iWalk :
October 23, 2001 10:24 AM   Subscribe

iWalk : Apple's new device is rumored to be a PDA/MP3 Player with a color screen and airport functionality. Never heard of spymac.com before, but this looks pretty legit. (contains photo)
posted by jragon (72 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like a 3D rendering to me, especially the top surface and logo. Something about the scale next to the fag packet doesn't look right. I'm prepared to eat my words though.
posted by elliot100 at 10:26 AM on October 23, 2001

that picture made it to filepile yesterday labelled as 'fake-mac-pda.jpg,', so i'm not entirely sure it is real :)
posted by chacal at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2001

The unit in the photo was obviously rendered and composited in. Pass.
posted by donkeyschlong at 10:27 AM on October 23, 2001

it ain't plastic.

the mainstream isn't buying a whole lot of powerbooks, so i would think the new product will look more like the iBook.
posted by o2b at 10:29 AM on October 23, 2001

There's no video feed this time is there?
posted by elliot100 at 10:29 AM on October 23, 2001

I can't tell the difference between CD and high quality MP3s, and I can't spot a fake picture, apparently.

(*hitting reload on flooded Mac news sites for real info*)
posted by jragon at 10:29 AM on October 23, 2001

There. It's called iPod. (woo, 3 posts)
posted by jragon at 10:30 AM on October 23, 2001 [2 favorites]

Check MacMinutefor live coverage of the press event.

Apple introduces iPod, a digital audio player (MP3, MP2, more) with a 5GB hard drive (1000 songs). 20 minute skip protection. FireWire-equipped, first such music player. 10 hour battery, lithium-polymar ("most advanced battery; more advanced than laptop batteries"), takes 1 hour to charge. Size of a deck of cards: 2.4" wide, 4" tall, 3/4" thick.
posted by ry at 10:32 AM on October 23, 2001

The iPod has a bigger hard drive than my iMac!
posted by aaron at 10:38 AM on October 23, 2001

not that i really had my heart set on some apple breakthrough product, but i'm pretty underwhelmed by this announcement. the amount of secrecy and speculation is SO disproportionate to the actual product. Fine, it's pretty small and is high capacity..but these are all incremental changes. Apple changes the hubcaps and proclaims that they've reinvented the wheel :P
posted by chacal at 10:38 AM on October 23, 2001 [4 favorites]

Well, when the G4 cube pics came out, everyone was saying that they were fake as well... If you look at any image long and hard enough it'll look fake. But I guess we'll find out in a hour or so if it's real or not.
posted by delmoi at 10:40 AM on October 23, 2001

If it was real it would have said iPod not iWalk.
posted by elliot100 at 10:45 AM on October 23, 2001

As MP3 players go, this is breakthrough. (5 gig, 10 hours of battery, firewire, tiny)

As new devices go, this is par for the course.

Although it is breakthrough when you consider Apple's traditional product base. Maybe it will further break the mold and sell for $50.
posted by jragon at 10:48 AM on October 23, 2001

Theres a disappointment for you, there are plenty of hard drive based mp3 players out there, most of them hold 6 gigs or more.

I guess its something that its a little smaller and has firewire rather than USB tho.
posted by malphigian at 10:51 AM on October 23, 2001

Maybe it will further break the mold and sell for $50.

The iPod is US$400 at The Apple Store.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:54 AM on October 23, 2001

It's $399. Nice LCD display though, compared to the Nomad. With a scrollwheel. And 10 hours of playback time! Can charge up over FireWire. Check the Apple Store.
posted by Fofer at 10:54 AM on October 23, 2001

So it's just a nicer looking nomad? This was supposed to be a big deal?
posted by mathowie at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2001 [39 favorites]

let's play "guess the price"...

The much larger (in size and capacity) Creative "Nomad Jukebox" has a 6GB drive. Battery life is terrible, but otherwise a good player. Price? $250. for the 20GB version- $400. Apple's player is much smaller and viable as a portable solution.

Apple is notoriously pricy. My guess- $350...
posted by kahboom at 10:56 AM on October 23, 2001

...and the 5 GB drive can double as a FireWire disk.
posted by Fofer at 10:57 AM on October 23, 2001

Transfer a whole CD in 10 seconds. That's a big leap forward from USB. Thanks firewire!
posted by jragon at 10:57 AM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

ummm... so much for "guess the price". Oh well, I get to keep the prize for myself then.
posted by kahboom at 10:58 AM on October 23, 2001

Apple's Store has posted the price at $399. Not much fun in guessing anymore, kahboom.
posted by Fofer at 11:00 AM on October 23, 2001

all i have to say is: "20 minute skip protection" ? WTF?

that, and i love that when you mouse over the image of the iPod in the store, it says "The Special Product Image." Apple's just so darn proud of their special little guy.

oh yeah, and the "whole CD in 10 seconds" thing is decidedly dope.
posted by badstone at 11:03 AM on October 23, 2001

It's about $100 too expensive to catch fire. Darn.

