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Media (Apple) Media Technology

iPods Becoming Entrenched In Major League Baseball 115

Posted by samzenpus
from the You-can-observe-a-lot-just-by-watching dept.
DreadfulGrape writes "ESPN.com reports on how video iPods are being used increasingly by baseball players to study opponents' game footage. In fact, Houston Astros' pitcher Jason Jennings credits the device with improving his game last summer." Jennings says, "Eventually, more than two-thirds of the roster had piled on and turned this team into baseball's official iSquad. Every player gets his own custom set of videos loaded onto his personal iPod, sorted by date, hitter, pitcher and opponent — and updated every week or so."
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iPods Becoming Entrenched In Major League Baseball

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  • yeah but (Score:2, Funny)

    by battery111 (620778)
    I smell an opportunity for microsoft to tout their "squirt" feature on the zune to try to penetrate this segment.
    • by owlnation (858981)
      Shame the Astros have more tasteful uniforms these days. The brown Zune could have co-ordinated very nicely with some of their 70's uniform disasters.
    • You're out! (Score:2, Funny)

      by Savage650 (654684)

      I smell an opportunity for microsoft to tout their "squirt" feature on the zune to try to penetrate this segment.

      Says the Umpire: You're out! ... Spitballs [wikipedia.org] have been outlawed since 1921.

      • by brunson (91995)
        How much do you want to bet they're all listening to "Centerfield" by Dire Straits?
        • How much do you want to bet they're all listening to "Centerfield" by Dire Straits?
          I think you meant "Centerfield" by John Fogerty.


          How about Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing", "Sultans of Swing" or "Walk of Life"?

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Bega (684994)

      That's just great. Squirt and penetrate in the same sentence.

    • I hope you're kidding. On the Zune, for all media including non-DRMed media, the recipient can't play more than 3 times and the sender cannot send the same media again to the recipient. That's why the wireless feature has been called somewhat useless.
      • Is any baseball team owned by Sony? If so, then they probably will require disabling the squirting of any video's of any of their players...
  • Articles like these are starting to bother me. This is nothing that you couldn't do with any portable media player, yet all we hear from the media is "iPod iPod iPod iPod". It wouldn't matter to me otherwise, but I don't want to see a future where we're fighting both MS and Apple. Airplane seats are already getting iPod connectors instead of generic connectors, and soon Apple is going to release a crippled smartphone that won't run your own software, but is already being hailed in the media as a Nokia ki

    • Usability? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:02AM (#17841642) Homepage Journal
      This is nothing that you couldn't do with any portable media player

      I agree with what much of what you say, and it's probably something that I could do with any portable media player, but, perhaps, Apple's investment in usability is what enables the 'dumb jock' to use portable video.

      Before I got an iPod I had written up a set of perl scripts to manage my music on an Archos MP3 player to a level I felt was convenient. Now I use iTunes. Most folks can't write perl scripts.
      • I'm sure usability is a big selling point, but I'm not sure the difference is that great. Perhaps someone can post about their experiences?

        The article could actually have done just that. It did have one paragraph that mentioned competitors: "In fact, Jones says he has spent the winter demo-ing a portable media player by Archos, with a 4½-inch screen and greater file compatibility." Too bad it left it at that level, though. Unfortunately most people aren't going to read that far and never underst

        • People don't understand the implications of compatibility because they don't have to. Jason Jennings doesn't recode the videos he watches on his iPod and neither do most people who watch videos on theirs. Jason and everyone else just plugs the iPod into the computer and lets it do its thing.

          How on earth the guy can make out anything useful on the iPod's screen, from a downsampled video foibled around with to fit the screen, is beyond me.
      • by bogjobber (880402)
        I know this is slashdot, but I'd be careful calling someone a dumb jock because just because they're a professional athlete. Most baseball players are actually quite capable. I've met Jason Jennings and he is a very intelligent person. Remember that they are watching thousands of hours of video so they can find subtle patterns they can use to exploit against an opponent (or remove from their own game). So, you're probably right that he can't right perl scripts but that hardly makes him stupid.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Joebert (946227)

      yet all we hear from the media is "iPod iPod iPod iPod".

      By any chance, do you have 2 sisters, 3 brothers & a maid ?
    • I give a little credit to this article. They do mention that they are considering a switch away from apple to a completely different brand that actually meets their needs more fully.

      I agree with what you're saying, but I think that this particular market can't be criticized. Since I don't want to be the target of one of these guys binge drinking weekends, I'll be polite in saying this; These guys aren't exactly a discerning market when it comes to technology. They only know about what is advertised, s
    • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:16AM (#17841734) Homepage

      Airplane seats are already getting iPod connectors instead of generic connectors....

      Maybe part of the problem is that the electronics industry still has their foot up their ass, and after 30+ years of portable media devices, there are still no standard connectors. Every device has it's own connector for charging (which is totally unnecessary today - a small connector that provided 5v and 1000 mv would be able to power almost all portable media devices).

