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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,042
17,425
AudioRevoluation posted some confirmation of low-end iPods. They also mention the possibility of Flash-based iPods, but appear to simply be regurgitating information from a Reuters article in which an analyst was speculating that the new iPods may be Flash-based.

As a result, this report does not appear to provide any additional information (beyond simple confirmation):
"Odds are it's a flash-memory-based player, something to position Apple against the low-cost offerings from Creative and Rio," said Rob Enderle, principal of market search firm the Enderle Group
 

x86isslow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2003
889
10
USA
hmm. might be able to snag one if they are cheap enough. cant really fill the 10Gb'er, nor can i afford it.. maybe a 5 Gb'er ~150?
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
Re: Clarification: Flash iPod 'Rumor'

Originally posted by Macrumors
AudioRevoluation posted some confirmation of low-end iPods. They also mention the possibility of Flash-based iPods, but appear to simply be regurgitating information from a Reuters article in which an analyst was speculating that the new iPods may be Flash-based.

As a result, this report does not appear to provide any additional information (beyond simple confirmation):
I can't say I'm terribly thrilled at the idea of a 512MB iPod. You'll constantly have to make playlists for your iPod which could get annoying. So much for hassle-free syncing of your music collection.
 

macFanDave

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2003
571
0
All credibility disappears

when the source is Rob Enderle. He's an idiot (and a Microsoft-sponsored FUDster.)

I have to give him credit for coming up with a memory that is slightly plausible (although I doubt it is true). It would be more in the nature of Rob Enderle to say that there is going to be a 2GB iPod with the data stored on punch cards!
 

brandon6684

Guest
Dec 30, 2002
538
0
Probably just a bunch of crap. For Apple to back track and make a flash based iPod would be like them redesigning the iMac with a floppy drive or releasing a new line or CRT displays.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,551
121
with Hamburglar.
Flash definitely has its benefits. The could have an entirely new (innovative?) form-factor with flash - we'll see what MWSF has to offer...
 

Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Re: Re: Clarification: Flash iPod 'Rumor'

Originally posted by dongmin
I can't say I'm terribly thrilled at the idea of a 512MB iPod. You'll constantly have to make playlists for your iPod which could get annoying. So much for hassle-free syncing of your music collection.
Using a cheaper iPod will require living with less storage capacity, no matter what the technology. So it'll require a mindset that says you pick a collection that you want to listen to today, and replace it with another subset of your music when you change your mind tomorrow. Some people have small music collections, but it's unlikely to stay small forever. Something's gotta give, and it's the idea that you can carry all your music around with you. For that luxury, you have to pay more.
 

lind0834

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2003
197
0
512M of storage isn't worthwhile

A 512M MP3 Player wouldn't be worth my while unless it's really really ground breaking.
I wanted something to play MP3s, a couple of years ago, and picked up a CD-RW MP3 player. It plays any MP3, I've thrown at it, and I can replace or recharge my AA's whenever I want to. It's not the best piece of equipment ever, but for what I payed ($30), it's great. As soon as Apple can makes something that will hold a Gig (or more) data of music for $100, I'll place my order.
 

mac15

macrumors 68040
Dec 29, 2001
3,099
0
I think they'd be 1GB and up, I do stuff for iRiver and 1GB flash drives are incredible expensive. I don't think there would be value in one compared to a HD based player.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
2
Don't take this the wrong way


but you guys complaining about the 512 meaning organizing playlists and it being a hassle are forgetting one thing.

Not everyone has enough music to fill a 10 gig iPod

heck i have 1 gig on my 20 gig iPod

some people might want to have a few play lists and put them on in the morning before they go because that is the mood they feel like that day

some people might want to really think about exactly what songs they want to put on their collection

believe it or not ... apple isn't making every product for you, and just because you don't like the idea doesn't mean it's not a good one
 

tubedogg

macrumors regular
Dec 18, 2003
226
176
Minnesota
Good idea, confuse the public and splinter your customer base by calling the two players different things. They'd both end up being called iPods by most consumers anyway, and there really is no benefit I can see to naming the "mini 'Pod" anything but iPod.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,745
5,999
Canada
Here Here, well said.

The price of a flash memory iPod better be priced competitively with existing Flash MP3 players...


Originally posted by revenuee
Don't take this the wrong way


but you guys complaining about the 512 meaning organizing playlists and it being a hassle are forgetting one thing.

