“Time was, if you met someone cool and cute, someone you wanted to know better, you might make that person a mix tape. It was the perfect courtship calling card: a neat little package of songs carefully selected to say something about both you and your understanding of the recipient.
Today, such compilations are an anachronism. Most stereos don’t even have tape decks anymore. Countless couples will probably trade mix CDs this Valentine’s Day, but the point-and-click process of CD burning is rather sterile; it’s possible to make someone a mix CD without having to listen to a single song. As an inveterate trader of cassettes, I’ve been in steady mourning for the mix tapes of my youth for some time now. However, I recently acquired both an iPod and a boyfriend
“I hate iPods. I mean, I really, really hate them. There, I’ve said it. My feelings towards Apple’s oh-so-clever digital music player have left me feeling ostracised and hopelessly out of the loop.
Every time I slip the latest CD into my Walkman (
NTK.net UK has highlighted a net scam targeting potential buyers of iPod. It mentions eBay UK auctions featuring a pyramid scam “where you pay your money to get onto a list (sometimes called a “matrix”), and apparently receive your gadget after a certain number of other people join up, who then get theirs after their quota join, and so on.”
A reader has informed us that the Apple Store online is now selling the Burton Amp Pack for $199. “Introducing the first backpack in the world that not only carries your iPod but controls it too. The Burton Amp Pack integrates an iPod control system using SOFTswitch technology, which allows the iPod to be controlled through a soft, flexible control pad built into the pack’s shoulder strap. Constructed with super durable ballistic nylon, the Amp Pack features a secure iPod storage pocket, a headphone port located on the shoulder strap, an easy-access side entry laptop compartment and padded ergonomic shoulder straps for ultimate comfort. Whether you’re running to catch a flight, riding the subway or lugging your stuff into the lodge, the Amp Pack makes it super simple to flip through your downloaded music library.”
Auto stereo equipment retailer Crutchfield has posted a four page how to on connecting your iPod in the car. Several topics are covered from mounting an iPod, connecting an iPod, and using an iPod while in the car. It also mentions in a ‘Wish list’ section that Alpine will soon be releasing head units for connecting and controlling an iPod, and goes on to mention other possible solutions coming soon. “I suspect that makers of vehicle-specific CD changer adapters and satellite tuner cradles are hard at work on iPod solutions. And Daimler-Chrysler already has an iPod dock in one of its European Smart cars. Can it be long before this technology appears in stateside Chryslers? Stay tuned.”
Although this story is a bit old, The Hollywood Reporter today posted a writeup about how Peter Jackson, writer/director of The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy and Jim Rygiel, visual effects supervisor, used iPods in the film’s production.
“Media was transferred from Weta to Pinewood Studios in London. There, Jackson’s 30-gig iPod was ready and waiting to upload Weta’s daily fresh-baked shots and sequences. His iPod was then delivered via sneaker net to his home a few minutes away from Pinewood.
Jackson then viewed those 1K-resolution QuickTime files on an Apple Cinema Display, tied to his G4 laptop, which drew directly from his iPod. The director’s setup was mirrored in New Zealand, so Rygiel and crew could step through shots with the help of their iPods, with Jackson’s guidance piped in over a videoconferencing system. During the course of two movies and four months, “Rings” iPods stored and served up nearly one-half terabyte of digitized footage from ‘Towers’ and ‘King.’”
“So I have to ask: why hasn’t anyone created a utility that can be aimed at various web pages or RSS feeds and grab their contents, convert them into plain-text format, and drop ‘em in the Notes folder of an iPod? Yes, it would require some clever page-scraping, and yes, it would require intelligent splitting and hyperlinking of stories using the bare-bones coding format that the iPod understands.
But still, it shouldn’t be that difficult. While there are some RSS browsers out there for the iPod, they don’t thrill me, because most RSS feeds don’t include the full text of news stories. And I don’t know of any RSS tool for the iPod that actually downloads the contents of the page referenced by the RSS entry. I want to read more than headlines on my iPod; I want to read the whole article!”
“In 2001 the small firm beat out nine competitors, including Texas Instruments, to provide iPod’s central nervous system. Apple’s in-house designers provide the look and feel that make the iPod so distinctive; PortalPlayer provides the innards that lie beneath. It won over Apple with a design that uses two modest processors and an operating system two years in the making.
