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Behind The Development Of The iPod nano 502

Posted by Zonk
from the teeny-tiny-product dept.
bonch writes "A Time Magazine article on the behind-the-scenes development of the iPod nano reveals that development work began just nine months ago, when the iPod mini was still a top-seller. Every internal component was redesigned and packed into every millimeter of the space inside. Famed Apple designer Jonathan Ives spent months on the tiniest of details, like the laser-etching of the logo and the roughness of the clickwheel compared to the smoothness of the rest of the exterior. 'I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'"
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Behind The Development Of The iPod nano

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  • by Knight Thrasher (766792) * on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:49PM (#13551894) Journal
    Incoming "My Preciousss!" jokes!

    At any rate, my bet is that Apple didn't run their prototypes over with cars. Or did they??

  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:50PM (#13551911) Homepage Journal
    WHAM! WHAM! WHAM!

    "It's still not slim enough, give me the BFH.

  • by dreold (827386)
    ... wouldn't it be cooler if there was a conceptual innovation offered rather than only a smaller mousetrap? The iPod concept is about 5 years old by now. The iTMS is not exactly the only kid on the block (even though its market share is).

    What is the next BIG thing?

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:02PM (#13552011) Journal
      What is the next BIG thing?

      Music worth listening to? Live organ donor transplants? Politicians that tell the truth? Apple users who aren't demented little toads?

      • by ackthpt (218170) *
        Music worth listening to?

        Funny that. I bought a car stereo about 4 years ago which specifically could play MP3 CDs, but also had satellite radio. I've heard so much music on the various channels I've developed a broader taste and acquired a greater affinity for swing, in particular Louis Jordan, whom I'd never heard before in my life (quite a job it seems missing so large a catalog, too.)

        Oddly, in those 4 years I've yet to burn an MP3 CD. When I'm out and about, driving, I've got more than an iPod of

    • I am not a super fan of the iPod and yes it is now an old thing;
          MY iPod is a Gen 1 I swapped some parts for and put a new battery in. I am not one to buy the latest gee whiz when it comes out...but...have you actually HELD this thing? I went to a local Apple franchiser and picked one up. Not look at, not see commercial, not read review...picked one up. That is all it took. I want one.
    • iMac mini server system media edition. Something with a built-in wireless AP, broadband connector, and separate dumb wireless set-top box to make your HDTV a terminal with wireless keyboard and mouse. Also include software to access the mini-server anywhere in the house, and as many laptops as necessary and there you go. The fully media-encompassed house.

      Or better yet, iBook mini's that are ultra-thin, flash-storage only laptops designed to work primarily with a server, or host computer like the iMac min
  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sH4RD (749216)
    "'I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'"

    Then why do they matter? As long as my product works, and works well, and I notice the quality, shouldn't that be enough? Why should the product cost more money simply because someone labored over it to add features I will never notice? I don't buy a product because the developer decided to make it "precious" b
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tkdog (889567) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:00PM (#13551998) Journal
      Because you notice the gestalt effect of all the little features that you don't notice individually.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by chill (34294)
      You would notice many of them if they were missing. The overall affect of the product would be diminished. Attention to all those details is what will make an "average" product "good" and a "good" product "great".

        -Charles
    • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mstroeck (411799)
      "I don't buy a product because the developer decided to make it "precious" by worring about it too much."

      Which is why you are not head of industrial design at Apple -- or anywhere else, probably ;-) Incredible attention to detail is a common trait of many successful people, especially those in art and design. It may not be obvious, but there _is_ a reason why people who normally don't give a rat's ass about electronic gadgets are going crazy over iPods. Their design pushes many people's buttons just the ri
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:54PM (#13551939)
    I know you're not going to consciously find these details particularly appealing," says Ives, 'but I think it's the fact that we've worried about all of them that makes the product so precious.'

    "At which point in the interview, Ives, began sandpapering his own fingerprints from his fingers in order to leave no smudges on The Precious."

  • It's IVE, not IVES (Score:5, Informative)

    by aixou (756713) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:57PM (#13551964)
    The name is Jonathan Ive, without an "s". Sheesh. It's even spelled correctly in the article. ::sigh::
  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:57PM (#13551965)
  • by Comatose51 (687974) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:58PM (#13551977) Homepage
    The Nano is thinner than a pencil and lighter than two bucks in quarters.

