Who Designed The iPod? A Genius, That's Who!

bgerber

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Our Barry Gerber doesn't like the iPod because he thinks it's a shallow, overly expensive piece of crap. Our Aaron McKenna on the other hand thinks that the iPod and, more importantly, iTunes are the best things since sliced bread. Watch two editors maul one another. Well, watch one of them maul the other one while he's not looking.
 

greatslack

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I don't see your logic in saying that an iPod is a barrier to using iTunes. Most people I know use iTunes and none of them have an iPod. My brother, in particular, buys songs and videos off of the iTMS quite frequently, and simply uses his laptop to listen to the songs, or burns them to a CD. iTunes is the door to the iPod in many cases, and not the other way around. 99 cents is a lot smaller investment than 69-399 dollars.
 
Jan 4, 2006
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anyone who buys an ipod or any....pod, is a dumb noob as far as I'm concerned. News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes, complete albums by genre for a pittance of $15.00/month or less, no DRM.

If you don't know how to get them..., don't ask, I'd rather you not know.
 

sledgehammer70

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My brother, in particular, buys songs and videos off of the iTMS quite frequently, and simply uses his laptop to listen to the songs, or burns them to a CD. iTunes is the door to the iPod in many cases, and not the other way around. 99 cents is a lot smaller investment than 69-399 dollars.
A Laptop can only go so far, a Nano is a pocket friend and can go anywhere, crap lets see your brother go snowboarding/Skiing, Mountain Hiking or anything like it with his laptop.

-------------------------------------------------

The problem we run into today, is some of us like to have content rather than digital content, Sure it is a pain in the a$$ to store 5 thousand CD cases, but the fact of the matter is People like tangible things, "CD's, Booklets, Cases" Now we all love things on a smaller level which is good.. I guess? But in the world of today it is all about the physical, what you have and what you own. Well at least in California it is.

I am a proud owner of an 4GB Ipod Nano and love it to death, have 1000+ songs on it which I think I only listen to about 100 of them. So now that points back to the “I want and I need more” basis. We will keep buying more just because it is so easy to do so, and as long as Apple makes it easy we will keep doing it. It’s kind of pathetic if you ask me. Who needs 100,000 songs? I can’t even name all the artists that have found there way onto my Ipod “Can you?”. But in general the human race in pathetic, you can change someone’s mind in a blink of an eye with lies, and pretty much make anyone believe what they read in today’s news. “Just my opinion”

I guess I am agreeing with your story, as the Ipod has become like a bad news story, it infests the world in an instant and we tolerate it and buy into it daily. Good Job Mr. Jobs.
 

gm0n3y

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I own an iPod (3G 20GB) and have been using iTunes for years now as a media player. I still refuse to purchase music online if I can't have free reign with my purchase. This is the same reason I won't buy CDs from labels that have copy protection (well at least the kind that I can't break). I would gladly dish out money for mp3s, however, there are not stores in which this can be done. As for the argument that you can have them on 5 computers, I will likely own more than 5 computers in the next 10 years, so once I buy my 6th does that mean that I have to re-purchase all of my mp3s? I don't mind downloading mp3s illegally, I find it the best way to try out new music before I buy it. You can also get a lot of content that cannot be purchased (live, or obsure recordings). The only mp3s that I have downloaded that I don't have the CD for are ones that I either intend on buying in the near future or I cannot buy at all (I delete the ones I don't like).

We work on the honor system for CDs (you can rip mp3s, make copies and give them away, etc), so why not just sell mp3s?
 

twile

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I won't buy an iPod for 2 reasons: First, the product and company, and second, the competition.

Main reason is the principle of the iPod, Apple, and their consumers. I see the iPod as an unnecessary watering down of the techie things that I enjoy. I'm not saying that I want a media player to be overly complicated and hard to use, I just think they're going at things backwards. From what I can tell, Apple is always late in the game for introducing features, instead going for simplicity. They had an iPod that could display in color, but didn't give it video playback. They lack radio tuners built in. They lack audio recording devices built in. And hey, who needs to support playback for common file types like WMV and things with DivX and XviD codecs? No, don't take your 640x480 video files and copy them to your iPod, let's convert them unncessarily first, wasting time and energy. It's just not cool with me. They start with really simple devices and gradually add features, while other players start with lots more features and only slightly confusing interfaces (though many seem to be on par with the iPod's in appearance and usability). Then when they put something out that everyone has, it's heralded as a breakthrough. I can't tell you how many people thought the video-capable iPod was an amazing feat of technology and design, even though there were devices that could do a wider range of video files on the market a year or more before the iPod showed up with video playback. Also, I find it humorous to support a company that asks you to "Think Different" and buy the same type of product that the last 80-90 out of 100 people shopping for an MP3 player own. Yeah, think different, until we're popular.