Not everyone has enough music to fill a 10 gig iPod

heck i have 1 gig on my 20 gig iPod

some people might want to have a few play lists and put them on in the morning before they go because that is the mood they feel like that day

some people might want to really think about exactly what songs they want to put on their collection

believe it or not ... apple isn't making every product for you, and just because you don't like the idea doesn't mean it's not a good one
 

aldo

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2003
242
0
England, UK
Apple won't use flash. Even 512mb is too expensive for a $100/$150 device, if you include all the buttons, the case, the DSPs and also the packaging etc...

I still think Apple will ask Toshiba or someone to make a big run of small 2/4gb hard drives for a low price. These things are gonna sell like hotcakes and an order for 1million is enough to warrant a manufacturing them again.
 

msbsound

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
126
0
Charlotte, NC
A few people would be interested...

The fact that you can't exercise heavily with current ipods may make some folks pick up a flash based ipod.(speaking for myself of course)

I love my ipod, but having to reset it every time I run gets annoying. True, I have a lot of other options as far as flash goes, but I didn't feel they would compare to my ipod, which means I would be throwing money away.

If they kept a similar "feel" to the new players, I may be interested in picking one up to be my ipods' little buddy.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
2
Re: A few people would be interested...

Originally posted by msbsound
The fact that you can't exercise heavily with current ipods may make some folks pick up a flash based ipod.(speaking for myself of course)

I love my ipod, but having to reset it every time I run gets annoying.

Could you elaborate on this point?

i have an iPod that i wish to exercise with ... Is there something i should know?
 

CalfCanuck

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
581
88
In a few years ALL iPods will be flash RAM...

Originally posted by revenuee
Could you elaborate on this point?

i have an iPod that i wish to exercise with ... Is there something i should know?

Hard drives have many moving parts and really aren't designed for high abuse (read high impact) applications.

And in response to a number of other posts in this thread, I can't believe how misinformed people are about technology when they state that hard drives are better than flash ram - the goal is to store 0's and 1's, and digital device makers will use whatever is best given their price point. If a 50 GB Flash storage device came out cheaper than a HD in 4 or 5 years, Apple would (and should) jump ship overnight.

As I posted a month ago when the rumor of a low price "iPod" began to surface, compact flash and hard disks tangled once before in another portable, high "abuse" market where the HD had the early advantage, and the HD got it's ass kicked! I'm talking about digital photography, where the stakes were high and people were (are) willing to pay.

For my first Canon D30 in Dec 2000 I bought a 1GB IBM microdrive for about $800 - comparably priced Compact Flash cards only had 25 percent of the storage. The Microdrives had a few problems holding up to the bumps and jostles but they had the initial capacity/price advantage.

Fast forward to late 2003. High end Compact Flash cards have capacities of 4 GB and transfer rates pushing 10 MB/sec. It's called technological progress! Now these high end cards ain't cheap, at least not yet. But my Microdrive has sat in a drawer for the last year, as the more reliable 512 MB compact flash cards came down in price (in Mar 2003 I bought my third 512 MB card, for $99).

I can go buy a retail 1GB Compact Flash card for $225 today (B&H Photo). And don't forget we're talking about LAST year's production processes. I'm sure there must be some new fabrication line ramping up, that would LOVE to get an order for 1,000,000 chips (even just above cost) to bring down their average cost for their other retail compact flash units.

So if Apple wants to drop a 512 MB flash card in a cheap unit, they could find a producer to work with at a low price point. And when the 6th or 8th generation compact flash card comes out, we'll be seeing 10-20 GB compact flash iPods at prices that hard drive makers can't compete with.
 

revenuee

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2003
2,251
2
Re: In a few years ALL iPods will be flash RAM...

Originally posted by CalfCanuck
Hard drives have many moving parts and really aren't designed for high abuse (read high impact) applications.


So this this is the only part that actually pertains to my question?
 

ShadowHunter

macrumors regular
Sep 27, 2003
159
0
Fresno
Originally posted by aldo
Apple won't use flash. Even 512mb is too expensive for a $100/$150 device, if you include all the buttons, the case, the DSPs and also the packaging etc...

I still think Apple will ask Toshiba or someone to make a big run of small 2/4gb hard drives for a low price. These things are gonna sell like hotcakes and an order for 1million is enough to warrant a manufacturing them again.

I don't think you're quite clear on how hard drive's are built, etc. Making a special run of hard drives of 2-4gb would require new, low density platters; there wouldn't be any advantage. The cost would be almost the same as the 10gb drives, there's no point.

