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Review roundup: iPod lineup impresses, Ping disappoints

post #1 of 52
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The first reviews of Apple's new iPods and Ping music social network have appeared, with favorable impressions of the iPod touch, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle, but generally negative responses to Ping.

Reviewers were enthusiastic about the iPod touch, although they took issue with the still photo resolution of the rear camera, the reduced viewing radius and dimmer display than the iPhone 4, and the lack of GPS or camera flash. Although some reviewers were initially skeptical about the iPod nano, in general, they were positive about the drastic redesign of the device. The iPod shuffle for the most part stayed out of the spotlight, but reporters did welcome the reintroduction of physical buttons.

While responses to the new iPod models were favorable across-the-board, Ping failed to live up to expectations. The general consensus was that Ping had potential, but needed work.

The Wall Street Journal's Katherine Boehret:

In her review titled "The Good, The Bad, and the So So," Boehret highlighted the iPod touch as "remarkably thin" with "beautiful" HD video footage and impressive audio. Ping, on the other hand, she found to be "socially awkward."

"One of Ping's biggest downsides is that it doesn't import lists of friends from other established social networks," wrote Boehret.

Boehret found the iPod nano's redesign "surprising," and particularly enjoyed the integration of touch photo viewing.

USA Today's Edward Baig:

Baig welcomed the iPod touch enhancements that brought it closer to the iPhone 4, but missed notable features from the iPhone, such as GPS, LED flash, and the 5-megapixel camera. The iPod touch is "still a winner," though, and Baig is confident it will remain the most popular iPod.

According to Baig, the iPod nano is "awfully cute," but Apple has "given and taken away." The touchscreen, diminutive size, and clip come at the cost of the video camera.

Ping is the only disappointment out of this batch of products, as it just "isn't quite there." Baig finds the general idea behind Ping appealing, but sees it as "incomplete."

Businessweek's Arik Hesseldahl:

Hesseldahl was "generally impressed" with Apple's changes to the iPod line.

At first, using the smaller touchscreen on the iPod nano "seemed ridiculous" to Hesseldahl, but after use, he found it intuitive. He hardly missed the video playback and video camera features of the the previous generation iPod nano, noting that in this case, it was "stripped down for the better."

The iPod touch "kicked up the intensity about a dozen notches" with its "muscular" A4 processor and Retina display. Hesseldahl found the still photos to be just "fine," and the HD video impressive.

For Hesseldahl, Ping is missing a "key point:" seamless integration of a music-sharing experience with existing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Other reviews

Engadget, Macworld, and Techcrunch have also posted reviews of the new iPod lineup.
post #2 of 52
I Had To Cancel Joining Ping When I Learned You Have To Relinquish Your iTunes Reviews Nickname if you join. I have almost 300 reviews up there under the name FutureMedia and I'm not willing to give up my review nickname to join Ping. Stupid rule.

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post #3 of 52
I think everything apple does is terrific.
post #4 of 52
I find it interesting the contrast between Engadget's solid praise of the new nano and PCMag's very critical review. 2 and a half stars is extremely low, even if one doesn't appreciate the changes for one's own use.
GIGO. The truth in all of life.
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post #5 of 52
I have not gotten my hands on the new Nano yet, but from what I saw I would say that previous version (5th Gen I believe) is way better. Touch screen seems way too small, and the lack of camera, gamer and calendar seems like a big omission. If I owned the 5th gen I would keep it. Will try to hit up  store tomorrow and see if they got any on display so I can give a better opinion.
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--SHEFFmachine out
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post #6 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I find it interesting the contrast between Engadget's solid praise of the new nano and PCMag's very critical review. 2 and a half stars is extremely low, even if one doesn't appreciate the changes for one's own use.

I too fiind it quite disappointing that Apple chose to eliminate more than 50% of the features of the 5th generation (e.g. video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc.) all just to reduce the display to a mere 1.54 inches (what is this 2005?) and incorporate multi-touch capabilities that answers a question no one ever asked of any previous Apple Nano.

Much as the 3rd generation was a serious misstep for its awkward form-factor, this one fails to equal its predecessor in any practical way, yet it's the same price - Not Good.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #7 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I too fiind it quite disappointing that Apple chose to eliminate more than 50% of the features of the 5th generation (e.g. video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc.) all just to reduce the display to a mere 1.54 inches (what is this 2005?) and incorporate multi-touch capabilities that answers a question no one ever asked of any previous Apple Nano.