PortalPlayer’s “firmware” makes it easy for makers to mix and match features and rapidly stamp out upgrades without having to start from scratch. Apple picked PortalPlayer in the summer of 2001, and the iPod was in stores in November of that year.”
“One of the best things about prognostication is the “I told you so” satisfaction of a successful forecast, so over the past five years, I’ve made sure to point out all of my dead-on predictions. This time, however, I’m admitting to an apparently incorrect hunch. I thought that Apple would forgo an iPod portable video player (PVP), but the company is reportedly working on one. [...]
Last month, the careers page of Apple’s Web site advertised an opening for a video iPod developer. The listing has disappeared, but in this New York Times interview, Jobs mentions that someone in the company’s labs could be working on such a device. He also talks about some of the same doubts and challenges that I’m discussing here, so for the record, my prediction might still come true.”
“And this week’s Macworld.co.uk poll would suggest that the problem has, in the words of one of our readers, ‘been wildly overstated and time will show what a trivial issue this really is.’
Of the 1,047 readers polled 70 per cent have not experienced any reduction of battery life, and of these nearly half (49 per cent) admitted ‘I accept it will lose charge over time.’
Although 30 per cent of respondents have experienced decreased battery life just 14 per cent of these people state that they are ‘unhappy’ about the situation. The remaining 16 per cent have already accepted that their battery will not live on indefinitely.
However, 21 per cent of the iPod owners who have not yet experienced reduced battery life say that if it does happen they ‘won’t be happy’.”
“The iPod is being blamed for causing rifts in relationships with a new breed of “iPod Widows” emerging. [...]
The report includes two case studies from the recently ‘widowed’. One describes how: ‘Every evening he gets the iPod out straight after supper and starts fannying around with it. It
Lee Gomes for the Wall Street Journal writes how, while attending CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, he ventured into another smaller venue showcasing the worlds most expensive high-end audio systems. While there, he tests his iPod and the sound qualities of MP3 compression or lack thereof with several high-end systems. His first test was on a $350,000 Wavac SH-833 amplifier connected to $150,000 speakers, and standing nearby was the designer of the amp, Yuzuro Ito .
“I plugged in my iPod and queued up a song by Franz Schubert. Mr. Ito, an elegantly tailored man, closed his eyes and listened intently.
After a minute, he rendered his verdict through an interpreter. Alas, he said, ‘the top of the soprano is not so good. And on the piano, you aren’t getting the natural body of the instrument. Overall, the sound is too clear—all the hues have been stripped away.’
But, he added gamely, ‘it’s really good for digital.’”
In light of Apple’s 20th Anniversary for Macintosh this Saturday, CNET has published a retrospective on Apple’s past, present and future.
““The rules of engagement for the iPod market are new. They don’t necessarily have to follow the same rules as with their old PC policies,” said Roger Kay, an analyst at research firm IDC. “They may relinquish some control in order to gain access or control of a market that could be orders of magnitude larger than their old one.” [...]
Apple has said the iPod will succeed by offering higher quality than its rivals, even if it costs more as a result. Many analysts say they expect Apple’s consistently innovative design and aggressive marketing to perpetuate the iPod’s appeal for at least the near term.
‘We think iPod’s leading position is defendable for perhaps two years and is important to Apple’s ‘cool’ image,’ Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in a recent research report analyzing the company’s finances.”
“Here’s five things Apple could put in the next update to the iPod’s software that would make it a music power tool (in order of how much I want them):
1. Line-in recording
iPod hackers have shown that the iPod is capable of recording a few seconds of audio through it’s headphone port. Being able to record through this port as actual line in would enable you to record pure audio whenever you could get a line. No, the current voice recorder doesn’t count.”
Westering has released Shakespeare’s Sonnets as Notes as a free download. Instructions for downloading to iPod are available on the website.
“Concern over the lifespan of the iPod’s rechargeable battery has reached the House of Commons, with 11 MPs [Members of Parliament] putting their names to a motion calling for Apple to ensure that replacement batteries are plentiful in supply and priced at a reasonable level.
Labour MP for Chorley, Lindsay Hoyle, tabled the motion, stating his concern regarding the “difficulty people are having in replacing batteries for iPods”.
He notes: “iPods were a favourite Christmas present, with a value of between