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iPod Casualties Offer New-In-Box Bargains

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the new-old-stock-market dept.

Music 324

An anonymous reader writes "For the last few years makers from Creative to Virgin have proclaimed their latest digital audio player to be an iPod Killer, only to watch those portables flame-out in the marketplace. This doesn't mean there was anything wrong with them, in fact some were pretty decent. They just couldn't compete under all the iPod hype. It turns out that this pattern has created a huge sub-market of new-in-the-box stock, sold for pennies on the dollar to overstock vendors who then pawn them off cheap to the public. For the price of a basic iPod Shuffle you can now acquire some well-equipped units from a few years back. Examples include the 40GB Toshiba Gigabeat F40 and AlienWare's CE-IV with external speaker system."

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It's all marketing... (4, Insightful)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#19305919)

Difference between an "iPod" and "40GB Toshiba Gigabeat F40"? One is cool and the other is geek speak. Go figure.

Re:It's all marketing... (5, Insightful)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19305927)

Calling it the Gigabeat F40 would've been cool... In the 80s...

Re:It's all marketing... (2, Funny)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19305951)

Not as cool as a one point twenty-one giggabeat!

Re:It's all marketing... (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306493)

Ipods? Where we're going, we don't *need* ipods!

Re:It's all marketing... (1)

Atario (673917) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306571)

No one would have known what that meant. "Megabeat", on the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised to find out had already been used back then.

Re:It's all marketing... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306891)

Dear PC users,

It's no secret iTunes turned to shit as soon as Apple had to start catering to PC users. It was version 4.1, if memory serves, around the time they let you cavedwellers into our music store. The demand for PC compatibility is the major reason iTunes is still a Carbon app, according to insiders, when every other iApp has since been rewritten in Cocoa to behave like a decent Mac application.

Frankly, we think Apple should revoke PC compatibility from the iPod. Only when the last PC user is forced from our platform shall we enjoy freedom, again and at last, from your tasteless, backwards demands.

Love,
Mac users

Re:It's all marketing... (0, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307099)

Calling it the Gigabeat F40 would've been cool... In the 80s...

I've got some land in Central Florida I'd like to sell you, fanboi.

I call it "iSwamp".

If I can get it to play flacs and not need iTunes, and go for the fraction of an iPod, you can call it "Ralphie's Dingleberry" and I'll buy one.

Re:It's all marketing... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19305961)

Difference between an "iPod" and "40GB Toshiba Gigabeat F40"? One is cool and the other is geek speak. Go figure.

Difference between too much money & not enough sense? Priceless.

Re:It's all marketing... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306473)

It's not marketing, it's the fact that the companies trying to compete with Apple don't know why "40GB Toshiba Gigabeat F40" is a bad name. A much more fundamental problem than marketing.

Every company that is competing with Apple is staffed managers, engineers, and other people who have spent their entire lives working with Windows and ugly ass beige x86 machines at home and work.

Slashdot wants to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19305933)

Since most of us use linux, which of these players work with linux?

Re:Slashdot wants to know (2, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306053)

This one [newegg.com] works for me. Tiny, 1GB, $50, plays mp3, mp4, wmv, etc. Charges USB, formats fat. Works with linux. I blogged about this earlier today. There are instructions there for converting DVDs to a format it can use. They have bigger ones, but who needs to load up three days worth of AV?

Note: this is new, not remaindered I don't think.

Re:Slashdot wants to know (0, Offtopic)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306067)

Since most of us use linux, which of these players work with linux?

Earlier today there was article covering the MS Zune, and now here's an Apple iPod "killer" article. I realize what's important is that both companies are huge, but I'm allergic to DRM, and immune to hype, so neither is at the top of my list.

I'm going to remain hopeful that the next article will both answer your question, and be informational to Slashdotters like myself. Perhaps the gears of the submission machine just need a little grea$e.

Re:Slashdot wants to know (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306143)

For linux intergration, the best company I have seen is iRiver. They make quite capable players, and there is software for the non-hard drive ones to interface with a linux machine, though you need to look for it. Also, their firmware comes with the ability to play the ogg format, making them all round more useful with linux.

Re:Slashdot wants to know (4, Informative)

dn15 (735502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306263)

Earlier today there was article covering the MS Zune, and now here's an Apple iPod "killer" article. I realize what's important is that both companies are huge, but I'm allergic to DRM, and immune to hype, so neither is at the top of my list.
You probably know this but it bears repeating since so many people seem unaware:
The iPod does not require you to use DRM'd music. It plays regular old MP3s (or AACs) ripped from your CDs or downloaded from P2P or flown in on floppies by carrier pigeon, whatever source you may choose. It has the ability to purchase songs from the iTunes store, but you don't have to and if you prefer another jukebox app you don't even necessarily have to use iTunes with it.

Stealth DRM Sux (-1, Troll)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306403)

You probably know this but it bears repeating since so many people seem unaware:
The iPod does not require you to use DRM'd music. It plays regular old MP3s (or AACs) ripped from your CDs or downloaded from P2P or flown in on floppies by carrier pigeon, whatever source you may choose. It has the ability to purchase songs from the iTunes store, but you don't have to and if you prefer another jukebox app you don't even necessarily have to use iTunes with it.

You probably know this but it bears repeating:
No, you cannont use another app like Harmony form RealNetworks, because Apple threated a lawsuit. And people like myself develop allergies to DRM after being repeated to exposed to tactics that force users to upgrade DRM, suddenly disable features, limited plays, limited devices, limited services, locked in to an OS, software, or service, and ultimatly end up with a migraine that has no such restrictions or limit.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306489)

What part of "it plays regular old MP3s" is difficult for you to understand?

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (2, Insightful)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306585)

Only when you copy them over using iTunes, then you can only copy them back off on a computer that is "authorised" for that iPod. That is, if you actually want to listen to them - you can freely copy them back and forth from any computer in "data mode", but you can't actually listen to them if you do that.

