Apple may ax next-gen HDD iPod in favor of all-flash models

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  • Reply 61 of 140
    How about an iPod Milli, bigger than a nano but smaller than a regular ipod. About the thickness (or less) of a current 30 gb, but with a full touch screen and 20 GB or memory.



    Still make a HDD one as well...but also make a less capicity/longer battery life one as well.
  • Reply 62 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shamino View Post


    Why would anybody RAID together multiple 32G flash drives intead of simply hanging 128G worth of flash memory chips off of a single flash file system controller?



    I think the 32G "limit" described is a limit only in terms of price and physical space within an iPod's shell.



    Agreed. I think there's a misunderstanding of RAID. RAID has two main purpose. One, to provide a redundant backup. This form of RAID would involve mirroring one 32GB chip onto a second 32GB chip, giving a total capacity of 32GB. Given that the data on an iPod is already mirrored on the syncing computer, this isn't necessary and really just wastes a flash chip. The second use is to overcome speed limitations on hard drives. There's a mechanical limit to how quickly hard drives can read/write data; by combining two drives together in a striped form a given piece of data can be split across two or more drives, increasing read/write speeds. (Example: if a drive can write, say, 1GB per sec, it'll take 1 second to write 1GB, obviously; it would take .5 sec to write 1GB to two striped drives.) Speed is always an issue with computers, but not so much with iPods. Clearly, current HD based iPods (considerably slower than flash memory) are quite capable of reading data quickly enough to play back audio and video. There could theoretically be a speed up in syncing, but the bottleneck there would be the USB2 interface, somewhat slower thanthe read/write capabilities of flash. As such, no reason to do a striped RAID either. Combining multiple flash chips together to make a larger memory space is just what happens with computer RAM, no RAIDing involved.



    My take was that the 32GB limit was just the largest single flash chip currently available. I can't see any problem with combining four or more together in a device the size of a full iPod. But, 128GB in flash will be a *lot* more expensive than 128GB in HD at current prices. That would be a lot to pay for better battery life.
  • Reply 63 of 140
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Despite the availability of the technology to track these things (I think even Steve Woz's company, Wheels of Zeuss, promises a similar tracking technology), Apple is NOT going to offer Lo-Jack style tracking of these devices. Please! Won't happen. I guarantee it... I triple-latte-guarantee it!



    I'm not saying that they will. I'm just saying that it wouldn't be nearly as difficult as some would imagine. If they were to do this, it would be better to work on the laptop lines instead.
  • Reply 64 of 140
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by menotyou View Post


    and google, yahoo, nokia, garmin, tomtom, and microsoft all purchase from both these companies and blend their data into a uniform map product along with automotive providers, etc. Firm #1 is better at some area's of the globe, while Firm #2 is better in others. Put them together and you've got the best possible. And there are ONLY 2 companies that provide this type of data, it is a Duopoly. This is the industry my paycheck comes from.... Apple is not involved as a direct buyer, if Maps show up they will be branded by Google most likely (probally phasing out MapQuest). Apple will not control the data in it's raw format. This is why the iphone in Steve J.'s presentation had a Google widget & not something more 'in house'



    You don't need either of these companies for this.
  • Reply 65 of 140
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sunilraman View Post


    Well, hell, it *should* be fun!! Why are you doing it otherwise? For profit, fair enough. For home, well, it *should* be fun, 8)



    Nah! Listening to music is fun. But, after the first 100 or so lp's, it gets pretty boring.
  • Reply 66 of 140
    gugygugy Posts: 794member
    bull,



    widescreen iPod with 100 to 120 gig is what's coming next.
  • Reply 67 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    If they were to do this, it would be better to work on the laptop lines instead.



    Agreed.
  • Reply 68 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I have over 1,500 lp's in the process of being converted to digital (not fun, I can tell you!), and over 2,000 cd's, plus much video.



    Are you performing the conversion, or are you lucky enough to have an intern? Great Pumpkin, what a chore!!!



    What is your process for converting your LPs, if you don't mind my asking? Once converted, do you run the audio file through SoundSoap or the like?
  • Reply 69 of 140
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,334member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    Are you performing the conversion, or are you lucky enough to have an intern? Great Pumpkin, what a chore!!!



    What is your process for converting your LPs, if you don't mind my asking? Once converted, do you run the audio file through SoundSoap or the like?



    I do it myself. and it is a chore. I've been working on it for over three years. I have about 1,000 done. I do them in batches. some days I'll do four or five, and some days, none. Lately, it has been more of "none". I've done most of the more important disks, so I've gotten lazy about the rest.



    I use Pro Tools plus a couple of plug-ins that remove pops, noise, etc. I touch up each recording as required.



    Raygun is a pretty good, inexpensive tool, but it doesn't offer enough in sophisticated control. I've also played with various versions of iTunes and Toast, but, so far, they don't help with anything other than the basics. I haven't looked at the latest version of Toast.



    I've always taken very good care of my lp's. Few have objectionable noise or other annoyances.
  • Reply 70 of 140
    Sandisk has recently intro'd a 32 gig flash drive. Larger sizes will come in due time.



    They also warned the financial world that that while their normal expectation is to see 50% annual price reductions they may miss their financial targets this year as prices fell by 27% in January and may fall by 60% or more this year. It expects a glut of supply thru the 1st half of the year before new product intros soak up the supply during the second half. So that would imply that the 60% price drop could be all in the 1st half.



