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New iPods

post #1 of 88
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As nobody seems to have tackled the hard topic of what new iPods to expect come MWSF or later, I hope you don't mind if I go right ahead.

The past few days, all around the web I've seen very outspoken assertions about the iPod.

One recurring thing seems to be that the iPod will have a color display. I don't know why, and I don't know if this is very necessary.
Also, there are many who seem to think that the iPod will be a bit revamped so as to include more PDA-ish capabilities. I personally couldn't care less, so I won't go into those.
My feelings, opinions if you will, concentrate around two topics: storage and price. As I mentioned in another thread:
[quote] I think they will bump up the hard drives in the iPod, and lower the prices. I don't know how they are now in the us, but I guess they will discontinue the 5 GB model, and sell the 10 GB at its price now. The 20 GB down to the price of the 10 GB and then an all new 40 GB model at the price of the 20 GB.

There are some reasons to say this

* Nomad, or some other MP3 hard-disk player company (which have always been a pioneer) has a 40 GB model for quite some time now.

* Prices for hard disks (even smaller sized ones) have plummeted since the first iPod was released. I mean, you get 120 GB for the same price as you'd have gotten a measely 6 or 12 two, three years ago.

* The price, especially for the 20 GB model is very high for what it is: a consumer electronics device of the Walkman persuasion. Over here, nearly 700 euros, that's more than a month's worth of minimum wages. Now I'm not saying apple should cater it's top end 20 Gig model for minimum wage earners, but it does say quite something if a walkman type device costs more than some people earn in a month.

* Also, I think many people can fill more than 20 GB with MP3's if they try. I have darn near 40 cd's (700 MB ones) full of mp3's, and then some 5 GB residing on my HD (and I haven't even ripped half of my ceedees). You see, that's already (if I know my math well), some 32 GB of indispensible music. - so okay, I guess maybe a top-end 30 GB model might be quite something already, even for me -.

* I have to say: the concept of an iPod is great, I'd love to be able to carry all my MP3's (or at least the a very large selection of the better ones) around with me. I'm sure I'd listen to my albums a lot more than I do now, but they are really expensive (especially so in Europe). It's not that I can't afford one, but they don't sum up in my mind. It resides in small comparisons: the big iPod is the same price as a large television. As the top of the bill clothes-washer. As a fairly-well equipped racing bike. As a more than good-enough hi-fi chain. The amount of money I'd pay for an iPod could land me in Sidney, Australia.
I mean, who can do these small comparisons and buy one without feeling, at least a bit, like bending over and taking it in the hole of the moon? <hr></blockquote>

[link for the 40 GB Nomad player <a href="http://www.nomadworld.com/products/Jukebox3/" target="_blank">here</a>]

There are other issues with current iPods. Let me try and capture them here:

* the unusability during jogging. Apparently, the iPod reloads its 20 minute buffer only once every 20 minutes: when it is empty. This appears to be difficult when jogging. Wouldn't it be possible to have the iPod reload its buffer more often, say, every 10 minutes? It is true that this would mean the harddrive to work more, and the battery to work less. Anyhow, there are many threads on this topic in Apple discussions (for example, <a href="http://discussions.info.apple.com/WebX?50@22.NeOcad2Yfeq.4@.3bbb84b1" target="_blank">here</a>)

* the ability to record with the ipod, by plugging it into ones stereo, or by attaching a mic. a very nice feature, IMO, one that should be included. The one problem I can think of is the fact that you are not allowed to transfer mp3s from your pod to the mac. Meaning that they would provide a workaround to copy your own files (the ones you recorded yourself) to your mac. This is very necessary as many recordings have to be edited somewhat.

* an AM/FM tuner to listen to the radio on the iPod. I concur. I would like one to be on there, though it is not a conditio sine qua non for me.

