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iPod Bluetooth Audio Transmitter

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,441
11,827
No, it's not from Apple... but this ExtremeTech article reports on currently prototype designs of Bluetooth (wireless) audio transmitters from a company called Infinite Range.

According to the article, a number of companies will be producing devices based on this design in the coming months. In particular, iPod add-on vendor XtremeMac admits that they plan on releasing an "iPod enhancement" based on this design.

The design is a simply a transmitter/receiver pair that transmits audio over Bluetooth. Of note to audiophiles, the devices does on-the-fly compression to transmit the audio possibly compounding the already lossy compression of AAC/MP3.

Apple has recently been partnering with companies such as Altec Lansing and Belkin to introduce new accessories to the iPod line. One recent unconfirmed rumor did claim that a bluetooth dock/headphone pair was in the works. While this rumor was largely dismissed, it's possible that this development may have been the basis of it.
 

joed

macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2002
145
0
Budapest, Hungary
Also, another web site of interest is CSR - which is linked from http://www.apple.com/bluetooth

And something they are working on is:
High-end headsets: CSR is sampling its next-generation (Bluetooth v1.2-compatible) BlueCore3 platform, including a variant called BlueCore3-Multimedia. This chip, with integral BlueCore, codec and DSP core – provides a single-chip solution for high-end headsets. The codec is stereo, also enabling OEMs to develop products for emerging markets such as wireless headphones capable of Bluetooth voice and MP3 music.

http://www.csr.com/applications/headset.htm


James.
 
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punter

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2003
265
0
Australia
If I bought a bluetooth adapter from a company called infinite range, could I sue for false advertising? :)

I think we have just seen the tip of the iceburg in terms of ipod accessories. An although I don't find any of them very cool yet, I'm sure there are good things to come!
 
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windwaves

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2002
109
0
manhattan
I knew this was going to happen: what I wait, hope for of course is wireless headphones. Certainly, the whole story when it comes to headphones is ... how much will it cost in terms of quality lost ? but dudes, that day when we'll be able to do w/o cable with our iPods shall be huge !!
 
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groovebuster

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,220
40
3rd rock from the sun...
In all honesty... who really needs gadgets like that??? To have an iPod with some headphones to listen to some music is just what people need! It reminds me of all those cell-phones having tons of useless features (including taking pictures and playing streamed video). After all I use my cell-phone for doing phone-calls! Who would have guessed? All the other features (except the address book) I never use.

The market for that kind of accesories must be very small (just some freaks who need overpriced toys). I defnitaly would rather spend that kind of money to buy another few dozens of tunes in the iTMS...

Just my 0.02€.

groovebuster
 
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poultryfarm

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2003
16
0
Originally posted by windwaves
... but dudes, that day when we'll be able to do w/o cable with our iPods shall be huge !!
don't get me wrong it's always nice to see advances, but what's the big whoop with wireless headphones? especially at the cost of reduced sound quality. is the wire really that problematic?

i also wonder about design issues. does one then have a wireless remote? (suddenly lots of wireless things to lose). how does it fit in your ear? will it just be a little bud like a hearing aid (barely visible) that would be interesting - but i realize improbable, or will it be like normal over/behind the head headphones just without a wire?

interesting. it has a cool factor that would certainly sell more ipods, but i hope that some of the more basic accessories that the ipod is lacking have a higher priority.
 
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Fredo Viola

macrumors member
Mar 27, 2003
75
0
closed minded

Originally posted by groovebuster
The market for that kind of accesories must be very small (just some freaks who need overpriced toys).

Chill, dude. Be nice!
 
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x86isslow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2003
889
10
USA
well these are 3rd party accessories. its not as if the ipods will stop shipping with the white bud earpieces, and come out with only bluetooth variety.
 
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Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,627
204
Washington, DC
Originally posted by groovebuster
In all honesty... who really needs gadgets like that???

I'd love it for my car. Plug the receiver into the back of the car stereo. Pop the transmitter on the top of the iPod, and instant tunes on the stereo with no wires.

