Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Media (Apple) Businesses Media Apple

Rumors of Mini iPods 621

TheKidWho writes "According to Thinksecret: 'Reliable sources inside and outside of Apple have confirmed Apple will announce the new pocket-size iPods in a number of capacities and in various colors, including stripes. Capacities will be 2 and 4GB -- meaning users could store some 400 and 800 songs, respectively. Prices will start at around $100US, Think Secret has learned. It is not known if the new product line will be available immediately after introduction. It is also expected that current iPod models will be revamped to add body colors as well.' With the $99 price tag, it seems these rumored iPods could make big headway in the low end mp3 player market."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Rumors of Mini iPods

Comments Filter:
  • back to their roots (Score:5, Informative)

    by musikit ( 716987 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:38PM (#7797491)
    thank you slashdot for going back to your original roots. RUMORS. now we can use slashdot as a archival of vaporware that never made it to market.
  • Re:You what? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Bryant ( 25344 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:43PM (#7797559) Homepage
    "Introduction" is probably the wrong word; "announcement" would be a better way to put it. Apple, not unusually, often announces products prior to the actual ship date. Sometimes we Apple fanatics (read: frothing fanbois, but we mean well) use "introduction" as synonymous with "announcement."
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:5, Informative)

    by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:43PM (#7797565) Homepage
    Ummm... the iPod already does this. Or are you talking about having this in just a smaller form factor?
  • by TheKidWho ( 705796 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:44PM (#7797582)
    No, 2gb of flash memory is VERY expenisive, that would make the MP3 player cost at least $500 The new miniPods will most likely use the new 1" toshiba platters and have 32mb RAM like the current iPods do to load MP3s to prevent skipping.
  • Re:Brand Dilution (Score:2, Informative)

    by acidrain69 ( 632468 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:46PM (#7797602) Journal
    2-4 gigs? I think not. A gig of flash memory costs more, and this comes with an MP3 player. It's probably still hard drive based. Fewer platters, maybe smaller diameter.

    Kudos to apple if they can actually pull this off. Maybe I will consider buying one of their products now. I don't need to carry around 20 gigs of music anyway, that's excessive. Maybe if I was backpacking across Europe. In normal use, I would never be more than a few days away from my home machine, so I could replenish the music supply when needed.

    And it better have user-accessible batteries. It's funny how people think of Mac as some superior technology, and here is Apple, gouging customers with $99 replacement batteries. Whatever.
  • Re:$99 iPod (Score:5, Informative)

    by evn ( 686927 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:49PM (#7797624)
    The life of the battery is NOT 18 months in all cases. The majority of iPods (many are >2 years old) are still working flawlessly. The manufacturer of the iPod battery claims that the battery should still function after three years of use (or about 500 cycles). YMMV based on the frequency and type of use but so far most 1G iPods are still working so there isn't a reason to suspect this claim is false.

    On occasion you will get a 'dud' something common to all consumer electronics. While it's unfortunate that Apple didn't have a battery replacement/warranty program when those two gentlemen made their movie, that is no longer an issue now. Applecare and battery programs were announces before the ipod's dirty secret domain was even registered.

    Furthermore, if you don't want to pay apple to supply and replace your battery, you can do it yourself - see ipodbattery.com

    Mod down if you must:I know it gets annoying seeing the same old "ipods aren't disposable" posts every day but I'd be upset if someone didn't buy me an iPod for christmas because they saw the parrent post and asusmed it was accurate.
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:53PM (#7797667) Homepage Journal
    Well, the iPod shows up as removable storage. It is either a mac FS or FAT32. And you can dump files into it using third party programs, such as EphPod and PodWerks.

    What you're asking for is already done.