    Sure sounds to me like they anticipate high capacity products using up the available supply as we move towards next christmas' manufacturing cycle.
  • Reply 71 of 140
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    I quess the question is how often to go home....the hd space is at home, you carry what you plan to hear/view. i don't need 80 as long as my macbook has it, guys you don't carry your house with you, or in your car you carry what you need for the travel time. and with wireless n, much more is possible for flexibility. BUT battery life is a big concern for any portable device. i want battery life, look at the nano 8gb, it goes and goes and goes.....so if apple is improving the experience any ipod needs to run 16+ hours so you can listen view till you get home or to your car.



    i think this is giving the direction of the iphone....i predicted in another post that what SJ showed would be the minimum , come june i think it will be substancially better. that will keep the buzz.

    to be honest it makes no sense to get a phone for that price not 3g, even if it had 32gb of storage. i'm going to wait for the 3g phone.
  • Reply 72 of 140
    csi95csi95 Posts: 38member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shamino View Post


    Why would anybody RAID together multiple 32G flash drives intead of simply hanging 128G worth of flash memory chips off of a single flash file system controller?



    I think the 32G "limit" described is a limit only in terms of price and physical space within an iPod's shell.



    Is that all? Price and Space? Well, what's stopping Apple then? I can see it now -- the iPod Macro, 128Gb of goodness in a 15", 12lbs case!



    Yes, it may be possible to buy a 128Mb flash memory card, but the size and cost make it impracticle for an iPod. It very well might be cheaper, and more size appropriate to lash together a few smaller sized chips than it is to plunk in one big one...
  • Reply 73 of 140
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    The nanos will be bumped. I also wouldn't be surprised if they have larger touchscreens and can play video. But there is no way they will replace the full size iPods with devices that store less.
  • Reply 74 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    You don't need either of these companies for this.



    then tell me, where are you going to buy this data from with the attribution that is needed? TIGER does not have appropriate accuracy for the USA. That is the only other continious data provider in the US, not to mention the globe. All mapping portals on the intnernet get there data from one or both of these firms, as well as personal navigation devises & auto firms. check your facts.
  • Reply 75 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BrianMojo View Post


    I guess I'm the only one out there who would prefer a larger iPod for storing all his music and video content in one place... 250 gigs would be nice.



    I guess I don't understand the need to carry around 10 movies when the battery life will barely get you through two. Very long trips where you can battery-up but not sync?
  • Reply 76 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TKN View Post


    The nanos will be bumped. I also wouldn't be surprised if they have larger touchscreens and can play video. But there is no way they will replace the full size iPods with devices that store less.



    ... unless they flip the flagship iPod into the widescreen iPod.



    Current:



    iPod 80GB > iPod 30GB > nano 8GB > nano 4GB > nano 2GB > shuffle 1GB



    Next generation:



    wide 120GB > wide 80GB > nano 24GB > nano 8GB > shuffle 2GB



    That's basically the current lineup with size bumps from top to bottom.



    The widescreen would be both the high-end iPod and the low-end portable Leopard device, i.e., handheld computer.
  • Reply 77 of 140
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AWAL View Post


    I liked the idea brought up months ago of having a hybrid HDD/Flash based iPod.



    All other challenges aside (form-factor, etc.) , I believe Apple would be able to improve the capacity-to-battery life issue in the near term while the flash technology continues to improve. For example, why couldn't iTunes automatically load the most played, most-recently played, and most-recently added songs/videos into the flash drive and keep everything else on the hard drive? Thus, they would minimize HDD use.



    Furthermore, would it be more efficient to use part of the flash drive as a buffer to load a large movie all at once into flash to keep the HDD usage to a minimum?



    Regardless, I think apple should figure something out to freshen up the iPod Video line before the end of 2007 "at the earliest".



    Bump this one
  • Reply 78 of 140
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PBG4 Dude View Post


    This is exactly why I don't believe Apple would release a new generation product with a lesser amount of storage and kill the higher storage model.



    Yeah, they would never replace a model that exists in 4 GBs and 6 GBs sizes with one that only exists in 2 GBs and 4 GBs ones… surely they would never ever do that!



    Oh wait. They did.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PBG4 Dude View Post


    Wrong. NAND is much faster than HDD. If it wasn't, Intel wouldn't be trying to incorporate NAND as a boot/OS drive in laptops.



    No, it's slower both at reading and at writing. It's the seek times that are a lot better.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by willrob View Post


    I've asked this before but have never gotten a response. Are Flash based RAIDs possible? If so, then two or more 35G flash drives could provide expanded storage for future Flash based iPods.



    Of course they're possible, but they're unneeded for the iPod. The iPod doesn't use flash drives, which internally consist of multiple flash chips. The iPod uses the chips directly. If Apple wanted 64 instead of 32 GBs, they'd simply double the amount of chips. No RAID needed.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AWAL View Post


    I liked the idea brought up months ago of having a hybrid HDD/Flash based iPod.



    It is a good idea indeed. So good, in fact, that iPods have employed it since day one. All iPods (shuffles aside) have at least 32 MBs of cache; some even twice that.
  • Reply 79 of 140
    One thing people are forgetting...transfer speeds. My 80 GB iPod is very fast at uploading music and video content. How fast would these flash based devices be? From my experience it couldn't possibly be any where near as fast. My fastest USB Flash Drive (166x) takes over 45 minutes to upload 4 GB of data. My iPod is like 3 minutes for that.
  • Reply 80 of 140
    shaminoshamino Posts: 510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mugwump View Post


    Yes, flash RAID is fine.



    I believe the first shuffle or nano had a couple of 2 gig flash chips in there -- or some size like that.



    Who told you that a flash file system has to be only one chip? It's not true. A single file system can use as many or as few chips as your system designers choose.



    The fact that some iPods use multiple flash chips doesn't mean there's anything resembling RAID in there. It's just a multi-chip flash file system. This is no different from the fact that a lot of hard drives have two or three platters in the case - it's still one drive.
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