Then there are competing products. If I had the need for a new MP3 player right now I'd probably go for a Zen of sorts, though I would (unlike many people) take a look at what was for sale, instead of just shelling out for an iPod. Let's face it, there are products out there with bigger screens, better features, more codec support, better prices, and various combinations of those good things. There are products that are arguably just as good looking, though when you buy something you put in your pocket half the time, or hide behind an opaque case, that difference is really negligible (Would you get a wallet that looks a little better and costs more but only stores bills and business cards, or would you get one with space for coins and credit cards as well, but is arguably a little less stylish, and costs less?).

iTunes, iTunes, iTunes. Many of my friends have it, and lots of people say it's the best thing in the world. I just recently installed it and was unimpressed by the offline player itself (I find WMP 11 Beta to look and work better). As far as the music store goes, I don't buy a lot of music, but when I do, I don't like being locked in to one player. C'mon people, think about this for a moment. If you're talking about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on new music (which is the only way to make an iPod worth the money) do you want to be locked in to one device? Sure, the iPod is a wonderful thing now for some people. What happens if it turns sour at some point? Maybe they make a change that you personally object to, or you have bad experiences with them and decide you want a different player. That music won't work on your new player. Try to not think for the here and now, think about your music collection in 3, 5, 10 years, which will become increasingly large and expensive. Those people who bought old cassette tapes and can't do much with them feel kinda silly because something new and better came along. At least with protected WMA files you can switch to a new product, model, or manufacturer if it turns out you aren't satisfied with your current stuff. Yeah, the iPod isn't anti-competitive, they just use your own hundred to thousand dollar investment in music to keep you from straying to another media player. And Microsoft is called anti-competitive because they include Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer on their systems by default?! At least you're able to install and deeply integrate competing software!

Here's a final parting comment: Apple is trying to push their own hardware and software and codecs. Microsoft is trying to push their own software and codecs. Other companies, like Creative and Archos and such, they're not trying very hard to force proprietary codecs into the market, they're just trying to make products that play the greatest number and most useful files they can in the best way they can. Who really has YOUR interests in mind?
 

pestinha

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I think people are missing the point about DRM.
I have some 50 Laserdiscs I stuppidly bought many years ago.When DVD killed Laserdisc, I should be able to go to my computer and freely convert the films into DVD (I payed for them, after all), which I have the expertise to do. The problem is they are all protected with macrovision and I can't capture them to the pc.
What will happen to your downloaded collection of DRM protected music when the formats become obsolete? You can throw your 500 albums in the digital trash bin.
With CD's at least, you will always be able to convert them to any future format.
For this reasons, I think iTunes (and all other DRM protected music) is a rip off.
 

Drunken_Panda

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iTunes = DRM
iTunes = Low bitrate mp3's
iTunes = bad.

But nobody can argue that whoever designed this wasn't a marketing genius...
 

enewmen

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Wake me up when iTunes sells normal/legal MP3s for $.25.
Until then I just buy CDs, no matter how good the player is.

I will also never consider a 4gb player with sealed batteries no matter how small the player. Looks are the last thing I am worried about.
 

vanhaesendonck

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I must say I own an ipod (3g) and I am more and more disapointed by apple offerings. When I bought my ipod it was probably the best player around. However now most competing players from creative and archos offer much better features than the ipod with video, especially for video (larger screens, better resolution, the ipod with video screen is way too small and low resolution). If I had to upgrade my player now I would certainly not buy an ipod anymore since video is now much more important to me than 2 years ago.

The issue is that if you upgrate to an archos or zen vision if bought music from the Itunes music store the "unobtrusive DRM" becomes very obtrusive, you can't play the music you legally bought on your new player!! With apple's scheme you now have to either buy an underperforming and overpriced player, either re-buy your whole collection of music or try to burn and re-rip all your downloads, which will result in crap sounding songs.

The argument that the itunes DRM is unobtrusive only as long as apple provides competitively priced players with top features. Something they did in the past but have not been doing recently (since the ipod photo).

Also many play for sure stores now offer 192 kbps downloads, which offer better quality than itune's 128 kbps, but apple doesn't seems to be willing to upgrade, so even on that level the once top-notch itunes store is slipping behind the competition.

When I bought my ipod I expected to be buying into a high quality system and I didn't mind being tied to it, but since apple is unable to deliver the quality and features I expect the whole thing is a scam! I am not sure I will buy from them again.
 