    In addition to Libraries of Congress and football fields, today we add two need units of measurement: "pencil width" and "bucks in quarters". Alas, Google has yet to enter the new units into the search engine as this search [google.com] produced no useful results. But just you wait! Apple has always been a trendsetter. Soon all the models will be listing their measurements in terms of pencils and weight in terms of bucks in quarters!

    • This isn't unabashed bullshit, it's a comparison to the crap you might drag around in your pocket.
      • This isn't unabashed bullshit, it's a comparison to the crap you might drag around in your pocket.

        I'm good with the "weight=8 quarters" (approx. 1 3/5 oz), but the "thick as a pencil" thing is kinda half-assed. Since it's effectively round, you don't really feel a pencil's thickness, but rather its diameter. "Pencil-thick" gets the measurement across, but doesn't really give one a feel for it. Not like the cornerstone of comparative measurement, the Pack of Cigarettes.

    • by badboy_tw2002 (524611) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:13PM (#13552131)
      I don't really think pencil-width and quarters fall into the same category as LoCs. Football fields don't either for the American public. It provides an easier to experience metric than 1.1 centimeters and 4.3 ounces. I could conceivably take out 8 quarters and a pencil and get an instant idea of how thick and heavy the iPod is.

      The LoC measurement is silly because I have as much reference to what a LoC is in data as I do to what they're comparing it to. They might as well say "Dat der thingamajig is HUUUUUGE!"
      • So how about "weighs about the same as an apple*, and is about the thickness of your little finger".

        * Fruit, not stock certificate.
      • Football fields is a terrible unit of measure as I have no damn idea how big the stupid things are (yes, I'm an American, but I just don't give a shit about sports). I know the stadiums tend to be huge, but the field itself is a few hundred yards or so isn't it? Considering it's already a measured entity, why not just refer to the actual (or rounded) measurement.
      • by cowscows (103644) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:37PM (#13552319) Journal
        Yeah LoC's are really just thrown out there to impress us, not to actually convey any meaningful information. Perhaps they should tell us how many atoms thick ipod nano is. Since I don't have an innate understanding of the size of an atom, that number will just bewilder me. Although since atoms are quite tiny, the number would seem rather large. So instead of the actual number of atoms, they should give a percentage compared to the number of atoms thick that a Toyota 4 runner is. Throw in some scientific notation, and I'll be so impressed that I'll go buy four of them. I have no idea what I'm talking about right now.
    • by Humorously_Inept (777630) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:42PM (#13552359) Homepage
      I assume that the quarters in question are American, but I'm Canadian. How many Canadian quarters does the new iPod weigh? Google doesn't have this useful conversion measure either!

      I'm not going out of my way to sift through and collect eight American quarters out of my Canadian change!
      • by dtfarmer (548183) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:34PM (#13552817) Homepage
        How many Canadian quarters does the new iPod weigh?

        Well, the exchange rate is .847, so 8 american quarters is $2.36 canadian. Now, $2.36 canadian is obviously 9.44 canadian quarters....

        now I wish I was joking, but reality is actually pretty close to that number right there. The iPod nano is 1.5 ounces, which is around 42.5g. The weight of the statehood quarters is 5.67g (.20 ounces) so the nano is actually the weight of 7.5 quarters (which jives with the statement 'weighs less than 8 quarters.')

        So a quick check of canadian quarters looks like those minted in 1999 and earlier weighed 5.05g and those minted in 2000 and on are 4.4g. So using older pre-y2k quarters it's 8.42 quarters (or less than 9) - and new y2k+ quarters is 9.66 quarters (or less than 10, and pretty close to 9.44, eh?)

        Of course, I really just did all this to amuse myself being that I know you weren't expecting anyone to take your joke seriously...
  • Just so you know... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wtmcgee (113309) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:59PM (#13551980) Homepage
    it's Jonathan Ive [wikipedia.org], not Ives.
  • by sexyrexy (793497) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:00PM (#13551990)
    The great thing about the Nano (from an Apple perspective anyway) is that it hits the price vs. features sweet spot that fills the last gap - anyone who didn't have an iPod before, because the big'uns are too expensive or the Shuffle is too... well, the non-geek is pretty incredulous when told "no, it doesn't have a screen". The Mini's, while selling well, really did overlap the iPod's market, because they were practically the same size - essentially trading price for capacity. That leaves the two on pretty equal standing, whereas the Nano changes the dynamic altogether. The price AND size/weight vs capacity will draw in that previously alienated market who want a fully functional player but not their entire library in their pocket. Bravo Apple!
    • exactly and... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MarcoAtWork (28889)
      ... it also gets the market who wants a flash-based player so it doesn't skip when running: the nano is my first ipod and I basically ordered it 5 minutes after reading the 'how can we destroy it' article here on /.