Flash is not that expensive, certainly competitive with a run of custom ultra-low density hard drives. Plus, doesn't flash use less battery etc?
 

CalfCanuck

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
581
88
Re: Re: In a few years ALL iPods will be flash RAM...

Originally posted by revenuee
So this this is the only part that actually pertains to my question?

Sorry for the misunderstanding - this was in fact the only answer to your question.

The rest of my posting concerns the general discussion of this thread - some people imply (incorrectly) that compact flash is old technology, when in fact it is the future of portable devices like iPods.

Originally posted by Brandon Sharitt
Probably just a bunch of crap. For Apple to back track and make a flash based iPod would be like them redesigning the iMac with a floppy drive or releasing a new line or CRT displays.

Hard drives failures are a problem for all computers, but are an especially difficult one for portable devices. I'm 3 for 3 for hard drive failures for my "portable office" (I logged over 100,000 air miles last year alone, with 2 laptops and a couple of external HDs). All were within the first year, and I bought a completely new unit to replace the failing one (couldn't trust a reconditioned unit). Hopefully my LaCie d2 250GB will last a little longer but the key, as always, is backup.

So this issue of having a "dependable" portable device boils down to reducing the number of moving parts that can break - and thus iPods WILL move to flash ram in the future as soon as it's price competitive.
 

itsbetteronamac

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2003
171
0
I don't think that a 1 GB flash iPod would be a bad idea. Especially for people who have smaller music collections, and are just wanting the lastest songs. I wouldn't buy one I just got a newq 20gb iPod for x-mas. Plus apple could just put in a 1GB IMB micro drive, with the whole new IBM partenership. God for atheltic people.
 

mhouse

macrumors member
Dec 27, 2003
97
0
North Carolina
What am I missing?

I apologize if this were discussed earlier, but I'd really like some insight. The rumors/reports I have seen say 2 and 4 gb "mini- iPods" and that they will be priced as low as 99 bucks.

These specs, if accurate, all but eliminate the idea of a flash-based "mini- iPod" don't they? Apple has never been a company to produce a product at a loss (or even a less than hefty profit), and even a 2gb flash-based iPod would surely make a 99 dollar price point an impossibility, yes? I don't see how, even with a sweetheart deal from a flash supplier, that idea could make any money.

I think cheaper iPods are absolutely crucial, but surely they will be HD-based along the lines of the Rio Nitrus.

Let me know if I'm wrong on the technology here.
 

iMook

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2003
168
0
mhouse: A miniHDD would not lower the price point to $100, even without considering Apple's penchant for large profit margins.



A point of clarification: The Rio Nitrus uses a special 1.5 GB hard drive manufactured by Cornice. Cornice has only one capacity so far, 1.5 GB, and as far as I know, has no public plans to diversify its product line. Its drives are starting to appear in portable entertainment devices because of their lower cost and fewer number of parts, in comparison to Toshiba and Hitachi offerings (all CF HDDs).

Cornice hard drives do not bundle the firmware and control chips into the hard drive casing, whereas Toshiba and Hitachi microdrives squeeze everything you need to interface with the HDD into a 1" inch square. This is why Cornice drives are cheaper. They keep the firmware on chips outside the HDD casing, but inside the portable device.

The Compactflash drives that everyone is talking about are significantly more expensive to produce, and thus drive up portable-device prices. If Apple is going to reach anything close to a $100 price point with a miniHDD player, it's going to have to go to Cornice. (Unless it can convince Toshiba to sell microdrives at below manufacturing cost, which is not happening)

As for flash... I actually started writing this post thinking that Apple would go HDD, but now I'm not so sure. Each of Apple's products is distinct from every other. Let's consider its product lines: monolithic G5 desktops, table-lamp iMacs, all-in-one eMacs, snow-white plastic iBooks, matte aluminum Powerbooks. All of these are absolutely distinct in their design. If Apple is going to introduce a MiniMP3, it'd try to differentiate the new product from the iPod. Thus, a completely new form factor is pretty certain, but this need for uniqueness may make Apple opt for flash memory's form-factor flexibility. (you can make a flash mp3 player into absolutely any shape you want)

Also, no matter if they opt for miniHDD or flash memory, the price point won't be low enough to make a clear distinction between the iPod and the new mp3 player. Thus, Apple may use flash memory in order to cater to a different user base. (zero moving parts = high impact tolerance = no skipping no matter what)
 
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