iPod vs. the rest | iLounge News

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iPod vs. the rest

“The rivals come from electronics makers (Samsung) and from fellow computer makers (Dell, Gateway), as well as from veteran music-player makers (Rio, Creative Labs, iRiver). [...]

Now, you’re a busy person, so here’s the gist: most of these rivals are cheaper - usually $100 less. But “better” is another story. The iPod is still smaller, more attractive and more thoughtfully designed than any of the upstarts. [...]

Apple could have been some character from Greek mythology: blessed with ingenious, culture-changing innovation yet cursed with seeing its ideas co-opted by rivals who wind up making all the money. In the iPod’s case, though, none of the companies who lust for some of Apple’s pie can deliver the elegance and convenience of Apple’s music trinity: iPod, the iTunes software and the iTunes music store.”

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Comments

1

does anyone know how to google for a cached page so we don’t have to register?

Posted by malcanta on February 12, 2004 at 9:15 PM (PDT)

2

Short summary:

* “The iPod is still smaller, more attractive and more thoughtfully designed than any of the upstarts. It’s also much more than just a music player.”

* But some may want alternatives. “For many people these days, “cheaper” is better than “better.”“

* Rio Karma: a bare-bones no-frills second-best, but does its one job well.

* iRiver: very hard to use, but gadget fans may appreciate it. Lacks a jukebox app. “...its menus make the cockpit of a 767 look spartan.”

* Dell: cheap but substandard. Forget using it as an HD to transfer files: the receiving computer must have special Dell software on it. See here:
http://www6.tomshardware.com/mobile/20040130/dell-07.html

* Creative’s half-pound Zen Xtra “fits in your hand like a romance novel dipped in lead.”

* Samsung’s cheap-feeling YP-910 works with Napster software—which has no way to rip your CDs to your library! And the device’s “button layout is random and illogical.”

* Gateway’s bulky DMP-X20 has features “designed more for the brochure than for the customer.”

* Being limited to iTunes for online buying is “like being “forced” to drive a Lexus or “limited” to staying at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons” smile

* Only Apple, Rio, and Creative will auto-synch. (I had no idea other players lacked such basic features!)

* Only Apple and Gateway can play Audible content.

* Nothing compares to iPod: “...none of the companies who lust for some of Apple’s pie can deliver the elegance and convenience of Apple’s music trinity: iPod, the iTunes software and the iTunes music store.”

Posted by Nagromme on February 12, 2004 at 10:06 PM (PDT)

3

OK, lets see. Smaller, more attractive subjectively. That seems to be a recurring theme in these great iPod articles. They never say anything about ‘feature packed’ or ‘long battery life’. Interesting indeed, it has become very clear the iPod’s main selling point is its ‘style’, and nothing else.

Posted by Adam on February 12, 2004 at 11:52 PM (PDT)

4

Okay, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I try not to evaluate these devices past what they are and that is MP3 (or AAC, WAV etc.) players. I have seen a few people refer to an IPOD as a “style only” item such as Adam in the previous post. So what is it that you expect your music player to do besides play music? Everything beyond that is a bonus. I don’t see how people sit there and say that there are better MP3 players than the IPOD. There are definitely less expensive players, but when it comes to doing it’s job, the IPOD does a damn good job. The style and other added features are a bonus. I am very happy that my IPOD can serve as a voice recorder, firewire or usb hard drive, digital picture storage device. These features add value to the IPOD but in the end, I bought it to house and play music. It does that well and I am happy.

Pumi

Posted by Pumi on February 13, 2004 at 12:25 AM (PDT)

5

“fits in your hand like a romance novel dipped in lead.”
LMFAO. Not that I wish to berate the product, I’ve used it and think it’s excellent value for money. But that is one of the funniest similes I’ve ever heard.

Posted by doctorjuggles on February 13, 2004 at 1:13 AM (PDT)

6

Obviously Adam commented on the article without reading it. The article, like most iPod reviews, points out MANY features, ranging from handy (like your calendar) to fundamental (like auto-synching) which most or all other players lack. These are wrapped in the easiest-to-use interface of all the players out there. And as it happens, the WSJ just reviewed the iPod Mini and pointed out that it gets much longer battery life than Apple claims. They tested three different units over an extended time to make that claim. The fuil-size iPod gets plenty of playtime too. See: http://ipodbatteryfaq.com

There’s a phenomenon that’s as true with iPods as it has been for Macs: A reviewer praises the excellent design, and so a certain category of person stops reading and says, “See, Apple has great design. That means their products can’t be good in other ways!”

