Sound Advice: New MP3 players offer competition to hot iPod

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    If you want to give the guy some advice here is his email
    Since he is obviously an "informed" journo!
  2. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Wow. Don't these "journalists" realize that when they get the information wrong, it pretty much negates every point they're trying to make. The iPod is only 60 % of the market including flash players, which as he says, they are now part of. It's about 90-something % of hd players, and that's only because HP takes up another 7 % with their iPod. Plus, Apple doesn't make a 30GB iPod anymore. The iPod Photo starts at 40GB.

    More about iPod killers, that we all know won't. Features, price, it doesn't matter. The best any of those can do is try to chip away a bit of that ~90 %, but most likely they'll just be competing over the other ~3 %.

    Funny how for once, it's the other way around for Apple.
  3. polyesterlester macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2002
    Soldotna, Alaska
    Isn't it funny that the m:robe, a shiny black music player, has white earbud headphones?
  4. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Cape Breton Island
    I don't like it, the big on is too big and I like buttons, so I wouldn't like a touch pad, and the smaller one (5 gb) looks really wierd. Something I would like to see in person, play with, but definatly not own.

    Also I emailed the author about the 30 gb iPod comment.
  5. balconycollapse macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    Ames, IA
    Good grief. How many players are on the market now? Olympus!? I can understand the idea of adding a peripheral to the camera to view images, but what the heck is an m:robe. tuultle 2:late.

    None of these blockheads get it, it's about synergy between iTunes and iPod. The coolness factor of the Apple brand is the icing on the cake. Likewise none of these will be iPod killers. The walkman gave sony years of occupying a slightly more expensive bracket on the store shelf next to the cheap, crap, cassette decks with no rewind and cd players with lousy parts. Apple will continue getting all the upsells. Apple is the sony of this genre.

    One thing holds true, it seems for every genuine Apple fan there is some disgruntled Windows user who can't admit for a second they may be wrong about a past PC purchase. "I was right in 1974 and therefore I must be right today!" Close minded individuals like this are biting their nose off to spite their face, and end up writing articles for "pay" like the one we just read.
  6. narco macrumors 65816


    Dec 9, 2003
    I kind of like the touch-screen, but if we learned anything from the 3rd generation iPod, it's that touch-sensitivity wears down the batteries quite a bit. Didn't care to read the entire article, so I could be wrong.

    I do have to admit, at least the competition is getting better. Two years ago none of these companies would even think to put pictures on an mp3 player, now everyone and their mama is doing so.

    Who needs R&D when you have Apple, right?

  7. Fender2112 macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Does anyone have photos or links to photos they can post? I'd love to see some of these next generation iPod killers. :D
  8. Mainyehc macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2004
    Lisbon, Portugal

    Seriously, what is this guy thinking of?? I don't know about Toshiba's software, but if it's as good as Winblows Media Player, it won't convince iTunes users that easily... And I don't think the iTunes/iPod combination is that easy to reproduce, doing a nice-looking piece of hardware just isn't enough, especially now that the iPod opened most people's eyes to how the "digital lifestyle" should be: completely hassle free and with great, easy to use devices and software. So, these so-called competitors aren't even taking advantage of Microsoft's lame attempt at dethroning Apple from the digital music business by not bundling the horrid WMP... It's a lose-lose situation. If they do so, the user experience will be terrible because of WMP, if they don't, we'll end up with dozens of different media players/"iPod" managers (hey, aren't all those "things" called iPods now?? :D). How good is that? Three should suffice, WMP, some craptastic thing from Real, and iTunes...

    Anyway, on the music players themselves... the mp3-only version of that "m:rob" :)p) thing looks good, though. Sure, it doesn't look as nice as a 3G black iPod with a red blacklight would look (I'm not talking about the U2 iPod, I don't like the red clickwheel that much), but since Apple never produced an iPod like that... I'd have to try it, though. Its controls look a lot like the Zen's, and if they work like those, then I won't consider it an "iPod killer". Maybe a viable alternative, ironically, a good looking ripoff of the Zen Touch and Zen Micro (except for the white earbuds, they really tried hard to imitate Apple... As someone pointed out, that is just plain stupid, they could be black to match the player's look. And besides, white is getting so... mainstream :p. Oh well... :rolleyes: ). Oh, and that "+" thing from Toshiba, even though it looks cool and has a large colour screen, has "ripoff" written all over it. I'd also have to try it before I can trash its interface. :D And they call that competition?

