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Next Generation of iPods to have Wi-Fi?

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the buying-on-the-go dept.

224

Zephyr14z writes "A TMCnet article states that Apple has filed a patent for iPods that can purchase music wirelessly over the internet. This was an expected feature in the Zune, though it turns out not to be true. 'While this could be an effort to fight the software giant and its product directly, it should be noted that Zune's built-in Wi-Fi will be limited to the file sharing between devices with no direct Internet purchases from the handheld,' says Campbell."

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224 comments

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (5, Insightful)

P(0)(!P(k)+P(k+1)) (1012109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16606946)

Odd, first of all, that this article appears in YRO (because it involves a patent?); second, and odder still, is Susan Campbell's commentary:

Apple and its iPod didn't earn its throne in the portable music player industry because it had the easiest to use player that offered the best song selection. This success also didn't come because it offered the most competitive price. Apple has been able to dominate this market because of its marketing campaign, pure and simple.

O RLY? As far as I can tell, Susan seems to be a ressentissante Microsoft shill:

Apple did borrow a winning strategy from Microsoft in keeping its technology proprietary. [Emphasis mine]

Suffice to say, even the slickest market campaign can't account alone for iPod's success; just look at the PS3 or Zune: you can't pull the wool over everyone's eyes all the time.

That said, if Apple does introduce Wi-Fi (or an iPod cell-phone, for that matter), it will be on its own time; and not because it's scared of Zune.

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (3, Insightful)

mgv (198488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607084)



        Apple did borrow a winning strategy from Microsoft in keeping its technology proprietary. [Emphasis mine]

Suffice to say, even the slickest market campaign can't account alone for iPod's success; just look at the PS3 or Zune: you can't pull the wool over everyone's eyes all the time.


Perhaps more importantly, if apple has the patent, microsoft doesn't

It might be more of a blocking exercise than anything else - apple has a perfectly good model for sales, and might just be doing this to prevent other models from happening.

Probably being paranoid here

Michael

Be afraid of the Zune (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607090)

The reason to be afraid of the Zune is simple: Microsoft has a ridiculous amount of money to spend:

http://thingsguyslike.blogspot.com/2006/10/microso ft-home-entertainment.html [blogspot.com]

$5bn in losses so far, and still no profits at the Home Entertainment division of Microsoft. If they wanted, they could give Zunes away for 10 years. It's hard to compete against that kind of financial muscle.

Re:Be afraid of the Zune (4, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607328)

If they wanted, they could give Zunes away for 10 years. It's hard to compete against that kind of financial muscle.

This is a common argument about Microsoft. However, it is only partly true. Microsoft has shareholders. Microsoft cannot just throw money away, it has to be something that will potentially bring big profits in the future.

There's lots more better out there (4, Insightful)

RiffRafff (234408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607280)

There's tons of better sounding players out there. Try an iRiver or Cowon with some decent headphones. The sonic quality far outstrips that of Apple's iPod. These other players just aren't "hip," apparently.

Re:There's lots more better out there (4, Insightful)

BurningBridges (1013063) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607460)

They are also, IMO More expensive, and more difficult to use, as a rule. The general public doesn't notice the difference unless you show them, their friends all have one, and they are easy to use, so they get an iPod. Personally I am a big iRiver fan :)

Not in my experience (5, Informative)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607612)

I've had iRivers, Creatives, Sansas, Sonys - no Cowan, so I'll have to give it a wash on that one. But all in all, I've had eight different manufacturer's digital audio player, and frankly, my iPod sounds the best by far. Side-by-side plug/unplug cycles convinced me and many others who happened to be around for a test. (Started at a party where a friend said his MDplayer smoked the iPod for audio quality... even he agreed that he was wrong after a direct plug-unplug audio test). None of them has had the functionality of my iPod, nor the sound quality. I don't care about 'hip' - in fact, it was that fact - that the iPod was 'hip' - that kept me from buying one until last year.

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607312)

This could quite possibly be the first time any human has ever used the terms "ressentissante" and "O RLY" in such close proximity.

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607894)

The paradox, I'm afraid, of the /b/-tard.

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (1)

b1ufox (987621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607318)

Apple and its iPod didn't earn its throne in the portable music player industry because it had the easiest to use player that offered the best song selection. This success also didn't come because it offered the most competitive price. Apple has been able to dominate this market because of its marketing campaign, pure and simple.

just to add, in this competitive scenario marketing makes a lot of difference between winner and the runner up.If Apple is able to dominate the market because of its marketing campaign, its definetly one of the aces Apple has got up their sleeves.And not to mention the desperate and aggressive marketing employed by the Zune makers( read MS ) to make market for themselves.

