Is this for real?
July 22, 2002 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Is this for real? This company eDigital seems to be selling a very iFamiliar iProdcut. Any iIdeas?
posted by folktrash (48 comments total)
 
Nice font, Odyssey. When you get back to 1984, say hello to "Tron" for me.
posted by ColdChef at 2:26 PM on July 22, 2002


Wow. I knew knock-offs of the World's most perfect product would be forthcoming. But, of course, they got it wrong. Bad, cluttered interface design can't compete with 5 buttons and a wheel.
posted by evanizer at 2:31 PM on July 22, 2002


wow, that's pretty! i need to get me one of those!
posted by lotsofno at 2:32 PM on July 22, 2002


I do like this, though:

Built-in microphone for voice recording
posted by ColdChef at 2:35 PM on July 22, 2002


And:

FM tuner with 12 preset stations
posted by ColdChef at 2:36 PM on July 22, 2002


what is this trackback thing?
posted by folktrash at 2:39 PM on July 22, 2002


Yeah, that's cool - but no firewire? USB 2.0 only - what's the speed difference between the two formats?
posted by luriete at 2:40 PM on July 22, 2002


It'll be interesting to see how their software support works. I suspect it will be a clunky block copy app with some subpar mp3 player bundled in. Like the eMachines iMac knockoff, it'll look good from a distance.
posted by shagoth at 2:42 PM on July 22, 2002


I think USB 2.0 is slightly faster, but then Macs don't come with USB 2.0 ports.
posted by timeistight at 2:43 PM on July 22, 2002


so USB 2.0 is different hardware, not just drivers? That sucks. Why call it USB at all, then?
posted by luriete at 2:47 PM on July 22, 2002


This might be cool, if it works like my phone; it might be lame if it works like computer voice navigation:

Another outstanding feature is the Odyssey 1000's voice navigation capabilities. The Odyssey 1000 uses e.Digital's VoiceNavTM user interface based on Lucent's speech recognition technology so users can navigate through their libraries of music simply by the power of their own voice.
posted by jonah at 2:48 PM on July 22, 2002


USB 2.0 products will work with old USB ports they just fall back to the old speed. It's like Ethernet 10 vs 100 Mb.
posted by Wood at 3:00 PM on July 22, 2002


Anyone have any experience with voice navigation? I was thinking of using it for my MAME cabinet to select games. Anyone have any suggestions for software? Or is it a bad idea?
posted by ODiV at 3:03 PM on July 22, 2002


I was going to put one in my car and let it drive, with an occasional verbal route adjustment.
posted by websavvy at 3:07 PM on July 22, 2002


I was going to put one in my car and let it drive, with an occasional verbal route adjustment.

Should make cell-phone calls interesting.
posted by timeistight at 3:29 PM on July 22, 2002


wait a minute...i can't believe anyone would steal an idea from apple. i mean anyone besides microsoft.
posted by athensltd at 3:46 PM on July 22, 2002


Why is this stealing?

Brand loyalty is starting to get a little too extreme there.

This? This is called capitalism.
posted by linux at 3:55 PM on July 22, 2002


Nice font, Odyssey. When you get back to 1984, say hello to "Tron" for me.

What, as opposed to the oh-so-modern Chicago on the iPod?
posted by anildash at 3:58 PM on July 22, 2002


The companies have different tastes in music, according to the screenshots in ads:

Apple:
Alanis
Beck
Blink 182
BT
Moby
India Arie
No Doubt
Wilco
Flaming Lips
etc.

eMachines (oops, eDigital):
Celine Dion
Britney Spears
Pink
The Calling
Alicia Keys

The product photo looks Photoshopped.

The company seems legit, but I can't shake the impression that they're trolling us.
posted by kurumi at 4:06 PM on July 22, 2002


I thought the use of Chicago was a nice touch, a tip of the hat to the classic Mac, and a subtle, sentimental touch usually lost on tech corporations. Besides, most fonts (if they're good ones) aren't like clothes- they don't go out of style. I mean, like Verdana is SO 1999.

I think the competition from devices like this will keep Apple on the ball, though the introduction of PC compatibility to the iPod rather trumps this little device (no price is listed, which would be the key advantage for competition with the iPod.)

