Inside The iPod

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,842
8,982
A poster on MacNN forums gave a link to a Japanese page with photos of the internals of the iPod. Pretty interesting. He also provided an English translation of the page's text. Take a look.

The two main components on the iPod's circuit board are TI's TSB43AA82, (a FireWire controller) and PortalPlayer Inc's PP5002B (a multi-processor, ARM-based wonder-chip). Well, now we know the platform!


[Edited by blakespot on 11-01-2001 at 10:59 AM]
 

blakespot

Administrator
Jun 4, 2000
1,316
49
Alexandria, VA
Encoding...

It appears, from the specs of the PortalPlayer hardware, that the chip is capable of encoding MP3's--the question is whether the architecture of the iPod as a whole would in any way allow encoding (the proper signal traces may well not be in place). Nice to have the specs tho'.


blakespot
 

hbrake

macrumors newbie
Sep 9, 2001
4
0
Jonesboro, AR
iPod

I love the iPod - however, will the iPod wind up like everything else invented by apple outside the computer arena (e.g. Digital Camera (still have one of those), PDA (Newton), Cube)? Will the iPod create a market for many others to copy and be deleted from the Apple inventory? I hope not - because normally Apple invents something and makes it better than anyelse ever does. However - wish some of you bright programmers out there would write some 3rd. party code out there to make the iPod somewhat compatable with Windows. I hate Windows - but at least with Windows users being able to use the iPod - then they would get used to the name Apple and the quality of Apple.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
good idea

i know many mac-only types don't like the idea mentioned above, but if ipod could be used with windows, people who use pcs only could a least have an apple product and this could build some brand loyalty...it is another way to ease pc people into the better quality mac world
 

blakespot

Administrator
Jun 4, 2000
1,316
49
Alexandria, VA
I think it would be a good idea to make it Windows compatible. The iPod is not a compelling enough reason to make people go get a Mac, so it's "safe". iTunes should NOT be ported to Windows however--it, in conjunction with iTunes, is compelling enough to bring in some customers.

You can see the dorm scene, with someone able to "rip, mix, burn" like a madman w/ their iMac while WinXP users can't even encode an MP3.


blakespot
 

GPTurismo

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2001
275
0
Montgomery, AL USA
I wouldn't mind seeing the the iPod go windows compatible. How about this, when you load iTunes, yo uhave to hook up your iPod so it can verify it, and like the Macs, it can only load mp3's from one comp, and you can only load iTunes on that computer.

Just an Idea.

Also, if people start hacking the iPod, and start making some excellent mods for it, it would help sales. Look at the 3Com Audrey sales after they hacked it, and they are getting harder to obtain with their rising prices.

But, with that, they did start sellign because you coul dobtain them for 100 dollars on eBay.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
Chinesse iPot

Can you imagine when the iPot falls in to the chinese's hands? We are gonna have "iPop", for $50 each and made out of plastic.

Today I went to an apple store and talked about the iPod, the guys (Apple fans of course) were not optimistic at all about the product.

"They won't carry any unless is a special order".

They preffer the cube in such case.
 

oldMac

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
522
1
your memory is poor...

There's no friggin' way you were told that the Apple store would make it a "special order" product.

Either the guy was lying to you, or Steve's gonna come down to that store and fire his ass.
 

blakespot

Administrator
Jun 4, 2000
1,316
49
Alexandria, VA
Apple Store

MyMemory--you do always keep it interesting...

I spoke with several people at the Apple Store @ Tysons Corner. Not only are they going to carry iPods, but they have a list you can sign up for to get called when one comes in. Also, they are apparently getting _lots_ of them in in the first shipment. It will be a massive seller for the Apple Store. I'll certainly get mine there next month.


blakespot
 

Classic

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2001
211
0
Venezuelan Apple Store

I think that our friend mymemory is reffering to a store in Venezuela that sells Apple products.

Not an Apple Retail Store. Either way, I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't at least have a few floating around.
 

SPG

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2001
1,083
0
In the shadow of the Space Needle.
MyAss

The "chinese's" won't be able to make an iPod without the key element...the tiny little 5gig drive, but hey, you did say iPot, didn't you? Maybe our friend's memory is failing and he's talking about Chinese flower pots for apple trees? No demand there. Apple's is not oranges's. iPot confusing cryptic message from a cranky guy down south.
Okay, hang on, I'll lighten up here. I doubt that the iPod would get a very warm reception from most PC stores and a half assed Mac store in a country with very little market share might also be a little leary of ordering in quantity as well. I'm sure MyAss's attitude didn't help get any answer other than the one he already wanted either. MyAss has been on here the whole time bashing the iPod.

___________________
"...and to drink, Peru!"
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
Sorryyyyyyyyyyyy

I mean "a store that sells Apple Computers", I didn't mean an "Apple Store" literaly, it just came to my mind when I wrote the post. Of course a guy from a legitimate Apple store won't say that! Can you imagine?
"Hey dude, do not buy a coputer here, go to the intel store at the end of the hall"

Sorry for the mistake.

