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Media (Apple) Media

Rumored iPod Flash Leaked 511

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently a -->detailed design of the new Flash-based iPod--> has been leaked. It doesn't have a screen and is this size of a cookie!" With size estimates ranging from 256 megs to a gig, it will have a much lower price point, and can be worn around your neck. Assuming it's not just a rumor. Update: 12/07 19:31 GMT by M : Temporary working link.
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Rumored iPod Flash Leaked

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  • Cookie (Score:2, Funny)

    by 2.7182 ( 819680 )
    What flavor cookie though ? Those BW cookies can be pretty big.
    • The article did mention that the size would be comparable to a Milano cookie.
      • Re:Cookie (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:06PM (#11019985)
        Another proprietary standard in the Corporate marketplace; clearly an exclusivity deal between Apple and Pepperidge Farm. What follows will be 4 years of "Mint iPod", "Orange iPod" and eventually, "Double Chocolate iPod" and "Enrobed iPod".

        The open source community must respond quickly to this threat in its inimical global fashion. An open standard for digital music players must be started based on the Danish butter cookie, or, "dansk-be/urrhoekkoe/n" standards. There is enough community-based prior art on this one, that we should stand our ground.

        I will be the first in line for a "3 sugar pretzel"-sized music player, as long as I don't have to whack it against a desk (crumble the cookie) to get it to work.
      • Re:Cookie (Score:5, Funny)

        by MooseByte ( 751829 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:08PM (#11020010)

        "the size would be comparable to a Milano cookie"

        Glad to hear it. My first thought was one of those giant oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies they sell at cafes.

        Walking around with that on my neck like some weird Vanilla Ice retro-puke with my plate-sized bling bling, with my "Go Away Or I Will Replace You With a Small Perl Script" t-shirt.

  • *Phew* (Score:2, Funny)

    by jawtheshark ( 198669 ) *
    Just for a second I thought: "Why the fuck would Apple want to put Flash on an iPod?" Then I realised they mean the memory technology and not the annoying product from Macromedia.
    • Re:*Phew* (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:57PM (#11019825)
      "from the well-thats-not-very-exciting dept."
      No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame [].
      • Re:*Phew* (Score:5, Funny)

        by stupidfoo ( 836212 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:05PM (#11019954)
        LOL - from the people who won't follow your link:

        Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday October 23, @12:20PM
        from the well-thats-not-very-exciting dept.
        The BrownFury writes "At an invitation only event Apple has released their new MP3 player called the iPod. iPod is the size of a deck of cards. 2.4" wide by 4" tall by .78" thick 6.5 ounces. 5 GB HDD, 10 hr battery life, charged via FireWire. Works as a firewire drive as well. Works in conjunctions with iTunes 2. Here are Live updates". No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

        Good call Taco!
    • Re:*Phew* (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ProfaneBaby ( 821276 )
      You'd be surprised how popular (well designed) flash is getting...

      No, I'm not talking about those annoying sites that flash and blink and play horrible noise, but the work put out by real flash design studios.

      For example, the next generation of cell phones put out by Motorola / NTT Docomo will have Flash UIs. It's a nice looking, very flexible technology that's easy to embed and capable of accepting the industry standard tools.
    • Re:*Phew* (Score:5, Funny)

      by mad.frog ( 525085 ) <steven@crinklinP ... minus physicist> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:52PM (#11020586)
      "Why the fuck would Apple want to put Flash on an iPod?"

      I can think of 119 [] good reasons...

  • Didn't last long. (Score:2, Informative)

    by ActionPlant ( 721843 )
    I'm inclined to think rumor, but that might be because the site slashdotted at the first inclination that actual traffic MIGHT be on its way.
  • One way to find out (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macrom ( 537566 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:55PM (#11019766) Homepage
    If Apple files a Cease & Desist order, then maybe there's some truth to it. I doubt they would waste that time for a simple fanboi dream.
  • by MoneyT ( 548795 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:55PM (#11019771) Journal
    And I think gave a good argument why it isn't likely:

    Here []
    • by jvagner ( 104817 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:19PM (#11020159)
      Bah, I think he's wrong. I want a player without moving parts, and I don't want to spend that much money on an iPod not knowing how long it's going to last. $400-800 items shouldn't seem disposable, and the iPod seems like that to me. I buy a flash player for $150 and I care less if it dies on me. I just don't trust modern commoditized hardware at this level, and that includes all manner of iPod.
    • Apple's iTMS would be in a better position to license AAC with Fairplay to cell phone makers like Nokia, Samsung, Sony/Ericsson, PalmSource. Lately, Motorola has slipped to number three.
    • The article linked in the parent makes the argument that "flash-memory-based" and "hard-drive-based" aren't features. They are, and I am one person who makes my choice based on this feature.

