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MacRumors
Jan 6, 2004, 08:04 AM
Rio today announced (http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040106/sftu015_1.html) a new 4GB version of their Rio Nitrus MP3 player.

The previous version of the Rio Nitrus was a $219 1.5GB device (http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/shop/_templates/item_main_Rio.asp?model=219&cat=53) based on Cornice's previous 1.5GB mini hard drive.

The 4GB version is based on the previous design and will have an estimated U.S. street price of $249. No indication is given as to the hard drive technology used in the new version, but readers will note that Cornice just announced (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/01/20040105151253.shtml) a 2.0GB version of their storage device.

Apple has been widely rumored (http://ipod.macrumors.com) to introduce new mini-iPods.

Mr. Anderson
Jan 6, 2004, 08:07 AM
Well, if they don't announce mini-pods, these new ones will have some serious competition to offer.

It brings up that old question of whether innovation and market leadership can be sustained over time......

D

Gizmotoy
Jan 6, 2004, 08:08 AM
So we are now aware that both 2GB and 4GB mini-hard drives, in fact, exist. This is very interesting, indeed.

amichalo
Jan 6, 2004, 08:10 AM
If you go to RIOaudio.com and look at the 1.5 GB Nitrus, you will see this:
"*1 GB equals 1,000,000,000 bytes" - sadly, Rio does not even know how many bytes are in a gigabyte.

NoVi
Jan 6, 2004, 08:10 AM
Wow, Rio is spoiling the Apple party..Steve Jobs will not be amused.

The Nitrus looks nice BTW.

bensisko
Jan 6, 2004, 08:11 AM
$250 seems pretty steep for 4gig, especially since I can get a 10 gig iPod for $299.

...especially if Apple refreshs the iPod line to make the 20 gig the low end at $299....

amichalo
Jan 6, 2004, 08:11 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Anderson
Well, if they don't announce mini-pods, these new ones will have some serious competition to offer.

Depends on how different the 'street price' is from the retail. At $249 - i'd rather spend another $50 and get an iPod with 250% the capacity, Apple engineering, and iTMS compatability.

AirUncleP
Jan 6, 2004, 08:12 AM
Rio is trying to steal second base when their down by 10 runs. Go right ahead but your still going to lose.

MacWorld announcements will be the topic of discussion in all my classes today.

robbieduncan
Jan 6, 2004, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by amichalo
If you go to RIOaudio.com and look at the 1.5 GB Nitrus, you will see this:
"*1 GB equals 1,000,000,000 bytes" - sadly, Rio does not even know how many bytes are in a gigabyte.

This is standard in the hard drive business. Apple say the same about the iPod.

From the iPod Tech specs page " (2) 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less."

Wonder Boy
Jan 6, 2004, 08:17 AM
i like the black shell it has. that being said, keeping with the "think different" mantra, i dont think we'll see mini black ipods despite their probable demand.

Phobophobia
Jan 6, 2004, 08:25 AM
Although I think Rio is a nice company, I don't think they will last long against the iPod if they are trying to compete with it. The Nitrus is a complete rip-off, and pretty much always has been.

Gizmotoy
Jan 6, 2004, 08:28 AM
I'd venture a guess that we're likely to see both a 2 and 4GB Mini-Pod, probably at $100-150 and $200-250 respectively. I'd then have to assume that these will be somehow different, either in overall appearance or features, to set them apart from the full iPods. I would guess that the 10GB may become a 15, perhaps the 20 to a 30, and 40 to 60? All at their current price-points. There it is, my "official" guess ;)

pkradd
Jan 6, 2004, 08:30 AM
This shows that a $ 99 price for a HD based player is wishful thinking. Reality is sometimes not apparent at Apple-centric sites I'm afraid.

Stella
Jan 6, 2004, 08:33 AM
Just as well Apple are about to announce cheaper mini iPods then isn't it?!