Unless, of course, you install Rockbox. http://www.rockbox.org/ [rockbox.org]

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (3, Informative)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307001)

Well, you can use rhythmbox, amarok, gtkpod, and others. You're not solely limited to iTunes.

Of course, it still sucks that you can't just use rsync or unison to synchronise your music. This is a major deficiency and is one of the reasons I won't buy an iPod.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (-1, Flamebait)

Alphager (957739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306591)

What part of "You need to use the fucking DRM-ridden piece of shit that calls itself Itunes to put your mp3s onto the ipod" is so difficult for you?

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (3, Informative)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306683)

iTunes doesn't have DRM in it. The iTunes music store does. iTunes is just an MP3 playing piece of software that CONNECTS to a service that sells "DRM-piece of shit" music, SHOULD YOU ALLOW/CHOOSE IT TO.
Yes, the iPod requires you to use iTunes to put the music on it. How is this different from Sony's godawful players, and so many more? So many require their own proprietary software to allow you to download music from your PC onto the player. If you hate that, then get a player that doesn't deal in that crap. It doesn't change the fact that the iTunes program, which plays normal MP3s, can transfer those normal MP3s, without re-encoding, onto the iPod, still as normal MP3s.

NO DRM, UNLESS YOU'RE STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY IT.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (1, Insightful)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306867)

NO DRM, UNLESS YOU'RE STUPID ENOUGH TO BUY IT.


You can't put an MP3 onto an (unmodified) iPod in a manner that it will both play, and be capable of being copied back off onto a computer that isn't "authorised" for that iPod. If you copy it with iTunes you can play it, but you can't freely copy it off again. If you copy it in "data mode" you can freely copy it off again, but you can't play it. This is not a bug; this is a design "feature" to make the sharing of free music awkward at best thus making the iTMS seem less cumbersome.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307123)

Completely, 100%, wrong. No DRM is added to non-DRM'd files you put on an iPod using iTunes, gtkpod, or your own favourite iPod syncing tool. The music is stored in a hidden folder, and re-named to a hash value, which was done on the early iPods to make searching the collection fast on their slow processors, and is retained because legacy stuff like that has a habit of staying around.

When you plug the iPod in to any computer, it shows up like a USB or FireWire mass storage device. There is absolutely nothing stopping you from copying the music from the hidden folder to your computer. The tags are preserved, and so you can generate human-readable file names easily using a number of tools, if you wish.

Please stop spreading FUD.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306811)

No you most certainly do not. As a linux user I can use amarok or gtkpod to transfer songs to my iPod.

You (and the other morons in this subthread who are wrong) obviously do not own ipods, so you should not bitch about their supposed flaws when you have no clue what you are talking about.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306889)

I'm a Linux user, and I own an iPod. I wiped its firmware and installed "Rockbox". Now it's a *proper* MP3 player. :-P

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19307135)

What part of "You need to use the fucking DRM-ridden piece of shit that calls itself Itunes to put your mp3s onto the ipod" is so difficult for you?


No you dont you fucking idiot! Use a goddamn search engine and actually (OMG) do a little research. Come on, enlighten yourself. It wont kill you I swear.

Re:Stealth DRM Sux (1, Insightful)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306705)

You (the parent post) probably know this but it bears repeating:
"Harmony" is most certainly not the "regular mp3's" the GP was talking about. Regular mp3's are just that - either ripped fresh from a CD, p2p network, or any other source of non-DRM'd mp3 audio files. In case you didn't know - most media player software anymore tends to at least have some kind of plugin allowing for basic writing to iPod's, and if you don't prefer that method, you can always load Rockbox or iPod Linux (unless your model isn't compatible with iPod Linux) allowing for drag and drop transfer of music and playlists with "/" as the root directory (using Rockbox).

So not only is your point not valid, it doesnt even seem to be on topic - so just how the hell is it insightful? I mean, where the damned hell did "Harmony" get brought up anyway? Again, just in case you didn't catch it, the gp wasn't talking about removing Apple's DRM at all, he's talking about music files of which neither Apple's nor any other DRM exists at all...

On topic & Insightful (-1, Offtopic)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306793)

So not only is your point not valid, it doesnt even seem to be on topic - so just how the hell is it insightful?

The top-most parent topic, and mine, are asking for linux solutions that are free from DRM headaches. When we respond to replies, we are in fact on topic & insightful. Your platitudes about how great DRM is when Apple does it is pure Fanboi Flamebaiting.

Re:Slashdot wants to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306115)

iPod works for sure under Linux with RockBox.

But does it run linux? (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306125)

I know, not the question you asked.

Anyway apparently the answer is yes [slashdot.org] .

Re:Slashdot wants to know (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306287)

And here we come to the crux of the matter.

Simple mathematics dictates that when an MP3 player has 80%+ of the market, it'll get the most attention on any OS - including Linux.

Therefore, iPods have been working pretty well with Linux for some time. Everything else? Well, you've got to check that it appears as a USB mass storage device, that it actually plays music transferred to it in this way (rather than depending on the host PC to update a database or somesuch) OR (assuming it's beyond your abilities), you've got to hope and pray that enough Linux users who are savvy enough and driven enough to write their own driver have bought such a device.

Re:Slashdot wants to know (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306551)

I use a 4th generation iPod Photo running Rockbox. I can play "Doom" on it too... ;-)

http://www.rockbox.org/ [rockbox.org]

Re:Slashdot wants to know (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307139)

look for the Cowon iAudio players (here's some [newegg.com] ). Cowon's website proudly states linux compatibility, and they support FLAC and ogg vorbis.

So what you're saying is... (5, Insightful)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306007)

that Apple selling billions of dollars worth of ipods and accessories is all hype? I'm sure there have been many decent players that have come to market, but no ipod killer. Why? Because the ipod does what it does very well, it's affordable, and there's a flood of accessories that go with it. I can go into damn near any record, computer, electronics, or fashion store in any mall or town and find at least an ipod skin or cover of some kind, odds that they'll have a gigabeat f40 or zune accessory? I'd say the hype is all in articles talking about decent players being given away at pennies on the dollar, when you've got a similar player that can't be given away, hype is your best friend.