    What ISN'T done, is the ability to manage files by directory: to drag and drop them using your os and "just have it work." This isn't done for several reasons, not the least of which is indexing. Maintaining an index of the ID3 data inside an MP3 file is as important as its name...because it is this metadata that allows you to search by genre, artist, 'star' rating, etc. If you just dragged and dropped the files, you'd either have to a) build this index on disconnect, which could lead to LOTS of trouble, not to mention a lengthy startup time or b) build this index when the files are copied, which means having to attach data to the driver, and gets you no closed to cross platform compatibility than having a uniform application.

    Another reason is to assuade fears that Apple was making a file swapping tool. Apple's software is one way only...copy to the ipod or delete it. You can't copy from it. Therefore, Apple can't be sued for abetting piracy...since all the pirates have to use third party tools, of which there are several good ones for Windows, Linux and OSX.

    All told, the iPod is the best cross platform solution around. Apple just doesn't make a Linux version of its software...and there are TONS of compatible options for Linux users. They've already made your dream come true. And they've just answered essential questions you didn't even think to pose in the process.
  • Re:The Sony Way? (Score:3, Informative)

    by OmniVector ( 569062 ) <s[ ]my homepage ['ee ' in gap]> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:56PM (#7797699) Homepage
    No. Apple tends to have quite a following, so unlike many other companies it has many rumor sites. You don't really see a sonyrumors.com, or dellrumors.com?

    Just off the top of my head i can name:
    thinksecret.com [thinksecret.com]
    spymac.com [spymac.com]
    macrumors.com [macrumors.com]

    and i'm sure there are a lot more. i seriously doubt this is apple using a pr stunt, as these sorts of leaks happen often within apple and apple isn't to happy about it usually.
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:5, Informative)

    by OmniVector ( 569062 ) <s[ ]my homepage ['ee ' in gap]> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @04:59PM (#7797747) Homepage
    sacrificing design to make a (tops) 1 hour chore that you have to do once ever 18-30 months slightly easier is not in my opinion a worthwhile choice. so what if you have to buy the battery for $50 or pay apple $99 to replace it. do you see the other mp3 players offering replacable batteries or battery replacement programs?

    really? i didn't think so either.
  • 400 Songs Nothing (Score:2, Informative)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:01PM (#7797767) Homepage
    I'd just like to point out that if you want, you can fit WAY more than 400 songs onto a 2 gig player. I have ripped a large part of my CD collection into iTunes (I use Windows for what it's worth). They are all in VBR MP3s, and average ~200 kbps acording to Windows XP.

    That said, I have 1286 songs (totaling 2.2 days) and it only occupies about 1.5 gigs. It may seem like nothing compared to a 40 gig iPod, but you can hold a TON of music on a 2 gig player.

  • by xombo ( 628858 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:02PM (#7797780)
    The iPod precaches all the music you're listening to to 32mb of RAM so it plays for about 30 minutes before spinning the hard drive up again. It works fine for all the joggers I know and I've never had a problem with it in my car, with rattles constantly and can't support a CD player without more than 10 seconds of buffer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:04PM (#7797802)

    Linq. [corniceco.com]. Just for the record, I think the $99 might be a bit optimistic, being a rumor and all.

  • 1" Hard Drive? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Alpha_Geek ( 154209 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:05PM (#7797809) Homepage
    When I saw this story it immediately made me think of this story [macrumors.com] from back in November on macrumors.

    This snippet is what I recalled:
    Toshiba plans to expand into 1" hard drives in the future. 1" form factor drives are already being produced by Hitachi at this time.

    Toshiba supplies 1.8" drives for the current iPods. Seems a 1" drive is more likely than solid state memory for the new miniPods.
  • by transient ( 232842 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:07PM (#7797827)
    I know anecdotal evidence isn't worth much, but I thought I should at least mention that my iPod hasn't been affected by my running at all. I've only had it for a few months though.
  • by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:12PM (#7797874) Homepage Journal
    The Ipod hard disc has lasted quite well for my running. I've pulled at least 200 miles with it since May. I got freezes at one point but the last update cleared them up.