Abstract
Jan 6, 2004, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by amichalo
Depends on how different the 'street price' is from the retail. At $249 - i'd rather spend another $50 and get an iPod with 250% the capacity, Apple engineering, and iTMS compatability.
It has 16 hour battery life, which may be enough to entice a person like myself to buy one of these instead of an iPod.

Mac loyalist? Yes, I love Apple. However, I won't buy an iPod if another product seems better. 4GB is plenty of space. Heck, 2GB is plenty of space. The average consumer doesn't need 40GB of HD space. If Apple releases a $179 2GB iPod with a decent battery life, then that would make my decision very difficult.

Sabenth
Jan 6, 2004, 08:34 AM
no doubt about it the pods are coming to play this rio thing hmm its a name thing i think the iPod will win this one

backspinner
Jan 6, 2004, 08:41 AM
Recent reports show that the Rio Nitrus 1.5GB is the best-selling 1.5GB MP3 player on the market
The best selling 1.5GB... that is like saying "my only car I have is the fastest car I have".

dietsoda
Jan 6, 2004, 08:46 AM
The UK Apple Store has been offering free engraving on the ipods, but only if you buy before Jan 6th.

I'm really hoping for a mini ipod in red!

I really like these little buggers too though, and they support aac (if not fairplay drm):

http://www.daisymm.com/l/en/mpz/divagem_det.html

I'll be interested to see what Apple can come up with.

Beowulf
Jan 6, 2004, 08:51 AM
I think that this is just Rio's 15 minutes of fame. As soon as Apple releases all their new products today, the press is going to be covering anything Apple related. Not to be an Apple zealot, but since Apple has #1 MP3 player marketshare any new music-related products they release are going to be talked about more than any Rio product.

-rtc.


PS: I think it's humorous that Rio releases a low-capacity MP3 player the day Apple is rumored to release one of their own;)

mathematician
Jan 6, 2004, 08:52 AM
Originally posted by robbieduncan
This is standard in the hard drive business. Apple say the same about the iPod.

From the iPod Tech specs page " (2) 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less."

The standard is as follows:

1kB = 1000 Bytes
1KB = 1024 Bytes

So maybe it should be:

1mB = 10^6 Bytes
1MB = 2^20 Bytes = 1024 KB
1gB = 10^9 Bytes
1GB = 2^30 Bytes

See http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?prefix

macnews
Jan 6, 2004, 08:55 AM
Originally posted by Abstract
4GB is plenty of space. Heck, 2GB is plenty of space. The average consumer doesn't need 40GB of HD space.

I disagree with the average consumer being fine with 2GB of space. I would say I have an average music collection and it takes up 8 GB of space. Could I pare it down? Sure, but cutting it down to by 6 GB would be difficult. I would also be more frustrated at having to pick and choose which music I wanted to have stored much more so than worring about the battery. Again, from an average consumer perspective, I think the iPod battery isn't too bad. I listen to my iPod driving to and from work (using an iTrip) and occassionaly while at work (about 3 hours total/day). I can make it two days w/o re-charging. I charge every night just in case.

Do I wish the battery lasted longer - yes. Would I prefer longer battery over less storage - no way, not how I actually use it.

I think this Reo thing is no news to the iPod. I hope Apple introduces a 4GB mini-iPod right at $199. I don't see how it could run $249 if the 15GB is supposed to be the low end at $299. It would have to be one helluva different form factor to justify the price IMHO.

Porcelain
Jan 6, 2004, 08:56 AM
The cheeky barstards! They are tyring to steal Apple's thunder. Bring on the Expo! Rio over price all their products.

cripdyke
Jan 6, 2004, 08:57 AM
@ www.powermax.com

you can get a 5gb ipod right now for $179

and

a 10gb ipod right now for $199


when the 10gb low-end 3g ipod is replaced w/ a 15 or 20 (perhaps today) powermax and sites like it will be selling the 10gb 3g ipods for the same price as rio's 4gb player.

pretty sad, really. I just don't see how it's a worthwhile or attractive product, even w/ a 16 vs. 10 hour battery (which really mean 11 vs. 7, but still.....)

jholzner
Jan 6, 2004, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by pkradd
This shows that a $ 99 price for a HD based player is wishful thinking. Reality is sometimes not apparent at Apple-centric sites I'm afraid.

