Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Samsung Steals the Brain Behind the iPod

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the mmmm-delicious-brains dept.

334

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Times reports that Samsung has hired the same programming genius who helped make the iPod so great to design its own music player. They imply that the new Samsung device is just as innovative." From the article: "Samsung's choice of Mr. Mercer also shows how much consumer electronics now rely on the powerful computing capabilities that defined personal computers two decades ago. Samsung is betting that it can win a share of the music market dominated by Apple by using new software that mimics what is found in powerful PC's. The Z5, shaped like a stick of gum, has a 1.8-inch color screen and a 35-hour battery life, and is priced at $199 to $249 to compete with the iPod Nano, which costs $149 to $249. Early reviews have been positive, and Samsung is hoping that the Z5 will work smoothly with the range of subscription music services that support the Microsoft PlaysForSure digital music standard."

cancel ×

334 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I wanna know what happened to (3, Insightful)

mswope (242988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807342)

Z1 - Z4?

Re:I wanna know what happened to (1)

springbox (853816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807374)

It's just like a version numbering system: It doesn't HAVE to make sense

Re:I wanna know what happened to (4, Funny)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807380)

Z1, Z2, and Z3 were destroyed by terrorists. Z4 simply disappeared, mysteriously; nobody knows what happened to it.

Re:I wanna know what happened to (1)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807501)

Which would make the Z5 our last best hope for peace? That's a pretty big burden to place on a lil ol' mp3 player.

And while I'm here, let me say MOD PARENT UP FOR BABYLON 5 REFERENCE! Do it for G'Kar [signonsandiego.com]

Re:I wanna know what happened to (2, Funny)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807538)

Nah. Z4 burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp.

Re:I wanna know what happened to (1)

PTS Tech (932180) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807562)

Somebody please mod this a +1 for the B5 reference...

GOOGLE -- Insider Trading ;( (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807419)

While Wall Street was giving a non-stop parade of new "buy" recommendations for Google on CNBC over the last 30 days, it might be interesting to know what they were actually doing with their own clients' money:

Of the top 11 institutions that own Google shares, as reported by the SEC, 9 have been selling Google shares like there's no tomorrow.

Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Jennison Associates have each dumped roughly 35 percent of their entire holdings of Google stock. Alliance Capital Management has sold 13 percent of their stake, and Wellington Management has unloaded 18 percent of their shares.

No major shareholder of Google has reported a net addition in shares to their holdings in the last 30 days.

Let me spell it out for you- the smart money is dumping Google as fast as they can into the hands of the "dumb" retail investors.

Were you people even alive during 1999? Do you not remember that every single Wall Street firm paid billions in fines to the SEC for pumping and dumping worthless dot.com shares to the public? What exactly, will it take to wake you guys up?

BTW- Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, sold over 100 million dollars of stock on February 22 this year. IN ONE DAY.

The total amount of shares sold by Enron executives is less than 2% of the amount of stock sold by Google insiders in the last 12 months alone. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Holy Shit!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807537)

There will always be IDIOTS who will REFUSE to accept reality --- the reality that GOOG could be another ENRON...

Sad, sad, day

Re:I wanna know what happened to (1)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807453)

Z1, Z3 and Z4 are BMW cars :)

Re:I wanna know what happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807459)

Holy sh*t!

A direct link to nyt that works?!?:

What happened to sell-your-soul registration to nytimes.com? WHen did this get ditched? Inquiring minds want to know...

I guess I'll stick to the captchkas or whatever you call it.

Re:I wanna know what happened to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807543)

What happened to sell-your-soul registration to nytimes.com? WHen did this get ditched? Inquiring minds want to know...

Does not apply to this link but relevant. I navigate to the major publications via the RSS feed and am never asked for a log in. Otherwise, it's hit or miss. Generally, if you come from another site (say google news), they let you read an article or two but as you navigate around, the login usually kicks in at some point.

Re:I wanna know what happened to (1)

CdXiminez (807199) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807508)

Z1 through Z4 were developed by Konrad Zuse [thocp.net] in the 1930's and 40's.
I wonder if this Z5 is also largely mechanical...

standard? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807347)

Microsoft PlaysForSure digital music standard

That word does not mean what you think it means.

