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Media (Apple) Media

Apple Updates iPod 689

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the lookit-the-pretty-colors dept.
TheRaven64 writes "Apple seems to have quietly updated the iPod Photo and iPod Mini lines. The Mini now comes in 4GB and 6GB flavours, priced at $199 and $249 respectively. The iPod Photo now comes in a 30GB flavour for $349 - only $50 more than the 20GB iPod with a mono screen and shorter battery life."
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Apple Updates iPod

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  • So... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:41AM (#11755614)
    How much did this ad cost?

    My company would like to buy an ad on Slashdot's frontpage, too, and we're just wondering. Money? Gifts? Sex?
  • by ejoe_mac (560743) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:44AM (#11755646)
    $100 to $350 in $50 increments. Once you start, you can't stop. "But for $50 more I can get this"
  • iPod Photo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by avalys (221114) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:46AM (#11755671)
    I still have no idea what the purpose of the iPod Photo is. Sure, the better battery life and color screen are nice, but who really cares about carrying their photos around with them for viewing on a 1.5-inch screen? Hell, they could just lug their digital camera with them, and get mostly the same functionality...plus a camera!

    Anyone know what the sales figures are like?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:47AM (#11755690)
    I'm probably in the minority here but I think that the iPod photo is overkill. The iPod is an excellent, simply designed music player. Bolting on photo displaying is a bit pointless. Not only is the screen still too small to be practical, even for "quick viewing", I tend to keep my iPod in my pocket all the time. Colour screens are not necessary.
  • Re:ipod mini.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 50000BTU_barbecue (588132) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:48AM (#11755696) Homepage Journal
    He's paraphrasing our illustrious founder and leader, Taco, who called the iPod lame a while back... How soon we forget. Oh well, back to TV.
  • by Synesthesiatic (679680) * on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:48AM (#11755703) Homepage
    It seems to be the iPod way these days, but part of the price reductions come from fewer pack-in accessories. Apple did the same thing last year with the price cut on the 20 GB 4G.

    iPod minis no longer include an AC charger, and the iPod photos no longer include a dock, carrying case, or AV cable. Apparently they'll have USB host support with an accessory though, and you'll be able to download and view photos right from your camera.

    But most shocking of all to the "faithful" is the lack of a firewire cable with any iPod. It's optional across the board. Apple sold Macs with USB 1 and Firewire very recently, so they're essentially screwing over their fans. There's already a petition [petitiononline.com] to but the cable back in the box. And you don't want to piss of a Mac fanatic!

    I'm kinda disappointed with the lack of Bluetooth, though. It'd be nice to have the music pause when a call comes in on my T616, and maybe allow the headphones to double as a headset. iTunes already pauses the music for me courtesy of Salling Clicker.

  • by tdhillman (839276) * on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:49AM (#11755714)
    In years of watching Apple make moves, this one seems to be one of the most insightful in terms of keeping marketshare. Although the competitors do not have the "cool" factor of the iPod, for once Apple seems fully aware that the competition is there, and they can not get by by merely producing superior technology.

    This time, they have realized that in order to keep this technology at the center of the business model, they must continue to innovate.

    With storage devices becoming smaller and smaller, they must continue to breakthrough with the bleeding edge technology. The iPod technology is simple enough that staying on the bleeding edge makes perfect sense. I sense that they've got this one nailed and are not letting go.
  • Re:iPod Photo (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:53AM (#11755747)
    The point is that you ALWAYS have your iPod with you, and most people don't carry a camera all the time. You carry the camera when you want to take pictures, but it's fun to always have your photos available for playback. Is it a killer feature? No. Is it nice to have? Definitely. Especially since it doesn't get in the way of the music playback, which is what you spend the money for.

    iPod Photo also has TV-out, so that's an option if you hate the small screen. And the color screen is also used for album art, to enhance your music experience.
  • Re:I knew it... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bombadillo (706765) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:55AM (#11755765)
    Looks like they are phasing out their monocrhome models. Judging by their choice to drop the 40GB B/W and their pricing scheme of a color model now being only $50 dollars more than the 20GB B/W
  • by bluk (791364) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:58AM (#11755806)
    Probably never considering that PDAs aren't a hot market any more. Even Sony is getting out of them. [com.com] You should see more multi-function phones merge with iTunes/iPod features like the Motorola deals.
  • Disk compression (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cosjef (247890) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:59AM (#11755816)
    Why has nobody come up with disc compression software for the Ipod? Methinks that would be a huge benefit to the iPod legions.
  • Re:iPod Photo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bobdinkel (530885) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @11:59AM (#11755820)

    I personally don't care about slideshows and such. But I really like that the album cover can be displayed while the song is playing. It may seem like a very small thing, but to someone as anal about their music collection as I am, this is very appealing.