      And for the audio output, while most use the 1/8" phono plug, even this is non-standard, with some devices using the 1/16" plug, and phones all using totally different schemes for the four contact points in those plugs - meaningin you can't take a Morotola stereo headset and use it with a Treo and have both earphones work, even though they have the exact same form factor.

      I don't blame the airline industries and auto industries for deciding to support only the iPod. It's kind of a "Hey asshats, if you're going to keep being retarded and uncooperative with eachother, then we will just support this guy who has 75% of the market anyway".

      • I thought iPods can charge over USB? If another company doesn't support USB at all, they're dead anyway. As for video, any portable video player worth buying should support TV:s or monitors, so USB power + composite video or preferably VGA would solve all problems.
        • by swb (14022)
          I'm pretty sure my 3G iPod will not charge on USB, only firewire. Maybe this changed in newer ones, but mine will only charge on firewire.

          (There is a power brick-to-firewire adapter, so it doesn't have to be a firewire port on a computer, but no USB connection will work.)
          • by TobyWong (168498)
            My 4G (grayscale) charges on USB so I would assume all of the newer models do as well.
          • by doce (31638)
            The Video-enabled iPods (gen 5+) will charge over USB and FireWire, but will only sync with a computer over USB.

            The 4G models did both over both.

            The 3G models synced both, charged over FireWire.

            The 1 and 2G models were FireWire only.
        • by skiflyer (716312)
          Mine (5G) charges fine over USB... but it's the oh so uncommon 25pin USB cable... so if they want to provide a USB port, then I can bring my own cable, and we all win. But I think what's happening is they're providing the 25pin "dock" concept where you just push the iPod down onto the 25 pins.... kinda a silly approach since I'm pretty sure apple just started using it at 4G, and like you say, USB would basically cover everyone (Or at least give everyone a standard they can work with)... plus then I can char
          • But if you give them USB ports, then the more clueless of the bunch (eg, the majority) will start asking where the computer is, since you generally only have USB ports attached to a computer.
            • by skiflyer (716312)
              And the more nefarious of the bunch will be secreting away all sorts of information from your connected devices to resell to the spammers!
      • by smoor (961352)
        "(which is totally unnecessary today - a small connector that provided 5v and 1000 mv would be able to power almost all portable media devices)"

        I bet that you could even get away with 5V and 1V if you wired it right...
      • Several people have replied to this comment, so let me play Engineering Nazi.

        It's 5V and 1000mA. 1000mV is simply 1V- that's like saying you have a plug on the plane that has extra prongs for 5V and 1V applications.

        Wanted to clear that up in case anyone was confused by it. We know what the parent meant, but some people replying to the parent certainly did not.

      • by danpsmith (922127)

        I don't blame the airline industries and auto industries for deciding to support only the iPod. It's kind of a "Hey asshats, if you're going to keep being retarded and uncooperative with eachother, then we will just support this guy who has 75% of the market anyway".

        Oh please, like you can't get a RCA out for just about every media player on the market including the iPod. If they didn't wanna be Apple shills they could've easily installed monitors with a set of RCA in ports and made everyone happy. They

    • Saying the iPhone won't run your own software is a bit misleading. It WILL run 3rd party software, just software thats approved by Apple. That doesn't mean it won't run any 3rd party software at all. And for the overwhelming majority of consumers that will be far more than enough considering the high numbers of people with both Palm OS and Windows Mobile based smartphones who NEVER install programs of their own. I have a Treo with many installed programs but whenever I try to tell other Treo owners about th
    • by Moofie (22272)
      OK, Sparky, what does this "generic connector" look like? Here's a hint: There's no such thing. If you want a connector that works with 80% of portable media players, well, that's an iPod dock connector. The rest of the market is so incredibly fragmented that there's no way a "generic connector" would do anybody any good. Never mind the utter lack of software that can interface with Every Media Player Ever.

      "Either Apple starts sticking to industry standards"

      You just tell me what those standards are, an
    • In the world of digital music players, anything apple does is fast becoming the 'industry standard'


      As for what airline, they are a business, and will respond to customer demands. I have an iPod. I'd like airline seats to have iPod connections. It's the number 1 music player. If you can only afford to put one type of connector in your seat, you'd be an idiot not to choose the iPod



    • A-Fucking-Men!
    • Either Apple starts sticking to industry standards or this has to stop.
      lol, aren't these two choices the same?
  • I would imagine that this would be great not only to allow them to study up on opposing players tactics, but also to give them something entertaining to do while they are supposed to be playing baseball.
  • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:00AM (#17841624)
    Queue up a thousand replies saying "Why are they using iPod? The is way better! Get a life, folks. Apple finally has marketshare of something. If the story was about Kleenex, would you complain that Scott Tissue was way better? Jeez.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by fmobus (831767)

      Queue up a thousand replies saying "Why are they using iPod? The is way better! Get a life, folks. Apple finally has marketshare of something. If the story was about Kleenex, would you complain that Scott Tissue was way better? Jeez.