I live in a developing nation.Every damn retailer, hotelier, industry is trying deperately to gain market share.MS being one of them. This may sound a bit biased but i have never ever seen Apple marketing desperately everywhere they can think of.Certainly Apple know how to market, where to market and it proves its class better than Zune in this matter.

May be i am wrong but its just me afterall :)

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (4, Insightful)

SEMW (967629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607792)

>just look at the PS3 or Zune: you can't pull the wool over everyone's eyes all the time.

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. Slashdot readers may have a good idea of the real issues behind the PS3 and Sony's tactics, especially, but Slashdot readers are not a significant proportion of Joe Public. To the average consumer, "Sony" still conjures up images of reasonably reliable shiny metal consumer electronics, not RIAA lawsuits, rootkit CDs, or the Blu-ray DRM debacle. Sorry to tell you, but it's the advertising and PR campaigns alone that will make or break the PS3; it's how well they can sell that their product is really worth $600. Same applied to the Zune. What Slashdot readers consider "the real issues" will factor into it little if at all.

Re:Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Zune? (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607962)

Apple and its iPod didn't earn its throne in the portable music player industry because it had the easiest to use player that offered the best song selection. This success also didn't come because it offered the most competitive price. Apple has been able to dominate this market because of its marketing campaign, pure and simple.

I would have to say that Apple of all companies, did market the iPod better than their competitors. They made an MP3 player (which at the time considered a geek's gadget) cool. But they also made the technology easy to use for the average consumer. Considering the alternatives when the iPod came out. Flash MP3 players that could store 32MB or 64MB. That capacity is well under two CDs, and portable CD players were cheap. Also it was a pain to get music onto them. Or something like the Nomad which had more capacity (6GB) but couldn't be used as a hard drive and was the size of a portable CD player.
Enter the iPod. It can be used a portable hard drive. It fit in your pocket. It could store enough songs to last for days. It was easy to use. It was easy to sync (and it got easier later). Is it a surprise it took over the market. And Apple unlike some of their competitors kept innovating? I had a Rio 32MB player. The only thing that the next model added was more capacity.

Apple did borrow a winning strategy from Microsoft (News - Alert) in keeping its technology proprietary. However, this strategy doesn't seem to be enough to keep the fruity giant on top as consumers are beginning to tire of the iPod and iTunes restrictions. This patent could either protect Apple's vision or tarnish its appeal in the eyes of the consumer. Either way - watch out for more news from Johansen and DoubleTwist Ventures as we have likely not heard the last from him.

The factor behind Apple's DRM is not Apple. It is the music companies. I don't think Apple cares if you use your iPod to share all your music with everyone. But the RIAA might. As for restrictions, these are not unique to Apple. PlaysForSure limits you as well. And MS new Zune DRM is identical to Apple's strategy.

Blast from the past... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16606958)

Wireless! More space than a Nomad! Awesome!

How about play in USB mode? (-1, Flamebait)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16606968)

It's annoying that I can't play my ipoo when it's hooked up to the puter... oh, they sell base stations? How lovely...

How about Apple fixes those bugs before adding new shit?

It would also help if the battery meter were in ANY WAY accurate. It jumps from 100% to 60% to 80% and around all throughout a 10 minute session. It might as well not be present...

Tom

Re:How about play in USB mode? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607048)

It's annoying that I can't play my ipoo when it's hooked up to the puter

Unmount the drive, fucktard. It's not a server.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607106)

The Ipoo interface does not allow playing when plugged in. And who says I use windows? My Linux box DOES NOT automount USB drives. So technically Linux would have seen it's a SCSI device [which is what USB disks are btw] and not done anything further.

I hook it up to the puter because after my commute to work I want to charge it. It would be nice to be able to listen at the same time.

I have OTHER mp3 players that can accomplish just that task. One of them is a Nintendo DS :-)

Tom

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

agi (17926) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607286)

As root, or with sudo:

eject /dev/sdX

where X is the letter assigned to your iPod. And you'll be able to play your Ipod while connected to your computer.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607382)

It's designed to play music when you're away from your computer. If you're at your computer you could, like, you know, use your computer...

Linux boxes CAN play music, can't they???

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607914)

You know those times when you really wish you had mod points?

This is the most to-the-point counterargument for the "it doesn't play when plugged in" line I've ever heard. Bravo!