With a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807398)

With a quality brand like Samsung, and my Walmart PlaysForSure (as long as I don't change my motherboard), music. It's a winning combination thats sure to succeed.

Re:standard? (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807436)

Samsung is [b]hoping[/b] that the Z5 will work smoothly with the range of subscription music services that support the Microsoft PlaysForSure digital music standard. Heh, yeah. Shouldn't they KnowForSure(TM) if it'll work smoothly?

Re:standard? (1)

gronofer (838299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807446)

How do you mean? "Standard" has been meaningless marketing gibberish for years.

At least it's better than that proprietary Apple stuff though eh.

Re:standard? (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807524)

Microsoft PlaysForSure digital music standard

That word does not mean what you think it means


Sure it does. It means the same thing as "FairPlay" or "Patriot Act." I'm sure they'll stop using 'em when we stop falling for 'em.

TW

What I like about the Koreans (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807348)

You give them an idea and they can clone it better than anyone. Even the Japanese lose to the Koreans in the race to copycat technology.

I just hope this sPod lives up to its reputation, unlike that "running" robot which was supposed to compete with Honda's Asimo.

Re: It looks bland. (3, Informative)

DancesWithBlowTorch (809750) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807392)

Actually, their player looks worse than the iPod. Look: here [samsung.com] . While it's an obvious rip-off (the menu looks especially familiar, and, oh look, it's a click-square...), it just looks cluttered and cheap compared to the reference product from Cupertino.

Re: It looks bland. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807503)

Ah but to give 'em their dues, that does play Ogg Vorbis.

Re: It looks bland. (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807530)

The YP-Z5 plays MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM10, JPEG and OGG Vorbis formats.

Heh, you're right! Not many players out there support OGG Vorbis... I wonder if it'll do FLAC as well. Seems like an iPod killer for open source geeks. It says it supports all the popular music formats, but it doesn't support AAC or AAC-DRM files. I would think DRM'd AAC files are pretty popular with over a billion of them out there from iTunes Music Store.

Re: It looks bland. (1)

j79 (875929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807514)

Visiting the link you mentioned, the one thing that REALLY stood out to me was the "Sweet Sounds" image.

Did they pluck that from a "$19.99 -500,000 clip arts + 10,000 Fonts" 8 Disc CD-ROM collection from 1998?!?!

As far as the player goes - reminds me of an iRiver. Except, with the center "strip" wider.

Re:What I like about the Koreans (3, Funny)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807406)

You give them an idea and they can clone it better than anyone.

No, no. They just claim to clone it. On closer inspection, you'll see that they faked their results :P. /ducks

Not with cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807485)

Not with cars. Korean cars really are crap.

And if you bought one, maybe next time you'll have a better job. Please spare me your rants about how your korean cars is the greatest/best whatever. They're crap cars. Even GM laughs at Korean cars.

Re:What I like about the Koreans (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807544)

Consumers buying cheap knock-offs instead of pricey designer names? Sure. If they make it white, with a circulare click wheel and call it an Aple iPud. I'll buy one to go along with my Rolux.

Meanwhile, everyone else will think, "I can't use iTunes, the defacto standard for legaal online music, plus my friends won't think I'm cool," and they'll walk down the isle and buy an iPod.

TW

So now Steve Jobs Throws a Chair? (4, Funny)

putko (753330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807355)

So does Steve Jobs throw a chair now, and yell, "Anybody but Samsung!!"

I bet not.

He probably meditates on it, then eats a miso sandwich.

Re:So now Steve Jobs Throws a Chair? (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807561)

He's probably doing what's he's always been doing: Laughing all the way to the bank.

Samsung's hiring of the same designer is nothing more than marketing hype. What Samsung hopes the public fails to realize, is that Steve Jobs is the guy who made the iPod what it is. PortalPlayer (the design company) actually delivered many iterations of the iPod that was much different from the final product. Each time, Jobs sent the device back with a laundry list of things wrong with it. Stuff that seemed completely out of place (e.g. extra bass boost because Jobs was slightly deaf) went into the design. PortalPlayer thought it was going to flop horribly after all the demands that Jobs had made. It was quite a shock to them when the iPod grabbed the market overnight.

