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Rumors of iPod mini, 100 Million Songs, Xserve G5 All True 1318

Steve Jobs announced the oft-rumored iPod mini today in the keynote address at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, a $250 MP3 player with a 4GB hard drive that comes in several colors. Jobs also introduced the Xserve G5 and updates to Xserve RAID, and announced updates to several media applications, and introduced Garage Band, a music-making program and part of iLife. Also previously rumored, and true, is that Pepsi will be giving away 100 million iTunes Music Store songs.
The iPod mini, compared to other similar MP3 players Jobs described, is about half the thickness (half an inch), holds a lot more (most hold 256MB), and costs about $50 more. Jobs noted that most similar MP3 players require additional memory at additional cost, so if you go that route, you may as well just get the iPod mini.

The mini is anodized aluminum and comes in silver, gold, blue, green, and pink. Accessories include a dock and armband. It can be connected to the computer via FireWire 400 or USB 2.0.

Jobs also announced some changes to the existing iPod line, including a bump from 10GB to 15GB for the $300 version, and new in-ear headphones for $40.

The Xserve G5 is, like the previous Xserve, a 1U server. It can hold up to 8GB of ECC DDR 400 memory, and up to 750GB of storage. It includes an unlimited client license for Mac OS X Server 10.3, and comes in three configurations: 2GHz for $3,000, dual 2GHz for $4,000, and cluster node dual 2GHz for $3,000.

The Xserve RAID got a bump, too. The 3U RAID has a 500GB increase in capacity to 3.5TB for $11,000; 1.75TB for $7,500; and 1TB for $6,000. And, it is now certified for use with some versions of Windows and Linux.

Jobs, with the help of recording artist John Mayer, introduced the newest member of the iLife media application family: Garage Band. It is a music instrument and recording tool, that can mix up to 64 tracks, comes with 50 software instruments, over 1,000 professional loops, and 200 effects. It can record live instruments and take input from a USB or MIDI controller. It simulates various modern and vintage amps for guitar playback.

The optional $99 Jam Pack adds 100 more instruments, 2,000 more loops, 15 more amps, and more effects.

iPhoto, the most maligned of the iLife apps for its performance problems, received a much-needed update. It can now handle up to 25,000 photos (instead of mere hundreds), and adds automatic and smart albums (similar to iTunes), ratings of photos, and sharing via Rendezvous. Like iTunes, you apparently can't modify descriptions and titles through sharing, but unlike iTunes, there are no copyright restrictions.

iDVD and iMovie also got updates: better control, new and improved effects, and more. iMovie has exporting directly to your iDisk for use on your home page and importing directly from an iSight camera, and iDVD adds a navigation map and archiving projects for burning on another computer. iDVD also gets higher-quality Pro encoding, with 2 hours per DVD.

iLife, for $49, and the Jam Pack are available starting January 16. There was no indication that any new components of iLife will be available for free download, but iLife will be included with all new Macs.

Final Cut Express was bumped to version 2, and is basically updated to include the features from Final Cut Pro 4. Upgrades are $99.

Microsoft announced Office 2004, an upgrade to Office X. People who purchase Office X now until the spring, when 2004 is released, will be eligible for a free upgrade.

Pepsi's iTunes Music Store giveaway will begin on February 1. Yellow caps noting the 100 million song giveaway will have a 1 in 3 chance of winning.

Jobs also noted that iTunes Music Store has 70% of the market share for online music purchasing; that 50,000 audio books were sold for the quarter; that 500,000 songs are now online, making the store the largest online; and that one person has spent $29,500 on iTunes Music Store. Yes, $29,500.

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Rumors of iPod mini, 100 Million Songs, Xserve G5 All True

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  • Mixed response (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PurdueGraphicsMan ( 722107 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:09PM (#7894598) Homepage Journal
    I watched the keynote and I have to say I was very impressed overall.

    As a digital music creator (who up until now has used a Windows-based PC and Acid Pro) I cannot tell you how excited I was by the demo John Mayer and Steve Jobs gave of GarageBand. From the looks of it (and I know that looks can be deceiving) you can record instruments straight into the computer without a digital interface... and it sounds amazing...I've tried this in the past (recording through the audio-in port) on my PC and have never gotten good results.

    I can't wait to get the new version of iLife.

    However, I was a little dissapointed by the price of the new iPod mini. At $250 (just $50 less than the (now) 15Gb iPod) I can't really see how it's worth it. I'll just pay another $50 and get an iPod that can hold my entire music library. Not sure what they were thinking with that price.

    Though I'm not effected that much by the Xserve G5 or the Xserve Raid for that matter, I was still impressed by their cross-OS compatability.

