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iPod's Design

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by arn, May 31, 2002.

  1. arn
    macrumors god


    Staff Member

    This DesignChain article explores the design process involved in Apple's iPod. While specifics are limited, they discuss the basic design process that was involved with the iPod's creation. In an atypical move, Apple utilized a 3rd party, PortalPlayer, for the reference design.

    In an effort to reduce costs and accelerate development, all components were off the shelf components... however, the design was created in an "outside-in" fashion:

    Carey says the company had a vision of what the player should be and what it should look like. The subsequent design parameters were dictated by its appearance and form factor.
  2. macrumors regular


    It's actually quite interesting how Apple has realised that the mp3 player niche market offered great opportunities for them. It's also nice to see how apple coorporated with a few partners to quickly have the iPod on the market. And of course there's the renowned Apple branding.
    Since I major in Industrial Design, this story, and this website are quite useful to me. Thanks for pointing me to it :)
  3. macrumors 6502

    Possible iPod Flaw

    I have a 10gig iPod, and I love it, but it does have its setbacks. First off I think they should have made it out of a material a little bit tougher to the daily usage. This item is not meant to be left on a desk, so it should be able to take a few drops, and scrapes without showing its age. secondly, and my most major concern is the fact that I paid 450 for this item, and due to its "Industiral Design" the new coined term for anything Apple, is that there is no apparent way to replace the battery. As we all know the battery life decreases with time. My cell, and old PowerBook both have suffered battery life problems, but I could purchase a replacement 60 dollar battery (for the PB) but how and where can I replace this battery? Maybe I should find a way to replace these, and a supplier of batties and start a little business? Also, for any of you iPod owners from last year, have any of you expirenced battery life problems?
    Sorry for the ranting
  4. macrumors 6502

    I have a 5Gb Ipod and I see what you mean. I got it for 5 months now but it looks like it's 5 yers old. (I don't think it will last that long though).Yeah you can say buy a sleeve to put it in. But it has such great design , you don't want to put it away in some ugly sleeve. And I am very carefull with it, I always put it in my pocket. (without coins and keys). It gets schratches from even my nailes.
    It isnt that hard to make a metal casing that doesnt scratch. I've got my MD player for 5 years and there is not a scratch on it.
    All the Ipods features are great, I love it, but I also bought it the way it looks.
    Wich isn't that great now.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Re: Possible iPod Flaw

    Here is some advice, first if your ipod is getting scratched I advise that you buy a leather case for it. This adds another layer of protection and helps prevent against scratching.
    Also Macaddict magazine pulled an ipod apart and from what I see it looks fairly simple to replace the battery, as long as someone who is apple certified does it. I don't know if apple offers battery replacement on iPod.
  6. macrumors G3

    For some reason the iPod has never done it for me design wise...... the concept and execution is fantastic... but the aesthetics just doesn't press my buttons, I love it from the back.... but the front design....... hmmmm I can't put a point on it.......

    I'd still have one though.......... I'd have a case with it, sounds like the TiBook with regards to easy damage..... :(
  7. macrumors 6502

    Well that's a bit odd isn't it?
    Apple makes products that look amazing and they market them that way too, and then you have to put them/it (Ipod) away in a leather case?
    Can't be too hard to make something a bit more durable.
    I like to promote apple gear, so I want people to see it.
    I think the Ipod is just a bit of a cash cow.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    if they made it a bit tougher, that would be great, but hey -- it's still by far the best product on the market... so stop the ranting!
  9. Moderator emeritus


    Bravo! :D
    The iPod is by far the best MP3 player out there.
    I know there are other players that have larger hard disks but can you imagine transferring 20Gb of data over USB??? I don't think so, and besides they are all a larger form factor that the iPod too.
    In my humble opinion :)p) Apple did a great job of the iPod, it's small, has a fantastic navigation interface and is sooooo easy to use...and oh yeah, the firewire connection kicks a$$. Well done Apple!
  10. macrumors 6502

    we weren't talking about wether it has firewire and it's fantastic nivigating interface.
    We were talking about it's durability.
    btw isnt there a 20GB player that does have firewire? yeah yeah i know before you start shouting. ....it's 5 times the Ipods size.
  11. Moderator emeritus


    I realize that, I was simply pointing out one of the major good points of the iPod.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Bah! Until I can get such a device that has wireless headphones and a mic for recording, I'll pass. It's not a bad mp3 player but those are the killer features that are lacking.
  13. big
    macrumors 65816


    I lunged into the local mac store here in huntsvegas and bought the 5gig Ipod when it came out. you wanna talk duraility? I drop this thing once or twice a day.

