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Web posting corroborates reports of Mac mini iPod Dock

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
The first real evidence corroborating reports that a built-in iPod dock was destined for Apple's Mac mini has surfaced on the Web.

Leo Bodnar, who is known for creating a series of hardware-related hacks, has noticed something quite interesting while dissecting Apple's new Mac mini. In fact, his findings corroborate a previous AppleInsider report, which cited sources in saying that Apple's Mac mini was originally slated to ship with a built in iPod dock.

"I have noticed a missing unpopulated connector on a vertical CD/HDD interconnect board," Bodnar said. "There are also a few components that were left out during assembly. There is surprisingly big (by mini standards) empty space around that area inside the mini case."

Bodnar also notes that the connector has a full Firewire bus and extra control signals. He speculates that this may imply that Apple had intended to integrate an iPod dock at the top of Mac mini case. He's exactly right.

On December 29th, 2004, over a week before Apple introduced the Mac mini, AppleInsider published a report based on information provided from extremely reliable sources. The report noted that Apple developed the Mac mini with the intent of shipping it with a build-in iPod dock, but for some unknown reason the dock feature was scrapped at the last minute.

Sources told AppleInsider the iPod dock would likely reappear in a future revision to the Mac mini, but offered no further details. Apple is currently working on the first revision to the Mac mini, which will debut much later in the year. Sources added the new Mac mini would possibly debut alongside iPods that may match its aluminum color-scheme, but said it is too early to report on the subject with any accuracy.

If you have any further details on any of these related tips, we are all ears.
post #2 of 32
A built-in iPod dock would be utterly useless. They change the connector every year.

Who wants to have to get a computer every time Apple changes their proprietary connector?
post #3 of 32
you buy a new computer everytime they revise the ipod?
wierd.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by sabnetwork
A built-in iPod dock would be utterly useless. They change the connector every year.

Who wants to have to get a computer every time Apple changes their proprietary connector?

well not every year (in 2003 dock connector was made). BUT they're all different sizes. That's probably why they scrapped it, they couldn't make a dock big enough. Also iPod shuffle is completely different. I wouldn't want a dock on my computer anyway.
post #5 of 32
video iPod solution

it would have been totally within Apple's capabilities to create a multi-port iPod connector.

It wouldve been a great move.

Maybe it wasnt ready for prime time yet.

Maybe there is a video store that isnt ready yet (this would be a great on-demand terminal, multimedia terminal, etc).

if the next gen MacMini drops to 399usd for a basic iPod dock with video capabilities kinda bundled in, I'd buy one in a sec
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by ZO
video iPod solution

it would have been totally within Apple's capabilities to create a multi-port iPod connector.

It wouldve been a great move.

Maybe it wasnt ready for prime time yet.

Maybe there is a video store that isnt ready yet (this would be a great on-demand terminal, multimedia terminal, etc).

if the next gen MacMini drops to 399usd for a basic iPod dock with video capabilities kinda bundled in, I'd buy one in a sec

What exactly does a video ipod have to do with a built-in connector? it wouldn't improve transfer speeds, it doesn't somehow magically allow video to work on an iPod. I think you're smelling too much of the cheese and getting light-headed.

As for a multi-port connector, that's not easy, either. Even if they limited it to the currently shipping iPods, you apparently still have two different sizes to deal with (I don't own a mini, so I don't know if it uses a different dock connector, someone above said so, though). The only way to easily/cheaply do this is to provide a connector to put on your iPod that adjusts it to the correct size. Sort of like putting a firewire 400/800 plug into a 800 port to plug in a 400 cable. And you have to do it in a way so someone doesn't try to force their iPod onto the connector with the wrong part attached.

Finally, maybe they took it out because someone realized "What's the point?" Especially on what's supposed to be a low-cost computer, not some grand central entertainment system server (no matter what everyone says, it doesn't come close to having the pieces needed for an entertainment system).
post #7 of 32
Well, with a built-in dock you wouldn't have hoards of people bitching about the missing firewire cable on new iPods.
post #8 of 32
Perhaps it is USB related?

