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Author Topic: Is a Flash iPod on the horizon?  (Read 4185 times)
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Dafones
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« on: January 07, 2005, 03:31:01 AM »

Apparently Apple may have a flash-based iPod on the way. This is the kind of MP3 player I've been waiting for. Of course, it's the kind of player I thought Apple was going to announce last year with the Mini, so who knows how the rumours will really shape up. Guess we'll know what the deal is by the middle of next week.
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2005, 07:55:45 PM »

That is cool - and the pricing seems pretty good: $150 for 1GB, especially with iTunes integration.

I have a Rio Cali 256MB with an expansion slot.  So I could spend half the $ and have slightly more storage.  Looking at it that way, it's hard to know if iTunes stat tracking is worth $75.

Anyway, I wonder what they'll look like.
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Dafones
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2005, 08:06:28 PM »

Quote
[It] will feature a screen that is the same width as the iPod mini's but two lines shorter. Not certain at this point is what sort of touch-based interface the device will use. Some sources have suggested that device will forgo Apple's ClickWheel, featured on the iPod mini and 4G iPod, and will instead have more buttons, like the first generation iPod.


I read an article yesterday that said the flashPod may not have a screen at all, which seems a little weird. I also doubt that Apple would get rid of the newer click wheel in favour of the older style - unless the recent change isn't as much of an improvement as I generally thought it was.

I'd expect the flashPod to be Mini-like in appearance.
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ravenvii
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2005, 09:17:45 PM »

*This is rumor, this is NOT factual information*

Nah, it'll have a screen... it'll be the same width as the iPod mini, but two lines shorter. And it'll be 1-2 GB, starting at about $150. It'll be announced at MacWorld San Francisco on Tuesday at Jobs' keynote.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2005, 09:26:35 PM »

I think this one's bogus

iWork, 'Headless' Mac, and updates to iLife I'm betting on for sure, but I doubt that they would dilute the iPod line like that.  I would rather see the mini get a larger capacity model and the current one go down in price.
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Dafones
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2005, 10:19:57 PM »

I don't think it would dilute the iPod family, I think it would give Apple total domination of the low end MP3 player market. They'd have products to cover the entire spectrum, to suit every buyer. I mean, if the rumours are true, I'm going to buy one. Assuming the price is right, the flashPod is exactly what I've been looking for.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2005, 10:32:26 PM »

Until the day they let me listen to my WMA's on an IPod, no IPod for me frown

Pity, because I like the size/style--but I use WMP to burn my CD's, and I'm not changing formats for the sake of Apple.  Even if the damn thing IS sexy.
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2005, 12:01:05 AM »

iTUnes converts WMA files to MP3 automatically, if you let it.
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2005, 03:23:52 AM »

But you're converting from a lossy compression to another lossy compression.  It will not sound as good as if you'd just ripped the music into MP3 or AAC directly.
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Fireball
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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2005, 05:27:56 AM »

Warning, you can import your WMA files into iTunes in as Apple Lossless, which won't degrade the quality, though it may take up way more space.
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Laner
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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2005, 05:33:06 PM »

Quote from: "Fireball1244"
Warning, you can import your WMA files into iTunes in as Apple Lossless, which won't degrade the quality, though it may take up way more space.

To say the least.  Converting to a ~30MB song that has WMA sound quality is a very poor solution.  Might as well re-rip at that point.  Not to mention that using Apple Lossless on an iPod is going to severely hurt the already lackluster battery life.
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Fireball
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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2005, 06:14:02 PM »

Yes, I would rerip instead of import. Just offering a suggestion.

I reripped all my physical CDs from which I had produced MP3 files to AAC last year. Saved space and improved the audio quality, so it was win-win all around.
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Dafones
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« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2005, 06:20:25 PM »

I don't know what Apple is up to anymore. From MacityNet:

Quote
We cannot show the images of the new iPod because we were forced to delete them from our cameras, but we can describe it. It is without any screen (that's maybe because the slogan is "Life is random!"), small, with a shape more vertical than the other iPod. The color is white, and it seems like a small remote control that fits confortably in a single hand.


