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"iPod micro" - And We Will Shuffle No More


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"iPod micro" - And We Will Shuffle No More
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Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2005-08-22, 01:54

In what is far from the first case of an online retailer jumping the gun and posting a page for an unnanounced product, Shopping.com has listed not new 1 GB and 2 GB iPod shuffles, but 2 GB and 4 GB iPod shuffles. In related news, Engadget is reporting that Samsung has offered Apple very competitive rates on 4 GB flash drives - interestingly, Engadget tells not of these drives' possibilities in a future iPod shuffle, but in a future iPod mini.

People have long speculated that future iPod minis will use flash drives, but the iPod mini is designed for a hard drive. People have gone so far to say that the low-end iPod mini will use a flash drive, while the high-end model will use a flash drive. That seems very un-Apple like, to me. Apple (and anyone, really) would want to be using as big of a hard drive as they could in the iPod mini - they have to stay competitive, after all - which would mean that the iPod minis' hard drives would be increasing outside the reach of flash drives. (Even now - just as there's talk of a 4 GB flash-based iPod mini being possible, the iPod minis are expected to grow to 6 and 8 GB.) Also, putting a flash drive in a player designed for a hard drive would offer few of the benefits of a flash drive - the player would still be larger, as if it were holding a flash drive, for instance.

But does that mean I think that these 4 GB drives are bound for the iPod shuffle? No. I've never expected the iPod shuffle to be around for a long time - even ignoring the mixed feelings of its effect on the iPod brand, there's only so many songs one would want to navigate without a screen. 1,000 songs? That's a lot of songs to blindly shuffle through - that's big enough for many peoples' collections.

Also, I don't think the 4 GB drives are bound for iPod shuffles simply because it'd be such a huge increase. I can see Apple updating the iPod shuffle with 1 GB and 2 GB drives, certainly (2 GB is about the largest I can see the iPod shuffle getting in it's current screenless form) - prior to my recent epiphany, that's what I was expecting when Apple next updated the iPod shuffle. But I've put two and two together, and I'm now expecting something entirely different.

A sub-iPod-mini. An "iPod micro," if you will. Yes, it'd be a real iPod - not some weird iPod "accessory" player, but a true blue iPod, screen, clickwheel, and all. I imagine it being 3" x 2" x .25." It would use the current iPod mini screen (if the iPod mini goes color, this would remain black and white), but it would be a bit shorter (the iPod mini looks "tall") and half as thick (due to the flash drive). Considering Creative's iPod-mini-competitor is already called the "Zen Micro" (how's that for 1-up-man-ship?) Apple could also elect to call this sub-iPod-mini the "iPod slim."

That's basically what I expected to replace the iPod shuffle all along, but I wasn't exactly sure when. I'm still not sure - I was expecting the iPod shuffle to get another capacity bump (to 1 and 2 GB) before being replaced by an "iPod micro," but with all the talk of 2 GB and 4 GB "shuffles" I'm beginning to wonder if the metamorphosis is sooner than I once thought. Granted, I'm far from certain that we'll be rushing out to buy iPod micros anytime soon - it seems a bit early for a $99 2 GB iPod shuffle, much less a "real iPod" for the same price - but I'm beginning to think that an iPod micro/slim/sport of some sort is in the works.

Hell, it wouldn't even have to replace the iPod shuffle right away - my best prediction for the iPod micro's introduction is that the 512 MB iPod shuffle will be dropped (let's face it, it's definitely not an iPod if it's less than 1 GB), with the 1 GB iPod shuffle selling for $99 and the 2 GB iPod micro selling for $149. The iPod shuffle would finally be replaced (and, I'm sorry, but good riddance) with the iPod micro's first bump, with the 2 GB iPod micro selling for $99 and a 4 GB model introduced for $149.

I know this is an extremely wordy post, and I'm sorry...I guess now it's time (past time) to ask what you think. Do you think such an "iPod micro" is a possibility? Do you think we'll continue shuffling for the forseeable future? Do you think I'm nuts? Post away...
 
flail
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Join Date: Dec 2004
 
2005-08-22, 02:02

I would disagree with the concept purely on the basis that having four iPod models (even for a short amount of time) would be somewhat ridiculous. Note that the Engadget story on the 4GB drive really didn't mention Apple taking an action on any sort of deal, just a supplier slashing prices on flash drives, not a remarkable event by any means and it would be a stretch to construe to any indication of a forthcoming revision of the line.

