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MacRumors
Jan 21, 2004, 04:56 AM
TwinCities.com reports (http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/business/technology/personal_technology/7694940.htm) on a new MP3 player that adds WiFi capabilities, allowing you to transfer songs from your PC via WiFi (802.11)

Once an Aireo is linked to a PC via a Wi-Fi hook-up, SoniqCast says, the player can automatically synchronize the music-file contents of its tiny hard drive with those on the PC's hard drive. Any new digital tunes on the PC are quickly transferred to the Aireo.

Based on the limited details in the article, there is no indication that the Aireo is able to stream audio via WiFi. It appears the connection is purely available for syncing.

While there have been no substantial rumors indicating that Apple will pursue the same integration, general speculation suggests that more advanced wireless audio may be in our future in the form of a concept called Everywhere Internet Audio (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/09/20030924152101.shtml). This concept links wireless internet with MP3 players to provide users less dependance on player storage capacity.

aethier
Jan 21, 2004, 05:00 AM
isn't 802.11b (EDIT: are they .a, .b, or .g, either way they are slower) like a lot slower then firewire, and USB 2.0?

aethier

Photorun
Jan 21, 2004, 05:17 AM
More proof Arn doesn't sleep and is... in fact... a robot.

What a hoot, the guy from Aireo claims the, quite frankly cheap and chincy looking, player is a "potential iPod killer" for some tiny reasons so inane to mention here. It's $300 and only has a 1.5 GB HD? Uhhh, wow, I thought Apple was ridiculous on pricing.

It will appeal I'm sure to uber peecee geaks who want to be in the cool-of-the-moment, other than that, screams of a product that in two years people will go "Aireo who?" (Story of the peecee gadgety world anyways).

I wonder how secure it's WiFi signal is and could someone "borrow" someone elses music collection should one figure out a way to hone in on it? Then again, anyone who buys something this ugly (or is on a peecee in general) usually has zero good musical taste.

j_maddison
Jan 21, 2004, 05:24 AM
The speed of the connection isnt the issue here, its the convenience. Basicaly I dont want a cable sticking out of my powerbook if im wandering around the house on my wifi network. i like the idea that an mp3 player can be plugged into a power source charging away, while I could simultaneously be syncronising songs and files (i use my ipod to carry image files and movie clips around as well as songs).

i think this is a brilliant concept, with the added ability to be out and about in the city, and then pop into a cafe or hotel with a wifi access pointand download a few tunes. or if im away on business in a hotel witha wifi spot, i could log on and purchase some tunes. Ok i know this isnt what this product is offering, but surely its the begining of this sort of procurement through a media devise becoming feasible.

I hope this is the start of more rich features coming to the portable mp3 player market. I'm sure apple have their eye on developments like this, and im sure its just a matter of time before apple innovate again and come up with yet another industry pioneering product.

jay

Vanilla
Jan 21, 2004, 05:28 AM
The Aireo has a number of useful built-in features:

1. Wi-Fi sync of music files between desktop and Aireo

2. It can tune into FM Stations (only available on iPod via add-on)

3. It can use FM frequencies to play music over a home or car radio (only available on iPod via add-on)

4. It has a built-in slot for Flash memory cards to transfer photos from digital cameras to its hard drive (only available on iPod via add-on)

In my opinion, apart from the Flash Memory card slot (which I personally do not see a real need for as it dilutes the focused purpose of the iPod as a music player) I think these are great features.

The iPod is certainly considerably more stylish than the Aireo, no question. The Aireo also has a tiny HD compared to the iPod (1.5GB). The iPod’s seamless interaction with iTunes is also not to be sniffed at, as is the purity of form and function.

However, built-in Wi-Fi capability, FM radio and ability to use FM frequencies are very attractive functions, which I hope the iPod will enjoy very soon.

Clearly Soniqcast see the built-in functionality as a big selling point over the iPod and I think I agree with them. Their website makes a big play on the fact that for the iPod user to enjoy the same functionality you would need to bring a kit bag of Belkin add-ons along with you.

Finally, it will be interesting to know what battery it uses, how long is its charge life and whether the user can easily replace it (again, unlike the iPod).

I still think the iPod has the edge, but the Aireo is great competition that if nothing else demonstrates the need for Apple to continue to innovate the iPod if it wants it to maintain its current dominant position.

Vanilla

slipper
Jan 21, 2004, 05:46 AM
i think its a great idea and very nice product.

here we go again with the non-apple bashing....

~Shard~
Jan 21, 2004, 06:41 AM
Originally posted by aethier
isn't 802.11b (EDIT: are they .a, .b, or .g, either way they are slower) like a lot slower then firewire, and USB 2.0?

aethier

Um, yes, wireless is slower than USB 2.0 and MUCH slower than FireWire - what exactly is your point? The point of incorporating wireless is the convenience factor, not the speed. Is your next question going to be, "Isn't the processor used in the iPod like a lot slower than a G5?" ;)

Thanks to the wireless aspect, this player has many features built into it (FM capacilities, etc.) that are only available as ad-ons with the iPod, and also has the Flash component which again, is only available as an ad-on with the iPod.

