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iPod classic: the last hurrah for HDD-based iPods? - Page 2

post #41 of 83
As for the idea of Flash having a limited lifetime as compared to HDD's, that's an interesting question.

It depends on the use.

Five years ago write lifetime was about 10,000 writes. Now, for most Flash, it's about 100,000. Much better. But, that doesn't tell the whole story. There is microcode to move the memory around when writes occur (often, but not always, reads as well). That's supposed to "level" the memory cell use, giving a much greater lifetime. And it can.

But, I think that this is a bit like the printer manufacturers. We age given a number of pages the ink or toner can last, but how many people get that number of pages? Very few. Why is that?

It's because the ink or toner life is based on a 5% coverage. If all you do is print text files, you might come close to that like (as long as you don't print too much in bold or large point sizes.

But, when you print graphics, or especially, photo's, you get a much smaller number of pages, possibly 10% as many. That's because coverage jumps way up.

The same thing is true of Flash. Manufacturers are using fill numbers that may not be realistic. So, how you use the Flash, and how much of it you fill up becomes very important.

If all you do is to add songs, and almost never delete anything, it might last your lifetime, or longer. If you constantly change the files, and fill the memory up, it will go more quickly.

If it's used in a computer, for virtual memory, and is almost filled up, it may not last long at all. A computer can move files in and out of that memory many times a second. If the memory is constantly being almost filled, there is no where for the bit leveling schemes to put those bits. They will constantly be re-filled. I've been told that it's possible for that Flash to start deteriorating in months.
post #42 of 83
What are these prices? Retail or distributor? Because Apple buys as a distributor or even better. They do not buy one single screen for instance; they buy 100 million screens at once! Sure, the price is not the same per unit!
post #43 of 83
I think the problem with HDD in a Touch is with WiFi: the disk interfers with the reception. Not insurmountable, but maybe in a small form factor. In a notebook, the antenna is in the LED cover, the disk is in the base to give physical separation.

As to whether we'll see another interation of the classic, I don't think it takes much R&D engineering to move to a larger capacity HDD in the same form factor. The classic software seems to ride on the nano coattails, and with no new industrial design (remember last year's storage bump only for the whole ipod line?) you could probably see one, two or even three years of "milking" the existing design.

The real problem in my opinion is the number of models: I can see offering only one capacity, only one color at some time.
post #44 of 83
Just because the Classic is not much changed on the inside doesn't mean it's a stopgap for a replacement (such as an HD-based Touch).

Maybe they're just happy with the insides the way they are.
post #45 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

It doesn't say anything about Apple dumping HD's, just that the classic probably won't be a huge seller and won't be around that long.

Given that the iPod is the only model that can hold most music fans' entire music collection, I disagree. I think the classic will continue to sell well.

I just got an 80GB classic. Had there been a 32GB Nano, I may have purchased one as I'm using 25GB now.
post #46 of 83
There's definitely a phase-out of Hard Drive iPods, i mean...there's only one model left.

There will still be hard drive based iPods as long as flash memory can't semi-affordably reach the 40-60GB range. I'd give it 2 or 3 years, maybe more though.
post #47 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

Given that the iPod is the only model that can hold most music fans' entire music collection, I disagree. I think the classic will continue to sell well.

I just got an 80GB classic. Had there been a 32GB Nano, I may have purchased one as I'm using 25GB now.

Given that the nano already outsold the HD based models by a large factor, why would you think that would change with the classic? The huge sales of the nano seem to indicate that many (most?) ipod users either have small collections or don't consider it that important to have the whole collection on at once. "Continuing" to sell well implies that it's selling well now - it sells well enough to keep as a product, but nothing close to nano sales.

I'm not saying it will sell poorly, I'm just saying that sales will be much less than sales of the flash based models, which has been the case for quite some time.
post #48 of 83
I really don't think the Classic is necessarily a stop-gap measure. If it was, why would they put so much work into remaking the user interface? It's not like the multi-touch devices and it's considerably different than the previous iPod iterations. What we've heard suggests that Apple moved away from Pixio or whatever to something else developed in-house that's not OS X or Pixio. That doesn't seem to be a smart thing to do unless they stick with it for a while.

I think a HDD version of Touch would be nice, it's so thin that they could have made it as thick as the iPhone and fit in the hard drive and a bigger battery.