So I would take this story with a grain of salt. If Samsung doesn't realize that they've got a cat in the bag, they will soon enough.

[Reference Article] [wired.com]

neatish kinda (3, Interesting)

akhomerun (893103) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807357)

this is probably going to a great MP3 player.

but since it's not Apple, it's not going to really sell well at all. Plays For Sure doesn't really get you anywhere, either. The device will only sell well if it truly is a good device and is marketed.

If I remember right, Samsung really wanted to make it big in the MP3 market. They had some statement a while ago saying they wanted to eventually be in Apple's position. This kind of stuff makes me think they truly are serious, but what they don't understand is that you can't just follow if you want to control a market, you absolutely have to lead.

Plays for Sure (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807390)

PFS is pretty worthless; no one cares about WMA compatibility. And since the iPod and iTMS don't conform to PFS, any PFS device ignores 80% of the market. The iPod/iTunes/iTMS trinity has evolved as a natural "standard," and it's a good one. PFS is the underdog currently, and doesn't stand a chance. Apple's winning the digital music war because of good engineering, while PFS struggles with its corporate backing and half-assed partnerships.

Re:Plays for Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807410)

iPod only got 80% market share if you count like Steve Jobs, he doesn't count the endless stream of cheap tawianese players. Steve only counts big name like creative and possibly iRiver.

Re:Plays for Sure (2, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807458)

The iPod/iTunes/iTMS trinity has evolved as a natural "standard," and it's a good one.

Can something be called a "standard" if the people who make it refuse to license it to anyone else, and indeed do everything they can to stop other people (e.g. Real) from interoperating with it?

Sounds more like a monopoly than a standard to me.

Apple's winning the digital music war because of good engineering

Yeah. Sure. And not at all because their initial marketing advantage enabled them to lock in a huge customer base, who are now unable to switch away from Apple even if they want to, because their iTunes music won't work anywhere else.*

When Microsoft pulls this kind of trick, they rightly get demonised. But apparently vendor lock-in is absolutely fine, as long as the vendor you get locked into is Apple?

* Yes, I know all about burning it to a CD and re-ripping it to whatever format you like. Now, would you like to have to do that for a collection of 2,000-odd tracks? I thought not.

Re:Plays for Sure (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807557)

>When Microsoft pulls this kind of trick, they rightly get demonised. But apparently vendor lock-in is absolutely fine, as long as the vendor you get locked into is Apple?

yes, because you fail to understand the fact that Apple EARNS its market share whereas MS's desktop dominance means it obtains market share automatically.

Also, IMO all of Apple's so-called lock-in is really just good integration of good products, whereas MS's lock-in practises make no sense other than to be anti-competitive, for example IE needed for Windows.

Re:Plays for Sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807580)

Whatever, for the consumer it makes no difference how they got locked in. The fact is that they are locked in by Apple.

Stop me if you have heard this before (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807359)

"We have this great new device that will kill the iPod! Just take our word for it! iPod=dead, yeah, our device is awesome!"
They haven't shown that they can do anything the iPod can't do, so why would consumers switch?

Re:Stop me if you have heard this before (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807558)

I'll bet they're relying on the next wave of buyers. It's the same strategy the cell phone vendors rely on. Ever notice how cell phones are pretty much designed to mave at least one thing go wrong with them in 2 or 3 years? I think Motorola figured out that those monster grey flip phones, while built like tanks, didn't give them a recurring revenue stream. So they made them good enough to not break within a product's release cycle, and that's it.

Same with the iPod. Unless you sit on the couch listening to your music, your iPos is exposed to the elements. It's dropped, sat on, and just plain wears out in a few years. Time to buy a new device.

Now Samsung comes in the picture with feature X that the iPod doesn't have. They win the business even if they're not superior. Samsung is probably hoping to be everyone's iPod replacement device in a year or two.

ogg vorbis (4, Informative)

Florian (2471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807361)

It should be of more relevance to Slashdot readers that the player supports Ogg Vorbis according to its spec sheet [samsung.com] .

