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MacBytes
Mar 8, 2004, 02:23 PM
Link: Inside the Apple iPod design triumph (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040308152337)

Posted on MacBytes.com

nagromme
Mar 8, 2004, 03:15 PM
FYI, this article appears to be from summer 2002, describing the very first iPod. It shows a 1G iPod (look at the top edge) and mentions that the iPod is so far the only PortalPlayer platform device out there--which I don't think is true any longer.

But it does answer one question you see a lot: did Apple design the iPod's user interface? I see a LOT of people claiming that other players have the same interface and ease-of-use as the iPod, because they use a chip by PortalPlayer.

Not true. Apple designed the interface. (Which explains why these people can never actually find a link to a player that uses the iPod GUI.) The PortalPlayer platform is a good one, but it's hidden to the user. What you see on-screen is Apple's work, and that--plus the physical design which is also Apple's--makes the iPod so simple to use despite a vast feature set.

A quote from the article:

"Certainly I think it's about the best audio quality we've come across for that type of product in the marketplace in terms of intrinsic audio quality and delivered audio quality," Hayes says.

Then there is the user interface design, which has received strong reviews for the implementation of a 1394 interface for music downloads so fast that it could make your head spin. And it's easy to use.

"It's a fantastic user interface," emphasizes Hayes. "It's by far and away the best user interface of any product of this type. It sets it apart from any of the other comparable MP3 players of its ilk."

Choosing a development platform allowed Apple to focus on its true genius for form factors and user interfaces. "Those two are Apple's strengths," says Vinay Asgekar, director of research for semiconductor and high tech at Boston-based AMR Research. "Apple knows how to make a high-tech product consumer friendly. That has been its core strength from the introduction of the Apple Macintosh. That could be its strategy for iPod."

gerlitzappel
Mar 8, 2004, 03:33 PM
I don't believe that Apple released the first multi Gig mp3 player, I remember the 4Gig Nomad being around prior to it's release. They definitely have the best though! Especially with the integration of iTunes. I would hate to even think of using a Windows app to transfer music to my iPod.

nagromme
Mar 8, 2004, 04:28 PM
Apple's iPod wasn't the first HD player--it was maybe the third. It WAS the first COMPACT HD player, though--and the ease-of-use and styling both entered new territory.

The main things that I'd say made iPod a new CATEGORY of player (not just with better controls):

* Music capacity per physical size.

* Auto-synching with jukebox (iTunes) -- STILL rare among players!

jettredmont
Mar 8, 2004, 04:29 PM
I don't believe that Apple released the first multi Gig mp3 player, I remember the 4Gig Nomad being around prior to it's release. They definitely have the best though! Especially with the integration of iTunes. I would hate to even think of using a Windows app to transfer music to my iPod.

Correct. A friend of mine had a 6GB Nomad several months prior to the iPod release.

It was the first multi-gig device that could fit in a pocket, though (those Nomads were HUGE!)

jettredmont
Mar 8, 2004, 04:32 PM
FYI, this article appears to be from summer 2002, describing the very first iPod. It shows a 1G iPod (look at the top edge) and mentions that the iPod is so far the only PortalPlayer platform device out there--which I don't think is true any longer.
[/i]

Also note that it contains forecasts of the iPod being the second or third most popular MP3 player, if its Q3/2001 rate of sale were to be extended to the rest of the year, and addressed scepticism that the Apple press release numbers were truly accurate. Obviously, those numbers are a bit better known now, as is the iPod's ranking amongst MP3 players ...

A nice stroll down memory lane, though ...

sjk
Mar 8, 2004, 04:37 PM
Another clue that this may be a two-year-old article:"If you listen to Steve Jobs, he said they sold 125,000 in the fourth quarter [of 2001], which is impressive," given that the iPod only began to ship in October, Paxton says.And there's no mention of AAC which also suggests this predates iTMS.

I wish the iPod weren't so commonly referred to as a MP3 player since that label does nothing to promote AAC and contradicts the iTMS format.

macNoob
Mar 8, 2004, 04:37 PM
Reading about how Apple leaned on a group of well-organized third party organizations to create the iPod, I'm reminded of another excellent Apple product: OS X. Take the existing work on BSD and Mach, put together a bunch of known *nix tools and throw them all together under good design and user interfaces. It's an interesting business model.

mkjellman
Mar 8, 2004, 05:18 PM
thats a really old picture!

nagromme
Mar 8, 2004, 06:22 PM
Absolutely. Take the best and most practical of what exists, support standards too, and then innovate as well. Result: great products.