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New iPods!
phong
post Jul 19 2004, 15:15
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IMO, style is the only thing the iPod has going for it. Other players (e.g. Rio Karma) offer things like better battery life, gapless playback, more format support, linux support, etc. Unfortunately, the media (and the public I guess) are infatuated with the iPod without even realizing there are alternatives, let alone that the alternatives are better.

Steve Jobs could take a dump in an attractive acrylic box and there would be Apple fanboys lined up to buy it.


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ShowsOn
post Jul 19 2004, 15:28
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QUOTE (bidz @ Jul 19 2004, 11:13 PM)
Apple Store lists the new 20GB iPod's without a dock too. The dock is only included with the 40GB version it seems.
*


Looks like neither of them come with the inline remote, must be purchased extra, meaning you end up with a 2nd set of headphones.


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AtaqueEG
post Jul 19 2004, 16:38
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QUOTE (phong @ Jul 19 2004, 08:15 AM)
IMO, style is the only thing the iPod has going for it.  Other players (e.g. Rio Karma) offer things like better battery life, gapless playback, more format support, linux support, etc...


The Rio Karma has gapless MP3 playback?

Hmm, I could pick one up on Amazon for 200 dollars (they gave me a 50 dollar coupon).

And what about HD integrity? Any major flaws I should know about?

This post has been edited by AtaqueEG: Jul 19 2004, 16:40


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phong
post Jul 19 2004, 18:17
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Yes, it's true, the Karma reads lame tags to play mp3s gaplessly if they are present (I've tested this myself). If they aren't, it usually can figurwe it out anyway. Of course, it also supports truly gapless formats like vorbis and flac, so that's an option as well.

You've hit on the biggest drawback of the Karama. Hard drive failure rates are higher than other HD based players, but problems are still pretty rare. The actual cause of the problem is not completely known but seems to be a bug in the hard drive's firmware (not the Karma firmware), that causes the heads not to be parked under very particular circumstances. The hard drive isn't able to spin up properly after that happens because of stiction. Many people have "fixed" a locked up unit by giving it a solid "thwack" to dislodge the heads, after which the player operates normally. The mfg. warranty is only 90 days, so if the retailer has an option for an extended warranty, I'd recommend it. At one point the Rio RMA department had a really slow turnaround, but apparently that's been resolved.

Right now, my biggest gripe is a very minor one. The Java software for the Karma (which you need to use if you're not running Windows) only works over the Karama's ethernet connection, not USB. On the other hand, if I had some other player, I probably wouldn't have Linux support at all.


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QuantumKnot
post Jul 20 2004, 00:36
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QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Jul 20 2004, 12:00 AM)
FrEaKy! I went back to the Apple Education store that I can access (For Flinders University S.A.) and it is now showing only two models, the 20 GB, and the 40 GB. Within the space of 3 hours or so the 15 GB model has been removed! Sadly the price is not quite as good as what I hoped, it is $584.10 for the 40 GB model (I speculated it would be $540), and $448.80 for the 20 GB model. It does not state that these are prices for the 4G models, instead it says "w/click wheel". I should point out that it only says the dock is included for the 40 GB model, NOT the 20 GB model, that may simply be wrong, I'm sure more info will come to light in the next few days. Neither models state that they come with a remote. I would've hoped the 40 GB version at least would come with the remote.

All prices are AUD$.
*


I just checked the Education store too (for Griffith University, QLD) and I think I know why the 20 GB is a tad more expensive....it comes with the USB 2.0 cable. smile.gif That's worth AUD$34 before so I think that's the extra cost. But that's good since having USB 2.0, this iPod can truly be a portable HD (I dont know many desktops here that have firewire).
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StoneRoses
post Jul 20 2004, 07:55
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phong,

You forgot to mention some important iPod's advantages: its sync software (iTunes) and AAC support.