-F

Re:ogg vorbis (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807393)

Wehey!.

Not sure anyone cares much about OGG. sure, it's good, but not radically so. It doesn't really support much new, and it doesn't integrate well with current media player apps (yes, that's iTunes and the iPod).
I haven't heard anyone in my vicinity (university) ever talk about OGG at all. I take that as a hint.

B.

Re:ogg vorbis (3, Informative)

Iron E (948355) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807463)

The iriver, Cowon iaudio and IOPS players all support OGG Vorbis - all three korean brands, so it seems that some people do care about the format. iriver and iaudio also have a big market share in korea (iPod is third, IIRC), so of course Samsung, a korean company will release a product that has at least the same features as their competitors.

Re:ogg vorbis (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807426)

But unfortunately it uses MTP [wikipedia.org] as a comunication protocol, so Linux and Mac users are out of luck.

Is it really so hard for companies to make their players mass storage compatible for use in other operating systems or as a last resort?

Re:ogg vorbis (1)

Valdoran (887940) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807487)

I own an iriver H10, which is an MTP device that can be used as a UMS device as well. (Hold a button while powering the thing.) Maybe a similar feature will be introduced for the Z5?

Re:ogg vorbis, but no AAC (1)

ernst_mulder (166761) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807560)

But it doesn't support any AAC, DRMmed or not.

[All my self-encoded music is in AAC 224kbps (chosen after many listening tests).]

This will be a good data point... (1)

jmp_nyc (895404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807363)

It will demonstrate which of the following theories is closer to the truth, without being enough to be conclusive. Either:

A) Steve Jobs is a creative genius who controls every bit of design and implementation of his great ideas, allowing the people working on his teams to come up with successfull products.

or...

B) Steve Jobs comes up/recognizes good initial ideas, then micro-manages his team too much, coming up with great products that might be even better if he let his senior team members have slightly more freedom to innovate.

Don't get me wrong. I love my iPod. I really enjoy using OSX. They're great products. I just wonder if Jobs's micro-management gets diminishing returns...
-JMP

Re:This will be a good data point... (1)

chowhound (136628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807533)

The FA said that Mercer left the company before Jobs' return. His company was hired freelance to help with the very first iPod's interface.

Samsung, the way to go? (1)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807365)

I have always been very happy with all my samsung products that I have. Cellphone, LCD Monitors, My microwave (yeah I know, but it was like $40 on my discount when I worked at the blue beast (Best Buy)). Anyway, now that Samsung is delving into the mp3 market with an ipod like device, I have to say I am going to place 100% of my faith in their innovative abilities to come up with something with an edge much like apple did with its ipod. I for one am looking forward to seeing what exactly they come up with that will propell them into a competing market with apple. It should be interesting, and hopefully, healthy for pricing.

Re:Samsung, the way to go? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807457)

Samsung? Innovative?? Name one thing they were first to market
with.

I'm waiting...

I like my iPod (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807367)

but throw in a Korean woman and I will change my music player in a heartbeat!

Re:I like my iPod (1)

ZiakII (829432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807553)

but throw in a Korean woman and I will change my music player in a heartbeat!

In Korea a lot of their women are really men.... you've been warned...

Re:I like my iPod (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807566)

... Wow. I don't even know where to begin. So I won't.

Design (1)

omeg (907329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807370)

So they've got a great programmer. Big deal. We all know that people really buy the iPod because it looks so cool. A lot of non-Apple MP3 players that I've seen look awful. If they make sure to do the design aspect correctly, they might have themselves a viable product. Until then, I wouldn't put my money on it.

Women. (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807476)

I'd like to do a poll on this question: how many women have you seen with a creative/iriver etc?

I've never seen any women with anything but an iPod.

The Cowon iAudio products are quite nice looking. Most of the rest have products look like they are trying to hard.

Re:Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807496)

Actually, you are partially right.

Programmers do very little to create a product. Programming is a dime a dozen trade -- anyone can do it and honestly, the brightest and best just do better jobs optimizing the code. That and optimization is not a be all end all these days -- it is a dying art...