I agree with the previous poster - this sounds like a really neat product, and I'm just going to sit back and wait for all the non-Apple bashing to start - I'm sure it won't take long....

gandalf55
Jan 21, 2004, 06:46 AM
wireless synching is pretty damn cool. its true - it's not the speed its the convenience.

maybe apple can come out with a 802.11g ipod someday... or even faster.

jouster
Jan 21, 2004, 06:52 AM
Cool product. Seems to have some interesting and useful features, though possibly the second rev would be a better buy. I love the WiFi thing.

Interesting how most of the comments in this thread so far are positive, while the story has an overall negative rating on the front page. That suggests, to me at least, that as usual people are rating a product poorly just because Apple didn't make it.

mactarkus
Jan 21, 2004, 07:24 AM
Wireless syncing using 8011b/g is crazy. With MP3 player capacities growing and growing the idea of syncing with such a slow link would be maddening. You have to plug the thing in anyway to charge it, you might has well sync it that way too. Now if it had *wireless charging* I would buy one, but I don't think wireless power has been perfected just yet. Sometimes adding "wireless" to a feature isn't automatically a good thing.

~Shard~
Jan 21, 2004, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by jouster


Interesting how most of the comments in this thread so far are positive, while the story has an overall negative rating on the front page. That suggests, to me at least, that as usual people are rating a product poorly just because Apple didn't make it.

Yah, I agree - it's funny how people simply just rate it negative, yet don't bother on commenting why they think this is such a bad idea...

~Shard~
Jan 21, 2004, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by mactarkus
Sometimes adding "wireless" to a feature isn't automatically a good thing.

I agree, but when adding wireless to a product like this enables it to have increased functionality over the iPod, I think it is a good thing. Because they have added wireless into this player, you can now tune into FM stations, and use FM frequencies to broadcast in your car, etc. - features all requiring add-ons if you're an iPod owner. I think this constitutes good use of wireless technology. Take into account the Flash slot (another add-on required for the iPod) and the overall wireless syncing feature, and you've got yourself a pretty solid product that, in my opinion, makes great use of wireless technology.

I agree with you, wireless isn't always a good thing, but in this case, I think they have made excellent use of it and the end result is a solid product. Price and capacity would be another issue to discuss of course....

proglife
Jan 21, 2004, 07:55 AM
Hmmmm....more negatives than positives. I don't get it. Don't be an idiot, embrace ALL technology even if it's not Apple's. If it's good, Apple will adopt it.

This is a feature I've really wanted on the iPod. I'd be willing to give up some thickness (the size of a PCMIA card?) for wireless syncing capabilities.

McMike
Jan 21, 2004, 07:58 AM
I think the FM thing is great both ways. And it would probably safe a lot battery to listen radio instead of your mp3 from the HD.

As to the WiFi: why complaining about the speed? The first sync would be made through a cable and afterwards adding 2-5 songs at once wouldn't be a problem. This are just a few minutes. And knowing SJ and his (positive) obsession to make everything better than the rest a AirPort iPod could also stream music through AP to a HiFi for example.

The cardslot however is trash. It's good in a photo printer where you can put slots for all card types but just one slot is limiting. I mean it's great for those who have the same cards in their camera or something but for the rest it's too much space, too much cost for nothing.

But according to the first two points. How would a iPod withe these extras look like? A small iBook? I mean it all needs space! You know how big a AP card and eg. the iTrip are. A iPod mini equiped with that staff would be the size of the classic but it still would have 4 GB...

Dippo
Jan 21, 2004, 08:19 AM
What's the battery life on this thing???

I am sure the Wi-Fi sucks the battery dry in no time!

Also, since it already has Wi-Fi, I think that it should be able to surf the net while you listen to your music.

s10
Jan 21, 2004, 08:22 AM
-Wireless sync? A waste of battery life and slow speed.
-you have to plug in to recharge your device, so why not recharge and sync at the same time?
-need wireless desktop
-fm transmission= guarenteed bad quality and forbidden in most countries.

this device will flop, the technology isn't ready yet.

Poff
Jan 21, 2004, 08:32 AM
Actual speed of 802.11g (Airport Extreme) is normally less than one tenth of that of a firewire cable. Huh..? Thatīs slow..!

engelb15
Jan 21, 2004, 08:33 AM
Thats no iPod killer.

This is your iPod killer...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?sourceid=qDRMQA6Nwu9hAjz4hrLw&siteid=0037550214&Sku=C332-1002&EdpNo=634745&SRCCODE=BEFREE

(I'm kidding btw...)

Poff
Jan 21, 2004, 08:40 AM
Originally posted by engelb15
Thats no iPod killer.

This is your iPod killer...
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?sourceid=qDRMQA6Nwu9hAjz4hrLw&siteid=0037550214&Sku=C332-1002&EdpNo=634745&SRCCODE=BEFREE

(I'm kidding btw...)

Thatīs exactly what I have been looking for!! I donīt need more than 10 GB, and the price is right.. I just ordered one.. Bye bye iPoid!

pixote
Jan 21, 2004, 08:51 AM
Am I missing something here?

