Here comes the next "iPod killer" *sigh*

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Sabbath, Jul 1, 2004.

  1. Sabbath macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    Sony is revamping the walkman again. The bit I hate however is that they compare it's capacity based on songs. Saying it is cheaper, smaller and holds more songs than the ipod. However it is half the size of the largest iPod and more expensive than the similarly sized 20Gb iPod :rolleyes:

    Click click
  2. hob macrumors 68020


    Oct 4, 2003
    London, UK
    d'oh! you beat me to the post - just noticed the story myself! This so-called iPod "killer" has 3 things wrong with it (as far as I can see)
    -You can only play music bought from the Connect store... hold on, so you can hold - let's say 10,000 songs. That's about £7,900 to fill it up...
    -It's using "advanced compression" to make song smaller (more than half as small as AAC apparantly). I'm not convinced (yet) that they won't just sound rubbish!
    -Those BBC fashists who are normally so good stuck a massive 1G iPod on the page making it seem like sony's credit card size POS was gonna be so much smaller than the iPod - I love the size of my 3G iPod!!

    The only good thing I can see is the aleged 30 hour battery life... but I bet if they have similar battery problems that apple has had they won't get off their arses and fix it so quick...

    OMG I think i've just turned into an iPod Zealot...

    Hob :(
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    At least the iPod will play MP3's.
  4. flyfish29 macrumors 68020


    Feb 4, 2003
    New HAMpshire
    I would not think Sony would put out fact, Sony does tend to reinvent (or at least dominate) the portable market every time there is a major change so here are the things that scare me. Sony has a great name in the portable market. Sony's prices could possibly drop on this machine by almost half in 12-18 months (as stated in the article). The average consumer doesn't care about song quality....most of the average listeners just want music. (Course I would argue that the average listener doesn't need 13,000 songs- so maybe this is not going to Kill the iPod like they claim.) Sony makes great products in my mind and minus one or two that I have owned they all have been very reliable and great quality. (I had a crappy car stereo in high school years back that sucked)

    If anyone is going to do it in the short run it wil be Sony. If not, then it will be some no name that had the right mix of things.
  5. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2002
    What a joke. It can't even play MP3s, let alone AAC or WMA. Who is going to use this?

    They're just shooting themselves in the foot. I give it 7 months.
  6. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state

    maybe so, but sony hasnt done so well in the pda market. they came in and took over, and then innovated themselves into too high of a price point for the US market ($800 for a high-end palm thats the size of three normal palms is ridiculous). then they jumped ship. also, the th55 (their last low end sony palm pda) had some odd issues.
    so they innovate, yea. but after the palm fiasco i dont believe they're a sure thing.
  7. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    That's quite humerous... I've seen Apple try and keep things proprietary, but *never* as much as Sony. This is completely rediculus. I wonder who's the braniac behind this project?
  8. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    ok seriously... how do these other companies (dell, sony come to mind) get off telling people that their players will hold more songs than an iPod, when their players have LESS storage capacity? doesnt ANYONE ELSE NOTICE THIS?
  9. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    utter stupidity

    Theres another great idea from Sony, wow good one guys!
    so from what i've read you cant play any legally downloaded songs on it apart from the ones from the Sony Connect store (which has no mac support). So all your mp3s that you already have will have to be converted into the craptacular atrac format. It seems shockingly stupid to me. :confused:

    Did you know that in the early 90's sony had to make a judgemnet call, the world of televisions as they knew it was changing. They could either invest heavily in tft and plasma screen tvs or they could carry on making the conventional ray tube tvs. Sony thought there was no way that people would pay huge amounts of money for a flat screen and so continued to develop and put all their resources in to tube tvs. about a year or two later samsung and some other manufacturers took a huge bite out of the market with plasma screens etc. Sony was left in the **** and has been playing catch up ever since. they've have only just really managed to catch up, having to reinvest money into plasma screens. that must have cost them huge amounts of money! Just like this will!

    Dont get me wrong i like sony, they make good quality products and i buy them all the time, but if there was ever a way to shoot yourself in the foot... well at least its not my ass on the line!
  10. satty macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    You can't beat Wellington on a good day
    Heise online (German)


    On the heise online news site:

    They definitely mention that the player can also play following formats:

    MP3-, WAV- and WMA-files

    and they think without converting it into ATRAC3 as Sony did in older players.

    So I would say this is a little bit of a threat for Apple. The only disadvantage is that you have to get your songs from the Sony Music Store and the last thing you want is that your songs are coming from different stores with different rights and different formats.