I think it's a little too soon to start giving the obits for the HDD iPods, it's probably going to be good for a couple more years. Any predictions beyond that will become even more tenuous though, that depends on how the costs and capacities advance on both types of storage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Stevenson View Post

I think the problem with HDD in a Touch is with WiFi: the disk interfers with the reception. Not insurmountable, but maybe in a small form factor. In a notebook, the antenna is in the LED cover, the disk is in the base to give physical separation.

The drive's mechanisms are pretty well shielded.
post #49 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkExpensive View Post

There's definitely a phase-out of Hard Drive iPods, i mean...there's only one model left.

That's kind of a long phase-out. There's been only been one model of the HDD iPod for over two years now, but it still hasn't been dropped or phased out yet.
post #50 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Cole, you're right, I misunderstood your point.

If that's all the source said, it does seem more like they're saying a HD version of the touch could be coming. What they say doesn't imply that they're dumping HD at all, it seems like AI is jumping to conclusions unrelated to their comments.

A HD iPod touch ?? - presumably with a Mini-HDMI port - that would be cool.
post #51 of 83
Everyone keeps saying that there are very few people who want/need to get their entire music collection on their iPod. Or their entire collection will fit in a smaller, flash-based iPod. But Apple is more and more pushing selling video from iTunes. And I think we all agree that higher quality (HD?) video is soon coming. At the current resolution, a one hour video is 700-800 MB. Higher quality video is only going to make the file size larger, probably well over 1 GB/hour.

So take a 16 MB touch, or worse yet a 8 GB nano...the OS and apps on the touch take a little less than 1 GB, I think. Now add a couple high quality feature length movies, a dozen or so episodes of your favorite TV shows, and a few video podcasts. All of a sudden, there's not a whole lot of room left for music.

My music alone nearly fills my 15GB 3rd generation iPod, and it's all at either 128 or 160 kb/s. I'd like to bump up the bit rate a bit if I had more space. I really like the touch, but it's useless to me because I don't want to be constantly "managing" my music because it won't all fit. I was going to get a classic, but the combination of slow interface, skipping music (due to the wasted processor/hard drive cycles for the new, slow interface), and crappy video out support ($49 cable needed in place of the $19 cable with the previous generation), and broken support for the camera connector.

I guess what I'm saying is that if the current iPod classic represents the last of the HHD players, and if Apple isn't going to fix the interface and restore functionality it took away, I'm screwed because it'll be at least 2-3 more years before flash-based iPods are anywhere near the capacity that would prompt me to replace my current iPod.
post #52 of 83
Certainly when you look at the iPod Nano, then the iPod Touch & iPhone... the iPod Classic looks a little dinosaur-ish. However.. I bought the latest dinosaur, because the hard disk space is important to me for files I move around.

Whether Apple keeps the HDD models will depend on their plans for the integrated "whole system", I believe, rather than what an iPod should be

There are 3 integrated Mac/iPod features I could see them playing with..
1) Time Machine backup of home directory to a users iPod
2) portable home directory
3) music & movies "master storage" on the iPod

In more detail:
1) Time Machine backup of home directory to a users iPod
Why not plug in my iPod and have it automatically backup my home directory and unique applications. Even on HDD models, it might have to skip movies to fit it in. But what a great backup.

2) portable home directory
We know Apple was talking about having your Home directory on any Mac you plugged your iPod into. I'd like that. (Better yet, integrate it with #1 so that my iPod is a backup AND portable home directory.)

3) music & movies "master storage" on the iPod
I'd say that half the laptop users out there have a hard disk smaller than they'd like. That's the half whose laptop is more than 1.5years old . The newest iPod HDDs are relatively huge.
... I'd rather have ALL my music and photos on my iPod, and then sync a smaller amount down to my laptop. That'd free up alot of space on my laptop.

So again... yeah the iPod Classic looks too big etc, and technologically is no leap forward... but Apple is the only company that might be able to make the iPod do something more to improve our computing experience too. (ooh... actually, I guess MS/Zune could do the same?). Then again, perhaps Apple thinks online storage will suffice for all the above.
post #53 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

...Apple is more and more pushing selling video from iTunes....add a couple high quality feature length movies, a dozen or so episodes of your favorite TV shows, and a few video podcasts. All of a sudden, there's not a whole lot of room left for music.

My music alone nearly fills my 15GB 3rd generation iPod, and it's all at either 128 or 160 kb/s. I'd like to bump up the bit rate a bit if I had more space.