First off let me say I couldn't care less if something is made by apple or not, just if it works so...

If you have to plug it in to charge it, who cares if it has a wireless connection that syncs the songs? I bring home 4-5 albums on my usb key from work and it takes no time at all to transfer to my ipod. If it took 10 times as long, just for the sake of having no cables, it doesn't make sense.
What's the difference between plugging it in on one side of the room to charge it vs. putting it on the dock? If it doesn't stream songs via Wifi then is it so you can walk around with it while it syncs? You have to put it down some time.

eazyway
Jan 21, 2004, 08:54 AM
WiFi is a good idea. But I need to use a device before I can comment on it.

1. How big is it. Size matters

2. It does have a Cornice 1.5 Gb microdrive. How good are the Cornice drives?

3. Can I easily navigate.


The thing about the ipod which sets it apart IMO are

1. Size

2. Wheel Navigation... I want to try the miniPod out

3. The best integration with my song lists

4. Rendevous (is this mac only ? I am not sure)

5. Ability to play AIFF (mac only) for superior quality sound you need a lot of HD space as the files are double the size.
Thus I want the 40 GB iPod

mstecker
Jan 21, 2004, 08:57 AM
When the first Sharp Zaurus linux PDA came on the market almost two years ago, the very first thing I did was use it to NFS mount a directory of MP3 files over a compact flash WiFi card.

It worked like a champ, and I was able to use its buit-in mp3 player to play the mounted files.

Not to brag, but just to point out that the pieces to do real streaming have been out there for a looooong time.

MorganX
Jan 21, 2004, 09:07 AM
Originally posted by mactarkus
Wireless syncing using 8011b/g is crazy. With MP3 player capacities growing and growing the idea of syncing with such a slow link would be maddening. You have to plug the thing in anyway to charge it, you might has well sync it that way too. Now if it had *wireless charging* I would buy one, but I don't think wireless power has been perfected just yet. Sometimes adding "wireless" to a feature isn't automatically a good thing.

Just how long do you think it takes to move 30MB over 802.11b/g. Not very long. And that would be about an album. Syncing for the most part will consist of less than that on a daily basis and playlists. Should only take a few seconds.

It is also a USB storage device so the initial load can be done over USB.

eazyway
Jan 21, 2004, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by ~Shard~
Um, yes, wireless is slower than USB 2.0 and MUCH slower than FireWire - what exactly is your point? The point of incorporating wireless is the convenience factor, not the speed. Is your next question going to be, "Isn't the processor used in the iPod like a lot slower than a G5?" ;)

Thanks to the wireless aspect, this player has many features built into it (FM capacilities, etc.) that are only available as ad-ons with the iPod, and also has the Flash component which again, is only available as an ad-on with the iPod.

I agree with the previous poster - this sounds like a really neat product, and I'm just going to sit back and wait for all the non-Apple bashing to start - I'm sure it won't take long....


Slow is very important if you sync your device. It has to compare the entire file to sync and this can take a while to occur. That may not be important. Since I use a lot of AIFF files it takes even longer. But if you are doing something else it may not be important.

Built in FM capable is a joke. I have tried devices with and the ipod with an add on. It is a bad idea.

What I want is an audio input on my car stereo for my iPod. (It is as cheap as an add on. Future cars will have these available. Wired or wireless. Now here WiFi is a GREAT IDEA !!

Again why do I want an MP3 player. To listen to music when I am on the road or away from my stereo. Now for a very small number sound input is important but not for me and likely for those who use MP3

I don't want radio capability either ... well maybe to listen to the news ..why not just use my car radio or the TV in the room .

So for me extra features are a waste. I want the device to play my MP3's or in my case AIFF files really well.

As for this device it will have its own nice for those who want devices with all the bells and whistles.

MorganX
Jan 21, 2004, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Poff
Thatīs exactly what I have been looking for!! I donīt need more than 10 GB, and the price is right.. I just ordered one.. Bye bye iPoid!

You get a lot for the price, and price matters. But it's kind of chunky and ugly. I don't think it will be an iPod killer (high end MP3 players) but it will do well.

"I" wouldn't leave the iPod for it. But I may leave the iPod, my battery won't hold a full charge anymore :(

I think I'll stick with it until PMCs arrive.

Alex Reynolds
Jan 21, 2004, 09:22 AM
With the iTunes Rendezvous "radio station" feature, we can already connect to others' iTunes libraries within a private LAN.

It doesn't seem much of a stretch to think Apple will add a little bit of wireless hardware and a single submenu to an iPod (e.g. "Local iTunes Stations").

Then the iPod will be able to browse through and play iTunes libraries that are shared by someone with an Airport card in their desktop or Powerbook/iBook Mac.

There are two major engineering details to take care of on both ends:

-- 802.11b/g eats batteries, as PDA users will attest, and the extra hardware and antenna need to be squeezed into the iPod's small form factor

-- how to manage multihoming on the Airport-end for the iTunes library file sharing

This would require a revision of the iPod (or some kind of add-on, possibly more likely with the antenna requirement) and a "v5"-like upgrade to iTunes.