  11. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    i dont think apple is going anywhere. they have become the dominance in te market like microsoft in the os department. plus most of the things that make an ipod awesome are patented anyways. i have a feeling we will see more innovation in these ipods come for years more.

  12. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Does it also work as an external hard drive? Does it have Firewire?

    To me, the iPod is more than just a music player. Frankly, I don't need 40GB for my songs. Could I fill it? Yes. But why? 10GB holds more than enough songs for me for any given trip, for that matter so does 4GB. A 40GB iPod, on the other hand, would let me store a lot of non-music files for when I travel, say, to my brother's house and want to boot to my desktop. Can I do that with a Sony? I'm guessing no.

    Damn. I've been getting by with an old 10GB MP3 player my wife bought me years ago. I think it's time to drop it repeatedly so I can go get myself an iPod.
  13. kidA macrumors regular

    Jul 22, 2002
    i don't think this is the killer device or the killer price in this market. it's too much storage capacity for too much money for the masses. most people want to play the music they already have on their computers without converting to a new format which is painfully slow. most people do just want music, but most people do notice degradation in sound quality below about 96 kbps or 64 kbps because you really do lose a lot of sound. it's funny to me that sony advertises that it holds more songs than the ipod because i could encode in aac at a lower bitrate too.
    the masses don't have even 10 GB of music on their machines, let alone 13000 songs. i would guess that most people have fewer than 2000 songs or so on their computers, most of which they never listen to. the killer device is the ipod mini at $150. 4 GB or 6 GB is plenty for most. size is important. but nothing is as important as price. with the exception of the apple fanatics, mp3 players are a pretty homogeneous good. price sensitivity is pretty high outside of gadget geeks. if you only have 3 GB of music, and there's a 4 GB player for $150, or a 20 GB player for $250, you'll probably go ahead and save the extra hundred bucks, unless you're a gadget freak.
  14. geese macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    London, UK
    Closest so far to 'ipod killing' status

    If anyone could threaten the iPod, it'll be Sony.

    With the Walkman brand, 30 hr battery life, small size, neat design and price in its favour, it is tempting. Not to mention Sony's massive marketing budget.

    However, not being able to play MP3's is an undoubtably really stupid omission. I guess it'll work like the Net MD's where all your CD's and MP3's will have to be turned into ATRAC. It'll be good with CD's (on Windows) but really nasty with MP3s with all that compression.

    Unless you're forced to get all your songs off Connect (i really doubt this) this could do well.

    Dont think Apples staying still though, the next iPod will keep apple on top. With some luck they'll sort the battery out, and the Sony Walkman will be Silver (at best) to Apples Gold. Whilst Dell will be wondering why no-ones buying the DJ.
  15. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    Yes! I noticed the same thing! But I think it has to do with the file type the player recognizes. In other words, it has nothing to do with the player itself! Yes, it's ridiculous.

    As far as Apple winning or losing in this market, I think it has less to do with quality and more to do with perception. Right now, Apple's got the upperhand. The iPod is THE standard bearer, whether its battery life is 8 hours or 8 years. When you buy an iPod and show it to your friends, no explanation is needed. You don't have to talk about the specs and argue as to why you picked an iPod over a DJ or a walkman. You don't have to do what we Mac users have done for years in arguing for our platform. With the iPod, people just know and respect. People who buy DJs have to confront questions regarding why they didn't pick up the iPod. And that is marketing heaven for the product. It's THE product...And it's getting closer and closer to becoming a generic term. BMW's commercials talk about the first seamless integration of iPod and automobile. That's right, iPod is being used in the a structurally symmetrical syntax with the generic term, automobile. It wasn't mp3 player and automobile, it was iPod and automobile. A few more well-publicized phrases like that from entities other than Apple, and the iPod won't just be a household name, but it will be THE name for portable digital music devices.