I'm with you - these were my contentions earlier on. Some in the thread point to their collections and say there's no need for more space while others point out the diminishing HDD iPod market share and limited number of models. Frankly, neither make a bit of difference in an era well past us seeing low bitrate audio needs satisfied by flash solutions and at some point in time before any of us truly see a mobile video solution that will be embraced both in the home as TiVo currently is and plugged into cars, planes, hotels, and conference rooms for the enjoyment of personalized video multimedia content. Discs don't solve the problem and will be superceded by a drive of some kind, form factors as big as a TiVO (or even Apple TV) won't do it because they're not portable enough, the network might solve the problem if common carriers give us all easy access to our home content and home machines make it easy to set up.

The smart money's on an iPod connection (and soon enough a very high speed, integrated wireless stack) in the car, plane, hotel, and conference room that will give us all ubiquitous access to our content through the video and audio equipment already on hand, which soon enough could mean a 20 inch HD screen in planes, trains, and cars, a 60 inch cheapo HD flatscreen in a hotel and who knows how big in the office.

So again, where's the HDD iPod going? It's definitely not leaving the iPod lineup anytime soon, regardless of AI putting words in iSuppli's mouth in this article or anyone basing their opinions on what they're using now, any more than any of us knew we'd be committing so much of our time and productivity to computing and the net back in 1975. In the immortal words of the dude on 'How I Met Your Mother':

"Wait for it... wait for it..."
post #54 of 83
I do think we will see an iPod Touch with a 200 GB hard drive by September 2008, mostly because by then battery technology will be good enough to do this. With a 200 GB hard drive, there's more than enough space to store multiple movies.
post #55 of 83
Wouldn't it be great to someday see a 200 GB iPod with FLAC support? - then, we'd finally get a digital music player with the capacity and ability to play music at the same level of quality (or better, if artists master directly to FLAC in the studio) than during the CD age... At this point it still feels like the transition from CD to MP3 is like that from LP to cassette - much more convenient, much crappier sound quality...
post #56 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Superbass View Post

Wouldn't it be great to someday see a 200 GB iPod with FLAC support? - then, we'd finally get a digital music player with the capacity and ability to play music at the same level of quality (or better, if artists master directly to FLAC in the studio) than during the CD age... At this point it still feels like the transition from CD to MP3 is like that from LP to cassette - much more convenient, much crappier sound quality...

Personally I can't tell any difference so long as files use at least 160kbps MP3 or 128kbps AAC, I suspect most consumers can't either.

If it's a concern to you just use Apple Lossless
post #57 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I really don't think the Classic is necessarily a stop-gap measure. If it was, why would they put so much work into remaking the user interface?

I think the answer to that is pretty obvious. The same interface is on the nano as well, which sells more units. They basically did the work to update the nano interface, as long as the nano and classic have similar os and CPU, putting it on the classic was probably hardly any work at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Everyone keeps saying that there are very few people who want/need to get their entire music collection on their iPod. Or their entire collection will fit in a smaller, flash-based iPod. But Apple is more and more pushing selling video from iTunes.

Apple can push all they want, but the sales numbers speak for themselves. People are buying far more of the smaller capacity, flash based units. Video is ramping up, but flash sizes are ramping up as well. Not to mention that with video, people may be even more inclined to only keep a few things on the iPod at a time, especially with battery life.

It's not that there's no need for more space, it's that the sales show that many people are content with less space - they could buy the one with more space but are choosing the smaller one instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

I was going to get a classic, but the combination of slow interface, skipping music (due to the wasted processor/hard drive cycles for the new, slow interface), and crappy video out support ($49 cable needed in place of the $19 cable with the previous generation), and broken support for the camera connector.

First, are you aware that there's a firmware update for the new iPods that speeds up the interface considerably?

And second, the new "crappy" video cable isn't $49, it's that price for the cable plus a charger. It sucks that they're not selling the cable separately, but the package is the same price as the old cable plus the charger.

We'll probably never see FLAC support since it's redundant, apple already supports uncompressed audio and apple lossless for those who want CD quality.
post #58 of 83
they reworked the iPod interface because last time they were sued by creative, but yeah iPod classic is not a stopgap. HDD is long from gone until flash is feasible for carrying at least a hundred movies at an affordable price.

besides what is the problem with hdd ipods coexisting with flash ipods as long as they are all profitable for apple?
post #59 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut View Post

they reworked the iPod interface because last time they were sued by creative, but yeah iPod classic is not a stopgap. HDD is long from gone until flash is feasible for carrying at least a hundred movies at an affordable price.