Re:So what you're saying is... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306201)

It sure as hell isn't hype that is selling iPods.

The iPod isn't a product. iPod/iTunes/iTMS is the product and if people still can't get that basic concept right they will never be able to come up with something competitive.

On Windows you have the remnants of the plays for sure fiasco still around and you have Zune.

On Linux it is even worse, you have garbage like Amarok and a million other halfassed sub-1.0 competitors.

Please, for anyone still trying to claim Apple is winning because of 'teh hype' let's hear what you think we should all be buying that is a competitive package to the iPod/iTunes/iTMS.

Re:So what you're saying is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306277)

that Apple selling billions of dollars worth of ipods and accessories is all hype? I'm sure there have been many decent players that have come to market, but no ipod killer. Why? Because the ipod does what it does very well, it's affordable, and there's a flood of accessories that go with it. I can go into damn near any record, computer, electronics, or fashion store in any mall or town and find at least an ipod skin or cover of some kind, odds that they'll have a gigabeat f40 or zune accessory? I'd say the hype is all in articles talking about decent players being given away at pennies on the dollar, when you've got a similar player that can't be given away, hype is your best friend.

Too much hype in this hyping comment!

Re:So what you're saying is... (2, Interesting)

panaceaa (205396) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306309)

I'm not an absolutely huge music fan, and I actually like the less commercial radio stations on the air. (A local station here plays jazz and blues mixed in with NPR news updates.) But I hate the radio when I have people in the car (it doesn't set a nice mood), and I completely lack non-vinyl music to play in my apartment when guests come over. For those situations, it'd be great to have a music player.

So for me, as a possibly occasional iPod user, I disagree that iPods are "affordable". It's not worth $200+ for me to meet my occasional needs. And considering the absolutely huge profits Apple is making on iPods, there's a huge opportunity for a company to come along and offer a sub-$100 MP3 player with a decent computer user interface for syncing. Unfortunately I'm not aware one yet. So far I've heard that everyone but Apple has absolutely awful music syncing applications.

It used to be even worse... (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306317)

I'm gonna sound like an Apple fanboy, although in reality I'm more like the opposite. But it's only fair to acknowledge what Apple did right.

Thing is, before Apple being the #1 player with all the accessories and brand name and all, it was just another player. Everyone could make a HDD based player... and fucked up.

E.g., I remember going to a few shops in '99 to get an MP3 player. (Yeah, one of those "back in my day" tales;) There was the iPod or there were some things that qualified as one or more of:

A) As big as a fucking brick. (E.g., I remember the Archos brand name just because it was the biggest one on display. It looked like two 3" HDDs stacked.)

B) Overpriced to hell and back. (Oh, they had some extra feature ahead of their time, but not worth paying that kinda premium for it. E.g., there were those offering video playback... except they cost more than a decent laptop, which could play those videos in higher res.)

C) Encumbered by retarded world-domination attempts. (E.g., no Sony could actually play MP3, even after they had started grudgingly calling them MP3 players. If you read the fine print, they offered to convert your MP3s to their own 64kb/s codecs that sounded like playing the song through a cheap old digital watch. I'm sorry, but MP3 is lossy as it is, converting it to another lossy codec just gives you basically a multiplication of that.)

D) Were an interface nightmare. (Creative, I'm looking at you.)

Etc.

I'm sorry, I may not be the most hip and fashion-aware guy around, but if I end up with something the size and weight of a brick on my belt, then at least it better not cost _more_. I ended up buying a CD-based player at that time, since it was a lot cheaper and actually lighter than some of those.

Years later I got a Creative Zen, because it was one of those clearance bargains the summary mentions. It's still bigger than a same generation iPod, and still encumbered by retarded ideas. E.g., I can't actually just plug the USB cable in and drag-and-drop the music files on it, you actually need Creative's software for that. Why? E.g., even if I wanted to start a company producing accessories for it, it doesn't have a little connector like the iPod has. The only accessory you can make for it, will have to be connected through 3.5mm audio jack. I.e., either it's headphones or it's speakers, and not too smart ones either.

What I'm trying to say is: even just saying "but iPod has accessories" makes it sound like some random twist of fate, and absolves Creative and Sony and everyone of all responsibility. It makes it sound like some other people just happened to make accessories for the iPod and not for the Zen or Walkman, dunno why, it must be hype again. In reality there was a time where that market was up for grabs for everyone, and the likes of Creative and Sony just blew it fair and square. That iPod ended up king of the hill and worth making accessories for, simply because (at the time when it counted) it was indeed the better player.

Re:It used to be even worse... (4, Informative)

kyrre (197103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306437)

E.g., I remember going to a few shops in '99 to get an MP3 player. (Yeah, one of those "back in my day" tales;) There was the iPod or there were some things that qualified as one or more of:

The iPod was released [slashdot.org] in October of 2001. And if I remember correctly it was priced very high. It was also Mac only for the first year.

Could be (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306469)

Could be that it was 2001, then, or maybe 2002. Who knows. I can't say I marked the date in the calendar or anything. It's not like it was some major turning point in my life or anything, and it was 5-6 years ago, so, well, I think I have am excuse to be fuzzy on the details. Heck, it could be that I'm mixing up several visits to the store in one.

And yeah, I do remember that everything was very expensive at the time, which is why I got the CD-based player. But I do remember that most other stuff was even more expensive, because the way I remember that story, _if_ I had went with a HDD-based player at all, bang/buck it would have been an iPod.

Re:Could be (0)

Fishy (17624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307003)

I think the point is that the ipod followed on from the original market leaders, and was only innovative in terms of its syling/interface, not its function. It then took till late 2003, about 3 years after the early mp3 players launched, for itunes for PC to arrive.