    • Re:Mixed response (Score:5, Insightful)

      by temporalillusion ( 688393 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:13PM (#7894666)
      I agree, $250 for the new iPod is too much, considering a new 15GB Dell DJ is the same price, and has a much longer battery life. Of course size and sexiness of the iPod mini come into play, but it doesn't seem like a good value.
      • Re:Mixed response (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mancide ( 30030 )
        But the Dell DJ sucks from usability. Blender reviewed all of the current iPod killers (before the mini iPod) and said while some where cheaper (the dell), none of them could compete with the style, user interface, and ease of use of the iPod.

        Also, the iPod is the only player that works with audiobooks.
        • Re:Mixed response (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Oliver Wendell Jones ( 158103 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#7895018)
          Also, the iPod is the only player that works with audiobooks

          Are you sure? I'm reasonably certain that the Otis MP3 player I got free from with my subscription will play MP3s and Audible's proprietary audio book format... come to think of it, Pocket PCs that play MP3 files can also play Audible's audio books...
        • by clifyt ( 11768 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:36PM (#7895134)
          "Also, the iPod is the only player that works with audiobooks."

          Yeah, but ya gotta admit, after listening to 70 hours of War and Peace on an iPod, you'll wish that it didn't work with them...
      • Re:Mixed response (Score:5, Informative)

        by radish ( 98371 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:44PM (#7895243) Homepage
        You can easily get the 20gb Rio Karma for $250 as well - vorbis, flac, 16 hours battery, ethernet, etc etc.
      • Re:Mixed response (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 74nova ( 737399 )

        Of course size and sexiness of the iPod mini come into play, but it doesn't seem like a good value.

        isn't that the case with a lot of apple's stuff?

        i mean i really like our dual g4 here in our office, it does an amazing job with final cut pro. okay, so osx is mad stable and easy to use too, im not saying mac is all beauty and no function. it just seems that i can usually get a cheaper, uglier machine to do almost the same job.

        if you really want the sexiest mp3 machine around, get the iPod mini thing,

    • However, I was a little dissapointed by the price of the new iPod mini. At $250 (just $50 less than the (now) 15Gb iPod) I can't really see how it's worth it. I'll just pay another $50 and get an iPod that can hold my entire music library. Not sure what they were thinking with that price.

      But it has a shiny aluminium case! In colors!
      • Re:Mixed response (Score:5, Interesting)

        by darcybrown ( 597894 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:44PM (#7895241)
        Clearly, that is what will sell it.

        $250 is $50 more than the competition (according to Jobs) and is roughy 10 times the capacity. Yes, for an ADDITIONAL $50, you can get another 11 gigs. If you are in the market for $199 mp3 players and now you are getting a $299 mp3 player from Apple because $50 is worth 4gigs and $50 more is worth another 11, then you are doing exactly what Apple wants.

        So, you don't count.

        The people who do count aren't willing to pay premium price for the iPod because they don't think they need 15gigs of music space (read: non-geek). These people like style. The minis look very cool. For $50 bucks, they might just get it cause it looks cool and it has lots more space... but not too much since they aren't a geek and don't need it.

        They can't justify $299 just for space, but might justify $249 for style. So far, Apple has been able to bring techno lust to the everyday consumer, they might sell them by the gah-zillions.

        2 cents from a proud owner of a phat 40gig.
    • Re:Mixed response (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Agree 100%. I would have been the first in line for a $100 iPod but I see no reason to spend $250 for a mini when the $300 iPod has a 15 gig drive. Everything else that was announced was cool, but the mini left me unimpressed.
    • GarageBand (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dachshund ( 300733 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:18PM (#7894757)
      As a digital music creator (who up until now has used a Windows-based PC and Acid Pro) I cannot tell you how excited I was by the demo John Mayer and Steve Jobs gave of GarageBand. From the looks of it (and I know that looks can be deceiving) you can record instruments straight into the computer without a digital interface... and it sounds amazing...I've tried this in the past (recording through the audio-in port) on my PC and have never gotten good results.

      I'm not sure what the difference is going to be here. If your computer has a bad A/D converter and electronics (and most do, really), then no piece of software is going to make this better. If Macs have sufficiently high quality A/D conversion for this purpose, then you should be able to use any recording software, and I believe there's plenty of it.

      • Re:GarageBand (Score:3, Informative)

        by cmowire ( 254489 )
        The main feature is that it looks to have a speaker simulator. So you can just plug guitar into mac without needing to buy anything extra or be bothered with properly learning how to mic an amp.
      • Re:GarageBand (Score:3, Insightful)

        by znu ( 31198 )
        Well, the G5 has optical digital audio ports on the logic board. If you need analog in that's a bit better than what's included by default, the iMic [] is an affordable option.
      • Re:GarageBand (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jeffery McGrew ( 541937 ) <<gro.nacewesuaceb> <ta> <dnah>> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:47PM (#7895287) Homepage
        "If Macs have sufficiently high quality A/D conversion for this purpose, then you should be able to use any recording software, and I believe there's plenty of it."