Don't you know Apple settled and got the rights to that?
post #60 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Don't you know Apple settled and got the rights to that?

The interface they were sued over is still the same, they just added moving backgrounds to the right side of it... which I honestly do kinda like. Reminds me of music I have long forgot about.

 

 

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post #61 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Don't you know Apple settled and got the rights to that?

yeah I read they paid creative 100 million. i just figured that changing the interface had also a little bit to do with "let's make it different and more 'ours' so we don't run into the same problems again later on"
post #62 of 83
I would certainly look forward to an HDD based iPod touch.

The current flash based iPod touch, with its current capacity, fills the needs of two markets: those who want a sampling of their audio collection and those who don't mind lower quality encodings of their tunes.

The iPod Touch HDD would fill the needs of the other market: those who want a complete portable version of their music collection and those who want to have higher quality encodings, possibly using AIFF or ALE.

In many ways I believe the HDD based iPod would certainly be the ones that audiophiles would want to pick up and would probably want a better DAC, if the current one is considered average - not being an audiophile myself, I can't comment on how well the iPod does on reproducing non-lossy-compressed audio.

A 160GB flash based iPod would be neat, but I reckon another three years before we get there. It has taken about three years to go from 1GB flash to 16GB flash.
post #63 of 83
The day all iPods are flash drive based is a few years away yet.
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post #64 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

I would certainly look forward to an HDD based iPod touch.

In many ways I believe the HDD based iPod would certainly be the ones that audiophiles would want to pick up and would probably want a better DAC, if the current one is considered average - not being an audiophile myself, I can't comment on how well the iPod does on reproducing non-lossy-compressed audio..

The iPod does just fine as an audiophile grade source. Compression of 192kbs AAC and higher is audiophile IMO.

I too am one of those who would gladly buy an HD based touch. I think that is what is coming, otherwise I would go out and get a classic, but I am holding out for what I think will come.

There are just too many uses for large storage capacity for HD based iPods to be phased out in the short term. I remember equipping a computer with an enormous 160mb HD and wondering how anyone could possibly need that much storage ;-)
post #65 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

People are buying far more of the smaller capacity, flash based units. Video is ramping up, but flash sizes are ramping up as well. Not to mention that with video, people may be even more inclined to only keep a few things on the iPod at a time, especially with battery life.

...and based on what seems to statistically bear out for audio, it's possible that regardless of what's going on in the iTMS, until we can rip video the same way we rip CDs there might not be a market. Sure, times have changed and so are conventional expectations regarding how content is delivered but I'd bet if the average Joe had the ability to 'Handbrake' all his DVDs right in iTunes it would lift the demand substantially. It's easy for us to talk about, but to the less technically inclined it's not gonna happen without an integrated video ripper. That's about a million miles from likely, though.
post #66 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColeSQ View Post

...and based on what seems to statistically bear out for audio, it's possible that regardless of what's going on in the iTMS, until we can rip video the same way we rip CDs there might not be a market. Sure, times have changed and so are conventional expectations regarding how content is delivered but I'd bet if the average Joe had the ability to 'Handbrake' all his DVDs right in iTunes it would lift the demand substantially. It's easy for us to talk about, but to the less technically inclined it's not gonna happen without an integrated video ripper. That's about a million miles from likely, though.

This has been discussed at length in various AppleTV threads. To be quick, I agree with that point... but I would go further to say that the video capability in ipods is not much more than a novelty for most buyers. IMHO this is because 1) watching video is not a passive activity like listening to music so you can not do other things simultaneously, and 2) the MTR/Handbrake process its excruciatingly slow. There will never be an integrated DVD ripper in iTunes for multiple reasons, one of which is the relationship with Universal/MGM/Paramount etc that would be lost instantly. So the only ones that are actively and regularly using the video capability on their ipods are 1) enthusiasts who rip (like many AI visitors), 2) people who buy video from itunes (very small percentage compared to music), and 3) saavy home videographers.

That being said, there is huge value in that novelty simply because in the year 2007, very few will buy a portable music player for $250 or more if it has no video capability... even if there is no intention to view a single video on it. I know a ton of coworkers and friends with video ipods who have NEVER watched a video on it, but enjoy the brigt color interface.
post #67 of 83
How would you feel if the iPod classic could play back the same files that Apple TV supports, including 720p content?
post #68 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

How would you feel if the iPod classic could play back the same files that Apple TV supports, including 720p content?

None of the iPods have the rez for 720p, so they can't play it back on their own sereens any better than regular def programs.