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

bjbroderick (1019016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607850)

Me thinks Digg.com has a hack to put itunes on linux. I know on my mac, all I do is click on any song in my ipod and it magically plays! This is assuming that you do not have itunes, and if you don't, why would you buy an ipod? Seems kind of counter-intuitive. I also agree that always on Wi-Fi would be a hackers dream and a battery drain.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607184)

Unmount the drive, fucktard. It's not a server.
Some other MP3 players can actually play music even when they're mounted. I also don't see why it shouldn't be this way. The device is designed specifically for playing music in the first place.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

vancbc (974483) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607304)

Brilliant use of the word Fucktard... I actually laughed out loud when I read it. And yes, the guy clearly is not the smartest user of /. .

Re:How about play in USB mode? (3, Informative)

yivi (236776) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607094)

You can play your iPod while connected to the computer. Just click on the "eject" button in iTunes, and it will keep charging from the USB connection, but the interface will be "unlocked" so you can use it.

And the comment about the battery meter is just stupid.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607126)

Click what from what windows program?

I don't run Windows, and I'd never install iTunes even if I did.

And no, the comment about the battery is not stupid if you're sitting at an airport waiting for a 10 hour flight, you have to gauge whether you can listen to music while waiting for the flight or leave it for then....

Part of the problem with the battery life is the amount of buffering the thing does. It tries to read entire songs into memory and shut off the HD, FOR EVERY SONG YOU PLAY. Which is wasteful if you skip from one song to the next to find the perfect one for the time being....

Tom

uh, ok (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607182)

If you run linux or some other *nix like I do (I'm assuming so since you say you dont have itunes), just type "eject $PATH_TO_IPOD_DEVICE" for example "eject /dev/sda" Thatll do the trick.

Oh, and a quick check using df (if you have some form of automounting going on) or a check with dmesg when you plug it in should give you the path

Re:uh, ok (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607198)

ah, neato trick. It's not like Apple documents this....

Good to know.

Tom

Re:uh, ok (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607208)

No problem. Wierdly it posted anon the first time, even though I swear I was logged in

Re:uh, ok (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607504)

Yeah, because Apple should document every possible thing someone might do with one of their devices on every possible operating system anyone might use.

I want to know how to do the same thing you do only on Plan 9 using my homemade iPod to RS485 cable, but of course stupid Apple doesn't put that in their manual.

Stupid Apple!

Re:uh, ok (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607658)

You think you're funny... but there used to be a time that hardware came with schematics and memory maps.

So STFU you young ignorant little shit.

Tom

Re:uh, ok (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607944)

ah, neato trick. It's not like Apple documents this....

First, *nix is a distant third in terms of OSes Apple cares about their ipods running on, so it's not really surprising they don't give this sort of information.

Second, do you have experience with other external storage devices in linux? I eject my external harddrives before disconnecting them, as it occasionally yells at me if I don't.

Also, my creative zen xtra *sometimes* won't go out of usb transfer mode if I don't eject first (it's interesting that I don't have this problem when disconnecting from my windows box. Wonder if anyone else has had this issue with linux and the zen xtra).

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607206)

Part of the problem with the battery life is the amount of buffering the thing does. It tries to read entire songs into memory and shut off the HD, FOR EVERY SONG YOU PLAY.

If it didn't buffer songs, you'd have a 2-hour battery life instead of 10 hours. Seems like an acceptable tradeoff to me.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607248)

What it should do is only enable the buffering after [say] 15 seconds of playing. Chances are if you're going to skip a song it's well before the 15 second mark.

Why Apple didn't just use the filesystem for storing the songs is beyond me. Granted gnupod isn't impossible to use, but god help you if you screw up your XML listing... I had to hand edit mine [too lazy to write a perl script] to remove some dubious song listings...

Also if battery life was such a concern why does Apple do all of the decode in the cpu? From what I understand, there are no M4A or MP3 accelerators in it. While that may have added $5 bucks to the end cost [which is already at a premium anyways] it would have boosted battery life nicely. You can decode MPEG audio in hardware for WAY LESS power than you can in a processor.

Tom

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607364)

AFAIK, the iPod buffers something like 20 minutes of music at a time. It's just when you keep skipping stuff that you'll notice more frequent buffering.
Playing the first 15 seconds of every song without buffering would still reduce battery life dramatically.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607338)

Let's just say that your battery run time is an obsolete complaint. The nano is rated for 24 hours; 30GB, 20 hours; 80GB 30 hours. I really can't say much about the buffering songs complaint other than to say that it hasn't been a problem for me.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607376)

Click what from what windows program?
 
I don't run Windows, and I'd never install iTunes even if I did.

 
So your complaint isn't as much with the apple hardware, but the fact that you're not using the supplied software, and you're mad that whatever you are using doesn't do something the supplied software does? Good arguement.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

admdrew (782761) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608010)

So your complaint isn't as much with the apple hardware, but the fact that you're not using the supplied software, and you're mad that whatever you are using doesn't do something the supplied software does? Good arguement.

