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Test-Driving the $99 iPod
Mosseberg Solution ^ | January 12, 2005 | WALTER S. MOSSBERG

Posted on 01/16/2005 1:55:48 AM PST by mastercylinder

Edited on 01/16/2005 2:00:34 AM PST by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

At last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, numerous companies were showing off gadgets aimed at dethroning the most successful electronics product of the past couple of years: Apple Computer's iPod portable digital music player. Many hoped to challenge Apple by offering smaller, lighter and less costly players than the company's lowest priced and littlest iPod model, the $249 iPod Mini.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: apple; ipod; mac; mp3player
http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20050112.html

http://ptech.wsj.com

1 posted on 01/16/2005 1:55:48 AM PST by mastercylinder
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To: mastercylinder
HTML is our friend.

http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/solution-20050112.html

http://ptech.wsj.com

2 posted on 01/16/2005 2:04:21 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

thanks for the tip


3 posted on 01/16/2005 2:05:22 AM PST by mastercylinder (support our troops nuke Mecca)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

what do you think about apples new music player?


4 posted on 01/16/2005 2:09:51 AM PST by mastercylinder (support our troops nuke Mecca)
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To: mastercylinder

My understanding is it doesn't have a visual interface like the bigger hard drive iPods. But it does have a scroll wheel to let you thumb through the songs you have. And you upload it to a computer via a USB reader.


5 posted on 01/16/2005 2:19:04 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: mastercylinder
I posted on another thread the other day http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1320384/posts

I played with an iPod Shuffle at MacWorld in SF, and I really liked it. Tiny, easy to use, and sounds great. It only took a minute to get used to the lack of a display.

I own 4 MP3 players, for different reasons. One is credit card size, easy to carry but only plays about 30 songs and sound is crappy. Another is the Archos 20GB recorder/player, sounds great and is pocket size but bulky compared to the iPod. Also have a Creative Muvo2 4GB, comparable to the iPod Mini but not as cool. I bought an iPod Mini for my wife, and it's perfect for her.

The iPods do have better software, functionality, sound quality, and ease of use. Except for the Shuffle that lacks a display and thumbwheel, and is missing the cool software that comes with the more expensive iPods, but for the $99 you're getting what you pay for. Most of the non-Apple players going for $100 or less don't have even close to 512MB memory, don't include cool Apple software, and sound crappy.

6 posted on 01/16/2005 2:24:02 AM PST by roadcat
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seems silly to me. you can shuffle the songs...but you cant go in any kind of order

there are already off brand flash drives that will play music like this... I'm sure the apple will last longer....and it has the straps so you can wear it in the middle of your chest so you can say "ooh look at me! I have $99!!"


7 posted on 01/16/2005 2:25:38 AM PST by KneelBeforeZod ( I'm going to open Cobra Kai dojos all over this valley!)
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To: KneelBeforeZod

Actually, there is a slide switch to turn shuffle on and off.


8 posted on 01/16/2005 2:30:35 AM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: goldstategop
But it does have a scroll wheel to let you thumb through the songs you have.

The ones I played with don't have a scroll wheel like the bigger iPod or iPod Mini. Just the basic functions. Click up for volume up, click down for volume down. Click left to fast reverse thru the song or to go to a previous song. Click right to fast forward thru the song or go to the next song. Click the center to play or pause. That's it for the single button control.

On the back is a sliding button that turns it on, and allows you to play the playlist sequentially and continuous, or randomizes the playlist. For the price, it's a really good deal. Especially if you know what songs you preloaded in the playlist and don't care about searching for a particular song, but just want to hear your music where you're at.

9 posted on 01/16/2005 2:30:44 AM PST by roadcat
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To: mastercylinder
"Many hoped to challenge Apple by offering smaller, lighter and less costly players...."

They'll all end up where all the previous apple clones ended up.
10 posted on 01/16/2005 2:34:02 AM PST by moehoward
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To: mastercylinder
I don't have an iPod, but if I did, I would update my iTunes software.