Windaria

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The only problem is that $0.90 or $0.99 is an insane ripoff for a song. Especially to say that in-store prices are sky-high? Excuse me? Most CDs can be had for under $10 new anymore, and then ripped to MP3 format to have unrestricted play. Go to a used CD store (even new CDs show up there VERY fast), and you can get that down to $5-$7. Even buying a used CD you still have the platter, incase something happens to your computer... something you cant say of a purchased song from Apple.

Until they get it down to under $0.50 and remove the DRM, it just baffles me that people pay for it. I mean, they have better, less expensive, and less restrictive legal options to get digital music. It just makes no sense.
 

twile

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You know, it just occured to me that for a long time I've been doing a $/hour measurement system, but I've never tried to apply this to music. Let's see how it goes.

First let's look at going to a movie in a movie theater. $8/2 hours = $4/hour for one person to go. A little pricey for a one-time thing, but you get a massive screen, lots of sound, and day 1 access to movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make, involving years of work from hundreds or thousands of people.

9-12 months later, you buy that same movie on DVD. $15/2 hours = $7.5/hour which is about twice as expensive as the theater, but you get to play it back as much as you want, pause and rewind, and watch with as many people as you want.

Now you're bored with the movie, so you play a game. $50/15 hours = $3.33/hour with unlimited playback, viewed or played by as multiple people, at the same time or independently. It's much cheaper than the DVD because it's much cheaper to make and has lots of "down time" and repeated areas with less cinematic polish than a movie.

Now it's time to relax with some music you bought off iTunes. $1/4 minutes = $15 per hour. It's twice the price of a movie on DVD with some similar features. You can play it repeatedly, pause and rewind, multiple people can listen at once... and that's where the similarities end. Unlike a DVD, you can't play your iTunes song on any device, you can only play it on the iPod. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be if certain DVDs would only work on certain players? Oh wait, that's like the upcoming Blu-ray vs HD DVD format war. Standard and interoperability benefit the user. DVDs are also very good quality. Granted they're not the best resolution if you have an HD system, but unlike >128 with kbps audio, the hardware and discs to support 1080i/p video haven't been around for years. So basically you pay twice what you would for a movie on DVD per hour of entertainment, and find yourself restricted needlessly and inconveniently to one product, while there are higher-quality versions of what you just paid for floating out there in stores and on the internet. Consider that movies also have a mixture of regular and specially-composed music played in the background, and you should be wondering why you're paying so much for the music.

Really, it's not so great when you think about it. If I could get 2 songs for $1 and they'd have at least twice the bitrate per channel, recorded and distributed in >2 channel audio whenever possible, I might start coughing up money. 2x the quality, 2x the channels, and 2x the music, and I might be hooked. Assuming of course they were to drop the stupid iPod-only policy. DVDs can do without it, why can't Apple? Even HD DVD and Blu-ray, which are criticized for not being FULLY supported by all the movie studios out there, work with more than just one product line. Can you imagine what a nightmare things would be if such a needless and anti-competitive practices like iTunes' were picked up by other businesses? You can only get gas at a gas station if you have their particular car, even though it's the same gas everyone sells. Can't drive on a road unless your car, again, is a particular type, even though the roads are all the same and compatible. You can't buy ice cream without getting ice cream cones as well. You can only buy Nike shoes if you're wearing Nike socks. Getting the picture yet? Locking consumers out unless they give unnecessary support to your other products, which may or may not be up to scratch, just sucks. Here's something more realistic though: Can't transfer to an iPod unless you use an Apple-specific interface, Apple's own software, compatible ONLY with music from their store, not your old MP3 collection... so basically the only way to access their music selection or their "MP3 player" would be by going Apple-only on their products. Now, Apple isn't entirely stupid, if they had such an exclusive product their ultra-dedicated fans would eat it right up and they'd sell 100,000 iPods, instead of 10+ million a year.

So they do the bare minimum to survive. They let people access non-iTunes music and expand their potential consumer base from a few million to a few hundred million. And for people who still have CD players and cars without iPod hookups, they let people burn CDs. But ask yourself, how much longer are they going to offer that? CDs are fading fast, cars with iPod mounts are being designed and manufactured, and if they were to get rid of CD-burning support for iTunes songs, it would eliminate people trying to circumvent their DRM by re-ripping to MP3. Sounds like a winning option for Apple, the only reason not to do it is the users who would complain. But hey, Apple's always done its own thing and chosen to support or drop support for whatever technologies they want... (PowerPC processors anyone? I hear some enthusiasts were pissed when they stopped making more powerful models).