What if he's using linux? Or what if he finds the itunes software bloated and annoying, and wishes to use a better program? What if he (logically) wants it to function just like an external harddrive?

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607648)

Part of the problem with the battery life is the amount of buffering the thing does. It tries to read entire songs into memory and shut off the HD, FOR EVERY SONG YOU PLAY. Which is wasteful if you skip from one song to the next to find the perfect one for the time being....

So how about you search through the menus for the pefect song you want to listen to, rather than listening to the first 10 seconds of each song? Then there is no issue with buffering.

Re:How about play in USB mode? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607834)

Sometimes I don't know what I'm in the mood to hear until I hear it.

I guess I'm the only person on the entire planet who isn't a DJist about music and has to hear it to know the mood/tempo/etc.

Tom

Wireless (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#16606974)

It's a nice idea, but wireless is slow. Certainly slower than firewire anyway. And these havea lot of storage. Will people really want to spend several hours uploading their mp3 collection?

Re:Wireless (1)

ack154 (591432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607058)

Well I think the idea would be more for browsing the iTMS via wifi and purchasing songs. Of course having the ability for a wifi sync might still come in handy if you just added a few songs to your library and don't have your dock handy for a connection.

Though syncing an entire collection may be extremely time consuming, I bet some people would be just fine with letting it get started before bed or something. Should be done by morning right? If not, it's their own fault for not using a cable...

Re:Wireless (2, Insightful)

azieniki (1010665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607162)

If it is for purchasing or browsing the Itunes Music Store via the internet then wireless is faster than most peoples internet connection, b or g. So downloading a song shouldn't take any longer straight to the ipod.

Re:Wireless (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607718)

It is for browsing iTunes and purchasing songs. I just don't think that's a very novel idea. I could do this before on my laptop. Ok, I don't have a laptop, but if I did, I could wirelessly browse itunes and download music. The fact that it's in an iPod or any music player doesn't make it much of a leap.

Re:Wireless (4, Interesting)

sydsavage (453743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608046)

Unless your laptop fits in a jacket pocket, I'm afraid I'll have to respectfully disagree. Being able to purchase music and video content from iTMS while unchained from any desktop or laptop would be a HUGE leap. This would also open the door to owning (and populating) an iPod without needing a computer in the first place.

Re:Wireless (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607510)

It's a nice idea, but wireless is slow. Certainly slower than firewire anyway. And these havea lot of storage. Will people really want to spend several hours uploading their mp3 collection?

Well, 802.11g isn't all that slow. I don't think you'd want to fill your new 30GB iPod wirelessly, but it would be fine for syncing, buying music, and exchanging music if such a feature were enabled. Basically, use firewire/USB2 the first time, and wireless after that. I certainly wouldn't mind having such a feature.

please... (1)

Pliep (880962) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607000)

Apple has many patents, including this one. That does not mean that it immediately will be applied in any of Apple's products. Stop spreading rumours based on patents.

Re:please... (0)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607264)

Exactly, and from what I understood, they may have submitted it only to annoy MS.

Re:please... (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607806)

That does not mean that it immediately will be applied in any of Apple's products.
Oh, it's worse than that... this patent decreases the odds that anybody else will finally get around to implementing this obvious feature. I only hope it only covers buying music vi WiFi, and not selectively downloading music from your own computer via WiFi, or buying and storing music wirelessly using a 3G or other cellphone network.

What's the big deal with wireless? (1)

dpaluszek (974028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607010)

Seriously people, what's the big deal? When I listen to my mp3, I'm not using it to surf the net or give more money to some company for music.

But this is my opinion. If I want to get something off the internet, I would being using my laptop instead of some Apple iPod. What a load of crap.

Re:What's the big deal with wireless? (4, Insightful)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607228)

Most /. users probably wouldn't use the feature that much, but luckily for Apple, theres a mass of suckers out there who can't stop downloading their songs by the pound. What better way to get some money is for those people to be able to download the songs, while away from their computer, like while at the mall after browsing through a music store.

Re:What's the big deal with wireless? (1)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607474)

And even better for Apple, the moment one of these gets stolen with a credit card number on it (I'm assuming here that all that information is stored on the device, they are not making the user enter it in each time they buy a song), they will quickly max it out on iTunes music.

I think there is a reason MS decided to go without this for the Zune.

Re:What's the big deal with wireless? (1)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607672)

LOL... No, not at all. You register with the iTunes store and authorize the device. No credit card is stored, and it's fairly simple to log on to iTunes and de-authorize one of your devices.