        Plenty of it that costs way more than $50 that does the same thing. The closest thing I can find that does decent Amp-modeling and multi-track recording is at least over $100, if not closer to $200 or more. Unless you know of a $50 music recording application that does the same stuff...

        Throw in the fact that it comes with plenty of other neat, helpful applications too, and the whole ilife pack starts to look like a ton of fun...
      • Re:GarageBand (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Moofie ( 22272 ) <`lee' `at' `'> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @05:24PM (#7895861) Homepage
        Yeah, and Apple has never revolutionized a market by bringing industry-leading ease of use to the masses.

        Oh, wait.
    • As a digital music creator, I really want to know

      1. If GarageBand will be able to import my existing projects (DigitalPerformer4.11)

      2. If it will work with my existing hardware (MOTU 828 & 2408)

      3. What bit-rate & sampling frequencies are available (I work at 24/44.1)

      I haven't found the answer to any of these questions at

      However, it's probably too much to expect from a consumer-level audio recording software item, expecially at $49...

    • Re:Mixed response (Score:5, Interesting)

      by the argonaut ( 676260 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:23PM (#7894867) Homepage Journal
      I can't help but agree with the iPod mini - this sounds like a good product with a bad pricing strategy, much like the great but overpriced Cube of yesteryear.

      My prediction is that it will sell OK, but nowhere near spectacular, as once you make the decision to spend $250 for a mp3 player, you might as well add that extra $50 and get the regular iPod and the other 11 gigs of storage. Although, to be fair, if Apple is going after the $199 256 mb flash market, then they're already convincing them to spend an extra $50 - so maybe they're figuring that's the tipping point, as they couldn't be convinced to spend the extra $100 for the low end iPod? Sounds plausible, but it also sounds to me that they're banking on the iPod name to sell these things since now you're also competing at the same price point as the other less elegant but higher capacity HD based players as well. Time will tell, but I'm guessing you'll see the same capacity (or maybe even higher) mini in 6 months for $200.
    • Re:Mixed response (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HoldenCaulfield ( 25660 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:31PM (#7895017) Journal
      You're absolutely right, the iPod mini isn't much cheaper.

      But for me the reduction in size is awesome. (There's a nice comparison pic here [])

      While I like the capacity the regular iPods offer, I'll sacrifice the extra bulk to drop down to a smaller form factor that I have to sync a bit more frequently. The small size is definitely better for those who would like to use it at the gym, and for those of us who just like tiny things. (and before any of you karma-whores go for the cheap joke, I'm not referring to penises with the previous sentence ;)

      The colors, while cute, aren't quite my thing (I'm not big on pastels).
      • Re:Mixed response (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
        The reduction in size is anything but awesome. I believe the word which best describes it is "trivial". Down from 2.4x4.1x0.62 inches to 2.0x3.6x0.5 inches. And it's $50 less for a tenth the storage? This is not impressive. Looks to me like it's designed to sell iPods.

        When the price comes down, I might think about getting one. If it comes down to, say, $150. Otherwise, that's some absolutely terrible price-performance. That drop in size isn't even enough to move it from your pants pocket to your watch poc

    • by Blondie-Wan ( 559212 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:51PM (#7895354) Homepage
      I had the same initial reaction to the pricing of the iPod minis, but after thinking about it (and looking over the competition - I'm posting from CompUSA), I'm not sure it's so bad after all. I just walked over to the MP3 players, and there are scads of flash-based ones that hold only 256 MB and cost from $179.99 to $199.99, along with lower-capacity players ranging from 64 to 128 MB that run from $79.99 to $119.99. There's also a low-end hard drive player, a Rio Nitrus, that holds 1.5 GB and costs $219.99. It probably goes without saying none of them are as nice to use as iPods.

      The iPod minis may not have great price/storage ratios compared to the regular iPods, but compared to these other things they're absolute bargains. If anyone is buying the other players for whatever reason (just not quite enough money to spend a few dozen extra dollars for a regular iPod, or don't need the capacity and would rather have smaller size, whatever), the iPod minis might actually be just what they need.

      I'm told they they just announced an updated version of that Rio Nitrus; it'll hold 4 GB, and sell for $249 - the same as the iPod mini. It appears these two will go head-to-head; I'm curious to see how they do, both against each other and against other players (at both ends of the price and capacity scales)...