Maybe Apple has found that the people who want "video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc" on their iPods buy the iPod touch / iPhone, whilst the modern iPod nano customer is pretty much only interested in playing music.
post #8 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Maybe Apple has found that the people who want "video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc" on their iPods buy the iPod touch / iPhone, whilst the modern iPod nano customer is pretty much only interested in playing music.

I think that might be right.

There is an interesting review of the Nano over at macworld.com at the moment, questioning why the screen needs to be as small as it is which I've wondered about. Personally I think a screen about the size of the old Nano would probably have made more sense, though I'll be interested to see it in the flesh.
post #9 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I think that might be right.

There is an interesting review of the Nano over at macworld.com at the moment, questioning why the screen needs to be as small as it is which I've wondered about. Personally I think a screen about the size of the old Nano would probably have made more sense, though I'll be interested to see it in the flesh.

I can understand that line of thinking as there's that completely unnecessary (proportionally) thick border surrounding the Nano 6th's display that could have very easily afforded a larger touchscreen.

The Nano 6th is certainly looking to be the most polarizing of the iPod 2010 series.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
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post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

The Nano 6th is certainly looking to be the most polarizing of the iPod 2010 series.

You're absolutely right, and that's one of the reasons why I'm keen to see it in the flesh.

I loved the fat nano, but everyone else seemed to hate it!
post #11 of 52
What's the fascination with making everything smaller? I thought the old Nano was perfect.


Edit: the new one might make a great watch... Too bad Apple hasn't adopted Kleer technology, yet.
post #12 of 52
Steve has tech anorexia. They bring him a mockup and he goes "Ewwwwww, it's fat, it's disgusting, I can't look at it, take it away." And everyone else is all "Steve, it's already dangerously small, you need help."
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #13 of 52
I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy and remarkably un-Apple like.

The nail in the coffin is that it only works with music you have purchased from iTunes... not content in your iTunes library.

Blech... worst feature ever!
post #14 of 52
With retina display, HD video recording, Facetime and AirPlay (come November), the new iPod Touch will be a smash hit. The 32 GB. model looks like a steal at its price.
The iPod Nano is very cute. With FM radio and NIKE+ it's perfect. Too bad the base model is a little bit expensive. If it's $99 I'll buy 3 for all my nieces. As thing stands I'll buy one, 8GB model, for my wife (maybe a pink one since "Pink" is her nickname).
post #15 of 52
Ping has just started.

Apple doesn't file for a trademark on Ping unless is plans to expand heavily on the service(s).
post #16 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy and remarkably un-Apple like.

The nail in the coffin is that it only works with music you have purchased from iTunes... not content in your iTunes library.

Blech... worst feature ever!

The problem with doing it otherwise would be:

1. It would be really easy to spot illegal downloaders via Ping, as law enforcement agencies would just need to look for the people with over 20000 songs in their iTunes libraries. Chances are, those folks would neither have purchased all of those songs, nor have physical CDs in their homes to back up that they're not all stolen.

2. People who buy music in iTunes are stuck using the name on their Credit Card in their Ping profiles.

3. After a couple people get busted by the FBI via Ping for stealing music, it would lose all hope as ever being a commonly used service.

4. All social networks rely on marketshare to be viable. If Ping is the 9th most popular network, it might as well not exist.

Anyways, who wants to open iTunes just to check their messages, anyways?
post #17 of 52
Ping is a "work-in-progress" as many of my favorite artists are not on Ping yet. Ping is a bit buggy and I'm having difficulty navigating in it. Apple would be smart to lose the iTunes only coupling. Ping needs to be browser based, but then again Apple does not own the web address. Over time Ping will be filled with all the artists and the bugs and social networking sync-ups will be worked-out. I'm hopeful for it.
post #18 of 52
Ordered a touch for my godson, find the new Nano intriguing but am not interested in buying and also think Ping has got to be a bad idea - any thing that "me - too" can't be that good
post #19 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackintosh View Post

I think everything apple does is terrific.

Best thing you've said since you joined. Well done!
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #20 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

The problem with doing it otherwise would be:

1. It would be really easy to spot illegal downloaders via Ping, as law enforcement agencies would just need to look for the people with over 20000 songs in their iTunes libraries. Chances are, those folks would neither have purchased all of those songs, nor have physical CDs in their homes to back up that they're not all stolen.

At the moment, Ping is a poor man's last.fm and no-one has ever been prosecuted for having a massive last.fm song library.