      I do not buy hd players because moving parts fail.

      If Apple were to launch a flash iPod, I'd give it a look.


      • RE: hd players (Score:3, Informative)

        by King_TJ ( 85913 )
        Why is it people think flash doesn't fail?
        I've lost a fair amount of data on my Sony camera's memory stick when it started going bad and quit saving things reliably on parts of it.

        You can only rewrite/erase flash so many times before it fails, and from my observations - some cards out there fail long before they should.
  • by levik ( 52444 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:56PM (#11019798) Homepage
    At a low low price of $200, Apple's main goal for the flash player will be to make its slightly bigger and slightly more expensive players (the mini at $250 and the full size at $300) seem like very well priced bargains.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Except that the article said that the entry-level price would be $99.

      Otherwise, I agree with you.
      • Remember what the rumor was for the entry level price of the iPod mini before they where released? Well I don't either, but the rumors where a lot less than the current price ($250). If I remember correctly, it was in the 199 price range or something.

        The great thing about rumors is that you can put $5000 dollars woth of material into a $99 dollar product and make up the difference in volume(woo-hoo!), and sell anything like hotcakes.
  • by MichaelCrawford ( 610140 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:56PM (#11019800) Homepage Journal
    There's a number of people who go to the same gym that I do that wear their mp3 players on armbands. It seems to work really well when working out vigorously. It's held securely and you don't need a long earphone cord.

    RCA is one brand that apparently comes with the armbands, but I see some others whose brand I don't know.

    • While not meaning to sound like a commercial, I'm really liking the one I recently got, a 1 GB MPIO FL300 []. It's tiny, just a bit bigger than a butter patty. It includes (depending on where you get it) a necklace strap, as well as an armband thing, both of which are great for the gym. $199 for the 1 GB model, $129 for the 256 GB model. Anyway, that's my plug...
  • What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Quaoar ( 614366 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:57PM (#11019813)
    The only thing that Apple could really bring to the table in this department is firewire, which really doesn't matter at these small sizes. There are already SO many flash players out there (some which are downright tiny), and without a screen, I don't see the point. That is of course, if this is true...
    • The only thing that Apple could really bring to the table in this department is firewire

      They would also bring iTMS compatibility, allowing playback of Fairplay'd AAC files.


    • by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] []> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:05PM (#11019970) Homepage Journal
      I'm pretty sure someone else mentioned this. The point is that with a flash/nvram based player, it's immune to shock. People who work out at the gym, jog, bicycle, whathaveyou can't really use an iPod (at least for long) because of the constant shock the hard drive would be subjected to during operation. Idle with the disk parked it's pretty invulnerable. Playing music, and you are asking for a head crash if you bang it, or try jumping jacks or step aerobics.

      When you are working out you really don't want the screen, and you only need an hour or two of music.

    • by teeker ( 623861 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:06PM (#11019982)
      It would tighten their lock on their iTunes business. I can't really afford a real iPod, but I could probably afford one of these. If it worked with iTunes, it could be enough to pull sales from other cheaper players. I'd like to buy a cheaper player, but I really like iTunes and have a lot of music purchased through them, so ideally it'd be something that would work with the music I already have without having to burn and re-rip, or use tool with dubious legal status like HYMN to remove their protection. It would be useful for Apple to have an inexpensive alternative that is compatible.

      Just my $.02...
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:12PM (#11020064)
      Brand Name.
      Having an Apple iPod name. There are a lot of people where brand name is everything Where having Nike Sneakers is much more important then having Rebocks. So a lot of people will buy the Cookie Ipod because it is called an iPod not a cheap ripoff of the iPod but an iPod. It is like the Sony Walkman back in the 80s people bought Walkmans because of the name Walkman and they knew that they were getting a Walkman. The name is connected to the device. When kids see a person with a MP3 player they will call it an iPod.

      Just like...
      Xerox for copiers
      Weed Eater for Trimmers
      Transformers for toys that turn into robots.