I'll second that one!

Porcelain
Jan 6, 2004, 09:11 AM
I think $149 is a reasonable price. Apple can do it. Rio always add a huge mark up to their price or their supplies sell them expensive hardware.

Well we will all find out soon :):D

bobindashadows
Jan 6, 2004, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by robbieduncan
This is standard in the hard drive business. Apple say the same about the iPod.

From the iPod Tech specs page " (2) 1GB = 1 billion bytes; actual formatted capacity less."
A gigabyte is 1 billion bytes. you may recognize the "giga" prefix. This stands for 1 billion. A gigahertz is 1 billion hertz, not 2^30 hertz. We use "gibibyte" for 2^30, Mebibyte for 2^20, and Kibibyte for 2^10.

For those interested, these come from "Giga binary", "Mega binary" and "Kilo Binary"... they go on to the limits of the binary measuring system, which I believe ends at yobibyte. (2^80 bytes)

backspinner
Jan 6, 2004, 09:14 AM
And Philips today announced a 1.5GB player...
Philips new wearable hdd060, the smallest micro audio jukebox, offers consumers the ability to always take their music with them without compromising sound quality. Featuring a 1.5 GB (375 MP3 tracks) storage capacity, the hdd060 is only 1.8 cm thick, weighs less than 95 grams and is the same length and width of a standard credit card. Users will be able to easily review track information on the device's 2-bit grey, 128 x 96 pixel LCD screen. Users also can store data files on the hdd060, making it a portable external drive as well. It will ship in February for $200. So Cornice is doing big business.

backspinner
Jan 6, 2004, 09:18 AM
Originally posted by Porcelain
I think $149 is a reasonable price. Apple can do it. Rio always add a huge mark up to their price or their supplies sell them expensive hardware. It's all about quantity... buying more at once means cheaper prices and Apple is the market leader here (hmm, that still sound strange in my ears).

dietsoda
Jan 6, 2004, 09:24 AM
Given the existence now of all of these competitors in the 1-2gb range I think it's actually crucial for Apple to release a cheaper 'mini' ipod. Even if they sell it at cost, it would tie people in to the iPod family, and one day when they upgrade they'll be more likely to upgrade to a better ipod. Also it simply exposes more people to Mac and to the ITMS.

robbieduncan
Jan 6, 2004, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by bobindashadows
A gigabyte is 1 billion bytes. you may recognize the "giga" prefix. This stands for 1 billion. A gigahertz is 1 billion hertz, not 2^30 hertz. We use "gibibyte" for 2^30, Mebibyte for 2^20, and Kibibyte for 2^10.

For those interested, these come from "Giga binary", "Mega binary" and "Kilo Binary"... they go on to the limits of the binary measuring system, which I believe ends at yobibyte. (2^80 bytes)

I understand and realise this. Unfortunatly most computer OSs (including Mac OSX) use the giga binary way of speaking. So my 30Gb iPod appears as way less (a lot less that the amount you loose through formatting). This is, and has always been, the standard. Hard drive manufacturers use "normal" giga and memory menufacturers (and the OS makers too) use "binary" giga. I only posted my original note on Apples disclaimer in response to someone trying to take a cheap shot at Rios "inability to count".

whitegold
Jan 6, 2004, 09:41 AM
The best selling 1.5GB... that is like saying "my only car I have is the fastest car I have.

Fair call, though not THAT accurate. Creative also make one, the Nomad Muvo2, which is relatively good, and a respectable seller. There are probably others I don't know.