  TechWeb
iTunes Bug Leaves Users Vulnerable To Hack
January 12, 2005

Just a day after Steve Jobs touted a new $99 iPod, a Danish security firm revealed that the iTunes software, which lets Mac and Windows users download purchased tracks to their computers, and thus to their iPods, has a "highly critical" vulnerability.

Security vendor Secunia on Tuesday warned that iTunes 4.x suffers from a vulnerability "caused due to a boundary error within the handling of .m3u and .pls playlists." The bug, said Secunia, can be exploited by a maliciously-crafted playlist to cause a buffer overflow on the target computer, which could then let the hacker gain complete control of the machine.

"Successful exploitation may allow execution of arbitrary code," Secunia stated in its alert.

The solution, said Secunia, is to update to the newest version of the iTunes software, labeled 4.7.1, which was posted on the Apple site Tuesday.

11 posted on 01/16/2005 2:36:33 AM PST by Eagle9
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To: Eagle9

thanks aready did on 1-11-05


12 posted on 01/16/2005 2:39:13 AM PST by mastercylinder (support our troops nuke Mecca)
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To: mastercylinder
thanks aready did on 1-11-05

Same here, updated my PC. Hmmm, I sure could use more songs for my playlists...

13 posted on 01/16/2005 2:45:54 AM PST by roadcat
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

the question is - will i able to install cwlinux and play my ogg files like with my regular ipod? probaly not ;) honestly the shuffle looks like a souped up usb key drive. i'll probaly buy it since i have an apple tattoo.

don't ask.


14 posted on 01/16/2005 2:56:44 AM PST by sodiumodium
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To: roadcat
Most of the non-Apple players going for $100 or less don't have even close to 512MB memory, don't include cool Apple software, and sound crappy.

I'm in the market for an iPod. When I went into the Mac store and tried one out (a 20 gig), it was INCREDIBLE sound quality. I already have iTunes on my Mac ... somewhere there's an iPod with my name on it.

Also, check out Bose's SoundDock for iPod. Another awesome music experience.

15 posted on 01/16/2005 3:25:55 AM PST by BunnySlippers (When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest! - Bullwinkle J. Moose)
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To: roadcat

Do the Ipods load/play standard MP3 files?


16 posted on 01/16/2005 3:34:13 AM PST by Jeff Gordon (Now is the time for all wise men to gloat. FOUR MORE YEARS,)
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To: KneelBeforeZod
and it has the straps so you can wear it in the middle of your chest so you can say "ooh look at me! I have $99!!"

Don't you mean

"Look at me! I used to have $99, but now I have this annoy thing strapped to my chest."?

17 posted on 01/16/2005 3:47:05 AM PST by woofer
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To: roadcat
Hmmm, I sure could use more songs for my playlists...

What venue do you like.

Maybe someone could be found to fulfill your wish.

18 posted on 01/16/2005 3:49:06 AM PST by woofer
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To: sodiumodium
honestly the shuffle looks like a souped up usb key drive.

There is a player that connects to a key drive, as I am guessing you know. I almost bought one.

19 posted on 01/16/2005 3:56:36 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: mastercylinder

Thanks.

You can get the links to work one of 2 ways, usually.

1) Insure that the left and right carets are removed before posting. That is, that STRICTLY AND ONLY the URL is in the posting and not extra characters that may go with it when you find it. I usually insure that the URL is on a line or two by itself by hitting enter a couple of times before and after it.

2) Doing the proper html coding which is:

[left caret]A HREF="[URL]"[right caret] [WHATEVER ONE WANTS AS THE CLICK MESSAGE--LIKE "CLICK HERE." I prefer to paste the URL again so people can easily see it and copy and paste it if needed] [left caret]/A[right caret]

I'd make it obvious if I knew how to do it without it functioning. LOL.

Thanks for the post. An interesting read.


20 posted on 01/16/2005 4:01:24 AM PST by Quix (HAVING A FORM of GODLINESS but DENYING IT'S POWER. 2 TIM 3:5)
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To: woofer

Have consumers found a way to replace the battery when it eventually dies? What happens when you send it to Apple for service if you have music that isn't "approved"? Do you throw it away instead?