But, it would be interesting if they were powerful enough to play them back on an external Tv, or monitor.

But, that may not be possible, due to DRM restrictions. It's possible that any playbeck device will need HDCP for playback in both devices.
post #69 of 83
32GB iPod touch would solve everything.
post #70 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinowolf View Post

32GB iPod touch would solve everything.

For you.

 

 

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post #71 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinowolf View Post

32GB iPod touch would solve everything.

Until it actually came out, then the bitching would start.
post #72 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

For you.

Oops! My bad. It already has.
post #73 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Oops! My bad. It already has.

For me a 32GB iPod is woefully inadequate. "For you" is correct. In fact I would rather have a 160GB iPod Classic than a 64GB iPod Touch, at the same price and we're not even close to being there yet.
post #74 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

For me a 32GB iPod is woefully inadequate. "For you" is correct. In fact I would rather have a 160GB iPod Classic than a 64GB iPod Touch, at the same price and we're not even close to being there yet.

I'm not arguing it.

For most people 32 MB is way more than enough, as witnessed by the droves of people buying Nano's and even Shuffles.

But, I do realise that there are some who crave more.

That's why Apple has the Classics with so much storage. They know it to.

Those wishing for huge Flash iPods now are dreaming. It will come, but later, by the time the Classic has a 750 GB drive.
post #75 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm not arguing it.

For most people 32 MB is way more than enough, as witnessed by the droves of people buying Nano's and even Shuffles.

But, I do realise that there are some who crave more.

That's why Apple has the Classics with so much storage. They know it to.

Those wishing for huge Flash iPods now are dreaming. It will come, but later, by the time the Classic has a 750 GB drive.

Hey I've bought two 2nd Gen. Shuffles and a Red 2nd Gen Nano. One Shuffle was a gift for my 8 year-old daughter, and one was for me, though I use it rarely now (need to start running again). The Nano was a gift for my GF, who doesn't have as much musical interest as I do. Likewise I had bought a pink Mini for an ex-gf.

One reason the Nano and Shuffle sell so well is that they make gerat gifts. The Classic is much more of a personal device for the serious music fan. There's no one who doesn't already have an iPod who would like a Classic, unless it's an upgrade.
post #76 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Hey I've bought two 2nd Gen. Shuffles and a Red 2nd Gen Nano. One Shuffle was a gift for my 8 year-old daughter, and one was for me, though I use it rarely now (need to start running again). The Nano was a gift for my GF, who doesn't have as much musical interest as I do. Likewise I had bought a pink Mini for an ex-gf.

One reason the Nano and Shuffle sell so well is that they make gerat gifts. The Classic is much more of a personal device for the serious music fan. There's no one who doesn't already have an iPod who would like a Classic, unless it's an upgrade.

I doubt if more than a few percent of Shuffle or Nano sales are for gifts. The HDD models are given as gifts as well.
post #77 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I doubt if more than a few percent of Shuffle or Nano sales are for gifts. The HDD models are given as gifts as well.

Are you saying that the HDD models are more likely to be given as gifts? If so, I disagree. From a price point perspective the cheaper model will be given more as a gift.

I've personally bought several Nanos and Shuffles as gifts but never over the $149 mark. Maybe I'm just cheap.
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post #78 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Are you saying that the HDD models are more likely to be given as gifts? If so, I disagree. From a price point perspective the cheaper model will be given more as a gift.

I've personally bought several Nanos and Shuffles as gifts but never over the $149 mark. Maybe I'm just cheap.

No. What I said is what I meant. You quoted it yourself.

The HDD drives models are given as gifts as well. That simply means that a certain percentage of HDD models are given as gifts, as opposed to what Tonton was saying:

Quote:
One reason the Nano and Shuffle sell so well is that they make gerat gifts. The Classic is much more of a personal device for the serious music fan.

What he said there, though he may not have meant it that way, was that Nano's and Shuffle's are usually given away as gifts, which is why they sell so well, but HDD drive models are not given away as gifts, except rarely, but are bought by the user.

That's not true at all. A small percentage of ALL Apple players are given away as gifts. The large majority of all models are bought by the user.
post #79 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

No. What I said is what I meant. You quoted it yourself.

Gotcha. I was defintiely confused by the wording. Perhaps I should put down the crack pipe.
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post #80 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Gotcha. I was defintiely confused by the wording. Perhaps I should put down the crack pipe.

Don't put it down, just hand it over.
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