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Apple Computer will introduce a 'breakthrough device' next week.
October 17, 2001 5:24 PM   Subscribe

Apple Computer will introduce a 'breakthrough device' next week. Will this be the long-rumored Apple PDA that Newton fanatics have been asking for? A device for wirelessly streaming your mp3 collection through your stereo? Your basic portable mp3 player? Or something that hasn't shown up on any of the rumor sites at all? Whatever it ends up being, my curiousity is officially piqued.
posted by toddshot (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Voltron.
posted by fuq at 5:27 PM on October 17, 2001


maybe it'll be iGinger (would they call it iIT?)
posted by mathowie at 5:30 PM on October 17, 2001


A friend who interviewed for that group was not even told what the product was he would be working on until he basically signed up for the job. At least I assume this rumored device is what he's working on. He's basically disappeared off the face of the planet as they've been busting their patooties off getting whatever it is completed.
posted by girlhacker at 5:31 PM on October 17, 2001


Incidentally, a PDA wouldn't really be a "breakthrough device" would it? There are plenty of PDAs. What would an Apple PDA have to be to be "breakthrough"? I'm hoping it's something even cooler.
posted by girlhacker at 5:34 PM on October 17, 2001


MacOSRumors is saying it's a first in a series of "Digital Hub" devices, this one centered on music.

They're not always right about apple-related leaks, though so take it with a grain of salt.
posted by mathowie at 5:35 PM on October 17, 2001


How long before some enterprising PC hardware manufacturer clones whatever it is?
posted by riffola at 5:38 PM on October 17, 2001


Maybe they managed to put Steve Jobs' ego into a box. Now that would be an accomplishment.
posted by holycola at 5:47 PM on October 17, 2001 [1 favorite]


Ha, just posted this to my blog. I imagine that it will be a Mac friendly version this device which already graces my living room. I run Samba on OSX in order to use it, so something more mac-like will send me to Ebay rather quickly to unload my Audiotron. Whatever it is, my hunch is that it it will ONLY support OSX to spur the migration of the user base. Steve's ego would have to be put in a cube...
posted by machaus at 5:52 PM on October 17, 2001


A Reality Distortion Field generator that runs on AA batteries.
posted by darukaru at 5:54 PM on October 17, 2001


BTW, for those of you with a mac.com account, check your idisk. In Software:OSX Software: Extras there is now a folder called FreePlay Music with a bunch of sample MP3s. I searched the trademark database for FreePlay, but found nothing. Could this be the rebirth of Kerbango?
posted by machaus at 5:58 PM on October 17, 2001


Maybe it's a PDA which can detect Anthrax? i-Something

Sorry if this is in bad taste.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:00 PM on October 17, 2001


Some of the rumors swirling around about a possible PDA that would make it more 'breakthrough'-ish involve: integrated mp3 playback, digital imaging, Airport networking, or some sort of Quicktime streaming technology. Or any/all of the above.

I even saw someone swear it would be a Webpad sort of thing: 10" flat touchscreen running some sort of OS X Lite with built-in Airport. I think it's safe to assume, though, that none of the rumors out there will be 100% accurate.

And Machaus: check here for some info on that free music.
posted by toddshot at 6:00 PM on October 17, 2001 [2 favorites]


I don't think they can top the freaky robot cat.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:00 PM on October 17, 2001


Hmmm a new consumer PDA might catch on. But an integrated off-the-shelf home audio (even video) solution that you can control with your home computer (ie. your Mac) would get more people hooked on the Apple brand. It's a concept that would work well with the new Apple stores that have been opening up.
posted by girlhacker at 6:07 PM on October 17, 2001


I even saw someone swear it would be a Webpad sort of thing: 10" flat touchscreen running some sort of OS X Lite with built-in Airport.

Now that I would buy.
posted by rushmc at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2001


Gotta be the i-brator.

posted by ColdChef at 6:32 PM on October 17, 2001


if it is a PDA, maybe it'll include GPS?

(more cool designs at the apple collection.)
posted by kliuless at 6:32 PM on October 17, 2001


It drives me nuts how you have to have a Powerbook to set up an Airport and yet you can use it just fine with Windows. Grrrr.

Hopefully I won't have to run out and buy a Mac immediately to go with what's beind door #1...
posted by fooljay at 7:01 PM on October 17, 2001


It drives me nuts how you have to have a Powerbook to set up an Airport and yet you can use it just fine with Windows. Grrrr.

Farallon supports desktop macs with their 802.11b cards. I think (though I'm not 100%) that Lucent does too. The reason Airport cards don't work is that they don't include the antenna like most 802.11 cards, so you need to buy a mac with a built-in antenna, currently only the TiBook and iBook.
posted by boaz at 7:12 PM on October 17, 2001


No, I've got it! It's a G4... shaped like a sphere!
posted by robbie01 at 7:22 PM on October 17, 2001


listening to mp3s anywhere isn't groundbreaking. listening to STREAMING mp3s anywhere would get my vote.
posted by starduck at 7:24 PM on October 17, 2001


fooljay: Now you know what most Mac users feel like every time they salivate over any "pee-cee only" device! By the way, Boaz, don't the iMacs and G4 towers also have built in Airport antennae?