There is also the slight problem that the original ipod sounded terrible, it took several models to catch up with the nomad sound quality.

Re:Could be (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307111)

and was only innovative in terms of its syling/interface, not its function.

Only in terms of its interface? You say this like it is something trivial. Surely, the interface is a critical aspect of a personal music player that one interacts with? And how does the interface not affect functionality? A good interface makes a device more functional than a device with the same features but a poor interface to access them. As for "styling," I don't think that had much to do with the success of the iPod. Unless by "styling" you mean "form factor." The iPod was smaller and thinner than other devices with equivalent storage. That's very important. It's not just "style." It's part of the function. The whole idea of these players is that they're portable. I don't think many (especially early adopters) bought it because it was stylish - but rather than it wasn't like a brick to carry around. Look at how people laugh at old-fashioned mobile phones that are too big to carry comfortably in your pocket.

There is also the slight problem that the original ipod sounded terrible, it took several models to catch up with the nomad sound quality.

Got any evidence for that one, or are you just making stuff up?

Re:It used to be even worse... (3, Informative)

dido (9125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306499)

E.g., I can't actually just plug the USB cable in and drag-and-drop the music files on it, you actually need Creative's software for that.

And you can just plug in the USB cable for an iPod and drag and drop music files on it without having Apple's software or (under GNU/Linux) miscellaneous third-party software specifically designed to rebuild the proprietary file structures on the iPod installed on your computer? The last Creative music player I had access to, from what I remember, did not require any special software. It plugged into my Gentoo-based laptop and I was able to copy music files to and from it using nothing other than Linux's USB storage driver, as though it were an ordinary USB thumb drive. Can't remember the actual model (the device didn't belong to me, but to a friend whom I don't see all that often), but it was definitely a Creative, and probably 2003-2004 vintage.

Re:It used to be even worse... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306625)

Everyone could make a HDD based player... and fucked up.

Which is what they'll be saying about cell phones, too. Every last cell phone I've ever owned had a retarded interface. It's *really* hard to make a non-retarded interface, right up until someone does. And then it's "obvious" how to do it, and "nothing special. Anyone could have done it."

Re:So what you're saying is... (2, Insightful)

Durzel (137902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306545)

That's a little naive though if you don't mind me saying.

For starters the accessories market that exists to cater for the iPod is there because of its popularity, not because the design automatically lends itself better than any other product. If the others had conquered the market to the same extent Apple has there would be the same amount of accessories available for their products.

Secondly, for what it is the iPod(s) could definitely be cheaper. All we're talking about really is a hard drive (or flash drive in the smaller ones) with a battery, PCB with firmware and LCD. Apple could farm them out cheaper if they so desired but since they've cornered the market they have no real need to, plus the iPod sells itself nowadays (so there is an element of hype in it).

Re:So what you're saying is... (0, Troll)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306633)

Weren't there rumours at least of slave labour building iPods in the far East? They certainly couldn't cut the bottom line any lower than that, so the high prices must be a function of corporate greed.

Re:So what you're saying is... (2, Interesting)

CleverBoy (801540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307071)

I'd say the hype is all in articles talking about decent players being given away at pennies on the dollar, when you've got a similar player that can't be given away, hype is your best friend.

You got that right. There was an article on SmartHouse a while back [smarthouse.com.au] , when Apple's accessory licensing program was less than ideal for accessory makers. Apple had just decided to charge them 10%, up from 1.5% for each accessory they made that connected to the iPod. Apple relented and decided to only charge $4 per accessory with a dock connector. Good for the over $100 market, not as good for the under.

But at any rate, manufacturers were begrudgingly quoted saying that Apple had gotten it right, but creating a universal dock connector across all iPods. If the rest of the industry could have just decided on one connector (or even mostly one) as well, they'd have more accessories piling their way.

Bose said: "What we need is for the MP3 vendors running the Microsoft operating system to get together and deliver a common port across all MP3 devices. We also need a common docking design so that people like Bose can develop common accessories. Currently Apple is the only one with a common port as a result accessory manufacturers are designing for the iPod Apple platform"

So, now Apple, advantaged by the numbers, makes out like a bandit with a huge marketshare and universal iPod accessories. This is why iPhone is going to benefit tremendously too. I don't know of any phone that will be entering the market with so many people with existing accessories they'll be connecting to it. Even funnier... some of those accessories are their cars.

Accessory makers with 7" screen extenders without enough headroom for the extra .5 inch are kicking themselves though. :-)

At the end of the day, that's not just HYPE. I'm still angry my Motorola phones keep getting NEW adapter designs everytime I get a new phone... and they ALL SUCK. When I head to the iPhone promise land, I won't be looking back. It won't really be the hype that keeps me... but the experience of not being jerked around and wasting investments on accessories that serve no other purpose and have little resale value.

hype (4, Insightful)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306009)

There is nothing preventing anyone from listening to the exact same music for similar prices on equally priced or cheaper players. It's not "hype" that keeps the iPod on top, it's the fact that no company has made a product that competitive.

Re:hype (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306035)

Translation:

Waaaah! I bought an iPod, and I'd never fall for hype.

Re:hype (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306183)

Translation:

You are a whiny bitch anti-fanboy, so if someone beats you, it *must* be hype!

Re:hype (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306199)

Yeah? Then explain why, out of dozens of manufacturers, not a single one has managed to dent Apple's marketshare. And please, before you make any retarded comparisons to the Windows monopoly, keep in mind that there are large swaths of applications that only run on Windows. There is nothing to prevent you from buying a Rio or a Zune for less money and filling it up with the exact same music for equal or lesser prices.

Re:hype (0)

DarkGreenNight (647707) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306285)

Yeah? Then explain why, out of dozens of manufacturers, not a single one has managed to dent Apple's marketshare.

Because of the hype (heavy marketing and "everyone is buying it so I do too").