I agree that Ping doesn't feel like an Apple product. Has it been written by the Lala team?
post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

At the moment, Ping is a poor man's last.fm and no-one has ever been prosecuted for having a massive last.fm song library.

I agree that Ping doesn't feel like an Apple product. Has it been written by the Lala team?

Except that last.fm only show what's been played, and you can configure how long you want the history to show. A heavy BitTorrent thief might have 100 GB of stolen music on their computer, but Last.FM would probably only show a couple hundred hours worth of playlists - not enough to easily spot thieves.

Ping basically discloses everything in the user's iTunes library, even if you haven't pushed play since you agreed to the Ping user agreement (which basically allows Apple to sell your itemized iTunes purchase history, and the address linked to you credit card to advertisers, btw); at least what's been purchased. If that was expanded to include non-iTunes purchases, it would be very easy to spot the thieves, which would basically end up in Ping being avoided by pretty much everyone who's ever illegally copied a friend's CD, downloaded illegally. (that is, everyone with a computer).
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I too fiind it quite disappointing that Apple chose to eliminate more than 50% of the features of the 5th generation (e.g. video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc.) all just to reduce the display to a mere 1.54 inches (what is this 2005?) and incorporate multi-touch capabilities that answers a question no one ever asked of any previous Apple Nano.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orlando View Post

Maybe Apple has found that the people who want "video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc" on their iPods buy the iPod touch / iPhone, whilst the modern iPod nano customer is pretty much only interested in playing music.

I had my Nano for almost a year now. Outside of the first few days of toying with the features, I have never since used it for the video camera, watch videos, or to do the other features. I just use it for portable music that holds more than the shuffle but smaller than an iPod Touch. I think Apple realized that too and simply did away with it. Apple is good at removing things that it thinks consumers won't/don't use.

Sure, it will upset that vocal 1%, but that's just the way it is. Keeping the price the same even though it has 1/2 the "features" is arguable of course, but the new design, touch-screen, can be considered an offset to that.

My 2 cents.
post #23 of 52
I love the new nano, but I think it should have been branded as a new iPod, the iPod nano should have continued in its 5th gen form but with double the storage and maybe Bluetooth.

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
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iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

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post #24 of 52
I think the new Touch is amazing. If you're logged in to a base station it's as good as a cellphone right? I mean with the Facetime.

And you don't have a cellphone contract which are the most complex contracts in the world with minutes and half-minutes and 50 hidden clauses. G*d d*mn the phone companies and their shenanigans. Yes, I have been drinking.
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy and remarkably un-Apple like.

The nail in the coffin is that it only works with music you have purchased from iTunes... not content in your iTunes library.

Blech... worst feature ever!

10+

Your right, also with the rules, checks and forcement and constraint to their way.
post #26 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post

I Had To Cancel Joining Ping When I Learned You Have To Relinquish Your iTunes Reviews Nickname if you join. I have almost 300 reviews up there under the name FutureMedia and I'm not willing to give up my review nickname to join Ping. Stupid rule.

Says who? I'm online with ping using my existing nickname.
post #27 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Says who? I'm online with ping using my existing nickname.

It said I would no longer be able to use my established iTunes Nickname and would only be able to use my real name in any future reviews in the membership agreement when I tried to join September 2. But I did lodge a complaint through the feedback system so maybe they dropped that rule since then. So you can post reviews under your old Nickname and not your real name?

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post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy and remarkably un-Apple like.

The nail in the coffin is that it only works with music you have purchased from iTunes... not content in your iTunes library.

Blech... worst feature ever!

Apple by contract with the artists/producers only have the right to deal with songs in their iTunes store. Whether or not you rated, reviewed or purchased, i.e., "licensed"*, them via the iTunes store, not have/acquired/bought on a DVD, CD, vinyl, etc., from other sources.

As a federal appeals court ruled last Friday,
Quote:
ITunes Songs Arent Purchased but Licensed, Court Rules*

a federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday ruled that songs downloaded from Apples iTunes store are not actually purchased, but are rather licensed

http://online.wsj.com/public/resourc...0eminemdec.pdf

*http://voices.allthingsd.com/2010090...d-court-rules/
post #29 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

I too fiind it quite disappointing that Apple chose to eliminate more than 50% of the features of the 5th generation (e.g. video capture/playback, contacts, games, etc.) all just to reduce the display to a mere 1.54 inches (what is this 2005?) and incorporate multi-touch capabilities that answers a question no one ever asked of any previous Apple Nano.