It’s an amusing form of ignorance, or else pointless trolling. Choose whatever hardware you like, but misrepresenting an article without reading it just makes you sound jealous.

Posted by Nagromme on February 13, 2004 at 1:21 AM (PDT)

7

I own and have used an Ipod 2g 20 gb, an Archos Recorder and the Zen Xtra 40 GB.  There’s no comparison, the Ipod is BY FAR the most convenient and easiest to use, with the best interface. 

Posted by Kador on February 13, 2004 at 6:56 AM (PDT)

8

The iPod is fine… as long as you don’t want to record, don’t want FM, want to *really* work out, or want to spend a few days away from a charger.

I’ve owned many MP3 players, including the iPod, but currently my favourite is the iRiver 20GB. But I guess you do pay extra for design because it’s more (!) expensive than my iPod!

Posted by whatevergetsyouhard on February 13, 2004 at 7:00 AM (PDT)

9

I’m surprised he didn’t review the new Archos Gmini. Forget the old Archos doorstop - these new Gminis are super-small. The 20GB is almost as petite as the iPod Mini, and comes with compact flash slot and recorder built-in. They also have a 2.5” greyscale LCD - nice for previewing photos. I’d prefer color though. But it is Mac/Windows friendly.

Posted by Gmini on February 13, 2004 at 7:17 AM (PDT)

10

It’s too bad the Gmini looks like crap. It’s funny how they compare the size to a floppy because it looks like they both came out around the same time.

Posted by narco in Burbank on February 13, 2004 at 7:29 AM (PDT)

11

Why would Archos put that girl on the promo shot of the Gmini?  Yikes!

Posted by nicedream on February 13, 2004 at 7:47 AM (PDT)

12

Not really very objective - first they say that the Ipod is “much more than just a music player”, then they criticize the Iriver because it has too many features. And of cource, the battery issue isn’t even mentioned.

What’s “critical” depends on the viewpoint as well. I would *happily* trade autosync for twice the battery power.

Posted by Shrike on February 13, 2004 at 8:37 AM (PDT)

13

If we’re talking about looks, let’s not forget the iPod Maxi with the 70s “Troy McClure” sphere chair white goods look. Honestly, the big iPod is so boring I am not surprised so many people buy skins to try doll it up. It looks like a refugee from a CHeech and Chong movie.

The new Minis are a step in the right direction but they still look too urban brutal for my tastes.

Posted by dated on February 13, 2004 at 10:37 AM (PDT)

14

Shrike—you may have misread. They don’t criticize the iRiver for having too many features. They criticize it for being too hard to use!

Good UI design—like the iPod’s—can wrap lots of power and flexibility into a SIMPLE interface.

Posted by Nagromme on February 13, 2004 at 6:12 PM (PDT)

15

when I bouhgt my ipod, it was from far the best in the market… but since late 2003 there are better machines than the iPod..and cheaper. as as good looking.
iPod is loosing grounds FAST! IT WILL LOOSE… mini ipod was an AWFULL bet…

may iPod 4 will rock

Posted by 5th Raider on February 14, 2004 at 7:33 PM (PDT)

16

One such product would be the Neuros, you might have heard about it(http://www.neurosaudio.com).  It plays, it records, it syncs, it braodcasts, it’s a hard drive, it identifies songs through the radio/mic/line in, it does everything.  Except play solitare, big woop, that can be added with a new firmware in a snap . . .

Posted by Me on February 28, 2004 at 7:29 PM (PDT)

17

What about the iAudio M3 from Cowon.
I am in the UK and there is some hype building around this at the moment from UK distributor MP3-Plus.
http://www.mp3-plus.net

Posted by tim on March 31, 2004 at 2:01 AM (PDT)

18

I need your help.  I bought the Archos Jukebox V2 20 gb to use while riding our Harley.  Errors out from the vibration within 5 minutes of riding unless we hang it around our neck.  Have been looking at the Dell DJ - which claims they have no need for buffer or skip protection and tell me it won’t skip at all.  However I have Windows 98se and it is not compatible (I believe).  Any thoughts of if I can use the iPod on our Harley in a front pouch?  And 98se compatible?

Posted by HD Rider on May 10, 2004 at 5:13 AM (PDT)

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