I've seen mostly good comments about the NOMAD Jukebox Zen Xtra series. Up to a 60GB HD. Any opinions?

I've got an Archos AV100 20GB which is a discontinued model. Picked it up for about $180. Seems to worked fine as an MP3 player, 5 hours battery play time and live recording sounds pretty decent. The manual was horrendously badly written. I intended to use it for image storage, but gave up after finding you need to purchase additional "modules".


21 posted on 01/16/2005 4:08:55 AM PST by listenhillary (My tagline died, memorials may be made to me via Paypal)
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To: listenhillary
Have consumers found a way to replace the battery when it eventually dies?

The battery is recharged by the USB port. Lots of consumer electronics have sealed batteries. You will get tired of it before the battery life is reduced to below an acceptable level.

22 posted on 01/16/2005 4:34:24 AM PST by eno_ (Freedom Lite, it's almost worth defending.)
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To: Swordmaker

ping


23 posted on 01/16/2005 4:41:59 AM PST by randita
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To: BunnySlippers
Get the real iPod over the iPod Shuffle. I've had a 40GB version since September (I have a huge library of music so for most people, 20GB wil be plenty), and it is the best thing I ever did musicwise. My collection of over 1,000 CDs is now boxed up in the attic (destined for Ebay one of these days) and so all that CD clutter is now out of my long-suffering wife's living room. I simply have an iDock hooked up to my stereo and I can play my entire library on this incredible device.

The iPod shuffle looks like it might work out for those with a very limited music library or those who are physically active and don't want to risk pounding the pavement with a hard-drive based device like the iPod.

Otherwise, I see no reason to go with the iPod Shuffle. Even the price difference is not that great when you think about it. $149 will get you a 512MB Shuffle but for an extra $150, you can get that 20GB iPod and have 40 times the capacity with all the bells and whistles (for another $100 you get 80 times the capacity). To me, it's a no-brainer.

One of the little things I discovered recently that just amazes me about the iPod is that it keeps data on every song you play and transfers that data to iTunes so you always know what songs in your collection are getting the most play and when was the last time you heard it.

I live on playlists and select them based on the mood I'm in. The iPod Shuffle doesn't give you that option. All your songs are on a single playlist and you get what you get. So if at all possible, get the real iPod.

24 posted on 01/16/2005 4:50:47 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: listenhillary
Have consumers found a way to replace the battery when it eventually dies? What happens when you send it to Apple for service if you have music that isn't "approved"? Do you throw it away instead?

Don't believe the horror stories. Replacing the battery is painless and you can get a replacement kit online for about $30 or less and do it yourself at home. It took me all of two minutes to pry my case open to get at the battery with a small screwdriver. It's no big deal. Not that my battery was dead already but I dropped it on the sidewalk (my fault) and the battery had become dislodged. All I did was reseat it and it worked perfectly ever since.

25 posted on 01/16/2005 4:54:20 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Jeff Gordon
Do the Ipods load/play standard MP3 files?

That's about all I play on it! The only thing that the iPod won't play is WMA files but iTunes will let you convert them to the MP3 or AAC format (provided the WMA file isn't DRM protected). But even in that situation, you can burn your protected WMAs to CD and then reburn them as MP3 or AAC (MP4).

The AAC songs you buy on iTunes have the same kind of protection but you can also get around them by burning them to CD and then re-ripping them (though you might lose a little sound quality doing that).

Currently Microsoft and Apple have a little war going on regarding WMA vs AAC. (What else is new)

26 posted on 01/16/2005 4:58:09 AM PST by SamAdams76
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To: Eagle9
...can be exploited by a maliciously-crafted playlist...

So if I never use anybodies playlists but my own I'm not vulnerable, correct?

27 posted on 01/16/2005 5:11:51 AM PST by Musket
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To: SamAdams76
The iPod shuffle looks like it might work out for those with a very limited music library or those who are physically active and don't want to risk pounding the pavement with a hard-drive based device like the iPod.