* the great battery dilemma, meaning:
_______you cannot replace the battery in an ipod (at least not in a easy fashion).
_______the battery life appears to be on the limited side.
I cannot speak from personal experience, but I do think it at least logical that there would be a solution to 1) give people the chance to buy a back-up battery (it is possible for iBook & PowerBook). 2) provide means to hook up extra juice. I think of the MiniDisc walkman I used to have: it came with a proper battery which you had to buy from Sony if you wanted an extra one (but could easily be replaced), but you could hook up a nifty plastic contraption to the side of the walkman, containing two regular AA batteries, and this would pump up the playtime of the MiniDisc player from 7 to 20 hours (This was proven to be true by myself).

Many ideas. What do you people think/know?
post #2 of 88
The only real use for a color screen would be to fashion the iPod into a combination of MP3-player/digital wallet, for photogs to d/l their images too. They would also need to add USB for this to be in any way practical. USB would also make a good addition for the portable HD users out there. There are plenty of computers without firewire, and USB could enable some sort of mass storage protocol for driverless data swappage between your PC's and macs.
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post #3 of 88
Don't forget the admittedly eye-candy feature of Address Book to display a picture for each entry. It would a treat to see those pictures, in color, on your iPod's address book as well.

Screed

[ 12-09-2002: Message edited by: sCreeD ]</p>
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post #4 of 88
I would really like a radio function in the ipod. It would be a pleasant change from listening to mp3s.
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post #5 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by stunned:
<strong>I would really like a radio function in the ipod. It would be a pleasant change from listening to mp3s.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Kinda like XM (satellite) radio? Cool.

I quite agree to another above post. I was thinking about transferring my pics to an iPod from my Sony digital camera, rather than my Powerbook. It would make a nice additional feature of an already great product.

[ 12-09-2002: Message edited by: Rhumgod ]</p>
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post #6 of 88
But if Apple uses the 1.8" Toshiba HDs, then the maximum current size is 20GB. The other HD based MP3 Players may have up to 40GB, but they are using full sized 2.5" notebook HDs (which are also cheaper).

The only thing I'd like to see in an iPod update is a better shell (think a matte smudge free long lasting Titanium or a magnesium alloy covering the entire chassis) and the option to tweak TREBLE and BASS! Or at least a customizable EQ.
post #7 of 88
Digital Hub.
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post #8 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by der Kopf:
<strong>... It's not that I can't afford one, but they don't sum up in my mind. It resides in small comparisons: the big iPod is the same price as a large television. As the top of the bill clothes-washer. As a fairly-well equipped racing bike. As a more than good-enough hi-fi chain. The amount of money I'd pay for an iPod could land me in Sidney, Australia.
I mean, who can do these small comparisons and buy one without feeling, at least a bit, like bending over and taking it in the hole of the moon? ...
</strong><hr></blockquote>

Very good comparison. This is exactly why I didn't buy an iPod yet. At this price point there are other things queuing up ahead. $269 for a 20gb iPod would be a different story.
post #9 of 88
I hate to admit it but i would love for the ipod to become more PDA-like.

Mostly because of my lifestyle (busy and self employed) I rarely have time to listen to music via headphones,,, though i stream iTunes all day at my home office.

I'm still looking for an elusive solution to my cell phone, palm and firewire capable portable hard drive issues. The issue being why do I need 3 things when i could cram all this into one package.

I want an ipod with a cellphone faceplate and I''ll be happy. iPod becomes iPhone.

MSKR
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post #10 of 88
Colour screen. Aqua-pod interface!

(like to see colour pics in colour, photos, 3d renders, pics...etc)

Bigger hard drive.

Expand the range.

radio tuner.

Drive down the prices on all models.

iphone features?

Special edition iPod iPhone? Phone attenae. Head set and mike? Insert numbers via iphone app on your computer like the tunes into itunes into iPod route. How to dial? Scroll through numbers on wheel and press fire!

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #11 of 88
Two words: Airport. Rendezvous.
Stuck in an infinite loop waiting for an Apple PDA...

apple.otaku
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Stuck in an infinite loop waiting for an Apple PDA...

