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powazek productions
{ personal log }
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23
OCT

the big iwhoop

Why is the speculation is always so much more exciting than the reality?

Question: How can you spot the one mp3 player made just for the Mac?
Answer: Look for the most expensive one.

$400 for an optional little toy? In this economy? Sheesh.

{ 11:59am }

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{ 26 comments }


» I don't understand why the iPod is getting slammed so much. It's smaller, lighter, and faster than similar players. Yes, the Nomad Jukebox is nice, but have you tried fitting it in your pocket?

– Matthew Gifford  { 10.23.01 @ 1:49pm }


» To Derek: no, the iPod isn't the most expensive one. That would be the Rio 800 Extreme.

To Matthew: the Rio 800 is a similar product, it weighs only 2.4 ounces for $250, and it fits very nicely in a pocket. That's why Apple's getting slammed.

Overall, it's a premium product at a premium price. The only real reason to buy one is if you were considering buying both a portable music player and a Firewire hard drive. In that case, it's a nice feature to have them both in one case.

Dori  { 10.23.01 @ 2:04pm }


» Okay, so how much would it cost to upgrade a Rio 800 to 5GB?

– Matthew Gifford  { 10.23.01 @ 2:09pm }


» A Rio 800 Extreme is more expensive than the iPod and only has 384MB. How can it possibly be better than the iPod?

– Matthew Gifford  { 10.23.01 @ 2:12pm }


» i'm buying one. period. it's one c o o l litle product.

– Bici Spokes  { 10.23.01 @ 2:21pm }


» When comparing the iPod to the Rio 800 Extreme, there's pros and cons on both sides.

Rio 800 Extreme: weighs less, works on both Mac and Windows, works with USB (which means it works with more machines).

iPod: costs less, holds more music, works with Firewire (which means it transfers music faster).

BTW, I was comparing list price to list price above. My guess is that you might be able to find the Rio 800 Extreme at a discount, which would bring them both in about the same price.

Dori  { 10.23.01 @ 2:27pm }


» $400 for a portable music player of any kind is simply absurd. I'm also underwhelmed by the design -- am I the only person who's noticed that Apple's new products are slowly going back to beige? After a couple years of use, that thing is going to look filthy.

The big redeeming factor is that it can double as a portable hard drive. A 5 gig portable firewire HD would probably cost about the same; add in MP3 playback, and the iPod suddenly looks like a good buy. As long as it will synch with PCs as well.

Cowboy X  { 10.23.01 @ 4:13pm }


» Oh, and I'll bet with some creative hacks, that sweet little LCD could be trained to double as a PDA!

Cowboy X  { 10.23.01 @ 4:14pm }


» Cowboy X: actually, it's overpriced even for a Firewire HD. For example, here's one that's 10 Gb for $220. Yup, twice the space for half the price... and both PC and Mac (and Linux!) compatible, too.

But as I said above, if you're in the market for both a FW HD *and* a portable music player, the iPod isn't a bad deal.

Dori  { 10.23.01 @ 4:28pm }


» Matt (et al) -- I think one of the reasons it's getting slammed so much is due to all the hype leading up to it. The secrecy, the press beiefings ... it all let to some incredibly inflated expectations. And then it's ... an mp3 player. A really expensive mp3 player. Whee.

How about a stereo component with an airport connection to the internet that can download and play mp3s, dvds, and quicktime, plus tivo stuff. Now that would be the hub of my digital lifestyle....

Derek M. Powazek  { 10.23.01 @ 5:12pm }


» As usual, Apple's secrecy backfired badly in that it raised expectations of their end users. (Remember the last expo, the web filled with new imac rumors?) And at $400, I think it's a little overpriced in the current market. But it is a beautiful little product. And I want one.

The design is in the Apple mould, but apart from size I wouldn't call it groundbreaking. Though with most of Apple's new designs, you really need to hold it to say. It's all about the materials/build. If I were in the market for a portable MP3 player, I think the iPod would be on my short-list.

Simon Wright  { 10.23.01 @ 6:09pm }


» I have owned 8 different Apple products over the years. none of them ever broke down on me.

Just another MP3 player?

No. This another great Apple music/portable disk device that will be _reliable_. And its fast...

My order is in.

– Bici  { 10.23.01 @ 9:18pm }


» Blows away my Creative Nomad Jukebox with it's bad interface, slow operations, heavy battery use, crashing, no song list, etc. . .I just bought one.

ml  { 10.23.01 @ 9:31pm }


» M I N I D I S C

– 0+0  { 10.23.01 @ 9:58pm }


» Cowboy X: actually, it's overpriced even for a Firewire HD. For example, here's one that's 10 Gb for $220. Yup, twice the space for half the price... and both PC and Mac (and Linux!) compatible, too.

