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MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,477
16,539
Appleinsider sources report that Apple is planning on using a new microchip for the upcoming 4th generation iPods.

The new microchip is said to incorporate various encoding capabilities. While unclear if Apple will take advantage of the new features in an upcoming iPod revision, recording/encoding capabilities have amongst the list of user-requested features.

Currently, the iPod is capable of audio-in recording only through 3rd party add-on devices.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,196
I thought the iPod already had recording capability built in--like that hack that was floating around to enable a brief test recording. The add-on recording unit doesn't actually digitize, I don't think, it just provides a mic and enabled an otherwise hidden part of the iPod software. The iPod itself still does the encoding, right?

So this rumor may really be just about encoding into alternative formats not currently used for voice memos?

In any case, the PortalPlayer chip already does plenty that the iPod doesn't support--like WMA (and Ogg Vorbis?) playback and CD burning.

I'm still looking forward to the 4G iPod though!
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,634
0
Yep, the PP5002 in the existing iPod models already supports real-time encoding to MP3 and WMA, so a newer chipset doesn't necessarily mean that encoding would be made available to the end user.
 

Corozive

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2004
15
0
Essex. UK
Are we getting a step closer to color LCD displays?
PDA's went colour, mobile phones went colour, it's about time the ipod went colour.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
6,842
4,192
Florida Resident
I would like to see a flash card reader built-in as well as mic and audio in. The third-party solutions are too bulky and I understand the card reader was poorly implemented as far as speed. Maybe those features are to hard to have built-in without increasing the size. Personally, I would like to see an Apple phone rather than a new iPod if the iPod is just going to focus on music anyways.
 

killmoms

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2003
3,724
13
Durham, NC
Frankly, I'd be happy if they just dropped the prices on the 3rd gen iPods (and the iPod mini) $50 across the board and called it a day, so I could stop taking flak for being a "rich bitch" every time I suggest the iPod to someone.

Argh.

--Cless
 

nate13

macrumors 6502
Feb 16, 2004
315
192
Fargo, ND
no color lcds!

Corozive said:
Are we getting a step closer to color LCD displays?
PDA's went colour, mobile phones went colour, it's about time the ipod went colour.

There is no practial use of color screens, aside from photo viewing. Movies would take too much battery. and the resolution would be too poor fro photos. if the battery life is eight hours now, it would be three with the color screen. If battery life is a strong issue now, think of a 4 hour battery! :mad: NO SALES! I say, go with better encoding!!:D
~Nate13
 

BeigeUser

macrumors member
Feb 5, 2003
44
0
Tokyo, Japan
Looks?

nate13 said:
There is no practial use of color screens, aside from photo viewing. Movies would take too much battery. and the resolution would be too poor fro photos. if the battery life is eight hours now, it would be three with the color screen. If battery life is a strong issue now, think of a 4 hour battery! :mad: NO SALES! I say, go with better encoding!!:D
~Nate13

Isn't "good looks" reason enough to add color screens? If a average consumer goes in a store and sees a color screen, I'm sure that person will be more impressed than a black & white screen. Apple is likely to add more built-in games in the future. Might as well make them color games. Maybe the iPod can display album covers as it plays music.

I don't think it will drain the battery as much as you fear. The only thing that might bother an average consumer is the added price. But if Apple can find a cheap, reliable vendor, I'd say go for it.
 

rosalindavenue

macrumors 6502a
Dec 13, 2003
850
273
Virginia, USA
iMeowbot said:
Yep, the PP5002 in the existing iPod models already supports real-time encoding to MP3 and WMA, so a newer chipset doesn't necessarily mean that encoding would be made available to the end user.

In another one the 4th gen iPod speculation threads, someone said that a lot the features getting talked about (other than, obviously, the color screen) could be accomplished via firmware upgrades and/or via a new dock. Given that the portalplayer chip already supports so many of these features, I'm optimistic that apple will be able to at least bring the 3g owners along for a big part of the 4th gen ride. How great would that be-- it would sure take a lot of the sting out of having paid $400-$500, and the PR for apple would be incredible.
 

neonart

macrumors 65816
Sep 4, 2002
1,065
30
Near a Mac since 1993.
If I had to add anything to the iPod it would be text input and a build it mic. That way you can record without any attachments, and adding and editing contacts and notes would be done right on the Pod.