    That being said, it ain't appealing enough for me to drop $449 to upgrade my iPod.

    My guess is that this is just an intermediate step towards some greater functionality. Like video or broader PDA functionality.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ChuckSchwab (813568) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:00PM (#11755823) Journal
    That was not a troll. He makes a valid point. Today's story seemed to be more of an advertisement than a true story. What's next? "Dell offering great deals on new PC's that you can't find anywhere else!"
  • Re:But no... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:04PM (#11755865)
    yes Linux can be hacked into anything including a can of baked beans and a cup of coffee. Doesn't mean it should be there though.

  • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by isotpist (857411) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:07PM (#11755896)
    Sort of, except that Apple makes trendsetting hardware and many geeks do care about what apple is elling even if they eventually choose to buy something else.

    Nobody cares about dell announcements because they just bolt together commodity hardware. You buy Apple cause you want to, you buy Dell when they give you the best deal on something you could get from a variety of sources.
  • by Mournblade (72705) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:08PM (#11755910) Homepage
    "But most shocking of all to the "faithful" is the lack of a firewire cable with any iPod."

    According to the "full comparison chart" on the store webpage, that's not true - the 20GB mono and the 20GB U2 editions still ship with a Firewire cable. I don't get why they leave it out of the bundle for the Photo iPods, though. Doesn't seem to make sense.
  • CF Slot (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <[jason.nash] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:12PM (#11755953)
    If they'd put a CF slot in the iPod Photo I'd buy one today. That's a perfect setup. Let me carry my iPod, that I'll have anyway, with me on vacation instead of a notebook to dump pictures.
  • by kenthorvath (225950) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:20PM (#11756043)
    Why has nobody come up with disc compression software for the Ipod? Methinks that would be a huge benefit to the iPod legions.

    It's built into the file format: mp3, et al. Kinda hard to compress it further.

  • What the?... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by parvenu74 (310712) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:21PM (#11756049)
    Maybe there is something about drinking the Linux koolaid that I don't understand, but why the hell would you take a 100% functional iPod and load linux on it just to yield a device with "playback capabilities [that] are far from perfect"???

    According to the link, CBR MP3 plays the best on the linux iPod, but there is still skipping; VBR MP3 plays at the wrong speeds; AAC support is horrid. So you take a music player, add linux, and are thrilled that you have defeatured the device by 80%... and this is supposed to make sense???

    Why don't you linux freaks do something *really* creative like hacking your car's computer and loading linux on it? Sure, "driving capabilities will be far from perfect" but stalling every two miles is worth being the first linux communist on your block to have a linux powered Chevy, right?
  • by g0at (135364) <ben.zygoat@ca> on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:21PM (#11756064) Homepage Journal
    Interesting; it looks like there is still no resolution of the clicker volume spontaneously resetting to default [apple.com] bug that has plagued the 20GB Click Wheel iPod since I bought mine last summer. Bummer.

    -b
  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mo^ (150717) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:28PM (#11756153)
    I have solved the "crap articles" on slashdot problem.

    Seeing as one mans meat is anothers poison, and whats good for peter isnt necessarily good for paul (enough cliches for now) i have developped a device called:

    "Self controlled screening technique"

    Basically I look at the conveniently provided summary and using my own personal interest as a guage, I decide whther or not to click on it and read further.

    Miracualously I have no problems with articles that I don't like polluting my vision.

    I have also adapted this for other entertainment and news media such as the television.

    Like Slashdot, this technique is free so I can use it how I like, meaning the /. crew can post what they like without us crossing paths.

