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iPod: Is This The Beginning of the End?

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
Each year at this time for the past five or so years, I've found compelling reasons to consider the Christmas-season-updated iPods for purchase. Despite the usual poo-pooing of the haters, there always was something exciting that created interest and curiosity, "could this be better than the one I have now?", or, "might I really enjoy video or shake-it technology?"...or whatever...it just seemed that something was new and different enough to stir up my need for NEW.

Not now. There's just nothing stirring up my motor on this updated line-up, nothing. I got a digital camera in my phone, another at the house. No wait, that's not even it. We've seen Apple come forth with such 'features' and had them prove wildly successful. I'm just wondering - is the iPod becoming a mature product? And in the classic bell-curve market development, is it now approaching the top of the cycle in which all improvements are marginal/mediocre prior to inevitable decline?
post #2 of 67
I think IPOD should replace a really hi fi liver just like their boss to get a new life. or it is the beginning of dieing.

I't 2009, there are too much of hi fi grade audiofile Dap come out in the Market, such as Sony X series, Cowon S9 or so.

Even further, it's time for the next generation DAP, Hifiman have desinged 3 in one DAP which combined with DAP/DAC/AMP.

Hisoundaudio's AMP3 hits the other new level of 4 in 1. AMP3 hybrid with DAP/AMP/ HI FI FM radio / HIFI stocked earphone. and plus the 100 hours battery.

I think IPOD's crap camera and increasing memoery are really a gimmicks. Be careful, Hifiman and AMP3 will grow up!!!
post #3 of 67
Jobs is back now. So normal service will be resumed shortly.
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparky191 View Post
Jobs is back now. So normal service will be resumed shortly.

I expect it, because JOBS has other's health liver. And I aslo hope IPOD will have other's hifi liver.
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzhenyun View Post
I think IPOD's crap camera and increasing memoery are really a gimmicks. Be careful, Hifiman and AMP3 will grow up!!!
Okay, I can see how the camera is gimmicky, but how can you say that increased memory is a gimmick?

As for the Hifiman and AMP3 "growing up" and becoming mainstream, dream on. Actually, that is not even dream worthy. The iPod has an amazing support behind it. Even Microsoft, a technological giant, couldn't touch the iPod.

In response to the maturity of the product, I do not imagine it to be something that will die away. There are millions of owners who love their products, and wouldn't dream of getting anything else. Apple is notorious in the industry for trendsetting technology. Just look at the iPhone, which cellular telephone brand now doesnt boast a big touch screen, 3G connection, and "apps". (All of which, by the way, stand as no comparison.)

In the end, these guys know what they are doing, and no matter what people have to say about them, they are still on top of their game.
post #6 of 67
I think that we've got to the point with PMPs like the iPod where the room for improvements is going to become more measured and incremental rather than revolutionary. Ignoring the typical calls for 'better sound quality', which seems very unlikely to happen (How much of a market would there really be for a 'high end' iPod with a higher end DAC? How much more would it cost due to smaller scales of economy? About the best I think we can hope for here would be to get some form of digital out- anyway, I digress). What sorts of features can you reasonable imagine being added to what is supposed to be a PMP/Media device. They're not going to add a GPS to it- that's in the iPhone- they'd poach their own territory. They could add something like an e-Book reader, but you'd need a larger screen- which would make it a pretty lousy device to carry in your pocket to listen to music with. And it seems like Apple is working on building a Tablet PC anyway, so there's that. With the exception of the Shuffle- all of the iPods are capable of displaying TV shows and Movies. The iPod Nano now has a built in Radio - I would've liked it if it had HD Radio (then I would definitely buy it). So, reasonably- what more could you add to a portable media device that you can carry easily in your pocket? An digital television tuner?

Personally, I think the iPod Touch is nearly perfect. The only thing I'd add is a FM + HD radio. But depending on the price of the Apple Tablet PCs, I probably won't get one. I'd rather have a 64 GB iPod Nano (or my current iPod Classic) and a 7-10" Mac Tablet.

