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

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.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

BBC News is reporting that a UK Magazine "found the iPod lacking in comparison to other devices". The magazine apparently is recommending iRiver and Rio models instead of the iPod.

Monday, May 17, 2004

From the one-hand-washing-the-other department:

All iPod mini models are now on sale at The iPod mini Store, one of our sponsors. Wait times should be fairly low (a week or less), though they could be longer if many people take advantage of the sale price.

EDIT: All 3 iPod models (15GB, 20GB, and 40GB) are now on sale at The iPod Store. Both offers are good until May 23rd.

From the its-about-time department:

Reuters is reporting that Hitachi will expand production of the iPod Disk Drive, hopefully "[doubling] the disk drive output of its Thailand facotry, including the 1-inch, 4-gigabyte disk drives that are found in the iPod Mini."

I suppose having hard drives built in Thailand is the price of globalization.

Friday, May 14, 2004

From the more-grist-for-the-rumor-mill department:

Apple Insider is reporting more rumors about a new 4th generation iPod, clarifying a previous report. According to the article, the new 4G iPod may not play video on the unit itself, but rather will use the dock plus new software to switch itself into video mode if it is connected to a TV.

From the who-said-retail-stores-were-a-bad-idea department:

The Mac Observer is reporting that Apple has jumped to 23rd on a magazine's list of top 100 electronics stores, as reported by This Week in Consumer Electronics (TWICE) magazine.

From the one-hand-washing-the-other department:

Our partner site, The iPod Store, is now offering both 15GB and 20GB iPod models on sale. The iPod Blog is funded and sponsored by The iPod Store, so you can support The iPod Blog by paying them a quick visit.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

From the remember-tickle-me-elmo department:

The Denver Post is reporting that iPod minis currently have a six week waiting list at some retailers. From the article:

I went to Cherry Creek, where there is a huge poster of iPod minis in the window of the Apple store. Here, you can see iPod minis in every pastel color: blue, green, gold, pink, and silver.

You can listen to them, try all of their pricey accessories, touch their shiny anodized aluminum skins, and feel their infinitesimal 3.6 ounces in your palm.

But you cannot buy one.

You can only put your name on a six-week waiting list.

According to the article, the bottleneck in production is a lack of the 4GB hard drives, produce by Hitachi.

Monday, May 10, 2004

From the "in your dreams" department:

According to MacCentral, Sony has unveiled their "iPod Killer", currently only for sale in Japan. From what I gather, Sony is yet again sticking to proprietary formats, making the player ATRAC-compatible only (i.e. no MP3 support). Apparently, people with WAV, WMA, or MP3 files must convert these files into ATRAC format to load them onto the device. I suppose the MiniDisc/ATRAC format is more popular in Japan, but this player would likely be a tremendous mistake if it was released stateside in its current form. Still, the player does seem to have a few merits: a 2.2 inch, 320 x 256 color screen (for track info/album art), a "G-Sense" touch panel for control, and (perhaps most intriguing) a battery life of 20 hours (approximately twice that of an iPod) despite the color screen. According to the article, the 20GB Vaio Pocket player is "both larger and heavier than the comparable 20GB iPod model from Apple."

EDIT: A CNETAsia article is suggesting that the VAIO pocket player IS compatible with MP3, WAV, and WMA, but the price is still apparently higher than an equivalent 20GB iPod (~$465 for the former, $399 for the latter). According to the Reuters headline:

Sony Takes Aim at Apple But iPod Seen Safe for Now

EDIT #2: The Register is reporting that "the Pocket will only play songs encoded in the company's own ATRAC 3 format."

More info on this story as it develops.

In other news:

Blogger has just received a nice little facelift. I took the opportunity to change my blog template, because the new designs just seem to look better. Hope you like it! :)

Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Washington Post (registration and sacrifice of first born child required) has just put up a review of Sony's new music store, together in the article with a comparison with Apple's iTunes Music Store (highlighting iTMS's changes in version 4.5). The reviewer takes great issue with Sony's byzantine rights structure and closed ATRAC format while mostly praising Apple's iTunes Store (with another suggestion to open the store to players other than the iPod). From the last paragraph of the article:

But just compare [Apple's iTunes Music Store] with Sony's Connect: One of these stores has a future, and one of them does not. And the difference comes down to nothing more complex than each company's willingness to learn from experience and listen to customers.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

In light of a New York Post article on possible song price hikes for online music stores, Apple has flatly denied such a move. I personally think it would be ridiculous to even CONSIDER raising prices on downloads. The music industry is already under siege from competing media (DVDs and videogames in particular) that arguably deliver a better experience dollar for dollar. Online distribution lowers the admittedly low cost of producing music, allowing for better price points while still maintaining profit margins for companies. Companies seem to not grasp the fact that they will likely sell LESS music (lower gross dollar sales overall) by raising the price. The current price structure ($.99 a track, $9.99 for most albums) is fair and (in this author's opinion) SHOULD NOT be tampered with, lest they cripple the nascent legal online music business that offers so much promise.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Reuters is reporting that Apple has set a weekly record for iTunes downloads with 3.3 million during the week of the launch of iTunes 4.5. This beat the previous record of 2.7 million. Apple also reported 3 million downloads of iTunes 4.5 since its release last week.

Apple has recently debuted an iPod + iTunes ad called Wild Postings. It has been up on Apple's web site for a few days now, and it seems to currently be running in prime time (I believe I saw the ad during an episode of Law & Order). It appears to be the new television spot mentioned by Apple Insider, but it apparently does not show the 4th generation iPods the article purported. Still, it's worth checking out.

Welcome to The iPod Blog! I created this as a way for visitors to the iPod Store and the iPod mini Store to get the latest news on the iPod and other technology stories of interest. I hope you enjoy this site!