23 hours left until we see what the hell is going on ...
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« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2005, 07:56:48 PM »

Again, that sounds cool, and kind of like the iRiver stick-looking players.  My great fear of Apple MP3 players is that they add $50 to the price tag just for being an Apple product - if they'd just price their items like everyone else, they'd own even more of the market.  But apparently people will pay for the status.
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th'FOOL
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« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2005, 08:59:56 PM »

Actually, in my experience, you are paying for quality, not brand.  Apple uses extremely high quality components.  Look inside a G5 sometime, it's AMAZING.
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« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2005, 09:11:28 PM »

Quote from: "th'FOOL"
Actually, in my experience, you are paying for quality, not brand.  Apple uses extremely high quality components.  Look inside a G5 sometime, it's AMAZING.


Disclaimer: I own a Powerbook G4 and a Dual 866 G4 PowerMac and a 3G iPod.

Maybe for the super high end G5s that's the case, but in my experience the components by and large are exactly what you get with any other x86 PC.  IBM/Fujitsu Hard Drives, Panasonic optical drives.  ATI/Nvidia video cards.  IBM-fabbed CPUs.  Motorola modems. Crucial/Kingston/whatever memory.  Samsung/LG flat panels. The laptops are designed by the same compan(y/ies) that design everyone else's laptops.    Basically, the same OEM components that Dell/IBM/Gateway use.  They can get away with charging more because if you want OS X, they're the only game in town.  Same with the iPod - if you want that particular status symbol, you're going to pay for it.
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Fireball
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2005, 09:58:45 PM »

Laner, you could also argue that they have to charge a bit more because of OS X. They have to recoup investment costs that a parasite company like Dell doesn't have to shoulder.
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Dafones
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2005, 12:57:58 AM »

From Think Secret:

Quote
Shuffle? That's the name, sources say, Apple will assign to its flash-based iPod. The name threw us for a loop initially, too, but one only needs to turn to the Macworld Expo banner photos MacityNet snapped of the accidentally-exposed product to see that this is more than plausible--they bear the tag line "Life is random."

...

Also, new information suggests that Apple will only offer a 1GB flash-based iPod, as opposed to the 1GB and 2GB versions we originally reported as possible.


No screen and name like "Shuffle" ... I really hope that this new iPod isn't a little unit that you cram 250 songs onto, only to have them play at random, leaving you at the mercy of fate, without the ability to pick your next song.

When I want to listen to 99 Red Balloons, I better be able to choose 99 Red Balloons!
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« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2005, 02:40:14 AM »

Then it appears you may prefer the iPod mini.

I kinda like the random idea, so long as you can turn it off and just play linearly through your list. But with random, it's like a radio station with no announcer which always plays songs you like.


And hey, Think Secret isn't letting that lawsuit slow 'em down. Go, Nick, go!
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« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2005, 04:09:51 AM »

Quote from: "Fireball1244"
Then it appears you may prefer the iPod mini.

as the owner of a 20GB iPod, i still can't understand the appeal of the iPod Mini...unless you absolutely have to have a cute color.  it's not all that much smaller than an iPod, and you get a whole lot less for your money.  it's just my opinion, but i really don't think the very slight size difference and saving $50 makes up for losing 16GB of storage.  to each his own though...
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« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2005, 04:21:47 AM »

The size, lower weight and colors are apparently quite popular. I thought it would choke, too. I was very disappointed after Macworld last year (Crayola Smoker may be able to recall my "unimpressed" reaction). I was way wrong. The Mini has been a big hit.
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Fireball
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« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2005, 05:47:33 AM »

My consideration of the rumored iPod Shuffle. For what it's worth. slywink
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« Reply #22 on: January 11, 2005, 02:22:42 PM »

Quote from: "disarm"
Quote from: "Fireball1244"
Then it appears you may prefer the iPod mini.

as the owner of a 20GB iPod, i still can't understand the appeal of the iPod Mini...unless you absolutely have to have a cute color.


36% smaller by volume, 16% cheaper by retail price and a lot of us simply don't have a need for 20GB of storage.