Maybe an add-on wouldn't be required if Apple can get the smaller hard drives at the same prices they pay now.

I'd recommend patience. This will come if it can be engineered properly and if Apple thinks the market will pay for it (which I think it will).

-Alex

PRIME CHUCK
Jan 21, 2004, 09:27 AM
Well, wifi is ok. I'd much rather have bluetooth wireless headphones.

Also, not sure if anyone even noticed, but to get this great "automatic sync while you sleep", its only available with their OPTIONAL (read: extra bucks) software package.

mstecker
Jan 21, 2004, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by PRIME CHUCK
Well, wifi is ok. I'd much rather have bluetooth wireless headphones.


The problem with this is that Bluetooth doesn't have enough bandwidth to send stereo, uncomressed cd-quality sound. To do bluetooth headphones, you'd need to recompress the sound, and have the headphones decompress it.

Decompression is CPU intensive, and therefore power intensive, and exactly what you don't want to require on a chip that's going to be recharged and sit in your ear.

Finally, recompression of a decompressed signal can often result in observable signal distortions.

Bluetooth just doesn't yet cut it (yet).

backspinner
Jan 21, 2004, 10:04 AM
I think it looks good, but size of harddrive is too small for this price. For laptop owners the Wifi connectivity is very nice. I use my powerbook on the couch and don't want to use cables all the time. Powerplugs are far more durable so not a problem.

But FM sending is not allowed in Europe so it won't sell here.

FlamDrag
Jan 21, 2004, 10:05 AM
Browsing the iTMS from my iPod or other music device is the one main use I can see for wifi in an iPod or similar.

Syncing - good. Purchasing - even better.

If they could pull this off, they may expand the market to folks who don't have, don't want or can't use a computer at all times to get new music.

To illustrate: While at Borders (a bookstore chain) I can listen to full length CD's - not just 30 second previews - in their music section. Then what I would LIKE to do is head to the Cafe' (a T-Mobile hotspot) and download the album or song directly to my iPod.

That, my friends, is how you steal revenue from other companies and still capitalize on the "impulse buy" of it all.

Syncing - good. Purchasing - even better.

ColdZero
Jan 21, 2004, 10:40 AM
I don't understand the big syncing problem related to speed. I think wireless is a very cool idea. When I first got my iPod I needed to charge it for several hours before I could use it. During that time it also synced my songs. Now when I plug it in, syncing is done in a few seconds because, MAYBE 1 new album is transferring. How many people are changing their entire collection every time you plug it in to sync? After the initial sync, there are very few changes made to it.

reedm007
Jan 21, 2004, 10:44 AM
yeah folks, some of you seem to be arguing for different things here all under the concept of "wireless". I agree that FM tuner and transmitter are nice features to have (although if it means I have to get 1/10th the disk space on my ipod for the same price -- no thank you!), but that's totally seperate from WiFi.

I personally see very little use for WiFi in an MP3 player. In fact, since you still need a computer to sync to (and it probably takes various levels of setting this whole wireless connection up!! anyone else done WiFi on a PC before? ugh!), and you still need power, the iPod is, in effect, easier than this. With the iPod, you can bring with you that very slim little FW cable Apple gives you, plus the iPod.

With this Mp3 player, you need to bring an AC adaptor cable, which is bulky and heavy (in fact, according to a friend at CES, the AC adapter is heavier than the iPod!!). So what exactly are we gaining here?

I think the main selling points on this product are: FM transmitter/receiver. And, frankly, that's not enough for me to justify getting 1/10th the space as an iPod for the same price. Even if it somehow integrates as perfectly as iPod/iTunes do (which is veryunlikely!), it still doesn't make a lot of sense. WiFi may have it's possibilities as we move forward, but WiFi for syncing just isn't all that interesting. It's just a large added expense (and bulk!) that provides little to no advantage.

varmit
Jan 21, 2004, 11:07 AM
That would be one slow ass sync. Keep to the firewire Apple, so I can transfer a whole cd in a matter of seconds. And what would happen if the song was in the middle of syncing, and you walked to far away, does the song get kept for when it gets back into range it continues to sync or does the song get deleted.

ColdZero
Jan 21, 2004, 11:19 AM
I'm sure they have protocols on what to do if that happens. I'd assume it would be similar if I pulled the plug on a firewire transfer with my iPod.

habanero
Jan 21, 2004, 11:56 AM
I can't wait for reading this forum after apple has announced their WiFi-enabled iPod. The exact same persons (you know who you are :-) ) wo are writing that adding WiFi to a MP3 player basically does it nothing good will praise TheSteve to heaven for doing the exact same thing...

One thing about the integrated FM Transmitter though... There are countries where it's illegal to transmit in the 88-108 MHz band, even using very small power (<10mW). So in order not to exclude oneself from these markets Apple most probably won't include it. I doubt we'll see different iPods for different countries.

I personally can't wait for a iPod with integrated WiFi, cardreader and other nize gizmos.

FlamDrag
Jan 21, 2004, 12:05 PM
While I did post above basically in favor of WiF-iPod I should be clear that I would rather support an add-on to the iPod to accomplish this. A SMALL add-on, but an add on nonetheless. Integrated is great, but the cost should be optional IMHO.