    Whether its in the truck and slides off the bench seat or at work it'll slide off my lap or chair...the thing still never skips as it hits the ground. sure it has some imperfections in it now, though that'll happen when something is used.
  14. Moderator emeritus


    Wireless headphones? How the hell would that work?
    100 people sitting on the train all with wireless headphones, do u see a problem here? maybe not enough frequencies perhaps???
    They're all very well and good a home but given the current technology I can't see how it would work on a portable.
  15. big
    macrumors 65816


    au contrare (spelling) here in Huntsvegas is a company (Time Domain) producing Ultra Wide Band technology to take care of that...they've just made national headlines last fall. the technology will let this kind of stuff happen (as well as some other reeeally cool stuff)
  16. macrumors 6502

    I love the design of the iPod, and that is why I dont want to spend another 50 bucks on an ugly case. When I was home in Cupertino I actually went ot elite computers (Across the street from Apple HQ) and decided not to buy a case to cover up the beauty of my little device. All apple needed to do is sell a think piece of plastic for the white part, or a couple of clear coat paint, and paint the stainless steel portion with which a scratch resistant paint, maybe a dark Titanium color. The design is cool, but it could have been better seeing as this is a portable device, and field testing should have showed that these do not wear slowly.
  17. macrumors 603

    I agree on those who have said that the iPod scratches too easily. The iPod that I carry to and from class and even dropped occassionally ( nah, not that much :) ) seems to be turning into a white and silver scratch tester. And if someone's fingernails scratches an iPod that easily, then maybe talc could as well. (Actually, it would be a close call, as talc has a hardness of only 1.)

    I wonder if Apple could somehow enhance the scratch-resistance on their device. It's too bad that the scratches are such a prominent problem.

    Fear the King.
  18. macrumors member

    That way:
    It works fine on mobiles so why not on iPods?!? Frequency is not an issue on Bluetooth as it works on only a few but shares them with encryption.
  19. macrumors 603

    For those who have no blatant idea how Bluetooth is:


    I did not see the word encryption anywhere on that page. Bluetooth uses frequency hopping. It serves as an advantage when there is noise at some frequency, so the BT frequency jumps to another level. That is why you get very little distortion.

    Again, using ground troops, not the flamethrower.

    Fear the King.
  20. macrumors member

    Well you're right, you got me! But anyway, that's what I meant. It is possible to use even 500 headphones in one room. By frequency hopping of course.
  21. macrumors 6502

    me hate windows

    Re: Possible iPod Flaw

    I have had mine since January and it is showing less life now. It isnt that bad, since I dont need to use it 10 hours a day. I just leave it charging overnight.
  22. macrumors 68030


    You and me both, brother. :D Except I didn't fly over to yours, I just visited mine. :) But I also came out with a 5 gig iPod. I was very happy! My wallet was hurting a bit, but I quickly forgot about that when I no longer had to fumble for my CDs in my van!

    The durability factor, though, is where I differ. A piece of the inner rim of the headphone jack broke off within two weeks, and I handled that thing VERY carefully, and yet I still had tons of scratches! So I took it to my local Apple reseller and luckily they replaced it. So I bought myself a Marware iPod case and I've been even MORE careful... and it's paid off. My iPod looks as brand spankin' new as the day I got it! Not a single scratch on her. The thanks goes to Marware without question.
  23. Moderator emeritus


    I stand corrected :eek: That's a good point hobie.
  24. macrumors regular

    iPod Good

    Aesthetics aside (taste issue, I love the look) I find the iPod quite durable.

    I whipped around on my chair, leg caught dangling headphone cable and absolutely SLAMMED my 10gb into the floor quite hard. I think my heart suffered more damage than the iPod, which seems fine.

    I keep mine in a case for travel and storage but use it outside the case. There are certainly a few scratches and stuff but my expectations for this were far worse. Treat it like an pair of pricey sunglasses or a watch and it should be fine.

    I fretted over the cost before I bought one, then wondered how I ever lived without it after.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Mmmmmmmmmm I stay with my own opinion.
    Within a year it goes to the scrapheap off broken electronics

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