Of course, I assume it's better quality than the FM modulators.
 
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agentmouthwash

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2003
231
0
I want to be able to sit on my couch with my powerbook and send my itunes music to my Stereo - wirelessly.

Please somebody make this happen!!
 
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groovebuster

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,220
40
3rd rock from the sun...
Re: closed minded

Originally posted by Fredo Viola
Chill, dude. Be nice!

No offense intended. Just my point of view. I'm just wondering for what kind of stuff people are spending money and celebrate it as if it was the best invention since electricity.

Bluetooth just doesn't have the bandwidth for HQ audio (no matter if compressed or not) unless you put an AAC or mp3 decoder in the headphones, which makes it pretty much useless for an audio device like the iPod. It's just as if you buy 400.- € headphones to listen to AM radio...

groovebuster
 
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P

paulc

Guest
Is everyone forgetting that you need "bluetooth transmitting" hardware in the Pud? Unless it's in there (and I sure do doubt that) it means you're going to have to plug something in to transmit wirelessly.

A big part of why I love my Pud is that it does what it was intended to do (play music portably) mostly really well (major flaw is that if it's filling the cache, a slight jostle will freeze the unit). Start loading a bunch of nonsense and you start diminishing it's basic purpose and the focus becomes on adding features and not focusing on the role of playing music.
 
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windwaves

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2002
109
0
manhattan
Originally posted by poultryfarm
don't get me wrong it's always nice to see advances, but what's the big whoop with wireless headphones? especially at the cost of reduced sound quality. is the wire really that problematic?

i also wonder about design issues. does one then have a wireless remote? (suddenly lots of wireless things to lose). how does it fit in your ear? will it just be a little bud like a hearing aid (barely visible) that would be interesting - but i realize improbable, or will it be like normal over/behind the head headphones just without a wire?

interesting. it has a cool factor that would certainly sell more ipods, but i hope that some of the more basic accessories that the ipod is lacking have a higher priority.

No, no, I for myself could hardly care less about the cool factor (at least in this case) but indeed FOR ME it would be a huge whoop to have wireless headphones - I can't stand those cables around me. Clearly they don't bother you, which is great ! As to the loss of quality who knows what that will be, so pointless to discuss however I must doubt that it will be so dramatic.
 
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windwaves

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2002
109
0
manhattan
Originally posted by paulc
Is everyone forgetting that you need "bluetooth transmitting" hardware in the Pud? Unless it's in there (and I sure do doubt that) it means you're going to have to plug something in to transmit wirelessly.

A big part of why I love my Pud is that it does what it was intended to do (play music portably) mostly really well (major flaw is that if it's filling the cache, a slight jostle will freeze the unit). Start loading a bunch of nonsense and you start diminishing it's basic purpose and the focus becomes on adding features and not focusing on the role of playing music.

...**** , you do have a point here, I had not thought about that. Hopefully they can make such device small enough for it not to constitute a big handicap
 
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the_mole1314

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2003
774
0
Akron, OH
If the sound quality is there, I will buy wireless headphones. Trust me, there's a market, especially for kids in school and other times when the coard can get you into trouble or in the way.
 
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Wigletbill

macrumors member
Oct 12, 2003
84
0
"I'm just wondering for what kind of stuff people are spending money and celebrate it as if it was the best invention since electricity."

Now that you mentioned it... I just realized that the iPod IS the best invention since electricity!!!:D


-Joel
 
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BCoop

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2003
3
0
Its an Option

I think that what some people are forgetting is that this is an option. There is no "have to buy this toy." If you find it to be useless and a waste of money then dont buy it, but please dont spoil everyone else's fun!

Personally I would love to see some bluetooth headphones. First of all, they would be great to wear when listening to music on my 12" powerbook. I am a college student and I have roommates that sometimes dont want to hear my music. The short wire on my iPod headphones is very limiting and gets in the way when trying to do work. (my arms get tangled in them when writing)

As for using them with an iPod, I am sure a small external unit could be designed because I find it highly doubtful that there is bluetooth built into the new units. The only drawback that I see to this, other than reduced sound quality, is a power drain from your iPod battery to power the bluetooth transmitter.