      I do plan to eventually get a 60gig one at some point, but right now the nano just hits the sweet spot for me in terms of durability, price, size and capacity.
  • I didn't know Jonathan Ive had changed his surname's spelling!
  • by delta_avi_delta (813412) <dave DOT murphy AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:04PM (#13552037)
    That interview just underlines apple's focus isn't on The Next Big Thing, or technological progress, it's something much more attractive to consumers - elegant design.

    They've been very lucky, releasing highly polished articles at just the time when consumers, spoiled by choice, are beginning to use quality of a design as a differentiator betweem almost equal rival products.

    Sometimes they're monomaniacal obsession with elegance causes them to make decisions that seem idiotic from our technical viewpoint (you can't get to the battery on an iPod because they wanted it to look "perfect" with no nasty access doors...) but the public doesn't care.

    Design is the new black.
    • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:14PM (#13552140) Journal
      delta_avi_delta says: Sometimes they're monomaniacal obsession with elegance causes them to make decisions that seem idiotic from our technical viewpoint (you can't get to the battery on an iPod because they wanted it to look "perfect" with no nasty access doors...) but the public doesn't care.

      Actually, the point is that the public does care -- it's those subtle design principles that people respond to. Syd Mead did some work back in the eighties with electronics designed like jewelry; but I don't think that his designs were ever actually built.

      A door that's not there can never break off, can never be opened by rambunctious 8-year-olds (and they'll open anything that is openable, and many things that aren't), can never be lost, jammed, or broken.

      It's quite exciting to see. One is used to seeing that kind of fanatical devotion to quality in the space program, but one sees it in fewer and fewer places these days.

      Thad Beier
    • Don't underestimate design

      How many guys, when given a choice between an average-looking woman, (specifically one that is much less likely to cheat on them or dump them) and a hot saucepot (who'll probably get bored by next month), would honestly choose the former "non-idiotic from our technical viewpoint" option?

      Plain fact: design sells, design is desirable. Design is something tangible, as in "look, my iPod's really slick" where as good technical work is much more passive and less immediate

      .

      • You see to think that design means asthetics.

        It doesn't.

        "Good technical work" is not the opposite of good design.

        BTW, I think the iPod nano and iPod mini are very well designed. I don't think the same about the ones that came before them, despite the fact that they also looked nice.
        • You see to think that design means asthetics. It doesn't.

          I'd mod you up to 5 if it were possible.

          "The Design of Everyday Things" by Donald Norman gives a number of examples of where designers have chosen aesthetics over usability.

          For example, symmetrical doors that don't make clear where they are hinged.... or better, and more commonly, doors with pull handles on both sides, even when one side is meant to be pushed (although I suspect the latter example may be down to lack of thought on the part of
  • Ipods have been around awhile now and this is the first one I'm tempted to get. I've never read much on how accessible they are in linux. Can they just be accessed as a regular harddrive? I noticed in rhythmbox it had an ipod tab, does that functionality have any limitations? Can I slap a live distro on it and boot from it? I'd like to hear from people's experiences outside of using itunes.
    • Re:Ipods and linux (Score:2, Informative)

      by forkazoo (138186)
      Yes, iPods can be accessed as a normal drive. Either HFS or Fat32. The only drawback is that they won't play music that is copied to them normally. You have to use a proper sync utility, or else copy the files manually into an annoying hidden folder in a very funky way. When the songs are synch'd to an iPod, they are given new file names which act as a unique ID, and some metadata files are updated with the playlist info.

      My understanding is that you can boot from an iPod if your system supports booting
    • Re:Ipods and linux (Score:5, Informative)

      by i_should_be_working (720372) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:35PM (#13552308)
      I'm in the same boat as you. After the nano came out I'm considering one for the first time ever. So I borrowed my flatmate's to see how well it does with Linux/Gnome/Rhythmbox.

      Flawlessly.