Majority of portable users don't care about number of format support, gapless or not, all they care is style, good enough audio quality, ease of use and coolness factor. smile.gif

I think iPod win on most aspects listed above. Rio Karma might be better in other aspects but only the minorities care.
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robUx4
post Jul 20 2004, 09:04
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QUOTE (QuantumKnot @ Jul 20 2004, 12:36 AM)
I just checked the Education store too (for Griffith University, QLD) and I think I know why the 20 GB is a tad more expensive....it comes with the USB 2.0 cable. smile.gif  That's worth AUD$34 before so I think that's the extra cost. But that's good since having USB 2.0, this iPod can truly be a portable HD (I dont know many desktops here that have firewire).
*


AFAIK the iPod is not seen as a HD by the host computer. That's a major drawback IMO, even though I imagine there are hacks available (that you'd have to install everytime you plug it on a new computer). So for me it's still not the perfect player (USB HD, HE-AAC, MP3, Wavpack, record, 40GB, USB On The Go)...


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rufu
post Jul 20 2004, 09:19
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QUOTE (robUx4 @ Jul 20 2004, 12:04 AM)
QUOTE (QuantumKnot @ Jul 20 2004, 12:36 AM)
I just checked the Education store too (for Griffith University, QLD) and I think I know why the 20 GB is a tad more expensive....it comes with the USB 2.0 cable. smile.gif  That's worth AUD$34 before so I think that's the extra cost.   But that's good since having USB 2.0, this iPod can truly be a portable HD (I dont know many desktops here that have firewire).
*


AFAIK the iPod is not seen as a HD by the host computer. That's a major drawback IMO, even though I imagine there are hacks available (that you'd have to install everytime you plug it on a new computer). So for me it's still not the perfect player (USB HD, HE-AAC, MP3, Wavpack, record, 40GB, USB On The Go)...
*



Sorry, but a removable HD is exactly what the iPod appears to the PC as. iTunes can be set to quickly connect, auto-sync, and then eject the iPod but you can easily change one dialog in the settings which allows you to use the iPod as a portable HD as long as your willing to put up with hitting the eject button in iTunes (or using the remove hardware feature in windows).

And BTW no extra drivers are needed to connect the iPod to a Win 2000/XP machine.
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spoon
post Jul 20 2004, 09:34
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QUOTE (StoneRoses @ Jul 20 2004, 06:55 AM)
phong,

You forgot to mention some important iPod's advantages: its sync software (iTunes) and AAC support.

Majority of portable users don't care about number of format support, gapless or not, all they care is style, good enough audio quality, ease of use and coolness factor. smile.gif

I think iPod win on most aspects listed above. Rio Karma might be better in other aspects but only the minorities care.
*


Doesn't the Karma support ogg? and didn't ogg beat AAC in a recent listening test?

QUOTE
You've hit on the biggest drawback of the Karama. Hard drive failure rates are higher than other HD based players, but problems are still pretty rare.


I think the problem is more to do with the short warranty on the Karma - I suspect the failure rates are the same for Hard disk players (after all they all use the same 2 brands of mini hard disk).


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robUx4
post Jul 20 2004, 09:41
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QUOTE (rufu @ Jul 20 2004, 09:19 AM)
Sorry, but a removable HD is exactly what the iPod appears to the PC as.  iTunes can be set to quickly connect, auto-sync, and then eject the iPod but you can easily change one dialog in the settings which allows you to use the iPod as a portable HD as long as your willing to put up with hitting the eject button in iTunes (or using the remove hardware feature in windows).

And BTW no extra drivers are needed to connect the iPod to a Win 2000/XP machine.
*


Didn't know that. If that's true, that's one good step (still not enough for me).


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robUx4
post Jul 20 2004, 09:43
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 20 2004, 09:34 AM)
Doesn't the Karma support ogg? and didn't ogg beat AAC in a recent listening test?


Not, Matroska beats OGG in all test wink.gif

Vorbis is quite equivalent to AAC. the difference is not vital. But HE-AAC is really good but lacks support (like Vorbis).


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Althalus
post Jul 20 2004, 11:43
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QUOTE (robUx4 @ Jul 19 2004, 02:33 PM)
Does any user here know if it's possible to plug on one both a PC and a Mac you own ? I fear I could only use it with one or the other but not both computers...
*
Note: I do not have a iPod myself (yet: about to order one of the new 4Gs)
People are having success in using the iPod on a PC and Mac as long as it has been formatted on a PC, and ONLY if it has been formatted on a PC.
If you format it on a Mac then you have to use the 'restore' function when you connect it to a PC (ie. reformat it using fat32).
This is what I've read about, can not confirm this works.