      Some people get it for a Snob factor just to say they have one to be hip. Others get it because it is a name they know and dont know the difference. So if you go to your Grandma and ask for an iPod for christmas you will get something with iPod in it like iPod Mini, origional, or the Cookie iPod. There is money to be made when you got the name behind you.
    • by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @02:22PM (#11021030)
      God damn, I love how history repeats itself.

      iPod announced: Slashdot crowd says "Oh come on, there are a ton of mp3 players, including these CD-MP3 players which are the wave of the future. And $400? Another Apple lunacy that won't sell!"

      iPod mini announced: Slashdot crowd says "Oh come on, it's $250! And a third the capacity of the $300 version! I'd pay $50 more to get three times the capacity! Another Apple lunacy that won't sell."

      iPod flash announced: Slashdot crowd says "Oh come on! It's $200! And the market's already saturated with flash players! I don't see the point. Another apple lunacy that won't sell."

      It's ... weird, it's almost as though Apple understands their market better than Slashdot geeks do, though obviously that _couldn't_ be the case.

      Look, I sympathize. I've twice in my life looked at products my own company was developing and said "that's stupid, it'll never sell!" The first time was when working at Berkeley Systems and looking at the first You Don't Know Jack demo (you know, the only product originally made by BSI that's still around to one degree or another?); the other was at Macromedia, looking at Dreamweaver "Oh come on, anyone who really wants to code HTML uses vi/emacs! Who'd pay $400 for another WYSIWYG HTML editor when they can get hotmetal for free?" Turned out? A ton of people who wanted a good one.

      Face it -- we're just not very good at predicting market success for some products :)
      • by jsebrech ( 525647 )
        the other was at Macromedia, looking at Dreamweaver "Oh come on, anyone who really wants to code HTML uses vi/emacs! Who'd pay $400 for another WYSIWYG HTML editor when they can get hotmetal for free?" Turned out? A ton of people who wanted a good one.

        Face it -- we're just not very good at predicting market success for some products :)

        That's because of a fundamental difference between slashdot geeks and normal people. Slashdot geeks love technology for the sake of technology. Regular people love technolo
  • by teiresias ( 101481 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:58PM (#11019846)
    (Assuming it's not a rumor), it's an interesting idea that perhaps Apple is posisition these devices as the next form of music distribution ( the CDs successor). Dependant on the price point of the device of course, one could load one of these little guys up with a new album, maybe some new features (videos/interview/etc like a DVD), add in a player and it's a pretty neat gift.

    Even if it wasn't used for single album released, boxed sets (a la U2's recent release) come to mind.

    And of course, DRM would become very interesting. Knowing Apple, you'd be able to transfer the files to your computer but only to iTunes.
  • Price points (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ( 837955 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:58PM (#11019850) Homepage Journal
    It will have a much lower price point than...? ... other iPods? ... other flash MP3 players? ... other MP3 players in general? I can get a Gigabyte Lexar flash for their MP3 player for the low $70's off of eBay. I am using a part in the same family now "Jumpdrive" and am satisfied with its quality under heavy use.
  • by bludstone ( 103539 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:59PM (#11019853)
    This must be true, because I just got an iPod about 2 weeks ago.
  • No screen? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quinxy ( 788909 ) * on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:59PM (#11019855) Homepage
    I don't see how you're supposed to navigate through 1 GB of music/etc. with no screen. I've got a little 1 GB mp3 player MPIO's FL300, and I can't imagine moving through all all the various folders and songs to try to find the one I want without a screen. I suppose you'd need listen to the first few hundredths of seconds of songs as you scroll. Sounds thoroughly unpleasant to me. Am I missing something?
    • Re:No screen? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It sounds suspiciously like today's product on []
    • I agree. I don't really see how easy it would be to go through all your music without a screen. And that really surprises me, given that Apple is famous for their ease of use and very functional designs. I'm betting somewhere, somehow, there may be a screen involved.
    • by Pastis ( 145655 )
      There's an inbuilt micro and you have to sing the first notes of the song for the small iPod to find it for you.

      And it also does karaoke and the coffee, when plugged to a device respecting

    • Re:No screen? (Score:4, Informative)

      by nvrrobx ( 71970 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:23PM (#11020218) Homepage
      Have you ever used a Phatbox []? I have one in my car, it's a 20gb hard drive based player that announces things. You can read the display if you want, but since it speaks to you (literally) you can do without the screen. Great for driving. No reason that an iPod can't do the same, especially if you craft your playlists correctly. The Phatbox can navigate via playlists, artists, albums and genre, like the iPod.

      Disclaimer: I am not an employee of Phatnoise, I'm just a very, very satisfied customer.
  • iPod mini #2 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck ( 752151 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @12:59PM (#11019864)
    The rumor for the iPod mini was that it was going to hold fewer songs, be smaller, and be less expensive.