It's worth pointing out that while everyone is dissing Rio for their product here, we all owe a bit of a debt of honour to Rio. The original Diamond Rio was the FIRST portable mp3 player to be widely sold, and broke new ground that everything else since has followed. Their current "Karma" jukebox is rather good, by comparison with the iPod, with the exception that the hard drive is still only 20 gig, superseded by the iPods 30 and 40 gigs.

I think that this is just Rio's 15 minutes of fame. As soon as Apple releases all their new products today, the press is going to be covering anything Apple related. Not to be an Apple zealot, but since Apple has #1 MP3 player marketshare any new music-related products they release are going to be talked about more than any Rio product.

This is true. When the market leader releases a new product it will ALWAYS get more play. I've seen jukeboxes and players that impress me more than the iPod, or have features the iPod lacks, etc, yet they will not get any mainstream publicity simply because the product is too obscure.

One thing that really bothers me is that the profile of the iPod is so high that mainstream media are picking up on it like the entire concept of digital media is new. Creative had a Nomad Jukebox at 20 gig about 3 or 4 years ago. And no one paid attention. Why is this suddenly NOW an amazing technology?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something that might get me flamed. Apple does NOT innovate. What Apple do best is to take existing products, existing technology, and refine it very well. The iPod on release was NOT innovative. It's still not. It's just very, very good. And the other thing apple do so well. It's pretty. :D

PS: I think it's humorous that Rio releases a low-capacity MP3 player the day Apple is rumored to release one of their own

Yes and no. I DON'T think it's entirely coincedental, but I think there are two other factors to consider. One is that these drives have just been announced. There's going to be about four or five similar products announced around this time. And two, aside from Macworld, there is also the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) happening in Vegas (I think). I wouldn't be surprised if this announcement was as much about that than Macworld.

$250 seems pretty steep for 4gig, especially since I can get a 10 gig iPod for $299.

Again, partially fair, partially not. You can't compare two different form factors like that. It's a bit like saying "Why should I spend $500 for a Palm when I can get a Desktop PC for only$800?". Well, they're a little different, aren't they?! You're never going to be able to say a 4 gig should be a tenth the price of a 40 gig, any more than it would be 1/10th the physical size. Personally I find the iPod still rather bulky. Don't get me wrong, for what they are they've done quite well, but I wouldn't mind something MUCH smaller (dimensions and capacity) for only a little less money. Not that I'd buy an iPod. I'm a windows guy, and most of my stuff is in WMA.

I disagree with the average consumer being fine with 2GB of space.

Agreed. The way Apple are encouraging its users to use the iPod, people are basically expected to rip every single one of their albums to AAC. With a basic music collection you can easily fill 2 gig, but with every single CD you own? That's getting kinda big. PLUS you still want all that nice space for storage of video, files, etc. The simple fact is that space isn't that big a factor. It's not really any (or much) more expensive to make it 40 gig instead of 20 gig. Or 5. The only real factor in this is that small (VERY small) dimension disks can be used to make smaller form factors.

I really like these little buggers too though, and they support aac (if not fairplay drm):

http://www.daisymm.com/l/en/mpz/divagem_det.html

Hey, that's a cool thing! 256 meg still ain't all that great, but it will easily fill a bus trip to and from work. Ability to use SD cards is a bonus, though they're probably too expensive to actually do. Bluetooth is something really nice to see, though I don't think the technology is fully matured yet. I've been looking for an mp3 player to carry while touring on a motorbike (hence my obsession with "smallness") and bluetooth might be a real benefit.

Anyway, looking forward to the announcement! Just figured I'd provide my 2 cents.

Matt

MorganX
Jan 6, 2004, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Beowulf


PS: I think it's humorous that Rio releases a low-capacity MP3 player the day Apple is rumored to release one of their own;)

The majority of Rio's existing MP3 players are low-capacity. 64MB - 1.5GB. Philips announced today and many others will this week. It's CES week as well as MacWorld. Everyone is competiting.