But comparing iPod users to iRiver hp120.... my impression is that alot of the iRiver people LOVE it at start, but reviews by users that have had it for a while are not as grand, issues with playlists, songs don't show up if they contain non-english characters, slow browsing, cumbersome browsing, etc.
Compare that to iPod user reviews new and old.... hehe well can't find much really, low battery (improved in 4g) and no Radio but other than that mostly just lots of peace and love. FM tuner is what IMO is lacking the most.

Btw, for those interested, the cost has been cut by $100, but if you look closer there are some differences:
The 'new' 20gig does NOT come with a Dock.
... and something else smile.gif sry... read fine print

edit: made the quote box a bit smaller

This post has been edited by Althalus: Jul 20 2004, 11:46
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prism_emf
post Jul 20 2004, 12:25
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QUOTE (Althalus @ Jul 20 2004, 01:43 PM)
Btw, for those interested, the cost has been cut by $100, but if you look closer there are some differences:
The 'new' 20gig does NOT come with a Dock.
... and something else smile.gif sry... read fine print
*


The lowest cost iPod has never come with the dock etc., so this is nothing new. Just like the 15, 10 and 5 gig models before this one.

My biggest disappointment is that there's still no gapless playback. Do they really believe all that propaganda about how "iPod has changed how people listen to music"? Hell, people still listen to live and mixed albums!
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rufu
post Jul 20 2004, 12:27
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Yep it's kind of rubbish that the new 4G iPods don't come with either the remote or carry case and only the 40GB model comes with the dock. If you were to buy all these seperatly it would cost you $117. This must be how they managed to "cut" the prices, throw out all the previously included accessories.

Then again if I was buying a new iPod I wouldn't buy the remote or the Apple case, instead I would get an iSkin (once they come out for the 4G models), an iTrip and possibly a dock if I wanted the line out connection.
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ShowsOn
post Jul 20 2004, 13:31
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QUOTE (prism_emf @ Jul 20 2004, 08:25 PM)
My biggest disappointment is that there's still no gapless playback. Do they really believe all that propaganda about how "iPod has changed how people listen to music"? Hell, people still listen to live and mixed albums!
*


Any idea if gapless playback could be made possible by a software (firmware) upgrade? Or is it a hardware issue?


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ShowsOn
post Jul 20 2004, 13:36
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QUOTE (phong @ Jul 19 2004, 11:15 PM)
IMO, style is the only thing the iPod has going for it.  Other players (e.g. Rio Karma) offer things like better battery life, gapless playback, more format support, linux support, etc.  Unfortunately, the media (and the public I guess) are infatuated with the iPod without even realizing there are alternatives, let alone that the alternatives are better.

*


I agree the Rio Karma is very nice player. However I need a 40 GB player. Hopefully the Karma 2 comes in 20 GB and 40 GB capacities. So that it is in direct competition with Apple. However, apparently early reports of the Karma 2 say it is going to be smaller than the current Karma, so I don't know how it can be both smaller, and a 40 GB player.

Plus the iPod's support for LC-AAC is a plus. Rio's support for Vorbis is to be commended though. Ideally I will get a player that can hold all of my CDs, to do this I need great sounding files around 160K, so Vorbis, or AAC will be good at this, with the edge probably going to AAC.


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prism_emf
post Jul 20 2004, 15:23
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QUOTE (ShowsOn @ Jul 20 2004, 03:31 PM)
Any idea if gapless playback could be made possible by a software (firmware) upgrade? Or is it a hardware issue?
*


I don't have any hard facts on this, but since they implemented Apple Lossless just with a firmware upgrade, I don't see why things like this wouldn't work out as well if they just had the incentive to do so. In the case of Lossless, they had the incentive - they sell Lossless packed files through ITMS.

Knowing Apple, however.... I doubt we'll ever see gapless for old iPods. I bet it's going to be introduced at a generation jump, perhaps the next one. Just like things like on-the-go playlists would have been possible, but were never retrofitted to the 1/2G firmware.

Actually, can even iTunes play mp3's gapless?
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StoneRoses
post Jul 20 2004, 15:57
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QUOTE (spoon @ Jul 20 2004, 03:34 PM)
Doesn't the Karma support ogg? and didn't ogg beat AAC in a recent listening test?


Quicktime AAC is the only CBR CODEC (I know it's more like ABR in AAC) in the test, and it compete surprisingly well with other the VBR CODECs at such low bitrate (I consider 128kbps a low range for stereo music).