    The hard drive in there spins real slow (spindle speed being the major component of shock damage) and it only spins when it's seeking for music. Start a playlist and it'll load 32 meg of your list into memory IMMEDIATELY...and only spin up to add more, which it can usually do in under 10 seconds. This equates to 20-30 seconds of hard disk spin during a 45 minute run.

    Combine that with the one year warranty and an iSkin (with which I've dropped mine a number of times onto concrete from 4 feet, no problems) and you've got the best solution joggers ever had.
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:20PM (#7797967)
    Original request was:
    What I want at least as much as a replacable battery is for the MP3 player to just show up as removeable storage... that way it is easier to have it be cross platform, and the software can simply read and write it like a file system because it is.
    The iPod does indeed show up as removable storage. Nobody said anything about copying an MP3 to it meaning that the MP3 would show up. That would be fairly useless anyway - with the kind of volumes of MP3s et al you store on an hard drive based MP3 player, you need playlists to make it work. Imagine scrolling through 500 MP3s (the average limit on the 2G model, all other iPods will have songs in the thousands) to select the next song to play. Madness!
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:3, Informative)

    by udecker ( 251844 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:21PM (#7797975)
    Several vendors have external batteries (or chargers) for the iPod.

    A quick search gave me two AA powered [adelphia.net] solutions [belkin.com].

    Myself, I just keep mine plugged in in the car [drbott.com] and have 10 hours of charge whenever I leave the car. Easy enough?
  • by TClevenger ( 252206 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:30PM (#7798104)
    To fit the space available, Apple went with a custom-sized Lithium Polymer battery (picture [ipodbattery.com]). These are of a size and shape that you're not going to be able to easily put together with Lithium Ion cells like a standard cellphone battery, so it's going to cost more.

    That said, since a 600mAh Lithium polymer cell phone battery [altwireless.com] costs $34.95, the 850mAh or 1200mAh iPod batteries [ipodbattery.com] aren't a bad deal at $49.00, and Apple will even do the labor and return shipping for $50 more.

  • Re:$99 iPod (Score:5, Informative)

    by Unregistered ( 584479 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:33PM (#7798137)
    Actually, i'm much sicker of seeing all these uninformed ipods are disposable posts.

    A little more info on ipod batteries.
    The batteries cost about $50. That's a damn good deal for a Li-Poly battery. Apple just charges you $50 more for them to replace it for you. If it's not wrth it to you, buy a battery, pop the case off, and replace it. pretty easy. Yes your cell phone battery is cheaper, but that's becasue it's a low-capacity NiMH battery. A similar battery would almosy double the size of the ipod and last about for 30 mins of music.

    Apple can' use a standard battery. Cylinder cells hold little charge and are huge. Apple's custom batteries can be molded to make use of every spare area inside the ipod. I remember people comlaining about how the smaller G2 ipods had a shorter battery life. It if was a standard (which doesnn't exist) battery, it would be a lot worse. And a battery hat neesds to be replaced every 300 charges (whiich is about 3 years for most people; the ones whose batteries are dying must charge it too often) doesn't need a little door. THe case isn't that hard to remove.

    Disclaimer, etc:
    I'm a mac fan. Also i just got my new G5 Sunday and am still getting used to the new keyboard, so sorr about the bad typing.
  • by slithytove ( 73811 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:52PM (#7798392) Homepage
    You can get a 2.2G one by some company called magicstore new off ebay for $180. Since its a standalone product and more of a niche one than an ipod the profit margin is probably considerable. Still it seems too good to be true that I could get an ipod with 2G for $99 anytime real soon. Also- if they used cf sized microdrives I'd hope they'd just use a cf slot so you could expand. Such players exist, but nothing with the looks, interface or sound quality of an ipod.
    Personally I use an ipaq 2215 (sdio/cf/bluetooth/400mhz) as my portable audio/video player (and pda funcs). Now if only there were a bootloader that worked with it and linux I wouldn't feel dirty every time I use it:)
  • Re:Finally! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hawthorne01 ( 575586 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:53PM (#7798400)
    They're hit or miss. The best, IMO, is Macrumors.com [macrumors.coms]. If Arn says it's so, take it to the bank.
  • by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <das@OHNOWHATSTHISdasmegabyte.org> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:56PM (#7798429) Homepage Journal
    Which iPod do you have, Gen 1 or 2, or Gen 3?