      As soon as I plugged it in, an ipod shaped icon showed up on the desktop through which I could browse the thing. You can see everything on the ipod just through browing with Nautilus, or whatever your file browser is, but the songs are in some non-sensical folder structure. It's easier to use Rhythmbox. So I Open up Rhythmbox and click on the Ipod icon that had just showed up in the sources list and was able to browse the songs. Copied some songs from the Ipod to my computer by just dragging the song from Rhythmbox to my desktop, which I believe you can't do in itunes.

      This was with Gnome 2.12, Rhythmbox 0.9, Ubuntu Breezy.
  • Nine months ago? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:05PM (#13552051) Journal
    The Mini was a top seller right up until Apple replaced it with the nano.

    I'm pretty impressed with that move, myself. Discontinuing a very successful product just because you have a better one takes more guts than most companies have.

    -jcr
    • No it doesn't. The nano is obviously superior to the product it replaces. Making that decision requires no guts at all.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:30PM (#13552263)
        you have never held a management job, have you?
      • Re:Nine months ago? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by toddestan (632714)
        The Nano has its advantages and disadvantages. The Mini offered more storage at a cheaper price than the Nano, and I consider the Mini with its aluminum shell to be much better constructed than the Nano with the softer plastic scratches really easily. Probably the main issue though is that Apple saw 4 different lines of iPods to be too many.
      • by spoco2 (322835) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @10:26PM (#13553491)
        You really never have held a managerial position, or considered this at all.

        Just because this is superior is no reason to replace a hugely successful product. Most, heck pretty much all, companies would say "Sure, go ahead, WORK on the next gen one, and we'll look to think about releasing it when the current hot model starts to loose some sales fizz".

        Most companies would never do this. Why would you? Why would you invest all the money to tool up and build these things on mass while you've got a product you spent heaps of money on out there recouping its development costs and reaping a tidy profit? Why would you? You wait until you can see you can make more money with the new product.

        Now... this is where Apple is being different... they are looking at the iPod Nano and thinking "You know what, this is going to be even bigger than the iPod and the Mini, probably combined. It's just too sweet a thing to wait on... let's go for it, let's release it now"

        I'm no Mac fanboy by any stretch, don't own any Apple hardware at all, but I can see this as a pretty bold move... and one that will pay handsomly.

        Bring out this before the competition has really had a chance to combat the mini... that's pretty darn smart.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadin@x[ ].net ['oxy' in gap]> on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @01:47AM (#13554500) Homepage Journal
        Huh? Not at all.

        Consider the two options. One, they could have played it safe, stuck with the iPod Mini through Christmas.

        This way they stay right on current expectations for earnings, expenditures, etc. They don't have to sign any new contracts for parts. Their biggest worry is making sure they have enough of the silly things to stock stores in November and December, and providing technical support in January for the clueless. It's safe, it's simple. It's the textbook business case of 'if it ain't broke...'.

        The other option, and the one they took, required them to do several things simultaneously. Firstly, they had to wind down production of the Mini. This means they had to stop buying parts, but assemble all the ones they had already bought or committed to buying. They had to meet all their commitments to stores, but also not leave retailers with big stocks of them (which would almost immediately become unwanted 'clearance items' when the Nano was revealed). That in itself is a big supply chain problem. Shutting down a supply chain can sometimes be as much of an issue as starting one up.

        On top of that, they had to build up an entirely new supply chain, of new components and manufacturing, for this new Nano product. They had to be able to deliver on the initial rush of orders after the announcement, and they have to be able to push them out the door constantly until Christmas, when the next rush occurs. To do this they'll have to sign big agreements with suppliers and manufacturers (which will bankrupt them or nearly so if the product flops), not to mention retailers and distributers. Add to this the fact that the new product isn't as profitable as the old one, and doesn't reuse any existing parts or tooling.

        Oh, and did I mention they have to keep the whole thing under wraps until the big launch date?

        Believe me, for a manager in a big company, that took balls. I can only imagine what would happen if someone tried to do that where I work -- they'd probably have a mutiny.
    • I agree, what an awesome display of guts.

      Steve Jobs is my idol.