    If anyone wants more info on employing my methods in their own workplace you can get in touch with me at quit.whining@thepoweroftheobvious.com
  • by zioncity (862007) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:29PM (#11756165)
    Apple is finally getting a clue on making things more affordable... First the main intro of the Mac Mini, next the shuffle starting at $99 and now their flagship mp3 players have all gotten a serious discount. I mean a 30gig iPod photo is now much more attractive at $349 as for 30 gigs is plenty for music and photos and file storage for most. The 599 price for the top of the line model was a joke, but taking $150 off the price tag is a smart move. I think Apple is staring to grow a better smarter brain and is taking a more aggressive approach at putting out cost conscious products and still keeping that legendary ease of use and stability of their computers. I bet over time the Mini will get nice speed boosts and get cheaper,.. slightly and their top of the line models will get a discount.. not huge, but good like 500. This will increase marketshare and will open up a potenially new market if it does for Mac Tech folks, like myself who are far and few between. Fingers crossed baby for a world with less spyware and adbots and rootkit worries. Do not get me wrong... there are many apps written for Windows that are very cool, but has anyone noticed that tons of mainstream and other apps are coming out for OS X... time will tell. :)
  • by tgibbs (83782) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:32PM (#11756211)
    I'm probably in the minority here but I think that the iPod photo is overkill. The iPod is an excellent, simply designed music player. Bolting on photo displaying is a bit pointless. Not only is the screen still too small to be practical, even for "quick viewing", I tend to keep my iPod in my pocket all the time. Colour screens are not necessary.

    I'm hoping that eventually Apple will port Keynote to the iPod photo (yes, I know that you can make a slideshow and port that, but I mean native Keynote files with all effects). Every academic will want one, just to be able to to carry his lectures in his pocket, without lugging around a laptop or dealing with the potential complications of running a presentation on somebody else's computer.
  • by johnpaul191 (240105) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:37PM (#11756259) Homepage
    belkin makes a card reader that pops onto your ipod to dump pictures to, and in March Apple will have a $29 (US) accessory that will allow you to connect your ipod to your camera via USB and suck down the images.
  • Re:What the?... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Laxitive (10360) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:49PM (#11756399) Journal

    It's interesting because for some of us, the ability to tinker offers possibilities that might be more compelling than the original capabilities of the device.

    I have an ipod mini.. which I might like Linux on (not sure if it works on minis yet though). Why? I dunno, because then I can explore ideas about what I can do with a little device with 5 buttons and a scroll wheel. I can imagine little ways in which I can tweak it to suit MY tastes, and not apple's decision about common denominator tastes.

    Not to knock Apple's UI for the ipod or anything: it's a very nice interface - but the idea of being able to tweak it for my own purposes is very exciting. It's a tinkerer thing. It doesn't have to be useful to the general population - it only has to be useful to me.

    -Laxitive
  • Re:Sucks (Score:2, Insightful)

    by foo12 (585116) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:58PM (#11756525)
    Lack of an AC adapter is not such a big deal: iPods charge over Firewire or USB2 at the same rate they do from an AC adapter. I bought my 3G iPod the day they were released, and have only used the AC adapter once or twice. I don't think you'll be missing it much.
  • by adsl (595429) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @12:59PM (#11756534)
    What usability am I sacrificing by buying a Rio Carbon instead of an iPod? To each his own, but what features am I missing? By the way I also get a 24 hours battery life, which iPods can only dream of. Again we all make our own preferences, but I do not see what functionality I am missing and I get a better price and better battery life.
  • by klubar (591384) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @01:06PM (#11756624) Homepage
    I'm not sure I would define a product that doesn't come with a keyboard, mouse or screen as "complete". Perhaps if all you want to do is admire your $449 white brick, the mac mini is complete.
  • Re:What the?... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by damiam (409504) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @01:32PM (#11756908)
    You don't "defeature" the iPod by loading Linux onto it. The default setting is to dual-boot with the Apple firmware; if you set the Apple firmware as default then iPod behaves exactly like it would without Linux (unless you choose to reset and boot into Linux).

    At the moment, playback isn't really reliable. That's being worked on, and it's quite possible that in a few months MP3 playback will work as well as it does under the Apple firmware. Once that's done, other formats can be added (Vorbis is theoretically doable on the iPod, the decoder just needs optimization). No, iPod Linux isn't a replacement for the Apple firmware just yet, but it certainly has potential.

