Apple needs to update iPod to stay on top?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Hey everyone,



I don't know if anyone is talking about this already but what is Apple's plan for its next generation iPod?



Check out this article touting Sony's new "iPod killer":



http://money.cnn.com/2004/07/01/tech...reut/index.htm



It supposedly has a 30 hour battery life and some sort of compression software that lets a 20 gig hardrive hold 13,000 songs. Also, it is $100 less than Apple's top of the line iPod.



Any thoughts?





-Dr. Bimane
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 87
    Well, I haven't seen it yet, but it's a Sony-proprietary format?the ATRAC thing. So it can be as nicely-compressed and cheap as it wants, but since it doesn't play iTMS-compatible songs, mp3s or even WMA, as far as I'm concerned probably next to no one in the USA will want it.



    Sony often has nice style, though, so that's one thing they've got over other competitors.
  • Reply 2 of 87
    dr.bimanedr.bimane Posts: 50member
    Check out pictures of it:



    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/07...ny_hd_walkman/



    It looks pretty cool.



    However, I did not realize that it could not play mp3s.



    It is a proprietary format. That will hurt Sony...I agree.



    -Dr. Bimane
  • Reply 3 of 87
    It looks kinda cute... that's something. The interface looks like it might be okay, although the little round control looks somewhat familiar in a miniPod kind of way.



    I notice that although it only plays ATRAC format, "other formats are converted" to that format when uploaded to the player. I still don't think it will get them anywhere, because you're still forced to use their software and it's just one extra step from the iTMS to the player.



    But maybe that's something Apple might do in the future -- convert other formats on the fly into AAC when you feed them to your iPod. Possibly a future method for using WMA? Steve said they're not worrying about it until WMA is at 50% market share, but maybe that just means the iPod won't play it, not that you couldn't convert it.



    Although, now that I think about it, playing nice with WMA in any way at all doesn't sound like a very Steve thing to do.
  • Reply 4 of 87
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I'm not even wasting my time on that CNN link. It comes to the point I grow weary of the web pontificaton.



    We all know the 4G iPods are coming and that iTunes MS has excellent traction.



    I'm not even impressed with Sony anymore. Samsung is eating their lunch in TVs and Apples eating their lunch in portables. Their last great success is the Playstation.
  • Reply 5 of 87
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Well, they finally fielded a decent hardware design. The quality of the interface is still to be determined.



    As for converting other formats on the fly, that's nice, but it's also very likely that they don't convert any copy-protected files, because that means changing the licensing terms and that won't fly anywhere - certainly not in license-happy Europe.



    The Sony store got panned, even by David Pogue (not that he's a pushover, but he usually just gets diplomatic if he doesn't like something). That's going to be a big problem. At this point, if you want to kill iPod, you need slick hardware and a slick interface and a slick jukebox and a slick music store with relatively liberal licensing terms. (That's the advantage of the "whole widget" strategy.) It doesn't look like Sony's close, frankly.



    It's a pity, too, because the hardware guys responsible for that slim little number obviously did their homework.



    n.b.: iTunes already converts unprotected WMA files to AAC, or whatever your preferred format is.
  • Reply 6 of 87
    I tend to agree... although I think it's a little harsh to say that the maker of the DVCAM PD-150 hasn't had any successes.



    But it's true... since the iTMS UK/DE/France seems to be doing well (despite indie label absences), I'm not too worried about the success of the platform in general. Here's hoping the iPod 4G proves irresistable in yet another new and unforeseen way.
  • Reply 7 of 87
    I forgot they added unprotected WMA conversion this last time... it's a little hard to keep up with the progress of iTunes.
  • Reply 8 of 87
    dr.bimanedr.bimane Posts: 50member
    Apple cannot sit back and marvel at its greatness.



    That is what it did in the '80's with Microsoft and all of us know how that ended up.



    The iPod is great. Yes.



    But, it must continue to improve and evolve.



    Maybe this thing from Sony will get Apple to drop prices on the iPod and continue to improve it.



    -Dr. Bimane
  • Reply 9 of 87
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    I do not buy the whole "It holds this many songs" thing. I look at at bare capacity and Sony is pitting a $400 20 GB player against Apple's $400 20GB player. They *try* to compare it to the 40GB iPod but that is crap. I have dealt with Atrac files before and they are not all they are cracked up to be (nice but at 64kbps they still sound like low quality stuff).