    It certainly held fewer songs, and definitely was smaller, but it was still pretty expensive. Hopefully this one actually does have a lower price point.

    • anecdotal data (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cmoney ( 216557 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @02:53PM (#11021410)
      ever walk into an apple store? the most popular item is undoubtedly the ipod mini. these things sell not because of "value" or number of gizmos but for design.

      you don't find teenage girls walking into best buy, picking up a rio mp3 player and saying "ooh it's so cute, i want pink!" "yuck becky, pink is so last week, i want gold. that's hot." but you do see that in apple stores. and then their mom comes in behind them and says, "ok, but you're not getting that louis vuitton bag for christmas!"

      i'd like to see a breakdown by ipod model as well, but anecdotal data says the ipod mini has cache among markets that other mp3 players don't even address. other tech companies are trying to market to the slashdot crowd, with gee-whiz features and more storage for less money. apple's realized the rest of the world is a much bigger, less fickle market and now they're getting paid for it.
  • I had one of the original Creative Muvo players, and it was great for how small it was, but the absence of a screen was a serious hinderance. You needed to listen to the first few seconds of each song in order to tell which it was- remembering a 30-song playlist exactly is out of the question. Plus, the flash-based mp3 player market is much more crowded, so I doubt Apple could make inroads against the Creatives and Jen of Swedens and iRivers of the world. Remember, the hard drive mp3 market was much spar
    • I use an Mp3-CD player from HP in my car, it has no screen and it takes 750mb CDs with anything up to 200 songs on them

      Works just fine... just write the CD with the file format *artist - album - track - name.mp3* and use the "next" button to move rapidly 20 songs up and down the line, listen to the first few seconds, then move on or back as appropriate to find the right song. It encourages commonsense file-naming conventions too !
  • It's an iPill. Or iHorsepill or iSuppos--well you get the idea.
  • I wonder if this supposed flash iPod will be anything like the Nachus MP3 player. I haven't heard about this player until today when I checked where they are featuring them. Sounds like the same exact concept.

    Nachus 256MB Pendant MP3 Player
    It's just about the smallest MP3 player around
  • No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.
  • My Muro MR-100 [] has all this, in a very small form factor; these are why I bought it over an iPod (better feature/price ratio for what I wanted/needed)

    Now this site is slashdotted, but does this new iPod have these??

  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:12PM (#11020054) Journal
    Remember back in the day when Steve talked about the digital hub? And then when the iPod came out and he said he wanted to use them to help sell Macs? Then iTunes came out and even though Apple doesn't make much money from iTMS, Steve says he wants to use it to help sell iPods.

    Evidently his plan is working. Last week that report came out showing about 6% of iPod users had switched from PCs to Macs and that another 7% plan on buying a Mac. The halo effect is boosting Apple's revenue.

    So the iPod rules the HD-based market. Now it's time to take over the flash-based market and make sure no other company erodes Apple's dominance in the player market. I see this as yet another opportunity...people that can't afford an iPod will buy the new flash-based one. Money for Apple. When these people can afford it, they'll buy the big iPod. It's like the gateway drug to Macs.
    • Except (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mcc ( 14761 )
      Just because "halo effect" is recieved from the iPod does not mean it will be recieved in the same way from the hypothetical iPod Flash. There are two problems here:

      1. A selection effect. The Macintosh and the iPod both target the same group-- people who are willing to pay more for a pleasant experience with their electronics. If someone buys an iPod that means they're okay with paying a bit more for a device that might not have quite as much functionality or disk space as some of the same-price-range alte
      • Re:Except (Score:5, Insightful)

        by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:48PM (#11020545) Journal
        I agree with you in your theory...that the halo effect requires certain conditions to exist before it can happen. My only sticking point with what you're saying is that we're talking about Apple here. You said "If you make a cheap minimal flash player you lose this selection effect; you are now targetting the budget market, where the halo effect is less likely to be effective because these are the people more likely to just go buy eMachines or whatever it is they make these days with a minimum of fuss." Do you really think Apple would make a cheap player...or a cheap anything for that matter? Apple prides itself now in making elegant machines.