I'm thinking this feature would be pretty cool to have; think of a song or album you're dying to have and download it from iTunes store without breaking out the laptop - or maybe even without having the laptop with me! Sweet.

Re:What's the big deal with wireless? (1)

Rob86TA (955953) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607826)

I think you missed the point.

If the iPod is able to make purchases wirelessly, it either has the credit card or the account linked to the credit card on it. While you're running home (or to the nearest internet cafe) to de-authorise the device, someone would be able to rack up charges on the credit card.

Sure they wouldn't be able to play the songs, but they still went onto your credit card.

Re:What's the big deal with wireless? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607758)

How many songs are in a pound? If you are referring to the british basic unit of currency (buc), how many songs can you buy for a pound? is it 1? because if it is, you are getting ripped off. They are really cheap in Canada, being only 99 canadian cents, which is technically cheaper than buying music in the US.

need cable anyway? (4, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607014)

You need to hook it up anyway to recharge. Just using Wifi to download music means they will have to cram a lot of iTunes/iStore functionality into the ipod. Byebye simple userinterface... How about security? Either they make you enter your credit card number with the clickwheel(????) or else it gets "linked" to your iPod on the Apple servers. Lose your iPod and the thief can shop around on your card... The whole point about the iPod is that all complexity is parked in iTunes.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607238)

I agree this is stupid, but not sure about the credit card fiasco. I entered my credit card through Apple's website when setting up an Apple ID. Then iTunes only uses your Apple ID. I suppose they could get your password from it somehow, but more than likely it would just link the iPod to your account and verify that way.

I see lots of issues with this plan.

It's all about the user interface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607374)

Most of our high tech gadgets have features that most owners never use. Ditto for most software. Who do you know who can use most of the features in Office for instance?

People prefer to carry an iPod as well as their cell phone because it is just easier and more convenient even if you have to carry two devices. On the other hand, people don't normally carry a camera and are willing to use the camera functionality of their cell phones rather than put up with the hassle of carrying a camera just in case they need it.

Being able to do away with a computer connection could be an improvement in convenience. You would still have to charge batteries but there are lots of ways to deal with that.

What it will boil down to is, as you note, user interface. If Apple comes up with a brilliant user interface that makes the user's life easier then people will buy the device.
http://www.mobiletrax.com/im/20050720.html [mobiletrax.com]

My own worry is that, once they have a wireless connection into your device, you lose control of it. Creative has removed the 'Record FM' function from their mp3 players. I use that function and would be very annoyed if they could remove that function from the device I already own by remote control.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607394)

Surely they're linked through the DRM system anyway?

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

slash.dt (701002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607568)

You need to hook it up anyway to recharge

You don't need to hook it up to your iTunes machine to charge though - I do a lot of my charging from my work computer that doesn't have iTunes installed or from a power charger.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

siegesama (450116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607748)

Most of your post can be summed up as, "I cannot figure out a way to make it work, therefore Apple cannot figure out a way to make it work. Hence, the only way for it to work is badly." They have a lot at stake, and a lot of fantastically smart people working behind this, let's see what they have to offer.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607874)

You need to hook it up anyway to recharge.

You need a cable to recharge, but I'd view it like Ethernet or wireless. Of course copper is faster, but there are times where it is just not convenient. My blackberry, for instance, uses a USB cable to recharge and do data. I can feed it power with my wife's cell phone charger too which is nothing more than a wall wart and USB cable. I'd like to have my cake and eat it too with an Ipod... Just another opinion.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607936)

Hook it up to recharge? Apple needs to hire Tesla and work on wireless power. Or maybe consult with Highlander.

From the iPod Gen 9 Manual, Section 5.6
When your iPod runs out of power there is an easy way to recharge it.
  1. Hold up your unit to the sky
  2. Scream "there can be only one"
  3. Wait for the charging icon to disappear during The Quickening process
Then we really would look like the people in the iPod ads, solid black ... burned to a crisp.

Re:need cable anyway? (1)

BRSQUIRRL (69271) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608026)

I'll give you one great use of iPod+WiFi that wouldn't require a lot of complex functionality on the iPod itself: podcasts. All of the feed URLs for the podcasts to which you are subscribed sync to the iPod from iTunes. The iPod can then, when connected to a WiFi hotspot, grab the latest podcasts without having to be connected to a PC.

I would personally love this for long car trips, as I wouldn't need to bring along my laptop just to grab the latest podcasts when I stop at Starbucks.