      All that said, I personally want to hold out until I can afford the $499 for the 40 GB "regular" iPod, and even if I didn't want that much capacity, I'd still be more inclined to spend the extra $50 to get the 15 GB instead of a 4 GB mini. I can totally see the appeal of the minis, though.

  • by zeux ( 129034 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:09PM (#7894599)
    The XServe G5 will allow to build supercomputers using far more space and will be obviously one of the best solutions around for webservers.

    The iPod is more expensive than what the rumors said but it also has bigger hard drive (4Go/249$ vs 2Go/100$). I think that makes it the best deal by far in its category.

    Then this 'Pepsi' thing... Looks like I'm gonna drink Pepsi instead of Coke soon. And I mean a lot of Pepsi. Definitely a good idea for Pepsi.

    2004 will definitely be Apple's year and I think that's good news because it will bring some change in the IT world.

    Happy new year and no, I'm not a Mac zealot.
    • by 0x00000dcc ( 614432 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @05:39PM (#7896107) Journal
      Then this 'Pepsi' thing... Looks like I'm gonna drink Pepsi instead of Coke soon. And I mean a lot of Pepsi. Definitely a good idea for Pepsi.

      Yeah, but my question is does this just apply to Pepsi or does it also apply to Pepsi- products?

      This could make for an interesting match between the products and their presumable stereotypes:

      Pepsi: Downloadable rock tunes.

      Diet Pepsi: Britteny Spears and Boy Bands.

      Mountain Dew: Speed Metal and rap-metal.

      Sierra Mist: Nothing. No one likes this..

      Slice: Show Tunes and Vaudeville

      And the list goes on ... I anxiously await the flames from the "anti-generalization-and-links-from-certain-types- of-people-to-certain-types-of-drinks-even-if-the-g eneralization-was-made-in-an-attempt-to-be-humour" peeps as well as the now enraged Sierra Mist fans ...

  • 250?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jayratch ( 568850 ) <slashdot AT jayratch DOT com> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:10PM (#7894613) Homepage Journal
    Oh well, I guess I'll be content with the $299 15 gig model.

    At $249 I will not be buying one. This confirms the upsell goal- who would buy 1/4 the capacity of a regular ipod for only $50 less?
    • Re:250?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by zeux ( 129034 ) *
      Think about the size of it. No comparison with the other iPod.

      Ddepends on what you need.
    • Re:250?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zaren ( 204877 ) <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:21PM (#7894821) Homepage Journal
      who would buy 1/4 the capacity of a regular ipod for only $50 less?

      The person that was going to buy that 256 meg Rio doodad for $199, perhaps...
      • Re:250?!? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bloggins02 ( 468782 )
        I concur, I watched the Keynote, and Jobs made it clear that they were targeting the $100-$200+ flash market with the iPod mini. They aren't targeting the Dell DJ et al (that's what the regular iPod is supposed to be doing). In a nutshell, Apple isn't targeting the market that asks "why spend $249 for x when I can spend $50 more for y," they are targetting the one that asks "why spend $199 for x when I can spend $50 more for y," and I think it will work if the marketing is targeted correctly.

        And don't f

    • (Physical) Size (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gorimek ( 61128 )
      The selling argument is that it's almost half the size and weight []. That turns it into something I would seriously consider getting, while the old iPod really is too big for me to bother, almost regardless of price.

      To a lot of people 4GB is more space than they can ever want to fill up with music they want to hear, so it doesn't really matter if they have 2GB or 13BG too much.
  • by dlevitan ( 132062 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#7894622)
    Personally, I'm really dissapointed with the mini ipod. The only thing that's selling it right now is its size (and the colors, I guess). I was ready to buy a $150 ipod that had 2GB of storage. But $250 is too much for me. If I'm planning to spend $250, I'd rather spend $300 and buy a full 15 GB ipod. It's only $50 more, and you get almost 4 times the storage. I don't think apple will get many new customers with this, and i hope they introduce a $150 model very soon, because that would be a hit, while I doubt this one will be very successful.
    • Initially I thought the price was too high, too.

      But then I realized that they'll probably sell a lot of them at the $250 price point just because of size & color. Runners & fashion junkies will be all over them.

      And they can move "down market" with the product. I don't see Apple increasing the size of the hard drives in this product too much -- if they do it starts to bump into the capacities of the existing iPod product line.

