CNET: Apple cracks open the iPod, carefully | iLounge News

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CNET: Apple cracks open the iPod, carefully

“Tim Deal, an analyst with Technology Business Research, said that Apple is trying to strike a balance by opening the iPod to some developers but not making it an open platform.

‘I think by offering a (developer) kit they would expand their opportunity for innovation, and thus multiply their organic development efforts,” Deal said. “However, by being selective, they are maintaining a conservative approach, which will help them avoid becoming entangled in a quagmire of whimsical yet useless ideas.’”

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Comments

1

All I say is, Bring On the Keyboards!!!

Posted by kainjow on October 23, 2003 at 12:36 PM (CDT)

2

on the one hand, i’d love to see new things to my old 10 gigger, because apple has stopped support for it. on the other hand, there are many problems with opening up the firmware, including bugs that can’t be guaranteed fixed, and dead ipods that apple will not want to replace. i think thye should keep it all in house, just give out more updates and maybe charge for things. like a build your own firmware: two languages free, additional 2 bucks a piece. two games, additional some more money etc. i’d be willing to shell out 20 bucks for a firmware that has the games, features, languages, menus, etc. of my choice

Posted by hudgie on October 23, 2003 at 1:01 PM (CDT)

3

It’s really telling that the old Archos, which has incredibly limited on-device memory and CPU, nevertheless managed to attract a hardcore of excellent open-source hackers that created the Rockbox firmware upgrade.

Tuyrns out the old Archos firmware was so incredibly bad they had no option but to improve it. And improve it they did—for my money the my Rockbox playlist features easily eclipse my 3G iPod playlists…

http://rockbox.haxx.se/docs/features.html
http://rockbox.haxx.se/manual/manual.pdf

They also managed to extend the battery life by around 50%, decrease ambient noise, and add a plugin architecture for games, localized languages, and user-defined fonts and menus.

Since I’ve owned my Archos, I’ve bought a 2G iPod and traded up to a 3G iPod, basically because there is no way to improve the older models. During that time the Rockbox has been updated dozens of times. I think my Archos will go on improving while my iPods remain essentially frozen by factory-installed firmware.

So I think Apple knows exactly what it’s doing by making it difficult for older iPods to be expanded—they just want us to buy a new iPod for new features.

Posted by Rockbox on October 23, 2003 at 2:47 PM (CDT)

4

Yeah - I have a friend with an Archos, and say what you want about it but it’s a brick compared to the iPod. Then I make the mistake of telling him what I think and we get into a religious war about hardware.

All I want is an MP3 player where I can control the music easily. For me, the iPod is the perfect thumb-controlled player.

Do I want a radio? No - I don’t like what is played these days, so I bought an iPod. I’m a happy island.

Do I want to handle OGG and other formats? No - it’s not important to me, since AAC both guarantees me good sound and a good source of content (with happier content providers). I’m part of an ecosystem.

Am I speaking for you? No - you may have different needs than I do. I’m an individual.

This is why these “my XXX is better than your iPod” threads are so freakin’ useless. You like yours. I liek mine. Can’t we just get along?

Posted by JimInHolland on October 23, 2003 at 3:10 PM (CDT)

5

I don’t listen to radio for music—I think my playlists are infinitely more diverse than whatever 100-odd songs Clear Channel is pimping at any one time. The reason I have an FM mp3 recorder is so I can catch up with NPR shows at my leisure. Kind of a Tivo effect, but for radio!

The old Archos is pretty heavy—like twice the thickness of an iPod. But the new ones seem very small indeed…

(copied from ipodloung comments)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/33528.html

Archos has introduced a pair of portable music players that can be customised to better reflect the user’s needs. One of them, the Gmini 220, is the world’s smallest player with a 20GB hard drive.

Archos : 4.45 x 3.07 x 1.02
3G iPod: 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.73


http://www.jandr.com/JRProductPage.process?RestartFlow=t&Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=1&Product_Id=3726056

http://images.jandr.com/productimages/AHS500452.PNG?CELL=380,380&QLT=67&CNT=1.1&FTR=3&COLORCALIBRATION=1.9&BGCOLOR=FFFFFF&CVT=jpeg

Delete, rename, copy and move files—you can even create folders directly in the Gmini without using a computer

USB 2.0 - 1.1 interface & 20GB Hard Drive

Store up to 300 hours of MP3 music

Optional Plug-Ins & Add-Ons Include:

CompactFlash Reader for copying images or Data

MadWaves Interactive Music Composer Compose MP3 music and sing to rap, hip-hop & techno

FM Remote Control Tuner

Posted by whazzup on October 23, 2003 at 4:00 PM (CDT)

6

“One of them, the Gmini 220, is the world’s smallest player with a 20GB hard drive.

Archos : 4.45 x 3.07 x 1.02
3G iPod: 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.73 “

Maybe I misunderstand, but by your own numbers, the iPod is smaller.

Posted by Byron on October 23, 2003 at 7:00 PM (CDT)

7

Anyway, if I were to purchase anything other than an iPod, it would be the new iRiver iHP-120:

http://www.iriveramerica.com/products/iHP-120.asp

I especially like its optical in/out, built-in voice recorder, FM tuner, and broader format support.  Apple needs to get a move on if they don’t want to get leapfrogged in this race.

Posted by Byron on October 23, 2003 at 7:03 PM (CDT)

8

Personally I think the Belkin peripherals are overpriced and underpowered. A mic peripheral that can’t even record lectures… C’mon… And a CF card reader that’s significantly bigger than the iPod… C’mon… It’s barely less cumbersome at that point to just bring your laptop.

Apple should pulla Palm and really open up the iPod’s OS for third party development. It would be reasonable to run the main audio player in it’s own protected space, but they could add plugin support for third party apps with access to the dock connector and sell a developers kit which includes specs on the connector. Then we’d see some real competition and good peripherals at reasonable prices.

Posted by ric on October 24, 2003 at 11:11 AM (CDT)

9

This seems reminiscent of the early days of the PC, when Apple chose to remain proprietary.  Looking at it from that perspective, it probably would be a good idea for Apple to open the platform as ric describes and build a stronger iPod economy, so to speak.  Its looks and useability may not win it marketshare forever.  They should capitalize on its early lead while they still can.

Posted by Byron on October 24, 2003 at 3:21 PM (CDT)

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