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Macworld iPod mini survey: size is best, price is worst

“According to the survey, 45 percent of the panelists cited the iPod mini’s small size as its best feature—far and away the most popular response. However, nearly two-thirds—64 percent—said the price was the iPod mini’s worst feature. Among respondents who said they were likely to buy the iPod mini, small size remained the favorite feature of 37 percent, but another 31 percent cited the iPod mini’s overall design. However, even among likely iPod mini buyers, the $249 price tag remains the least liked feature.”

iPod mini belt clip tips

Macworld has posted several tips for the iPod mini’s belt clip. The first tip suggests that instead of buying a new iPod mini dock, owners with a dock for the the 3G iPod use the iPod mini’s included belt clip, upside-down and attached to the mini, to help stabilize the mini while docked in the larger opening. The second tip suggests using the belt clip to hold the mini in place while docked in Altec Lansing’s inMotion speakers, which is made to fit 3G iPods. The third tip is to connect a lanyard to the slot in the top of the belt clip to wear it around your neck. Description with photos available at the website.

Don’t sit on your iPod mini

picDana, the mother of a son with a new iPod mini recently informed us that he cracked his minis’ LCD screen after having sat on it while it was in his pants’ back pocket.

“My son just got an iPod mini last week.  Had it in his pocket, sat down and cracked the display.  I took it to the Apple store in Houston. They told me it would cost less to buy a new one ($249)!!!!!

This is going to be happening all the time, because the minis are much thinner and relatively flexible.”

Wired editor succumbs to iPod mini

“For several weeks I’ve been avoiding the iPod mini like a nasty disease.

At the grand opening of the new Apple store in San Francisco, the iPod product manager, Danika Cleary, tried to persuade me to check one out, but I refused.

‘No thanks, I don’t want to hold it,’ I told her. ‘I don’t even want to look at it, because then I’d have to buy one.”

I know the seductive power of Apple’s products, and the iPod mini gives off irresistible ‘buy me’ vibes. The mini casts a spell, a shopping hex that pulls you irresistibly toward the cash register.”

More on music disappearing on iPod mini

Last week we reported that a MacFixit reader reported that his music library was inaccessible on an iPod mini. Today, several readers report smiliar problems. “Last week we began covering a problem where the iPod mini loses access to all data stored on its internal hard drive - though the storage space still appears to be occupied.”

“Joe Paolino’s case is typical of the reports we’ve received so far “After charging my mini overnight, I found that the next morning all of my songs and playlists were missing.

The iPod mini: Visceral, Behavioral, Reflective

AppleMatters as written an editorial focusing on the iPod mini’s looks, feel, functionailty and what it says about the user “iPod mini: The physical clicking is back! It is a joy to feel button feedback. Color! Those anodized colors, which are agonizing to figure out which one you should have. Aluminum! The matte feel of aluminum is superior in every way to clammy, greasy chrome and gloss plastic.”

Music disappears on iPod mini

A reader at MacFixit.com reports a never before heard of problem with his iPod mini. “I turned on my iPod mini this morning and all of my music was missing. I did not check my contacts and appointments. The notes I stored on it were still there. My guess is that the root directory on the thing lost a reference to the music directory, but I really don’t know how things are stored. The memory used when I plugged it into iTunes showed that all of the memory was still used up. Then I copied a song onto the iPod and the memory used showed that all the memory was free.” He goes on to speculate that plugging in his iTrip FM transmitter before turning on the mini may have caused the problem. If you’ve had a similar problem with or without the iTrip, please let us know.

Using the iPod mini in the shower

“Wow, the iPod mini is so hot - great size, now I can use my other iPod as a full time backup drive and for experiments. Right now I really like to get audio books and listen to them when I jog and in the shower (I transmit the signal to the shower radio via the iTrip). I’m currently listening to March’s Scientific American and the Pouges.”

Hitachi warns end users removing Microdrive from iPod mini

“Nguyen [Hitachi’s global storage technologies media relations head] stressed that her company’s $499 pricing for the hard drive at retail as a standalone item is ‘a suggested selling price only.’ She also said: ‘Standalone Microdrive products provide additional value over embedded products used in consumer electronic devices in their ability to be removed and used in a variety of different devices. Embedded Microdrive media is only designed to work in the device for which it was originally intended.’

The drives that ship embedded within devices are custom-built for Hitachi’s OEMs, and the features available inside the drives may not be as complete as those available at retail.

‘Some of the drives we ship today are used by consumers in products like digital cameras as removable storage: in other cases, the drives are designed inside devices such as MP3 players where the drive is not meant to be removed by end users.’”