Dori, try checking the prices on a 1.8" FireWire HD not a 2.5" HD . If you can find one for less than US$350 you're doing very well.

– Troy  { 10.23.01 @ 11:31pm }


» I have been window shopping for an MP3 player for a while now, and in addition to the 5 GB 1394 HD and small size, I think the interface is a big advantage.

Eventually, they'll have this thing work with PC's and by then the price will have come down, too. I'll bet we'll see a new version with 10 GB by this time next year. Then I'll buy one on eBay.

– RickMcD  { 10.24.01 @ 7:30am }


» I believe the iWhoop is due to the ease of use, speed, and overall simplicity. This most definitely *doesn't* exist with any other MP3 player.

I've got a rioplayer, and I've wasted a lot of time deleting and downloading. I've heard basically nothing good about the jukebox *except* for it's drive size.

If we can all get over the resentment of the build-up/let-down for two seconds, I think it's likely that it will drop in price, and increase in drive space. If it's truly as painless to get MP3s on the player as it looks in their commercial (and it is), isn't that groundbreaking? I think it definitely is.

– fab  { 10.24.01 @ 9:53am }


» The iPod seems to have Steve written all over it: the use of an unusual and expensive 1.8" drive mechanism to achieve a certain overall size, damn the expense. This probably is a pretty good deal, considering that drive mech, the question is how many people will be sufficuently impressed by the capacity/size ratio to pay that premium. Plus the software integration (which can be amortized to almost zero if sold in sufficient quantites) and the firewire interface. And perhaps the "Apple premium."

I'm a Mac person, and if I were thinking about an MP3 player, I'd think about this. But it's clearly an exercise in elegance over pricing.

Adam Rice  { 10.24.01 @ 10:36am }


» Just like all products Apple puts out, they pump the price upon first release to get all the early-adopters that will buy at any price. For about half what they're charging, it's a good deal and I might get one. But when I can buy an 80GB drive for less than half the price of the iPod, store my entire music collection on it and get listen to it from anywhere I can get a connection, I'm thinking that makes more sense.

Now, when cars start coming out with firewire jacks where the stereo used to be, you have my complete attention.

Scott  { 10.24.01 @ 10:47am }


» Scott - NOW you're talking!

All complining aside, yeah, it's a cool little toy, and I wouldn't refuse one as a gift. I just pictured something much different when Steve and company said something "revolutionary" was coming.

If they keep saying that for every product announcement, it's going to be a little like the boy who cried wolf....

Derek M. Powazek  { 10.24.01 @ 11:12am }


» Derek, I think you're right that Apple will soon have to blow people away with an announcement. Their recent products (in particular the new iBook) have been terrific, but, well, expectations are very high. In a way, their recent success has boxed them into a corner in this regard.

At the same time, although it's not the revolution some were expecting, the iPod is pretty cool. If line-in ports were standard on car stereos, it would totally be worth it for me. Just ridding myself of CDs in the car would be worth a premium, and the configurability of the playlists (via the iTunes interface) makes it particularly interesting for in-car use.

Michael  { 10.25.01 @ 7:00am }


» i don't give a hoot about MP3, but if Apple came back to the PDA market, i'd buy. yes, i'm one of those annoying Newton fans. reduce the volume by 75%, keep the handwriting recognition, and attach an elastic band so i can keep track of my BART pass :)

rena  { 10.26.01 @ 4:26pm }


» Although Apple did pump up the hype on this unnecessarily, I do think that we mac users can tend toward behaving just a tad spoiled. When was the last time Mike Dell announced anything that at all impressed you? Now think of what Steve Jobs announced just this year. We're talking about a year with the tiBook, the new iBook, osx (and 10.1), a million other nuggets to inspire technolust that I can't even remember, and now an mp3 player that makes me want to find some way to convert my Nomad Jukebox to use as a toaster. Sometimes I feel like we won't be happy unless Jobs finds us some kind of handheld way to burn obscene language on the surface of the moon. Yes, the iPod is elegant and solves many of the problems that have plagued. Yes, it's probably expensive enough to call it a luxury item. But both things could also be said of the BMW Z3, and jesus christ I want one of those. Let's just take a deep breath and have a happy moment: Apple releases such great products that their users are both their biggest worshippers and their biggest critics. This is a good thing.

Geoff  { 10.27.01 @ 9:36am }


» heheheh....or when' s the last time Dell or Intel release a piece of hardware and you were surprised it didn't work on a Mac?

I've already gone through my case of Kool-Aid....

I advance ordered mine on Friday

– Kevin-John  { 10.29.01 @ 5:45am }


» This is the first sensible bit of post-hype iPod commentary I've read, including some interesting speculation. The device is not a means unto itself. "There is no spoon."

R.  { 10.29.01 @ 10:54am }


» I still want one!

james  { 11.1.01 @ 6:18am }

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