    The iPod's set up to be the next Walkman.
  16. mraudet macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2002
    generic terms

    Kleenex, Victrola, Xerox, Dixie Cup, and Jacuzzi say hello.

    i doubt apple legal will let the term ipod become generalized. it is not a good thing. they lose any copyright protection once the term becomes generic.

    although microsoft doesn't seemed to starched about powerpoint heading down that road.
  17. stevehaslip macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2004
    The Ocean Floor
    a week or two ago someone posted some info about a new kind of battery, i think it was made by toshiba or someone and it could be fitted in to an ipod mini sized enclosure along with the hard drive etc. it could give 30 hours+ battery life easily, it uses some chemical that is mixed with oxygen i think. if you ask me battery life is the one thing that lets the current ipod down when yo compare it to some of its rivals. if apple incorporated this in to its next ipod then it would have all its bases covered if you ask me. i can look up that story if anyones interested, it was either posted here or on another tech forum.

    if it can play mp3s etc as well then that makes it much better, but look at the pictures?! it doesnt look half as good as any generation ipod i've seen!
  18. MorganX macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I agree. They cannot force Atrac. Even iPod will play unprotected MP3. This thing wants to convert them. Ouch. The player would have had serious potential otherwise.

    I think Sony believes becasue so many people don't own a DAP yet, that it will be no problem selling more units than there are iPods to the "rest" of the huge potential market. Only problem, MP3 is the defacto standard. Even people who don't own a DAP know they need to play "MP3s." The general public may not be tech savvy but most know adding a conversion step will degrade quality and kill the user experience. They just want to plug and play.

    I can't believe Sony is going out like this. Someone in that conglomeration has to know better. The Media Group must have a LOT of pull.
  19. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    Sony's brand still carries a lot of weight, but not enough to make people throw away the 95 million songs they've bought from iTunes in favor of Sony Connect. People didn't buy into the ATRAC3 format with the MiniDisc in any large numbers, and I don't see people buying into ATRAC3 with this new Walkman, either. Sony's trusting waaaaay too much to its brand on this one.

    For PC-only people who wouldn't touch the iTMS or iPod with a 10-ft pole because they distrust the little they know about Apple, maybe this latest iPod "killer" will have a market. Otherwise, they won't get any more marketshare than they did for the NetMD players.

    And yeah, the "x thousands of songs" hype is crap. A GB is a GB. The only difference is what format the files are in. But, I wouldn't be surprised if the average consumer doesn't grasp this. :eek:

    That said....why is it that practically every other player on the market has more battery life than the iPod? Sony's device doesn't look that much bigger (granted, I didn't ferret out and compare the actual measurements) but it's got a 30-hour battery. What gives?
  20. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Slightly thicker than the ipod mini, and 5x the storage capacity.

    This will compete fairly well with the ipod 20GB, as it costs $50 more and is as small as the mini.

    The size is the big feature here (obviously).. Also I'd trust the hard drive not to break more than I'd trust the iPod's to.. not like that's an issue for me as I don't play hackey sack with my 40Gig.

    The battery life is the real cool part. 30 hours is way more than the iPod Mini's 8. I wonder how they do on battery replacement.. that was a really bad PR nightmare for Apple, if they had a quick-replace dealy, that'd be a really nice feature.

    Bottom line: will hurt the iPod's sales. I'd say this is the best competitor thus far.
  21. sorryiwasdreami macrumors 6502a


    Apr 24, 2004
    way out in the sticks
    Didn't Steve Jobs say that Apple's only real competition is Sony? The Sony mp3 player doesn't quite boast the finesse that the iPods do, naturally. The design is pretty clean although the lcd light colors make it look rather cheap. (I realize it is cheaper than the iPod.)

    I'm sure it will provide some rivalry in the digital music player market for the iPod. However, Apple always seems to be one step ahead of the game with this kind of thing, so I'm sure a new iPod will surface which will make it more desireable anyway.
  22. comictimes macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2004
    Berkeley, California
    I'm not entirely sure I understand this. Do you have to get all songs you want to put onto the player from the sony music store, or can you still rip cd's and put the mp3 files on the player? If so, then I would definitely say this is a threat to the ipod. If all of the songs have to come from sony's store, then I will lose any faith I had in sony...
  23. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    As soon as the 4G iPod comes out then all these so called killers will be exterminated themselves. I do hope that Apple can get these better batteries into future iPods 30 hours of life would be sweet:)
  24. Loge macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2004
    Sony's press release

    says -

    "Additionally, SonicStage jukebox supports and seamlessly converts many Internet audio formats, including MP3, WMA and WAV files."

    Suggests to me that they all end up on the player in Sony's own format, not so good if the files are compressed already. Should be no problem ripping CDs though.
  25. KC9AIC macrumors 6502


    Jan 31, 2004
    Tokyo, Japan or Longview, Texas
    Good link. Note that Sony claims 13,000 songs at 48 kbps. Now what's that going to sound like, particularly if recompressed from another format.... :rolleyes:

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