      DISCLAIMER: I don't own a single Apple product. :)
  • Apple's Hallmark (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sv-Manowar (772313) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:06PM (#13552054) Homepage Journal
    Attention to detail has been Apple's hallmark on hardware for quite some time now. Anyone who owns a Powerbook, for example will have noticed the ports on the right hand side are arranged in size order, and there are USB ports on both sides. They're just little touches, but they mean a lot in everyday usage. Apple brought the iPod to the mp3 player market, and its design & interface have managed to win out over technically superior players time and time again. The nano is neccessary for Apple to stay one step ahead on having this cool factor that other vendors strive for.
    • How does arranging ports in size order mean a lot in everyday usage? How does it mean anything at all? Would allowing a product to run its own battery down in two days even when off be considered "attention to detail"? How about a product that has no obvious on/off switch (and never actually turns off)?

      Their packaging is nice.
  • by vijayiyer (728590) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:09PM (#13552095)
    Already there are several comments about how "Brand X" player is cheaper, or "Brand Y" player has more features, or "Brand Z" has more capacity. What nobody will accept is that no other player has the same _combination_. Anyone can make a big player cheaply. Or a small player with 128MB of flash. Only this has the capacity, size, and usability combination. If you don't value that, that's fine, but many people are willing to pay for quality.
  • Why complain? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Helios1182 (629010) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:10PM (#13552102)
    People here complain that people are willing to pay more for a stylish product that does the same thing as a cheap product. I can't see how this is any different than any other field.

    I drive a Corolla, my Grandma has a Jaguar S-Type (I think thats the model). They are roughly the same size, they serve exactly the same purpose. Now granted the Jag has better performance, but you are paying a lot for image. Then again people complain about fancy cars, so you can't please everyone no matter what.

    • Re:Why complain? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thomble (642879)

      This is typical Slashdot geekthought. The iPod isn't popular simply because of it's style, or "image." It's popular because it does what it does better than any of its competitors. I own an iRiver H320 20GB OGG/WAV/MP3/WMV player and picture viewer with a crisp LCD and great battery life. I also modded the firmware to play videos. It happens to be up for auction on eBay right now.

      Why, you ask?

      Because the software AND hardware interface on it (and most mp3 players ) are atrocious. The menus are cumbers
  • Steve Jobs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by coop0030 (263345) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:12PM (#13552116) Homepage
    we don't have a 5%-operating-system-market-share glass ceiling," Jobs says. "And look at what's happened. That same innovation, that same engineering, that same talent applied where we don't run up against the fact that Microsoft got this monopoly, and boom! We have 75% market share."


    This makes you wonder what the world would be like if Microsoft played fairly.

    I think it might be for the better, but Apple seems to have a little bit of a monopolistic practice in their sleeves also (not letting any other mp3 devices play with iTunes, and iPods only working on iTunes).
  • Too expensive? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nra1871 (836627) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:12PM (#13552123)
    I really don't get why everyone is saying the nano is too pricey. A 4GB flashdrive goes for $250-300 on Froogle (I'm sure there's some geekier place to check, but whatever). So basically with the nano you pay for the flash memory, and get the music part free. I also see a lot of complaining that the nano is worse than the mini because it doesn't have the same GB/$ ratio. I know it's unnerdy and wrong, but I would rather have the nano, which I can wear on a lanyard, and the durability of the flash over the hard drive. I'm seriously thinking of selling my 3G 20GB and picking one of these up.
    • Re:Too expensive? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RapmasterT (787426) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:56PM (#13552481)
      I also see a lot of complaining that the nano is worse than the mini because it doesn't have the same GB/$ ratio. I know it's unnerdy and wrong, but I would rather have the nano, which I can wear on a lanyard, and the durability of the flash over the hard drive. I'm seriously thinking of selling my 3G 20GB and picking one of these up.
      My personal theory is that the hard drive based models are only even slightly attractive to people whose entire music collection fits on it. If you've got over 40GB of music, why would you want a player that can only hold a large percentage of what you own? You might as well go with a MUCH smaller unit that holds a small percentage. It takes a long freakin time to sort through enough music to fill a 4GB mini, imagine having to do that with 30GB out of a 60GB collection.

      You're just better off with a smaller player that you load up with a weeks worth of listening at a time. Unless of course everything you own fits, then stuff it and go.

  • by stonedonkey (416096) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:18PM (#13552171)
    ...Because it implies an all-new generation of technology, when the truth is that most of its internals are silicon that Apple just hasn't used for its iPods but has been used extensively elsewhere, as Ars Technica noted in their review posted here yesterday. This isn't a bad thing, of course, it's just kind of lazy journalism, IMO.