For instance, I've never considered myself a real programmer -- I am a developer. I create pseudocode in scripting languages that get the job done while showing off the interface I need and the design. I know what I'm doing isn't programming but more to the point of rapid design. I can get down to C or ASM if I *REALLY* need to, but there are people that live and sleep this stuff that I can ship my code out to and they can do it much faster, cleaner, and actually take care of the garbage collection that I seem to always miss in low level coding.

In my last major app I wrote, 10 years ago, the code was such that it could deal with 1 item minute in its standard C. Modernizing just the algorythms (this was academic work that was highly based around theory...hopefully used for my disertation in a few years, but already having been licensed to a few commercial companies) and workflow, I was able to do 10x that in a scripting language. After doing this, I gave it to my real programmer to throw it into C++ for the DLL portion (yeah, it was done in Wind'rs) and that increased another 10 fold. A few years later, using the scripting language of my choice in unix, I'm able to smoke what the last compiled version does (and when sending it out to be compiled this time, I only got a 2x speed up -- for the price, I could have bought 3 extra machines).

But the point is, the programmers job is tightening things up -- thats it. Most programmers can do this, a great programmer can do it even better. Big deal. He isn't there to make decisions about how the application reacts or come up with ideas about what hardware to use. For instance, Jobs was unsatisfied with the physical wheel that the original had and had someone create an analogue for it using touch technology...and that wasn't good enough, so he found someone to redesign it -- and having tried it out, its better than the original. Same with the interface, it is intuative -- that wasn't a programmers decision, that was Jobs and his team of interface designers. And the idea that it had to fit in a pocket easily...that too was one of the design specs that didn't happen with most of the rest back then (they were all odd sized that needed to fit into a bag, not a pocket -- I had a few and they sucked...the iPod was the first I didn't want to take back the very next day and honestly, I thought it was going to suck with its 'lame' feature list, but I tried it out anyways as a friend from Apple offered to buy it back off of me if I wasn't satisfied).

It will take a lot more than just a programmer to get their technology off the ground. All in all, if Jobs is upset about this move, its probably because he forgot to give the guy a great severance package so he could brag about it to the Samsung guys. He knows he can replace that guy and not skip a beat -- and probably already has.

Late for work and my thoughts are probably incoherent because of it...sorry for the lack of editing...

Yeah.. but... (1)

PeterSomnium (954672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807372)

Does it run linux?

Re:Yeah.. but... (1)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807437)

An can it perform cunnilingus on a hardwood floor?

Re:Yeah.. but... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807439)

Nope, a single one, no chance, too weak CPU.
But a beowulf cluster of those...

Re:Yeah.. but... (1)

PeterSomnium (954672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807505)

I think you need 200 of those to get some work done :P

Steal ?!? (2, Insightful)

Mr Europe (657225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807376)

Why to use word "steal" when somebody is fed up with company "A" and moves to company "S" ? He was owned by Apple was he ?

Re:Steal ?!? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807462)

He was owned by Apple was he ?

Silly rabbit. With modern capitalism you don't own someone. You just own their thoughts after they leave!

Re:Steal ?!? (5, Insightful)

ebooher (187230) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807499)

We, as average /. reading Joes, do not know the whole story. You can not say that he was fed up with working for Apple, because his voice isn't in the article. In this instance we are supposed to read "Steal" as Apple paying $100,000 to do a job and Samsung coming along and saying "Hey, we know you're happy over there, but see we have these buckets full of cash that are going to waste and all and ...." then offering $900,000 to do the same job.

However, *neither* viewpoint is accurate as referenced in the article as it states that Paul Mercer was *not* working for Apple when he developed the software that ran the iPod. He owned and operated his *own* company called Pixo that was contracted to provide the software for the iPod. He did, however, work for Apple back in the System 7 days as a Programmer

He also is not working for Samsung. His new company, Iventor, Inc., has been contracted by Samsung to provide the software for their new Z5. It's a very small thing, grammatically, but an important one.

Re:Steal ?!? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807517)

Right, in the XXI century people doesn't change their jobs because of their salary, because they don't like the company where they're working, they're "stolen".

