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Darn you Soyboy!

I was just going to post that and become the saviour of iPod wielding Prius owners everywhere!

:)))

Definitely looks like a nice product, I'll be waiting for that one if it supports the Prius, and probably doing the crappy FM modulator thing until then (ugh).
 

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I've been patiently waiting for the newest MP3 players to arrive, which recently just happened. So, could someone please explain to me how an iPod is better than this...

http://www.tomshardware.com/mobile/20041005

It delivers quite a bit more for only a $30 price difference. There's no contest with the screen, color is much more easy to see. Having a rather extension digital photo collect, being able to view them is pretty sweet. And to seal the deal, it can interface directly with a card-reader or a digital-camera some you can empty a card without a computer.
 

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Hmmmm.... It is like this....

The iPod is doing wonders for Apple because they finally have a consumer product that is a tremendous hit and which is showing lots of people the quality of all Apple's products.

I'll try to explain it in automotive terms:

You know how you love your Prius? You know how much better Toyota's are in general than nearly every other car? You know how many people will still buy a GM or Ford or Kia or .....? You know how when you explain to them how much better the Toyota "feels" how you can touch the "quality" of the Toyota, how the controls and knobs and design just seems so much "better", that they don't/can't understand? Or just don't care?

Well, that's the position Apple has been in for ages. The iPod does a few very simple things in a sublimely elegant way. See if you can borrow a friends for a few days (they probably won't let you, but it is worth a try :)

The entire Apple thing is a taste and quality issue with many parallels in the automotive industry. Look inside a PowerMac G5 then look inside a standard Windows PC. Pick up and play with a Powerbook and the pick up any typical Windows Notebook (except a Sony, they are the only exceptional hardware I've seen in the Windows world). Use the Mac OS X interface for a few weeks and then use Windows again. There simply isn't any comparison, every single element of the Apple hardware and software seems well thought out, elegant, and simply reeks of *quality*, just like your Toyota.

Maybe not everyone cares, maybe some people can't even tell the difference (this is where taste, as in having it, comes into it :) But that doesn't make the difference any less real.

Next time you're trying to explain your Toyota to some GM-driving rattle-trap-loving owner, you're in exactly the same position as Apple owners have been for far too many years. It looks like the iPod might finally be changing that. Yippee! Hurray! Yahoo! :)
 

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You're preaching to the choir. Let's try again...

iRiver was designed to compete directly with iPod. And based on my research so far, it looks as though they did an excellent job of doing that. After all, it's not impossible for another company to have finally been able to match it.

So... can you point out a specific feature or behavior that iPod surpasses iRiver with?
 

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Here's hoping the thing about being able to display track info on the head unit means it'll work with the Prius' Multi-Display.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No doubt that iRiver and other companies make some fine players. The iPod clearly outclasses them all in two areas: design and interface. None of the other manufacturers offer any competition for the iPod when it comes to aesthetics. People are willing to pay a premium for that. Just look at the iPod mini, which many of the Apple faithful thought would be an overpriced flop. Turns out that people are more than happy to pay $250 for a sleek and tiny (relatively low capacity) music player.

Add to that the simplicity of the click wheel interface and ease of use with iTunes, and it's clear that the others don't come close to what Apple has come up with. When the other manufacturers finally get this, THEN they might offer some competition. Hey, just look at the ipod ads-do they tell you anything about the what it does or even what it is? Nope! But they sure do look cool.

Most consumers don't make a purchased based solely on the features or technical merits of a device (with Prius owners being one of the more obvious exceptions), just like they don't vote based on a candidate's record or on facts. (Please don't read this as an endorsement or condemnation of consumption habits, portable music devices or any political candidate.) :wink:
 

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Soyboy said:
No doubt that iRiver and other companies make some fine players. The iPod clearly outclasses them all in two areas: design and interface. None of the other manufacturers...
Sorry, but a generalization like that simply doesn't cut it. We point out vague comments about "hybrids" all the time.

Please compare *SPECIFIC* models.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
John, why don't you show me an example of one that comes close to the iPod in those areas. I'll bet you can't find one.
 

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I already did... my first post on this thread.

Remember, to be objective, all angles must be studied. Right now, I'm playing devil's advocate... since the blind loyalty to iPod should not remain unchallenged forever. It will either renew the honor of "best" or finally have to step down... until the next model becomes available.

The same is true for Prius. It may hold the crown for over a decade, but eventually a geniune contender will emerge.
 

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Hmmmmm....

OK, I did a poor job of explaining it.

It *isn't about the features* it is *about the whole user experiece*, including quality and taste. It doesn't matter which other MP3 player you look at today, because none of them stand up to the iPod on those criteria. Many of them have more features, but it doesn't matter because none of them are anywhere near as perfected, elegant, nor as masterfully conceived and executed.

If you shop just for features, you almost certainly don't want an iPod.

As a Toyota owner you probably understand this. There are plenty of cars with more features, there are plenty of cheaper cars, there are plenty faster cars, there are plenty of bigger cars, there are plenty of (insert variable here) cars, but how many of them really match your Toyota?

In the case of the iPod, there are none, not even one. Eventually there might be something which can match the iPod in design elegance - but if history is any judge (look at their OS and hardware over over the last 20 years), Apple will stay ahead of the game in this for a very long time, and the others may never catch up. We'll just have to see.

You won't be disappointed with the iPod unless you absolutely have to have a feature the iPod doesn't have.
 

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Can't see where I'm going, eh?

What about Apple competing with itself? The choices will increase as the popularity increases. In time, upgrades to the existing models will occur. What will those differences be? Which will hold the most appeal?