Then again, Apple isn't likely to do it this way - it would have to be 3rd party.

hulugu
Jan 21, 2004, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by ~Shard~
Um, yes, wireless is slower than USB 2.0 and MUCH slower than FireWire - what exactly is your point? The point of incorporating wireless is the convenience factor, not the speed. Is your next question going to be, "Isn't the processor used in the iPod like a lot slower than a G5?" ;)

Thanks to the wireless aspect, this player has many features built into it (FM capacilities, etc.) that are only available as ad-ons with the iPod, and also has the Flash component which again, is only available as an ad-on with the iPod.

I agree with the previous poster - this sounds like a really neat product, and I'm just going to sit back and wait for all the non-Apple bashing to start - I'm sure it won't take long....

I'm not sure of the value of a wireless connection to sync songs, although interesting as an idea, practically Firewire moves files at 400mps while Wireless moves at 54 max. For a large music collection, say 5 or 6 gigs this is going to take a couple of hours to move files across. Although once the initial sync is done, I guess moving only new songs or playlists won't be so bad.
I'm a freak about cables, I hate them and avoid them whenever possible, but in the case of the iPod I would hate to wait for my collections to sync just for lack of a single firewire cable.
Now, if Apple did this I'd think it's the greatest thing ever :)

ZildjianKX
Jan 21, 2004, 12:11 PM
I think this is really cool, wish digital cameras would adopt wifi.

Only complaint is this... has anyone ever used an iPod as a hard drive and have it unpowered (like via USB 2.0)? It lasts about 5 minutes with the disc spinning constantly before the battery dies. If you transfer a lot of files via wifi, its going to really suck the batteries from both the drive and the wifi... so if you have to plug it in it really defies the purpose.

dwsolberg
Jan 21, 2004, 12:40 PM
I first want to state that I like the idea of wireless MP3 players. There's functionality that could be useful.

However, this MP3 device is horrible.

First, the article says that it can't play music from Apple, MusicMatch or Napster. Huh? No online music ability on a wireless enabled device?

Second, this player holds a 1.5 gig drive and costs $300. Huh? Well, I guess you need room for the wireless antenna and batteries. (You'll need that wireless syncing to continually change your music to fit on the device.)

Fourth, the slot is for SD media, not the widely accepted Compact Flash. I would assume this is to save space, but it makes it useless for most cameras.

Fifth, in terms of MUSIC features, they list only a "media and playlist browser" and an "equalizer." Compare that to Apple's sound check, cross fading, on-the-go playlists, bookmarking for audio books, play count and rating features.

This is what we don't know (it's not listed on their web site, and several web review sites did not know the information):
• Battery life.
• Size
• Weight
• USB 1.1 or 2.0
• Is there a backlight?

Summarizing, this "music player" holds one-tenth of the music of the same-cost (and likely much smaller) iPod, can NOT be used with on-line music, has only basic music management features, and is of unknown size and weight. Is this a good trade-off for the extras? I for one want a portable music player.

Now if Apple wanted to add these extras to the iPod, I'd be very happy. But in life there are trade-offs, and deciding what to trade off is what makes you sucessful.

Sabenth
Jan 21, 2004, 01:06 PM
You know what i think this is a great idea just needs some improvments.

A. Better looks
B. Speed
C. Mac as well as PC problay works but i am not to bothred

as for mobile network ah yes grand idea

frank5050
Jan 21, 2004, 01:21 PM
New products with rich feature sets are always welcome but I prefer to wait until the product actually ships and gets "exercised" by some aggresive users before I'd give it serious consideration.

How many of the devices out there with built-in FM transmission/reception actually work well?

Anyone can announce a new product with lots of features, few can actually produce the product that works well (hardware and software), has great ergonomics, and is well-built. The more products that do that the better (whether they're made by Apple or not).

joeconvert
Jan 21, 2004, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Photorun

I wonder how secure it's WiFi signal is and could someone "borrow" someone elses music collection should one figure out a way to hone in on it? Then again, anyone who buys something this ugly (or is on a peecee in general) usually has zero good musical taste.


Sometimes I wish this board could be a bit more focused on products and rumors rather than attempting to generalize the majority of the population. And we wonder why Apple products can be such a hard sell at times. The best way to get someone to speak your language is not by insulting theirs.