You see, people are stupid (while a person can be intelligent) and when they go shopping for something to play music on they don't go looking for an MP3 player, they go looking for an ipod. Also it help that it's one of the prettiest units out there, one cannot deny that its design it's clean and attractive (but you can dislike it too). But feature-wise? It didn't seem the best when I looked for one.

3 or 4 years ago (my memory is that bad) I was looking for an MP3 player, and I looked heavily for what would be the best player for me, with access to computer but no desire to make playlists on it (so playlists on the fly were compulsory). Ogg vorbis and linux connection capabilities considered a plus, gapless playback a necessity. So I turned it down to two: an Iriver (don't remember the model) and Rio Karma (the one I bought). I am still happy of my purchase and have no necessity to buy a different one, it's a great player. Why didn't more people do like me and buy something similar? Because we don't like to think much, I spent about 3 months deciding on which one to buy.

So for the uninformed, purchase-it-on-a-whim, mass of people, that are considered the normal buyer standard, there is only ipod. Marketing and aesthetic design winning the war back in the day, and today? I don't know, if I had to buy one I would have a hard time finding what are the current technical capabilities of the different players.

Re:hype (4, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306355)

You see, people are stupid (while a person can be intelligent) and when they go shopping for something to play music on they don't go looking for an MP3 player, they go looking for an ipod. Also it help that it's one of the prettiest units out there, one cannot deny that its design it's clean and attractive (but you can dislike it too).

So, people who choose a different product than the one you like are stupid?

But feature-wise? It didn't seem the best when I looked for one.

"Features" aren't really the main selling point here. Ease of use and form factor are much more important. Most people just want to listen to music. How is the iPod lacking in that respect? It plays music, and works well. Much of the attraction is in the iTunnes software, not the device itself.

Why didn't more people do like me and buy something similar? Because we don't like to think much, I spent about 3 months deciding on which one to buy.

Maybe they did. you seem rather arrogant to suggest that if they choose an iPod, they weren't thinking about their purchase. I know plenty of people who took more than 3 months to think about their decision, and still chose an iPod as the best player. I guess they are just inferior to you.

Ogg vorbis and linux connection capabilities considered a plus, gapless playback a necessity.

Those things don't matter that much to most people. Of those items, gapless playback would be the most popular, but of course, the iPod offers gapless playback, so it's not a differentiating feature. Just because you want those things, doesn't mean it matters to others. Especially Linux and Ogg Vorbis. That is an insignificant question to 99% (or more) of the market.

The thing about paylists is almost opposite to how most people work. Not very many people want to create playlists on the go - that's when they are listening to music. but they enjoy making playlists on their computer, and iTunes features like "Smart Playlists." But most of all they enjoy that they just plug the thing in, and iTunes does the rest.

Perhaps they are thinking about their needs more than you give them credit for?

Re:hype (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306537)

The Karma is a good player from what a read and a co-worker who is on his second one. On the first one the wheel protruding from the corner broke when he dropped it. He didn't drop it on purpose, but from what he'd heard that was a common problem with the model.

I really want whatever player I get next to have scrolling response that works excellently. From trying out iPod's, I know that player has it. It scrolls fast or slow as soon as I want it to.

Re:hype (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306685)

So for the uninformed, purchase-it-on-a-whim, mass of people,...


I'd quite like to see statistics differentiating between people who bought their own iPods and those who got given them as a gift or promotion. I bet that coming up to Christmas every year this conversation happens in many homes:

Granny: Now, Alice, what would you like for Christmas?
Alice: I'd like something to play MP3s on, Granny.
Granny: What do you mean?
Alice: An MP3 player, Granny.
Granny: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
Alice: An iPod, Granny.
Granny: Oh, yes, I've heard of those.

Add to that the thousands of iPods given away to "Employees of the Month" etc., and you have a pretty good turnover from brand recognition alone; none of these purchasers are actually going to use the machine themselves so they buy a middle-of-the-road product that will satisfy the majority, even if it is lacking in specific capabilities the actual end user might like to have.

Re:hype (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306535)

Yeah? Then explain why, out of dozens of manufacturers, not a single one has managed to dent Apple's marketshare.
Since it is commonly thought that sales are a function of both hype and technical strength, selling more players isn't evidence as to where the sales are coming from. Unless you wish to dispute the assumption that hype is relivent to sales (a difficult argument considering the sales of various fads, movie tieins etc.) you are committing a logical falicy.

My personal rant. (1, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306017)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't even listen to music on my genuine IPod or the CDs I own (we used to purchase music from the store back in the day) anymore. First, I can't stand any of the homogenized genres of music being played on the air. Second, the music industry is enslaved to the RIAA and other such organizations. Playing music is a gut wrenching chore to me. Every time I do it, I feel as though I'm licking their fascist boots. As such, all these MP3 devices are pointless to me these days. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple IPod units are falling in sales these days too.

I feel really bad for the independent artists and those trapped via contracts, but the industry needs to die. It needs to be leveled before we can witness a rebirth of the industry in both the consumer and artist's vision.

Re:My personal rant. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306059)

You are just a fuckn hippy. go back to your basement.

Re:My personal rant. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306105)

"First, I can't stand any of the homogenized genres of music being played on the air. Second, the music industry is enslaved to the RIAA and other such organizations. Playing music is a gut wrenching chore to me. Every time I do it, I feel as though I'm licking their fascist boots."

I bet your taste in music sucks because that's the shit you always here from guys who listen to Zappa or crappy little indy bands that suck so much they can't even get signed on a minor label.

Re:My personal rant. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306339)

You're pathetic. Go and watch bands play live in local venues until you find some you like and then buy their home-made CDs and records at their concerts. If you really want to, buy a t-shirt too - to clothe yourself, help advertise their band and also provide them assistance in covering their overheads - practice rooms, transport, promotion etc.

Re:My personal rant. (0, Offtopic)

dohzer (867770) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306369)

Come on!
He's on /..
He didn't even know that bands played anywhere other than on TV or the radio until you posted!