Apple's starting to go all Microsoft-y lately, so perhaps the fierce brand loyaly we Apple devotees exhibit will decrease.
posted by evanizer at 4:07 PM on July 22, 2002


I think the competition from devices like this will keep Apple on the ball, though the introduction of PC compatibility to the iPod rather trumps this little device

Except when you consider Intel's dogged insistence on pushing USB 2. Do any PCs other than Sony ship with a 1394 port?
posted by machaus at 4:15 PM on July 22, 2002


I think the competition from devices like this will keep Apple on the ball, though the introduction of PC compatibility to the iPod rather trumps this little device

to me, it's too little to late. as a pc user i thought it was extemely lame that apple didn't make it pc friendly from the start. this is a major fumble in my book. i've waited a year or so to be able to buy one that would work... now i'll just wait a few more months and probably go with what will no doubt be a cheaper device from another company (panasonic has announced one as well).

had the ipod been pc friendly in the first place, i'd have bought one pronto. in my opinion, this was more proof that, though the company makes great products, it's run by a bunch of idiots.
posted by dobbs at 4:16 PM on July 22, 2002


Do any PCs other than Sony ship with a 1394 port?

My Hewlett-Packard came with IEEE1394 ports, although I haven't used them yet.
posted by benjh at 4:20 PM on July 22, 2002


not any less derivative then the origional iPod.
posted by delmoi at 4:20 PM on July 22, 2002


Do any PCs other than Sony ship with a 1394 port?

*clears throat*

Here's my card...
posted by jonmc at 4:24 PM on July 22, 2002


According to MacNN it will sell for $350. That's $150 less than the "comparable" (ie: 20GB model) iPod.

Hopefully this will inspire Apple a bit to push the envelope further -- I, for one, would appreciate the voice recording and the FM tuner. I was hoping we'd see that at this MacWorld and sadly I'll be waiting for the next. How much would an FM Tuner add to the cost of the $500 iPod? $5?

As far as the Chicago font of the iPod goes, it wasn't intended as just a "tip o' the hat" to the Apple of old. No, Chicago was professionally designed to be legible on a 1-bit screen. The iPod's screen can't handle greyscale, so there's no dithering, no antialiasing, and limited resolution. Which means Chicago is exactly the right font to use for it!
posted by Fofer at 4:55 PM on July 22, 2002


Interestingly enough, I couldn't seem to find the New Standard in Digital Entertainment in their online store. Anyone have any idea how much this goes for?
posted by dzigavertov at 4:56 PM on July 22, 2002


The Odyssey 1000's got nothing on the Odyssey 2000. I loved that thing.
posted by oddovid at 4:57 PM on July 22, 2002


Fofer: There are lots of fonts that show up well on 1 bit displays. Including just about everything we use day to day (verdana, times new roman, etc)
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on July 22, 2002


USB 2.0 has a faster raw bitrate than FireWire (IEEE 1394), but more overhead, so for applications like hard disks, USB 2.0 is actually a bit slower. Not so much anyone would notice, though.
posted by kindall at 5:05 PM on July 22, 2002


Nice font, Odyssey. When you get back to 1984, say hello to "Tron" for me.

What, as opposed to the oh-so-modern Chicago on the iPod?


Um, dude, he wasn't referring to the interface -- he was referring to the logo font.
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:06 PM on July 22, 2002


god almighty, what a lame, blatantly obvious ripoff. could it BE any more obvious?

lamerz. it's been said before and i'll say it again -- when, oh when, will apple's innovation NOT get jacked by every little bullshit company alive?

remember how everyone yawned at the 'translucent plastic' of the imac -- and then a year later, every goddamn product made seemed to come in fruity flavors of translucent plastic?

sheesh -- good thing apple's R&D dept has a nice budget. we may otherwise still be stuck in 1980.
posted by aenemated at 5:08 PM on July 22, 2002


The Odyssey 1000's got nothing on the Odyssey 2000. I loved that thing.
posted by oddovid at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2002


The Odyssey 1000's got nothing on the Odyssey 2000. I loved that thing.
posted by oddovid at 5:09 PM on July 22, 2002


Okay, okay, you loved that thing. =)
posted by donkeyschlong at 5:16 PM on July 22, 2002


WMA Digital Rights Management (DRM) support

That's it, I'm ditching my iPod. Because, you know, everyone wants DRM support on their digital music devices.

I smell a "look and feel" lawsuit in the wind.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:22 PM on July 22, 2002


oo, i used to rock that odyssey 2000 like nobody's business.. this system paved the way for generic cheesy games. i remember there was this cryptography game that was 2 player... it worked by having one guy type in a word through his controller, but having to ask the other guy to turn around so he couldn't see the word.. when he was done, the game would make a code out of the word, and the guy could turn back around and try to break the encryption... now that's hi-tek!
posted by lotsofno at 5:41 PM on July 22, 2002


There are lots of fonts that show up well on 1 bit displays.