        We could debate this forever, but until we know exactly what Apple will come out with, it's a moot point. If they put out something cheap that gets lost in the shuffle (which would really really surprise me), then I think it would be a big mistake on their part. My guess is that they'll come out with some new player that makes all the other flash-based players look like cheap toys you could pick up at any gas station along with a bobblehead doll with any fill up.
  • Apple Insider [] sees a possible storage increase to 5GB. This will help them fit nicely into the price point niches.
  • I'd say you could navigate gig a music files with no screen if the music player spoke the name of the directory/file to you through the headphones.... That would not be that hard to incorporate into a unit like this. Might not be as quick to navigate to what you are looking for, but it's potentially better then listening to 3 seconds of every sone until you get there........

  • Article Text (Score:4, Informative)

    by Jck_Strw ( 35674 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:20PM (#11020180)
    TheMacMind isn't known in the Mac world as being the source of intel on the latest Apple products, however through an anyonmous tipster (to you! We happen to know this person is 100% valid), we've been tipped off to a whole bevy of facts about the new Flash-based iPod from Apple. We also had this confirmed by a second contact at Apple.

    When I first heard about the iPod Flash, I met it with the same scepticism as Daring Fireball did.

    AppleInsider brought you the basic concept, but TheMacMind is here to let loose about how the new iPod works, what it looks like, and how it feels! And we're looking forward to being there when it's released at MacWorld San Francisco! (Sorry Steve, we couldn't resist!)

    The Meat: Milano cookie. That's the basic principle. I like Tim-Tams, but that's just me. Rounded edges, flat, and tiny. We're looking at something that is about 2.5" long, 1.5" wide, and just .5" thick.

    Get this: NO SCREEN. Got a cellphone with one of those flat joysticks? This is apparently how you'll get around on the screenless iPod. Left and right move between songs, up and down change the volume, and pressing straight down will play/pause your music. With any other company, I'd be incredibly doubtful that their techs would be able to pull off anything useable. Scroll through 250 songs in one big list? We're betting Apple has something better up their sleeve, and we'll hopefully be able to tell you about the interface in the next few days. Evenything goes in and out through a full-size FireWire port. Apparently, they are also virtually indestructible. We did a mock up of the iPod Flash in 3D. You can see how big it is compared to a business card (the same size as an iPod mini) and an Apple Firewire cable.

    What does that tiny size mean? Well, the iPod Flash is meant to be worn around the neck. Yep, a nice little lanyard will keep the smallest of the iPod family twirling around your neck while jogging.

    AppleInsider said "less than $200", but we we're told that the Flash iPod will be priced at $99. Freaking sweet, we're hoping that that's right on the money! There have been reports of storage capacities from 256 MB - 1 GB, which would correlate with that price. This release will make an iPod available to people in any price range.

    Image by Robert Padbury
  • by the zonked ( 721054 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:20PM (#11020186)
    More info about the Flash Ipod
  • by anothy ( 83176 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:20PM (#11020190) Homepage
    this new iPod variant will fail miserably, mark my words. just like the lack of wireless and ogg support destroyed the original iPod's chances of success, and the lack of an FM tuner and getting the price point all wrong prevented Apple from selling more than a handful of the iPod minis, this one will never be more than a bragging point for the apple hard-core. when will Apple learn? everyone on slashdot knows how to build a killer iPod... killer...
  • by Tenebrious1 ( 530949 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:21PM (#11020197) Homepage
    Marketing has an idea, then they *leak* the information to some site. Then Steve and the marketing watch /. Depending on our reaction, they decide if they should proceed, what features they should or shouldn't include... and save a bundle of money on actual market research.

    • Yea. If slashdot says it will bomb, Apple orders more.

      Are you kidding me? How rediculous. Apple scratched their PDA(recently, this is within the last couple years under steve jobs) and NO valid leaks were ever made. Most of Apple's best stuff doesn't get leaked, but given how GOOD it is, people are much more likely to try and leak it against apple's wishes...

      Do you get all worked up over the new HP desktop tower? No? Well how about the dual-proc g5 tower when Apple released it? Apple's hardware has higher
    • You must be delusional. Slashdot's opinions (that is, the average opinion of a highly modded post) on the marketability of new tech toys is so out to lunch it't not even funny.
    • Then Steve and the marketing watch /. Depending on our reaction, they decide if they should proceed, what features they should or shouldn't include... and save a bundle of money on actual market research.

      I have one thing to say to this stupid idea.

      "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
  • Bah. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by altgrr ( 593057 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:25PM (#11020257)
    I won't be impressed with them until they come out with some of the ideas here [].

    "iRule. Override all iPods within a given radius with your choice of music" - now we're talking.
  • Concept Image Mirror (Score:5, Informative)

    by dark_lotus ( 657719 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @01:49PM (#11020550)

    TMM switched hosting companies recently, and they've taken us offline. We thought we could survive a slashdotting, alas, we cannot.