Huh? (1)

el_womble (779715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607022)

So iPods are successful, in part because they understood that what people need, above all else in a music player is simplicity. So you can't manage you music on the iPod, you manage them on your computer.

Now I can see that it is possible using the new search facility to access and select songs from the iTunes store (if the new iPods had wireless), but surely one of the great things about an iPod is that you can't.

Just because you can use a scroll wheel for text entry and pointing doesn't mean that you should.

Re:Huh? (1)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607722)

Either in this patent or another one filed this week, they included a full-surface touch screen; I don't think we have to worry about Apple releasing an iPod with a click-wheel 'alpha' keyboard for regular usage.

Breaks the 'pod' model (1)

robinp (40505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607026)

I'd say this is unlikely as you're likely to want to back up the song you bought on the ipod to a computer. Transfer of files that way is not really part of the current model (to prevent people DLing their songs onto another computer).

I could be wrong though.

Re:Breaks the 'pod' model (1)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607180)

You can sync purchased music from the iPod to any of your 5 "registered" computers now.

Re:Breaks the 'pod' model (4, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607250)

As of iTunes 7, you can move authorized music from the iPod to the computer. This was announced as a way to sync the iTunes library on two computers, but it'd also be useful for music that was downloaded to the iPod via wireless.

Re:Breaks the 'pod' model (1)

robinp (40505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607796)


I stand corrected.

Re:Breaks the 'pod' model (2, Insightful)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607882)

That's just like Apple, too; making a change that didn't really strike anyone at the time, only to reveal that it was in preparation for a bigger change later.

Finally (4, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607032)

CmdrTaco must feel important that they got round to listening to his ideas.
I wonder if they will increase capacity as well ;)

No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

Re:Finally (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607606)

You forgot to mention adding a good MP3 encoder.

Oh, right...the other lame.

Wireless is the future (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607056)

This move is long overdue. Hopefully Apple will do a better job than Microsoft did. It is *so* 90's to have to dock your player just to get music into it. The technology exists today to make a very capable wireless media player, what is missing is someone (Apple?) to make it useful and functional. The possibilities are endless. Imagine "Mall Radio Stations", audio lectures or supplemental material distributed wirelessly to all the students in the classroom, having a playlist at a party that is a composite of all the wireless devices in the room/house. Let the next wave of portable music players begin!

Re:Wireless is the future (1)

rudeboy1 (516023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607110)

I like the way you think. Those are all AWESOME ideas. It's the next logical step for audio museum, bus and taxi tours. I was always hoping this would happen, (figures I just got my second iPod 3 weeks ago. Going to be a while before I get another one) so I could listed to Groove Salad on my iPod.

Re:Wireless is the future (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607148)

The technology exists today to make a very capable wireless media player
I don't know.. I looked at my sister's mobile phone -- you just right click a bunch of files you selected, click send to -> [phone name]. And.. that was it. Music was uploaded (via bluetooth) and immediately available. Seems the technology is already here.
what is missing is someone (Apple?) to make it useful and functional.
Is this another one of those things where you need to download their proprietary software that works so-so under windows, but okay on Mac and doesn't work at all on other operating systems just so you can upload the music?
The possibilities are endless. Imagine "Mall Radio Stations"
Most malls have speakers already...
audio lectures or supplemental material distributed wirelessly to all the students in the classroom
That would be kind of nifty... But quite a few lecturers want you to pay first. I doubt it would be that simple.
having a playlist at a party that is a composite of all the wireless devices in the room/house.
Assuming one replaces all their equipment...

Re:Wireless is the future (2, Interesting)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607210)

Seems the technology is already here.
That's what I said. It's not a technology issue. And when I tout the use of wireless, in my mind the *right* way to do it is to seemlessly blend cellular wireless with WIFI. Imagine a device that could do both (some PDA phones can do this) ... you start a download on WIFI as you leave the house and get into your car. Your WIFI signal drops and the download application automatically opens up a cell connection and continues the download. At the same time your car's radio connects via bluetooth or WIFI to your device and your personal "radio station" begins playing from your device through your car stereo. As new content trickles in, it gets mixed into the play list. All of this is possible today, and has, in fact, been possible for a few years now. What is lacking is the software to bring it all together.

Re:Wireless is the future (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607292)

Most malls have speakers already...
... forcing everyone to listen to the same, bland content. With wireless, your device could "tell" the mall your music tastes and a customized station could be streamed to you ... heck, that station could even include ads for stores in the mall that would appeal to you based on demographics.