Re:My personal rant. (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306735)

Maybe it's just me, but I don't even listen to music on my genuine IPod


I know how you feel. I discovered the audio archives over at http://www.archive.org/ [archive.org] - there you can download old radio shows ("The Shadow", "The Stan Freeburg Show" etc.) along with a good selection of podcasts from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/waystolisten/podcasts/g uide/ [bbc.co.uk] (I recommend the "Documentary Archive) and now most of my iPod is filled with speech radio.

yes they can (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306025)

Dell DJ Series- yes 512 MB not sold at 15$ creative zen- yes 1 Gig 20$ 20 gig 100$ archos- probably 40 gig not sold at 180$ originally 600-700$ they had some problems- people wouldnt buy them [overpriced?] they were comparable as far as the amount of storage to the Ipod but I am guessing this is a case of Ipod's momentum killing off anything that isnt drastically better. why buy something that isnt as well known when it doesnt do anything spectacular compared to the Ipod?

Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306039)

The non-iPod market reminds me of when I look at Linux desktops. I, or almost anyone with a Mac, could stand in front of a two machines and make a giant list of glaring and astonishingly obvious problem with fonts, alignment, the way UI elements operate, how colour is used to convey importance and information, the names of applications, the sets of options presented to the user, how errors are handled, and so on.

I get the same feeling when I see the non-iPod players. The problems with the entire package, player, software, and store(s), is so obvious to anyone with an iPod that one has to think that the companies are absolutely delusional in their development.

You would think they would just need to spend the cash to have a room with:

A Mac running iTunes
An iPod
One iPod user
Their player they are developing
A machine running their software

and let that person point out all the glaring problems these companies have coming up with a complete package like Apple has with the iPod/iTunes/iTMS.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306079)

I don't think it is that easy. The companies trying to compete with Apple are firmly entrenched in the x86 desktop pc culture. Just look at the attempts at coming up with 'stylish' pc cases that inevitably look like something a teenage boy would design. It's not that they couldn't hire the same type of industrial design and UI experts that Apple employs or use, but that no one in any management position at these companies would even know that they need to do so and even if they did where to look.

Just like Apple has been laughably bad in the areas of business and game software on the Mac, companies have innate cultures that are lead to them being able to excel in specific areas and completely fail in others.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (4, Insightful)

mstone (8523) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306895)

The decision to sell style is one of the best business moves Apple ever made.

Selling style means you've raised the bar beyond simple functionality. Consumers appreciate an attractive package if the basic product is solid, but they resent a flaky product with go-faster stripes. They tend to feel (with justification) that you could have spent the extra money on making the damn thing work.

Apple can meet that challenge for two reasons: First, Apple sells to the high end of the market. Its margins are large enough to support the price of making everything "just work". Second, Apple controls quite a lot of its product stack, so it can make sure all the pieces fit together nicely. PC vendors have trouble selling style for exactly the same reasons. Their margins are much thinner, so the cost of making sure everything's polished will hit them where it hurts. And OEMs don't control a critical part of their product stack: the OS. It doesn't matter how good the components are or how much you've tricked out the box, a high-end Windows PC will have almost all the same issues, glitches and nuisances of a built-in-the-basement POSbox.

Apple has one more advantage, though: It has the institutional discipline to hire expert designers and then listen to what they suggest. That's very hard to do. You can be fairly sure that upper management won't start rewriting your parts specs or re-engineering the motherboard, but everybody thinks they have good taste. And the more self-deluded a company happens to be, the farther it can push patently appalling crap through the production chain before finally having to admit that nobody in their right mind would buy, say, a dog-turd brown MP3 player.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306107)

Macs will never be quite right until Apple gets their act together & properly integrates Firefox.

At present the rest of the desktop looks jarring & ugly compared to Firefox's smooth, clean lines.

FOR GODS SAKE APPLE. Follow the correct Firefox guidelines. Until you do, Apple will be considered a joke on the desktop & considered suitable for embedded applications only.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (1)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306177)

I must be using the wrong Firefox.
Or have it set on some sort of "for the blind" setting.
Firefox seems to take 50% more screen area to render the same site, and still looks as ugly as sin.

Firefox loves Ads too, every Ad image seems to jump up to twice the size it would be when rendered by safari.

Oh wait,...
Your making a joke,...

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (1)

ed (79221) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306399)

If only I had some kind of plug-in for Firefox that would let me block ads, even those on Slashdot

Wiat a minute ....

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (1)

ItsIllak (95786) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306663)

That'd be great - we could all then own iPods and iPod rip-offs, and the associated court time involved. It might even bring Apple to the critical mass where the number of lawyers in the company outstrips the entire staff, I'm sure that'd cause a meltdown.

The reason you beleive this is because you're so used to how your iPod works. Sure, in some ways it may be better (the click wheel for instance is very good), but in many ways it's just what you've gotten used to.

The same argument works for IE vs FF, vi vs Emacs, Word vs LaTeX, C#.net vs ASM. It's simply what you are used to.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306749)

Yes, everyone else is wrong but you and a handful of other odballs...right?

Everyone would love to have a real competitor to Apple and the iPod. The problem right now is that not only is there little chance of that happening anytime soon, the companies competing with Apple aren't just incapable of coming up with a something that matches the iPod/iTunes/iTMS package, they almost certainly don't even know why people buy iPods in overwhelmingly large numbers.

Apple's competitors in the digital music market not only aren't able to outrun Apple in the race for marketshare, they don't even know where the damn finish line is.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306753)

The problem with this approach is that the things the iPod does that are "better" have been copyrighted by Apple, so a competitor has to come up with a different way of achieving the same result without infringing Apple's copyrights and thus risking a legal suit. If a third party startup does come up with a better way of doing something, Apple just buys them up and absorbs their copyrights into their own canon. Resistance is futile.

Re:Reminds Me Of Linux Vs OS X Desktops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306801)

I don't think the suggestion was for companies to sit down with real iPod users so they could make iPod clones but because it doesn't appear that these companies have a clue as to why the iPod is so popular.