All in all I would love to see this product produced......but I think we are a little ways from seeing this on the shelf.
 
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m.r.m.

macrumors regular
Oct 25, 2003
181
0
Germany
i think it would be great to have cordless earbuds (or rather in-ear earphones). just think no more cable disturbing while working out etc. etc. . however, it remains to be seen how the lossy compression of already compressed files works out. what use is your newfound freedom, if the music only sounds half as good?!
 
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Websnapx2

macrumors 6502
Apr 24, 2003
438
446
Keep in mind...

the most important thing here is not that it will revolutionize the way we listen to our Pod, but that it's a step forward in innovation that will that will evolve in to technology that eventually change the way we listen to our iPod. Cordless phones sucked when the came out, but as soon as the platform technology was out there, the innovations started. Just like USB was upgraded to USB 2, these products will create a demand for higher throughput within this technology to keep up with more demand for higher quality sound. It's exiting because it should be seen as the tip of the iceberg.
 
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idkew

macrumors 68020
unless is sounds great, i don't see the point in this. more batteries to worry about, interference to worry about.

come on- a wire running from your pocket to a TINY heaphone is not that hard to deal with. i wold rather have my tiny headphone than a bid wireless one.
 
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SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
Only if....

Lets see:

-First off you have some fairly major bandwidth issues. BT only supports 723.2 kb/s asymmetric, and 433.9 kb/s symmetric transfer rates. This is rather low for streaming audio. I’d question the quality of the audio you’d get across a BT headset. I believe you would have a massive tradeoff on quality for the ability to go wireless. However there is always the possibility of Apple pulling a Houdini. Maybe have a sep BT receiver\transmitter for the L/R channels. :confused:

-Then there is batt life. Say goodbye to even 8 hours of batt life on the iPod and don’t even expect that on the headset. (Even more so if we are talking the idea I posed above.)
What’s the point of having a decent battery in your iPod if your headset dies at the 1/2 way mark on your iPod? Every BT headset I’ve ever seen for cell phones gets about 3-4 hours of batt life. There’s no major magic that can be done with batteries and BT radio’s to get better performance out of their batt life.

-BT can be affected by outside interference and can affect other devices. I have a BT GPS unit for my laptop. It’s rather cool. However it also cuts the signal strength of my 802.11b card in 1/4 to 1/3 which somewhat sucks :p While its remote there is the possibility of outside interference with the headset. (Can the same be said of typical headphones?)

BT headsets are a gee wiz gadget. Unless the first two hurtles (I’m less concerned about #3) can be overcome I wouldn’t ever consider BT headset.
 
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macshark

macrumors member
Oct 8, 2003
96
0
I do agree that BT bandwidth is kind of low if you were to transmit uncompressed audio, however, a next gen high quality BT "music" headset (as opposed to a "talk" one intended for cell phones) is likely to be capable of uncompressing MP3 or AAC files so that the total net bandwidth of 128Kb/s or 192Kb/s between the headset and the base should be sufficient.

The only reason something like this may not fly is because of DRM issues, not because of technology limitations. Maybe Apple will build their own headset, or license a few manufacturers to send the AAC directly from the iPod and decode and play in the BT headset.

Integrating BT into (at least some models) of the next generation iPod is almost inevitable at this point. Apple is upgrading their entire product line to be BT capable, and many 3rd party accessories are becoming available. Obviously, the most useful one would be car stereos with BT connection to iPod so that you don't have to use a FM modulator that degrades the quality of the music.
 
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Rajj

macrumors 6502a
May 29, 2002
692
0
32° 44' N 117° 10' W
Finally!!!
I’ve been asking for a device like this since the iPod came out.
I just hope the adapter and headphones are not to clunky and big.
 
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