      I guess you meant Cue [wikipedia.org], not queue [wikipedia.org]. Unless you wanted to queue Apple-bashers, but then you would have completely different thing [engadget.com]

      Yours truly,
      Grammar-Nazi Association of America

      • I guess you meant Cue [wikipedia.org], not queue [wikipedia.org]. Unless you wanted to queue Apple-bashers, but then you would have completely different thing [engadget.com]

        With all the thousands of Apple-bashers lining up with the same comment, I mean queue. It's called a pun [wikipedia.org].
    • Amen, bro. When I submitted this article, I knew half the comments would be from iPod bashers, which certainly doesn't indicate any great prescience on my part, but c'mon guys... ESPN writers prolly don't give a damn whether it's an iPod or not. Point of the story was how personal, portable video is improving a team's performance.
    • by mobby_6kl (668092)
      The only way ipods* are useful for baseball players is if they use them instead of baseballs.

      There you go.

      *- I'll capitalize the word properly when they come up with a proper name.
    • "If the story was about Kleenex, would you complain that Scott Tissue was way better?"

      Kleenex [wikipedia.org] and Scott Tissue [wikipedia.org] are both manufactured by the same company, Kimberly-Clark [wikipedia.org]
  • Yes! (Score:4, Funny)

    by travdaddy (527149) <travo@linuxDEGASmail.org minus painter> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:05AM (#17841660)
    Finally a useful application of iPods! What? Baseball? Oh.
  • Because you know, it's not about the spirit of the game or whatever that's supposed to mean.
  • by fang2415 (987165) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:25AM (#17841794) Journal
    I don't see what good a plain old iPod will do them. They won't even be able to connect to the spy satellites.
  • Oh yeah. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:09AM (#17842300) Homepage
    Because when I want to study the nuances of a batters stance or the way a baseman catches a ball and tries to sweep the sliding runner, I want to do it on a screen smaller than an asshole.
    • It wouldn't be the best but for quick refrence prior to the game or heading up to bat it would be convinient.. I guess. I don't even know the rules of baseball and I'm arguing a point, must be slashdot.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:18AM (#17842418) Homepage Journal
    A joint statement has been released by several hundred MLB players in which they profusely apologize to the public, as they've only just learned how tedious baseball is to watch.
  • That way players can "squirt" those steroids we hear about so often.
  • These baseball players can't handle watching this type of footage from a normal computer/dvd player/portable media device?

    So they need to be spoon feed this type of media through a shiney new toy....

    "Hey, watch this footage"
    "No"
    "We'll give you an iPod and let you use it to watch the footage"
    "... oh, ok. Sure."
    • by Paradox (13555)
      Or maybe iPods are small high-capacity video players which are convenient to carry and to populate with video.

      Does "Free iPod!" really sweeten the deal to someone who makes at least half a million dollars a season?
  • Only in baseball can you win 41% and call it a turn around.
    The previous year he won 40%.

    Wow, that's some turn around, ESPECIALLY since he was 16 - 8 four seasons ago.
    • by fgelias (876444)
      win/loss record is a terrible way to judge a pitcher's performance. W's and L's are more a function of the quality of the team behind the pitcher (and the bullpen, etc.), than the pitcher himself. if you look at jason jennings' other, more informative stats (K's/9, WHIP, ERA, etc.), improvement is apparent. whether this was due to the ipod, i agree, is highly dubious.
      • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

        by pin_gween (870994)
        win/loss record is a terrible way to judge a pitcher's performance

        Perhaps, but you won't see any pitchers in the Hall with a 41% win ratio. In fact, only one pitcher (unless the site I looked at [baseball-almanac.com] is incomplete), Rollie Fingers, is below 50%.

        And I REALLY don't think Rollie made it for his 37 or so starts.
  • Since an Astros pitcher is cited and being as I am a long-time Houstonian still longingly awaiting a world series WIN.....I would like to know what they are referring to as an improvement? I mean the Stros got their asses handed to them in the World Series in 2005 but at least they GOT to the World Series. I understand the need to have an edge against an opponent but working as a TEAM might garner a higher return on investment. When I focus on my portable media I tend to zone out of what is going on around
  • Baseball players have been listening to Queen's "We Are the Champions before going to bat. Batting averages across America have increased .1 points to an all time high.
  • Of course the "iPod" icon is appropriate for this story, but isn't the "technology" icon a little vague?

    Wouldn't a better choice be the "baseball" icon? Or at least the "sports" icon?

    What a minute... What am I saying?!?

    -a.d.
  • ...he scratches his balls. Then he spits!

    We've got 'em!

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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