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What's on your iPod? DNA? Never heard of them!
November 6, 2002 8:56 AM   Subscribe

What's on your iPod? DNA? Never heard of them! I tend to keep my iPod in my jeans, this man is keeping his genes in his iPod. We already know that you can store (some of) the Internet Movie Database on it, but is there anything these things can't do? via Wired.
posted by armoured-ant (32 comments total)

 
On post: Ouch. Apple double whammy today. And no, I'm not on their payroll. Pffrt!
posted by armoured-ant at 9:00 AM on November 6, 2002


but is there anything these things can't do?
They can't store and play music in Ogg Vorbis or Shorten format. Let's hope for a fix in a future release.
posted by alms at 9:11 AM on November 6, 2002


uh . . . data storage. it's not that revolutionary.

one thing the ipod can't do - compete price wise with other, often better, mp3 players. i got my mp3 player - which has 4 times the amount of storage as the ipod - for $100.00 under the ipod price.
posted by twentynine at 9:15 AM on November 6, 2002


It can't completely distract you from your meaningless existence.
posted by mildred-pitt at 9:25 AM on November 6, 2002


Well, "better" is a subjective word. The iPod has been reviewed all over the place and most of the comparisons acknowledge the higher price with an explanation about size, ease of use and the "cool" factor. And I must say it's very cool to have every Beatles album available at any time, right in my pocket.
posted by scalz at 9:30 AM on November 6, 2002


one thing the ipod can't do - compete price wise with other, often better, mp3 players. i got my mp3 player - which has 4 times the amount of storage as the ipod - for $100.00 under the ipod price.

Wow, an mp3 player with 80 gigs of storage? One question, how does it connect to your computer? I had a jukebox before my ipod and finally gave up because transferring gigs of information over such a slow connection drove me nuts.

Long live the iPod. Definitely the most elegant mp3 player around. It's ease of use, interface, speed and storage combined in a gorgeous package just can't be beat. IMHO.
posted by Plunge at 9:34 AM on November 6, 2002


You've never heard of DNA?
Ok, so I don't really know them either, but I'd heard of em.

PS: I love my iPod like I would a small pet or child.
posted by cinderful at 9:38 AM on November 6, 2002


Yeah, nothing that the Creative Labs Nomad Jukebox Zen can't do for $200 cheaper and with additional player formats (WMA) and interfaces (USB), making it much more versatile of a portable data device (since far more computers have USB than Firewire).
posted by yarf at 9:45 AM on November 6, 2002


The Nomad Jukebox Zen is still hampered by Creative's incredibly stupid UI, however, and, assuming they haven't fixed it from the Jukebox 3 -- which I doubt, since they had three iterations to get it right by the JB3 and still handn't -- lacks the basic functionality of shuffle-playing all the songs on the device without first adding them to a playlist. (This was in fact the reason I sent the JB3, which I tried before my 20GB iPod, back for a refund. I was willing to put up with the indignity of having to manage my MP3s on a PC, but having to maintain a redundant list of what the device already knows just to get what should be a basic feature to work proved to me that the Creative people simply don't know what they're doing.)

Also, if Creative's history is any guide, the Zen doesn't use a standard filesystem, which means you need special software to use it -- you can't just plug it into any random computer and use it for data storage.

So, yeah, you pay $200 less for the Zen than an iPod. Assuming you value your time at $50 an hour, it will take you a mere four hours of frustration to make that up. Based on my experience with the JB3, you'll hit that your first week.
posted by kindall at 10:09 AM on November 6, 2002


Of course there's lots the iPod can't do, but it's a nice item in a slick, small package. I had not seen the Nomad Zen before, yarf. I'm glad Creative has taken Apple's cue because the old CD-player-sized Nomads were waaay too big for me to even consider.

The iPod still beats the Nomad on size (it's about .15 inches thicker) and weight (over 2 ounces lighter), but I can't say whether it's by enough to matter. I do think every millimeter and gram counts, though, when you're talking about portable electronics. Of course, it's $150 cheaper, so... ^but does it have a remote control??^ :)

The complaints about file formats are valid, but for most people MP3 is enough, since it has the most widely available support in the form of software. I can't see it as a big deal, but if you've invested your time in converting your audio library to Ogg Vorbis, I can see why you would complain. Do any portables support Ogg?
posted by daveadams at 10:09 AM on November 6, 2002


*sigh.* Are we really going to have another argument over which mp3 player is better? Personally, I'm waiting for ubiquitous wireless, so my player will basically be a winamp chip sitting on an 802.11b card, playing whatever I want streaming off of my server from home.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:19 AM on November 6, 2002


armoured-ant: but is there anything these things can't do?

How about, maintain the charge in the battery over the course of a couple of days on non-use? My original 5GB iPod was rendered almost useless by the latest round of "features" implemented in firmware updates, causing my iPod to drain its battery in seven or eight hours while sitting, turned off, in my briefcase. I tried all the tricks - turning off the alarms, not setting the clock, sacrificing a chicken over a picture of Maya Lin - but nothing short of copying everything back to my PowerBook and restoring the iPod to v1.1 of the firmware was able to solve this.
posted by JollyWanker at 10:19 AM on November 6, 2002


apple's holding off on extensible format support for ipod until the next major revision of itunes, which may or may not coincide with the release of OS X.3.
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:21 AM on November 6, 2002


*sigh.* Are we really going to have another argument over which mp3 player is better?

Well, it doesn't help when someone makes a FPP that is basically an ad for an Apple product.