    We'll see about that. Those who think the iPod is just about good looks are those who never owned or tried one, IMHO.
  9. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Jul 5, 2004
    Exactly! Man, it really makes me laugh... "THIS will be the iPod killer!"

    Nope. No iTunes, no iTMS, no killer. As you say, they don't get it! If it hadn't been for iTunes, I'd never have bought an iPod! I didn't pay for a shiny MP3 player with an Apple logo in the back, I paid for seamless integration between my jukebox (iTunes is way better than WinAmp) and my portable player. The iPod also has a nice, easy-to-use interface, which is also a plus.

    If any "reporter" is reading, hear this: the only company who can make an iPod killer is Apple. And with the iPod shuffle now in the mix (and at those prices!), Apple won't lose the market this year either (in fact, I believe they'll be eating a huge chunk of that ~30% flash marketshare).

    More companies entering the market is beyond me.
  10. Mainyehc macrumors 6502a


    Mar 14, 2004
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Aren't you forgetting a certain company which signed a certain deal with Apple to rebrand iPods...? :D

    By the way, have you noticed which PeeCee tower Apple used in their Mac mini page for size comparison between the two? Be sure to go check it ;)

    edit: I'll have to tell you since Apple took the image out of their US site... It was an HP Pavillion tower. They must have upsetted their "iPod partners" preety badly... Could this have anything to do with HP halting iPod orders? :confused: (from what I've read, it had nothing to do with that but with price protection issues. But anyway, Apple loves to do this thing... remember "Introducing Longhorn"? That one was grrrrreat :D)

    Ah, but that image still appears in the UK site of the Mac mini:
  11. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    The only way any of these will beat the iPod/iTunes combination is if they have these 3 things:

    1. Uniqueness factor (some feature(s) to entice users to buy it instead of an iPod)
    2. Easy to use device user interface (without this, people will buy it only to return it later)
    3. Easy to use music manager software and synchronization (so users can get their music collection on their device, or if the device is too small, choose what to put on the device)

    Grading the iPod:
    1. B
    2. B
    3. A
    Overall: B

    Grading the competition:
    1. A
    2. D
    3. F
    Overall: D
  12. rjwill246 macrumors 6502

    Feb 22, 2003
    USA (often) and Adelaide, OZ
    Here's what Gizmodo had to say:

    "Olympus is totally pushing their two new m:robe devices this year—if you thought it was going to be hard to get one in the US, worry no longer. The m:robe 500 is always awesome, with its 20GB hard drive and touchscreen interface. The problem is, the camera sort of sucks, and I don't really care if I can "remix" my images into music slideshows or not. And as a music player, it's a little big and a little convoluted to really appeal to me.

    Now the m:robe 100 [pictured] on the other hand—that's a mighty fine device. The interface is just a tad bit confusing at first, but it's extremely good looking and feels great in your hand. The scroll bit is a little bit slower than using an iPod, but it's still pretty usable, and the red-on-black look is wicked in every sense of the word. The only glaring problem I noticed in the 5GB player is the fact that the glossy front surface gets really janky with finger oils very quickly. You'll be doing a lot of wiping it on your shirt or something before showing it off to your friends."

    The writer probably didn't intend this but this description is as close to damning with faint praise as you can get.
  13. jydesign macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2003
    What gets me is that in the earbud era, the player itself has a big ugly 70's style headphones icon on its screen in the promo photos. Is this an attempt to get 'old school' points, or just another example of gear heads treating graphic design as a cheap post-development afterthought?
  14. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Cape Breton Island
    I'm not sure what the deal is with the article, and how much research the author did, but I emailed him earlier today and here is the email and his reply.

    I replied to this that you haven't been able to get a 30 gb iPod new from Apple since August and I resisted telling him to put more research into his articles. Though I might do so if his reply shows his lack of care put into his job further.
  15. mrsebastian macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2002
    sunny san diego
    "The bevy of new high-end players will likely force Apple to offer additional features and lower prices, and consumers will reap the benefits no matter which model they decide upon."

    besides the fact, that the whole article is annoying regurgitated [bleep], the above quoted final line of the article just kills me. apple already offers the best product for the money and will continue to make it better and cheaper. i don't care if the pope is coming out with an audio player, there is no real competition for the ipod. yes, they'll sell some units, but nothing like apple. i've said it before and i'll say it again, until a company makes a comparable, as easy to use, and at least half as expensive unit, there is no such thing as an ipod killer or real competition.

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