    Mine (gen 3 30 gb) USED to do what your describing, occasionally, if I was running on the road with the 'pod in my hand. It never did it on trails or on a cushioned indoor track. The last update (2.1) fixed the problem. Something to think about.

    And it is certainly not too heavy to run with. My friend's wife (who is around 115 lbs) runs with his, but wouldn't do so until he bought her an iSkin. The iSkin, besides protecting the shell from impact, is silicon and really sticky...when you hold it, you can't imagine EVER dropping it. With the newest revision (which has more rear surface area than the old one) I can put the iPod on my dashboard and take corners without it slipping. And before I got the iSkin, I used to use a forearm strap which was really cool...didn't get in my way at all and never skipped.
  • neuros.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by gimpboy ( 34912 ) <john.m.harrold@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @05:57PM (#7798442) Homepage
    the neuros does pretty cheap too [neurosaudio.com] my emph' added:

    The NiMH batteries in the Neuros and the Lithium Ion battery in the Neuros HD are expected to last at least 1 1/2 - 2 years (depending on usage). Only our Neuros technical team can replace the battery for you and, as a result, it is not consumer-serviceable. Our battery replacement policy is as follows.

    Within Warranty (90 days parts, 1 year labor)
    -If within first 90 days of purchase - NO CHARGE
    -Past 90 days, but within 1 year- $7

    Outside of Warranty
    Neuros 128- $8
    Neuros HD- $12

    To have your battery replaced, please send us the Backpack portion of your Neuros in a padded envelope with your name, address, phone number, e-mail (along with a check payable to Neuros Audio) to:

    Neuros Audio
    Attn: Battery Replacement
    1941 N Hawthorne Ave
    Melrose Park, IL 60160

    really? i didn't think so either.

    you're a pretty comprehensive thinker.

  • by ajkst1 ( 630286 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:00PM (#7798466)
    I owned a 1G iPod that had a battery failure. Yeah, it sucked. But the difference is that I abused that little thing and it lived. I also put it through some harsh conditions and it lived. I bought a 3G 10 GB iPod on eBay for $225. Microsoft couldn't do it and not many other companies could because Apple has a loyal fan base. If you ever use an iPod on a daily basis, you'll realize why people continue to buy them. There are also fixes for the battery problem and replacements that are 3rd-party solutions for less than what Apple charges. It's a rechargable battery smaller than a credit card. It's not something you can just go out to the store and pick up. Ask Dell if their new music player has a user-replaceable battery. $5 says it's not. To quote their own website [dell.com] "Fixed rechargeable battery with up to 16 hours battery life." Key word there is FIXED. And if they have a battery problem, they'll have a replacement program.
  • Re:Plain old MP3's? (Score:3, Informative)

    by FueledByRamen ( 581784 ) * <sabretooth@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:00PM (#7798477)
    It does present a standard USB (or firewire) FS interface (FAT32 for the Windows ones, HFS+ for the Mac iPods). I don't know if you can load songs onto it that way directly; you probably will still need a program to update the song DB files, but there are several OSS projects to do so (mostly directed towards Linux, obviously). I'd just use the iTunes software, but if you don't like it for whatever reason, try one of the free (as in GPL, iTunes already being free as in beer) iPod loaders. It takes standard MP3 files (both VBR and CBR encoded, so your lameenc collection should work just fine) and AAC files.
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) <lynxpro@GINSBERGgmail.com minus poet> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:02PM (#7798496)
    "Legitimate charge? Maybe not. But this way, Apple doesn't have to waste its time and money defending itself against the RIAA, whose members are also their business partners in the ITMS venture. It doesn't hurt its users, since we have other options."