The perfect analogy just happens to be with HSD. It will later be available in a Camry and a Corolla. They'll all share the same quality, but the experience will be different for each. How do you choose which one to buy?

Though... using history as a judge means iPod won't ever be that popular (very small marketshare). People in general prefer a nice balance of features at a competitive price. That's not iPod. But it is Prius. A little over $20,000 is what the average American spends on a new vehicle. And that just happens to be what the nicely balance base model of Prius costs.
 

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Um, John

Um. John, I really hate to point this out:

"In the meantime, market research firms are reporting that Apple now owns 92.1 percent of the hard-drive based digital music market, up from 82.2 percent last year. That figure reflects sales of both the iPod Mini and its larger counterparts. Creative and Rio are a distant second and third with 3.7 and 3.2 percent, respectively."

Here is one about the overall market share (as opposed to hard-drive based market share):

"The Apple iPod player has conquered the US digital music market in August adding 18 percent to its share of the market bringing it to a whopping 82 per cent. The results were released by research firm NPD, in August 2003 Apple had 64 per cent of the market where as in August 2002 it had a 33 per cent share of digital music player market."

Just google on "current iPod market share".

The reason I hate to bring it up is that market share often has nothing to do with the quality of a product. I mean, look at our president :)

That said, many of us in the tech industry are hoping that this is a turning point for Apple and that the iPod will finally begin to build their computer market share again. Remember when everyone finally realized how much more reliable some of the foreign cars were? Once a certain momentum was reached the foreign car market blossomed. Look where things have gone since then.

I also like car/computer analogies. You might find the short version of my synopsis of the computer industry amusing. I use the Prius as one of the examples:

http://www.macmaven.net/oncomputers.html
 

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The reason I bring up the topic is the fact that the inevitable new iPod will be a very popular choice. The catch is, the current model will pale in comparison. The new one will delight owners. And buyers will gladly fork out the premium for it.

However, the competition has temporarily exceeded the current model. I know. I own one of those iRiver players and have done iPod comparisons. The screen is color, making it dramatically easier to see. And the higher resolution doesn't hurt either. iPod will offer the same in short order.

So my question is, how exactly does that change occur?

We are going to witness that same type of thing (on several levels) with the growing popularity with Prius, and then the introduction of Camry with HSD. We have also seen it already with last year's upgrade of Prius.

Change is the only constant. Sometimes it offers surprises.

And don't worry. I suspect the advantage my MP3 player offers will just be a brief one. But then again, a little bit of good old fashion rivalry could be fun.
 

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That's a strange one. Now that CPU speed has fulfilled all typical needs, emphasis is changing to size, power, and cost instead.

Interesting, eh? The same is true for the SUV market. Size & Power is quickly becoming meaningless. Attention is now being directed to other aspects... like MPG.
 

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john1701a said:
However, the competition has temporarily exceeded the current model. I know. I own one of those iRiver players and have done iPod comparisons. The screen is color, making it dramatically easier to see. And the higher resolution doesn't hurt either. iPod will offer the same in short order.
hehe.. Apple now has the iPod Photo, which adds, among other things, a color screen.

I own the '3G' 30GB iPod currently. I bought it used from a friend only a week before the current line of 'Click Wheel' iPods came out. It's more than I need presently. My music collection is 15GB, and I use the iPod really as a glorified Walkman, just what it's 'core use' is for. It's great for that. The interface is the best I've seen (and I actually did a lot of comparison shopping.) The battery life could be better, but apparently the newer models have significantly increased battery life. I do have it sync my contacts and calendar, but I have yet to actually use that, as my cell phone already syncs. I prefer Apple's Music Store to the competition mostly on 'style', and did so even before I had seriously considered buying an iPod. (And when I was considering an mp3 player, I had determined that it would be easy to 'move' my iTunes-purchased music into another program, so the iPod didn't get an 'automatic advantage' there; although the fact that the iPod syncs with iTunes *WAS* an advantage, because I greatly prefer iTunes to any other jukebox software.)

Recently, my wife has learned of the joy that is the iPod. She's not a techno-phile by any stretch, and has problems figuring out how to work the DVD player without written instructions, yet she figured out the iPod without any help at all from me. (The biggest problem she had was figuring out how to connect it to the stereo.) So she has 'claimed' our existing 30GB iPod. I'm thinking now is a good time/excuse to get myself an iPod Photo. I take a lot of digital pictures, and one of the biggest problems I have is being able to show them off. I have them all on my desktop computer, not my notebook, so it's hard to show them off that way. Even my digital camera (a Sony T1) requires a dock to connect to a TV, so it's difficult to show off pictures directly from the camera. The iPod Photo seems to have the perfect integration and functionality for showing off photos. I was skeptical until I used one in a store. Now it's DEFINITELY on my Christmas list. (The additional battery life helps.)

As for video? I own a VERY good Sony 'Watchman' TV that is now about a decade old, yet it's still great. Yet watching TV on it is hard, because the screen is so small. And for audio, headphones are the only reasonable solution. I've watched videos on a friend's PocketPC, and they're just dismal, even though they are playing at 30 fps. It's just too small to truly enjoy. The only thing I can imagine watching on such a small screen is the news. So I fully understand Apple's decision to not include video playback. (Although the ability to store video, and play it back on a TV using the video out would be a nice touch. Then I've even got a portable home-video viewer.)

As for SUV size and power being meaningless? What, are you kidding me? H2's are still selling like hotcakes, and the luxury SUV market still seems to be about 'bigger and badder'. Only the 'small SUV' market (dominated by Subaru) seems to be worried about other factors.
 
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