I have a 6 disc MP3/CD player in my car with only one disc in it because I don't really have more than 650-700MB of songs (12 albums, about 10 hours, in my case) I care to listen to regularly... why do I need capacity for 5,000 songs?

a 1GB Flash player would be about perfect for me...
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2005, 07:00:25 PM »

The latest... ( http://mwsf.macnn.com )

Quote
# iPod shuffle features new iTunes with auto-fill that will automatically select songs for iPod shuffle. Can also be used at flash storage device. 256MB usually cost $149. iPod shuffle in two versions: 512MB ($99) and 1GB ($149). Neon green box. Now shipping. Apple offers four accessories: Dock, Battery extender (20hours of battery life), Car adapter--each $29. Due in next four weeks.  [10:56 PT]

# Apple introduces iPod Shuffle..flash based player. Smaller than most packs of game. Weighs the same as 4 quarters (less than 1 ounce). Volume/Up dow. Simple LED to provide feedback. No display. Either shuffle or album-based playback. USB 2 transfer connector under connector at the bottom. 12-hour rechargeable battery. Mac/PC compatible. Ships with a laynard that connects directly to bottom connector for easy carrying. [10:52 PT]


http://www.apple.com/ipodshuffle/

No FM?  Blah... guess I'll be buying an iRiver.
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Fireball
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2005, 07:52:01 PM »

Why would you expect FM? Apple has never included a radio tuner with an iPod product, and none was rumored for this device.
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2005, 09:18:36 PM »

It's a fair expectation considering what else is out there - same for the ability to expand the storage space.  1GB isn't going to seem like much when 2GB smart cards are $75, which is where 1GB Smart Cards are now.

It's neat, and a cool intro to iTunes, but otherwise, not much to it.
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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2005, 10:14:00 PM »

Quote from: "Fireball1244"
Why would you expect FM?

I never said I did.  But I want FM, therefore I will look elsewhere.
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Dafones
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2005, 10:20:28 PM »

I has reservations at first, but now I think I totally understand why Apple would go about creating a "Shuffle" player. The unit is only 1 Gig - and that's if you go for the bigger version - this is not a player that you're going to copy your entire music library onto. This guy is for the songs that you're really digging right now, the handful of albums or singles that are stuck in your head. The iPod Shuffle is a digital radio station, randomly playing the songs that are your current favs.

This may not be everyone's cup of tea - it may not even be mine, as much as I wanted to like it. But I get where Apple's coming from. I want an iPod, and it's funny, but I'm swaying between all three. Do I want the most expensive player that will hold pretty much every CD I own, whether I'll listen to them or not? Do I want the middle ground player that will easily hold all of the CDs that I actually want to listen to? Or do I want the "cheap" 'lil guy that can still hold a good number of albums, the ones I'm listening to the most, and also play the singles that I like?

I said this earlier in the thread:

Quote
I don't think it [the then rumoured iPod Shuffle] would dilute the iPod family, I think it would give Apple total domination of the low end MP3 player market. They'd have products to cover the entire spectrum, to suit every buyer.


I stand by this even more now, though I'm not sure what kind of buyer I'll wind up being.
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« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2005, 01:49:19 AM »

IN!
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« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2005, 03:32:22 AM »

Quote from: "Dafones"
I has reservations at first, but now I think I totally understand why Apple would go about creating a "Shuffle" player. The unit is only 1 Gig - and that's if you go for the bigger version - this is not a player that you're going to copy your entire music library onto. This guy is for the songs that you're really digging right now, the handful of albums or singles that are stuck in your head. The iPod Shuffle is a digital radio station, randomly playing the songs that are your current favs.


From what I recall, the iPod Mini was supposed to bethe iPod for the active individual.  The person who wanted to use it while jogging, riding a bike, whatever.  IMO, the iPod Shuffle is the device the iPod Mini was billed as.  An incredibly small, lightweight iPod with zero chance of skipping that holds enough music to keep you rocking through a really long workout.  And, best of all, it won't break the bank or be so close in price that choosing between them becomes difficult.  If I had more disposable income I'd be all over the iPod Shuffle.
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2005, 09:01:35 AM »

I just ordered the 512 MB version ($99), so I'll let you all know what I think. smile
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2005, 12:31:14 PM »

I use my current player mostly for playing audiobooks I've ripped from CD.  But it's only 128 mb and I've started using iTunes more and more to organize my computer.  The iPod Shuffle sounds about perfect but I obviously can't listen to audiobooks in random order.  I'd be interested to know if you are able to select exactly what you want to have on the device and if you can play it back in a specific order.
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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2005, 02:00:57 PM »

Quote from: "warning"
I'd be interested to know if you are able to select exactly what you want to have on the device and if you can play it back in a specific order.


