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New smaller, flash-based iPod this Christmas?

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Friday, October 1, 2004
News Categories: iPod

“Citing ‘numerous sources in Asia,’ Thomas Weisel analyst Jason Pflaum said Apple will use SigmaTel’s controller chips for a player it’s planning to launch this Christmas. [...]

Unlike Apple’s hugely popular iPod and iPod Mini players, the new player would use solid-state flash memory, which has less capacity but can make for a lighter, cheaper player.”

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Comments

21

re:adam

Actually if you would have read the article you would have seen that the 8 GB and 4 GB cards have the same price of $959

Posted by Adam on October 2, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

22

ah ic, thanks for the clarification. i thought the microdrive was an ordinary compact flash card.

and i totally agree with Landon. i doubt apple will make that move

Posted by John on October 2, 2004 at 5:34 PM (PDT)

23

Most definitely the mini is not a gym/exercise player. If Apple makes a decent, rugged, high capacity, flashed based player - they would see an even bigger migration from windows folks.

I have a 3G iPod, but for working out - my old RioSport is the player of choice. Rio’s drivers work with iTunes, but don’t allow AAC format. Apple will do themselves a favor by adding AAC ability to a flashplayer. And radio? It’s about freaking time they added a tuner to the iPod.

Flash players are truly skip free, and light enough that you can forget they are there and concentrate on sweating - not whether or not you have dropped the unit.

Posted by Curtsan on October 2, 2004 at 6:51 PM (PDT)

24

Do you guys even own an iPod mini?  It’s definately a gym player.  I’ve taken it running for the past six months and so have thousands of people in the last boston marathon.  No one has ever complained of hard drive failure.  You guys have no clue as to what you are talking about.
The only serious advantage to flash memory is the battery life… it requires far less energy.  The whole durability issue was fixed after the first gen 1.5 gb IBM microdrives… they are incredibly durable.  Check the ipodlounge and riovolution forums and see how many people have complained about bad hard drives AFTER jogging/gym activities.

Posted by mini owner on October 2, 2004 at 8:14 PM (PDT)

25

um, do you guys go to gyms?  because the last time i was there i saw atleast 10 people with a mini straped to their arm.  i’ve personally had my ipod 3g for a year and am an avid runner.  I’ve never had a problem with skipping.  Arm bands severly limit the stress on the player if you’re a runner, and as far as the gym in general, i don’t see you putting much more stress on the player than you would if you ran.  Maybe you people are a little too scared to take your mini with you to the gym, but that doesn’t make you right. 

i’d argue that most people who own ipods and bought ipod minis were to use them at the gym, myself included.

Posted by dave on October 2, 2004 at 8:45 PM (PDT)

26

To the gentleman above who suggested total harddrive meltdown at 9000 feet. My iPod is going strong after many trips to 3000 metres.

Posted by loGan on October 3, 2004 at 2:32 AM (PDT)

27

Is it OK to take a mini on a plane because thats a bit higher than 9000 feet and I don’t want my minis hardrive to go wrong.

Posted by Max on October 3, 2004 at 3:37 AM (PDT)

28

What are some of you’ll talking about.  I have used a 3 generation 15 gig at the gym and it has never skipped.

Posted by Earl on October 3, 2004 at 3:48 AM (PDT)

29

Well, I take my 3G on planes all the time, but that’s not the same as being on a mountaintop: on a plane, you’re in a pressurized cabin, whereas on the mountaintop you’re in naked air, i.e. at whatever ambient pressure there is at that height.  That said, I’ve never heard of anyone having trouble with the iPods at such altitudes (and have several friends who ski regularly with their ipod or mini)

Posted by Druid on October 3, 2004 at 4:22 AM (PDT)

30

” I take my 3G on planes all the time, but that’s not the same as being on a mountaintop: on a plane, you’re in a pressurized cabin, whereas on the mountaintop you’re in naked air”

The hard drive in the 3G (and all other large iPods) is vacuum sealed, and maintains its own pressure environment.

The hard drive in the Mini is not vacuum sealed and uses the external pressure environment. THis enables them to make it smaller than it would be otherwise. The downside is that the disk heads need to float on a sufficient cushion of air. Too little pressure and your disk heads will crash into the disk platter, melting it and destroying your data and disk.

http://www.steves-digicams.com/microdrive.html


The OEM Functional specification defines the warranty range for operating altitude as 3,000 M or 9,000 ft (3ft/M). If the customer is mountain climbing with a GPS or digital camera above 9,000 ft the drive might have problems. (Mt Fuji ~ +13,000ft, Mt Raineer ~ +14,000 ft). Please note, this is the operating environment. Non operation at high altitudes, including vacuum, have no ill effects on the microdrive. Within passenger aircraft, the cabin is pressurized to 9-10,000 feet hence the drive would experience no difficulty operating in an aircraft cruising at 35-45,000 ft !