    A challenge by the RIAA against the iPod would've never made it to court. The RIAA sued Diamond over the very first portable MP3 player, the Rio. The RIAA lost. That was the case that set the prescident.

  • Re:Batteries? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:05PM (#7798529)
    Oh, okay, we get understand now. You don't want to use the iPod to store and/or transfer data files, which it already does. You want to use it to steal music. Yea, it's not very good for that. You need to use some other software written by hackers.

    Why didn't you just say that you want to steal music right away, and save the confusion?

  • Re:Batteries? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:06PM (#7798544)
    So on vacation, you have 10 hours of total use or you have to invest another $40 and triple the size of your iPod? If the MD with an optical drive can get 40 hours of play time out of a single AA battery, why can't the iPod with it's hard drive get a decent play time?

    I can buy a 4 pack of alkaline batteries for $2, and I've got over 100 hours of playtime on my MD player. When I'm not on vacation, I use NiMH batteries. They cost $2.50 each to replace, not $100 like the iPod, and I carry spares with me, so there's no downtime.

    Your car charger idea also won't work for me. I work downtown, and commute by subway. Including the commute and time at work, I listen to my player for over 10 hours/day, and often go a few days at a time without being in the car.
  • i don't get it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:17PM (#7798632)
    I still don't understand why anybody would want an ipod over an iriver 390t (msrp $199) - see http://www.iriveramerica.com/products/iFP-390T.asp

    iPods are overrated and overpriced - couple that with a hard drive (read: moving parts) and, well, ugh.
  • Small MixUp (Score:3, Informative)

    by rblancarte ( 213492 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:22PM (#7798680) Homepage
    It was SpyMac that announced and had forged VIDEO (not just pictures) of the fake Apple PDA (called the iWalk). Looking at their site [spymac.com]now doesn't turn up much of any news, fake or real.

    This is not to say that ThinkSecret is clear of wrongdoing. They did post about an Apple PDA called the MacMate back in 1999, but obviously that never came to fruition.

  • by jmichaelg ( 148257 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:43PM (#7798852) Journal
    Almost all of Creative's players have removable batteries. [creative.com]

    Notice that the copy even suggests why you would want replaceable batteries as a standard feature - road trips. Also notice that they aren't dinging you for $100, plus shipping, to replace a battery.

    Don't be surprised when Apple finally caves and makes iPod batteries easily replaceable. They'll claim it's a great new feature.

    i didn't think so either.
    Yep, I agree. You didn't think.

  • by teridon ( 139550 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @06:51PM (#7798926) Homepage
    If you are willing to put up with the added bulk, you can add it on to your 3G iPod. The external battery pack [belkin.com] uses 4 AA batteries.
  • Re:Batteries? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @07:03PM (#7799012)
    Dumbass. Music loaded through iTunes can most certainly be transferred to a different computer. If you took 2 seconds to see how the filesystem is set up on the iPod, you'd see that all of the music is stored under a hidden directory that is more than visible when doing a simple `ls` in a terminal window. Furthermore, you can just download TinkerTool for free and see those hidden directories in the Finder. It's not hard.
  • by tkrotchko ( 124118 ) * on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @07:37PM (#7799258) Homepage
    "Apple's software is one way only...copy to the ipod or delete it. You can't copy from it. "

    Apple's software, yes. But XPlay lets you drag and drop music either to or from the iPod; I find its a more elegant solution than iTunes, because it lets you use the pieces you like for downloading, ripping, managing ID3 tags. Then when you connect an iPod, it shows a special music folder that you drag and drop your music.

    And yes music comes off as easily as it goes on.
  • by idiot900 ( 166952 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @08:06PM (#7799452)
    2GB? $100? Made by Apple? I will buy one of these the very second they become available. At that price I won't worry about the battery dying after a couple years, I won't have iPod envy when the new version comes out, I won't cry if I drop it on the floor and break it. A wonderful idea, Apple - I only wonder if they will be able to make enough of them.
  • iPod battery FAQ (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @08:07PM (#7799458)
    (Not in relation to the mini-iPods, as I don't know their specifications, but there seem to be enough idiotic battery posts, so...)

