Plug in your iPod, let it automatically sync, and you're good to go. My iAudio U2 requires you to drag and drop. That's pretty easy too, but I like the iTunes method better. And don't forget other iTunes features, such as Podcasts.

Form factor. Face it. People do care about how a device looks and feels. It doesn't matter if a device has all the features in the world, if it's ugly as sin and big as a brick. Things such as a voice recorder and line in port are useless and only make the device bigger and bulkier. How many people would actually make use of those features? I haven't used it once on my iAudio. Granted, I like the FM radio, but that depends on people's taste. I'm not complaining about the size of the iAudio U2, but iPods are generally smaller than anything else on the market today (And do look better).

Well, that's all I can think of by now. But if you think that people are buying iPods because of the brand name, you're dead wrong.

(Oh yeah, the Nano comes in black too)

New Units of Measurement (4, Funny)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551977)

The Nano is thinner than a pencil and lighter than two bucks in quarters.

In addition to Libraries of Congress and football fields, today we add two need units of measurement: "pencil width" and "bucks in quarters". Alas, Google has yet to enter the new units into the search engine as this search [google.com] produced no useful results. But just you wait! Apple has always been a trendsetter. Soon all the models will be listing their measurements in terms of pencils and weight in terms of bucks in quarters!

Re:New Units of Measurement (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552122)

This isn't unabashed bullshit, it's a comparison to the crap you might drag around in your pocket.

Re:New Units of Measurement (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552184)

This isn't unabashed bullshit, it's a comparison to the crap you might drag around in your pocket.

What, do Americans still carry physical tokens to represent their money? How quaint!

Re:New Units of Measurement (0, Troll)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552200)

Yes, and it's you stupid faggots who don't who end up taking 5 minutes to purchase a 2 dollar item as you use your debit card, and holding those of us with legal tender up.

Re:New Units of Measurement (2, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552215)

This isn't unabashed bullshit, it's a comparison to the crap you might drag around in your pocket.

I'm good with the "weight=8 quarters" (approx. 1 3/5 oz), but the "thick as a pencil" thing is kinda half-assed. Since it's effectively round, you don't really feel a pencil's thickness, but rather its diameter. "Pencil-thick" gets the measurement across, but doesn't really give one a feel for it. Not like the cornerstone of comparative measurement, the Pack of Cigarettes.

Re:New Units of Measurement (4, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552131)

I don't really think pencil-width and quarters fall into the same category as LoCs. Football fields don't either for the American public. It provides an easier to experience metric than 1.1 centimeters and 4.3 ounces. I could conceivably take out 8 quarters and a pencil and get an instant idea of how thick and heavy the iPod is.

The LoC measurement is silly because I have as much reference to what a LoC is in data as I do to what they're comparing it to. They might as well say "Dat der thingamajig is HUUUUUGE!"

Re:New Units of Measurement (1)

pmc (40532) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552229)

So how about "weighs about the same as an apple*, and is about the thickness of your little finger".

* Fruit, not stock certificate.

So... (1)

neongrey (884718) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551978)

What's the battery life on these things like, anyway?

Re:So... (2, Informative)

E-Rock (84950) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552014)

The reported battery life is 14 hours.

Re:So... (1)

neongrey (884718) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552241)

That's better than I thought. I know that (and the initial investment) had a big role in keeping me on my CD player over any kind of mp3 player. Length of time playing isn't a huge issue right now while I'm in school, but the last job I had, the only thing to break the monotony of it was playing music. So I'd have the CD player on for nearly 7 and a half hours a day, and still change batteries every day, or almost. And that was still better than any of the mp3 players I looked at (noting, mind, that I won't bother with anything under 512 megs, as my mp3s tend to be a little on the large side). But 14 hours, though... that, I can work with.

Just so you know... (4, Informative)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551980)

it's Jonathan Ive [wikipedia.org] , not Ives.