I do agree with the Shuffle's capacity not getting much bigger.

Last edited by flail : 2005-08-22 at 02:04.
 
chucker
 
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2005-08-22, 02:11

I think flail got it right. I had similar thoughts before when I read related news today, but I dismissed them for two reasons: it would add another model to the line-up that's really too similar to the mini, and it would be even smaller. I mean, seriously, I have an iPod mini right next to me and it already is small. As in, almost too small, but really just about right. Consider that it has a display and rather extensive controls. You want an even smaller display? You want even smaller controls and possibly harder-to-use clickwheel? You want less space between the elements? I don't think it would work well.

Yes, it wouldn't be Apple-like to have a mini that uses flash and a mini that uses a hard drive and call them the same. But really, in practice, people are hardly going to notice the difference anyhow. Battery usage with NAND isn't significantly better. Size isn't that much better. I suppose you could make the mini thinner, which has been done before (even now, the 20 and 60 iPod models different widths). But really, the only noticeable difference is that you can smack the thing up against your wall and all you'll get is a scratch.
 
Batman
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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2005-08-22, 08:32

And then there is this review, which suggests that it has a small screen.

Quote:
Great improvement over the 512 MB shuffle!
Author's rating: 5/5 stars
Pros: Great capacity for the size, the screen is a great addition.
Cons: Twice as heavy as the old shuffle. Small size means a small screen.
 
thegelding
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2005-08-22, 09:04

links

help


g
 
Bryson
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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2005-08-22, 10:00

That review in full:
Quote:
Pros: Great capacity for the size, the screen is a great addition.
Cons: Twice as heavy as the old shuffle. Small size means a small screen.

Full review

My new 4.1 GB iPod shuffle is so great! It has enough space for me, and the sound quality is great. The screen is a great addition, even if I didn't mind not having one on my 512 MB iPod shuffle. The screen is a little small anyway, and I mostly use it for the clock. By the way the image you have included for this product is the old version. The new one is slightly larger and got a screen. At 159$, it's really a good deal for such a small MP3 player. The iTunes software is great, though Windows didn't seem to want to install at first, but I later found out that it was because Windows Media Player stops the installer when it runs. Also I found that my new 4.1 GB iPod shuffle is almost twice as heavy as my 512 MB shuffle, but still it's pretty light. I would recommend this product, it's a great deal overall.
WTF? I'm confused. If this is September 20ths announcement, consider me unimpressed.

Or is it all just a wind-up?
 
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2005-08-22, 10:09

Of course the iPod shuffle will get a screen someday. As Roboman says, once the HD is 4GB or so a person *needs* to be able to have some element of navigation. 1-2GB of 'random' music is about enough imo.

So we'll have a screenless $99 shuffle, a $149 shuffle with 2-3 line greyscale screen, and so on all the way up to full-blown iPods. Nice and easy $50.00 price jumps.

So it goes.
 
thegelding
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2005-08-22, 10:20

un-impressed?...once again i will be very impressed...

the shuffle is perfect for the gym
the mini is perfect for bike rides and short trips

this new shuffle seems to be a great marriage of both...small and impact resistant for the gym, larger capacity and screen for longer use and trips

i will get one the moment it comes out (my wife has stolen my mini, my youngest my 3g iPod...my eldest has a mini and a shuffle...currently i am the only one out of the loop and have to steal my mini back for bike trips...was thinking of getting a shuffle just this morning on my ride to work...now i might wait a bit and get this if it is real)

g

crazy is not a rare human condition

everything is food if you chew hard enough
 
psmith2.0
Mr. Vieira
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2005-08-22, 10:41

Anyone else seeing red flags? Or just me?

I don't know about this "review".

They're not out yet (obviously), so where did this guy "get" one?



If he's some sort of tester for Apple (or perhaps a rep or someone "in the loop" with access to new goodies), would he risk losing such a cool position to blab about an unreleased product?

Seems to me, anyone can go there and write whatever. Yes, that site listed them (premature specification, once again...I'm sure Steve is pulling out whatever hair he has left), but it all just seems a bit iffy.

Would love to be wrong, because a 4GB shuffle with a 2-3 line screen would be ideal for my Dad (who has about 3.5GB of music), but I'll believe it when I see it.
 