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post #12 of 88
Do you want to listen to the music or have an iPod considerbly morre complicated and expensive? Keep it simple and elegant - as it is now.
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post #13 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by MacsRGood4U:
<strong>Do you want to listen to the music or have an iPod considerbly morre complicated and expensive? Keep it simple and elegant - as it is now.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I must agree. . . The iPod is expensive as it is, as noted by a previous poster. I'm still really happy I purchased mine, but prices could certainly come down. And if we ask Apple to add all kinds of disparate features, we're going to have to pay Apple's premium for each feature added.

I definitely believe there should be some mic in, and AM/FM would be great too. But I personally believe the iPod should deal centrally with audio, with all non-audio features receiving minimal attention and being classified as extras, as they are currently. I too agree with the original poster concerning the missing ability to use regular batteries in the device. I couldn't believe the other devices were getting such great battery life from the addition of normal batteries; the iPod should definitely have that option. With all of that said, however, if we want the iPod to be the end all, be all device, we're going to pay for it in terms of cost, size and complexity. Apple can't do all possible things in one device.

Of course, on the other hand, it would be wonderful if PDA, phone and iPod functionality were consolidated into one device. For that to happen, though, it would take some awesome engineering, and the resulting product would be quite costly. I think in order for such a panacea to come to market, phone network standards would definitely have to be sorted out, and some compromise would also have to be found between the size of a PDA and that of a phone. All of the PDA-phone cross-overs I've seen are be necessity quite large and bulky, and I really don't want a phone that size.

So it would ultimately be best to keep the iPod as a music device, IMO, and cut the prices by $100 across the line. Leave iPhone/PDA functionality for a separate device, at least at this time. Perhaps when the basic problems of such a device are solved and market forces lower the initial cost, then we can begin thinking about iPod and iPhone convergence.

[ 12-09-2002: Message edited by: Big Mac ]</p>
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post #14 of 88
Full-screen QT video out through the headphone jack. That's all I want. 1000 songs in your pocket? Nah. 20 or 30 home videos, captured episodes of television shows, and VCDs? Playable on just about any television set made? That's the ticket. And it's all software-based. No need to make it thicker or wireless or bulletproof or to add a toaster to it.

The iPod is the perfect example of where things need to go: get rid of the media. No more CDs and floppies and videotapes and DVDs. Dump it on your iPod and play it back anywhere.

Cheers
Scott
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post #15 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by midwinter:
<strong>The iPod is the perfect example of where things need to go: get rid of the media. No more CDs and floppies and videotapes and DVDs. Dump it on your iPod and play it back anywhere.

Cheers
Scott</strong><hr></blockquote>

this is a great idea... but i don't think the cpu in the iPod can handle video, let alone all different types of formats of video.... the best we could hope for is vanilla QT .mov files.. not even mpgs...
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post #16 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Quick:
<strong>

Very good comparison. This is exactly why I didn't buy an iPod yet. At this price point there are other things queuing up ahead. $269 for a 20gb iPod would be a different story.</strong><hr></blockquote>

One advantage of the 20 gb is having the ability to backup my main files (10 gb) and carry them when I'm on the road. It's already saved me when my PB died. I had access to another DT mac and could get all my files off the ipod to work on (FW speed is nice). Copied everything back onto the ipod when I was done, took it home and synced the ipod with my DT.

So it's mainly a backup drive I can leave in my car, but 8 gb of mp3's don't hurt when i'm working near ski-land.

(edit: Tax write-off too)

[ 12-09-2002: Message edited by: Bigc ]</p>
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post #17 of 88
I'm not sure about the 40GB model.
after all the iPods use PC-card or PCMCIA form factor harddrives, while the nomads use normal 2.5" HDs as you find them in notebooks/powerbooks.
2.5" HDs go up to 60GB by now, while PCMCIA cards maxed out at 20GB the last time i checked, wich was admittably a long time ago.
maybe someone could check and see if there's a 30 or 40GB version in the meantime.

G-news
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post #18 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Paul:
<strong>

this is a great idea... but i don't think the cpu in the iPod can handle video, let alone all different types of formats of video.... the best we could hope for is vanilla QT .mov files.. not even mpgs...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hmm. I would be surprised if the processor in the iPod couldn't do video out, considering that an mp3 is just an MPEG. At any rate, Archos has beat them to the punch with their new multimedia jukebox unitand although I'm doing some serious coveting of this thing, I don't think I could bring myself to dole out $400 for the base unit and then some as-yet-undisclosed price for the video capture/playback add-on.