I hope that the reason for the relatively uninspired iPod updates isn't because Steve Jobs was ill and that things will be back to normal now that he's back- otherwise that doesn't bode very well for Apple's future.
post #7 of 67
An iPod that output digital without BS software... That's change I can believe in. Maybe next year.
post #8 of 67
AND what do you want from apple? They have what have same devices like other companies. Touch player: Apple Ipod touch 64 Gb, Microsoft Zune HD(3 years later), Sony X1000, cowon S9, Samsung P3. All of them have +- same functions(sometimes wifi, sometimes bluetooth). Apple also have small, really nice Nano, and they have 160 GB monster player, who have that? Zune?

They are not going to fight against AMP3 and hi-fiman, apple are great for normal customer, have good UI and they devices are working. They dont need to sell ugly devices, which have problems with codec suport and memory cards(AMP3) or extremly big brick, which can play for 6 hours(hifiman)
post #9 of 67
Thread Starter 
Well, the AMP3s of the world are interesting niche products but are clearly not in position to challenge the capacity and scale that a company like Apple commands. As for Steve Jobs being back, I truly believe that is an important element in that 'edge' that iPod needs to keep dynamically ahead. It was almost exactly during his absence, it appears, that this most recent round of ho-hum 'upgrades' were conceived and produced.

I could still see a few revolutionary changes like bluetooth or other wireless output, but mostly it will probably be 'more for less', i.e., more memory for less money in a smaller form factor. People will always enjoy listening to music on the go, so we could all probably agree that some form of iPod is here to stay, but I guess the question is will it plateau soon? And what will be the next big product to take over? Music/video implants?
post #10 of 67
I don't think the inclusion of products like the S9, Walkman or the AMP3 will really put a dent into Apple's dominance. Apple has had a great run - wildly unexpected. Just when I thought the iPod line would slow down, they came out with the Touch / iPhone and started the craze all over again ("There's an app for that!").

What they need is another feature that they can market as a "must have". Right now, I don't see anything in the new line that can do that. The video camera on the Nano is interesting, but it's not going to replace the the marketability of the App Store.
post #11 of 67
I was hoping for a 32 gig Nano this time around. Have no need for the camara, and video on that small a device.

Now the improved internals, and 64gig iPod Touch, I might need to upgrade my iPod Touch 2.0. Would mean one of my kids will be happy. Not adding a camera to the Touch is a bonus for me.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by .coco View Post
Okay, I can see how the camera is gimmicky, but how can you say that increased memory is a gimmick?

As for the Hifiman and AMP3 "growing up" and becoming mainstream, dream on. Actually, that is not even dream worthy. The iPod has an amazing support behind it. Even Microsoft, a technological giant, couldn't touch the iPod.
I have an iPod and more or less like it (except iTunes.) But it is certainly not hi-fidelity or what I would consider "cutting-edge." Sure it's popular, but does this mean anything? The Hifiman, on the other hand, is designed to be a true high-fidelity portable device. To me that is far more cutting-edge. Not that I have 600 to throw at portable device right now.
post #13 of 67
The Zune HD has "optical audio output" - Sounds good to me.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Antony6555 View Post
I have an iPod and more or less like it (except iTunes.) But it is certainly not hi-fidelity or what I would consider "cutting-edge." Sure it's popular, but does this mean anything? The Hifiman, on the other hand, is designed to be a true high-fidelity portable device. To me that is far more cutting-edge. Not that I have 600 to throw at portable device right now.
Not to take anyone's side, but that's just it, to YOU it is cutting edge. To regular consumers, you present them with this argument and they tell you "But my iPod already sounds good, besides it is smaller, look better, trendier, cheaper...and so on so on"

To you and me, popular iPod means nothing, just more money for them. To consumers that do not know more, they will think good job steve jobs for creating a product that makes their daily life easier with this small music player.
post #15 of 67
I am still using my 80GB 5.5G iPod in my car. I'd consider a switch when they come out with a 200+GB model so I can put my entire music collection on it and not have to choose as I do today. 160GB is not enough for me. 250GB or 320GB would be ideal.

I doubt it is ever going to happen soon as there is probably not much investment in R&D for 1.8" hard drives - all the actions is in SSDs nowadays. The Intel X18-M has hit 160GB now, the next generation may hit the mark, but Apple buys NAND Flash directly from Samsung et al, and they would probably just release an expanded capacity iPod Touch than fit Flash emulating a HDD in a Classic case.
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