    Q: Is the iPod's battery replacable?

    A: Yes. Apple has an official battery replacement program [apple.com] for $99. You send your iPod in (any model iPod), and Apple will replace the battery for $99.

    Q: Is the iPod's battery user-replaceable?

    A: Yes and no. The iPod's case is not designed to be opened, so, in that repsect, it's not what you would generally refer to as "user-replaceable". But, the case can be opened, and there are several third parties that offer replacement batteries for the iPod, such as iPodBattery.com [ipodbattery.com] (instructions available at that link) and PDASmart, for as low as $49. Some will even do the replacement for you if you send it it.

    Q: What's the deal? Does Apple think the iPod is disposable?

    A: No.

    Q: I heard that the iPod's battery only lasts 18 months, and then you have to buy a new iPod, is that true?

    A: NO! The vast, vast majority of even the earliest iPods, now over two years old, continue to function just fine. Some iPods, however, have had issues with batteries. Lithium ion batteries are only good for 300 to 500 charge/discharge cycles [batteryuniversity.com]. For this reason, certain customers' usage patterns may cause the batteries to degrade, or fail, sooner than others.

    A2: If the battery does fail, and the iPod is no longer under its original one year warranty or $59 AppleCare Protection Plan [apple.com], or any of numerous third party service plans, you don't have to buy a new iPod. You may replace the battery yourself for as little as $49, or have Apple perform the replacement for $99.

    Q: Why didn't Apple use better batteries?

    A: Apple used the best lithium ion battery technology available from leading battery manufacturers. This is the best, most cost effective battery technology available given the requirements of the device. The lithium ion batteries Apple uses are no different than lithium ion batteries used by anyone else. The battery should last most normal users several years.

    Q: Why doesn't Apple make the battery easily replaceable, then? Or use different batteries, like AA?

    A: Because if they did either, the size of the batteries and/or the access panels and mechanisms required to access the battery would make the unit significantly larger than it is, likely by several milimeters in thickness at a minimum, and it may possibly affect other dimensions as well. It was an engineering decision to use an integrated battery; if it were not integrated, the unit would not have the small, sleek form factor that makes it so attractive. Additionally, the iPod's battery is indeed replaceable, as has been discussed above.

    Q: Well, no one else does that!

    A: Wrong. Prime example: Dell's new DJ portable music player uses an integrated, non-user-replaceable lithium ion battery, just like the iPod. Dell also has no plan or program to replace batteries outside of warranty at this time.

    Q: But, Apple only released their battery replacement service because of all the bad publicity from the Neistat brothers' video [ipodsdirtysecret.com].

    Wrong again. Apple released the battery replacement program as early as November 14. ipodsdirtysecret.com was only registered on November 20, and started being heavily publicized on November 21. Additionally, Apple had been planning the battery replacement program for months - these types of service programs don't just happen overnight - before Casey Neistat even had his first contact with Apple. The video campaign had nothing to do with Apple's rollout of the battery replacement program.
  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2003 @09:40PM (#7799984) Homepage Journal
    How do you figure that spindle speed is the major component in shock damage? The great danger of a hard drive is that the heads will crash into the media, which will likely rip the heads off or at least damage them at any speed, or at the very least strip some of the coating off the platters and spread it around the hard drive, causing it to do more damage, and probably knocking the heads out of axial alignment.

    Therefore I should think that the primary thing that would make a drive more susceptible to shock would be the way the arms the heads are attached to are designed; the way they're mounted, their shape, their length, and the material they're made of. The arm can't be very short because the heads have to hold more or less the same angle to the media at different distances from the spindle/the inner cylinder, so this is basically a function of platter diameter and head travel.

