Date: Apr 28, 06 at 2:20am (PST)
Subject: Apple revamps iPod music player for Windows use
Courtesy of http://www.ipodreviewforum.com
Apple Computer for the first time is offering a product for Windows instead of Macintosh, and it's a stunner: the iPod portable music player.
The size of a pack of playing cards and weighing only seven ounces, the iPod is built around an internal hard drive holding 5, 10 or 20 gigabytes of music files for $299, $399 or $499. Introduced in November 2001 to rave reviews, the iPod initially worked only with the Mac. A revamped product line offering higher capacity and improved design, as well as models that work with Windows, shipped in early September.
The all-white face and polished-aluminum back are elegant. The controls are so well designed the iPod can be operated with one hand. The rechargeable battery lives up to Apple's 10-hour claim. The capacity of iPod, and other hard-disk music players, is awesome. The 20-gigabyte iPod will store about 4,000 songs, or about 400 albums. You literally hold a music library in your hand.
But the iPod's elegant design is no guarantee of success in the competitive world of Windows hardware. There are at least a half-dozen other firms offering portable hard-disk music players for Windows PCs, some at half the iPod's price.
What's more, there are several technical obstacles that will block many Windows PC owners from considering an iPod. Portable hard-disk players will become more and more popular in the years ahead.
With music moving into computers as users "rip" their own CDs into MP3 form or download songs from the Internet, we'll want to carry lots of music on the road. Hard-disk players are the best way to do this.
Apple didn't invent the concept. Several small Asian electronics manufacturers introduced hard-disk players in 1999, and the first product from a big-name firm was the Nomad Jukebox, shipped by Creative Labs in September 2000.
But Apple moved hard-disk players to a new level.
First, the iPod is smaller and lighter than competing hard-disk players -- about half the size and weight of most competitors. This makes iPod the first hard-disk player I've seen that can stay with you all day in a purse, briefcase, backpack or pocket.
Second, the iPod uses a fast FireWire connection for transferring files from a computer. Most other hard-disk players use the much slower USB. Moving 20 gigabytes of music to the iPod through its FireWire cable takes 30 minutes compared with USB's 13 hours.
Third, the iPod has simple controls that are easy to understand. A touch-sensitive scroll wheel is surrounded by four buttons for navigating, with a single "enter" button in the scroll wheel's center.
This makes iPod the only hard-disk player that can be controlled with one hand -- a requirement for a truly portable device.
Fourth, Apple has automated the process of getting tunes into the iPod.
Using the MusicMatch Jukebox software media player on a Windows PC or Apple's own iTunes on a Mac, the iPod can be set to automatically download any new music in the owner's MusicMatch or iTunes library whenever the iPod is connected to the computer.
Date: Apr 28, 06 at 2:49am (PST)
Subject: re: Apple revamps iPod music player for Windows use
And I may agree, one of the best things that Apple has ever done. It's saved my musical appetite from total starvation.
It's old news, though, the iPod has been Windows compatible as long as I can remember.
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