...but very few that are still legible when greyed. Chicago was designed so that you could still read it when every other pixel is removed, chess-board style.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:02 PM on July 22, 2002


"Mac iTunesTM Compatible"

How do you spell "absolute lack of shame"?
posted by betobeto at 7:09 PM on July 22, 2002


How do you spell "absolute lack of shame"?

p-r-o-f-i-t
posted by normy at 7:49 PM on July 22, 2002


Again, why is this a lack of shame?
As a market consumers want something that works with almost everything similar.
The loyalty to something like an iPod is starting to border on fanaticism. More power to you to continue to buy iPods. But to have options for those who like a little more variety in the gigabyte MP3 player market? This is nothing but a good thing.

Oh, by the way:

Xerox was the big loser in the GUI market when Jobs got his "big idea." Microsoft did not "steal" anything that wasn't stolen already.

USB is the standard interface and so USB 2.0 is a logical next step while Firewire, while faster and "cooler", remains a high-end tech reserved towards those who manipulate video instead of a consumer standard.

A shuttle jog interface is not unique to the iPod. Look at your VCR.

And hey, you don't have to buy it.

Let the market decide.
posted by linux at 8:18 PM on July 22, 2002


Is this for real? The answer may be "no" - the company seems to be pretty dubious, if this article is any indication (via slashdot.)
posted by pascal at 8:43 PM on July 22, 2002


It's not like the iPod was exactly revolutionary.. It's pretty much a Rio with a hard drive and better interface. And the Rio was just an MPMan backed up by a larger company. All products are derivatives of their predecessors, even if those happen to be made by Apple.
posted by antispork at 9:10 PM on July 22, 2002


I don't know if this is real, but I bet we will be seeing a lot more products like the iPod. According to this article, the guts of the iPod aren't an Apple creation, they just brought one out first. The main parts of it are from a reference design they bought from a company called PortalPlayer, and according to the article PortalPlayer has "many more [customers] slated to introduce their own offerings by this summer."
So really a small, harddrive-powered MP3 player isn't an Apple innovation at all, though I'm sure that this player does borrow heavily from the stuff Apple did design (like the Firewire connectivity allowing it to double as a harddrive, the scroll-wheel interface, etc.). And, of course, this company probably wouldn't have been interested in making this player if the iPod wasn't so popular.
posted by Nick Tamm at 9:44 PM on July 22, 2002


Whatever. I've still got my pjb100 which I've had for three years, now. Battery still lasts 10 hours a pop, and 5 gigs is more than enough for a day's listening. With recent firmware upgrades I can play minesweeper and sokoban while on the muni, and with some well written software (pjbexploder - no really, that's what it's called), I can put any kind of file on it that I want. Though, to be truthfull, it's faster to stick my (non-mp3) files up on the network if I need to get to them from elsewheres...it's looks little frumpy, but the interface is simple, and the price blows all those other copycats out of the water.

Which would be important, I suppose, if the unit I had for some reason, stopped working. Which it won't.
posted by jaded at 12:51 AM on July 23, 2002


iPod copycats are inevitable. Given the actual price of the hard drive in the iPod, I don't think Apple's per-unit profits are high enough to justify claims that they're screwing over the customer. It's a premium product, and that's what you're paying for.

How does e.Digital make a cheaper product (assuming it's not vaporware)? Cheaper components and manufacturing. How good is the plastic? How durable is the drive? How sturdy is the unit? I've dropped my iPod a few times and it still works perfectly. Judging by the appearance of e.Digital's other players, I wouldn't expect a product with a long shelf life.

But, you get what you pay for. It's all about what matters to you.
posted by mkultra at 6:55 AM on July 23, 2002


Nick: you didn't read the article very closely. Apple was very much in control of "the guts of the iPod".
posted by benh57 at 6:55 AM on July 23, 2002


As a market consumers want something that works with almost everything similar.

There, you got it. The problem here isn't whether it works in a similar way; it mainly is the fact that looks a little too much like the original iPod. You could wish they'd be willing to spend a little more money on R&D to come up woth a concept that could even improve on the iPod (FM tuner notwithstanding), but they didn't. Even if it's just a copy at the "carcass" level, it's still kinda lame.
posted by betobeto at 8:51 AM on July 23, 2002


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