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Report: Wireless Microsoft iPod rival due by Christmas

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2006
News Categories: iPod

Bloomberg News has uncovered new details of Microsoft’s forthcoming iPod rival and iTunes Music Store clone. The Microsoft-branded portable music and video player will reportedly be out by Christmas, featuring a wireless Internet connection to download music without a computer. Bloomberg says the device is being developed under the supervision of Xbox executives Robbie Bach and J. Allard. In addition, Microsoft is said to have hired music industry executive Chris Stephenson to meet with music and Hollywood companies about licensing content for the Microsoft digital media store. Bloomberg says Microsoft has already met with EMI Group, Universal Music Group, NBC, Fox, and CBS.

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Comments

1

Maybe I just don’t get the concept, but is downloading music directly to a device really that big of a deal?  Alot of people end up charging their devices through the computer.  It is probably a bit faster through the computer and downloading something onto a device i would imagine would take a lot of battery power.

Posted by Josh on July 5, 2006 at 2:04 PM (PDT)

2

It’s not that downloading to a device directly is a big deal.  Remember the first iteration of PocketPCs?  They were machines pretty bloated with semi-useless features.  They just want to say something, anything is different or in their eyes *better* than Apple’s offering.

Posted by Jeremy on July 5, 2006 at 3:28 PM (PDT)

3

built in radio, user changeable battery, in line and memo recording, a crossfade, a better equalizer and visualizations… these are things that other players already have.
if apple continues to offer ipods with less features, how long can they stay number one?

If the microsoft player is cheaper, looks good, and offers more stuff… ill get it.

right now, microsoft sees lots of people downloading ring tones to thier cell phones.. why cant people do it with thier mp3 players too?

This is just another feature that apple has to look at. the iPod is not goin to stay exactly as it is…. its not like having video, and color screens just came outa nowhere.

Microsoft says theyre coming out with wireless…. now lets see what Apple is gonna answer with.

Posted by Ray on July 5, 2006 at 3:51 PM (PDT)

4

ALL companies need to stop worrying about what the PLAYER does and start thinking about why the ipod is so successful:

ITUNES, ITUNES ITUNES.

Without an easy-to-use, full-featured library management app connected to an easy-to-use music store, MS, Creative, Sony, ALL of them will never be more than niche products.

Posted by stark23x on July 5, 2006 at 3:58 PM (PDT)

5

Is the blue screen of death included or is it extra?

Posted by Mr. Anderson on July 5, 2006 at 5:12 PM (PDT)

6

“Is the blue screen of death included or is it extra?”

I think it’ll be extra. Probably going to be called Microsoft iPod Killer and then the updated version will be called Microsoft iPod Killer SE (like they did with Windows 98!).

How long do you think it will take for these Microsoft DAPs to catch a virus?

Posted by Nobody on July 5, 2006 at 5:49 PM (PDT)

7

“built in radio, user changeable battery, in line and memo recording, a crossfade, a better equalizer and visualizations… these are things that other players already have.”

Maybe we should start calling them UMDAR’s, Ultra Mobile Digital Audio Recorders instead of DAP’s. I think whatever Microsoft is doing should concentrate on being a Player, not an audio do-it-all. That would force them to sell on form instead of functions and just might teach them a few lessons about how to make a Player that Joe Sixpack would want instead of a Recorder that geeks think is cool.

Whatever it is, if it doesn’t play AAC (or at the very least, convert it), then they’re shutting themselves out of the one market that matters, iPod owners. Even if an iPod user doesn’t use the iTMS, iTunes by default stores as AAC. Not playing that is like not playing MP3’s.

Posted by Another on July 5, 2006 at 6:11 PM (PDT)

8

Can you just imagine the nightmare it will be to actually get this thing to connect to anything, especially wirelessly!?  Microsoft should concentrate more on stabilizing their OS rather than add-ons and extras.  The beauty of the iPod IS it’s simplicity.

Posted by rg_spb on July 5, 2006 at 6:37 PM (PDT)

9

I say, Bring it on! All the money Gates has can’t match the brain Jobs has, and his eye for what works, and what is what people want. Have you ever seen anyone googly-eyed about a Microsoft product? I have never seen a line waiting outside a store for the latest Windows OS. I will be glad when all these “iPod killers” finally concede the battle.

Posted by J.Dominy on July 5, 2006 at 7:06 PM (PDT)

10

“built in radio, user changeable battery, in line and memo recording, a crossfade, a better equalizer and visualizations… these are things that other players already have.”

Other players already have all of these features. The iPod has none of these features built-in.

And with that said, other players still haven’t been able to compete with the iPod.

We’re reacing a point in society where we will soon find out whether the public wants something that half-heartedly does everything, or one thing that excels at what it does.

Here’s to the latter.

Posted by A-Jay on July 5, 2006 at 7:22 PM (PDT)

11

Meh, look at the UMPC. Instead of attacking the iPod, MS should just focus in cementing their foothold in smartphones before Apple came out with their iPhone. It’s seems that everybody wants to be the iPod killer, but forgot what they were doing and failed (eg. Sony).