Seeing that Leo Bodnar found a second FireWire port made me wonder. Considering that the latest round of iPod refreshments saw a complete switch to USB2 - away from FireWire - it could be a good enough reason for a last minute change.

What if Apple's next line of iPods is completely USB2 - not even supporting an optional FireWire cable? I'm sure Mac mini customers would be angry if their new Mac with podDock would not be compatible with the next iPod.
post #9 of 32
BTW, a couple of other points. The connector itself doesn't necessarily point to this. It could easily have been a connector used in testing of the hardware that was removed (I'm thinking like the mezzanine slot on the first generation iMacs, which was removed later, but the circuit board still had the spot where it was hooked up).

Second, saying it was removed at the last minute sounds like it was removed Jan. 5th or something. At some point they have to finalize the motherboard AND case, and send off the specs for manufacture. This isn't something you just rip out at 8:52am before the keynote. Even if they took it out 3 months before they went final, unless there was a reason to, they wouldn't waste the money/time redoing the boards and computer to remove it from the final design (as they'd need to retest the thing and all).

Third, a little insight by the finder would be nice. Rather than just saying "A lot of space, by mini standards", how about an estimate, like "Hey, there's this big gap in here, 2.5" by 3" by 1" thick, big enough to shove in an iPod half way, if you know what I mean".

Finally, not that I like doing this, but there are several syntactical errors in the post (quiet, build-in).
post #10 of 32
Well.... if this is a fully featured Firewire bus, I wonder if one could to something useful about it (with a little bit of soldering, that is...).
Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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Now running on a 20" aluminium iMac (Fall 2008), as well as a Macboook Pro 13" (mid 2009) and an iPhone.
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post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by hobBIT
Perhaps it is USB related?

Seeing that Leo Bodnar found a second FireWire port made me wonder. Considering that the latest round of iPod refreshments saw a complete switch to USB2 - away from FireWire - it could be a good enough reason for a last minute change.

What if Apple's next line of iPods is completely USB2 - not even supporting an optional FireWire cable? I'm sure Mac mini customers would be angry if their new Mac with doc would not be compatible with the next iPod.

Actually, the change would make more sense if they connector was supposed to be firewire. If they were anticipating a built-in firewire dock, then they wouldn't need to ship the cable.

But, then again, grouping this with the latest iPod revisions is kind of silly. The dock must've come out of the mini a while ago, while the ipods were just announced. I think someone would've caught on saying "Hey, there's no mini dock, maybe we should put back in the firewire cable!". Or, wouldn't someone say "Hey, most people don't own a mini, why are we alienating all users but mini users, who, to be kind, are our cheapest of customers".

No, I think its fair to say that the iPod release and the mini's so-called almost feature are unrelated.

As for dropping firewire, there's no point, unless for some reason they change the connector again. The cable does the work converting firewire or USB to the iPod. I don't think the iPod cares how its connected. And why would they drop firewire. It doesn't gain them anything, and even pisses the mac users off even more (esp. those without USB 2.0). Plus look at all the money they're making selling those firewire cables!

No, I think its also fair to say that the iPod with USB cable was only done to save money giving everyone two cables, when most iPod users are windows users using USB.

Man, some people like to find conspiracies everywhere. Hey, did it occur to anyone that the iPod was released some 50 years after that spacecraft in Roswell crashed! Maybe there's some kind of connection there (which would explain the whole USB/Firewire cable controversy too, as we all know that aliens use USB only).
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Man, some people like to find conspiracies everywhere. Hey, did it occur to anyone that the iPod was released some 50 years after that spacecraft in Roswell crashed! Maybe there's some kind of connection there (which would explain the whole USB/Firewire cable controversy too, as we all know that aliens use USB only).

