Toshiba to take on iPod for Windows; no Mac support offered with new player

“Toshiba has announced a new hard drive-based digital music player that is both smaller and lighter than both its previous model and the competing IPod player from Apple Computer,” reports Martyn Williams for IDG News Service. “The Gigabeat MEG200J (G20) contains a 20GB hard drive, which is four times the capacity of that in Toshiba’s previous model, the MEG50JS. It is enough space to store up to 332 hours of music, encoded at 128 kbps, or, put another way, around 5,000 songs, according to Toshiba. Formats supported are Windows Media Audio, MP3, or WAV.”

Williams reports, “Battery life is estimated to be around 11 hours on a full charge and the player connects to a PC through a USB 2.0 interface. While it is both smaller and lighter than Apple’s IPod, the Toshiba player can’t compete with the IPod on all platforms. Its supporting software is only compatible with PCs running Windows 98 second edition and higher and won’t work on a Mac.”

“Toshiba plans to put the G20 on sale in Japan in early October, where it will cost around $424. There are no concrete plans to put it on sale overseas but Toshiba says the company will consider international sales should it sell well in Japan,” reports Williams.

Full article here.

Photos of the Toshiba Gigabeat MEG200J here.

8 Comments

  1. No superior AAC support? No Mac support? Real music lovers use Macs when they’re doing working with / listening to digital music. Stupid product that iPod will obliterate along with all of the rest.

  2. No big loss on their part though to be quite realistic here. I’m sure Toshiba realizes that given the choice, virtually all Mac owners would take an iPod over anything they could come up with anyway, so why bother competing? They would have an incredibly hard time integrating the use of their player as well as the iPod works with iTunes on the Mac. Besides, doesn’t Toshiba manufacture the hard drives in the iPods? If so, they’re already getting their cut of the Mac market anyway.

  3. Should be interesting if Apple is planning to switch HD suppliers and this is Toshiba’s backup plan. The HD is the most expensive part of the iPod and Apple is not currently happy with their margins, that means Apple must be putting pressure on Toshiba to lower their costs, especially considering Apple’s recent exponential volume jump. I’m sure Toshiba’s competitors are drooling for Apple’s business. Hopefully this will cause Apple to get better pricing on drives and pass on some of the savings to us while maintaining higher margins, more in line with their general 28%.

  4. The reason it does not work on the Mac is that like several other recent PC only music players, the new Toshiba Gigabeat uses/requires Windows Media Player 9 because it uses WMA file format and rights management software.

    The current version Windows Media Player for Mac is effectively version 7.

    Personally, I would run a mile from Microshaft’s rights management software so I do not regard its unavailability for the Mac as a loss at all.

  5. Apple doesn’t really have a company to go to other than Toshiba for the drives they’re using so Apple doesn’t really have any leverage to put pressue on Toshiba about the profit margin. (For the form-factor-with-storage-size Apple wants for the iPods, there are no other makers. It would take a considerable investment with very little return for other HD makers to get in this specialized market.)

  6. i’m gutted. the gigabeat is way sexier than the ipod – which i regard as over-rated. i’ve been eyeing one for months and finally decided to take the plunge only to find it’s not mac compatible. i mean really, how hard is it to build a cross platform mp3 player.

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