Mix: Study hall, Sony PSP, Gateway drug, Microsoft tips, shuffling | iLounge News

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Mix: Study hall, Sony PSP, Gateway drug, Microsoft tips, shuffling

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Thursday, March 24, 2005
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 High school student Austin Riedhammer created an iPod shuffle case out of a Penguin mints case and used a decoy CD player to get away with listening to music during study hall.

 The Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) was officically released in the U.S. today. In addition to games, the device offers music, video and photo features.

 Alyce Lomax of The Motley Fool says Apple’s iPod shuffle is “the musical equivalent of a gateway drug.”

 Microsoft has posted six tips for buying a flash-based MP3 player that appear to specifically recommend against buying an iPod shuffle.

 Fortune’s David Kirkpatrick says his iPod shuffle makes it “infinitely easier” for him to live in a world of music, and is listening to “about three times as much total music” as before.

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Comments

1

Microsoft says you must be sure to have an FM radio because professionals can craft better playlists than you can.

I wish I was making that up smile

Posted by Nagromme on March 24, 2005 at 12:42 PM (PDT)

2

Poor, sad Microsoft, they just can’t get a clue…

Posted by pakkman781 in TN on March 24, 2005 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

3

Nagromme, my eyes bugged out when I read that as well. That’s right, better playlists - with the same 20 songs repeating all day long, spaced out with lots of inane talk and annoying commercials!!

Ya know, I understand why some want FM, for NPR, sports & talk (although isn’t most talk on AM?), but anyone who really loves music gave up on commercial FM radio years ago.

Another howler is that on the one hand you should leave your music selection to the pros, but on the other hand you have to have that display to find that one special song in your playlist. Huh?? Make up your mind!!

This “compelling” list is so lame that I’m wondering if it was actually crafted by the reportedly large iPod underground at MS (which Bill of course denies the existence of). smile

Posted by Fangorn in Texas on March 24, 2005 at 1:19 PM (PDT)

4

Microsoft is once again chasing rather than leading. Instead of coming up with ideas for making a better product, they offer this thinly veiled attempt to discredit Apple and the shuffle.

Hello? Microsoft?! There’s a reason that they’ve sold a zillion of these things and not surprisingly there is no mention made of it in the article… Create a great product and sell it at a good price.

As for the professional making playlists, if I really loved the &*#$ that Clear Channel comes up with, I could listen to the radios I already own for free.

Posted by punxking in San Diego on March 24, 2005 at 1:31 PM (PDT)

5

The Fool also likes Napster-To-Go.

Alyce Lomax is “a lifelong Mac user”, and “had been using a first-generation iMac for so long as to have developed a bit of a martyr complex about it”.

On the whole, I prefer my financial advice from people a little less partisan about a particular company’s products. Maybe financial journalists should be required to state their preferred OS along with any of their relevant stock or bond holdings?

Posted by Demosthenes on March 24, 2005 at 1:34 PM (PDT)

6

I bought a PSP today.  It’s got white headphones like the iPod, and the remote that looks like it might work with an iPod (I haven’t tried to see if it will or not).

All in all it’s a cool device, I watched a bit of Spider-man and played some of Wanye Gretzky’s hockey before leaving it to charge. 

All in all I doubt it’ll be a big dent in the iPod market.  It’s too big to bring around if you just want to listen to music on the bus or while working out and the Sony memory is too expensive to make loading more than an hour of music on it worthwhile.  Similarly I doubt many people will ever buy the movies for it, as DVDs are so cheap and have a lot more features.

Who knows.  It’s the first thing that I’ve seen from Sony for awhile that looks like they actually worked at it.

Posted by Jazzlawyer in Kelowna, BC Canada on March 24, 2005 at 3:07 PM (PDT)

7

Sony should have put a hard drive in the PSP. That’s all I’m saying.

Posted by minty on March 24, 2005 at 8:01 PM (PDT)

8

Ha, I love how “display” is at the top of the “popular options” list. Yeah, that isn’t obvious or anything.

Posted by Joshdude in Long Beach, CA on March 24, 2005 at 8:25 PM (PDT)

9

I agree about the iPod’s being a gateway drug. For the first time in 25 years, I’m actually pricing Macs.

Posted by Aaron Paulley on March 24, 2005 at 8:38 PM (PDT)

10

Welcome to the Dark Side.

The PSP is so far VERY cool, as are the UMD format discs—very Star Trek (okay, so I’m mixing my universes here).  The screen show finger prints too easily, but the image looks great, at least indoors.

The dead pixel I got however ARE NOT, but it sounds like it’s a very common problem over on playstation.com; good thing I only got one dead one, I guess (grrr…it’s in a very noticeable location).  The white wrist band, white headphones, and white wired remote are all wrong for the PSP.  No USB cable supplied.  The charger is console (PS2, Xbox) cumbersome, not at all like the cleaner iPod solutions.  The included media stick card should’ve been AT LEAST 128MB, not 32MB.  The $100 additional for the no-choice “Value” Pack here in the U.S. doesn’t seem like a value to me.

That said, the PSP in feel, appearance and operation blows away the DS; it’s significantly more developed and sophisticated and the display is incredible even with the dead pixel, though I admit I’ve gotten really used to the DS’s touch screen.  All the PSP really needs is a 1GB Media Stick (and a better battery), and it’s good to go even if it can’t make phone calls, and doesn’t (yet) get to the internet.  And I’ve already modded the thing (Pelican Face Armor—essentially a lid that hinges to cover the business side of the PSP).

I’m glad to be part of the Dark Side.

Posted by flatline response on March 24, 2005 at 9:50 PM (PDT)

11

I agree with your review of the PSP Flatline.  The thing is a 1 gig Sony Media Stick is as pricey as a 1 gig shuffle.