The Rio created the MP3 market you know...

whitegold
Jan 6, 2004, 09:47 AM
Amazing. You managed to say more or less the same thing as me, but in about 800 less lines. :D

notmenotyou
Jan 6, 2004, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Macrumors
Rio today announced (http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040106/sftu015_1.html) a new 4GB version of their Rio Nitrus MP3 player.

The previous version of the Rio Nitrus was a $219 1.5GB device (http://www.digitalnetworksna.com/shop/_templates/item_main_Rio.asp?model=219&cat=53) based on Cornice's previous 1.5GB mini hard drive.

The 4GB version is based on the previous design and will have an estimated U.S. street price of $249. No indication is given as to the hard drive technology used in the new version, but readers will note that Cornice just announced (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/01/20040105151253.shtml) a 2.0GB version of their storage device.

Apple has been widely rumored (http://ipod.macrumors.com) to introduce new mini-iPods.


who cares? just bring on the MiniPod, and where is the live update, feed me, please, someone please feed me with the live update, please:(

uv23
Jan 6, 2004, 09:52 AM
Competition is always a good thing. Announcements like this should be well greeted by anyone in the market for such a device.

synthetickittie
Jan 6, 2004, 10:03 AM
250 for 4b? dell is selling there 15gb for 250, at least I think thats right.. but I didn just wake up about 5 minutes ago. So then I do not really see anything more treating at all from this..

Lancetx
Jan 6, 2004, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by pkradd
This shows that a $ 99 price for a HD based player is wishful thinking. Reality is sometimes not apparent at Apple-centric sites I'm afraid.

That's what I've been thinking all along too. I'd be quite happy if there is a 4GB mini iPod introduced today even @ $199. That would still undercut this new Rio by $50.

LethalWolfe
Jan 6, 2004, 10:11 AM
Originally posted by whitegold
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something that might get me flamed. Apple does NOT innovate. What Apple do best is to take existing products, existing technology, and refine it very well. The iPod on release was NOT innovative. It's still not. It's just very, very good. And the other thing apple do so well. It's pretty. :D



I don't think the only way to be innovative is to be the very first to create a product. I think taking existing products to the next level, to some place that no other company has taken them, requires you to be innovative as well. Apple wasn't the first company to sell computers, portable digital music listening devices, or video editing software but they have redefined how people think about those products (as well as others). IMO that qualifies as innovation.


Lethal

whitegold
Jan 6, 2004, 10:20 AM
Ummm... Don't really think I can go with you on that one.

By definition to innovate is to create something new. You can refine anything you like, it's still not innovating. I personally fail to see any way in which the iPod redefines digital music. You connect your headphones and press play. Same as my Diamond Rio circa 1999.

I would dispute that the iPod takes anything to the next level. Naturally this is just an opinion. The one thing I WILL say is that the iPod has been a great COMMERCIAL success, which has meant a lot of people are exposed to digital music who would not have been before. That in itself is a great achievement, but hardly makes the product innovative.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging off at Macs, or Apple, I just think the word innovative is overused. The IT industry is not based on innovation. Everything is built on a previous foundation of ideas and technologies. A new hard drive technology here, plus a new LCD technology there, better battery technology here, a more efficient CPU system there. None of it innovative on its own, nor is the product that combines them to simply evolve an existing line of products.

I think a lot of people use the word "innovative" when the word they're looking for is "good".

swissmann
Jan 6, 2004, 10:21 AM
I had a Rio 64 MB MP3 player a while back. (Got it for basically free as a promo.) My wife used it to jog a couple times a week. It lasted all of about 3 total hours of using it. I took it apart to try and fix it and my opinion is that the iPod is way better quality than Rio. Of course my experience is limited to one incident, but I would never buy anything from Rio again.

