First WiFi MP3 Player

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by MacRumors, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    TwinCities.com reports on a new MP3 player that adds WiFi capabilities, allowing you to transfer songs from your PC via WiFi (802.11)

    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. This concept links wireless internet with MP3 players to provide users less dependance on player storage capacity.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    aethier

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #2
    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
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Photorun

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    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.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    j_maddison

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2003
    Location:
    Nelson, Wales
    #4
    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
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2002
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #5
    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
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    slipper

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    #6
    i think its a great idea and very nice product.

    here we go again with the non-apple bashing....
     
  7. macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
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    1123.6536.5321
    #7
    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....
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Location:
    boston
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    mactarkus

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    #10
    Yes, let's take a step back.

    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.
     
  11. macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #11
    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...
     
  12. macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #12
    Re: Yes, let's take a step back.

    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....
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    #14
    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...
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Dippo

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2003
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #15
    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.
     
  16. s10
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    useless, at least for now

    -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.
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #17
    Actual speed of 802.11g (Airport Extreme) is normally less than one tenth of that of a firewire cable. Huh..? That´s slow..!
     
  18. macrumors member

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    Jun 12, 2003
  19. macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #19
  20. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    #21
    Its okay

    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
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #22
    Except that I did this over two years ago

    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.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    MorganX

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    Midwest
    #23
    Re: Yes, let's take a step back.

    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.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    #24

    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.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    MorganX

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    Midwest
    #25
    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.
     

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