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Follow-up Review of the New 15GB iPod

About two weeks ago, I posted an article on Sparkshop comparing the new and old iPods.  After two more weeks of practical experience with the new 15GB model, I just posted a follow-up article.  I cover some details that my original post left out, and even revised some of my initial opinions.

iPods: Built Mac Tough

Last sunday I found myself on the wrong side of one of those anecdotes that keep CSR’s sane; I did something please-hold-mute-

-umute stupid.

After getting a major project into production on Friday, I swore to myself that I would do absolutely nothing productive for the entire weekend, and until Sunday afternoon I kept that vow. At this point I discovered that I only had two clean pairs of underpants left, and one of those was a rather uncomfortable g-string. I had no choice - I had to do some laundry…

European iPod Buyers Decry Volume Limits

There is considerable discussion on Apple’s iPods discussion boards from European owners of new iPods regarding volume limitors that are present in the European models—but not in US models.

Because of EU health regulations, European models are not capable of producing the same volume levels as their US brethern, causing considerable indignation from buyers who were not made aware of these limits.

Apple has not responded to any user feedback or comment on the subject, nor have any fixes been offered by the company or users.

iPod advertising, packaging and user information makes no note of these limits.

iPods missing from Dell’s website

A brief check of Dell’s website, www.dell.com, revealed a distinct lack of iPods.  Only 5 mp3 players are listed, and the iPod is not among them.  Whether or not the absence is temporary remains to be seen.

FutureShop Canada now selling iPods

Brick and mortar retailer FutureShop (similar to BestBuy) in Canada has added an Apple product section to its online store which includes iMacs, iBooks, eMacs and iPods as well as official Apple accessories.

BusinessWeek: How Apple Spells Future: i-P-O-D

Charles Haddad, correspondent for BusinessWeek writes:

“I don’t care how fast the new Power Mac G5 is—or isn’t (if you believe the critics). Apple’s future doesn’t ride on the speed of its Macs. In fact, Apple’s future doesn’t ride with Macs at all anymore. [...]

Apple is making this crossing on the slender back of its little iPod. This portable digital-music player is at the cusp of doing for music what the original Apple did for computing in the late 1970s: setting the standard as the mass market for these players starts taking off.”

“The iPod Nation and the iPod Nod of Approval”

  • June 30, 2003
  • iPod

Gregory Ng at AppleMatters writes about the one million strong iPod Nation.

“With Apple’s announcement that they have shipped out their 1 millionth iPod last week, there is no doubt that you have had the opportunity. Now for every crowded bus or train the odds are good you will see at least one other iPod user. iPods are now seen being used by celebrities, athletes, even politicians.”

“Hello iPod, Goodbye, MD”

  • June 24, 2003
  • iPod

Gizmodo reports that Apple has launched an ad campaign in Japan which rejects Sony’s Mini Disc player. The ad slogan reads, “Hello iPod, Goodbye, MD.”

“Sony really dropped the ball by letting Apple get a foothold in the portable audio market, with the Walkman they had practically owned the entire notion of carrying your music around with you for over two decades.”

Source: Macminute

Pioneer Press: Apple iPod does a Palm

  • June 23, 2003
  • iPod

Julio Ojeda-Zapata of the Pioneer Press writes about using shareware to help you sync and manage contacts and addresses on your iPod for Windows.

“Apple doesn’t provide Windows-based data-synchronization software, only music-syncing features. But add-on programs from other sources are available for syncing an iPod with Outlook, Microsoft’s ubiquitous personal information manager.”

BART Schedule for iPod 1.0 Released

  • June 21, 2003
  • iPod

For people who live in the San Francisco Bay Area (California) and ride BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit), this is a program that lists all line schedules and stations for the iPod. It requires a Gen2 iPod with the Notes feature.

Apple Adds/Updates iPod Knowledgebase Docs

  • June 20, 2003
  • iPod

“iPod 2.0.1 Software: A Closer Look at What’s Fixed”

  • June 20, 2003
  • iPod

The Macintosh iLife” author Jim Heid takes a closer look at iPod Software 2.0.1 and its eight improvements.

iPod Software 2.0.1 Update Released

  • June 19, 2003
  • iPod

Apple has released the iPod Software 2.0.1 Update.