Does the link above mean its a dedicated music device sans PDA features?
posted by ParisParamus at 11:04 AM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

...not to mention the fact that it automatically syncs your MP3 library with iTunes. That's cool. Also, it recharges over, FireWire, no power cord needed.
posted by Fofer at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2001

Apple front page updated, leads to full details. The mono display is the most disappointing thing IMHO - i expected Aqua.
posted by elliot100 at 11:06 AM on October 23, 2001


no pda features..it's just a mp3 player on some steroids.
posted by chacal at 11:08 AM on October 23, 2001 [2 favorites]

$400. Ouch.
posted by aaron at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

Check out the pictures and videos at the new product page. Despite the price, it is still pretty damn cool.
posted by ry at 11:09 AM on October 23, 2001

some real nice features, especially firewire disk mode

but i could just about build a whole computer for $400 us...
posted by sawks at 11:10 AM on October 23, 2001

it's nice.

But it NOT iwalk or nor does it look ANYTHING like that.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 11:14 AM on October 23, 2001

...Yeah, and a nice visual while music plays would have been nice too. iPod Deluxe?
posted by Fofer at 11:15 AM on October 23, 2001

yes, but could you carry it in your pocket, sawks?

Neat gadget. Not a world-changer. Just a neat little thing. This is to portable audio what the QuickTake was to digital cameras.

posted by Mars Saxman at 11:15 AM on October 23, 2001 [3 favorites]

I just don't see what all the digital hub-bub is all about...

posted by machaus at 11:15 AM on October 23, 2001

I wish it were iwalkish. This thing is ug-lee, and the display looks like it's built from 8-year-old leftover Newton parts.
posted by aaron at 11:21 AM on October 23, 2001

Oh, now I know where I've seen it before...

posted by aaron at 11:26 AM on October 23, 2001

A CD in 10 seconds isn't "dope". Think about it:

Let's call a CD (in Mp3 format) 75 meg. That would be 7.5 meg/sec over firewire. I forget the exact specs, but firewire is blazingly fast. That's why you can use it for lossless fullscreen digitial video.
posted by jragon at 11:38 AM on October 23, 2001

That's cute how it looks like a speaker. I wonder if the buttons will get bumped in a pocket. I didn't see any info on a "hold" setting.

What most surprises me is that they used Chicago for the interface. Next thing you know they'll put the rainbow stripes back on the logo.
posted by sudama at 11:39 AM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

It's gonna bomb.. By only supporting Mac computers, they've cut out about 90% of the market. Really, REALLY dumb move.
posted by SweetJesus at 11:44 AM on October 23, 2001 [20 favorites]

I'm extremely disappointed with this. I had high hopes for this big hyped-up product launch, expecting it to be some sort of Airport-enabled component for my stereo system. It's a $400 MP3 Walkman? Geez.
posted by barkingmoose at 11:47 AM on October 23, 2001

That's cute how it looks like a speaker
From what I understand, that's also the "jog dial". Piezoelectric dealie -- keen.

By only supporting Mac...
This is Apple we're talking about. They don't care about PC users, even when we wave money at them (hi! I want OS10 for x86!)
posted by aramaic at 11:49 AM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

i have to say that i'm convinced to give OSX a spin, especially now that the TiBooks have been upgraded (base speed @400mhz -> @550mhz for the same price).
posted by moz at 11:56 AM on October 23, 2001

You're not waving money at them. You could pirate OSX or buy it for 100 bucks. That just doesn't compare to supporting their hardware sales to the tune of 1000 bucks or more.

For all the stupid things Apple has done, they continue to get new users and keep (most of) their existing ones happy. They're able to do this by proving both the hardware and software and focusing on a seamless experience.

For every PC user who says "so what? I can build that for 150 bucks!" there's another who is thinking "damn, I want that." It seems to be working.
posted by jragon at 12:02 PM on October 23, 2001

Aha. There's a hold button on top.