Yes, and yes.

Quote
Link 1:
For the ultimate exercise in uncertainty, let iTunes randomly Autofill your iPod shuffle. iTunes creates a playlist that fits your style — and your iPod shuffle’s capacity. For finer control over your portable music collection, set Autofill to add specific playlists or add higher-rated songs first. Or turn Autofill off and manually select the songs you want to tote on your iPod shuffle.


Quote
Link 2:
If things take a turn for the predictable, never fear. Turn iPod shuffle over, flip the slider to Shuffle and mix on the go.


The "on" toggle has three positions - off, straight-through-loop, and random-loop.

I think my favorite part of the iPod Shuffle is that the device itself plugs straight into a USB port for syncing and charging.  No need to carry around any extra cables.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2005, 02:08:42 PM »

This player is perfect for me.  I was leaning toward an iRiver, but I think I will go with the gig iPod Shuffle.  I travel a lot with my new job, and it would perfect for the plane.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2005, 02:24:00 PM »

I just ordered the gig version!  I paid extra for 2 day shipping, only to have it tell me after ordering that it may not ship for 1 to 2 weeks.  Hell, I wouldn't have paid extra for 2 day if I had known that.  I leave for Denver on Tuesday.  Really hope it comes in by then.

Now, can you all explain iTunes to me?  what is so good about it?  

I have a ton of mp3s on my computer, which I using.  I also have an audio book I haven't finished yet, that I plan on ripping to mp3 and putting on the shuffle.  I should have no trouble doing that right?
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2005, 02:31:29 PM »

Quote from: "Eco-Logic"
Now, can you all explain iTunes to me?  what is so good about it?  

I have a ton of mp3s on my computer, which I using.  I also have an audio book I haven't finished yet, that I plan on ripping to mp3 and putting on the shuffle.  I should have no trouble doing that right?

No, you should have no trouble with the audiobook...in fact the new Shuffle is also Audible-backed, one of the reasons I went with an iPod when I bought an MP3 player.
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2005, 02:42:16 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
Quote from: "Eco-Logic"
Now, can you all explain iTunes to me?  what is so good about it?  

I have a ton of mp3s on my computer, which I using.  I also have an audio book I haven't finished yet, that I plan on ripping to mp3 and putting on the shuffle.  I should have no trouble doing that right?

No, you should have no trouble with the audiobook...in fact the new Shuffle is also Audible-backed, one of the reasons I went with an iPod when I bought an MP3 player.


Very good.  Man I hope it comes before Tuesday!
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« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2005, 05:27:20 PM »

I actually just cancelled my order.  

I decided that I actually prefer a screen so i know the title of the song playing.  

I am going to look at other 1 gig flash mp3 players and decide.
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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2005, 05:39:37 PM »

Don't know if this is helpful, but for the same $ as the 1GB iPod you can pick up a Rio Forge and 1GB card.  You'll get a nice player (with screen), an equalizer, FM Tuner, arm band, and the ability to upgrade with larger memory cards.

Also, if you have a Mac, you can use iTunes with the Forge.
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2005, 05:53:17 PM »

warning, as far as I know, you're able to make an abundance of playlists through iTunes that carry over onto the iPod, so that'll keep your audiobooks and whole albums together. It's your choice whether you want to hit the shuffle button and see what the iPod chooses to serve up for you.

One other feature I really dig about the player is that it doubles as a USB memory stick.

"Johnson, why are you listening to music when you're supposed to be working??"
"Uh, sir, it's my backup memory stick. I have the entire Greenbrook presentation on here ready to go for this afternoon."
"Oh. Good work then. Carry on."
"Will do ....... sucker."

And then his silhouette takes a moment to dance around a trippy orange office with his iPod Shuffle.
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