Let there be gapless. Although iPod is not gapless by default, there’s rockbox. Other DAPs don’t provide any advantages to me.

Posted by pika2000 on July 5, 2006 at 7:34 PM (PDT)

12

fanboys stop it, stop it, you guys are killing me.  I feel bad for you guys, I really do, what’s going to happen once steve jobs leave, you guys going back to bankruptcy again? oh gosh, that’s got to be hard lol.

Posted by Amid on July 5, 2006 at 8:17 PM (PDT)

13

Don’t be a fanboys and spread lies.

“I say, Bring it on! All the money Gates has can’t match the brain Jobs has, and his eye for what works, and what is what people want.”

The last time I check, windows owns 95% market share while apple hold on to its 4% market share.
PS: the last time I saw people waiting in line for a microsoft product was actually last year when the xbox 2 came out.
Apple os x should concede since they only own such a small small market share (4%), is that what you trying to tell me?

Posted by Mike T. on July 5, 2006 at 8:19 PM (PDT)

14

stark23x is right on the money. I didnt buy sony because their sofware suck a$$, hard! Itunes is the best music management software out there IMO.

Posted by Ppt on July 5, 2006 at 11:54 PM (PDT)

15

I love my iPod (5G 30gb white) and my Vaja black/blue leather case…

but I am sick of Apple not adding features to their iPods. I want an FM tuner, I want a recorder, I want a changeable battery, I WANT TO CONNECT TO ITUNES WITH ONLY MY IPOD!

So, I love what these other players offer. I, however, hate their form and interface. IPods have the best interface and use iTunes, which is the reason of my computer’s existence.

So, I love apple. And, I hate apple. And, I am interested in seeing if this Microsoft product pushes apple to stop milking every dime out of us through stupid add-ons, and maybe make a product that they are fully aware we want. Why else would apple have made the video iPod, the stupid FM tuner add-on, and the recording add-ons. They know someone wants it, so they make them pay for it… again… and again.

I am NOT a fanboy. So, either Microsoft will make something worthy of me switching over, or they will make something good that pushes apple to change current iPod features, or their player will be a piece of crap and I will have to settle using this featureless iPod a little longer.

Posted by starperformer in Fort Worth, TX on July 6, 2006 at 7:15 AM (PDT)

16

I’m not so sure wireless downloading to a DAP is such a big selling point. Maybe on the surface, but you’re not going to connect for free so there will probably be some sort of premium for that service.

I like the fact that Apple has made the iPod only do one thing and one thing well. I don’t care about an FM tuner or anything else other than what it does. They allow other companies to develop the add-ons that some people want and other people don’t. It gives people choices and allows them to customize their own environment. I’d much rather have an excellent performing streamlined device with modular plug-ins than some bloated thing that boxes you in and is mediocre in all it’s features.

Posted by Jay on July 6, 2006 at 7:35 AM (PDT)

17

I am interested in seeing Microsofts new music player. I hope that it will be just more than a portable music player but have a whole bunch of features crammed into one tiny little device. Wifi would be so nice to have on an ipod…

Posted by Jonathan on July 6, 2006 at 11:14 AM (PDT)

18

All I have to say is that the first generation of “wireless” Microsoft mp3 players will crash and be buggy like no other.  With word of mouth, that will hurt Microsoft.  If they decide to stick with it, it will take Microsoft at least a few years or models to get it functional and right.

Posted by iCliff in California on July 6, 2006 at 5:16 PM (PDT)

19

via Engadget:

“To attract current iPod users Microsoft is going to let you download for free any songs you’ve already bought from the iTunes Music Store. They’ll actually scan iTunes for purchased tracks and then automatically add those to your account. Microsoft will still have to pay the rights-holders for the songs, but they believe it’ll be worth it to acquire converts to their new player.”

http://www.engadget.com/2006/07/06/microsoft-planning-wifi-enabled-portable-media-player-working-o/

Sounds “too good to be true,” but considering that iTunes has sold a billion songs at 99 cents each and not everyone will take the offer, MS can actually afford to do this. I would only seriously consider “switching” if the files are lossless. (highly unlikely)

Posted by Gerard on July 6, 2006 at 8:16 PM (PDT)

20

You fanboys talking about “Microsoft killers” Hahaha - really rich.  Get a grip folks - Apple would probably have folded by now if it wasn’t for the iPod - they tried to compete head-on against MS and lost so badly, it isn’t even funny.  Now MS is coming for them on their own turf.  I’d be worried if I were Apple.

BTW - I finally figured out why the iPod is so successful - Apple didn’t design the original hardware, OS on the iPod or iTunes - all three technologies were bought from 3rd party companies, and Apple is trying to keep those facts as quiet is they can.

Posted by kokketiel on July 7, 2006 at 6:10 AM (PDT)

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