I don't know why, but I suspect apple could make this happen and keep it within the $400-$500 price range. Didn't someone remark at some point that the iPod's headphone jack was curiously long? As if to indicate that there was room for some other kind of signal on it?

Cheers
Scott

[ 12-09-2002: Message edited by: midwinter ]</p>
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post #19 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by apple.otaku:
<strong>Two words: Airport. Rendezvous.</strong><hr></blockquote>

hell yeah! AP or BT (or both!) this with the ability of the MWNY Rendezvous iTunes demo but iPod to iPod... hmm i2i has a nice ring to it

on another note, i have no idea why people are asking for AM/FM receivers. i personally think that the components of the ipod are crammed in enough and extra size to accomodate a radio receiver is definitely too great a sacrifice. with all that music in your pocket, why listen to somebody elses choices WITH regular adverts???

how about your own personal DJ? in the menu, select personal DJ. it prompts you for your mood/situation. you enter 'bored/driving' it then
plays back genre and BPM that keeps you entertained without regular words from the sponsors.

no? oh well, just a thought
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post #20 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by midwinter:
<strong>Didn't someone remark at some point that the iPod's headphone jack was curiously long? As if to indicate that there was room for some other kind of signal on it?</strong><hr></blockquote>

I believe that it was a metal connection on the outside ring of the headphone jack... and this was used for the remote... but i believe the 2nd generation Dual USB iBooks had the port that you are referring to, it was used as a headphone port and a video out port. It is also present on many camcorders.

what i was getting at before was that there will probably be a VERY limited video format if that ever becomes an option. maybe MPEG-1, maybe MPEG-4 who knows... (probably not MPEG-2 due to licensing issues...)
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post #21 of 88
also, for all of you who want to add Wi-Fi to the iPod... that would KILL the battery life to about 3 hours... not even... not going to happen... I don't know about Bluetooth, but the transfer rates are so slow, why bother?... only advantage i could think of is a wireless headphone... i hate how the white wire is so damn visible...
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post #22 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Paul:
<strong>

I believe that it was a metal connection on the outside ring of the headphone jack... and this was used for the remote... but i believe the 2nd generation Dual USB iBooks had the port that you are referring to, it was used as a headphone port and a video out port. It is also present on many camcorders.

what i was getting at before was that there will probably be a VERY limited video format if that ever becomes an option. maybe MPEG-1, maybe MPEG-4 who knows... (probably not MPEG-2 due to licensing issues...)</strong><hr></blockquote>

Right. I just noticed that my initial (indeed, initial) post was vague. I meant to suggest that it would be mpeg4 video out, since that's what Apple's pimping at the moment. And it really is a remarkable codec.

Cheers
Scott
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post #23 of 88
why o why would you want AM/FM?! The reason for the iPod is so you don't have to listen to comercialism at its best. XM is different but I imagine that would cost alot.

AM/FM please apple no!
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post #24 of 88
I would LOVE Video on my iPod!
Imagine sitting on the bss watching last nights game you missed or that episode of tele tubbies your pals are on about. Perfect.
and as for am fm, I say only fm. There are lots of great university stations that play great music and have few to no ads. So yes drop Grandmas AM and Grab FM. now.
thank you
the end.
flick
post #25 of 88
I'd love to have the 40GB Nomad... for the house, because that's the only place I can use such a huge machine. You can't even fit that thing -- bigger than a portable CD player -- in a jacket pocket, much less a shirt pocket.

Before you make comparisons, do your homework. The iPod is small because it uses a 1.8" Toshiba hard drive. The highest capacity for such a drive is currently 20GB. All competing MP3 players (except the ?vaporware? Odyssey 1000 and the expensive Toshiba Gigabeat) use standard 2.5" notebook hard drives. Compare the size. The Creative Zen is perhaps the best of these, and it's twice the size of an iPod by volume, making it about the size of a walkman instead of a pack of cigarettes. If this size difference doesn't matter to you, then by all means, buy the Zen. By the way, the Zen currently cannot use drives larger than 20GB because the drives run too hot.