Peace

slipper
Jan 21, 2004, 01:48 PM
slow upload for lage music collections? you upload your initial collection by wire and as you increase your collection you maintain with wireless. besides the thing only holds up to 1.5b gigs

battery drain due to WIFI? i may be wrong but your not constantly using the WIFI

im not saying that i will but this particular product, im saying that this is a great idea and could be made into another variation of the ipod? iPod, mini iPod, wireless iPod. or maybe intergrated into the 4th gen iPods?

sinisterdesign
Jan 21, 2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by ColdZero
I don't understand the big syncing problem related to speed. I think wireless is a very cool idea. When I first got my iPod I needed to charge it for several hours before I could use it. During that time it also synced my songs. Now when I plug it in, syncing is done in a few seconds because, MAYBE 1 new album is transferring. How many people are changing their entire collection every time you plug it in to sync? After the initial sync, there are very few changes made to it.

i'm not changing my entire collection every time i sync b/c i have 20GB and i don't have to! i take my entire collection w/ me all the time. why do i want to take the time to pick & choose which 1.5GB worth of music i feel like listening to today??!?

i LOVE wi-fi, i think it's great to surf the internet. when i was doing the dot-com thing a couple years ago in San Fran, i would sit in one of the 5 Starbucks near my apt and hop in the network, do my web design & sip on my venti mocha. but i don't want to wait on this thing to suck down all my music via the wi-fi.

if this thing was USB, people would be freaking out b/c it was so painfully slow, so now it's UNPLUGGED and slow. i'm sure wi-fi will be brought more & more into music players for some purpose, but if it's just to sync, i'm not excited. as a few here have pointed out, if i have to plug the thing in to charge it anyhow, who cares ? the only time i plug my iPod in is in the morning on the way out the door if i've bought new music on iTMS or if i ripped a new CD the night before. i plug it in, by the time i get my coat on, it's ready to go & i'm out the door.

and as far as FM goes, that's why i bought an AUX input for my car stereo so i wouldn't have to listen to the crap on the radio! nice addition for some, though, i'll admit. i'm just not the target audience for that feature either...

ColdZero
Jan 21, 2004, 02:41 PM
Not everbody has that much music. There is a market for such devices. Say on average each song is 3 minutes long. Thats 500 songs on that player. Which if purchased from an online store is 500 of the songs you want for around the price of $500 in music. I have a 15 gb iPod that I carry around with me that has my whole collection on it, but I don't listen to my whole collection, I have 3 playlists I use. If this player doesn't fit what you need, there are 50 million other ones on the market.

Poff
Jan 21, 2004, 03:17 PM
Originally posted by MorganX
You get a lot for the price, and price matters. But it's kind of chunky and ugly. I don't think it will be an iPod killer (high end MP3 players) but it will do well.

"I" wouldn't leave the iPod for it. But I may leave the iPod, my battery won't hold a full charge anymore :(

I think I'll stick with it until PMCs arrive.

I wasnīt very serious. Prolly a crappy player. Ugly, and it doesnīt look goot either. And it will prolly break before long.

ColdZero
Jan 21, 2004, 03:27 PM
Originally posted by Poff
I wasnīt very serious. Prolly a crappy player. Ugly, and it doesnīt look goot either. And it will prolly break before long.

That seems like a very solid evaluation, could you mind telling us of the obviously vast personal experiance you've had with this player.

danielgrenell
Jan 21, 2004, 03:40 PM
stupid idea. the max transfer speed under 802.11 is 54 mbps, and the max under firewire is 800 mbps. get it?

ColdZero
Jan 21, 2004, 03:48 PM
And that means what? So IF there was a portable player that supported firewire 800, what are you going to do with the data once it is there? There is no hard drive in any of these mp3 players that will support the speeds of firewire 800. It makes that whole argument mute. While firewire 400 is faster than 802.11g, I still ask, how fast does it need to go for just updating songs besides the initial sync?

splashman
Jan 21, 2004, 03:48 PM
What I'm hearing is that some people, based on how they use their iPods, would have a use for wi-fi syncing, and others (like me) wouldn't. So wi-fi capability appears to be a niche feature, at least for the moment. Maybe a year or two down the road, it will be more of a mainstream "need", and Apple will add it in to the iPod. Personally, I hope they don't, as I'll be paying for features I don't want. Maybe a dedicated wi-fi product?

In the meantime, I'm curious as to how many people would sacrifice the iPod "experience" for the sake of wi-fi.

yamadataro
Jan 21, 2004, 03:49 PM
I'm wondering about the WiFi sync feature too.

I used to have a Sony CLIE with a WiFi card. When I wanted to get on the WiFi network, I had to turn the WiFi card power on manually, and off when I was done. Otherwise it drained the battery VERY fast.

So I'm assuming that this new player needs either a manual turn-on of WiFi feature everytime you want to sync wirelessly, or constantly plugged into a power source for fully automatic syncing.

PS I think the radio feature is nice. Even if you have gazillion songs on you ipod, sometimes it's refreshing to listen to something unexpected on the radio :D

topicolo
Jan 21, 2004, 03:51 PM
Been there, done that.

The fact of the matter is, any pda with wifi capabilities can do the same thing for about the same price (minus storage card). One additional advantage is that the pda would be able to stream all of the music from the pc's hard drive.

mkrishnan
Jan 21, 2004, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by topicolo
Been there, done that.

The fact of the matter is, any pda with wifi capabilities can do the same thing for about the same price (minus storage card). One additional advantage is that the pda would be able to stream all of the music from the pc's hard drive.

Semi-OT, but, is there any software yet for Palm-based (or any other) devices that will play Apple-type AAC files?