Looking at the market I agree they are overpriced and underqualified.

bensisko
Jan 6, 2004, 10:22 AM
Originally posted by whitegold
Why is this suddenly NOW an amazing technology?


Because the iPod WORKS and works well. It's simple and intuitive, both in the ipod interface, but also in the itunes interface. There is no installing and configureing drivers, and trying to figure out how this thing works. It's plug and play. THAT'S where the Apple innovation comes in.

whitegold
Jan 6, 2004, 10:28 AM
Because the iPod WORKS and works well. It's simple and intuitive, both in the ipod interface, but also in the itunes interface. There is no installing and configureing drivers, and trying to figure out how this thing works. It's plug and play. THAT'S where the Apple innovation comes in.

I don't think you get what I mean. The article I was watching was saying "Look at this! You can put 10 000 songs on this! Isn't that amazing!" And everyone went "oooooooh."

The Creative Nomad Jukebox had 20 gig years ago, and that WASN'T good? 10 000 is amazing, 5000 is nothing special? Where was the amazing mark? 8950?

As for ease of use of the iPod, I guess some people are brighter and more technically minded, but I've never really had trouble working out how to play music. I've played with a nomad jukebox, and with an ipod, and realistically, they're about the same. They work to the same level of ease of use, etc. Don't get me wrong, by todays standards the nomad jukebox is big and clumsy, but that's not the point.

Anyway, I've got work to do, so I'll abandon this conversation now. :)

madmaxmedia
Jan 6, 2004, 02:03 PM
The Rio players are pretty nice IMO, and are widely available for well under the MSRP. For example, the Nitrus 1.5 Gig was available for about $140 after rebate at Buy.com (still might be).

The iPod Mini is pretty cool, but it seems the main advantage (vs. iPod) is size? It's also a HD player (like the Nitrus), so these players aren't significantly more shockproof than the iPod or Karma. That being the case, I think $199 would be a more attractive price (although $249 isn't that bad). One cool thing about the iPod Mini is that it seems to use the iPod UI (I don't think the Nitrus allows such deep browsing ability). 10+ hour battery life would be a nice benefit too (don't know what its battery life is).

I'm glad both Apple and Rio make mp3 players, they will push each other to make better players. The Karma is very nice as well, with a few things the iPods lack (great equalizer, more powerful amp, create/edit playlists on the unit).

To each his own! ;)

Hattig
Jan 6, 2004, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by mathematician
The standard is as follows:

1kB = 1000 Bytes
1KB = 1024 Bytes

So maybe it should be:

1mB = 10^6 Bytes
1MB = 2^20 Bytes = 1024 KB
1gB = 10^9 Bytes
1GB = 2^30 Bytes

See http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?prefix

That's a pile of steaming bullcrap.

1KB = 1000 bytes
1KiB = 1024 bytes

1MB = 10^6 bytes
1MiB = 2 ^ 20 bytes

1GB = 10^9 bytes
1GiB = 2^30 bytes

However most people are still using the old (and comfortable, familiar) terms KB, MB and GB still when talking about the new technical terms KiB, MiB and GiB.

~Shard~
Jan 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
No matter whether it is in Apple's favor or not, competition is ALWAYS a good thing.

I see a lot of these posts are breaking down the costs, doing comparisons based on capacity, etc., however one intangible factor that needs to be considered as well is the user-friendliness. There are factors such as ease of use, etc. that some people are willing to pay more for regardless.

LethalWolfe
Jan 7, 2004, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by whitegold
Ummm... Don't really think I can go with you on that one.

By definition to innovate is to create something new. You can refine anything you like, it's still not innovating. I personally fail to see any way in which the iPod redefines digital music. You connect your headphones and press play. Same as my Diamond Rio circa 1999.