Re:Steal ?!? (1)

jridley (9305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807525)

It's not even clear to me that he is working for Samsung. It sounds to me like Mercer works for a small-device firmware company that he left Apple to start/join, and they happen to have contracted to Samsung to make a firmware for the Z5.
But of course, it's a much better sounding headline if you put words like "steals" in it.

Cliche time (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807379)

No video. Less easy to use transfer software. Lame.

Re:Cliche time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807510)

You know, you don't have to embrace cliches just because they exist.

It has to be said (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807384)

Fine, good for them, but whatever they release won't be cool.

Cannibalism for market share. Eww eww eww! (1)

flowerp (512865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807386)

WTF! OMG! Samsung has stolen a brain!

Did they just put it in a jar? Or did they slice it up and fed it to their employees? Eww...

Cannibalism for market share is really bad, you think that in current time, there are more civilized means to gain market share. Bribery, illegal bundling and abuse of monopolies, unfair competition. You know, those kind of things...

Re:Cannibalism for market share. Eww eww eww! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807396)

Just don't try be funny, please.

Re:Cannibalism for market share. Eww eww eww! (1)

flowerp (512865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807441)


Sometimes it works, I have a nice gallery of +5 Funny on my roster. There are occasional duds. Oh well.

Re:Cannibalism for market share. Eww eww eww! (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807401)

Nope, they sold it [slashdot.org] for lots and lots of $$$!

It will fail for one reason... (2, Interesting)

bbzzdd (769894) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807391)

...it's not an iPod. It's like at Christmas getting a cheap Korean knockoff of the year's hot item. To beat the iPod you have to leapfrog it not clone it.

Re:It will fail for one reason... (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807498)

It's also about being a lot more than say 10-15% better. To displace the brand leader, you either have to be sufficiently different, or much better.

Size is relative (1)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807404)

"The Z5, shaped like a stick of gum, has a 1.8-inch color screen"

Big stick of gum!

Re:Size is relative (1)

djonsson (542920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807452)

The fact that it is shaped like stick of gum doesn't really mean it's the same size! Cargo freight containers and some tall buildings also share the same shape.

PaysForSure? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807412)

I did not know the name of Microsoft's service. But I read it as in the title. Freudian slip perhaps, or deeply ingrained paranoia about everything Microsoft.

Is it just me? Or is it another PlugAndPray?

Re:PaysForSure? (1)

srpatterson (515721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807497)

Probably, I was more amused by it being listed on the spec-sheet as PlaysForSure/Janus

Janus being the 2-faced Roman god of gates and portals
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/j/janus.html?esc [pantheon.org]

It's the hardware. (1)

Morky (577776) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807420)

Two elements of the iPod's hardware made it great: the scrollwheel and the firewire connection (pre USB 2). The software is good, but nothing extraordinary.

Ipod Killa (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807422)

Nice battery life .. other than that I see no reason to choose it over an iPod . In fact several disadvantages.
Now Ogg support is nice (something which apple could easily do ,hopefully this will spur them on) , but it just doesn't have the ipod interface or iTunes.
It looks fairly clone-ish though a bit rougher in design.
I can't comment on sound quality , and the battery life claims are known to be exaggerated in the industry.
All in all it looks like just another iPod Killer , like all those that have gone before it.
Actually , it kind of looks like the creative Zen Micro

Re:Ipod Killa (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807536)

I say this as someone who'd like more adoption of Ogg Vorbis. How many people really use Ogg outside of slashdot? Google has 100 times more pages about MP3 than Ogg Vorbis.

Even my mates who are technical don't use it. MP3 means it will run everywhere.

For smaller makers, they need every edge they can get. For me, if I wanted a player I'd be divided between the Cowon iAudio which gives me a radio, voice recorder, Vorbis and data storage and buying an iPod for simplicity/iTunes integration.

Kleenex... (2, Insightful)

canning (228134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807423)

The iPod is the "Kleenex" of the mp3 world. Samsung is going to have to hire more than just the programmer.

Let be honest, it's mainly not what's in the iPod that makes it sell, it's how it looks.

Re:Kleenex... (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807483)

Let be honest, it's mainly not what's in the iPod that makes it sell, it's how it looks.