I don't know about that, but you can hack into alien spaceships and upload virii to them with Apple PowerBooks as evidenced on Independence Day. :P
post #13 of 32
Validity aside, I can think of one reason I'd love to see some sort of iPod dock for the Mini;

Imagine some sort of removable faceplate that would provide an iPod dock for your particular model of 'pod...

...then imagine what some already are doing... installing the Mini in the dash of your car.

Whether this little tidbit of rumor means anything or not, all I can say is "That's the automobile/iPod interface I would LOVE to buy!".

I've been kicking around the idea of doing a Mini installation in my car. I'm a wedding photographer, and could see a great (and cool) value in having Mac functionality in the dash of my car. I could easily download pics from the ceremony, do a quick slideshow and output to a DVD. Take the disk into the reception and play for friends and family. While all of this could be done with a laptop, I could easily use the Mini for other things such as GPS navigation, etc.

You could ask why you need an iPod if you have a Mini doing the media storage work for you?... I don't know... but it sure sounds cool!
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by vdubya
Validity aside, I can think of one reason I'd love to see some sort of iPod dock for the Mini;

Imagine some sort of removable faceplate that would provide an iPod dock for your particular model of 'pod...

...then imagine what some already are doing... installing the Mini in the dash of your car.

Whether this little tidbit of rumor means anything or not, all I can say is "That's the automobile/iPod interface I would LOVE to buy!".

You could ask why you need an iPod if you have a Mini doing the media storage work for you?... I don't know... but it sure sounds cool!

Problem is Apple has a history of not doing things just because they're "cool". They would need a functional reason, otherwise they end up falling into 'feature-creep' which falls into 'feature-bloat' and then you've got an iMac mini with 62 slots on the front for every different type of device or memory card you could come close to wanting to attach to it, for no other reason but "wouldn't it be cool!" (maybe they could add a racing stripe, now that would be cool!)

And the last thing I want is a whole lot more idiots on the road with more idiotic contraptions that take their eyes off the road, making them even more dangerous then they already are at eating, drinking, phoning, shaving, reading, beauty treatments, laundry, etc.
post #15 of 32
I know what it was for...
People with an iPod photo could use their iPod screen as their monitor instead of a larger monitor. I mean they bought a mini because it was small, maybe Apple thinks that people want a 2.5 inch screen for their computer.

Macaddict16
post #16 of 32
I think the appropriately named Louzer needs to grow up a bit. I offered nothing more than an idea for the use of an iPod dock for the Mini... what the original post was about.

Of course functionality would be a key reason for the addition or implementation of anything Apple does. The Mini is no exception, and probably warrants even more justification for add-ons than other Apple devices. Otherwise the whole concept of simplicity goes out the window. I've read many posts online though, filled with wishlists on iPod/automobile integration. A Mac in your car would certainly fill the bill. And also give you countless other options for it's use.

This whole thread is based on the premise that Apple may have included some future functionality in the Mini, and we are all wondering what it could be used for. The only additional thing I offered was the idea of a universal dock (interchangeable faceplate), much like JBL Onstage unit. I'm sorry if that seemed an idea too fantastic to fathom. But if we're speculating on how Apple could implement a dock like this for several iPod models, I think it is at least an entertainable idea.

Lastly, I do not appreciate being called an idiot. If having music playing or GPS driving information confuses you, then I truly feel sorry for you. You obviously are incapable of processing more than a few bits of information at once. I'm sure that typing with one finger and having the other up your nose pretty much maxed out your brain capacity. Riding in the car with your mommy must really put your little head in a spin.

I apologize to others here for my post. I just think Loser's response to mine was unwarranted.
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by vdubya
I offered nothing more than an idea for the use of an iPod dock for the Mini... what the original post was about.