Paranoid666au
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2005-08-22, 10:55

Well the technology offers all sorts of possibilities but what Apple will actually do with it is any ones guess.

Last edited by Paranoid666au : 2005-08-22 at 10:57.
 
Mac+
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-08-22, 11:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709
Of course the iPod shuffle will get a screen someday. As Roboman says, once the HD is 4GB or so a person *needs* to be able to have some element of navigation. 1-2GB of 'random' music is about enough imo.

So we'll have a screenless $99 shuffle, a $149 shuffle with 2-3 line greyscale screen, and so on all the way up to full-blown iPods. Nice and easy $50.00 price jumps.
709 - where did you get the info about a 2-3 line greyscale screen on the shuffle? I didn't read that in the description.

btw ... interesting location
 
oldmacfan
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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2005-08-22, 11:50

What I like about the shuffle getting more capacity the way it is is this. Students at school being told to get a flash drive for their school work and this is the best of all worlds for them. They get a high capacity flash drive, they get a music player, it is all in one package and HIP because it is from Apple. How can an incoming freshman go wrong? My two college age nieces are getting these this Christmas to replace the flash drives I bought them last year for Christmas.

Mile 1
 
Unbeliever
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2005-08-22, 12:54

<sarcasam>Yeah, that 80Gb iPod shuffle gen 10 is a real blast! The nerve impulse control is much better than anything i ever tried, including Sony's "Big brother" MD HoverMan<sarcasam>

I agree with Paul. This doesn`t just smell fishy, it reeks.
They may have the specs, but if that guy has the new shuffle i will (NOT) drink a glass of old milk

Here's the "review" for the 2 gig shuffle: LINK
Quote:
Pros: It's Apple. Fantastic form factor. Easy to integrate with iTunes. Large storage capacity.
Cons: May not be real. Screen lacking at this point. Price may be prohibitive.
by pacifico555, Aug 21, 2005
Note the "may not be real" part

pscates2.0 fan!

Proud owner of a Core2Duo 20" iMac :)

Last edited by Unbeliever : 2005-08-22 at 12:56.
 
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2005-08-22, 13:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
709 - where did you get the info about a 2-3 line greyscale screen on the shuffle? I didn't read that in the description.
Just speculating. It makes sense (to me anyways) that nothing more than a thin horizontal screen would be able to fit on a shuffle...even if they increased the size a tad bit (as the review implies).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac+
btw ... interesting location

So it goes.
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2005-08-22, 22:21

The fact that Apple probably wouldn't want to have four iPod lines - even for a short time - is a valid point, however, they did just that for the first half of this year - they had the iPod shuffle, the iPod mini, the iPod, and the iPod photo (and, oh yeah, the iPod U2!).
 
chucker
 
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2005-08-23, 03:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roboman
The fact that Apple probably wouldn't want to have four iPod lines - even for a short time - is a valid point, however, they did just that for the first half of this year - they had the iPod shuffle, the iPod mini, the iPod, and the iPod photo (and, oh yeah, the iPod U2!).
All of which were distinct. Distinguishing a micro and a mini would be needlessly difficult for the consumer. (Different colors?)
 
thegelding
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2005-08-23, 07:10

mmm...i think one having a screen with be a fairly strong distinguishing feature

g
 
thegelding
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2005-08-23, 07:14

of course macrumors lets out a story that the 4 gig flash will not be going shuffle, but instead will go into the mini instead

or maybe both?

g
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2005-08-23, 11:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
All of which were distinct. Distinguishing a micro and a mini would be needlessly difficult for the consumer. (Different colors?)
Considering an iPod micro would likely have a black and white screen, and the iPod mini would likely gain a color screen, not to mention the size differences, the iPod micro and the iPod mini will actually be more differentiated than the iPod and the iPod photo were.
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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2005-08-23, 11:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegelding
of course macrumors lets out a story that the 4 gig flash will not be going shuffle, but instead will go into the mini instead

or maybe both?

g
Theirin lies the core of my theory. A 4 GB flash drive is too big for the iPod shuffle and too small for any new iPod mini. Assuming, of course, that Apple is actually getting them, what can we expect to see? An "iPod sport/micro" has been rumored for a while, and I'm beginning to think the time might be right.
 
Baron Munchausen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2005-08-23, 16:12

A 4GB mini with a thumping big battery would be a useful enhacement, especially with a colour screen.