MacCentral quoted the intro as promising iTunes for Windows "down the road."
posted by sudama at 12:05 PM on October 23, 2001

they aren't targeting gadget freaks here.

the target for the iPod is someone who wants all of their stuff in one place, and they want it easy.

you can tell this in one way: as soon as you plug it in to your computer, it automatically opens iTunes and checks if anything has changed (new songs, playlists, etc). if so, it automatically downloads what it needs. firewire makes sure that happens superfast.

i have a rio, but the quality control was so bad, i'm not buying another one. 6 gigs is not the most available, but it is the most available in a decent package.

i have an iBook for entertainment and a pc for work. i'm buyin this.

when i can get a deal.
posted by o2b at 12:13 PM on October 23, 2001

Damn that is expensive! I would really love to have it if it wasn't so expensive. I guess people who can afford Macs can afford it, but I really can't see that many people buying it, cool as it is. Hopefully if they sell enough and recoup their R&D costs they can lower the price significantly. That is why I don't understand them not supporting Windows, as that would allow them to sell a lot more. I am sure that it works using FireWire Target Disk mode, which even the few Windows computers with FireWire (like all Sony boxes) probably wouldn't recognise. If they would find a way around this, then you could even potentially use it with your Playstation 2 or your camcorder.

One cool feature I thought it would have, or should have: Voice memos.
posted by donkeymon at 12:17 PM on October 23, 2001

You can get CD players that support MP3s for about $125 (Philips, Rio, Samsung, etc.)

$399 for a 5gb MP3 player is a little too much
posted by riffola at 12:32 PM on October 23, 2001

Apple loads gun, shoots self in foot. The Mac fans applaud and coo at the beauty of the hole. Everyone realizes the hole is ugly and walks by.

Shall we dance again? :)
posted by owillis at 12:32 PM on October 23, 2001 [4 favorites]

I like this design more then the iWalk thing, it's actualy pretty smooth, and normaly I hate apple product designs.
posted by delmoi at 12:35 PM on October 23, 2001

i would like to have a possibility to store other data on it. it shouldn't be a problem to use an mp3 player as portable diskdrive. however, this is too expensive for me.
posted by arf at 12:36 PM on October 23, 2001

In the upper righthand corner of the photo of the iWalk there's some piece of paper with the Dell logo under the cigarettes. What's that doing there?
posted by MattS at 12:39 PM on October 23, 2001

I think we should wait and see if the bullet even made contact with the foot before we consider sending Apple to the ER.

I think the iPod is a great idea. A mind-numbingly simple way to keep all of your music with you everywhere you go. It is a tad expensive, but all of the cool extra features (firewire HD functionality) make the price a bit more tolerable.

And we all know they'll lower the price in a couple of months anyway.
posted by toddshot at 12:40 PM on October 23, 2001

You can get CD players that support MP3s for about $125

It seems like there are a lot more advantages to something like this $99 Philips eXpanium Portable CD/MP3 Player. I guess synching your iPod up with your iMac or iBook is iEasier, but it isn't worth $300+ to me. I'd rather have my mp3's burned onto a CD I can play in my laptop, my CD player and my buddy's desktop machine anyhow.
posted by barkingmoose at 12:53 PM on October 23, 2001 [1 favorite]

Compare it to other external firewire drives (like this Iomega 20GB drive for the same price but twice the size), remember that it is also an mp3 player (with about 80x the memory and 4x the battery life of other pocket-size players -- though 3x the price) and it starts to make sense. I've been putting off buying both (external FW drive and mp3 player) and I think I'm not alone.

This is not huge, and got a little overhyped, but I'd bet it is better designed (i.e., better display) than any comparable player -- and there isn't anything else on the market like this.
posted by sylloge at 12:55 PM on October 23, 2001

i would like to have a possibility to store other data on it.

you can.
posted by badstone at 12:56 PM on October 23, 2001

It would be truly great if it could also be used in your car...maybe by broadcasting to your car radio so you could listen to all your spiffy mp3s while driving 95, talking on the phone, and staring at the hot girl in the Z3.

