iPod MP4 Players?

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by Shrek, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. Shrek macrumors 65816

    Shrek

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, Tennessee USA
    #1
    http://www.apple.com/mpeg4/aac/

    Does this mean that iPod MP4 Players could be on the way? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO!!! :D MP4 Players could bring the same audio quality that MP3 gave us, but at a much lower bit rate, boosting the overall number of songs we can store on our portable players. Or it could be used to maximize the sound quality of our music by giving us higher quality sound (than MP3), but at the same or higher bit rates resulting in true Dolby Digital/THX/Surround Sound!!! :eek: Neato! :D
     
  2. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    New York
    #2
    Re: iPod MP4 Players?

    Yes Shrek, you are correct. Since iPods use hard drives and have firmware updates, they will eventually support AAC Audio. I'm guessing once iTunes has better support for AAC Audio, with complete and correct ID tags, which iPod basically runs on.

    tyler
     
  3. mmmdreg macrumors 65816

    mmmdreg

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    #3
    Cool...I'm getting an iPod soon and aac would be alright if it worked...but thats soon...
     
  4. Quark macrumors regular

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    Jan 9, 2002
    #4
    Not so fast

    I have heard this discussed before, and someone made a point about the Codec chip being designed to handle certain compressed data, but (as I recall) they said that it couldn't handle AAC.

    I have an iPod and hope that it is just a firmware update, but something tells me that it will be more than that.

    Quark
     
  5. zarathustra macrumors 6502a

    zarathustra

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    #5
    Re: Not so fast

    Good call. As I recall the chip in charge of decoding MP3 data was able to encode MP3s, but I wonder if that's as far as it will go.

    Since I am not an übergeek (meant in a complimentary way) I would think that it would be more likely that you could use the firewire port to connect to the next generation of Hi-Fi audio systems (such as Panasonic's new entertainment system that uses a single FireWire cable to connect various components) and encode/download audio from there.

    What algorithms and calculations go into an AAC file is beyond me, but feel that it would be too complex, but then again I like being suprised.
     
  6. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

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    #6
    Maybe I misunderstood the above posts, but as far as I know, the iPod itself doesn't do any encoding. My powermac can certianly encode AAC, and in fact, I've been reripping CDs for a couple of days now. I should think it will only be a firmware upgrade to the iPod, I can't imagine any needed hardware change.
     
  7. StuartBNEau macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Location:
    Brisbane Australia
    #7
    New future audio formats

    I seem to remember Apple promising th iPod's ability play new audio formats by way of applying firmware updates.
     
  8. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #8
    only thing that keeps me from believing it's a hardware thing, not a firmware thing, is that apple was well into aac research and use or whatever when they released the ipod. they had to see it coming


    i thought that the current delay in not being able to use aac as a purely audio file was a licensing issue....

    therefore, who knows when we'll see the firmware, and an update to itunes to encode with it...
     
  9. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 22, 2002
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    New York
    #9
    bulls-eye!!!!!!!!!!

    the iPod is nothing more than a toshiba HD and apple's iTunes software and little extras. if quicktime can do AAC, then iTunes can do AAC and soon iPod will do AAC. just wait for the firmware

    tyler
     
  10. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    Apr 25, 2002
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    Seattle, WA
    #10
    The iPods are on sale at the computer store at the university where I work. I just ordered a 10 GB iPod for $319. The 5 GB is $219 and the 20GB is $419. This is an awesome deal. Check to see if you local universities have the same deal and make friends with a student or staff member. ;-)
     
  11. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #11
    whoa, i got something right. phat... ha

    and apparently the mp3 patent owners are now charging for both encoders AND decoders... will that affect itunes/ipod at all i wonder? hmm

    clicky
     
  12. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2002
    #12
    iPod...

    Does the iPod not run off dual StrongARM chips? Have I been lied to? If it does run off these chips, then they are not made specifically for anyt type of decoding, but are used for it, just as the G4 in my TiBook does decoding of MP3 among many other things. Therefore, the software is all we need, not a replacement iPod or anything like that.
     
  13. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000

    FelixDerKater

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    Apr 12, 2002
    #13
    Addition to last post...

    Another valid question would be whether the chips are powerful enough to decode MP4. Since I am not very familiar with the codec I am unaware as to how much more processor intensive it is.

    Also, even if the current iPods are capable of running MP4/AAC Audio, through a simple software update, Apple still may decide to only offer it on new iPods.
     
  14. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #14
    Re: Addition to last post...

    i don't see that happening

    if it does, there will be more furious people

    it would be another way of apple screwing people who buy their stuff early on... ie, early supporters... then being screwed for not waiting

    i think we've seen enough of that for a bit
     
  15. dongmin macrumors 68000

    dongmin

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    #15
    hardware issues

    I'm not sure what you guys are saying about the iPod's hardware capabilities is totally accurate. According this DesignChain.com article, iPod actually has a dedicated mp3 decoder chip:

    The rest of the device uses a dedicated MP3 decoder and controller chip from PortalPlayer, a Wolfson Microelectronics Ltd. stereo digital-to-analog converter, a flash memory chip from Sharp Electronics Corp., a Texas Instruments 1394 firewire interface controller, and a power management and battery charging IC from Linear Technologies Inc.

    Also from Anandtech.com:

    The final noteworthy item on the iPod's PCB actually turns out to be the unit's CPU. The chip is a PP5002B-C chip made by PortalPlayer. Although the specifications of the version of the chip used in the iPod are not available on PortyalPlayer's website, specifications on their P5001 controller are available. Bearing the similar product names, we can speculate that not much has changed in the Apple specific chip. If this is in fact the case, then the PP5002B chip has a ARM7 TDMI based core with a coprocessor dedicated to real time encoding acceleration. The processor is able to not only decode MP3 and wma files (note that the iPod's chip can decode MP3 files up to 320 Kbps, MP3 variable bit rate, WAV, and AIFF files), it is also able to encode on the fly (a feature which Apple did not take advantage of in the iPod). The chip also features an integrated 32KB of SRAM and 8KB of cache. We are unsure of the operating frequency of the chip or how many MIPS the chip can handle, but the iPod never functioned slowly suggesting that there is plenty of power.


    So maybe AAC is not so easy an addition to make...
     
  16. peterjhill macrumors 65816

    peterjhill

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    Seattle, WA
    #16
    Re: hardware issues

    It probably depends on one of two things. Can the processor handle the decoding? Can the current hardware decoder be used to help decode the AAC files?

    I hope support does come for mpeg4, but now that I have ripped my entire 4200+ song cd collection, I will not rerip for mpeg 4. If support comes out, new cds I purchase will go into mpeg4. Maybe some favorite CDs.
     
  17. onemoof macrumors member

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
    #17
    Re: Re: iPod MP4 Players?

    Obviously you're not a fan of movies :) :D
     

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