I'd argue that it's more the surity of the product.

With an iPod, you know exactly what your getting, and are, more or less assurred of the end product. With most other mp3 players, somethign has been reduced, fudged, removed, etc, etc, and you're not too sure if you should get it or not.

I have to say were it not for the lower hard disc space on this Z5 player, I would go for it.

Taint? (2, Interesting)

cortana (588495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807434)

Will he not be tainted by having had access to (and, in fact, creating) so much of Apple's intellectual 'property'?

To beat the iPod... (5, Insightful)

Nexum (516661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807435)

It's not about the device it's about iTunes as much as anything else. The device is just one part of the equation - this is why this product and the countless ones before it (see Sony discontinuing the 'bean', Dell discontinuing hard-drive based players etc.) will fail.

I don't understand it sometimes... companies like Samsung have incredible resources, and could easily start to build an iTunes software competitor, which also works with PlaysForSure, rather than relying on WMP. It's just symptomatic of a 'me-too' technology industry culture that attempts to eat like a cancer at the few innovators left.

It's not just about the iPod. iPod has powerful friends in iTunes and iTMS. You might stand a chance if you can get two competent and competitive products out of the three in the music-chain (Device-Software-OnlineStore), but concentrating on the iPod is like shooting blanks... that's not how to attack the problem.

Dodgy Analogy: It's like in any number of old-time video games where you come up against a boss enemy, and you can expend all your ammo shooting him in the chest (iPod), but you have to go for the weakspot (eyes, exposed brain a la HL etc.) which is the rest of the chain.

Re:To beat the iPod... (1)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807573)

The iPod was slightly successful before iTMS. And from what I gather from my non-technical friends, iTunes isn't all that friendly to non-techies. Especially if you try installing it on older PCs.

I'm not entirely sure why the iPod is so successful. I think it was largely a matter of luck to begin with, which has then been capitalised on wisely by Apple. Certainly I can think of many ways I'd prefer an iPod to operate - many of them are taken care of by iRiver, but it's a much geekier and less attractive bit of gear so I can see why it hasn't taken off. iPods look cool - I think that's a big part of it... :)

Oh joy (1)

EiZei (848645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807438)

Expect a torrent of lawsuits if they make anything that even vaguely resembles an apple product.

But is it iconic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807442)

Features smeatures. Apple understands the power of the icon. Just look at their logo. If you were in a mall, would you go into a store that simply had the Microsoft flying rainbow Windows logo on top of its door? The bright white Apple lures us. The iPod's body with click wheel are just as iconic. iPod commercials don't even have to show the device. I don't think the Z5 has this...perhaps it's because of the hipster phrase 'SAMSUNG' emblazoned in blocky, bold letters smack in the center.

What makes an iPod an iPod is not the programming (2, Insightful)

dimer0 (461593) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807443)

The programming/programmer isn't what made the iPod an iPod. When I turn on one of my 3 iPods, I don't say "man, that coder sure r00leZ!".

Something to do with style, quality, user interface, ...

Good for Samsung (2, Insightful)

ROOK*CA (703602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807445)

Competition is always a good thing for the consumer, although given Apple's dominate position and the excellent iPod/iTMS combo it's going to be a real challenge to even come close to unseating them from the top dog position (especially given that Apple could always just start licensing Fair Play if anyone looks to be getting close). It does however appear that the Samsung device is missing a few things ... podcasts? video? (yeah I know who watches video on their little iPod screen anyways? well until you get on a plane or sit in the back seat on a long car ride). Audio Books? I for one won't be trading in my 60GB iPod anytime soon for a less capable "clone" of one, however I'm sure there's a market for this thing out there ....Somewhere.... that Steve Jobs hasn't looked yet :)

sTunes (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807456)

Isn't a big part of the iPod's appeal the "connected" iTunes site?

FWIW, the Samsung thing looks like "iPod with everything round made square" to me.

Re:sTunes (1)

ROOK*CA (703602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807482)

Yep....although more and more it seems independent sites are "getting in" on the iPod content act .... i.e. (with things like Podcasts and Video).