Much as the 3rd generation was a serious misstep for its awkward form-factor, this one fails to equal its predecessor in any practical way, yet it's the same price - Not Good.

the nano had to not be selling well, otherwise why drop the features? i for one like the new nano (or hope i do once it actually arrives) as a replacement for my old shuffle.
post #30 of 52
I find it hard to believe that people are complaining about the cut corners Apple has to do with the iPod touch. The iPhone is an $800 device. If they kept the same screen, same camera, etc, and didn't reduce the magnitude of numbers on things (like viewing angle and CCD pixels), then the iPod touch would easily be twice or more in price.
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

I love the new nano, but I think it should have been branded as a new iPod, the iPod nano should have continued in its 5th gen form but with double the storage and maybe Bluetooth.

thats a good idea. why not drop the shuffle and make the new nano the 'base' model.
post #32 of 52
The Nano is cut down so there's an easier decision to make between it and the real money maker, the Touch.

I'm disappointed with Ping and haven't even turned it on, I knew it wasn't ready. It's a "hobby" - Apple cares not one bit about your social life, they're just trying to find new ways to monetize. If they really cared about your social / music life they would have been a bit more conservative on the rules, I mean liberal, I mean conserv...
post #33 of 52
am i the only one who think that ping sounds too close to microsofts bing?

however, i squeezed the last keynote into convenient 180 seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUUnqP5RiBI -- have fun! ;-)
post #34 of 52
When I heard the rumors, I was skeptical. Then I saw the product, and I was impressed. That said, I still hold that the current Nano should really replace the Shuffle as the budget player, and bring back the 5th Nano, but add a still camera, wifi access to iTunes and Calendar sync and leave it be. There are uses for the touch screen but there are also uses for the wheel as well. Going completely touch in the ipod line (IMO) would be a mistake.
post #35 of 52
Although when they take away 1/2 the features, one would think that price-point would go down too. But that's not Apple's way. If they call it the iPod Nano, it will be set at the pre-established price of the Nano; which i think is BS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

I had my Nano for almost a year now. Outside of the first few days of toying with the features, I have never since used it for the video camera, watch videos, or to do the other features. I just use it for portable music that holds more than the shuffle but smaller than an iPod Touch. I think Apple realized that too and simply did away with it. Apple is good at removing things that it thinks consumers won't/don't use.

Sure, it will upset that vocal 1%, but that's just the way it is. Keeping the price the same even though it has 1/2 the "features" is arguable of course, but the new design, touch-screen, can be considered an offset to that.

My 2 cents.
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy and remarkably un-Apple like.

The nail in the coffin is that it only works with music you have purchased from iTunes... not content in your iTunes library.

Blech... worst feature ever!

I had a vast CD collection, mostly folk/pop/rock when iTunes first appeared and to this day that is the contents of my iTunes library with the exception of two albums I purchased, both of the folk / rock persuasion. Yet all the suggestions I got were of people from completely different musical genres such as Lady Gaga. I quit it too as it clearly wasn't looking at my collection.

I suspect Ping aimed at the young iPod users that live for social media and intended to aid sales of their music. I also quit FaceBook a while back as I found it totally creepy. I am happy with e-mail and MobileMe galleries to share with those I wish to. To be honest 'being followed' has no appeal to me. I must be lacking in some psychological factor such as narcissism.
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Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Postulant View Post

Edit: the new one might make a great watch... Too bad Apple hasn't adopted Kleer technology, yet.

If it had a way to put a strap through it, I'd buy one right now. Maybe even a couple of different colors. Look out, Swatch......
post #38 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by rain View Post

I had ping installed for all of 2 min.
Garbage... complete garbage. GUI is screwy ....

Ping? Ding.
post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onhka View Post

Apple by contract with the artists/producers only have the right to deal with songs in their iTunes store. Whether or not you rated, reviewed or purchased, i.e., "licensed"*, them via the iTunes store, not have/acquired/bought on a DVD, CD, vinyl, etc., from other sources.

As a federal appeals court ruled last Friday,


*http://voices.allthingsd.com/2010090...d-court-rules/

Your comment was in reference to a poster's comment that Ping ignored his own ripped collection. I maybe wrong but don't see this has anything to do with using your content that wasn't purchased to ascertain your likes and dislikes and therefore who you might like to follow. In fact it would make more sense to correctly figure out your taste accurately. The Genius feature works perfectly on my entire ripped CD collection so iTune is already looking at the rest of the material in there.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #40 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Says who? I'm online with ping using my existing nickname.

How? Did you have to change your iTunes name too, to match?

Please tell us.
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