      Rather, I see the price dropping with each successive update cycle. If t
    • Before I hung around Hong Kong and Singapore, I would have agreed with you. After seeing all the people packed into their mass transit systems wearing tiny memory based mp3 players hanging off of their necks, this sorta thing is going to be a big seller there. The only way it could sell better there is to integrate it with bluetooth and allow it to be a mobile phone headset. Then it would own that market like you wouldn't believe.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#7894630)
    They updated the classic 1984 commercial for it's 20th anniversary. The girl is now wearing iPod... :) ml

    And that makes me wonder what new stuff Apple will introduce on January 24th...
  • by lamz ( 60321 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:11PM (#7894635) Homepage Journal
    Note that it's not "Garage Band" but "GarageBand". (Straight from Apple's InterCapitalizationNounFactory.)
  • Don't Steal Photos.
  • by Neophytus ( 642863 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:12PM (#7894652)
    The mini (4GB) version is $249 [], that is $62 per GB. On the other hand the 15GB 'big brother' iPod is $299 [], a mere $20 per GB. That makes the final 11 GB on the 15GB model a bargain at only $50: less than the cost of ONE iPMini GB.

    Of course, Apple uses what is pretty much a 1/.8 rather than a 1/0.55 exchange rate for the UK market, so I'm scammed either way ;)

    Also, has anyone got a URL for a video of the full keynote like the one for where he announced the G5s?
  • by Hawthorne01 ( 575586 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:12PM (#7894654)
    Steve himself announced it was going to happen when iTunes Music Store was originally rolled out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:13PM (#7894675)
    [I]one person has spent $29,500 on iTunes Music Store. Yes, $29,500.[/I]

    $10,500 more and he'll fill up his 40GB iPod.

  • by lotsofno ( 733224 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:14PM (#7894684)
    It seems as if the new mini-ipod is playing catch up with the already-announced Rio Nitrus []. It's equally priced, stores 4 GB as well, is the same size if not smaller, is actually lighter, has double the battery time, and is expected to ship this month, instead of february, like the mini pod. Although you could cop out with the "stylish design" argument before, the shots of the new minipods, even with all the new colors... well, they look like butt. The nitrus, from what I've seen of it's current 1.5 gig version, is pretty quick to pickup with it's ease of use, as well. The only real advantages i see the minipods having is the firewire and mac compatibility....

    • Well, by "already announced" you mean "announced the same day" but otherwise your facts are straight. I am curious if you get the same playing time of 16 hours with mp3s as your do with WMA.
    • by shawnce ( 146129 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:52PM (#7895368) Homepage
      I guess Apple saw Rio's announcement at 8 am and decided that they needed to catch up so two hours later (after finishing the design, testing, pricing, etc.) they announce the iPod mini.

      The new Rio sure has me excited! Actually any device with a clitoral button control just gets me excited, is that wrong?

      Anyway let the market decide... I personally bet the iPod mini will do well against the Rio Nitrus.
  • by Myrmi ( 730278 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:14PM (#7894694)
    While the iPod mini rumours didn't come true as we expected, it was still a great keynote. Like many other people, iLife looks great (although I could have done without the corny advert that they showed). I don't see the iPod mini being a runaway success, however - for another $50, you can get the (new) 15 GB version; 20% more money spent for nearly 300% more space. I was expecting to really want one of the iPod minis, but now I'm really tempted by the entry level 'proper' iPod. It is smaller, which is nice, although the existing one was plenty small enough. Still, a nice keynote; slighly annoyed that the 'One more thing' was about the iPod mini colours, though.
  • Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by blackmonday ( 607916 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:15PM (#7894702) Homepage
    I would have never imagined that they would include an application as great as GarageBand and kept the price of iLife at $50. GarageBand is gonna compete with products like Guitar Port [], so you get amplifier simulations for a tiny price. They sounded great too. I just can't believe this, it's gotta be a strategy to sell more Macs because the technology behind GarageBand (and its $99 add-on) is NOT cheap. If it were a demo for a high-end application I would have been just as floored. How much is a G5 again?

    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

      Seconded. I was about this -->| |-- close to buying a Korg PXR4 Pandora over the holidays for $300. Even with the addon and some cables, this is going to cost about half as much. I can add a MIDI keyboard on the cheap and still come out ahead.
  • by MurrayTodd ( 92102 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:15PM (#7894713) Homepage

    I am amazed by the Apple keynotes that Steve Jobs give (and Apple streams from their site) twice a year.

    There are two things that amaze me: First, that Apple can consistently release cool things that can keep its user base excited. Second, that Jobs can actually make an interesting two hour show out of it.

    For those of you who have never seen the magic of a Steve Jobs Keynote, go to the Apple site under the Quicktime section and view the keynote []. It's two hours long, but I'm wiling that if you don't find it at least "really cool" to watch, you'll agree it's better than the average dreck we sit down and watch on the telley each night. This keynote is a good example because it takes a large number of moderate announcements (unlike the unveiling of the iMac, the G5, the major OS upgrades, etc.) but STILL makes you excited enough to want to go out and play with these things.

