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MacBytes
Jan 17, 2005, 01:26 AM
Category: Tunes
Link: Sound Advice: New MP3 players offer competition to hot iPod (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050117022607)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

winmacguy
Jan 17, 2005, 01:52 AM
If you want to give the guy some advice here is his email
don@multimediaanswers.com
Since he is obviously an "informed" journo!

solvs
Jan 17, 2005, 03:32 AM
Wow. Don't these "journalists" realize that when they get the information wrong, it pretty much negates every point they're trying to make. The iPod is only 60 % of the market including flash players, which as he says, they are now part of. It's about 90-something % of hd players, and that's only because HP takes up another 7 % with their iPod. Plus, Apple doesn't make a 30GB iPod anymore. The iPod Photo starts at 40GB.

More about iPod killers, that we all know won't. Features, price, it doesn't matter. The best any of those can do is try to chip away a bit of that ~90 %, but most likely they'll just be competing over the other ~3 %.

Funny how for once, it's the other way around for Apple.

polyesterlester
Jan 17, 2005, 04:41 AM
Isn't it funny that the m:robe (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_musicplayer.asp), a shiny black music player, has white earbud headphones?

Sharewaredemon
Jan 17, 2005, 08:46 AM
Isn't it funny that the m:robe (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_musicplayer.asp), a shiny black music player, has white earbud headphones?

I don't like it, the big on is too big and I like buttons, so I wouldn't like a touch pad, and the smaller one (5 gb) looks really wierd. Something I would like to see in person, play with, but definatly not own.

Also I emailed the author about the 30 gb iPod comment.

balconycollapse
Jan 17, 2005, 09:00 AM
Good grief. How many players are on the market now? Olympus!? I can understand the idea of adding a peripheral to the camera to view images, but what the heck is an m:robe. tuultle 2:late.

None of these blockheads get it, it's about synergy between iTunes and iPod. The coolness factor of the Apple brand is the icing on the cake. Likewise none of these will be iPod killers. The walkman gave sony years of occupying a slightly more expensive bracket on the store shelf next to the cheap, crap, cassette decks with no rewind and cd players with lousy parts. Apple will continue getting all the upsells. Apple is the sony of this genre.

One thing holds true, it seems for every genuine Apple fan there is some disgruntled Windows user who can't admit for a second they may be wrong about a past PC purchase. "I was right in 1974 and therefore I must be right today!" Close minded individuals like this are biting their nose off to spite their face, and end up writing articles for "pay" like the one we just read.

narco
Jan 17, 2005, 09:21 AM
I kind of like the touch-screen, but if we learned anything from the 3rd generation iPod, it's that touch-sensitivity wears down the batteries quite a bit. Didn't care to read the entire article, so I could be wrong.

I do have to admit, at least the competition is getting better. Two years ago none of these companies would even think to put pictures on an mp3 player, now everyone and their mama is doing so.

Who needs R&D when you have Apple, right?

Fishes,
narco.

Fender2112
Jan 17, 2005, 09:25 AM
Does anyone have photos or links to photos they can post? I'd love to see some of these next generation iPod killers. :D

Mainyehc
Jan 17, 2005, 09:41 AM
This feature is sure to be appreciated by music fans who don't like computers or don't want to spend a lot of time importing, converting and uploading tracks.

:rolleyes:

Seriously, what is this guy thinking of?? I don't know about Toshiba's software, but if it's as good as Winblows Media Player, it won't convince iTunes users that easily... And I don't think the iTunes/iPod combination is that easy to reproduce, doing a nice-looking piece of hardware just isn't enough, especially now that the iPod opened most people's eyes to how the "digital lifestyle" should be: completely hassle free and with great, easy to use devices and software. So, these so-called competitors aren't even taking advantage of Microsoft's lame attempt at dethroning Apple from the digital music business by not bundling the horrid WMP... It's a lose-lose situation. If they do so, the user experience will be terrible because of WMP, if they don't, we'll end up with dozens of different media players/"iPod" managers (hey, aren't all those "things" called iPods now?? :D). How good is that? Three should suffice, WMP, some craptastic thing from Real, and iTunes...

Anyway, on the music players themselves... the mp3-only version of that "m:rob" (:p) thing looks good, though. Sure, it doesn't look as nice as a 3G black iPod with a red blacklight would look (I'm not talking about the U2 iPod, I don't like the red clickwheel that much), but since Apple never produced an iPod like that... I'd have to try it, though. Its controls look a lot like the Zen's, and if they work like those, then I won't consider it an "iPod killer". Maybe a viable alternative, ironically, a good looking ripoff of the Zen Touch and Zen Micro (except for the white earbuds, they really tried hard to imitate Apple... As someone pointed out, that is just plain stupid, they could be black to match the player's look. And besides, white is getting so... mainstream :p. Oh well... :rolleyes: ). Oh, and that "+" thing from Toshiba, even though it looks cool and has a large colour screen, has "ripoff" written all over it. I'd also have to try it before I can trash its interface. :D And they call that competition?

We'll see about that. Those who think the iPod is just about good looks are those who never owned or tried one, IMHO.

Yvan256
Jan 17, 2005, 09:42 AM
None of these blockheads get it, it's about synergy between iTunes and iPod.