Actually, to be specific, you didn't come up for a use of the iPod in the mini. You said imagine if it existed. OK. Then imagine sticking a mini in the car. OK. Then went on about the mini, with no other mention of the iPod nor how docking it with a mini makes it anything but 'well, look, its got a built-in dock, ain't that cool!'. What is the iPod in the mini giving you? You don't say. Its just there.

As for your profession, you'd be much better off getting a laptop. Besides the obviousness of "Damn, my car's in the shop, I don't have my mini with me", you'd be able to do all you said without having to trudge back to the car, offload the pictures as you're taking them, and show the slideshow/DVD on the computer directly (or run it up on a projector). Plus you'd spend a lot less money on an iBook then a mini, plus screen, plus cost to install it into car.

Quote:
Lastly, I do not appreciate being called an idiot. If having music playing or GPS driving information confuses you, then I truly feel sorry for you. You obviously are incapable of processing more than a few bits of information at once. I'm sure that typing with one finger and having the other up your nose pretty much maxed out your brain capacity. Riding in the car with your mommy must really put your little head in a spin.

I apologize to others here for my post. I just think Loser's response to mine was unwarranted.

I didn't call you an idiot, I was just referring to the general populace who spend way too much time behind the wheel of a car doing everything but driving. Sure, i'm sure they THINK they're good drivers because they haven't cracked up lately, but they're also the ones, because they're paying attention to everything besides driving, who cut in and out of traffic without regards to other drivers, who shoot over three lanes at the last second to catch an exit, and generally drift all over the place because, well, they're idiots who don't deserve a drivers license. [Recently in my area, there was a deadly accident caused by a driver spending his time watching a DVD rather than, oh, I don't know, driving. Unfortunately for all of us, the driver in question wasn't the one who died. ]

You may think its a great idea to put macs in cars for GPS, but the problem isn't the GPS, its all the other things. People reading email and surfing AI going 70 MPH is my concern. There's a reason why navigation systems are set up to not allow input when the car's in motion, you know. Unless these mini's are all going in to prevent usage when the cars not in motion, they're nothing more than another way to get people killed. And you may think you have no trouble dialing up your iPod while driving, but I doubt its true 100% of the time.

And its Louzer, not loser.
post #18 of 32
^^^^Nerd fight!^^^^
post #19 of 32
LOL
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #20 of 32
Remember the picture of the stack of Mac Minis.
Maybe a connector on the top and bottom of a mini to allow for X Grid or something.
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Kizoku
Remember the picture of the stack of Mac Minis.
Maybe a connector on the top and bottom of a mini to allow for X Grid or something.

Now there's a good thought. I remember there was a external SCSI drive manufacturer who build drives that could be stacked with cables. Don't know if anyone makes 'em like that now, but do a little multi-computer processing with firewire networking.
post #22 of 32
Maybe the mystery board was just for another Firewire port

[edit] OR maybe firewire 800
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post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Bart Smastard
Maybe the mystery board was just for another Firewire port

I don't actually know what I'm talking about, but are those connectors really necessary for that? The Firewire controller and one external port are there anyway, so isn't it possible to reuse the existing connectors to provide one more port? I'm not very clear, it seems.

Besides, how much would cost a second FW 400 port? Several cents, I guess. If you are right, I wonder what was the purpose.
Quote:
OR maybe firewire 800

Doesn't it require a different controller? Anyway, IIRC, they are electrically incompatible.
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Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand. Putts Law
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post #24 of 32
But imagine that you can order your Mac mini with this iPod port (like you can do with a SuperDrive). That's not all the Mac mini that have the port only some of them.

Now imagine that a future iPod get a Bluetooth 2.0 connection and that your Mac mini handle also BT 2.0. You've also got your wireless keyboard and mouse.

Then you can imagine that you can take your Mac mini to another part of the home: the living room. You unplug your power supply and your monitor and move you Mac mini to your living room.

You boot you Mini in screenless mode and use your iPod as a remote to control some AV functionnality of your Mac.

