MusicGremlin takes on iPod with wireless player, music service | iLounge News

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MusicGremlin takes on iPod with wireless player, music service

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MusicGremlin today launched an innovative new wireless digital audio player and music download service. The company’s $300 Gremlin device can connect to nearly any Wi-Fi network and download songs from MusicGremlin’s store directly to the player—without the use of a computer. Like iTunes, individual tracks are priced at 99 cents each. The company also offers a subscription plan, which lets customers download an unlimited number of MusicGremlin’s 2 million songs for $15 per month. In addition, two Gremlin owners can share music wirelessly if they are both subscribers. The Gremlin player features an 8GB hard drive, FM receiver, 2-inch color LCD screen, and up to 10 hours of battery life.

In their review of the Gremlin device and music service posted today, the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret write:

We’ve been testing the Gremlin player and the MusicGremlin service, and we like them. The experience of downloading new music from the palm of your hand and sharing it legally with others is refreshing and fun, and can’t be done on our trusty iPods. Plus, MusicGremlin is one of the few iPod competitors we’ve encountered that shares Apple’s strong dedication to a smooth, end-to-end experience, where the hardware, software and online service work seamlessly.

However, this first version of the Gremlin has some major rough spots, in its user interface and in its wireless behavior, that detract from the experience and can get downright annoying. The company promises to fix these, but some other limitations can’t be repaired as easily. For instance, the magic doesn’t work if you aren’t in range of a Wi-Fi network you can use. And limitations imposed on MusicGremlin by the record labels mean that you can’t share certain kinds of songs, including legally obtained MP3 files that you transfer to the Gremlin from your computer.

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Comments

1

Time to dish out a WiFi iPod and show em how it’s done Apple.

We’re waiting.

Posted by iScott on June 14, 2006 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

2

Looks like Apple got beat to something..again.

Posted by Real Reply on June 14, 2006 at 7:39 AM (PDT)

3

yes…they did get beat to it. Too bad that implementing the same strategy and technology will be much easier for apple. Larger already existing customer base, combined with a music store and catalogue so immense….it’s just gonna be stupid…absolutely stupid…ha

Posted by powerbook17 on June 14, 2006 at 8:07 AM (PDT)

4

this sound like a good ide and in my humble but accurate oppion, i want to spend 300 on a hand held music defise. i would buy and 30GB instead of a 8GB! and these things cant hold video! come on Music Gremlin! come up with a new devise instead of stealling some one elses! good idea, just no “click”

Posted by LawnBoy on June 14, 2006 at 8:30 AM (PDT)

5

@Real Reply

Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than post trollish comments on this forum? 

Judging from your posting history, you’ve had absolutely nothing positive to say about either Apple or the iPod…EVER.  So, what’s the point?

Is your life really that mundane?

Posted by The Raven on June 14, 2006 at 8:46 AM (PDT)

6

This Gremlin is a good idea, hopefully Apple will be able to come up with something that looks better and with its iPod/iTunes customer base this thing will get blown away.

8gb for $299 is very steep though even with the wi-fi technology!

I’d like to see a built in FM radio in the next generation iPods though!

Posted by SK86 on June 14, 2006 at 8:56 AM (PDT)

7

Oh Raven, please. Stating my opinion is not against the law and just because I am not a fan boy like you does not mean I have to suck up to the company.

By the way, it is not a forum but a comments area.

Right back at cha.

Posted by Real Reply on June 14, 2006 at 8:58 AM (PDT)

8

Wifi must really drain battery, i wonder if ten hours includes using wifi, can you get the music onto your computer

Posted by jt2110 on June 14, 2006 at 9:15 AM (PDT)

9

Seems like a good service if you want to download music on the fly. But personally I would rather pay $300 for 30 gigs and fill up at home. I have no need to purchase music away from my desk. I don’t think this will grow to be extremely popular.

Posted by jeremy pittman on June 14, 2006 at 9:33 AM (PDT)

10

Hmm, this does look rather interesting doesnt it?  I do like the look of the Gremlin.  I would have to play with the controls to get used to them.  8GB is way too small, and the battery life stinks. 

It would be interesting to see good competition for the iPod…means that Apple will not get lazy and work on making the device even better. 

Again, one has to spend at least a couple of hours playing with the Gremlin - getting used to the controls - before making an accurate comparison.

Posted by Robert on June 14, 2006 at 9:55 AM (PDT)

11

2 more things:

1. Real Reply and Raven show us that criticism will not work.  Im sure Raven loves his iPod, however Im sure he knows it is not perfect and can be improved.  Real Reply’s life is NOT mundane, G-d Forbid!

2. One thing:  the iPod has access to a huge number of wonderful and rather overpriced accessories, that enhance it’s functionality.

Cheers!

Posted by Robert on June 14, 2006 at 10:00 AM (PDT)

12

If an ipod had wifi compatibility it would seriously be the best thing to ever happen to ipods.

This thing you don’t really need. Just buy a 30gig ipod for the same price.

Posted by Jonathan on June 14, 2006 at 10:37 AM (PDT)

13

I just have to add another ‘m’eh’ in the case of the Gremlin, for all the reasosn other people stated. Too pricey for the storage you get, no video. And you can only share songs you buy off the wifi network, not ones you already own - and it can only be with someone else who subscribes? Where’s the advantage, when they could downlaod them themselves under the same subscription cost?I don’t see this catching on.

Posted by multimoog on June 14, 2006 at 11:07 AM (PDT)

14

Don’t you guys think their music store interface looks somewhat like the itunes store?

Posted by Barracuda on June 14, 2006 at 1:16 PM (PDT)

15

Neat. When you can select order from the whole music catalogue on the go, a subscription model suddenly becomes a lot more useful and viable.

Posted by catboy17 on June 14, 2006 at 10:18 PM (PDT)

16

I have been saying for a long time that this is the future of portable music. Bring the price down a tad and expand the directory of music and I might be interested.

Products like this will kill off the iPod in the nex few years (unless Apple do a similar product)

Posted by Mr. Danieru on June 15, 2006 at 2:07 AM (PDT)

17

Adding wifi to the iPod will violate one of the basic design philosophies of the iPod / iTunes integration.  That is that the iPod is a snapshot of your iTunes library, and any songs put on your iPod without iTunes, will get wiped off.  I believe this is a major selling point with the record labels as it works against easy piracy.

So to add wifi to the iPod will require a fundamental change in the way syncing works.  This is, of course, not impossible at all.

Personally, I’m not that addicted to music that I need to download it anywhere and any time.

Posted by kokketiel on June 16, 2006 at 4:59 AM (PDT)

18

I’m been talking about a Wi-Fi enabled iPod for years.  I’ve got the emails to Steve Jobs to prove it.  I’m surprised some outsider that I never heard of took my idea and ran with it.  I don’t think Jobs is a very good listener.  I wish MusicGremlin well.  I’m very curious about their product.

Posted by Tchocky in The O.C. on June 16, 2006 at 12:30 PM (PDT)

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