Apple has LONG had a two tiered product offering ... Macs vs iMacs, PowerBooks vs iBooks etc.

I just bought my fifth Mac computer (I'm one of those) ... and I have never regreted opting for their high end line. I'll be getting a 20 or 40 gig iPod, a Bose SoundDock ... and maybe those amazing Bose headphones.

28 posted on 01/16/2005 5:11:57 AM PST by BunnySlippers (When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest! - Bullwinkle J. Moose)
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To: mastercylinder

I wish Apple the best of luck with this iPod stuff. It seems that whenever a company jumps into the business of making mass market electronic devices they eventually get creamed by low cost producers. I can't see how this will pan out any differently.


29 posted on 01/16/2005 6:02:39 AM PST by jjw
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To: Bush2000; antiRepublicrat; LasVegasMac; Action-America; eno_; N3WBI3; zeugma; TechJunkYard; ...

Not exactly a Mac Ping but a $99 iPod PING!

IF you want on or off the Mac Ping List, freepmail me.


30 posted on 01/16/2005 2:42:12 PM PST by Swordmaker (Tagline now open, please ring bell.)
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To: SamAdams76; Jeff Gordon
The AAC songs you buy on iTunes have the same kind of protection but you can also get around them by burning them to CD and then re-ripping them (though you might lose a little sound quality doing that).

There's a freeware program floating around out there that allows you to, ah, "unprotect" those protected AAC songs, with zero loss of sound quality and no fumbling around with CD burning necessary.

31 posted on 01/16/2005 3:18:08 PM PST by Dont Mention the War (W2: Coming January 20, 2005! Be There!)
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To: BunnySlippers

LOL - you sound like me. I had the first generation iPod 3 years ago, upgraded that and then also got a mini last year. Now I have decided I "need" the shuffle. I use them all for different reasons - the big iPod mostly sits in the Bose SoundDock in the LR. The shuffle is the perfect thing for running, tho - lightweight and not susceptible to skipping as a hard drive would be. I don't need a display because I have a workout playlist for running and for the gym.


32 posted on 01/16/2005 3:53:48 PM PST by CheneyChick
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To: jjw
I wish Apple the best of luck with this iPod stuff. It seems that whenever a company jumps into the business of making mass market electronic devices they eventually get creamed by low cost producers. I can't see how this will pan out any differently.

Normally I would agree with this statement ... and it may be true of the iPod Shuffle. But the regular iPod's amazing feature is the iPod wheel. It is truly innovative and allows for one hand operation. As Steve Jobs has been know to say, "it's insanely great".

I think Apple will retain its edge on the regular iPod. Apple will always be a problem for those who just don't want to pay the extra amount of money for innovative features and cutting edge industrial design.

I think you'll agree that even when buying a toaster there are people who set out to buy qualiity and a good looking appliance and others who buy the least expensive toaster that does the job.

33 posted on 01/16/2005 4:32:58 PM PST by BunnySlippers (When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest! - Bullwinkle J. Moose)
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To: BunnySlippers

Don't try to look for a deal -- you might find an iPod for $10 less.

It's like Bose -- just pay the $ at your nearby store.

I recommend the 40Gb iPod -- you get the charger and base that ake it close to worth the difference to the 20Gb.


34 posted on 01/16/2005 4:35:59 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Lefty Suicide Hotline: 1-800-BUSH-WON (thanks PJ-Comix!))
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To: BunnySlippers

Good points. I agree that there are those out there who will pay whatever it costs for neat high quality stuff--and surely that's what this is. To me it seems that this device is like selling a dvd player for $300 when the rest are now going for $50 and the cheap ones for $25. I've invested in companies in the past who were doing similar kinds of things and it didn't work out for me as I had hoped. I have no doubt that there will be decent competitive units with displays for $30 within 2 years from the likes of Sony.


35 posted on 01/16/2005 7:50:12 PM PST by jjw
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