    In the meantime, Linux on the iPod allows you to run non-music applications as well. There are quite a few games available - everything from tetris to chess. People are working on PDA-type apps, as well as useful stuff like a metronome or guitar tuner.

    In addition, you can unlock features like microphone and stereo line-in recording that aren't available in the Apple firmware. If all you want your iPod to do is play music, then iPod Linux probably isn't for you. But there are a whole lot of legitimate uses that people might have.

  • by J-Doggqx (809697) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @01:58PM (#11757223)
    OK, I'll bite.

    The reason I got an iPod over the iRiver and the others you mentioned is because it doesn't have a voice recording feature. You see I can't have recording devices or cameras in my office and that is where I was planning on using my music player the most. So the iPod was (almost) the only choice I had. I love it though and have got my whole family hooked on the idea of getting one.

    (But don't even ask how screwed I am when it comes to cell phones.)

  • by Jtheletter (686279) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @02:25PM (#11757522)
    I'm an Applelitist. My slogan is: Think different, swine

    I'm a pedantic grammar elitist. Your slogan should be: Think differently, swine.

    Seriously though, who let that marketing campaign get through editing?

  • by davesag (140186) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @02:41PM (#11757709) Homepage
    what really spooks me about the iPod photo, to the point that it puts me off getting one, is that you use iTunes, not iPhoto to transfer the photos. Doesn't this just scream "it's a hack until they roll out a new iPhoto." well they did roll out a new iPhoto but lo - no support for synching your photo lib at all. I mean even if they'd done it with iSync that would have been acceptable (and if so, iSync should sync with your iTunes lib too just for orthoganality's sake). But to make you sync your photos with iTunes smells of piss and shatters the whole user illusion in so many ways. Whoever's decision that was should be ashamed.
  • Re:CF Slot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alphakappa (687189) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @02:43PM (#11757735) Homepage
    Except for the fact that many people use SD/XD/Memory stick etc instead of CF. Hard to satisfy everyone. Also, it would take up a significant chunk of pod real estate - things are already quite packed in there.
  • READ ME MODS! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @05:52PM (#11759773)
    I can't tell you how fucking sick these mods make me. They mark everything down they want to, not caring to be unbiased and "for the community". Each little incremental story about "Apple releases new software update 2.13.4.3.129b9!" Everyone comes out of the woodwork and says "Apple is the greatest, iPod is the greatest, Steve Jobs is the greatest, OSX is the greatest!" and they all sit around in a circle jerk. All the people that praise Apple and anything having to do with how good they are gets +5 Informative, Interesting or even Funny if the mod only slightly chuckles. Anything else like the iRiver or any reasonable competitor is marked as a phony faker just trying to horn in on Apple's "deserved marketshare". Are you Apple fanbois trying to give Apple a monopoly on the portable music market?

    These mods and their shitty elitist behavior make me so sick, but rather than leaving as they'd prefer me to do, I'm telling them right to their fat Apple faces that they are biased, overcharged, brainwashed idiots. So you go ahead, mark me down as Troll, Offtopic or whatever, it won't diminish me, it'll only diminish you.
  • Re:iPod Photo (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Calroth (310516) on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @08:14PM (#11761118)
    I still have no idea what the purpose of the iPod Photo is...

    The iPod Photo is not about photos. Repeat after me: The iPod Photo is not about photos.

    OK, so that was an overly confrontational way to start a post. But let's plow on.

    The iPod Photo is about Apple transitioning the iPod series to colour screens. Notice how the only black-and-white iPod remaining is the 20GB model - everything else is colour. Mark my words, the next time we get a refresh, it'll be a 20GB iPod Photo, and the black-and-white version will be gone.

    If you're going to move the iPod series to colour screens, you want to make sure that they've got a distinctive name, to differentiate them from the standard - you can't just call them iPod. The obvious name is "iPod Color". But why stop there? "iPod Photo" is even better.

    I think that Apple has reached the limit of hard drives - most people don't need 60GB for music storage. So I think that in the future, instead of increased hard drive space, they'll push the limits on size... by transitioning everybody to the iPod mini form-factor. You'll get a 10GB iPod mini, then a 20GB. And at some point, those will come in colour too.
  • Re:ipod mini.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2005 @10:28PM (#11762063)
    I just want to know who the HELL modded this insightful?!

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