As would a mini with addtional expansion slots...
 
VL-Tone
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
 
2005-08-23, 21:45

http://www.macitynet.it/artimgs/aA20237/img1.jpg

This is the iPod Micro, as featured on Letterman a few months ago, it holds one song (!). This was part of a series of iPod related skits between Dave and Paul. (And it was, without a doubt, paid advertising jokes)

So it shows that micro sounds like "the smallest iPod possible" in the mind of the mainstream public. I remember someone I know joking that my Shuffle was an iPod micro. (Fortunately, it only applies to my iPod)

Anyway... I can't see Apple just adding color screens to iPod minis, upgrading their HD to 6 and 8 gigs or 8 and 10, and keeping the same price. Apple said they are working on bringing down the price of iPods. And that's what they've done until now, they have no choice to remain competitive in the long run. So I think they will release a very thin 4 gigs flash based iPod mini with a b&w screen. It would be just enough large to fit the same screen as in the current minis, like 1/3 the thickness and a little shorter, battery life would be improved yet again. Maybe it could be called iPod mini, and the color HD based would be called iPod mini+. The new flash model would also be aggressively priced, surprising many analysts still in the mindset that Apple wants to keep them at a premium price. Maybe $149 or $159? Remember, it's been a long time since the $199 4 gigs HD based iPod mini is at the same price...

What about the shuffle? Maybe they will have yet another price drop and/or update to 1 and 2 gigs capacity. I don't think Apple would mind if people started to buy flash based minis instead of shuffles

Or maybe that mysterious reviewer is right, and the shuffle will gain a screen. It is a logical step and the only obvious "weakness" about the product. I just have a hard time imagining Apple fitting the iPod interface into 3 lines screen, with no scroll-wheel. A cool thing that they could add (but they won't) is a infrared emitter/reciever, it would only support sending and receiving web and email addresses, phone numbers (contact info). It's not like it can't be done with cell phones and pda's, but with the iPod phenomenon, it wouldn't be hard to meet someone with a shuffle to exchange info, podcast addresses etc. Pushed by Apple it could reach the point of being useful. It would sure be better than noting addresses on paper. We would see articles about "Strangers exchanging emails on the street", "iPod shuffle speed dating" etc.

Anyway it's all speculation. I would sure be happy to have a screen on my 512MB iPod shuffle, if only for the clock
 
Robo
Formerly Roboman, still
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2005-09-27, 20:50

...rereading this thread creeps me out.

True, it replaced the iPod mini, rather than the iPod shuffle, and it was called the iPod nano rather than "iPod micro," but I was at least sort of close, wasn't I? I was right about the 2 GB and 4 GB "iPod shuffles" being real, but being a new iPod entirely.

I was more accurate than ThinkSecret, anyway.

My predictions are often way off, but sometimes I'm hit with an odd burst of clairvoyance, especially regarding the iPod. I knew we'd see a color "premium" iPod the moment that the 4G was introduced. I thought it'd be called the "iPod color" and it'd feature brightly colored clickwheels, but those came with the U2 iPod anyway.

I almost wonder if my "iPod micro" scheme would have made more sense, actually. It seems rather odd that the capacity of the iPod mini shrunk, and is anyone else concerned that the capacity of flash memory might not "keep up" with the capacity of similairily priced mini-HDs? Especially since Apple got such an amazing deal on the current flash drives...oh, and since we all feel it won't get much bigger: what will happen to the iPod shuffle?

With a black and white screen, do you think the 2GB iPod nano could have sold for $149 as of Macworld next January?

Maybe I'm just saying this because I miss the iPod mini (see my thread in GD).
 
doublem9876
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2005-09-28, 15:52

That is pretty crazy, but when you bring up an old thread like that, you get me reading the whole thing, then I find that the date posted is July 2004. AGGHHH useless reading.
 
myipodisbiggerthanyours
 
 
2006-02-26, 18:41

wooooooooooooowwwwwwww...some people here were very close, makes me wonder if people posting on current threads are right about the "true video ipod"
 
Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-02-26, 19:12

Please don't bump months-old thread unless you have something substantially important to add to them.

People were "very close" because the changes Apple made have been obvious evolutionary steps. If enough people make logical guesses based on trends, it only makes perfect sense that some of them will get it right.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
 
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