    Here's a mirror of the image (hosted on .mac) []

  • Why I call Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) * <jhummel@joh[ ] ['nhu' in gap]> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @02:07PM (#11020809) Homepage
    Right now, the iPod and iPod mini have a lot of marketshare because of two things:

    1. Look
    2. Feel

    Look: If you pull out either an iPod or the "white headphones" (um, like the ones I have in now attached to the iPod on my desk), you'll have people who know what it is. When I was in DC on business, I was easily able to notice the people with iPods.

    Feel: The Jog Wheel (patented or copyrighted by Apple, I'll let the lawyers here complain about which) is a perfect medium for MP3 players. Up, down, find the song and fast forward or back - all in one interface.

    So what would an iPod flash look light?

    Here's my $0.02: it will look like an iPod mini.

    Take an iPod mini. Take out the hard drive and squeeze the electronics together. With just flash RAM, you could probably have a device that looks the same, acts the same, costs $100 - $150 (256 MB - 1 GB), and looks like an iPod Mini only with the thickness of two stacked quarters, and weighs a little more. Battery could still last 12 hours (remember - no moving parts).

    So, for Apple to make a "display-less device" that nobody would recognize as an iPod, I call "bullshit".

    I'll use the same skills for when I was 12 and heard about a new "Star Wars Episode I" coming out "someday": until I saw a trailer, I wouldn't believe. Saved me about 10 years of unhappiness. (Granted, not seeing Episode I would have saved me more, but that's another story for another day.)
  • by DavidLeblond ( 267211 ) <(me) (at) (> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @02:18PM (#11020969) Homepage
    At first I thought that having no screen would be a horrible move, but it makes sense.

    I use my flash based player when I go for a jog and I don't think I've ever looked at the screen. Actually the screen has so much dust on the inside of it (brilliant Creative construction), you can barely see it anyway.

    $5 says that the Apple Marketing Machine calls this the iPod Sport.
  • No screen? Why not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by babbage ( 61057 ) <> on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @04:08PM (#11022658) Homepage Journal

    Some of the article discussion complains that leaving out the screen is a bad move, but is that necessarily the case?

    Maybe not.

    In the essay What have we got to lose? [] (as anthologized in _The Salmon of Doubt_), Douglas Adams gives a fascinating overview of all the cases where a clever new product was born not by adding some dazzling new feature, but by identifying properties that could easily be dispensed with.

    Some of the most revolutionary new ideas come from spotting something old to leave out rather than thinking of something new to put in. The Sony Walkman, for instance, added nothing significantly new to the cassette player, it just left out the amplifier and speakers, thus creating a whole new way of listening to music and a whole new industry. Sony's new Handycam rather brilliantly leaves out the zoom function on the grounds that all a zoom does is cost money, add a lot of bulk and render every amateur video ever made unwatchable. (They might, while they're following this line of thought, consider marketing a record-only video player, and video companies might consider releasing movies that are actually recorded in fast forward mode.) The RISC chip works by the brilliant, life-enhancing principle of getting on with the easy stuff and leaving out all the difficult bits for someone else to deal with. (I know it's a little more complicated than that, but you have to admit, it's a damned attractive idea). A well-made dry martini works by the brilliant, life-enhancing principle of leaving out the martini.

    So... an iPod with no screen. Well why not? How often do you actually look at the screen? Probably not very -- most of the time the device sits in your pocket, and a lot of people just control the thing through Apple's remote control, which of course has already dispensed with the screen, and has in fact left you with something that looks a lot like the device in the article's photo [].

    But okay, some of the complaints are right -- browsing through even a modest music collection can get tedious when the only controls you have are to skip forward & back by a track. Being able to see what's going on is nice, but do you have to be able to see it when every iPod listener is already ipso facto listening to the device? Think about it: this would be an excellent place to use some kind of audio / speech interface, and Apple certainly knows how to design a system that way, having had a speech interface built into Macs for many years now.

    That may or may not be what Apple is up to here, but it seems like an obvious future direction for the suite of products. It wouldn't surprise me at all if, for example, a future version of the bundled headphones doubled as a microphone somehow, so that you could control the device by just saying "iPod, shuffle playlist Beatles", and it would go forth and do your bidding, and you didn't have to dig it out of your pocked or your backpack or whereever you keep yours stashed.

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, nor can it be returned without a receipt.