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New iPod Owner Onslaught Overwhelms iTunes 395

Posted by Zonk
from the drowning-in-white-plastic dept.
Billosaur writes "In the post-Christmas rush to power up and use their new iPods, an onslaught of downloaders brought iTunes to its knees, according to CNN. Monday and Tuesday saw users posting message after message about slow downloads and the iTunes site denying them entry. The heavy traffic was apparently more than the system could bear, what with the large numbers of people receiving iPods and iTunes gift cards. Perhaps Apple was underestimating just how successful they were going to be?"
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New iPod Owner Onslaught Overwhelms iTunes

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  • Re:First Post! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by baryon351 (626717) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:22PM (#17390586)
    Similar here. It'd be easier to count the number of relatives who *didn't* get iPods as christmas presents. That'd be me, my mother, and my two year old nephew. Everyone else closely related that I can think of has a new nano, shuffle or iPod, and they're anywhere from 8 to 71 years old.
  • Re:Apple and iPod... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by fittekuk (1033554) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:44PM (#17390918)
    You know, it goes much beyond simple technical things and DRM. I know at least 4 people who got iPods for Christmas. None of them are technical, and none of them want one of the competing products. For normal (read: not slashdot crowd) people, iPod is the thing to have. It's going to be pretty tough for someone to take a lot of market share away from Apple. My brother is about as anti-computer as you can get. He tolerates it so he can type and read/send email, but only as little as required. He still uses HotMail - I tried showed him GMail, but he is not interested. He knows Hotmail, and does not want to even try something else. Yet, what did he want? An iPod. I personally like iPods, but I did mention some other competitors. Doesn't want to even hear about them. iPod period. There are lots of people like him. iPods are "cool" - normal people don't want the others. If they bought one, their friends would say "What is that thing? Why didn't you get an iPod?"... Right or wrong, it happens.
  • Re:Apple and iPod... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by System.out.println() (755533) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:49PM (#17390988) Journal
    If money's a factor, you can always go the route I did - go to the Apple Store online and look in their refurb section. Everything on there is backed by the same warranty as the new stuff. They used to have (and may still have) first gen (black/white) 2Gb nanos for $99, for example.

    For Christmas I got a refurb'd 60GB iPod video. I'd told my parents that I had no need for 80GB, but 30 was too small (they really should stick a 60GB in that $300 hole) and pointed them to Apple's refurb site. Since the 5G 60GB is for all intents and purposes the same as the current generation aside from the capacity, it seemed like a good call.
  • Re:Apple and iPod... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by robert899 (769631) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:57PM (#17391102)
    I recommend the Sandisk m200 series for those who want a mp3 player without all the extra features. I ripped all my cds and created a few playlists and now its all on my 4GB m260 with room to spare. Oh and it runs for 15+ hours on a single AAA battery.
  • by CDarklock (869868) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @02:58PM (#17391110) Homepage Journal
    I'm eyeing the Zune. So far, every single detractor I have heard about it is a software problem. Lot of problems, to be sure, but most of them amount to "not an iPod" or "not what I wish it was". Very few of the complaints are in any way reflective of an inability to do the job: play music and video in a portable format.

    Compare iPod: can't change the battery, case easily scratched, screen not large and bright enough. Those are hardware. Once you have those problems, you have to just get a different player. However, the software is rock-solid.

    So of the two things you could get right, Microsoft chose to focus on the physical device that needs to be shipped and examined and repaired, while Apple chose to focus on the readily copied and distributed software that would otherwise need to be downloaded from the web.

    Overall, I think Zune made the best choices of where to fail. Both sides are failing a little, but the Zune doesn't have any failures that can't be fixed free of charge later on down the line.
  • by heroine (1220) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:15PM (#17391336) Homepage
    The internet was overall extremely slow after XMas, mainly due to Taiwan going
    offline for an earthquake. All the traffic to Asia had to go through the Atlantic cables instead of the Pacific cables.

  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @05:26PM (#17392856) Homepage Journal
    I always hear about the competition, and I don't think that the iPod is all that great, but it is a good system for the average person. iTunes automagically loads CD, and stores them in a DRM free format. iTunes loads music onto the iPod. If you choose to use the store, it is easy to get the music, and will work with the iPod.

    The biggest problem with the competition are two fold. First creative and Sandisk do not have a great reputation. I would never buy a creative again because I lost a $300 investment because of a cheap piece of plastic. I don't know about Sandisk, but they also seem more concerned about price than quality.