Perhaps Toshiba will release a higher capacity 1.8" drive, or someone with better technology like IBM might enter the game with a different storage solution (the Microdrivve is too expensive, but they might have a middle-range technology that can be further developed). But if anyone releases such a drive, you can count on Apple using the drive before anyone else does. This is the size/performance edge the iPod has over the competition (if you haven't noticed), and without that edge it just becomes a beauty pageant, which is never enough to compete in the Windows market, a market where the iPod makes millions in revenue for Apple.
post #26 of 88
Not to sure if everyone has missed this but if Apple could remake/refine/redo, this <a href="http://www6.tomshardware.com/mobile/20020809/index.html" target="_blank">Review Archos Media Player</a> . I think that they would have a very fine product.


The bind I'm in now is I need a digital wallet for Photos, and a portable HD, I'd also love an iPod, this Archos product with a larger HD, and Firewire would fit my needs perfectly and allow me to only carry one device.

Want to show your iMovie to Grandma who doesn't have a computer, problem solved, want to watch a movie or listen to music on the plane problem solved....

More info at <a href="http://www.archos.com/" target="_blank">Archo's Homepage.</a>

What do you think? Does Apple have one of these in their pipeline?
post #27 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Paul:
<strong>

this is a great idea... but i don't think the cpu in the iPod can handle video, let alone all different types of formats of video.... the best we could hope for is vanilla QT .mov files.. not even mpgs...</strong><hr></blockquote>

A cheap little camera can do video to a 2" LCD, why not the iPod
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post #28 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Bigc:
<strong>

A cheap little camera can do video to a 2" LCD, why not the iPod</strong><hr></blockquote>

a cheap little camera does uncompressed video off of a TAPE to a 2" LCD... the video is very large and does not require encoding...where the CPU becomes necessary.
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post #29 of 88
Im just thinkin of being able to hook my iPod to my camera to store pictures on it while I'm im the middle of nowhere and cant carry a PB. Be nice to look at them to see if you need more or have everything covered.
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post #30 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by Paul:
<strong>

a cheap little camera does uncompressed video off of a TAPE to a 2" LCD... the video is very large and does not require encoding...where the CPU becomes necessary.</strong><hr></blockquote>

A couple of things:

1) Lots of digital cameras can record QT movies these days. No tape involved. [edit: You're also talking about video that's been captured. The iPod wouldn't need to capture anything (certainly a processor-intensive matter). It'd just need to play back]

2) I think the red herring here is the LCD on the iPod. It wouldn't need an LCD. All it needs to do is give a list of filenames.

To my way of thinking, part of the point of the iPod is that it serves as the "media" extention of your comp. No computer needed. Hook it up to a stereo or a TV and view/hear the files you have.

The other point of the iPod, of course, is that Apple has tricked people into carrying around little hard drives with them. They've made it convenient. Even desirable. And once people are carrying little hard drives around with them, they can being to take advantage of that fact (home dir on an iPod, etc).

Cheers
Scott

[ 12-10-2002: Message edited by: midwinter ]</p>
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post #31 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by midwinter:
<strong>1) Lots of digital cameras can record QT movies these days. No tape involved. [edit: You're also talking about video that's been captured. The iPod wouldn't need to capture anything (certainly a processor-intensive matter). It'd just need to play back]</strong><hr></blockquote>
most of the cameras you are referring to also have a specialized chip to do that specific function.. the iPod has no such chip... would need a new version of hardware that isn't going to happen anytime soon...
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post #32 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by ast3r3x:
<strong>why o why would you want AM/FM?! The reason for the iPod is so you don't have to listen to comercialism at its best. XM is different but I imagine that would cost alot.