But I know, Apple is more about keeping the computer in the office and move AV content through airport to the living room...
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by FrenchMac
But I know, Apple is more about keeping the computer in the office and move AV content through airport to the living room...

Which is easier and cooler, we just need a decent remote.
post #26 of 32
This decent remote can take the shape of a kind of iPod without a hard drive but with an Airport card inside...
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by FrenchMac
This decent remote can take the shape of a kind of iPod without a hard drive but with an Airport card inside...

yes but apple need to make it! that's the problem. Although the iPod team are working on a new device which isn't classified as an iPod. What I think Apple should work on is iTunes, which should let you have so many songs on your iPod and then less on your computer to save hard drive space - but allow you to transfer between.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
BTW, a couple of other points. The connector itself doesn't necessarily point to this. It could easily have been a connector used in testing of the hardware that was removed (I'm thinking like the mezzanine slot on the first generation iMacs, which was removed later, but the circuit board still had the spot where it was hooked up).

Second, saying it was removed at the last minute sounds like it was removed Jan. 5th or something. At some point they have to finalize the motherboard AND case, and send off the specs for manufacture. This isn't something you just rip out at 8:52am before the keynote. Even if they took it out 3 months before they went final, unless there was a reason to, they wouldn't waste the money/time redoing the boards and computer to remove it from the final design (as they'd need to retest the thing and all).

Third, a little insight by the finder would be nice. Rather than just saying "A lot of space, by mini standards", how about an estimate, like "Hey, there's this big gap in here, 2.5" by 3" by 1" thick, big enough to shove in an iPod half way, if you know what I mean".

Finally, not that I like doing this, but there are several syntactical errors in the post (quiet, build-in).


Last minute is relative not literal. DUH
Not to mention manufacturing plastics one sends a variety of specs to determine which is best or prefered and to perfect the process. I'm sure minis were started mass production sometime late december. Again last minute is relative.

Also as for the missing connector that somethign that could relatviely easy to remove from an assembly line process.

For insight on how much space there is why don't u look at the plethora of nude mac mini pictures online.

You should learn to infer and slowing down to comprehend would help as well.
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post #29 of 32
Quote:
I remember there was a external SCSI drive manufacturer who build drives that could be stacked with cables.

Was it APS? I still have half a dozen of DDS, Jazz and HDDs!
post #30 of 32
Quote:
The Firewire controller and one external port are there anyway, so isn't it possible to reuse the existing connectors to provide one more port?

Single port bandwidth is only 400 Mbps. Connect iSight and 200 Mbps are gone immediately.

I booted up from external Firewire hard drive and after daisy-chaining iSight to it hard drive performance dropped twice

Second port gives additional independent 400 Mbps which in "the year of HD" will not get wasted!
post #31 of 32
just think about it. the mini is so simple. think of the white box top and the gray apple logo, and then a big gap with a connector thingy sticking out. that would look kinda ugly I imagine? And I would think most people who want to get a mini wouldnt really have an ipod? they are kind of expensive? and the mini is really cheap.. well.. as far as how powerful of a computer it is. So that would defeat the pupose because it would be usless unless they have an ipod. but it would still look ugly and thats my point!
post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally posted by Ferali
just think about it. the mini is so simple. think of the white box top and the gray apple logo, and then a big gap with a connector thingy sticking out. that would look kinda ugly I imagine? And I would think most people who want to get a mini wouldnt really have an ipod? they are kind of expensive? and the mini is really cheap.. well.. as far as how powerful of a computer it is. So that would defeat the pupose because it would be usless unless they have an ipod. but it would still look ugly and thats my point!

it's relying on the 'halo' effect. In theory these are iPod users or potential Mac buyers waiting for the price to drop. I wouldn't want a dock built in, ugly! I don't even have the dock conected to the computer. Mine's connected to the power, i only plug into my computer occassionally. Otherwise everytime you turn your computer on/start up the iPod stops playing and syncs!
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