The problem is when people are passive and satisfied by what they've got. Isn't that Apple's whole marketing thing? Don't be satisfied with your PC, here's what's wrong with it, even if you didn't realize it. But don't question our products and services. And don't even THINK of moving away from our stuff, because we go out of our way to make a transition away from them to be inconvenient and expensive (rebuying iTunes songs for example).

Remember this about iTunes, iPod, and Apple marketing. The voice which shouts the loudest isn't always the smartest.
 

pmr

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anyone who buys an ipod or any....pod, is a dumb noob as far as I'm concerned. News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes, complete albums by genre for a pittance of $15.00/month or less, no DRM.

If you don't know how to get them..., don't ask, I'd rather you not know.
"News servers around the world will freely feed you thousands or millions of tunes....." ok dumb noob, what the f*ck does an ipod owner has to do with buying songs in itunes? you only buy them if u want.
And as for being expensive...I don´t care. iI love the design. Every time I fart, a 100€ bill comes out of my as*!
Jesus, these kids have so much crap in their heads...
 

smlong

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The iPod is just like all other Apple products. It sucks, but they make misleading commercials and people buy it. They market it as 'stylish' or some other BS becauses otherwise, there are no redeeming qualities that make you 'think different' (or, more correctly, 'think differentLY') .. oh well ..
 

greenmachineiijh

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Oct 18, 2005
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At least someone has money coming out their... What does that feel like?

Getting crazy and bashing people for having an opinion shows how childish YOU are my friend PMR. Good for you that money is not an issue for you and you can spend it on this overpriced quality product and service. The iTunes only playable on an iPod does indeed suck for those who want more than that. They are in MP3-128k format, nowhere the quality of the real CD, SACD, or better... Especially played on a high end car or home theater system. I know! I would rather buy the disk used for $5 or new if I can not wait to have it, and rip the tracks I want and use ANY player for the music on ANY system ANYWHERE.
I have a friend that has an iPod and it is a good product. But he has to lug that tape adapter or the connector plugs for anything he wants to connect to, and he can only play the songs. I would much rather have a 2gb USB stick or any other music player and plug directly into a PC and play. Or burn a disk compilation of MP3s and play on a MP3 DVD player or car unit with an MP3 cd player. Or just do ANYTHING I WANT WITH IT!!!

itunes is a great product for those who can use it for what it is able to supply and do not need anything more (or have money coming out certain orifices). But there is so much more that some of us want, and this product simply can not supply us with those needs. This is my personal opinion and should not be taken personally or bashed by overly egotesticle, (get it?) narrowminded people.
 

pmr

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My friend, I never start a fight. I´m just tired of kids in these foruns. The first oppinion is calling someone "dumb noob". I just fired back, because I´m "all kinds of apple sh*t" user, and I´m tired of these wars.
I can afford paying for "style and design" (if you can call it that), no 5th grade kid should tell me how to spend my money.
Just that.
 

twile

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Yeah, because a REAL adult gets all cranky about what a "kid" says.

And what, you're trying to stop a flame war and get pissed off at a "kid" because he posts anti-Apple sentiments on a discussion of Apple products and services? If he's a kid, he's gotta be under 18-21, depending on how you define a kid. In 1984, Apple aired their infamous "1984" commercial during the Superbowl, and for all I know they've said the same "Everybody else are mindless drones" before 1984. PC manufacturers and Microsoft don't trash-talk Apple, but Apple trash-talks PC manufacturers and Microsoft (the only people who regularly benchmark PCs vs Macs are those putting up stats for the Apple site, so far as I know!). APPLE STARTED THE WAR. And if this person is a "kid" he was born after 1984 when Apple made it massively public. If this person, like me, was born after 1984, it's just retaliation for all of the stuff Apple has done since them. So yeah, blame us for a flame war Apple started.

The funny thing is that Apple, if anything, should appeal to the younger generation. Adults mostly use Windows at work, that's what they're used to. They're not children of the modern computer age (people with computers in their house since childhood), they care more about getting the job done cheaply and efficiently than style. College students and younger people should be the Apple lovers. Who do you think buys the most iPods, or who are the iPods bought for? The kids. Who already has tons of music on records and cassettes and CDs? Adults. Who does Apple portray as the hip Apple user in its own ads? The kids. Who does Apple portray as the uncool, bland PC user in its own ads? The working adults. So when kids, teens, and college students who already love to rebel against conventions, express themselves and be stylish say they think iPods are crap, it sure is a lot more telling than when a late-40's self-proclaimed computer guru raves about how great an iPod is.