Print Ready (1, Informative)

LTC_Kilgore (889217) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551983)

All on one page [time.com]

PS: I know I'm a karma whore.

Re:Print Ready (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552247)

Don't karma whores usually get modded up past 2? ;-D

Solution to what small problem there was (5, Insightful)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13551990)

The great thing about the Nano (from an Apple perspective anyway) is that it hits the price vs. features sweet spot that fills the last gap - anyone who didn't have an iPod before, because the big'uns are too expensive or the Shuffle is too... well, the non-geek is pretty incredulous when told "no, it doesn't have a screen". The Mini's, while selling well, really did overlap the iPod's market, because they were practically the same size - essentially trading price for capacity. That leaves the two on pretty equal standing, whereas the Nano changes the dynamic altogether. The price AND size/weight vs capacity will draw in that previously alienated market who want a fully functional player but not their entire library in their pocket. Bravo Apple!

How interesting... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552018)

I didn't know Jonathan Ive had changed his surname's spelling!

Two guarantees. (0, Flamebait)

bluesoul88 (609555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552020)

1.) Apparently it will be precious. That's better than efficient or sturdy. Cute it up, bitches.(Seriously, the damn thing looks like it could snap in half way too easily.)

2.) It will be a ridiculous amount of money compared to Non-iPod rivals in the industry. Keep an eye out, Creative at the very least will whip out something similar. My Zen Xtra 40GB cost a full $200 less than a 4GB iPod. Why should this be any different?

On point 1 (1)

superspaz (902023) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552110)

You apparently missed yesterdays post [slashdot.org] to the contrary.

Re:Two guarantees. (2, Informative)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552124)

1. It is both efficient and sturdy. In addition to reading online reviews, I've been using my own for just over 24 hours now and it is fantastic. Did you not read the last Slashdot post [slashdot.org] on its durability testing? I'd call withstanding being hurled out the window of a moving car at 50mph, then run over twice and still playing fine pretty sturdy. Yes, it looks and feels very fragile at first, but slipped into one of those rubber sheaths and it's almost indestructable.

It costs 199 or 249 - for a flash-based player with that much capacity, it is a very reasonable price. And remember, you aren't just paying for the technology, but the unparalleled industrial design genius that has been poured into the iPod. Its interface is, after all, the standard against which all others are judged.

Re:Two guarantees. (0, Flamebait)

bluesoul88 (609555) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552147)

As a matter of fact I didn't read the last post, mostly because I have an MP3 player that I'm terribly happy with. That is pretty good, but I'm still leery of it for some reason. "Build it idiot-proof, and someone will build a better idiot."

And $200 for 2GB is robbery. For $50 more I got 40.

Re:Two guarantees. (1)

sexyrexy (793497) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552183)

flash-based player Flash memory is expensive. You can get 40 gigs of space but it is hard disk space, which runs the considerable risk of dying if you drop it on a hard floor from elbow level, and will skip if shaken too hard. You are also paying for the benefits of solid-state memory.

Re:Two guarantees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552137)

1) Refer to this article:
http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/nano.ars [arstechnica.com]

2) The Apple one is out now. Then theres the whole Itunes/ITMS/Airtunes argument. But you go with your Creative if that works for you.

It's all about design (4, Insightful)

delta_avi_delta (813412) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552037)

That interview just underlines apple's focus isn't on The Next Big Thing, or technological progress, it's something much more attractive to consumers - elegant design.

They've been very lucky, releasing highly polished articles at just the time when consumers, spoiled by choice, are beginning to use quality of a design as a differentiator betweem almost equal rival products.

Sometimes they're monomaniacal obsession with elegance causes them to make decisions that seem idiotic from our technical viewpoint (you can't get to the battery on an iPod because they wanted it to look "perfect" with no nasty access doors...) but the public doesn't care.

Design is the new black.