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ChangFest
post Jul 20 2004, 17:13
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QUOTE
Actually, can even iTunes play mp3's gapless?

No.

QUOTE
Majority of portable users don't care about number of format support, gapless or not, all they care is style, good enough audio quality, ease of use and coolness factor.

Yeah. Sad but true...but when the format support allows for extra player functionality vs. less support then it's better.


I own a Rio Karma. My main beef with Apple's Ipod is their lack of proper album playback. If they would impliment gapless then I'd probably own one. The Karma does this and much more and probably the better player hands down in the end.
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markgr
post Jul 20 2004, 19:28
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QUOTE (ChangFest @ Jul 20 2004, 11:13 AM)
QUOTE
Actually, can even iTunes play mp3's gapless?

No.

QUOTE
Majority of portable users don't care about number of format support, gapless or not, all they care is style, good enough audio quality, ease of use and coolness factor.

Yeah. Sad but true...but when the format support allows for extra player functionality vs. less support then it's better.


I own a Rio Karma. My main beef with Apple's Ipod is their lack of proper album playback. If they would impliment gapless then I'd probably own one. The Karma does this and much more and probably the better player hands down in the end.
*



Actually, iTunes does have a feature which may result in something similiar to what you are looking for in it's crossfade feature. What exactly do you mean by gapless and reproducing the album effect?
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audioflex
post Jul 20 2004, 20:04
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Ive been having problems with my 20gb 3g one, i might take it to apple store and see if they will replace it with the 4g one..its worth a try lol smile.gif
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mmortal03
post Jul 20 2004, 20:15
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QUOTE (markgr @ Jul 20 2004, 01:28 PM)
QUOTE (ChangFest @ Jul 20 2004, 11:13 AM)
QUOTE
Actually, can even iTunes play mp3's gapless?

No.

QUOTE
Majority of portable users don't care about number of format support, gapless or not, all they care is style, good enough audio quality, ease of use and coolness factor.

Yeah. Sad but true...but when the format support allows for extra player functionality vs. less support then it's better.


I own a Rio Karma. My main beef with Apple's Ipod is their lack of proper album playback. If they would impliment gapless then I'd probably own one. The Karma does this and much more and probably the better player hands down in the end.
*



Actually, iTunes does have a feature which may result in something similiar to what you are looking for in it's crossfade feature. What exactly do you mean by gapless and reproducing the album effect?
*



What he means is that on the tracks on albums that do not have gaps between them, the iPod cannot currently play them correctly. Therefore, the iPod cannot reproduce the full "album effect".


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AtaqueEG
post Jul 20 2004, 20:16
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QUOTE
Actually, iTunes does have a feature which may result in something similiar to what you are looking for in it's crossfade feature. What exactly do you mean by gapless and reproducing the album effect?


Gapless is much more than just playing song with no silence between them (like you can do with a crossfader). "True gapless" is the ability of a codec to somehow retain/register the actual length of a music sample. This is very important to retain the "effect" on some albums where all the tracks are made to be played uninterrupted, like a live album, of a Pink Floyd album. There are also albums that are designed to have some tracks play like that and others with silences between them. A good example of this is The Beatles' "Abbey Road".

"Reproducing the album's effect" is nothing but to be able to listen to the album the closest one can to what the artist wanted to achieve.


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AtaqueEG
post Jul 20 2004, 20:17
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QUOTE (audioflex @ Jul 20 2004, 01:04 PM)
Ive been having problems with my 20gb 3g one, i might take it to apple store and see if they will replace it with the 4g one..its worth a try lol smile.gif
*


Why don't you ask them to make your 20GB iPod work instead?

Why would you want to lose 16 gigabytes of music?


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audioflex
post Jul 20 2004, 20:37
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See the problem is, when im walking with it and playing some music, it will suddenly stop playing for no reason, and when i take it out of my pocket, it will show the battery indicator thing spent all the way, even if ive only used it for like 15-30 mins. If i leave it alone for 2-3 minutes "magically" the battery comes back, anyway, i dont think this is acceptable performance for a $400 mp3 player (i dont know if you would), and want to see if this problem has been eliminated on the 4g ipod, also, i have all my music backed up (who wouldn't?) smile.gif
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