I just don't want to use those goddamn earbuds.
posted by thebigpoop at 1:03 PM on October 23, 2001

I just finished playing with the iPod, it really is roughly the size of a deck of cards, and it's got some tres cool features. It's well under half the size of the Nomad or Archos (maybe 1/3 size of the nomad). It's approximately the same size as my Rio, really, no bigger than a solid state mp3 player but with a 5 GB hard drive. Charges through FireWire. By the way, in the pictures, it looks almost silvery, but it's iBook white. You can see a lot more details here.
posted by emptyage at 1:11 PM on October 23, 2001

One thing about people complaining that it doesn't live up to the hype: Unless I'm wrong, Apple wasn't hyping it. Considering they didn't even say what it was, how could they. They did MENTION they'd be unveiling something, but didn't go nuts hyping it. "Apple's hype always disappoints" isn't a valid complaint, since the hype is user-built, and the fact that it gets so much coverage beforehand proves that at least some of the unveilings DON'T disappoint. Having said all that, it's an awesome thing, but as everyone else has said, 399 is too much for me. I'd much rather have this than a CD/MP3 hybrid, but yeah, 250 or 300 bucks extra is too much for me.

Also the Nomad is nowhere near this in form factor, so you simply can't compare them.
posted by beefula at 1:14 PM on October 23, 2001

you can [store other data on it].

whoohoo! this sounds sexy. but i can't (or don't want to) effort it.
posted by arf at 1:28 PM on October 23, 2001

Apple releases a new product, but it doesn't change the world. oh no!

All that Apple released today was the single best portable digital music player on the market. Yes, there are others that have more storage, yes, every other competiting device is cheaper. But, no other device can compare with the combination of small size and large capacity as the iPod. But that's not why people buy Apple stuff-- it's because of the little details. The interface is clever. It charges over the Firewire connection.

If the iPod cost $300 rather than $400 or had more storage, I'd probably have placed an order today. As is, I'll wait until after the new year and look for sales... Like most everything Apple has done recently, this is slick.
posted by andrewraff at 2:11 PM on October 23, 2001

I'll wait six months. It'll store twice as much and have a color screen. That's how it always happens.
posted by ColdChef at 2:39 PM on October 23, 2001 [11 favorites]

Sony will be launching Net MD soon. It will support normal MiniDiscs and also allow for fast data transfer via USB (On normal MD player/recorders the songs are recorded from a playback source.) An 80 minute blank MiniDisc costs about $2. The only problem being that Net MD will use Sony's existing ATRAC & ATRAC3 formats not MP3.
posted by riffola at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2001

The Net MD thing does look cool. I looked strongly at getting a MD... the only problem are a few major drawbacks (1x write speed... yuck). Sony really needs to open up the MD standard. If you can only play Net MD on Net MD players then it's basically a whole new format (and blows chances of using it on one of Sony's Xplode stereos). My biggest want is to be able to play songs in the car without burning CDs... there are just no viable solutions.
posted by geoff. at 3:14 PM on October 23, 2001

Coldchef - I'm sure it won't have a color screen. Why would it? It's not like you'd be playing video games on it.
I wouldn't doubt the double-storage though.
posted by premiumpolar at 3:24 PM on October 23, 2001 [11 favorites]

Geoff you can record MDs with ATRAC encoded songs which ought to work on normal MD players. It's only ATRAC3 which they use in their memory stick line that can't be played on normal MD players.
posted by riffola at 4:27 PM on October 23, 2001

I was hoping for the rebirth of Kerbango, with Airport support built-in so I could just hook the thing up to my stereo and play MP3s, MP3 streams, RealAudio streams, etc., through my stereo, which is nowhere near my cable modem.

Oh well, put the credit card away....
posted by geneablogy at 5:58 PM on October 23, 2001

I think the picture is fake too, the direction & intensity of light striking the iWalk doesn't match what is hitting the keyboard behind it.
posted by ArkIlloid at 9:03 PM on October 23, 2001

Hehe ArkIlloid, what makes you say that? iWalk looks real to me.

...as I crawl back under my rock...
posted by Fofer at 9:59 PM on October 23, 2001

Screw the iPod. I want a Pocket Rocker!
posted by thebigpoop at 10:18 PM on October 23, 2001

if it was PC compatible it would be a breakthrough. but NOOOOOOO.
posted by wantwit at 1:04 AM on October 24, 2001


It's not THAT radical, but it is a seriously nice piece of design - the jog-dial and interface is excellent. And why would you need more than a 5gig drive if you can refill it completely in around 10 minutes? any more would be pointless, unless 1000 songs isn't enough to choose from.

It is expensive, but I reckon they will sell a shedload, and I'm really pleased they have made no attempt to make it PC-compatible.

Join Usssss! Leave the dark side!! We have such cool toys!!!
posted by rikabel at 2:41 AM on October 24, 2001

A Japanese site peeks inside the iPod. You can translate it into English via AltaVista's Babel Fish.
posted by riffola at 6:02 PM on November 1, 2001

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