Posted by pressure on October 3, 2004 at 5:21 AM (PDT)

31

I’ve used mine on Mt. Rainier and in Nepal with no problems.  They’re covering their rear ends, but it does work fine there. ‘Nuff said.

Posted by mini owner on October 3, 2004 at 7:19 AM (PDT)

32

Pressure is right. A plane cabin is the exact same as being at 9,000 feet in the open cause aircraft cabins are pressurized at around 9 to 10 thouasand feet you don’t have to worry about this as stated above cause an aircraft cabin is never going to be pressurized any higher cause you can’t breath if its pressurized over 15,000, Hences the oxygen mask and dive to under 15,000 if cabin pressures ever lost.

Posted by Jonathan on October 3, 2004 at 9:26 AM (PDT)

33

I’ve talked to an Apple employee, and while he couldn’t be too specific he basically said “don’t believe it.”  Jobs has been very public about the importance of carrying your collection with you, and even a 1 GB flash player isn’t going to do that.

Posted by Commodus on October 3, 2004 at 11:32 AM (PDT)

34

“I’ve used mine on Mt. Rainier and in Nepal with no problems.”

Run a scandisk lately?

Manufacturers *want* you to be able to to run their products in as many places as possible. They are not being perverse telling you that certain conditions are hazardous or contraindicated.

You want to run your iPod Mini out of spec and definitely within dangerous conditions then fine. But why not do a Google for microdrives at high altitudes - you will find lots of photographers who, like you, thought they were fine a few times and then WHAM they lost their microdrive and their data.

Posted by scandisk on October 3, 2004 at 11:53 AM (PDT)

35

I think it’s a great idea.
I’d like to have one for my two childrens.

So the idea is to help people like me to buy others ipods when you just have one mini or full already but you don’t want your chldrens to have one objet with a price tags of $250 on them or you simply dont have the money.

And theses new owners will want to buy music on iTMS…
It’s a real market…

Posted by quebec on October 3, 2004 at 1:57 PM (PDT)

36

this is great. now i can attach an apple mp3 player to my belt just like an iRIVER! and it would be a whole lot more shock resistant as well…!!!

Posted by does it matter on October 3, 2004 at 3:45 PM (PDT)

37

In case of aircraft depressurization, we immediately execute descent to under 10,000 feet (as long as that is clear of terrain.)  I fly on C-130s and we pressurize our aircraft anywhere from 5000ft to 8000ft atmospheric pressure when we fly high level missions.  Most civilian aircraft will also pressurize in this range so as long as your device is rated for at least that kind of operating environment, it should be ok.

Posted by Navigator on October 3, 2004 at 4:56 PM (PDT)

38

I have mounted my mini the stem on my road bike and road it 40 miles over some fairly bumpy roads.  Never had one skip.

Posted by Joe on October 3, 2004 at 5:28 PM (PDT)

39

How many times have we heard

“Steve Jobs made it very clear when he introduced the ****** that ****** *** just isn’t good enough”

- replace **** with product and technology of your choice.

THEN, six months or a year later, Steve reshuffles his playlist, and gives technology it’s props… once it is in an apple product…

I’m telling you, if anything kills Apple’s market share again, it will be due to Mr. Job’s arrogance.

I’m still annoyed that he commented back to a question at a product launch that “nobody has been asking for OGG support”.  Thanks for affirming my place in the world Steve!

The technology is good, I just don’t think they want to pay the licensing fees.

Meanwhile… guess why IEEE 1394 adoption on devices was so slow???  Ludicrous $4 license fee per port vs. $.25 per USB2 port

Posted by John on October 4, 2004 at 4:47 AM (PDT)

40

i reckon if they do bring this out, they’ll put a radio in it, and, if there is a significant battery life increase, maybe a colour screen… and, and, Airport Extreme or summat, so that it can access the iTMS and buy songs!
and, it could also be a mobile phone!! with bluetooth!
woo hoo!!! wow…

cough.

sorry, got a little bit carried away there…

i dont think its gonna happen, well, just as much as the above specs are gonna be in an iPod in 6 months.
it just isn’t apple, cause its gettin way too complicated to be them, i mean, 3 different products, all called the iPod something, would just not happen, they don’t want potential customers to have too much choice, they would just take forever. thats what has happened to Sony with their players, and we all know how well they are doing with them, but i guess they also havn’t got the most catchy names smile theres already enough colours and sizes to choose from with the current iPods.
unless, its a miniPod, but is the 2gb model that was rumored just before the 4gig model came out… how much is a 2gig flash drive at the moment?

Posted by Louis on October 4, 2004 at 5:15 AM (PDT)

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