iPod? They plod.

JTS - MCDLXXXVI jts7@duke.edu
Mon, 29 Oct 2001 13:53:01 -0500 (EST)

On Thu, 25 Oct 2001, Tom wrote:
> With a 400$ price tag Apples entry into the portable MP3 player
> market begs the question...why?
<*SNIP* nice comparisons *SNIP*>
> Bottom line here is the 400 price tag is way above the real and tangliable
> mass market comfort level. Then again with the iPod locked out of most of
> the mass market arena this may not be a probelm for it. It looks as if
> Apple has niched themsleves out of being a contender once again as they
> iPlod along on its march thru the land of the HasBeens.

Nice review of the iPod.  My 2 cents:

I went to the local Apple store here in Boston.  Firsst off, that is one
sharp idea and execution.  I was very impressed by the store and the
staff, with all the machines on display and running OS X with pre-release
versions of MS Office for OS X.  (Side note: i liked that, too.) There was
also third party hardware present - loads and loads of 3rd party digital
cameras and palmcorders hooked up and ready to play.  You could try out
cameras to find the one you want, and see how they all play through the
Mac interface.  Excellent.  Also present, printers and gadgets.  I spent
about 3 hours or more hanging out there.  The "theater"  presentation of
OS X was very nice, and it warmed my bitter heart to see about a dozen
people watching it, ages from 25-65.  Actually, the 4 old (60+) folks
hanging out was a surprise, but a nice one.  Hopefully they'll buy Macs
after seeing how nice it is to use. 

The store had one iPod, not on display.  Instead, staffers were walking 
around playing with it, giving demos to anyone who asked about it.  I got 
to play with it for some time.  The iTunes2 management software was 
pretty nifty at first glance, nice for CD and mp3 management, easy to 
put songs on the iPod or burn to a CD directly.  

The interface on the iPod itself was neat.  I've only used early mp3
players, so maybe I'm not ocnditioned to standard interface protocols.  I
didn't know anythign about how to use it, but after about 1 minute of
button pressing I was just flying through menus.  Very handy. The whole
package felt very Palm-like in terms of automatic syncing - no cradle,
just a cable - and data management from the desktop sw.  There's room for
a TON of music on this device. 

Features I'd like to see: sure, line out.  Right now I can take my party
mix to another friends mac, but I'd like to be able to patch it into
another system - take my party mix to any speakers, plug it in, and let 
it go.  Random play: it'd be nice, probably it's there, I didn't see it.  

What I'd really really like to see is an IR port.  It IS ludicrously fast 
to dump music into a friends mac via firewire (speed = plaid), but how 
nice would it be to be able to grab tunes by beam from a buddy's iPod 
while you're hanging out at the cafe?  Now that would be sweeeeeeet.

My last mac was purchased over 7 years ago, and after 3.5 frustrating
years of Windows, I'm thinking it's time for me to go back.  A titanium G4
laptop is calling my name, an iPod would be a great accessory to go with
it.  If I had a family (god forbid), I can't imagine a better solution
than iBooks, iMacs, and a nice G4 desktop all happily humming to each
other over airPort - and iPod would be a happy addition to that world.  As
it is, I may wait a few releases before picking up the iPod, but sooner or
later I'll get one. 

I don't know if iPod is going to expand their market share by itself, but
by making more and more ways to have Mac satisfy all your home environment
needs they hope to work their way into that space.  The Apple Store is
certainly a great step towards reaching out to the greater market.