Also, back on-topic, lotsa people in this thread have been pointing out how slow wi-fi is for song transfer, but realistically, I wonder how bad it is? Specifically, I get my iPod and on the first day sync 12 gigs of music on it, but after that, there isn't that much to sync. I'm probably not going to get more than a small handful of CDs at any one time, and WiFi, once you disentangle the fact that you get limited download speed downloading songs over the net b/c the servers are slow, wouldn't be that bad for putting in <20 songs at a time....

topicolo
Jan 21, 2004, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by mkrishnan
Semi-OT, but, is there any software yet for Palm-based (or any other) devices that will play Apple-type AAC files?

Also, back on-topic, lotsa people in this thread have been pointing out how slow wi-fi is for song transfer, but realistically, I wonder how bad it is? Specifically, I get my iPod and on the first day sync 12 gigs of music on it, but after that, there isn't that much to sync. I'm probably not going to get more than a small handful of CDs at any one time, and WiFi, once you disentangle the fact that you get limited download speed downloading songs over the net b/c the servers are slow, wouldn't be that bad for putting in <20 songs at a time....

Check out this forum posting (http://www.palmonecity.com/forums/showthread/t-1340.html) . It should answer all of your questions.

Count Blah
Jan 21, 2004, 06:10 PM
I'm confused. What is so great about Wi-Fi in an MP3 player? Especially one that has > 1 Gig of storage.

If you have an MP3 player, worth anything, you have rechargable batteries, which means you have to charge it. No matter what, you have to plug it in. I have a 10 Gig iPod, I have my library on it, and don't need to sync very much at all. I guess if I couldn't have my full library on the iPod, it would still be of very little use to get the songs wirelessly. Personally, I'd rather get extra storage over wi-fi in an MP3 player.

It's not like using the internet over a wi-fi computer connection. It's geting music onto your MP3 player. For example, I see digital photo frames that display jpegs. Why not make it wi-fi so it can access all of your photos? That would seem kinda pointless to me, like wi-fi for an MP3 player.

mkrishnan
Jan 21, 2004, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by topicolo
Check out this forum posting (http://www.palmonecity.com/forums/showthread/t-1340.html) . It should answer all of your questions.

Thanks -- I was under the strong impression the answer was no, but I was hoping something might have come up recently. :(

the_dalex
Jan 21, 2004, 06:20 PM
I don't get it.

Pros:
---You don't need to carry a firewire cable with you
---You can sync or access music remotely


Cons:
---Very heavy drain on battery power
---Adds extra weight and cost
---Slower transfer speeds


It seems to me that the battery drain would make streaming impractical, since it would take more juice than your hard drive for the same purpose. Remote syncing seems like an answer without a question to me, since I am never walking around my house when I suddenly remember that I downloaded a new song, and walking to my dock is not a huge inconvenience. Syncing is already amazingly fast and easy, making it wireless creates a whole new set of security issues, and syncing via TCP/IP packets isn't going to be nearly as effortless to configure as plugging in a firewire cable.

They should have used Bluetooth for this. Much lower power usage, designed for peripherals instead of networking, and is easy to configure. However, it is not as fast (but hey, you said you don't care about speed, right?), and is not very common in the PC world yet, and the range is shorter... but if the whole point is getting rid of wires, this would work better.

Tossing in wireless isn't a big benefit, in my opinion. I don't see this as being a popular feature.

yamadataro
Jan 21, 2004, 07:33 PM
I think syncing music files via WiFi is OK. I can imagine some people actually using it. But I'd love to see more cool solutions using WiFi.

... like listening to somebody else's MP3 player on a packed Tokyo train and become friends on the spot. If that somebody is a cute girl, that's a big plus!

There was this cool tech "love" device a while ago (in Tokyo?) which beeped on the street when you get close to an opposite sex human who has the same device set to similar matchmaking prefs of your own device. FYI, I've never had one. Maybe I should have :D

uberman42
Jan 21, 2004, 07:42 PM
If you look at their website, they mention syncing overnight to get your whole library (or as much as the player can hold). Thus, you still need to plug it in- to keep the battery charged. So kill the middle man and connect via firewire. I think wireless won't happen till Ultra Wide Band is at the cusp of emerging- which apple will jump on first.

wombat2
Jan 22, 2004, 03:51 AM
I don't see how this device will be a huge hit, although I think it'll do okay through the power of buzzwords. "My mp3 player has wifi!" Sounds great, but when you consider the limits of the player (particularly the small 1.5 GB capacity), it comes off as more of a gimmick. Uneducated consumers are going to look at the 256MB Flash-based players for $200, and the 1.5GB player "with wifi!" for $300 and think the latter sounds pretty cool.

Although it doesn't seem useful to me, it is a first. Maybe a second or third generation version will be extremely cool and useful.

What if you could sync with your home computer while you are at Starbuck's? In fact, maybe you already can with the first gen version, but I haven't seen that capability mentioned in this thread.

Yeah, if I'm at the house, I'd just as soon use a USB cable. But if you can resolve any firewall issues that might exist, there is no technical reason you can't sync from outside your LAN the same as if you're inside your LAN. You can sync your PDA remotely via wifi, why not this?

The memory card slot is a great idea as well, although the hard drive is too small to make much use of it as a traveling photo storage bin, or a home for disc images and large zip files.