Exactly! Man, it really makes me laugh... "THIS will be the iPod killer!"

Nope. No iTunes, no iTMS, no killer. As you say, they don't get it! If it hadn't been for iTunes, I'd never have bought an iPod! I didn't pay for a shiny MP3 player with an Apple logo in the back, I paid for seamless integration between my jukebox (iTunes is way better than WinAmp) and my portable player. The iPod also has a nice, easy-to-use interface, which is also a plus.

If any "reporter" is reading, hear this: the only company who can make an iPod killer is Apple. And with the iPod shuffle now in the mix (and at those prices!), Apple won't lose the market this year either (in fact, I believe they'll be eating a huge chunk of that ~30% flash marketshare).

More companies entering the market is beyond me.

Mainyehc
Jan 17, 2005, 10:01 AM
If any "reporter" is reading, hear this: the only company who can make an iPod killer is Apple.

Aren't you forgetting a certain company which signed a certain deal with Apple to rebrand iPods...? :D

By the way, have you noticed which PeeCee tower Apple used in their Mac mini page for size comparison between the two? Be sure to go check it ;)

edit: I'll have to tell you since Apple took the image out of their US site... It was an HP Pavillion tower. They must have upsetted their "iPod partners" preety badly... Could this have anything to do with HP halting iPod orders? :confused: (from what I've read, it had nothing to do with that but with price protection issues. But anyway, Apple loves to do this thing... remember "Introducing Longhorn"? That one was grrrrreat :D)

Ah, but that image still appears in the UK site of the Mac mini:

http://www.apple.com/uk/macmini/design.html

wrldwzrd89
Jan 17, 2005, 10:31 AM
The only way any of these will beat the iPod/iTunes combination is if they have these 3 things:

1. Uniqueness factor (some feature(s) to entice users to buy it instead of an iPod)
2. Easy to use device user interface (without this, people will buy it only to return it later)
3. Easy to use music manager software and synchronization (so users can get their music collection on their device, or if the device is too small, choose what to put on the device)

Grading the iPod:
1. B
2. B
3. A
Overall: B

Grading the competition:
1. A
2. D
3. F
Overall: D

rjwill246
Jan 17, 2005, 10:32 AM
Good grief. How many players are on the market now? Olympus!? I can understand the idea of adding a peripheral to the camera to view images, but what the heck is an m:robe. tuultle 2:late.

None of these blockheads get it, it's about synergy between iTunes and iPod. The coolness factor of the Apple brand is the icing on the cake.

Here's what Gizmodo had to say:

"Olympus is totally pushing their two new m:robe devices this year—if you thought it was going to be hard to get one in the US, worry no longer. The m:robe 500 is always awesome, with its 20GB hard drive and touchscreen interface. The problem is, the camera sort of sucks, and I don't really care if I can "remix" my images into music slideshows or not. And as a music player, it's a little big and a little convoluted to really appeal to me.


Now the m:robe 100 [pictured] on the other hand—that's a mighty fine device. The interface is just a tad bit confusing at first, but it's extremely good looking and feels great in your hand. The scroll bit is a little bit slower than using an iPod, but it's still pretty usable, and the red-on-black look is wicked in every sense of the word. The only glaring problem I noticed in the 5GB player is the fact that the glossy front surface gets really janky with finger oils very quickly. You'll be doing a lot of wiping it on your shirt or something before showing it off to your friends."

The writer probably didn't intend this but this description is as close to damning with faint praise as you can get.

jydesign
Jan 17, 2005, 12:06 PM
Isn't it funny that the m:robe (http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_section/cpg_digital_musicplayer.asp), a shiny black music player, has white earbud headphones?

What gets me is that in the earbud era, the player itself has a big ugly 70's style headphones icon on its screen in the promo photos. Is this an attempt to get 'old school' points, or just another example of gear heads treating graphic design as a cheap post-development afterthought?

Sharewaredemon
Jan 17, 2005, 12:40 PM
I'm not sure what the deal is with the article, and how much research the author did, but I emailed him earlier today and here is the email and his reply.

Hi,

I was just emailing to inform you that Apple no longer makes iPods in
30 gb capacities, and hasn't since they introduced the latest fourth
generation model.

Thanks

****** *******


On 1/17/05 9:53 AM, "****** ******" wrote:

Sorry I forgot to tell you that Apple replaced the 30gb iPod with a
40gb iPod.

(This is his reply)

They just did that last week, didn't they?




I replied to this that you haven't been able to get a 30 gb iPod new from Apple since August and I resisted telling him to put more research into his articles. Though I might do so if his reply shows his lack of care put into his job further.

mrsebastian
Jan 17, 2005, 01:47 PM
"The bevy of new high-end players will likely force Apple to offer additional features and lower prices, and consumers will reap the benefits no matter which model they decide upon."

besides the fact, that the whole article is annoying regurgitated [bleep], the above quoted final line of the article just kills me. apple already offers the best product for the money and will continue to make it better and cheaper. i don't care if the pope is coming out with an audio player, there is no real competition for the ipod. yes, they'll sell some units, but nothing like apple. i've said it before and i'll say it again, until a company makes a comparable, as easy to use, and at least half as expensive unit, there is no such thing as an ipod killer or real competition.