What’s New in iPod Software Update 2.0.1:
 
• Better support for Asian languages
• Enhanced On-The-Go playlist functionality
• Improved playback performance
• Improved handling of mp3 VBR songs
• Fixed artist sorting
• Improved backlight
• Improved alarm clock
• Fixed left/right channel swapping

New in Windows Update:
• USB 2.0 synchronization
• Support for Audible.com
• Support for multiple iPods on one computer
• Shorter connection times
• Better overall performance

Wired: IPod Muzak Isn’t Same Old Song

  • June 18, 2003
  • iPod

Leander Kahney of Wired News has written an article about Activaire, a company offering rented iPods loaded with a customized catalog of music to restaurants, nightspots, clothing boutiques and hair salons. In an earlier report Philadelphia DJ, Adam Porter (DJ Botany 500) offers a similar service and is also mentioned in the Wired News article.

“Wiesenthal has licensed hundreds of songs from nearly 100 independent labels, most specializing in cutting-edge electronica.

From her library of nearly 100 GB of songs, Wiesenthal can tailor about 30 hours of music for each client. She often creates special playlists for different moods—upbeat or mellow—or different times of the day.”

“Old and New iPods, Side-by-Side” Review

  • June 16, 2003
  • iPod

Christian Cantrell at Sparkshop has posted a comparison review of his ‘old’ iPod 20GB and his ‘new’ iPod 15GB.

“If you don’t currently own an iPod but are in the market for one, I would advise one of two things: either pick up a new 15GB or 30GB (not the 10GB—remember the accessory equation), or pick up an “old” iPod off of eBay as people upgrade.  I upgraded my iPod because I am genetically predisposed to always buying the latest and greatest (and so that I could provide my readers with a review), but for the more practical-minded, the “old” iPods are very far from obsolete.”

Warning: Don’t buy an European iPod, its volume is too low

  • June 16, 2003
  • iPod

The NEW iPods do have the volume cap that was introduced in the iPod firmware back to version 1.2.x already built into them. But Apple seems to have overdone it: the European iPod’s max-volume is so low, that you can’t use your iPod in crowded places like a subway or bus. You simply can’t hear the music at an efficient level! According to user’s tests the volume is about 25-30% lower then with the US version.

But not only the headphone jack is capped, also the line out: That means, that if you connect your iPod to a stereo at home or in the car, you have to turn the volume of that stereo way up what in many cases is causing sound-distortions.

There are plenty of people complaining about that on the net. What is striking is that Apple simply deletes those threads from their discussion board after a day or two.

The iPod is shaking up the world’s music industry

  • June 14, 2003
  • iPod

Danielle Demetriou of Independent Digital UK reports:

“The iPod, slickly designed in Apple’s trademark style, heralds a new generation of digital music players and is swiftly becoming the consumer phenomenon of the year. Since January, tens of thousands of Britons have bought MP3 players, which enable owners to download tracks from the internet and store them in their pocket.

The trend confirms industry predictions that the days of the humble CD are numbered and that the future (or for many, the present) lies in the online world of digital music.”

iPod clone spotted, will Apple pursue?

  • June 13, 2003
  • iPod

picA reader has spotted another iPod clone at MP3mall.net. The Vonee Digital Jukebox M7 20GB has a similar look to the iPod as well as it being white. We’ve tried to learn more about the company Vonee, but found nothing of revelance on the Internet. Recently we reported that Apple had ‘threatened to sue’ Samsung over its latest Yepp MP3 player (in which they changed the design before releasing it to the public), and this makes us wonder if Apple is seeking other possible lawsuits as well.

DJ Rents Customized iPods to Businesses

  • June 13, 2003
  • iPod

Patrick Rapa of the Philadelphia City Paper interviews DJ Botany 500 who is renting iPods with customized catalogs of music to area businesses.

“That’s where technology comes in. Armed with a small fleet of iPods, Porter’s embarking on a one-of-a-kind business venture: filling the little mp3 players with a specially created musical catalog and renting them out to area businesses. “Instead of going in with my vinyl and DJing for four hours, I can DJ for them for the whole month.” As far as he knows, he’s the first to come up with this particular business model.”

Business 2.0: iPod: Digital Music’s Windows Desktop

  • June 13, 2003
  • iPod

Jimmy Guterman has written an article suggesting that Apple sell customized, high priced iPods containing music from a recording artist already on it.

“Last year, Apple marketed a “limited-edition Beck version” of its iPod with no actual Beck music on it, just a little engraving of Beck’s name on the back of the device. Imagine how much more successful and buzzworthy (a crucial concept for Apple) it would have been if that iPod came with everything the guy ever recorded (capturing casual fans) and a generous helping of unreleased material (pulling in hard-core fanatics)—which still leaves room for hundreds of CDs’ worth of music.”

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