    It also gives me an appreciation of how many market segments Apple is entrenching itself in. You can really see the "digital hub" strategy at work, as well as the fact that income revenue is coming from hardware (iPods) music downloads (iTunes) Internet subscription services (dot-Mac) and others. Go check out the keynote for yourself. I think it'll give you a much different perspective in what and where Apple is in this decade.

    And thank goodness SOMEONE is working to keep the computer field new and exciting!

  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:15PM (#7894716) Journal
    iLife apps were free until last year when iLife debuted and bundled everything together and charged $49. The excuse was the royalty licensing in iDVD or something. But you could still download iPhoto and iMovie updates for free.

    Now it looks like you have to buy iLife to get the updates.

    I actually don't think it's a bad thing. It's a good deal, at a price around what a typical game costs. And if a fair price pushes them to continue to make improvements, I'm all for it.

  • Steve kept talking about how the iPod mini competes with 256MB flash players but never mentioned that it isn't a flash player. Why is that?

    I was anticipating a serious case of buyer's remorse given that I had just bought a 512MB flash player/USB pen drive for $150. The iPod mini is certainly more impressive than my little player, but given that it is hard drive based and $100 more I don't feel so bad.

    Also, I can pop in a new AAA battery when mine runs out. All by myself.

  • Xgrid (Score:5, Informative)

    by merger ( 235225 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:19PM (#7894781)

    Also worth noting is that they officially announced Xgrid, their clustering software. There had been a maililng list for it a couple of months ago that was later shutdown. From the press release it says:

    "Xgrid makes it easy to turn your Mac cluster into a supercomputer," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "The new Xgrid software agents use Apple's breakthrough Rendezvous networking technology to automatically discover, connect and manage tasks across available systems in a Mac cluster."

    The entire press release can be read here [] and in it they say they have posted a beta version of the software but I've yet to find it.

  • $29,500 (Score:5, Funny)

    by cnb ( 146606 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:20PM (#7894815)
    and that one person has spent $29,500 on iTunes Music Store. Yes, $29,500.

    This one person also bought a SCO license and invested in Enron.

  • by bfg9000 ( 726447 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:26PM (#7894928) Homepage Journal
    I think they're all cool and stuff, then they go threatening us with something like this! []

    If there's ONE thing I DON'T want, it's that.
  • by gonerill ( 139660 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:27PM (#7894941) Homepage
    I was expecting the announcement of a $10, 3-petabyte nuclear-fusion-powered player with collapsible 60-inch plasma screen and direct bluetooth link to the Mars Rover, but all I get is this mini piece of crap. I mean, come on. In protest I will buy the 128mb NinFuju HappyListen, which only costs $200 and supports Ogg Vorbis.
    • was expecting the announcement of a $10, 3-petabyte nuclear-fusion-powered player with collapsible 60-inch plasma screen and direct bluetooth link to the Mars Rover

      Ah, well there's your problem see. It had a direct bluetooth link to the Beagle instead...


  • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:29PM (#7894984) Homepage
    I for one am worried about the iPod mini's price. For reference I just got an iPod for Christmas so I'm not in the market any more, but I was untill recently.

    Now the iPod mini its self is very cool. But the price is a problem for me. Watching the keynote over the 'net, Jobs described it as just $50 more than a flash player with decent memory, and that's true. But, for just $50 more you can get a REAL iPod that holds almost 4x as much (4 gigs versus 15 gigs). There is a lot to be said about that iPod mini, but that price is a little much for me.

    It's just so close to the price of the low end real iPod. I could understand if the price was $200, I think that would be the magic number, but I think that $250 is just too close. I don't know if the price is the result of trying to get a certain profit margin (quite likely) or an attempt to keep them from canabalizing the iPod market too much (also likely), but I think the price is a little high. At $150 they would fly off the shelves faster than anything else out there. At $200 they'd be a great deal and would sell fantastically. At $250... they won't flop, but...

    Which also brings me to one other problem. The 15 gig iPod. It costs $100 to get 5 more gigs of space (the 20 gig model). So let's look at things:

    • 4 gig mini - $250 - $62.50 per gig
    • 15 gig iPod - $300 - $20.00 per gig - 11 gigs more for $50 - $4.54 per new gig
    • 20 gig iPod - $400 - $20.00 per gig - 5 gigs more for $100 - $20.00 per new gig
    • 40 gig iPod - $500 - $12.50 per gig - 20 gigs more for $100 - $5.00 per new gig

    So as you can see, the value of upgrading to the 20 gig iPod isn't in line with the rest of levels. With the low end full iPod at 15 gigs, the 20 gig model doesn't seem like much of as good a choice, the premium is just too high. As value goes, the iPod mini and the 20 gig iPod just don't hold up compared to the 15 and 40 gig models.

