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Apple’s iPod division seeking wireless and video experts

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, August 25, 2004
News Categories: iPod

“Apple is looking for two iPod hardware engineers both with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi experience, opening the possibility that the portable music player may be upgraded with wireless connectivity.

... At the very least, Apple is keen on increased integration between Wi-Fi and iTunes, and there’s a big hole in its product line here: the remote control system. Whether it has in mind something a simple as an 802.11-enabled iPod, a more complex tablet-style computer, or both, remains to be seen.”

A critical excerpt from Apple’s job posting (emphasis ours) notes that:

“* Experience in the following areas is important: system integration, digital logic, SDRAM, Flash, ASIC’s, processor selection, ATAPI, various communication protocols (ie: GSM, Bluetooth, IEEE 802.11, Firewire, and USB), display types and video and analog integration.
* Broad experience: both digital and analog.

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Comments

21

Bluetooth is too slow and too small of a range to be useful.

802.11 a/b/g takes up too much power to be portable, unless you want to lug a battery pack around.  Wireless syncing seems pointless because you’re still gonna need a power cord to supply power and charge the iPod.

Posted by Think on August 25, 2004 at 3:45 PM (PDT)

22

WiFi dock to go with the airport express. That would be cool, and a step towards making the ipod/mini an alround music entertainment unit.

Posted by JDA on August 25, 2004 at 3:58 PM (PDT)

23

You would not have to worry about losing wireless earbuds.  You just fire up the ipod and listen for the music.

Posted by cgar on August 26, 2004 at 3:35 AM (PDT)

24

WiFi? Whatever. Now a AM/FM tuner would be fantastic. Although I have a 20gb capacity storage/playback device with thousands of various types of music, I really would like to be able to tune into high audio quality radio stations and listen to 10 songs repeatedly. I suppose I could re-encode my music library to FM quality and download commercials and throw them into my playlist…

Posted by hiTech on August 26, 2004 at 5:48 AM (PDT)

25

my thoughts exactly hiTech. 

Posted by nice on August 26, 2004 at 5:59 AM (PDT)

26

Bluetooth is the future. It’s not too slow. According to this
http://rfdesign.com/mag/radio_newgeneration_bluetooth_silicon/

the standard rate is 721kbps which is more than adequate to transmit 192kbps iTunes aac files. It is also low power unlike wifi. The trick is to get the headphone/earphone enough power without scacrifying the size and weight.

This would not be a problem with a bluetooth enable car stereo (i.e.: ‘04 Acura TL with NAV). But this car system is only optimized for bluetooth phone (voice quality) so only 4.8kbps is needed.

Posted by haitech on August 26, 2004 at 7:25 AM (PDT)

27

Actually, there is a bluetooth headphone available now for your iPod
http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/bluetake-bt420-iphono-review.html

Posted by haitech on August 26, 2004 at 7:34 AM (PDT)

28

And this is comming soon
http://www.xtrememac.com/news/pressreleases/010503Bluetooth.shtml

Posted by haitech on August 26, 2004 at 7:49 AM (PDT)

29

It will either be a bluetooth chip in the ipod to use with various periphals (wireless accesories etc) or a super dock with all the bells and whistles you could ask for.

And for all the pole wanting am/fm radio apple would be much better of intergrating a DAB radio.

Posted by Will Burn on August 26, 2004 at 9:08 AM (PDT)

30

Haitech

You’re right that Bluetooth has that theoretical data rate.

What you’re forgetting is the fact that the iPod has to decode the 128 or 192 kbit/s AAC file into uncompressed analogue audio to play it.

Unless you can put an AAC decoding chip in every Bluetooth headset, that’s not going to happen. I work for a mobile phone company, and am still unimpressed with Bluetooth for telephony standard audio, never mind hi-fi….

Posted by Tony on August 28, 2004 at 2:33 AM (PDT)

31

Tony

Let see: CD audio is sample at 44.1 kHz with 16-bit resolution. So the bandwidth requirement is 44.1 x 16 = 705.6 kbps so it right at the borderline of bluetooth capability. But I think it would be better to have the AAC decoding chip on the headset anyway to avoid decoding the aac/mp3 files then recencode for wireless transmission. I guess it would require co-operation of all the vendor on the standard for wireless hi-fi chips and transmission format.

Posted by haitech on August 30, 2004 at 10:30 AM (PDT)

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