Color screens may be nice, but only if it does not kill the battery. My 2nd gen 20GB will play as much as 12-13 hours if left alone on random. The new ones sometimes don't even meet their advertised battery specs. If Color screens bring that down any, then thats not good. Besides, a whole new inteface would need to be inplemented. The current simple, easy to use iPod interface would not look any better in color.

My 2¢.
 

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,960
118
London, UK
BeigeUser said:
I don't think it will drain the battery as much as you fear. The only thing that might bother an average consumer is the added price. But if Apple can find a cheap, reliable vendor, I'd say go for it.
Why do you think it took nearly 10 years for GameBoy to go colour? Game Gear, Atari Lynx - they were all much better technically but no-one wanted them because they only had an hour of battery life.
 

urbangrind

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2003
24
0
Australia
I feel that we are going to see an iPod that doesn't change much. I feel the srceen will stay the same, because as someone else said, what would you need a colour screen for? I think that we are going to see the video out but no playback on iPod screen and no photos on iPod screen. It will and I feel should stay a relatively music focused devise. Let another devise do all that everyone is hoping the 4th gen iPod will do and more. Say something like the Newton.

Why is no one talking about a return of the Newton? A PDA built on top of the iPod design. Capable of all the iPod does now but with so much more.

This is what I think we are going to see:

iPod Mini - Staying pretty much as operationally limited (e.g. will not boot as a drive) as it is but slowly creeping up in hard drive size.
iPod - Staying basically the same, but with increasing harddrive sizes and the addition of a video out.
Newton - A fully functional PDA. About the size of the 3G iPod but with a full length/width screen and stylus input. Audio out, video out, etc. Blue tooth. Mini OS X. Mini iTunes, mini dvd player for video playback and video out. Just think of all the awsome mini apps we could get. Maybe phone capabilities, but maybe not for the first generation.

Blah...

Or I have not idea what I am talking about and I am about to cop some harsh critism. But if apple builds a Newton like this I will buy it even if it costs as much as my iMac. :)
 

stoid

macrumors 601
This is GREAT Marketing!!

These little guys are FLYING off the shelves because they kick so much ass.

Apple releases a new version of the iPod that makes the 3G look like a Dell Digital Jukebox or whatever that thing is called, and stir up another buying rush.

They need something to separate the iPod and it's HP re-brand.
 

ericdano

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2003
84
0
BornAgainMac said:
I would like to see a flash card reader built-in as well as mic and audio in. The third-party solutions are too bulky and I understand the card reader was poorly implemented as far as speed. Maybe those features are to hard to have built-in without increasing the size. Personally, I would like to see an Apple phone rather than a new iPod if the iPod is just going to focus on music anyways.

Forget the flash card reader. Seriously, you and maybe 2 other people would want that.

I'd like to see a touch screen where you could use the iPod as a PDA and enter addresses and calendar information. I'd ditch my Palm Vx if the iPod could handle entry of data......
 

whyrichard

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2002
1,683
3
new "ipod" and dock will eventually become like a wireless tivo with a removable harddrive, that can also do all ipod related music playing.

a tivo with a removable harddrive would permit watching video anywhere there is a nice screen: your laptop on the go, your living room tv at home, or your office computer at work. desk on ipod feature may also be enabled.

screen, if color, will probably be an organic led screen to preserve battery life and look fantastic. a new tech that is slowly coming out in consumer products.

later this year an apple branded component will be announced that will preform the same functions except be better integrated to tv/speaker systems through the use of a larger interface and better interconnects.

r.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
Cless said:
Frankly, I'd be happy if they just dropped the prices on the 3rd gen iPods (and the iPod mini) $50 across the board and called it a day, so I could stop taking flak for being a "rich bitch" every time I suggest the iPod to someone.

Argh.

--Cless

Heh heh - I've experienced the same reaction quite a few times. I tell my friends and co-workers that I bought this snazzy iPod in the States (I live in Canada), and when they ask "How much?", I say, "$400... ... American..." (which is about $550 Canadian right now) - after I show them my iPod and all it can do, they warm up to it, but for some people, they just cringe at the cost. Ah well, their loss - and I guess as a result I look "richer" to them than I actually am, so whatever... ;) :cool:
 

urbangrind

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2003
24
0
Australia
ericdano said:
Forget the flash card reader. Seriously, you and maybe 2 other people would want that.

I'd like to see a touch screen where you could use the iPod as a PDA and enter addresses and calendar information. I'd ditch my Palm Vx if the iPod could handle entry of data......

That first bit made me laugh, good point.

Secondly, what you are talking about is not an iPod as I see it. The things you are suggesting are the sorts of things I feel we are going to see in a completely new devise.
 