    Now again, don't take this as bashing the new iPods or anything. The iPod is a fantastic device and the mini looks great too, it just seems like it would be much more wise to people to spend $50 more for a 15 gig, which has less than 1/3 the cost per gig.

    PS: I can't WAIT to see the guts of one of 'em posted to the web. I wanna se it!

    PPS: Let's face it, a $100 dollar iPod was a pretty rediculous idea, especially if it were to have the 2 or 4 gigs we thought it would.

  • Linux iLife? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dlevitan ( 132062 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:33PM (#7895069)
    I was wathing the keynote today, and I can't figure out why no one has done anything like iLife with linux. I mean, KDE seems better than ever before, and mozilla is great and everything seems nice, but I keep looking at apple and wanting to get a powerbook just for the applications. If I need to transfer photos from my camera to my desktop, why can't there be a kPhoto or whatever that when I plug in my camera, will start up, load the images from the camera, and let me categorize them? Why does everyone seem to be playing catch up with Apple instead of leapfrogging them?

    In terms of ease of use, I don't think KDE is much harder to use than mac os x. But the applications aren't there. Why hasn't someone designed a suite like iLife that could bring people over from Windows? I'm sure a lot of people want apples, but don't want to get a brand new computer. I see a perfect opportunity for Linux to get onto the desktop by releasing a iLife like suite - even without DVD/music/movie. Just kTunes and kPhoto and maybe something else would do, but it would give people an incentive to easily switch over to Linux instead of thinking about how nice apples are.

  • by truffle ( 37924 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:33PM (#7895073) Homepage

    I was disappointed in the mini iPod announcement but people will buy them.

    Most people focus on "for $50 more you can get 15 more gigs" but there's more to it than that. People will buy the mini ipods for design.

    It is smaller and lighter. iPods are already small. Many consumers value smallness hugely. To a consumer who cares more about unit size, than hard disk size, the mini iPod is better and cheaper.

    There is also the cuteness factor. Mini iPods come in color. For students in particular, I think this is going to be a big thing. If you think the mini iPod looks better, and it's cheaper, it's a great deal.

    Like many iPod consumers I don't care too much about the size of the hard disk, because 4 gigs is enough for me. I don't need to carry my whole music collection around. Sure, I might do that, but it's not a huge deal to me.

    So we're left with a smaller, cuter, cheaper iPod that costs less and carries enough music. I'd buy that.

    Go into an apple store and try handling one, see how you like it, you may find that 4 gigs vs 15 gigs becomes the least of your concerns.

    But I will close with, still disappointed, really wanted to see a 2 gig in the $99-149 range.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:35PM (#7895102) Homepage Journal
    is a girl, aged 10-18 or thereabouts. At least, that's my guess. They've made the mini iPod suitable for anyone (so don't freak out on me), but the real target audience is girls.

    Most teens are very fashion-conscious and are enticed by technology that is extremely portable. Companies like Mattel (with its Barbie Fashion Designer software) have shown that technology tailored to girls can be extremely profitable.

    The real question is whether said females will shell out $250 for such fashionable hardware. Everyone knows teens as a group have tons of disposable income, but I think they missed the price point by $50.

  • Thoughts... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by asparagus ( 29121 ) <koonce@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:37PM (#7895149) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it's only $50 cheaper. The thing is this: the $300 iPod is the best seller of the lot. Cost/GB is an important factor, yes, but even if the iPod was only 1GB it would still have a lot going for it over the competing players.

    The people who are obsessed with space have already bought iPods. Or, in other words, amongst leading edge people the iPod has become a trailing trend. So the next question is how to break not into the marketplace of people who are tech-savvy, but rather the larger group of less-technically-inclined-but-still-wanting-to-be- cool crowd. In marketing speak, the alphas have all bought an iPod and made it popular: the time has come to focus upon the rest of the crowd.

    Amongst this crowd, there is needed some method of comparision that is, at its very heart, impossible to calculate. Comparing $300/15GB with $500/40GB is a mathematical affair. What is needed is exactly the reverse. Apple does this with colors. Guy A buys a green one, guy B buys a blue one: they can both argue over which color is better without having to get into that inevitable Alpha-male dick contest over whose is bigger. That is why there is no 2GB version. The question when you decide to buy one of these is color, not model.

    Or, in other words, Apple has once again found a clever way to shift the didatic from discussing the merits of their product to discussing the aesthetics of it. Ain't marketing cool?

  • by peachawat ( 466977 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:38PM (#7895169) Journal
    I can think of several reasons why the iPod mini is priced so high. If it is priced at $100-$200, how many of you will get the mini instead of the big iPod? Now the smallest big iPod at $300 suddenly sounds like a better deal. The mini is priced not to cannibalize the sale of its bigger brothers.