Not to mention is just such a damn nifty little device to begin with... :)

Why so many iPod killers failed. (1)

mstefanus (705346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807475)

Apple has created a strong concept for iPod, while many competitors failed to do so. Think of it as Mac cult, but different & has a wider follower. This Samsung player will probably fail like so many iPod killers because of that & looks ugly too.

Genius?!? (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807477)

The New York Times reports that Samsung has hired the same programming genius who helped make the iPod so great to design its own music player

"Genius" indeed. Since when did you need to be genius to implement something as trivial as an mp3 player?

Re:Genius?!? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807547)

"Genius" indeed. Since when did you need to be genius to implement something as trivial as an mp3 player?

If you have to ask, you don't understand the problem.

Jonathan Ives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14807479)

The key thing about the iPod isn't the software, it's the hardware. So unless Samsung get hold of Jonathan Ives I don't suppose Steve Jobs will need to throw a chair at anything.

Pathetic (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807493)

That sounds so pathetic.

[Rants On Unjustified=SoTrue]
First companies put their own engineers to ass feeding them with shit work. Then they hire "cool consultant" to do the job, claiming that it's own engineers are "incapabable". When own engineer tells management "We need X, Y & Z to make the product rock", management tells them to "Too expensive, you know shit, sod off, file an issue with our issue tracking system, etc." When expensive consultant tells management "You need X, Y & Z to make the product rock" - they listen, after all they have cashed so much into him. Pathetic.

Steven Jobs (as much as unpleasant the person he is to work for) is well known to give people's ideas room to grow, *not* to flush them to toilet and then complain that engineers can shit.
[Rants Off]

I doubt we will ever know details of the deal, but it all sounds so familiar...

Why Steal the Brain? (1)

kerouacsgp (516242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807502)

Why steal the brain, when what made the iPod sucessful, is the design? They should hire Jonathan Ive.

Re:Why Steal the Brain? (1)

ROOK*CA (703602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807531)

Or... do something crazy like push the envelope a little, like perhaps..

a device with the library (i.e. iTunes) and the store (iTMS) software on the device itself, then throw in a wireless interface and a swappable battery pack. Oh yeah will your at it, it would be nice if it could run FreeBSD and double as a cappuccino maker too :)

What about the PSP? (-1, Offtopic)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807511)

I'd been avoiding the whole mini-mp3/video ipod thing, but recently caved into my young daughter's pleas for a PSP. It plays games, it plays mp4 movies, it plays mp3's, has a *usable* screen size, has easily removable memory sticks, and has reasonable battery life (I was able to use it to watch two feature-length movies on a single charge on a recent flight to Tokyo and still had enough juice to play games for an hour or two afterwards). I can't imagine wanting anything much smaller as the screen just becomes too unusable.

Cheers,

picture of Paule Mercer (1)

hedred (906595) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807518)

Put a picture of a hot Korean chick on the screen instead of Paul Mercer. That will help sales.

Stupid PR piece. (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807522)

The story they're trying to give you is "Samsung hired the brains behind the iPod", when really, the story is "Samsung hired a guy who founded the company that provided the OS on the early generation iPod, but who hasn't actually worked for Apple since 1994".

i.e., they want you to think that this means Samsung is going to kill the iPod, when really it just means they're desperate.

The iPod's interface is great, sure, but if it takes hiring this particular guy for them to come up with a better one, that's just sad. The only mention in the article is that the Z5's interface has "transparency effects". I'm sure that's going to make the difference.

iTunes Default Codec (1)

Damek (515688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807545)

That all sounds well and good, but does it play all the music that Joe & Jane Q Public has ripped with iTunes [apple.com] ? No? They'd have to rip it again to something else? Then why would they want it?

2, 4, 6, maybe 8? Who needs it?!? (1)

webagogue (806350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807563)

I realize I am likely in the minority overall DAP purchasers, but I am really disappointed at how crowded the lower capacity market is compared to the 30+ gig market. Come on, guys! Give me a decent iPod competitor at 60GB (because my Rio Karma is getting long in the tooth).

Free Beer (1)

Windsinger (889841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14807575)

Link to non gestapo site pls?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>