Re:It's all about design (4, Insightful)

Thagg (9904) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552140)

delta_avi_delta says: Sometimes they're monomaniacal obsession with elegance causes them to make decisions that seem idiotic from our technical viewpoint (you can't get to the battery on an iPod because they wanted it to look "perfect" with no nasty access doors...) but the public doesn't care.

Actually, the point is that the public does care -- it's those subtle design principles that people respond to. Syd Mead did some work back in the eighties with electronics designed like jewelry; but I don't think that his designs were ever actually built.

A door that's not there can never break off, can never be opened by rambunctious 8-year-olds (and they'll open anything that is openable, and many things that aren't), can never be lost, jammed, or broken.

It's quite exciting to see. One is used to seeing that kind of fanatical devotion to quality in the space program, but one sees it in fewer and fewer places these days.

Thad Beier

Re:It's all about design (2, Insightful)

rustbear (852420) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552143)

Don't underestimate design

How many guys, when given a choice between an average-looking woman, (specifically one that is much less likely to cheat on them or dump them) and a hot saucepot (who'll probably get bored by next month), would honestly choose the former "non-idiotic from our technical viewpoint" option?

Plain fact: design sells, design is desirable. Design is something tangible, as in "look, my iPod's really slick" where as good technical work is much more passive and less immediate

.

Re:It's all about design (1)

bjbyrne (28514) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552271)

How many guys, when given a choice between an average-looking woman, (specifically one that is much less likely to cheat on them or dump them) and a hot saucepot (who'll probably get bored by next month), would honestly choose the former "non-idiotic from our technical viewpoint" option?

So how exactly does the average guy like myself get to be offered this choice? My choices have alwayws been between the two average looking women. :)

Ipods and linux (1)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552042)

Ipods have been around awhile now and this is the first one I'm tempted to get. I've never read much on how accessible they are in linux. Can they just be accessed as a regular harddrive? I noticed in rhythmbox it had an ipod tab, does that functionality have any limitations? Can I slap a live distro on it and boot from it? I'd like to hear from people's experiences outside of using itunes.

Re:Ipods and linux (1, Informative)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552267)

Yes, iPods can be accessed as a normal drive. Either HFS or Fat32. The only drawback is that they won't play music that is copied to them normally. You have to use a proper sync utility, or else copy the files manually into an annoying hidden folder in a very funky way. When the songs are synch'd to an iPod, they are given new file names which act as a unique ID, and some metadata files are updated with the playlist info.

My understanding is that you can boot from an iPod if your system supports booting from USB (or firewire, dependin on the model...) but this prevents booting the iPod itself in Linux, because you can't make a boot loader that will boot either a PC or the iPod itself.

I wonder if they have improved the access to the display on the nanos. I have doom on my iPod photo, but it runs very slowly. From what I understand, the iPod is fairly powerful (two 80 MHz ARM's, or something like that, which should be enough for very low res Doom), but the access to the LCD is just ot designed for intensive video, so it involves a lot of overhead. I haven't yet bothered to adequately educate myself on this, though.

Nine months ago? (4, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552051)

The Mini was a top seller right up until Apple replaced it with the nano.

I'm pretty impressed with that move, myself. Discontinuing a very successful product just because you have a better one takes more guts than most companies have.

-jcr

Re:Nine months ago? (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552103)

No it doesn't. The nano is obviously superior to the product it replaces. Making that decision requires no guts at all.

Re:Nine months ago? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552263)

you have never held a management job, have you?

Re:Nine months ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552189)

I was going to buy an ipod mini until the salesman at "the source" told me the battery life was miserable and they were processing a lot of returns on them.

Probably a good idea to discontinue the mini if that was the general trend.

Re:Nine months ago? (1)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552265)

I agree, what an awesome display of guts.