I loaded about six songs onto the PSP.  It displays attached album art, but the interface for music would be hard to use if you had more than a few songs.  As I said it’s no threat to the iPod but if you want a hand held gaming system it’s pretty cool.  Wayne Gretzky’s hockey is sweet.

Posted by Jazzlawyer in Kelowna, BC Canada on March 24, 2005 at 10:05 PM (PDT)

12

Someone has to develop a PSP Memory Stick Slot to iPod connector. 60 G of music and even movies (Converted movies are 2 G each for PSP).

Posted by brucevc on March 24, 2005 at 11:39 PM (PDT)

13

If Sony really wants this thing to fly, then every Sony Pictures released DVD should come packaged with a UMD of the flick also - at no extra cost.

And Every PlayStation game should start shipping with a UMD also - at no extra cost.

I for one would not want to pay for a movie twice, just so I could watch it both at home, and on a portable player.  But without the ability to copy DVDs to PC, and then on to UMD, that’s exactly what Sony is banking on.  I’m not a big gamer, so maybe others out there don’t mind buying a game twice, or buying games that are solely for use on a portable.

Posted by pickme on March 25, 2005 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

14

Fangorn, the people of MPLS know what your saying. luckily, our public radio service started a new music station with just alternative music. It ranges from old jazz to current music like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and local stuff.

thats why we would want fm.

Posted by tumblingwall in u.s. on March 25, 2005 at 7:41 AM (PDT)

15

tunmblingwall, if I had something like that new station you described availble in my area, then, yeah, FM becomes a lot more interesting.

Not only that, I’d be on their doorstep volunteering for a shift (I was a DJ on our free-form college station in the 70s - good times).

Posted by Fangorn in Texas on March 25, 2005 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

16

DS is just for the games, not all the crap.  I think Nintendo also has some experience in this market and have very good quality stuff.  Don’t flame me

Posted by ipodman715 on March 26, 2005 at 8:08 AM (PDT)

17

The PSP’s iPod clone white headphones and remote definitely don’t look good against the crisp, glossy black lines of the PSP. It looks cheap and childlike in comparison to the “adult” lines of the PSP. Sony made a mistake there trying to copy Apple’s Iconic white earbuds and remote… stupid Sony. *rolleyes*

But other than that, the PSP is a sweet device. Once you take one look at that widescreen, you’ll understand why this handheld has won so much praise. I don’t se celebs running around with a Nintendo DS: the huge, hulking, cheap looking beast of burden, but I see tons of celebs toting around PSPs or mentioning how cool they are. The Playstation Portable will be to handheld gaming what the iPod is to Portable Music Players. They’re in two different catagories, so there’s not DIRECT competition, but I can seriously see the PSP reaching “iPod Fame” in the portable gaming market.

I’m keeping my eyes open and watching Sony and the PSP very carefully. I want to make sure that they fix the problems I already see, like huge holes in their lineup (lacking ANY of the types of games I like to play i.e. RPGs for example which is the meat of my gaming), the inability to browse the web, missing sync software to streamline transfering of music and videos, adding a high-powered extended battery for purchase, a solid, consistant lineup of UMD movies for VERY low prices ($9.99) or including UMD movies along with the normal DVD movies at no additional cost for all Sony Pictures Movies and their close affiliates, etc.

I hope Sony can pull it off because if they do, they’ll have my money and hundreds of millions of other people’s money too.

Posted by FallN in New York, NY on March 26, 2005 at 9:07 AM (PDT)

18

FallN, the PSP is a VERY sweet device.  But the REAL shock is that I think the PSP SOUNDS BETTER playing music files than my 4G iPod(!). 

I copied a 192k MP3 over to the PSP’s cheap 32MB Memory Stick (using Windoze Exploder…no special software needed), and did back-to-back comparisons with the iPod using a couple of different aftermarket headphones.  I was shocked at what I was hearing.  Detail was much better on the PSP, the sound, imaging and presentation was precise and more agreeable to listen to than for the same MP3 file on the iPod.

Tones admittedly were a bit colder and distant on the PSP, but it also had a sharp vibrancy, depth, complexity and overall “pop” lacking on the iPod (my 4G almost sounded muddy and sloppy in comparison, even if it’s a bit warmer in tone). And then there’s the ultimate test: on the PSP the file sounded closer to the original CD that I ripped it from than did the iPod. 

Moreover, the ID3 info as displayed on the PSP’s screen is a lot more pleasing to look at than on my iPod’s puny display. And there’s a bunch of CD player-like controls (A-B sampling, etc.) in the PSP’s menu system, plus I can actually DELETE the song off the Memory Stick on the player (woo-hoo; when are you finally gonna fix that, eh Apple?).  Too bad there’s no sychronized visuals; then it would be REALLY cool (I think…at least I haven’t found any).

I hate to admit it, but Sony knows music, after all.  Too bad the PSP is so BIG and bulky.  And doesn’t have a HD.  But I guess I have to stop going around and saying SONY is a four-letter word…

Posted by flatline response on March 27, 2005 at 12:09 AM (PDT)

19

Oh, btw…in case anyone’s thinking the PSP was cheating, both machines were set for no additional phoney EQ colorization (not that the PSP had many preset settings to choose from).

And just in case anyone else is curious, the built-in speakers (stereo) on the PSP are simply AWFUL.  Might be ok for gaming, but for music…earbuds, even cheapo ones, please!

Posted by flatline response on March 27, 2005 at 12:18 AM (PDT)

20

It’ll be interesting to see how well the PSP with UMDs work as a media dump device. I was impressed that the Media Center people managed to get the PSP supported within a day of purchase. Says volumes about MC’s extensibility.

Posted by Demosthenes on March 27, 2005 at 12:28 PM (PDT)

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