CBS News: Apple iPod, iPod mini ‘make every other system feel clunky by comparison’

“I was totally underwhelmed when Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the iPod mini at the MacWorld Expo in January but now that it’s actually on the market, and after playing with the new device, I’m starting to understand its appeal,” Larry Magid reports for CBS News.

“My first reaction was ‘big deal.’ Apple had already impressed me and much of the world with its first three generations of iPod music players. After all, creating a device that enables music lovers to carry not just “a tune,” but up to 10,000 in the palm of their hand is indeed an impressive accomplishment – perhaps the biggest contribution to portable music since Sony invented the Walkman back in 1979. But the latest iteration seemed like a tiny step backward,” Magid reports.

“Specifications don’t tell the whole story. You have to see and feel this machine to truly appreciate it. A half-inch thick and otherwise the same dimensions as a business card, the iPod mini is a truly elegant accessory,” Magid writes. “It’s not just smaller than its predecessors. It’s prettier, more elegant and even a bit easier to use… Apple has developed an incredibly intuitive interface that makes every other system feel clunky by comparison.”

Magid opines, perhaps forgetting that Apple has over 100,000 pre-orders for iPod mini before it even ships, “If the iPod cost $199 instead of $249, it would be an excellent value despite its relatively low capacity. At its present price, it’s definitely an expensive alternative to lower capacity memory-based music players as well as some hard drive systems from other companies. Still, as buyers of luxury automobiles have long demonstrated, there are plenty of people who are willing to pay a bit more for elegance and style.”

Full article here.


  1. 100,000 orders is small fry. iPod mini is an overpriced MP3 player. And if you are gonna spend that kind of money the 15 gig is a no brainer. Personally I think the whole range is way way too expensive for mass market penetration.

  2. john, have any of the other companies who are selling MP3 players released their pre-orders sales figures after announcing their new product, (oh, let’s say, Dell’s DJ, for example)? Just wondering…

    And that begs the second question – where, then, is the relevance for your claiming that such sales figures are “small fry”…?

  3. John, you really are a complete idiot. A persistent one at that. Every thread about the mini you keep saying the same thing over and over again. You never back it up, you seem quite incapable of seeing any possibility that reasons might exist outside your small, narrow-minded perspective. In fact, you’re now sounding just like Thurrott.
    Hey, try saying something meaningful for once!

  4. Bo’ster, you have a good point. I haven’t been backing up my points, and it is time that I look beyond my own little world. Thanks for the direct comments, buddy. Hell, maybe I should look a little closer at iPod mini — it looks pretty neat actually.

  5. John: ” iPod mini is an overpriced MP3 player.”


    I’ll back you up with figures, but you ain’t gonna like it, so I’ll play nice and give you a fun quiz to solve…

    So johnny-boy, match the ” capacity / price / product name ” items in the following column:

    1000MB / $249 / Frontier Labs Nex IA
    4000MB / $249 / iPod mini
    512 MB / $249 / Creative MuVo2 X-Trainer
    512 MB / $299 / iRiver iFP-195T
    1000MB / $429 / iRiver iFP-599T

    answer: it’s not a quiz, it’s an actual listing…

    The iPod mini is essentially a 4GB hard disk (note: hard disk capacities are expressed in GiBi: 1GiBi = 1 billion bytes; 1GB =) but the iPod experience is more than just billions of bytes, it’s more of a user-friendly method of working with that vast expanse of memory…

    I view the iPod essentially as a way to stash and transport whatever data is important in my work and life. It keeps an on-screen read-only copy of my schedules, contacts and notes, plays my favorite tunes, and displays a large clock for good measure. One device, many uses.

    I like not being able to enter contacts and dates with my iPod, because iPod equals not a PDA. My PowerBook is my PDA, I’m therefore insured that my private life does not mix with my work life: “I’d love to take an appointment, but right now we’re relaxing in a pub, and I’d rather you email me in the morning”.

    The only flash-RAM digital player that I’d ever be tempted to buy would be Austrian watchmer LAKS’ “invisible” player:

    …essentially just an “overpriced” watch, but it acts also as an MP3-player and a USB flash drive. But then Paul Thurrott would compare it with Microsoft-driven “SMART” watches and complain that the LAKS watch cannot pick up radio-wave RSS ticker-tape feeds…

    He’d be right again, what’s a watch worth if it cannot permanently display MSFT quotes?…

  6. …botched the GiBi reference above:

    “(note: hard disk capacities are expressed in GiBi: one GiBi = 1 billion bytes; 1GB =)”

    should read:

    “(note: as opposed to RAM, hard disk capacities are often expressed in GiBi: one GiBi = 1’000’000’000 bytes; one GB = 1’073’741’824 bytes)”

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