Steve Jobs is my idol.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own a single Apple product. :)

Apple's Hallmark (4, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552054)

Attention to detail has been Apple's hallmark on hardware for quite some time now. Anyone who owns a Powerbook, for example will have noticed the ports on the right hand side are arranged in size order, and there are USB ports on both sides. They're just little touches, but they mean a lot in everyday usage. Apple brought the iPod to the mp3 player market, and its design & interface have managed to win out over technically superior players time and time again. The nano is neccessary for Apple to stay one step ahead on having this cool factor that other vendors strive for.

Re:Apple's Hallmark (1)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552155)

How does arranging ports in size order mean a lot in everyday usage? How does it mean anything at all? Would allowing a product to run its own battery down in two days even when off be considered "attention to detail"? How about a product that has no obvious on/off switch (and never actually turns off)?

Their packaging is nice.

Holla!! (0, Offtopic)

RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552056)

FTFA "West rips through All Falls Down and Gold Digger, but he barely gets a head bob out of those people. When he raps, "If you aint no punk, holla 'We want prenup!,'" not a single, solitary soul hollas back."

I thought that was funny... What were they thinking inviting Kanye West to this?!

/.Likes Kanye's Gold Digger Song
//.Would have holla'd "We want Prenup!"
///.Aren't these slashdots cool?

Kanye West (-1, Offtopic)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552076)

Hmm, I wonder how that went... Steve Jobs: "...and that's the new iPod nano." Kayne West: "George Bush doesn't care about iPod users!" BTW, am I the only person that had no idea who this guy was until a few days ago?

3 Page Advertisement (0, Flamebait)

Ythan (525808) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552086)

For those of you who don't have time to RTFA, here's the executive summary: - iPod Nano Is Pretty! - Screen shows extra line. - Apple engineers shit maple sugar candy.

Time for all the "XXX is cheaper" posts (4, Insightful)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552095)

Already there are several comments about how "Brand X" player is cheaper, or "Brand Y" player has more features, or "Brand Z" has more capacity. What nobody will accept is that no other player has the same _combination_. Anyone can make a big player cheaply. Or a small player with 128MB of flash. Only this has the capacity, size, and usability combination. If you don't value that, that's fine, but many people are willing to pay for quality.

Why complain? (5, Insightful)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552102)

People here complain that people are willing to pay more for a stylish product that does the same thing as a cheap product. I can't see how this is any different than any other field.

I drive a Corolla, my Grandma has a Jaguar S-Type (I think thats the model). They are roughly the same size, they serve exactly the same purpose. Now granted the Jag has better performance, but you are paying a lot for image. Then again people complain about fancy cars, so you can't please everyone no matter what.

Re:Why complain? Why not? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552210)

I drive a Corolla, my Grandma has a Jaguar S-Type (I think thats the model). They are roughly the same size, they serve exactly the same purpose. Now granted the Jag has better performance, but you are paying a lot for image. Then again people complain about fancy cars, so you can't please everyone no matter what.

Heck, I've got you beat. My chauffeur drives a massive biodiesel bus, and takes me from my house to my work while bypassing all the lusers in their teeny cars ...

Steve Jobs (2, Interesting)

coop0030 (263345) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552116)

we don't have a 5%-operating-system-market-share glass ceiling," Jobs says. "And look at what's happened. That same innovation, that same engineering, that same talent applied where we don't run up against the fact that Microsoft got this monopoly, and boom! We have 75% market share."


This makes you wonder what the world would be like if Microsoft played fairly.

I think it might be for the better, but Apple seems to have a little bit of a monopolistic practice in their sleeves also (not letting any other mp3 devices play with iTunes, and iPods only working on iTunes).

Too expensive? (5, Informative)

nra1871 (836627) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552123)

I really don't get why everyone is saying the nano is too pricey. A 4GB flashdrive goes for $250-300 on Froogle (I'm sure there's some geekier place to check, but whatever). So basically with the nano you pay for the flash memory, and get the music part free. I also see a lot of complaining that the nano is worse than the mini because it doesn't have the same GB/$ ratio. I know it's unnerdy and wrong, but I would rather have the nano, which I can wear on a lanyard, and the durability of the flash over the hard drive. I'm seriously thinking of selling my 3G 20GB and picking one of these up.