The iPod mini is a hot seller

“‘The demand is incredible,’ says Wahrman at J&R, who had 25 of the silver minis left in stock Thursday. Best Buy and Amazon, on their Web sites, said they were sold out. Savvy entrepreneurs were auctioning minis on eBay with starting bids ranging from $299 to $310.

On its Web site, Apple tells shoppers to expect a one- to three-week wait. ‘We’re asking people to be patient with us,’ says Greg Joswiak, Apple marketing vice president.

It’s not a component shortage that’s causing the backlog. ‘We’re making and shipping them as fast as we can,’ Joswiak says. He says teens are taking to the cool colors. And the mini is appealing to athletic fans, who like exercising with an ultralight device.”

Take apart an iPod mini for its Microdrive

“Determined to salvage what I could from my former music player, I disconnected its hard drive, unwrapped the black plastic tape from around it, removed its three blue bumpers, and—because I understood that this 4GB Hitachi microdrive was encased in a Compact Flash form—plugged it into my USB LaCie Hexa Media Drive.

Lo (and, may I add, behold), the microdrive mounted on the Mac’s Desktop just as a good removable drive should. Because the drive had been formatted with the iPod mini 1.0 Updater, the drive displayed the icon of the mini and contained all the items you’d normally find on an iPod’s hard drive—the Contacts, Calendars, and Notes folders along with the invisible folder that holds the iPod’s music.”

Buy a U.S. iPod mini and get it shipped international

AmericanGoodies.com is a buying service in which foreign customers can purchase American goods and have it shipped to them. They have recently listed the iPod mini for purchase and shipping. If you are in the UK or elsewhere you can purchase the iPod mini for $249 + $35 shipping. American Goodies also charges a $30 shopping assistance fee and 8% of the total amount they spend on your behalf. You can purchase the iPod mini from a U.S. retailer and have it shipped to American Goodies on your behalf and they will ship it on to you for a fee. Check the website for details and pricing.

UK gets ready for iPod mini

“Apple UK’s iPod advertising enters its second stage now, with posters and window displays appearing in London and Manchester in the calm before iPod mini is released here next month. [...]

To maintain iPod sales here meanwhile, Apple UK’s iPod advertising “adorns the windows of no fewer than 27 Apple resellers across the UK and Ireland”. There are shop window displays at Virgin Megastore in Manchester and Peter Jones in Sloane Square.”

How to access iPod mini Diagnostic mode

Chris Breen has posted his instructions on how to access the iPod mini’s Diagnostic mode.

“The Diagnostic screen has changed since I mashed one of the beta units at Expo. To access that screen, reset the mini by pressing and holding Menu and the Select button for about six seconds. When you see the Apple logo, press and hold Previous and the Select button until you see a reversed Apple logo. Let go and you’ll see these entries:”

Mac: iPod mini will not work as bootable drive

Chris Breen, Macworld columnist reports that “if you attempt to install [Mac OS X] from a multi-disc CD set, the mini won’t boot so that you can install from the second disc. If you install from a DVD, the installation goes as planned, but when it comes time to boot, the mini is missing in action—won’t appear in the Mac’s startup screen when you hold down the Option key.”

iPod mini is “outdoing the success of the original iPod”

“Early indications are that iPod mini, which garnered more than 100,000 preorders since being announced in January, is outdoing the success of the original iPod, which sold 125,000 units in its first quarter of availability, Apple said.

‘The customer response has been incredible—it’s just been off the charts,’ Apple worldwide iPod marketing manager Danika Cleary told TechNewsWorld. ‘It’s meeting and exceeding our expectations.’”

Apple Store SF to offer “lucky bags” at grand opening

“To celebrate the grand opening of Apple Computer’s new Union Square store in San Francisco, 200 shoppers will be given a dubious opportunity—spend $250 for the chance to win a new iPod mini.

On Saturday morning, the first few hundred people through the door will have a chance to buy a $250 “lucky bag,” which may or may not contain one of the company’s popular, just-released miniature music players. [...]

Priced at $250, nearly the same price as the iPod mini itself, the lucky bags contain seven or eight items worth a total of $600 to $1,000, Johnson [Apple senior vice president of retail] said.”

iPod mini Manuals available

Apple has posted three different user manuals for the iPod mini; User’s Guide, Tutorial and Quick Reference. (PDF)

A smarter playlist for iPod mini

“When you plug an iPod mini into a computer that bears an iTunes library larger than the mini’s 3.7GB capacity, iTunes offers to create a playlist that contains a subset of the tunes on your computer. This is a very cool feature, but not as cool as it could be. You see, when iTunes creates that playlists it gives no consideration to file size.”

iPod mini and audio book playback problem

“MacFixIt reader Craig Spirko writes “Bought a silver iPod mini on Friday and while I love it, I

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