That having been said, I hope we can return to the regularly scheduled forum posting.
 

Xineiter

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Genius he maybe is.. Adolf Hitler was too. Making millions of people belive thats the onely way to do it.
I thing you will onely buy an ipod if you not aware of what other things ther are on the market. (or 14 years old and need to have the same as the mainstreem).
I have a Qtek s100 (HTC device). I surre spend a lot of money on it. But this littel device (as small as an Ipod) can do every thing I need it to do. If I don't have the software for the needs I have I just download som opensource, becase I'm sure I'm not the onely one whit this needs.

Why buy a divce more when my phone can playback any codec of any music and movies, have my calender up to date, play games, VPN connection to my work.. mention any thing ... (sorry it can not make coffe.. damn..)

Itunes go home !!!
 

smlong

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Adults mostly use Windows at work, that's what they're used to. They're not children of the modern computer age (people with computers in their house since childhood)
Now, wait a second. I fall into your generalization (being a 34 yeard old software developer), except for one thing. I AM a child of the modern computer age. I grew up with the Tandy CoCo / Commodore Vic-20/64/128 and moved onto an Amiga which I used until 1997. I used those computers as much as the computers today surfing bulletin boards and then moving onto to the internet once a decent TCP/IP stack was available for the Amiga. I only started using a Windows PC because I was tired of not having the one thing that makes a computer useful: software. I do not use Windows because it is what I grew up with or because it's what I'm used to due to my ties to a certain profession/career.

At any rate, 9-10 years ago, I was in college and just making the switch to Windows 95 based PC's. I thought about bucking the trend and sticking with the Amiga - but still did not consider Apple because I have always thought they had inferior products that cost too much. That being said, I think Apple really does lose their appeal to the younger crowd (as you said, essentially their key demographic) due to the fact that college students who ARE up on technology do know that their products are not worth the cost OR their restrictive/limiting nature (this applies to both the iPod and the Mac).

I find Apple's latest commercials where they portray Windows (and Windows users) and office dorks very offensive. It's also funny how they flat out compare their OS to Windows and say it's 'better' despite the fact that everything they portray that it can do can be done (IMHO) better on a Windows based PC. The way they say that the Mac is better at graphics, web design, etc is laughable.

I digress, but the iPod is the same. Apple creates this smug cloud by making statements like 'it JUST works better' without providing ANY means to quantify their assertions. Their products will never be better, and as time progresses, Apple becomes more and more like the companies that they wish to differentiate themselves from.

One other company comes to mind that I hate as well: Sony. I don't want to make this post any longer than it already is, so I will just end by saying that I will never own/purchase an Apple or Sony product.

Stephen
 

r0x0r

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There are only 2 explanations for the existence of the article:

1) Apple, realising that their iPod is functionally inferior to many players on the market, have paid Aaron McKenna a handsome sum of money to write a pro-iPod article in the hope that people won't see it as a barely disguised advertisement.

2) The article is a hoax.

I mean, seriously, you PAY MONEY for compressed audio. CD's have only been available since, what, 1984? What is the point of advancing technology if the end result is going to be a regression (the retarded cousin, if you like), of the very thing that the newer technology is trying to advance from?


"Instead of wasting their time trying to find a legal download service to fill their Creative Zen with, they just start downloading illegally."

Or "they" put music on there from their CD's, because "they" aren't going to pay for inferior audio. I should know, I am the proud owner of a ZEN 20GB (by the way, when the Creative HD DAP players freeze you can force reset, rather than having to take it back to the dealer). Damn it must suck to be treated like a retard *cough* Apple customers *cough*.

By the way, there are heaps of legal download services that aren't iTunes that will work fine with a ZEN. Quite frankly, I'm quite nonchalant about people downloading illegal audio because then it means that iTunes will have to offer something of quality. If I can get 256Kbps and 320Kbps on an illegal P2P network than why the hell can't I get it on iTunes?


"I do think it's a lot better looking than many of the other Personal Music Players (PMPs) that have crossed my desk, but I'm not quite so design conscious as some iPod owners I know."

And to think that the iconic design is now a barrier to entering the DMP market. Compare the video iPod to the ZEN Vision; the ZEN Vision doen't have half of the chassis being taken up by a control surface so therefore it can devote more chassis space to a bigger, clearer screen.

Apple need to change the design so that it remains functionally competitive (iPod? functional? Ah ha ha ha). However, if they do that it will cease to be a "true"' iPod.
 
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