Anyway, I just hope this new thing isn't cursed the way the Cube or the Pippin were. They've had such good luck with the Ti and the new iBook; it isn't like Apple to have too long a string of successes!
posted by bcwinters at 7:38 PM on October 17, 2001


I think what fooljay was getting at is that you can't administer an airport base station from a PC. Well you can, but you have to use some homegrown software like this or this.
posted by machaus at 7:42 PM on October 17, 2001


How long before some enterprising PC hardware manufacturer clones whatever it is?

And for half the price. But not in see-thru green, red, yellow - the horror!!
posted by owillis at 7:52 PM on October 17, 2001


fooljay: Now you know what most Mac users feel like every time they salivate over any "pee-cee only" device!

I was, for years, an ardent Mac user. I gave up my Mac when I left education and started professional work, because it was required... I loathed it then and I loathe it now.

Ever wonder why I hate Microsoft so much? :-)

Machaus, thanks for the pointers! I didn't know about those.
posted by fooljay at 8:05 PM on October 17, 2001


Part of me is hoping it's an iTiVo. The idea of the Aqua interface on TiVo... droooool

In seriousness, I expect it to be a music "hub" as some of you do. Will I buy one? Well, that depends; I already have all of my CDs on my Mac. It may be redundant.

machaus: Steve's ego would have to be put in a cube...

I've got Steve's ego not eight inches away from me.
posted by hijinx at 8:10 PM on October 17, 2001


How long before some enterprising PC hardware manufacturer clones whatever it is?

And for half the price.


And half the quality!

If it is some sort of musical 'hub', perhaps it will include extra hard drive space? Maybe that might make it more appealing.
posted by toddshot at 8:36 PM on October 17, 2001


maybe an MP3 player for a stereo system?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:40 PM on October 17, 2001


integrated mp3 playback, digital imaging, Airport networking, or some sort of Quicktime streaming technology

Uhh, I have a PocketPC that does all that right now. Well, it streams Windows Media instead of QuickTime, but what's the difference between various proprietary streaming formats anyway. And a stereo component that streams MP3s from your desktop computer? Dell's been selling that for a long while.

Of course, I must be lying, Apple is the only innovator. I forgot.
posted by anildash at 12:03 AM on October 18, 2001


Well, yeah, all of that was speculation. We really can't refute Apple's claims of having a breakthrough device till we actually see what the goldurned thing is.
posted by toddshot at 12:31 AM on October 18, 2001


Perhaps a device for breaking through things. A drill or something.
posted by Grangousier at 5:13 AM on October 18, 2001


fooljay, check here for a Java-based configuration tool that works perfectly on the PC, no Mac needed.
posted by mmarcos at 5:29 AM on October 18, 2001


One other thing, I have an iBook and a ThinkPad connected to my Airport network. I'm desperately trying to get rid of Win98 in favor of FreeBSD (also supports Orinoco cards eg Airport) but no luck booting off my cdrom yet...
posted by mmarcos at 5:44 AM on October 18, 2001


You've got a PocketPC that uses Airport? Wow.

I don't think Apple is going to come up with anything absolutely brand new (heck, ginger probably won't anyway).

Instead, they'll come up with something that a couple geeks already have, do it better, and make it more available to the mainstream. Then it will be imitated, thus completing the cycle.

Example : the iMac was supposed to fail because it was just another all-in-one, which has been done a dozen times before. I don't have to tell you how that launch panned out.
posted by jragon at 6:50 AM on October 18, 2001


You've got a PocketPC that uses Airport? Wow.

Airport is just Apple's implementation of 802.11b, right? 802.11b networks are everywhere.
posted by rodii at 7:56 AM on October 18, 2001


There was a rumor going around about a year ago that Apple would make a set-top/component device using this technology. It would presumably play mp3s and MPEGs, and network via AirPort.
posted by D at 9:18 AM on October 18, 2001


Apple already tried a foray into the set top box ring. They had a prototype all set for something called the Interactive Television Box, but never released it.

I think this may be the long-awaited 2nd generation PDA.
posted by schlaager at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2001


Yes, airport networks are everywhere -- but I still think it's interesting that a person would put it on their Palm device.

If you're in an area where you can connect to an airport network, you're in an area with computers, and I'd rather use an actual computer to get on the net than a WinCE device.
posted by jragon at 10:24 AM on October 18, 2001


i've been using my iPaq with our airport network for a year now. it's nice at meetings when you may want to bring up a web site or an email, but don't want to plop down a big ole laptop and block everyone's view.

i also use it at cafe wi-fi networks, where the only computer is the one you bring. it's nice not to have to haul all that weight around. my iPaq + foldout keyboard fits in two pockets and doesn't weigh much.
posted by badstone at 10:35 AM on October 18, 2001


Thanks mmarcos!
posted by fooljay at 10:35 AM on October 18, 2001


badstone hit the nail on the head. i live in manhattan, and there are a number of wi-fi networks around my office. i have a desktop at work and a laptop at home, but my PDA is with me almost all the time, and is super handy for checking subway maps or looking up an address online.

And the email thing is cool, too. A nice bonus is being able to read MeFi in a meeting while looking like I'm taking notes.
posted by anildash at 6:33 PM on October 18, 2001


I think it'll be a really small MP3 player with a super-long battery life, like over 8 hours.

And it'll have firewire. Sweet.
posted by jragon at 3:08 PM on October 25, 2001 [1 favorite]


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