I would dispute that the iPod takes anything to the next level. Naturally this is just an opinion. The one thing I WILL say is that the iPod has been a great COMMERCIAL success, which has meant a lot of people are exposed to digital music who would not have been before. That in itself is a great achievement, but hardly makes the product innovative.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging off at Macs, or Apple, I just think the word innovative is overused. The IT industry is not based on innovation. Everything is built on a previous foundation of ideas and technologies. A new hard drive technology here, plus a new LCD technology there, better battery technology here, a more efficient CPU system there. None of it innovative on its own, nor is the product that combines them to simply evolve an existing line of products.

I think a lot of people use the word "innovative" when the word they're looking for is "good".


Innovation isn't limited to creating something new. Innovation can also be using or presenting something in a way that's it's never been used or presented in before.

From dictionary.com:



innovation

1. The act of introducing something new.
2. Something newly introduced


innovative

adj 1: ahead of the times; "the advanced teaching methods"; "had advanced views on the subject"; "a forward-looking corporation";


The iPod's interface and design is innovative. Show me another player that looked like the iPod before the iPod came out. Show me another player that has an interface like the iPod's. The internal layout of the G5 is innovative. The Newton was innovative. Is everything Apple does innovative? No. But I think, as a company, they are innovative. And I think they produce a lot of small innovations that add up. I think iLife is innovative. Find a software bundle at the consumver level that rivals the power and ease-of-use of iLife and I'll eat my hat.

The Wright Brothers didn't invent the airplane and Henry Ford wasn't the first to manufacture cars in a factory but I think they qualify as innovative.


Lethal

wombat2
Jan 11, 2004, 04:29 PM
Whitegold, I'm guessing you're a Stephen R. Donaldson fan?

I haven't used an iPod, other than to take a quick look at a friend's. I have a Nomad Jukebox. My thinking at the time was, it's a lot cheaper, and the size isn't a big deal for car trips. However, I find that I don't use it much, for a couple of reasons that I'll detail later. Instead, I use my Handspring Treo 600 for mp3s.

I have two PCs and one Mac in my house. I use the PC most of the time as my personal workstation. The Mac is a Web/ftp/ssh server. A bit of background that will make my choices more understandable.

I hesitated to buy an iPod because it doesn't play .wma (PC users end up with plenty of these), and because iTunes didn't run on PCs at the time. My Mac does not have a CD burner and has a slower processor than my PC, so I wasn't intending to primarily use it for music management.

Here's why I don't use the Jukebox -

Playlists. I can't find a way to create them in the PC. I can create them in the device, but that's slow, so I end up just making one that includes all tracks, and thus, I end up skipping forward a lot.

Proprietary software required. I don't mind proprietary software, but the bundled Creative software feels awkward, unreliable and hokey. I dread using it.

I don't carry it around much due to its size, so I am more prone to use my 512 MB SD card in the Treo for mp3s. And then it's annoying to switch back and forth between two mp3 devices when I get in or out of the car.

I now make moderate use of iTunes, would use it more if I had an iPod. I ended up converting a lot of .wma files over, since PocketTunes (what I use in the Treo) doesn't support .wma anyway. So I am more prepared now to get an iPod. Leaning toward the Mini, although I'm waffling a bit.

The iPod interface doesn't look that great to me, probably comparable to the Jukebox's; however, being able to competently manage playlists on the computer is a huge plus.

Beowulf
Jan 11, 2004, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by whitegold
One thing that really bothers me is that the profile of the iPod is so high that mainstream media are picking up on it like the entire concept of digital media is new. Creative had a Nomad Jukebox at 20 gig about 3 or 4 years ago. And no one paid attention. Why is this suddenly NOW an amazing technology?


Matt

The reason the iPod is such a popular item now, is simply this: Apple made the HD-based MP3 player convenient to use through solid UI and design. Sure, Creative may have had the first, but it was both clunky and difficult to use. To compare the launch of the first Nomad to current news; it's like the Mars Rover: It's freaking amazing what NASA is doing, but until we start shipping people to Mars in commercial space shuttles it's only going to get a brief (if at all) discussion in news.