AM/FM please apple no!</strong><hr></blockquote>

Some of us live i countries where non-comercial radio is available. Where I live we have 3 public radiostations without comercials. All geared towards different audiences - 1 for general public, 1 for culture and 1 for teen-agers. All of them without any comercials. On top of that we have specialized radiostations also without comercials - 1 that plays classical music 24 hours a day, one with news etc...
On top of that we have the normal comercial stations. I would love to have FM (I don't need AM) on my iPods (I have 2). There are lots of interesting radio programs that I would like to listen to - there are plays, political discussions, reviews of new recordings etc...
Remember - USA is not the whole world, it is just a tiny little part of it.

Terje
post #33 of 88
Radio is extremly popular.
People living in countries where non-commercial radiostations broadcast, scandinavian countries, for instance, have a fantastic service floating in the air. Commercial radiostation is another thing, but they are popular as well, I believe.
Those small radios are doing well in the market.
I always bring my matchbox-sized aiwa. I bring my cell phone as well. And, if I had one, I would bring my iPod.

With more than three gadgets in my pocket, I need to look at how they could be combined.
If I merged the radio and the phone into one gadget, I would be forced to wear a handsfree-set, looking like an idiot if someone called me in a public place. And having to change headphones if I wanted to listen to mp3s.
On the other hand, if the iPod was married with the radio, the situation would be the same as today, but in addition I would be bringing 20G of storage and quite a lot of music. And apple would have sold yet another iPod.

The best would, of course, be a merging of the three.


Well tryd, seems like we both finally had to praise the glory of radio. And almost simultanously, as well.

[ 12-10-2002: Message edited by: makrell ]</p>
post #34 of 88
Well well. Look at those two scandinavians. They both want fm/am radio and do you know what the third scandinavian here wants it too.

Well I love my iPod and think it is great, but sometimes i get tired of hearing only music and wants to listen to radio. News, politics and so on. Sometimes it is good to have something else than only music. And a radio is one of the things i really think fits in the iPod.

So now I only wonder when Zapchud is coming to agree with us cause he is also a scandinavian, as far as I know.

4 in a row would be graet ;-)
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post #35 of 88
Seems as if the sun is on our side of the planet for the time being. The side with non-commercial radio.

How important is radio?
It seems in Scandiavia it is very much so. I would imagine in UK as well, the BBC being a monumental cultural institution.
But other places? I don't know.
post #36 of 88
4 in a row
Bill Bradley to comedian Bill Cosby: "Bill, you are a comic, tell us a joke!"
- "Senator, you are a politician, first tell us a lie!"
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Bill Bradley to comedian Bill Cosby: "Bill, you are a comic, tell us a joke!"
- "Senator, you are a politician, first tell us a lie!"
Reply
post #37 of 88
What the heck. Add AM/FM and a "Tivo" like function so you don't miss any good stuff...

However most radio here in the US blows chunks so it wouldn't be a compelling feature for me. I can see the usefulness though.
Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
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Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face? - Jack D. Ripper
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post #38 of 88
[quote]Originally posted by New:
<strong>4 in a row </strong><hr></blockquote>

Make that 5.
meh
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meh
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post #39 of 88
well in the news.com story today about the ceo of portalplayer resigning it mentions a bunch of new liscencees announcing producs in january...so the iPod will have a slew of new competition then...ofcourse I am sure Apple is well aware of this and will have some new additions to keep them on top as well as more competitive pricing...

<a href="http://news.com.com/2100-1040-976740.html?tag=fd_top" target="_blank">news.com story</a>
post #40 of 88
Two reasons for a radio tuner (and come on, it'd be one tiny IC):

1) NPR. I want news.

2) The gym. Most gyms broadcast their televisions (ESPN, CNN) on radio frequencies inside the building. It's ridiculous that I have to take two devices to listen to CNN or my music when the FM radio is so brain dead, low power, and tiny.

What I've been expecting to see, and disappointed, is a small add-on that plugs into the FW jack for power, and is just a matchbox sized strip along the top of the iPod with headphone pass through, a small LCD for station display, and two itty bitty buttons for tuning/volume. Simple, cheap. The most costly part would probably be the FW male jack. I'd buy one in a heartbeat.

Barring that, Apple adding it to the iPod seems like a no brainer. The battery, headphone jack, and UI are already there. It just needs a tiny FM receiver chip.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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