    The battery life is the most intriguing part. I'd like to hear some independent test confirm that.
  • Reply 10 of 87
    Dr. Bimane:



    I agree that Apple needs to continue to improve. Fortunately, it seems these days that they also think that.



    Bancho:



    Totally agree about battery life. Would love to see some improvement there, although I also am skeptical about the claim in Sony's announcement.



    On the subject of the 20GB capacity, you may be right that realistically they're still competing with Apple's 20GB capacity, but not all end users are as suspicious as people like us.
  • Reply 11 of 87
    tak1108tak1108 Posts: 222member
    Remember that people compare mhz to mhz even though between intel, AMD, and IBM, Mot are different things.



    So in MOST peoples minds, 20gb is 20gb. You could probably fit a LOT of 32k aac files on a 40gb, but most people are not going to do that.
  • Reply 12 of 87
    Quote:

    Originally posted by tak1108

    Remember that people compare mhz to mhz even though between intel, AMD, and IBM, Mot are different things.



    So in MOST peoples minds, 20gb is 20gb. You could probably fit a LOT of 32k aac files on a 40gb, but most people are not going to do that.




    That's true... many people might not grasp the difference. And am I right in thinking that the ATRAC format is 64k? Who wants to hear that?! Yet another reason Sony Connect probably won't go very far.
  • Reply 13 of 87
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    Atrac recently got demolished when compared against other codecs. It and WMA finished as the last two in a heap with Ogg Vorbis winning and AAC middle of the pack.



    Atrac at 64kpps will be even worse. And even then it's superfluous because Apple could support HE-AAC(High Efficiency) which goes down to 48kbps and would likely be competitive.



    If Sony is basing their marketing on songs per device they are simply manipulating the public.
  • Reply 14 of 87
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    If Sony is basing their marketing on songs per device they are simply manipulating the public.



    Manipulating the public is what advertising is for.
  • Reply 15 of 87
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by glassblowerscat

    Manipulating the public is what advertising is for.



    Persuading, maybe. Manipulating... well, I'll just say that I'm happy whenever the company behind a cynical ad campaign suffers a blowback.
  • Reply 16 of 87
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    I've heard somewhere that the battery life of the iPod can be extended by decreasing the bit rate of the music. A lower bitrate means less drive access & less power drain.



    If that's true, the iPod could already fit as much songs and play music as long as the Sony player. Just lower the quality of all your songs. The only difference is that Apples proprietary format owns more than half of the market and the iPod has a superior interface.
  • Reply 17 of 87
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BeigeUser

    I've heard somewhere that the battery life of the iPod can be extended by decreasing the bit rate of the music. A lower bitrate means less drive access & less power drain.



    If that's true, the iPod could already fit as much songs and play music as long as the Sony player. Just lower the quality of all your songs. The only difference is that Apples proprietary format owns more than half of the market and the iPod has a superior interface.




    And you'll still be listening to low-quality audio.
  • Reply 18 of 87
    While the Sony thing barely makes sense in Japan (cute design, good autonomy), because in Japan, the iPod is not really a fashionable item, and because Japanese are used to weird proprietary formats, this can't do any harm to the iPod outside Japan (and even inside Japan, where the iPod is, for some unknown reason, insanely cheap!!)... nothing to be scared of! Same thing for the whole Sony Connect store thing... just makes me laugh!
  • Reply 19 of 87
    beigeuserbeigeuser Posts: 371member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by glassblowerscat

    And you'll still be listening to low-quality audio.



    Exactly my point: I think that Sony has sacrificed the audio quality so that it can seem superior to the iPod in battery life and number of songs per GB. I may be proven wrong when I actually get to listen to those Sony players but for now, people shouldn't be tricked by Sony's specs.
  • Reply 20 of 87
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BeigeUser

    Exactly my point: I think that Sony has sacrificed the audio quality so that it can seem superior to the iPod in battery life and number of songs per GB. I may be proven wrong when I actually get to listen to those Sony players but for now, people shouldn't be tricked by Sony's specs.



    I doubt you're wrong. I just read somewhere that the default bitrate for current ATRAC players like the walkman is 64k. Sony is probably going off that number.
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