Keep an eye on this company, because if they are able to flesh this device out (say a range of 10 to 40 GB versions in a year and remote syncing via wifi), they could become a giant.

Earendil
Jan 22, 2004, 12:37 PM
Before too many generalizations are made, and extreme guesses as to what the future may hold, please take a look at this link.
Inside you'll find forum posters much like yourself (it may even be you, sorry for that), making rash or harsh words against a new MP3 player. It's humorus :)

http://forums.macrumors.com/archive/topic/501-1.html

happy reading :)

Earendil

br0wnbuffer
Jan 22, 2004, 04:50 PM
I have to admit that although I wanted an iPod from the start, I wasn't overly impressed with its feature set. It seemed like mostly slick packaging.

Thankfully for Apple, I was wrong. The interface from the iPod and iTMS are far and away best in the industry, and until some company actually makes a truly elegant competitor to the iPod (and not just a bunch of features stuffed into a box), iPod will continue to be king.

It stands to reason that Airport Extreme for iPod will make it into some future device, but first, Apple has to make its integration as transparent and easy-to-use as possible.

wombat2
Jan 22, 2004, 04:59 PM
Thankfully for Apple, I was wrong. The interface from the iPod and iTMS are far and away best in the industry, and until some company actually makes a truly elegant competitor to the iPod (and not just a bunch of features stuffed into a box), iPod will continue to be king.

Check the iRiver iHP-120 and 140.

Interface is a matter of opinion, although most would give the iPod the edge.

Battery life is a huge advantage for the iRiver. It has double the battery life rating.

Size and form factor are similar - 5.6 ounces for 20 GB, 6.5 ounces or so for 40 GB. The iRiver is a bit thicker.

The iRiver has a built-in microphone, as well as a plug for an external microphone; optical input and output; and a built-in FM tuner. It can record directly from any external input to mp3 or WAV, i.e. you can make mp3s out of your LP record collection, assuming your record player has an audio output.

I could go on - but the point is, competition is arriving, in force. For whatever set of reasons (vision, niche marketing, willingness to sell more expensive items), Apple has had the micro-HD mp3 player market almost to itself, with competitors using 2.5 inch laptop HDs. However, that is no longer the case.

I expect the market to get MUCH bigger. And while I think Apple's revenues will go up, I think their market share percentage will go down, perhaps drastically.

whyrichard
Jan 22, 2004, 07:03 PM
i thought it was obvious apple was working on an airport dock for the ipod... one that plugs into your stereo/tv/dvd setup and can record tv, recieve quicktime and send quicktime from your computer, synch itunes through wireless, and can be controled through airport as well from your computer... or a dedicated remote...


i thought it was obvious...?

splashman
Jan 22, 2004, 08:23 PM
Originally posted by whyrichard
i thought it was obvious apple was working on an airport dock for the ipod... one that plugs into your stereo/tv/dvd setup and can record tv, recieve quicktime and send quicktime from your computer, synch itunes through wireless, and can be controled through airport as well from your computer... or a dedicated remote...


i thought it was obvious...?

Given all of SJ's comments to the contrary, I'd say it wasn't, and isn't, obvious. Yet.

Remember the lesson of the non-existent $150 mini: just because a lot of people really, really want something doesn't mean they'll get it.

whyrichard
Jan 22, 2004, 08:40 PM
and yet we know he's hired a guy who does video codek's for the new ipod... we know that he hates viewing video on a small screen (for good reasons)...

we have wifi chips that are integrated so that they use less power, are much smaller...

we have a dock which is useless, cept for it's line out feature and it's more complex interface with the ipod...

we have apple's embrace of tivo...

and steve also understands that people interface with computers differently then they do tv/video screens, as well as music....

and we have a movie industry which is getting just as upset over pirating as the music industry is/was.

we have new features on the ipod that let you use the ipod's hard drive as the primary storage for your music, instead of a redundant one...

and everyone knows that a 40 gig (or higher) hd is way too big for 95% of people's music collections...

thats why the mini was introduced. because the white ipod will take up a larger role... the mini will fill in the role of a music only player... it even takes up where the ipod began (4gigs), because the full sized ipod is gonna become more then just a music player.

it's got the potential. all it needs is an airport interface in the dock, not the ipod... and a good method of converting and amplifying the video/audio data to analogue. and a whole lot of fantastic software writing, which is what apple is best at.



r.

splashman
Jan 23, 2004, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by whyrichard
and yet we know he's hired a guy who does video codek's for the new ipod... we know that he hates viewing video on a small screen (for good reasons)...

it's got the potential. all it needs is an airport interface in the dock, not the ipod... and a good method of converting and amplifying the video/audio data to analogue. and a whole lot of fantastic software writing, which is what apple is best at.

Your observations and speculations make sense, and I qualified my opinion with the word "yet".

I believe they are "working on it" in the sense that they are playing around with it in R&D, trying to make a product that will appeal to more than a few percent of the population. I don't believe they are "working on it" in the sense that they are readying a product for market that isn't very large. Yet.

Maybe in one year?

Just my $0.02.