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,960
118
London, UK
I agree with those who say to keep the iPod focused on music. Adding things like photo and video output are good and can be there because - if you've got a large portable hard drive (effectively what an iPod is), why not use it for other stuff?

Video out when hooked up to a TV is something we might see, watching videos on the iPod, we won't. Maybe the encoding has something to do with QuickTime and the ability to convert data into video for output on the big screen.
 

ericdano

macrumors member
Apr 29, 2003
84
0
urbangrind said:
That first bit made me laugh, good point.

Secondly, what you are talking about is not an iPod as I see it. The things you are suggesting are the sorts of things I feel we are going to see in a completely new devise.

Really? Why would it be a new device? The next logical step would be to put a entry screen on the iPod. They already let you sync up iCal and Addresses to it. Why not let people enter stuff on it. It would increase the functionality 10 fold.
 

urbangrind

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2003
24
0
Australia
ericdano said:
Really? Why would it be a new device? The next logical step would be to put a entry screen on the iPod. They already let you sync up iCal and Addresses to it. Why not let people enter stuff on it. It would increase the functionality 10 fold.

I don't think everyone wants a PDA especially if once all the features a PDA has it may cost a lot more than a regular iPod. It would be for a different market. Say the business market. The best PDA would look great with your PowerBook.
 

urbangrind

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2003
24
0
Australia
johnnyjibbs said:
Video out when hooked up to a TV is something we might see, watching videos on the iPod, we won't. Maybe the encoding has something to do with QuickTime and the ability to convert data into video for output on the big screen.

I think you are onto it.
 

johnnyjibbs

macrumors 68030
Sep 18, 2003
2,960
118
London, UK
I've never been an advocate for a device "that does everything". The iPod is primarily a music player - that's its purpose, and so it does that very well. People get one so they can escape and listen to their favourite tunes on the move, maybe while doing something else. As soon as you add more and more things it becomes a jack of all trades and a master of none.

For instance, the all-in-one set-top-box has never really happened. And prior to PS2 and Xbox release, everyone was talking about how people were going to do their knitting on a PS2. In reality, some people watch the odd DVD on them but most just play games. And most people have a better quality, dedicated DVD player so they watch movies on that instead of the PS2.

I like Nintendo's philosophy, and it's similar to Apples. The GameCube was designed just for games. It may not be the number one console, but it certainly does what it says it does very well. Just like the iPod is in its chosen field.

Another example is my phone. My one can make calls and I like it because it's small. I don't care for playing games on it because I have a Game Boy for that. The Game Boy is infinitely better at playing games than the best phones so I can use that. And my phone is smaller and has more battery life because of it. After all, I don't want to play games absolutely wherever I go so I don't need to take it everywhere on my phone.

If the iPod had all these new complicated features, a colour screen, and had an in-built DVD player it would have to be bigger. This would then compromise its ability to be a small and best-of-field music player (including less battery life). Most of the time you don't want to watch a movie - and, as Jobs said himself, there's no substitute to headphones with video - you're stuck with a tiny and low quality screen.

Therefore I don't expect the new iPods to be very different to the current. Maybe video out capabilities (why not?), and maybe a face redesign (similar to the iPod mini and ironically the 2nd generation iPod) and higher capacities. As soon as you start putting on touch screens and stylus pens or colour monitors and flash card sockets, it becomes one of those useless jack of all trades but master of none things and suddenly you've lost the reason to own an iPod in the first place. Remember, escapism.
 

cxny

macrumors 6502
Jan 13, 2004
335
0
New York
FM Tuner Please

All I'm missing is a radio. Satellite radio eventually, but just plain old FM for now would be awesome. I could use a color screen for improved resolution although that may lead to shorter battery life and poorer visability in sunlight. Album art would be a cool feature but please don't try to become a video hub. It's all about the MUSIC.
 

urbangrind

macrumors newbie
Jul 23, 2003
24
0
Australia
I still think we aren't talking baout a bigger better iPod, i think we are talking about a whole new device.

And here is why. I can't prove anything, but when a friend of mine was at a trade show in Germany about two weeks ago. While browsing around the massive Apple tent, he can across a large group of people oohing and aahing over and apple PDA, not and iPod. the details from him were sketchy but he said it had a full length/width screen, with stylus input.

He said it is going to be expensive but the iPod prices are coming down, and not to be surprised if we don't see it for another 6 months. Call be all lies, but it does make for a good rumor.
 
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