I doub to having an Apple store down here in Venezuela, we hardly have 6 Apple computer stores, one of the sell refurbished as brand new.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
About the market in Venezuela

Even Venezuela is a poor crapy country (politically talking), and I represent the 5% of the middle class population, there is a interesting phenomenon about our way to buy things here.
Just because of the fact that everything cost at list 30% more (over the list price), plus 14.5% , than in the US. Down here the people is very (and I mean very) objective when the buy something. An analogy:
You get about 200 different movies and who knows how many new tv shows during the year.
We, down here, whatch the 10% of the movies and the tv shows. Usually we get the best programing, just 2 seasons later or a month later (in the case of the movies). Just because we are not going to pay for something that is no really good. For example. We watch, Sainfield, Friends, That 70's Show, and 3rd Rock From the Sun during the day. You got all that plus Buffy, Dowsons Creep (or what ever), the re-runs of Cover Up, Facs of Live, and may be Punky Brewster and who know what other tv shows.
Talking about cars, we got Toyota, Ford, Crevrolet, Fiat, and the rest (Ferrary, Posrche...). We just got the best of what the US produce (I know Toyota and the others are not US made). The same thing with computers, if something really work some one is gonna buy it here. We are very practical about it because we do not have that much money and such big market to choose from. That is why I got 2 Apple computers, because they last and they are reliable, even they are a bit expensive, in a year you realize you got a good product. I got my G4 400 with lots of ram ,and my Pismo 500 with lots of ram too. If you offer me a Dual 800 I would say "no", to spend more money when I have something that works great with 400Mhz (depending of my work, if is video I may take it). If you offer me a TiBook I really would say NOOOOOOO WAYYYYYY, too expensive, no upgredable, no CD burning or extra batery or zip option...
An that is why iPod won't be a big hit here, the unit is overated, it is good but it is not a product for the masses, because is a luxery, it doesn't resolve a problem. "MHz" resolve problems, "Ram" resolve problems, "Portable" too, "Expandable"... but iPod? I would like to have one, but over priced?, not EQ, not audio imput. I'll pay the amount for the EQ/ Audio Imput version. It doesn't matter the color LCD.
 

ThlayliTheFierce

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2001
248
0
San Luis Obispo, CA
I knew it!

I had a feeling that there was more to this little device than met the eye. Maybe we'll see recording features in a while. Oh, and I read that there are plans currently for a PC version. Take a look here down at the bottom: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/oct2001/nf20011031_4266.htm. I don't know how reliable it is though.

I think they should port it for Windows. It would clue people in to Apple who didn't know much before. They might want to find out more about Macs and be less adverse to them. And (almost) anyone who has a digital camcorder has a firewire port, so there are plenty of PC users who could support it if Apple made it available.
 

ThlayliTheFierce

macrumors regular
Jul 31, 2001
248
0
San Luis Obispo, CA
Pricewatch

A quick search on pricewatch pulled up this:

Toshiba mk5002mpl 5gb int ata/66 pccard 1.8 15ms 3990rpm hdd1232czp00002 $ 364

Not the exact drive but very very close. Considering the iPod is $40 more, its price seems more reasonable.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
good catch

i will show this to my engineer friend...it is still hard to convince people that ipod is not overpriced but i still like 299 which it may evntually become...i hope
 

ElGreco

macrumors newbie
May 29, 2001
28
0
Hi Folks!

When I read the "inside the iPod"-article I came across one interesting detail. The software that runs on the iPod is not an Apple-OS but it is developed by a company called pixo.

I then gave it a try and looked at http://www.pixo.com where I read many great things about their OS. It seems to be developed exclusively for mobile phones with PDA functionality. The best info: It is an open OS.

That leads me to the idea that the iPod could easily be a tool to store telephone numbers, to-do lists, texts of any kind, a calendar and lots of other cool things. Best of all, these apps already exist. So they only need to be adapted to the iPods navigation buttons - that should be it.

Strictly speaking, we might see some kind of Palm-Desktop-like software for our Mac. We'll then be able to use the iPod as a PDA to go. Insert your data at home or with your iBook. Then carry it around with your iPod. Above all you may listen to your favourite tunes (as a goody).

Later,
Greco
 
P

phantom

Guest
Even a Windows version would require more people to have firewire. In the long run more firewire sales are good for Apple.
 

Bill.Data

macrumors newbie
Nov 2, 2001
2
0
iPod unrealistic for general use

I have an SSI NEO (upgraded to 30Gb) with over 2500 songs and generally 100 or more JPEG files on it. I am able to use the NEO to transport large amounts of data to and from my Mac and most PCers that I work with. I have only ever had Apple systems, from an Original 128, through the Emate years(bad choice there), all the way to my Powerbook G4(very nice). I just see the iPod as unrealistic in the current MPEG market. It isn't really innovative and being Firewire, it excludes alot of the PC users. I do like the fact that it has the best battery life of the Highend players, but thats not a good enough reason to run out and get one.

I think Apple is way behind again with being cutting edge. The iPod could have been alot better from the start.
 

GPTurismo

macrumors 6502
May 4, 2001
275
0
Montgomery, AL USA
how big is the SSI Neo? How much did it cost? How much did it cost to upgrade? How good is the equalizer and the LCD? Can you power it over the connection cord? How long is the batterly life?

With those few questions in mind, I have to say I like the iPod quite fine.
 

mymemory

macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001
2,495
0
Miami
Originally posted by GPTurismo
PS. Moby and Seal love it, so so do I ;)
Ok, buy it, it is your money.

Are you one of the people that buy powerbooks to edit videos on a plane too?
 

mikedman

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2001
23
0
ipod and pixo

pixo founder worked for apple

from pixo site

"Paul developed handheld and pen based computers that ran the Macintosh operating system, and he was a key member of the Newton development team. Paul was also the technical lead for Apple Computer's Macintosh Finder, which is the acclaimed Macintosh look and feel in use by over 20 million customers worldwide."

nice to know that ex apple employees don't fall too far from the tree. I know I would love more info on those "handheld and pen based computers that ran the Macintosh operating system". I know apple would never sell them but I would like to see one none the less.

So if the controler chip has encoding capabilities built in the 32 megs could be used as a cache and the encoder could write the mp3 direct to the drive... if the bitrate were high enough this thing could be a bootlegers dream come true.... minidisc and dat could finaly have some competition.