    If the mini iPod is cheap, everybody will want one. Now. And Apple will not be able to meet demand, not for the initial run of production anyway. There will be the problem of several weeks (or months) wait, same old again. As silly as it sound, I think higher price helps control demand not to outpace supply.

    And I think, for Apple, people who will get the mini iPod now are those who want to keep up the 'cool' and do not have to think twice shelling out $250. That's the reason the colors are only available for the mini, and not the big iPods. This will help branding exclusivity to the iPod mini, only for those who want to stay fashionable and can effortlessly afford the price.

    Wait until April, when the iPod mini is available worldwide and the production ramps up, Apple may drop the price or up the capacity.

    Steve Jobs also said that mini iPod is going after the high-end flash-based player, not the HD based player. Considering those flash-based players are priced around $200 for a lot less capacity, iPod mini is very competitive. It's Apple engineering at its best. Who else can engineer a HD-based product to compete for a flash-based market?
  • by Saeger ( 456549 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (jllerraf)> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:40PM (#7895192) Homepage
    If Pepsi's giving away 99 million dollars "worth" of iTune singles, it makes you wonder how small their cost was on the deal. It was probably more of a cross promotional thing for Pepsi & Apple, but the labels still want their cut, so it wasn't $0.01/song.


  • by calstraycat ( 320736 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @04:53PM (#7895384)
    Although I agree with those complaining about the price, one nice feature of the iPod mimi is it will charge via USB. And, it actually ships with a USB cable.
  • by CrazyTalk ( 662055 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @05:11PM (#7895631)
    Since they cross-sell the iPod with the VW Bug, maybe now they'll sell the iPod Mini with the BMW Mini
  • by richieb ( 3277 ) <richieb&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @05:19PM (#7895781) Homepage Journal
    I just got a Rio Karma. It was $280 for 20Gig player. A dock is included. The player supports MP3 and Ogg formats (in addition to FLAC and $MS).

    Besides that Rio Karma comes with a Java application that can be run from Linux to manage the music on your player (of course it comes with Windows sofware too).

    Oh, yeah and the cool thing is that the dock has an ethernet port so your Karma can be accessed from the network.

  • Let's see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ( 156602 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @05:32PM (#7895999) Homepage Journal
    After adding all the bells and whistles I'd expect to want in both servers, the Apple server ended up being cheaper. I had to select an optional $950 three year service agreement for Apple because Dell includes one. The Dell service agreement is on site software only, where the Apple service agreement was onsite bumper to bumper coverage.

    Apple chose to compare itself to Dell's PowerEdge 1750, which Dell offers to small businesses as a dynamic content web server.

    Apple's "XServe G5 Dual Processor" specs:

    • Dual 2GHz Power PC G5
    • 2GB DDR400 ECC SDRAM (2x1GB)
    • 160GB HDD (2x80GB, Serial ATA)
    • Combo Drive (DVD-ROM/CD-RW
    • Mac OS X Server, Unlimited License
    • AppleCare Premium Service & Support (selected)
    • Total before adding bells and whistles: $3999.99
    • Total after adding bells and whistles: $6049.00

    Dell's PowerEdge 1750 specs:

    • Dual 3.2GHz Xeon *
    • 2GB DDR266 DIMMS (4x512MB)
    • 108GB HDD (3x36GB, SCSI Hot Plug)
    • 24x IDE CD-ROM
    • Windows Server 2003, Web Edition
    • Dell's SILVER 3 Year S/W Support (included)
    • Total before adding bells and whistles: $4793.00
    • Total after adding bells and whistles: $6241.00

    * - If you believe the benchmark from Apple, the XServe G5 is 9.0 Gigaflops, where Dell's PowerEdge is 8.2 Gigaflops.

    However, as my boss pointed out, taking the Dell from Dual 3.2GHz to Dual 2.8GHz actually drops $1499. And you can still go down to 2.4GHz with the Dell.

    Whether it's fare or not, a lot of people still compair GHz to GHz. So even the PC running at 2.4GHz looks faster on paper.
  • 90mm G5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ITR81 ( 727140 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @07:06PM (#7897187)
    According to Apples Xserve Tech Overview the G5 Xserve sports a 90nm processor vs the current 130nm in the G5 Power Macs

    It also uses the hyper-transport protocol which alot X86 users use to say gave Intel and AMD the advantage they had.

    I have feeling the new 90nm dual 2.0GHz G5 will give out better #'s then the current 130nm dual 2.0GHz G5.

    I'll be buying my iPod mini in about 3 months or so...I want that silver one. I already own the 40GB but I need a iPod I can strap to my arm and go workout with.

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