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New iPod Owner Onslaught Overwhelms iTunes 395

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

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  • Re:Apple and iPod... (Score:3, Informative)

    by geekboybt ( 866398 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:30PM (#17390712)
    Best competition? There's stuff from Sandisk and Creative, as well as Microsoft's Zune. But none of them have the marketshare of the iPod, or the vast amount of accessories. Whether or not the store is "as populated with songs as they say it is" is really a matter of opinion. It suits my needs, but mine may not be the same as yours. You're free to install iTunes and browse the store anonymously (without creating an account) for free. You can even preview the 30 second clips without an account, though the system will nag you every 4th or 5th preview to log in. If money's a factor, you can always go the route I did - go to the Apple Store online and look in their refurb section. Everything on there is backed by the same warranty as the new stuff. They used to have (and may still have) first gen (black/white) 2Gb nanos for $99, for example.
  • Yes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Rix ( 54095 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:31PM (#17390726)
    Creative's products are better. Especially if you want to play videos in a format people actually use (divx).
  • Re:Oh goody! (Score:5, Informative)

    by croddy ( 659025 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:37PM (#17390806)
  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:39PM (#17390830) Journal
    Depends on what you mean by better. I don't care about video, but I do care about size. The direct competitor for the iPod from Creative seems to be the Zen Vision M (their product line-up seems quite confusing, so I might have missed something). It is about 50% bigger by volume than the iPod.

    Oh, and for the record, DivX is a specific implementation of MPEG-4. The iPod also plays MPEG-4, including MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) which gives much higher quality for the same bit-rate (look for anything encoded with X.264; there's a lot of it floating around).

  • Re:I didn't notice (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 28, 2006 @03:54PM (#17391054)
    It's just called "iTunes Store" now, Mr. Pedantic.
  • Re:I don't get it... (Score:2, Informative)

    by syrinx ( 106469 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @04:53PM (#17391778) Homepage
    the interface is ATROCIOUS

    Well, considering everyone points to the interface as the best part of the iPods, you're in the minority there. Sure you weren't using a Zune?

    The carbon uses a standard mini-USB cable

    My original iPod uses a standard Firewire cable.

    it can also be used as a portable hard drive right outta the box

    So can every iPod.

    And lasts at LEAST 15 hours if not 20 hours on a single charge (25 if you keep the bass output and volume down)

    My 5G iPod lasts that long as well. (Not 25, but I'm assuming you're exaggerating.)

    BOTH players can play a multitude of file formats, contain no DRM restrictions

    Same with the iPod. (ITMS files are DRMed, yes, but that's not the iPod.)

    Basically, bully for you that you like the Rio stuff, but you should know that calling iPods "shit incarnate" makes you sound like a blathering anti-Apple zealot.
  • by kalidasa ( 577403 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @05:00PM (#17391886) Journal
    Good thought, but I doubt it. I had no problems browsing, and just slowdowns adding to my cart, but when I tried to redeem a gift card, iTunes threw some kind of error that looked more like an overloaded server error than a comm error.
  • Re:First Post! (Score:4, Informative)

    by compm375 ( 847701 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @05:22PM (#17392116)
    Stuff by COWON America is pretty good. They support a whole lot of audio formats, such as mp3, wav, flac, ogg vorbis, and wma (including DRMed, though it requires a firmware update on all but their newest player). I just got an iAudio x5l, and I am quite impressed by it, especially the 35hr. battery life. The only downside as far as I'm concerned is the video, which is only 160x128 xvid at a bitrate of about 256kb/s, but they have a model specifically for video playing called the A2.
  • Re:Yes (Score:4, Informative)

    by nsayer ( 86181 ) * <nsayer@kfPASCALu.com minus language> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:31PM (#17392916) Homepage
    Especially if you want to play videos in a format people actually use (divx).


    The only digital video format that could reasonably be described as a format "people" (i.e., a non-trivially-small fraction of them) use would probably be MPEG2 (as in ATSC & DVD). After that probably comes all of the flash being watched by YouTubers.

  • by serber ( 574286 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @06:48PM (#17393086) Homepage Journal
    Last I recall the iTunes Store runs on Akamai's EdgeSuite infrastructure - EdgeSuite Delivery [akamai.com] and EdgeSuie Enterprise [akamai.com] look about right.
  • by Neil Hodges ( 960909 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @07:11PM (#17393310)
    Compare iPod: can't change the battery . . .

    I thought you couldn't change the battery on the Zune.

  • Re:That's nice (Score:3, Informative)

    by CronoCloud ( 590650 ) <cronocloudauron@NOSpAm.gmail.com> on Thursday December 28, 2006 @08:46PM (#17393998)
    Since most of the portable video "out there" seems to be in MPEG4 SP or h264 AVC that means your options are either a video iPod or a PSP.

  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @10:48PM (#17394660)
    h.264 certainly will give a smaller file size for similar quality, but it's also much more processor intensive to decode, and would eat the battery much faster. Further, why go to the trouble of re-encoding things to some esoteric format, when I've already got lots of stuff in divx that I can just throw on the device and use? And why would I want to keep two archive copies, one for the PMP and one for the DVD player?

    There's also the fact that the Zen can output at 640x480 to an external display.
  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Thursday December 28, 2006 @11:01PM (#17394778)
    The iPod owns the market because of good marketing. Period. Apple would have to majorly screw up at this point to lose that. If an iPod meets your needs best, fine, that's nice. Have fun. But there's no need for a religious crusade against people who's needs are better met by other things.

    My Zen is slightly thicker, but otherwise the same size as an iPod. It fits in my pocket, and that's all that matters from my perspective. 60GB is more than enough for me, so more isn't really much of a selling feature (again, to me. If it is to you, wonderful). The LCD on the Zen is much nicer for watching videos on, though not in the sunshine. However, if I'm out and about in the sunshine, I'll have other things I'll want to look at. It's a trade off, which works out in favour of the Zen for me.

    I don't personally like iTunes very much, and have no intention of buying music from a DRM service, so that has no effect to me. I *do* bring my media player over to friends places to share music. This is perfectly legal in Canada, where I live, and I don't particularly like the idea of Apple trying to force American laws on me. I know it's possible to get at the music files in other ways, but why would I want to put up with that hassle if I don't have to?
  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Friday December 29, 2006 @12:27AM (#17395310) Journal

    If an artist only writes one or two good songs for every 15 they release, they suck. Why are you buying their shit anyway?

    1. Greatest hits/box sets: These often include a couple new/unreleased songs. If you are a fan and own all the original songs, it's silly to buy a new CD for 2 new songs.
    2. Compilation CDs of various artists, soundtracks, etc. (again, new songs from a variety of musicians, you might only be interested in a few of the songs).
    3. re-releases of old material: In a grasp for even more money, records from the 60s and 70s are being repackaged with outtakes.
    4. Singles: Some bands release CD singles backed with outtakes or live recordings.
    5. iTunes exclusives: They have a fair amount of stuff you can't even get on CD
    6. Special Guests: a lot of rap/hip hop music (if you can call it that) features other people.
    7. Remixes: house/techno/trance music...

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