Sounds condescending but the miserable results speak for themselves.

Meh... (1)

jombeewoof (1107009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306061)

If I was inclined to buy an ipod like device, I would most likely get something like this. New and hip doesn't mean anything to me really. Accessories.... don't really want or need em.
Shit I don't even have a cell phone.

Re:Meh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306227)

that is because 13yr olds aren't supposed to have cell phones

Re:Meh... (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306389)

"Shit I don't even have a cell phone."

See, now this I don't understand.

I don't have a land line. Why? The cell phone is _cheaper_. If you're going to be pragmatic, ditch the land line.

It's not about new and hip. It's about being fed up with how the old-fashioned phone company rips you off and charges you out the a$$ for features that simply come included with cell plans.

Plus you can take the thing with you. Nobody could ever get in touch with me when I had a land line. Now, they can, plus I get to screen my calls with caller ID and voicemail for free. Woot.

You can take my barebones nokia from my cold dead fingers.

As for the iPod, it simply works with Linux and has a non-annoying interface. Run Amarok or GTKpod and you're good to go. At least I _know_ it
works. It's not about trendy, though a decent design that doesn't look like ass helps.

Cranky Old Man Rant about electronics design and "WTF are they thinking?":

Minimalist design never gets the chance to look like ass. Steve Jobs knows this. Take a brick. Paint it white. You have a White iBrick. Throw a bunch of buttons, weird shapes on it, and you have an Ugly White iBrick. Same goes for laptops. Apple laptops are all striaght clean lines, single color. Tasteful. Doesn't even get the chance to look like ass. Look at a Dell or (horrors) DellAlienware notebook. Looks like ass.

A KitchenAid mixer looks like...a Mixer. It doesn't look like anything else or try to. Yet it's a classic design with clean streamlined lines. If I erased the logo from it, you'd identify it as a KitchenAid anyway.

Sit there and look like a computer, not a ricer box.

Computer fashion victims:

http://img.alibaba.com/img/product/11/32/11/113211 58.jpg [alibaba.com]

It looks like the grille of a Pontiac Aztec.

http://images.planetamd64.com/phatsob/dainescc/dai nescc012.jpg [planetamd64.com]

I know it's a mod, but that will give a 3 yr old nightmares... DAAADDEEEE!!! IT'S COMING TO TAKE MY BRAIIIN!!

http://www.freecomputer.ca/cases2.gif [freecomputer.ca]

Is that a jet intake? Yes, not only do I want it to sound loud, but I want it to _look_ loud and what's louder than a jet engine?

Another mod, but damn....

http://otakuscience.sharper.nl/images/game_pc%20ca se.jpg [sharper.nl]

OMFG, it looks like a Partidge Family lunch box (which is trendy now!) Aaaand it's slightly creepy at the same time! Yes! You too can raise eyebrows at your next LAN party!

Get off my lawn, you kids.

--
BMO

Re:Meh... (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306467)

i will pit my landline against your cell phone bill anyday. mobile phone calls are NOT cheaper, unless your making no calls.

Re:Meh... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306723)

"i will pit my landline against your cell phone bill anyday. mobile phone calls are NOT cheaper, unless your making no calls."

Rhode Island, USA is only 47 miles the long way. Yet it's long-distance for me to call my parents 18 miles away, as the crow flies, on a land-line. "What?" I hear you say? You got it. 2 years ago I looked into possibly getting a land-line through my broadband provider (cox) to _maybe_ save with a bundle, but no, the amount I'd pay for land-line service more than exceeds my monthly cell plan, plus I'd lose the convenience of taking my phone with me.

No sale.

It's the same way with the other land line providers here (VZN, MCI, SBC). You can look across the bay from North Kingstown to Newport RI yet be charged long distance if you phoned it. Back in the BBS days, the placement of a WWIV node in RI was always a strategic decision. Thankfully we had people in various areas that could be used as bridges to other exchanges. And even if you had to call LD, it was cheaper to call a node out in Nevada than use instate LD.

They sell "One State One Rate" plans, but you could just tack that money on to a cell plan.

You'd think things would change over 20 years. Nope, not a chance.

--
BMO

Re:Meh... (2, Insightful)

berberine (1001975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306579)

I don't own a cell phone either and don't plan on it. I leave my house to get away from people. Taking a phone with me would prevent this from happening. A cell phone is not cheaper where I live. I've done the math and a it's actually about $5 more a month where I live. I have an answering machine and no need for voice mail. I don't have a use for caller ID either.

As for ipod killers, I have my Creative Zen since before the ipod even existed. It works great and does what I want. If/when it breaks, I'll go back to Creative. I have no need for an ipod, nor its zillion accessories. I have my mp3 player with a case and headphones. I don't want, or need, to plug it into another fifty devices or have interchangable covers or any of the other things you can attach to it. I also don't care what it looks like. I care about how it works and if it gets the job done. I want to listen to music on a reliable player. My Zen does that.

Some people have just grown so accustomed to being constantly connected that they just can't understand that there are other people out there that don't need/want what's the latest gadget, nor do they want to be connected to the world 24/7.

Re:Meh... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306955)

His argument had nothing to do with 'being constantly connected', that was just one of the bonuses. It is just generally cheaper to have a cellphone now. Of course, that assumes a fairly basic plan and that you use -some- long distance.

It would actually be cheaper for me to have a land-line, but not by much. I pay about $30/mo for my cellphone (4-way family plan, $120/mo total) and land lines start at $24, last I checked. (2 years ago.) For the extra $6, I get free long distance, unlimited calling to other customers of my cell company (not advertising for them), voicemail, and (this is a bonus for me, but apparently not for you) I can keep in touch wherever I am. If I used a land-line to call work, I'd be calling long distance and almost assuredly end up paying more than the $6/mo extra.

There's nothing stopping you from having a cell in your house and just leaving it there when you go out.

As for the $5... When was the last time you checked that? Prices are falling all the time. It's getting ridiculously cheap to have a cellphone.