    From the review [arstechnica.com]: "Most of the other components are run of the mill as far as iPods go. The heart of the iPod, the PortalPlayer chip, was upgraded to a slightly newer model (the PP5021C-TDF), the audio codec is the same Wolfson Microprocessor (WM8975G) found in the current generation iPods, a new power management unit by Phillips (CF50607), a batch of 32MB of Samsung SDRAM (534-K9WAG08U1M) replaces the old Hynix chips, and the LCD is of unknown manufacturer but it's a 16-bit color, 176x132 1.5" model."
    • First, it was the the submitter who used the word "completely redesigned" not Ive, Job, or lazy journalist as you claimed.

      Second, even if the words "completely redesigned" was used, with a newer CPU, new PMU, HD replaced by solid-state RAM, new LCD, new casing, new click wheel and new software features, - I would say that statement is not far from the mark!

  • regarding capacity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beebos (564067) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:25PM (#13552230)
    I've heard complaints that the nano is a step backwards in capacity. However, a recent survey showed that the average MP3 player has about 300 songs on it, while the average iPod has 500. So for most people 4 gigs is enough.

    Maybe that survey was reported here. I don't remember, one of the side effects of reading too many web sites in a day.
  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @07:38PM (#13552327)
    Famed Apple designer Jonathan Ives spent months on the tiniest of details, like the laser-etching of the logo and the roughness of the clickwheel compared to the smoothness of the rest of the exterior
    After all this time of wishing I knew who to blame for the clickwheel being such a dirt and filth magnet, now I finally have a name to curse.

    Here's a clue Mr "I design inside an aesthetic bubble", in the real world things people touch with their hands gets DIRTY. If you make it from something that doesn't wipe clean, it stays dirty forever.

  • Lots of comments here are complimenting Apple on the foresight to cancel the Mini and move to the Nano. But really they were just responding to the complaints that came out with their earlier models.

    * Mini: "This thing is barely smaller than a regular iPod, costs almost the same, and still has a hard drive so I can't go jogging with it."

    * Shuffle: "Great, so you shrunk it down and removed the harddrive, but no screen? How am I supposed to use this thing?"

    * Nano: "Ah, perfect. Small enough to fit just about anywhere. Full screen and standard interface. And no harddrive!"

    I wouldn't be surprised that Apple knew of the complaints they would get with the Mini and Shuffle even before their launches, but decided that those were the best that could be implemented at the manufacturing costs they were willing to have. It was all just stepping stones to get to the goal they had preset: Small, fully functional, flash. In short, Nano.

    • Just wait till Apple develops the "Nanite". With this little bugger, you simply swallow a pill that contains the Nanite. Eventually in less then an hour, it will attach itself to your brain.

      To use: simply think of the commands and the music will start playing in your head. Should there be a malfuction in the "stop" command, please use the enclosed gun pre-loaded with one bullet.

      Note: Don't miss. You do not want to miss. For further instructions please call us at our toll free 1-800 number.
  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:07PM (#13553747) Homepage
    DRM, lack of WMA compatiblity, ITMS files can't play on other players, "this here no name plastic player from China is cheaper and plays Ogg and... yadda yadda yadda".

    OK, sit down, shut up and pay attention.

    The overwhelming majority of people who buy iPods and KEEP buying iPods don't care a fat rat's ass about ANY OF THAT. Not one little bit do they care.

    They want something that simply works. They don't care about ITMS DRM. They DO care about the fact that they can get music they want right now for a modest sum. They know they'll get a quality file.

    They buy iPods because the interface is simple and it works well.

    They buy iPods because they are small, sturdy and hold an amzing amount of music.

    The overwhelming majority of the buying public is who Apple is targetting the iPod line to.

    Not you smelly Linux hippies with your handmade machines and having to config it. And then you have to write some shell scripts. Update your RPMs. You have to partition your drives. And patch your kernel. Compile your binaries. Check your version dependencies. Probably do that once or twice.

    Just to install an MP3 player.(and after all that, you STILL don't have more friends!)

    You are not the consumer Apple cares about.

    You have never been the consumer Apple cares abou.

    You will never be the consumer Apple cares about.

    Get over yourself and welcome your new, Jonathan Ive designed overlords!
  • by jonr (1130) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @05:36AM (#13555368) Homepage Journal
    The Ipod family is a proof that design matters. Now if I only could convince my boss that we should write our software the same way. It isn't like industrial designers are paid less than software developers, right?

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