  • Even better... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Theaetetus ( 590071 ) <theaetetus.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday December 24, 2003 @11:29AM (#7802697) Homepage Journal
    Additionally, if you install TinkerTool [macupdate.com] and turn on the "show hidden files" option, you'll find a music directory on your iPod that holds all of your audio files. You are then free to copy them off.

    Not that I've used this for ripping from friends' iPods...


  • Re:iPod battery FAQ (Score:3, Informative)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday December 24, 2003 @12:40PM (#7803080)
    If users are complaining about it, it's a flaw. Because the flaw can not be fixed without significant re-engineering, it's fundamental.

    Um, no, not everything that is complained about is a flaw. This issue affects a very, very small portion of iPod owners. The second part of that statement is rendered invalid. Additionally, there is an official program to replace the batteries, if need be, as well as numerous ways to do it yourself. Just because the Neistat brothers couldn't do it means nothing. The instructions are here, with pictures: old [ipodbattery.com], new [ipodbattery.com].

    The vast, vast majority of iPod owners' batteries will last the life of the product. These premature failures are fringe cases. Lithium ion batteries are good for 300 to 500 charge/discharge cycles. If you are a heavy user, i.e., recharging an average of once a day or more, and using the unit daily, AND are always running the unit down to completely dead (a big no-no [batteryuniversity.com] for all lithium ion batteries) you could conceivably be in a situation where your battery has degraded prematurely. But the plain fact of the matter is that almost all first generation iPods, some of which are over two years old, continue to function just fine, and will continue to do so.

    Other manufacturers are doing the same thing: integrating batteries on hard drive-based players specifically for the purpose of reducing the size.

    Apple, your customers are speaking. Are you listening?

    Apple, an extremely small, vocal percentage of your customers are making an issue out of nothing (since there are several reasonable ways to replace the battery, including official ways through Apple itself) - er, wait, some people who don't even own iPods, but just relish in anything negative related to Apple - are you listening?

    Oh, wait...you already [apple.com] did [apple.com].

    (Note: if Apple's rumored new "cheap" iPods have easily accessible user-replaceable batteries, it won't be because of slashdot, the Neistat brothers, or "bad press", because the products have been in development for ages before this ever even came up.)
  • Re:OGG support? (Score:4, Informative)

    by tuxedobob ( 582913 ) <tuxedobobNO@SPAMmac.com> on Wednesday December 24, 2003 @06:08PM (#7804915)
    Oh, forgot to reply to this:

    I thought I read in a post that if you copy music to the iPod as a regualer hard drive, then the iPod won't play it. If that is the case, then it is pretty worthless IMO.

    Okay, here's how it works. The iPod is one drive that works in two different ways. One way is an automatic sync up with iTunes (which you can also do yourself). The other is to use it as a detachable hard drive. The files iTunes puts on your iPod aren't visible when you view it as a hard drive. This makes sense, actually, as it keeps the two uses of it logically separate.

    Now, to copy music back to a computer and be able to play it on your iPod, there are two ways to do it.

    First, is the simple way. Copy the file to your iPod when it's acting as a hard drive. Copy it to the computer in question. Drop it into iTunes (or whatever) and let it copy back to the iPod.

    Second, you can open up the iPod when it's acting as a hard drive, go into the invisible iPod_Control folder, then the Music folder. Next you'll have various folders to choose from. I have F00 - F19. You file will be in one of these folders. Why it spreads your music across 20 folders, I don't know. Maybe it's to try to prevent copying back (but that's a pretty weak scheme for doing so). Maybe it's because the iPod can find a song more easily using some sort of hash (but why not simply access by filename?). Doing it this way, however, you'll notice that all non-alphanumeric and non-period characters have been turned to underscores. I can only assume that's so they can use the same code on the Windows side, which doesn't allow nearly as many characters in filenames as the Mac does.

    (It's interesting to note that each of the folders, F00 - F19, has files running A-Z. It doesn't split up based on first letter, at the very least.)

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"