Assuming one replaces all their equipment...
No, the party host would have a wireless-capable receiver. Then each guest that happened to have a (compatible - i.e. Apple "WiPod") wireless media player could make their music available to that receiver. You could even imagine this turning into some sort of contest/game where people with wireless devices could "vote" when they heard a song they liked ... the system keeps track of whose music collection got the most votes, perhaps even adapting the stream based on those votes (playing more of the stuff people like). I know this all sounds kind of "out there", but, really, it's not all that technically challenging.

Re:Wireless is the future (1)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607294)

The technology exists today to make a very capable wireless media player,

Not as long as you've still got to plug it in anyway to recharge, it doesn't.

Re:Wireless is the future (1, Insightful)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607896)

Not as long as you've still got to plug it in anyway to recharge, it doesn't.
By that argument cell phones are not useful because you have to plug them in to recharge them. When I retire each evening I put my cellphone on a charger. Then all day long I use it wirelessly. Why does everyone insist on tying these 2 activities (charging with downloading) together? Sure, if the only way I can put music into my device is from my PC, then having a cradle that also charges is convenient. But that is not the only use model that makes sense. And if you introduce wireless communications, I submit the old use model of charging while downloading will become a thing of the past and people will quickly gravitate to the cell phone use model.

Missed Patent? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607082)

It's hard to imagine that MS missed the patent on this one since even people on SlashDot imagined this as a missing piece of obvious functionality. I haven't checked the timing, but could the Penny Arcade comic relating to Zune functionality be considered prior art?

Re:Missed Patent? (1)

Geek Yid (798534) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607840)

At the least, the Penny Arcade comic, or anyone else who posted about Wi-Fi on a MP3 player can be prior art in a 35 USC 103 (obviousness) rejection. In my short time as a patent examiner, I rejected plenty of claims as obvious. The rejection requires disclosure of two or more items that, when combined, would amount to the claimed invention, plus some incentive to combine the parts as per the claims. The comic would, at least, provide the incentive to combine.

I do not think it matters, though. Doesn't ThinkGeek already sell a MP3 player that allows purchasing music over a WiFi connection [thinkgeek.com] (MusicGremlin)?

copying old things (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607112)

Soniqcast Aireo had wifi and you were able to get audible content wirelessly at hotspots with it. No it's technicaly not music but it's the same thing at it's core. I could access my audible library, download a book and then have it on my player if I forgot to grab it at home I could grab it at starbucks on my way to work.

Finally... (3, Funny)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607114)

...Taco will be happy. Wi-Fi. More space than a Nomad. Not Lame.

I thought a patent had to be non-obvious. (2, Insightful)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607122)

Seriously. How could they get a a patent on this? Is wireless the new "on the internet!" when it comes to patents?

  • I'm going to patent displaying a list... on the internet!
  • I'm going to patent buying music online... wireless!

Re:I thought a patent had to be non-obvious. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607186)

How could they get a a patent on this?

TFA doesn't say what the patent actually claims but my bet is it is for something quite specific. Perhaps it comes down to the issue another poster raised: how do you retain the pc-ipod relationship if the ipod is out at starbucks buying music?

Maybe the ipod has to log in to the itunes server as the copy of itunes on the pc.

Re:I thought a patent had to be non-obvious. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607678)

how do you retain the pc-ipod relationship if the ipod is out at starbucks buying music


If you have broadband, and if you are using iTMS you probably do, I don't see why you wouldn't have the option to have iTMS send a copy of anything you download via wireless to your hard drive as well.

You sit at Starbucks downloading My War directly to your iPod, you and your fellow iPodders bandwidthally challenging Starbucks' WRT54G. Meanhile, back at the ranch, iTMS, having secured your permission to do so, places My War on your hard drive without needing you to click any Oks or reboot or otherwise get up from your double espresso which was tragically served to you in a paper cup.

Re:I thought a patent had to be non-obvious. (1)

kelzer (83087) | more than 7 years ago | (#16608048)

If you have broadband, and if you are using iTMS you probably do, I don't see why you wouldn't have the option to have iTMS send a copy of anything you download via wireless to your hard drive as well.

You sit at Starbucks downloading My War directly to your iPod, you and your fellow iPodders bandwidthally challenging Starbucks' WRT54G. Meanhile, back at the ranch, iTMS, having secured your permission to do so, places My War on your hard drive without needing you to click any Oks or reboot or otherwise get up from your double espresso which was tragically served to you in a paper cup.

Nope. No need. iTunes 7.0 now copies purchased music from your iPod to your iTunes when you sync (so that you can have it on multiple computers), right? With WiFi, syncing becomes even less painless. So the end result is the same, but without all the additional development work that you're proposing.

