News and views about the iPod and other interesting tech trends.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Steve Jobs got together with Bono and The Edge of U2 to introduce 2 new iPod products: first, a special edition U2 iPod painted black with a red click wheel; and second, the iPod Photo, which comes with a high resolution color screen and syncs with iTunes 4.7 and your photo collection. Both look like impressive additions to the iPod lineup.

Monday, August 09, 2004

From the I'm-so-happy-even-though-it's-off-topic department:

Owing to my status as a blogger, I have accepted an invitation to try out the GMail Beta. My email is bruth20@gmail.com, if you'd like to spam me/question me/criticize me/ask me for an invitation. I (unfortunately) have no invitations as of yet, so I may not be able to accomadate the last item.

From the better-late-than-never department:

In a move expected for some time among insiders, Apple released their new iPods to the world in the July 26th issue of Newsweek. While I would usually be blogging this sort of thing immediately after it was confirmed, I have been tremendously busy recently. The new iPods come in 20GB and 40GB capacities, and are $299.99 and $399.99 respectively. They also have taken the click wheel from the mini, placing all buttons on the wheel itself. The 20GB model is actually a shade thinner, and both models sport a 12-hour battery life. In this writer's opinion, the best got even better.

The new iPods are available at our sponsor, the iPod Store, though they are back-ordered as of the time of this writing.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

From the not-quite-apples-to-apples department:

After Sony introduced its new group of portable MP3 players, Apple has fired back at the electronics giant, saying Sony is unfairly claiming a high song capacity on it's 20GB player, using a marketing gimmick instead of a true "apples to apples" comparison (sorry, I couldn't resist). Sony's claim of 13,000 songs (on their 20GB player) is based on encoding of 48kpbs, which is much lower (and reportedly sounds much worse) than the de facto 128kbps compression standard. More common compression would yield about 5,000 songs on both Apple's and Sony's respective players.

It is interesting to note that, yet again, Sony seems to be pushing their proprietary format (this time, the MiniDisc format ATRAC3). In order to use their players, users must convert their (unprotected) WMA, MP3, or AAC files to ATRAC3 (with an ostensible loss of quality) to store them on Sony's players. I do not think that any Sony player can truly be considered an "iPod killer" until it allows people to transfer their music collections natively onto Sony players. If the iPod taught us anything about consumer electronics, it is that simplicity is a good thing.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

From the free-as-in-Amway Department:

Macworld UK is reporting about an iPod 'pyramid' scam. Often, it involves spending money to put your name on a list (perhaps spending $40 on something like, say, a cell phone signal booster or by signing up for offers like credit cards). By signing others up (undoubtedly with the people spending more than the price of an iPod), the iPod (or other free product) is supposedly shipped to the participant. These "pyramid schemes" are preying on the popularity of the iPod (and especially the iPod mini) to make the owners insane amounts of money. As a rule, just about the only people who make money and/or "profit" from these such schemes are the people up top. Just a reminder that there is no such thing as a proverbial free iPod most of the time. I would point people looking for a free iPod to iTunes for the time being. While the chance to win an iPod is slim, its more honest than what these people are doing. I also recommend that they try to save up and buy it from the iPod Store or the iPod mini Store (both sponsors of this blog).

Offending sites include freeipods.com, netx-nl.com (not a pyramid scheme, but reportedly a scam nonetheless), topfreegifts.com/metareward.com, FreeSlide, totallyfreestuff.com, and others. Many users have also reported the scam being advertised in banner ads online and also on eBay (as reported here), the latter most likely due to aggressive pyramid underlings desperately trying to get enough users to sign up to get them a free item. Caveat lector.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

From the free-as-in-beer department:

The Register is reporting that Apple is giving away free iPods to celebrate its upcoming milestone of 100 million songs sold on iTunes. The article also mentions the widespread rumor that Apple is readying a 60GB iPod in the near future.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

From the a-little-bird-tells-me department:

Apple Insider is reporting that the 4th generation iPod is due out in September, instead of an earlier timeframe as previously reported. Sources seem to corroborate the idea of a color screen and video out. According to the story, the iPod will utilize a 60GB hard drive that does not currently exist in the market.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

From the now-we-need-new-org-charts department:

The Register is reporting that
Apple is spinning off the iPod into its own division
, to be headed by Jon Rubenstein. According to the article:

[Rubenstein's] reassignment is a sign that the company is likely to expand the [iPod] product line.