Initial sales dont look good... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13552166)

Slow start [tomshardware.com] as prices are at least $50 too high - follow the link to appleinsider.

Completely redesigned? A bit misleading... (2, Informative)

stonedonkey (416096) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552171)

...Because it implies an all-new generation of technology, when the truth is that most of its internals are silicon that Apple just hasn't used for its iPods but has been used extensively elsewhere, as Ars Technica noted in their review posted here yesterday. This isn't a bad thing, of course, it's just kind of lazy journalism, IMO.

From the review [arstechnica.com] : "Most of the other components are run of the mill as far as iPods go. The heart of the iPod, the PortalPlayer chip, was upgraded to a slightly newer model (the PP5021C-TDF), the audio codec is the same Wolfson Microprocessor (WM8975G) found in the current generation iPods, a new power management unit by Phillips (CF50607), a batch of 32MB of Samsung SDRAM (534-K9WAG08U1M) replaces the old Hynix chips, and the LCD is of unknown manufacturer but it's a 16-bit color, 176x132 1.5" model."

iPod = horrible value (0, Troll)

Afecks (899057) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552182)

For the same price as the 2GB iPod Nano, you could get a portable external USB enclosure with a built-in media player AND an 80GB 2.5" hard drive to slap in it. People willing to spend more could even go up to 320GB.

I just bought an MG-25 and I love it.

"Supported Formats: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, DivX, XviD, MP3, OGG Vorbis, WMA"

I think Apple should cut down on thier laser-etching quality control and try to give people a little more bang for their buck. Why get all caught up in the look of a case that's just going to get scratched to hell after a month anyways?

And I hope that 4GB nano is worth half its weight in gold because that's how much it costs!

Re:iPod = horrible value (1)

Famanoran (568910) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552232)

Let's see you take that hard-drive based player out for a run across harsh terrain, and not damage the moving components in it.

It's aimed at a different market segment - people who have money, and want something extremely rugged that they can take jogging, running, mountain biking, etc...

Interesting quote (0, Troll)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552186)

"And look at what's happened. That same innovation, that same engineering, that same talent applied where we don't run up against the fact that Microsoft got this monopoly, and boom! We have 75% market share."

Indeed. That's one thing I've always maintained. Thank GOD for Microsoft. Say what you want about them, but they protected us from an Apple monopoly which would have been ten times worse than a Microsoft monopoly. At Microsoft was smart enough to embrace the idea of commodity hardware. If Apple had won, imagine the pain and suffering we would have gone through having only one supplier for both hardware and software. You can bet we would have lived with $10K computers for years in a stagnating market. It would have been an ugly battle until Apple was finally broken apart.

Microsoft arrogance is nothing compared to Apple arrogance.

Apples next product: (0, Offtopic)

dcapel (913969) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552224)

The iPod yocto

With a name like that, it will FLY off the shelves.

regarding capacity (2, Insightful)

Beebos (564067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552230)

I've heard complaints that the nano is a step backwards in capacity. However, a recent survey showed that the average MP3 player has about 300 songs on it, while the average iPod has 500. So for most people 4 gigs is enough.

Maybe that survey was reported here. I don't remember, one of the side effects of reading too many web sites in a day.

Isn't this the iPod of your dreams? (1)

ja2ke (633770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552238)

It's funny that the iPod nano finally has the size, feature set, and price point that Slashdotters were bemoaning the original iPod for lacking when it launched (when it was predicted to be a failure), and now that they've got it, well, nothing's changed of course.

What's with all this ipod news lately (1)

LiquidHAL (801263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13552251)

It's just a flash player with the ipod design. Why are there so many slashdot articles about it. Flash players of all kinds have been out for a good while, apple is a few years too late.
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