Manual On/Off? (2, Interesting)

tenaciousdRules (518041) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607142)

Unless it has an external on/off switch, I would never own one of these. Imagine walking into a retailer, and you get an advertisement on your ipod for "the GAP does Christmas" CD they are blasting on the stores over-engineerd sound system. Better yet, it would be a hackers dream to have people walking around a crowded public place with these things turned on.

Re:Manual On/Off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16607782)

I don't understand this comment. Are you making a statement on the iPod (which it just so happens you CAN turn off)?

"fight" ? (1)

paropaco (926151) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607152)

While this could be an effort to fight the software giant and its product directly

On the other hand, perhaps Apple will wait until the software giant registers a 0.5% market share before considering it as an opponent. I'd say the software giant is doing a good job of fighting itself as it is.

I'm surprised (1)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607172)

that MS didn't already file this patent. I bet they did, and the author of the article missed it. I'd check but I don't have time to search through the mess, the swamp of MS patents for the next 3 weeks...

They beet apple to the WiFi punch, and I'm sure they thought of this feature and just didn't have time to build the infrastructure.

Hmmm (1)

Altima(BoB) (602987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607224)

This makes me wonder if the ability to enter text in the latest version of the video iPods (So that one could search for tracks by name/etc like one does in iTunes) was just introduced so that people could enter wifi network passwords for a future version of the iPod.

Stop thinking about downloads (4, Interesting)

dweebzilla (871704) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607240)

What about streaming content.

I'd love to have my ipod receive Internet radio.

Sharing ain't that wunderful (1)

Asrynachs (1000570) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607442)

I think when my ipod inevitably dies on me I'll give the Zune player a try. That song sharing function is no different than itunes sharing function. If anything itunes is worse than Zune. If you share your itunes playlist over a network, you can listen to the music on itunes as long as the other persons copy of itunes is running, when they shut it down you can't access thier list any more. You can't even load their songs onto your ipod when their playlist is available.

What happened to Steve Jobs getting me laid? (1)

Loki25 (1019010) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607582)

After the large amount of press last week Steve Jobs got from the Newsweek article [msn.com] last week where he said the Wi-Fi feature on the Zune was stupid because, I'm suprised to hear this. I know the article was about downloading music from iTunes via Wi-Fi, but can you imagine them not adding the functionality to send songs to other players? While I'm not a fan of eithe the iPod or the Zune, it must hurt to have one of the most 'inovative' companies in the world follow MS.

Just imagine (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607800)

Its sad that this would never come true...but just imagine a world without the RIAA, without DRM and without greedy companies. Imagine a world where we had a player such as the iPod that allowed you to download songs off of the internet for free from P2P servers, and that would allow you to stream or share songs with people near you.

Imagine chatting with someone on the bus or airplane and sharing music with them or listening to the same thing. Imagine plugging in to a small local wireless network comprised of your train car and seeing what interesting music people had that you could add to your collection.

This sort of technology would create a cultural explosion not unlike the original birth of Napster. Suddenly music stops being something people see as existing in the nebulous internet, and starts being something that becomes a unique personal identifier (in the expression sense, not the tin foil hat sense) that is as noticable and almost as visible (thanks to people being connected to their iPods 24/7) as your clothing.

Just out of curiosity, is it illegal for a company to create a music player that just plays MP3s and allows this sort of transfer? If they don't actually sell songs like Apple, is there something in the DMCA or some such law that prevents them from adding this functionality?

Re:Just imagine (2, Informative)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607878)

I don't know, but one thing I have noticed is that you can get some cool features in flash mp3 players in Asia that you can't get in the US that I've been able to tell. One is the ability to "dock" two players together by their USB ports and transfer songs that way. Hmmm...

What other impossible features will this require? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16607982)

One thing that certain Apple admirers do is to make up excuses for Apple's 'low hurdle' market-control restrictions on their products, such as "you can't put songs on your iPod without iTunes because the iPod's CPU isn't powerful enough* to read the song files if they're not in Apple's special hashed directories". Or "the labels won't let Apple give you the ability to transfer songs back from your iPod to iTunes".

A TMCnet article states that Apple has filed a patent for iPods that can purchase music wirelessly over the internet.

This explains why they added the ability to transfer songs from the iPod back to your PC after holding out for so long. But it does raise one question...

If they can do that then the iPod will need the ability to add items to the music library itself. If the iPod can add items to the music library by itself, then it should be able to import music you've put on the iPod yourself without using iTunes.

Hmmm... what was that about the CPU being too slow?

* A 70 MHz ARM is way faster than the 386/33 I was using back when we were all working on what became FreeBSD, or the 68040 in the NeXT, and they didn't seem to have a problem reading files. :)
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