The Nomad Zen can plug into any computer to transfer files back and forth, kindall. No special software needed.

And yes, it's slightly larger than the iPod. But offers more functionality. It's a good trade off I think for most people, especially since it's significantly less expensive (-40%) to boot.
posted by yarf at 10:36 AM on November 6, 2002


Not to mention the fact that USB 2.0 is quite a bit faster than firewire.
posted by ttrendel at 10:37 AM on November 6, 2002


Nomad Zen only supports USB 1.1, not 2.0... unfortunately.
posted by yarf at 10:43 AM on November 6, 2002


Not to mention the fact that USB 2.0 is quite a bit faster than firewire.

Not so fast: according to TechTV, "Despite USB 2.0's 80 Kbps speed advantage over FireWire, our testing showed that the additional overhead of USB 2.0 made it slower than FireWire. For high-bandwidth devices such as external hard drives, the difference was as high as 70 percent."
posted by gyc at 10:47 AM on November 6, 2002


I find it fascinating that people invariably take trenchant sides in the Mac vs. Windows conflict, as though the mere existence of the other renders your own system worthless. There's room in the world for both. Hello, American Free Enterprise.

That said, I'd die without my iPod. Four thousand of my all-time favorite songs on shuffle puts me that much closer to Paradise right here on scrappy planet Earth. Even so, if I had to put money in Bill's overstuffed pocket to do it, I just wouldn't.
posted by divrsional at 10:50 AM on November 6, 2002


I'm with monju.
posted by putzface_dickman at 10:51 AM on November 6, 2002


Any bioinformatics experts care to comment on the size of the files involved? At two bits per base (ATCG), a set of 3x109 bases takes up about 715 Mb. This seems to agree with the size of the (heavily annotated) real thing. You don't need an iPod for that, you could just copy it onto a CD. (I bet the genome would compress pretty well too considering all the repeated patterns and things.)
posted by Bletch at 11:24 AM on November 6, 2002


Not to mention the fact that USB 2.0 is quite a bit faster than firewire.

not only untrue, but gigawire will render any such conjecture flat-out moot.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2002


if you've invested your time in converting your audio library to Ogg Vorbis, I can see why you would complain.
It's not a matter of converting my existing audio library to Ogg Vorbis, it's a matter of collecting legally available music that arrives in Shorten format.
posted by alms at 11:35 AM on November 6, 2002


i've been superhappy with my cd mp3 player, which cost me about 50 bucks, and the price of CDs (what, 50 cents each?). I've really never been in a position where i needed more than one cd to put in it. (no, i've got mad giggage, friends -- i'm guessing around 30-40, but 10 albums at a time is really enough for me).

of course, i'm a cheap bastard, and it's necessary for me to have cheap electronic toys because i break them so often. if i bought an IPod i'd probably drop it in the toilet the first day out (don't ask).

also: is anyone else really annoyed by the massive amount of menus one has to go through to play a song on most MP3 players nowadays? with my 1st generation CD mp3 player, i just skip to the album number, then to the song, and it starts playing -- takes about 2 secs to get where i want to go. Sure, i won't necessarily know *who's* playing, but there's the fun of memorizing track numbers and the occasional pleasant surprise when i venture to a part of the cd i haven't really heard before.
posted by fishfucker at 11:51 AM on November 6, 2002


OHMIGOD! Sotring data on little thangs. What'll dey tink of next? Cormpuuters or sumpin?
posted by HTuttle at 11:59 AM on November 6, 2002


No one mentioned the incredibly giddy satisfaction of spinning that danged/blessed iPod wheel as fast as you can.

I feel bad for the owners of the new solid-state wheel 'Pods.

No spinny-happy fun times for them.
posted by cinderful at 12:50 PM on November 6, 2002


We're spinny-happy! We can turn on that clicky noise through our settings and get our jollies from that.
posted by maudlin at 1:30 PM on November 6, 2002


We're spinny-happy! We can turn on that clicky noise through our settings and get our jollies from that.

_this_ is why Creative's attempts will never have the image the iPod has Who the hell would think of that? Nobody. It's inane. But people love it. 'sides, it makes playing Breakout so much easier :)
posted by Space Coyote at 3:14 PM on November 6, 2002


Just curious? Why can't the iPod record? Anyone know? Seems like the next logical thing...
posted by ubueditor at 6:35 PM on November 6, 2002


I prefer my MP3 player because it can also make phone calls.
posted by i blame your mother at 6:51 PM on November 6, 2002


Bletch: putting the data on a CD is not nearly as cool as putting it on an ipod. And if you put it on a CD then you can only have around 250 mbps transfer. With ipod, you get 400! Who has time these days to wait all day for an EIDE or SCSI transfer?

Judging from the picture in the 3rd link, this whole thing may be an Apple promo.
posted by shoos at 10:27 PM on November 6, 2002


The Nomad Zen can plug into any computer to transfer files back and forth, kindall. No special software needed.

This is a major change, then, from their previous products, and I welcome it.
posted by kindall at 10:57 PM on November 6, 2002


My preferred all-in-one handheld is a Gendex. Buy now and get a free conspiracy theory!

This fellow lives/lived in my area during his most prolific period. I regret to this day not making some fliers with the IMF logo from the old mission-impossible.com just to spook him. He had photos up of "THEIMF agents" who were tracking his activities that have unfortunately not been saved for antiquity by Brewster et al. One was the rear fender of a taxi.
posted by britain at 7:15 AM on November 8, 2002


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