    Second, there is a question about online purchased music. When purchasing music, people do seem want a format they can depend on. We have LPs, tapes, and CDs. There are arguable better formats, but the other formats never achieved critical mass. Likewise, the old formats die quickly. We still have cassette tapes, but how many 8-tracks do you see? The LP market is absolutely speciality. The advantange that Apple has is that is recognized the the DRM defined a format, and the format would drive the market. No one is going to buy an LP when all they have is a cassette player. Likewise, the mistake that MS made was to not take the format seriously. They have shot themselves int he foot by changing formats midstream. Who is going to trust them only to end up with useless content in a year?

    So while other music players may be better in certain areas, like playing movies, they are not neccesarily better on the core needs, and importantly do not play the predominate only DRM format.

  • Packaging (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fupeg (653970) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:12PM (#17393316)
    Since I own stock in Apple, I sure hope this was because of tons of iPods being sold and overwhelming demand for ITMS downloads. However, it might have been caused by Apple's change in packaging. When I bought a Nano in October 2005, it came in a cardboard package, approximately the size of two CDs. It needed to be bigger than a CD because it contained a CD -- a CD with iTunes on it. If you buy a Nano or Shuffle (not sure about the video iPod) this year, they come in a clear plastic package that's a rectangular solid similar in size to a soda can. The packaging can be smaller because it does not contain a CD with iTunes on it. Instead, you have to download iTunes from Apple. So maybe that was the cause of the traffic in Christmas morning. Lots of first time iPod owners all trying to download iTunes. That's a 35 MB download, compared to the ~4 MB downloads for most songs on ITMS. Steve Jobs was touting that the smaller packaging was more environmentally friendly (maybe cheaper, too?)
  • Re:Oh goody! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WilliamSChips (793741) <full.infinity@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:24PM (#17393418) Journal
    Actually, Billie Joe Armstrong woke up on USENET when AOL decided to drop Usenet support. There was even a Slashdot article about it. But I'm too lazy to look for it.
  • Re:Apple and iPod... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nulagrithom (998099) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:57PM (#17393654)
    Actually, indie is starting to pull away from CD's, at least the indie that I'm associated with. Some bands are setting their stuff up online for download instead of having CD's made and mailing them out. I remember one of my favorite bands that came through town, The Blakes, talking about choosing between record deals they had on the table for their new CD. In the end they went indie and set up their new CD online through Snocap for $11, $6 of which goes to Snocap. Of course the CD's are available to be ordered, and they can be purchased at shows the Blakes play at, but I imagine this will become more and more the trend as online sales boom and CD stores close, stores which indie bands can't get their record in to anyway.
  • Re:First Post! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:33PM (#17394300)
    I do not know of a single family member or co worker that got an iPod for Christmas.

    Your post was modded as interesting. In theory, my comment should be moderated just as "interesting" as your post as we are sharing the same exact subject and material but with opposite results.

    Let's see if there is a bias in the moderation around here.
    I have a feeling how this will work out because I would not classify one person posting about knowing a bunch of people that got an iPod for Christmas as "interesting".

    Here's one for you. I know of at least 10 people in my family (ages 18-80) that got snow globes for xmas!

    I know tons of people that got iPods this year, +5 interesting
    I do not know anyone that got an iPod [silence...still silence...no moderation)

  • Re:Yes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @09:24PM (#17394526)
    "People" don't deal with digital video on their computers at all. MPEG2 doesn't count since it's universally supported by DVD players, and universally unsupported by portable media players. Flash doesn't count either since it takes a real power user to download and convert it. I'd say that even including microsoft's format (WMV), MPEG4 is by far the most used digital video format since it includes DIVX (used by mini-dvd camcorders and I believe the itunes video store) and XVID (used to encode movies for download).
  • software updates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ElephanTS (624421) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @10:40PM (#17395030)
    I had to fix a family member's Ipod mini on Xmas day and found that the ipod software updates were overwhelmed too. I wonder if many of the new pods were downloading updates too - it was nearly 20Mb I think. Seems like they come through the store now. Got it in the end though.
  • by EERac (873862) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:48AM (#17395750) Homepage

    Obviously it's a bummer to not be able to buy new music for a day, but with DRM, there's more at stake. On Chrismas, I wanted to transfer some songs and videos I already owned to my new iPod, but I was using my powerbook which I hadn't authorized to play the songs. Even though I had the files, iTunes wouldn't put unauthorized content on my new iPod. When I tried to authorize my computer, I couldn't because the iTunes music store was down.

    Even if the iTunes store is too flooded to handle new purchases, Apple has an obligation to keep rights management up and running. It's very disheartening to lose access to content you made the deliberate choice to buy legally.

  • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars.TraegerNO@SPAMgooglemail.com> on Friday December 29, 2006 @05:02AM (#17396758) Journal

    On a related note I encountered family this holiday that got an "iPod" but not the Apple one. It was an off brand of some player that does everything an "iPod" does.
    Was it this [hardmac.com], this [hardmac.com], this [hardmac.com], or this [hardmac.com] "iPod"?

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