Re:Meh... (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306787)

I don't have a land line. Why? The cell phone is _cheaper_. If you're going to be pragmatic, ditch the land line.


I only have a landline to get the bundled "free" ADSL. If I could get 8Mb/s through a cell 'phone for less then I would just have a cell 'phone. I rarely make actual 'phone calls.

Re:Meh... (1)

Singletoned (619322) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307005)

Minimalist design never gets the chance to look like ass.

That's one of the most insightful things I've read for a long time. I've always liked minimalist design, but having read that I've grokked something about why. Thank you.

Still not an iPod (2, Funny)

djcatnip (551428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306139)

No matter how you slice it, a gigabeat ain't an iPod.

Re:Still not an iPod (1)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306323)

In CmdrTaco's eyes, that's probably a good thing too.

"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

While Taco is asleep (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306141)

Am I unduly suspicious, or is there something wrong when an 'anonymous reader' submits an article that is basically a sales pitch?

Re:While Taco is asleep (1)

mstone (8523) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306933)

No, you're not; and yes, there is. Especially when the tease contains high-test flamebait like, "They just couldn't compete under all the iPod hype."

Of course troll-whoring like that is pretty much guaranteed to give Slashdot's editors a stiffy, so of course it got approved.

Yeah...Well... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19306203)

Just like the Zune, any non-iPod device is something you only show to your very closest friends, amongst nervous laughter, as you explain to them the embarrassing chain of events that led you to buying it.

Re:Yeah...Well... (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306213)

But you don't show your iPod to anyone because everyone got 2.

They brought it on themselves (3, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306255)

Just remember how clunky the devices were before iPod and how inconvenient online music sales were before iTMS. USB 1.0 use alone meant a PC hung for 10 minutes after you located mp3 files to transfer manually on your hard drive. The use of Firewire, although phased out later, meant that it was now practical to sync your whole library - to a device you could jog with.

Obviously after iPod became a market leader, it's not enough for the same companies that tarnished their image in recent past to come up with a device that has roughly the same features as the iPod for a similar price. Offer one click hardware-accelerated DVD transfer or saving individual songs as MP3s based on info received from over-the-air FM stations and we are off to something. Of course, this product will have to be made in a free country.

Archos CHEAP? (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306283)

I can't see a 40Gb Archos 700 for under 150ukp (300usd) on ebay, and 30Gb WiFi-604's are 250ukp (500usd). So if that's "pennies on the dollar" then, they must be REAL expensive retail.

Obvious to Woot! customers (1)

Yeechang Lee (3429) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306375)

This phenomenon is well known to devotees of Woot! [woot.com] . iPod knockoffs comprise seemingly half the seven new products offered each week—various Roomba models comprise the other half—and a good chunk of the selection during each Woot-off.

Failed for Technical Reasons and DRM Reasons (4, Insightful)

gig (78408) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306427)

> They just couldn't compete under all the iPod hype.

Bullshit. They failed for technical reasons or for DRM reasons or for a combination of technical and DRM reasons and may get an assist from bad or no design. You are defending the 8-track tape. It is pitiful from a technical perspective. The "PC" technology market did not take over the consumer entertainment technology market as planned. Let it go.

iPod hype hit in like 2004-2005 when the iPod was already years old and had already bested all rivals on technical, DRM, and design merits. Something like 90% of iPods ever sold have color screens, that excludes the first 3 generations entirely, they are just a blip on the radar, but those were sales to a much, much geekier crowd.

It may be a treasure trove for Slashdot readers but maybe that's only because we will have the right combination of diminished expectations and technical know-how to not be disappointed in one of these devices.

Re:Failed for Technical Reasons and DRM Reasons (1)

Peet42 (904274) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306819)

Bullshit. They failed for technical reasons or for DRM reasons or for a combination of technical and DRM reasons and may get an assist from bad or no design. You are defending the 8-track tape. It is pitiful from a technical perspective.


I think Betamax might be a better example - technically superior to VHS, but killed off by a combination of hype and under-the-table dealings with the movie studios.

DRM??? (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306861)


They failed for technical reasons or for DRM reasons or for a combination of technical and DRM reasons and may get an assist from bad or no design.


What DRM did these players have which the IPod didn't? Can you give some examples?

Re:DRM??? (2, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306931)

They failed because they couldn't support the one DRM that had mass market adoption: iTunes Music Store. No one else in any meaningful numbers bought into any other DRM scheme out there.

I mean shit. They sold hundreds of millions (if not billions) of tracks.

I Love My iPod (2, Interesting)

arollo (1108575) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306439)

When I was a DJ on my college station a couple years back, I bought an iPod so that I didn't have to drag my records and CD's all the way down to the university on my bike. I ran my show off of my little box of rock, and damn it, the thing has taken a severe beating and keeps on ticking. You definately get your moneys worth when you buy an iPod.

The reason why I bought an iPod over any other player?

Because I didn't really care, and when I went to buy an MP3 player, the only thing I could find was an iPod. If stores will only stock iPod, there must be something to it. I dunno.

Rockbox gives some of them new life (2, Insightful)

Ptur (866963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306481)

Using http://www.rockbox.org/ [rockbox.org] can give some older or failed (marketing-wise) players new life. Rockbox runs fine on the Gigabeat Fx0 :)

And by cents on the dollar (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#19306853)

...the article actually means 75c on the dollar, or 3/4 the price that they were originally selling for. Wow, what a bargain, you can get a 2 or 3 years old player for 75% of the original price.

I must say, I am not very excited.

I just bought an iPod (1)

nuggz (69912) | more than 7 years ago | (#19307021)

I had many off brand mp3 players, just bought an 8 gig nano for my wife.
solid, responsive, easy to use, quick to use (scrolling).

The iTunes software is a bit clunky to get used to, but overall I'd say that it is much nicer than the other mp3 players I've used.

For only a few dollars less why would I consider wasting my time on an mp3 player that is likely not as good?
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