BusinessWeek: Apple’s iPod mini a ‘Rolls-Royce’ compared to competition

“I like Apple’s iPod as much as the next person. But face it, not everyone is thrilled with that touch-sensitive scroll wheel, and its battery life is almost worst-in-class. Why carry 10,000 songs in your pocket if you have to plug the player in every night to recharge it? With last month’s launch of a scaled-down iPod mini, I took a look at the mini and its competition,” writes Larry Armstrong for BusinessWeek.

Armstrong looks at Rio’s 1.5-GB Nitrus, iRiver’s iGP-100, Creative Technology’s Nomad MuVo2 and RCA’s Lyra Micro Jukebox RD2760. After a lot of rigamarole, Armstrong comes to the unsurprising conclusions that Apple’s iPod mini is the best designed, easiest-to-use, and has the best software companion with iTunes – despite the article’s leading headline, “Taking On iPod.” Duh.

Full article here.

14 Comments

  1. I was one of the ones that thought the mini was overpriced, and all it took was seeing and holding one at the King of Prussia Apple Store for the MBNA account to go up $250.

    The mini is the best designed thing Apple’s ever released; they’d be absolutely nuts if the next version of iPod was anything other than a slightly larger version of the mini.

  2. If you read the article, he does attempt to bash the iPod again and again but he only succeeds in legitimately doing so on battery life. All the other points he makes just do not seem to make sense. e.g.

    “The biggest difference? The iPod mini holds 4 GB of music, which Apple claims is about 1,000 songs; the other two, at 1.5 GB, are good for from 375 to 750 tunes, depending on song length and audio quality.”

    I mean after he puts “claims” on 1000 songs in 4 GB he says the other is good for up to 750 songs on 1.5 GB. Does that make sense to you? There is no way they would get to 750 unless it is saved in really CRAP low quality format. If that is the case you would get 2000 songs on the Mini.

  3. I’m with you on this one OJ. I initially thought “who wouldn’t spend $50 more for almost 4x the capacity”. Well, the mini is just such a beautifully engineered and designed item. When you hold it it just *feels* right. It exudes quality.

    I’m ordering one for my wife as a Mother’s Day present. As for me, if I didn’t already own a 30Gb 3G iPod, I’d probably get a mini.

    TimT

  4. The interesting thing to me about this is…When the author refers to higher end/ large capacity players, He only mentions the iPod. To me that says the battle for larger players (15+ G) Apple has won. Now the battle seems to have moved to the miniature ones. Apple controls the message…Year of the laptop, yes. Hard Drive based MP3 players, yes. Online Music, yes. Miniature players, yes.

  5. It must just be me… dropping the iPod in the dock to charge every night just wouldn’t bother me.

    If it was bulkier and had a bigger battery, I could listen for hours and still skip a night of charging sometimes. Other nights I’d still have to charge. It just doesn’t sound like a huge deal to me.

  6. I don’t know that many people use it eight hours a day every day either. I maybe listen to mine for an hour or two most days, some days all day and some days never.

    I have had problems with not having charge, but I’ve never thought it was the iPod’s fault, I curse myself for not charging it.

    Plus there’s that Belkin add-on and if you’re anywhere near a power socket, the problem’s also solved right there.

    People who are away from power for 8 hours or more every day are in a minority, and perhaps should consider other players or whether the ‘inconvenience’ of the iPod’s battery life is an acceptable compromise.

    If Apple could design a replaceable rechargeable battery, along the lines of those in mobile phones, they could be making some extra money.

  7. Hi
    I just had my hands on the MuVo at the CeBit and it sucks BIG TIME!! – The screen�s pitiful, everyone can see that on pictures, but you have to touch the “wheel-imitation” joystickthingy, to actually feel the pain: Whoever gave the go on this thing for production must either be nuts or try to hurt nomad badly: It�s so wobbly and you hit the wrong button that often, it�s not funny at all. – What a sucker –> no competition at all!

  8. this guy obviously doesnt get out much. I am over 25 and would love to have 10,000 songs in my pocket(currently 2029 songs and growing). I have a 20GB iPod on my Windows XP PC (will get a Mac when I can afford one) All the songs on my iPod are ripped from original CDs (no iTMS in NZ yet)

  9. So he sings praise for the iPod mini and its competition… ranking the iPod as top dog.

    Shame on him for not emphasizing this is Apple you’re buying. It beams with quality and has good geek factor. If you buy Apple, it means you’re a smart person. If you don’t you’re dumb. That simple… so says the MacFanatic. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    I love my iPod… have recommend it to many friends and family – many have bought one based on that alone. I do point out its shortcomings though – lower battery life than other players, more expensive, operates better on Mac Firewire than PC…

    I for one wish my 15GB iPod had better battery life, because I use it every day – at work, at the gym, and at home.


    Good article.

  10. So he sings praise for the iPod mini and its competition… ranking the iPod as top dog.

    Shame on him for not emphasizing this is Apple you’re buying. It beams with quality and has good geek factor. If you buy Apple, it means you’re a smart person. If you don’t you’re dumb. That simple… so says the MacFanatic. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    I love my iPod… have recommend it to many friends and family – many have bought one based on that alone. I do point out its shortcomings though – lower battery life than other players, more expensive, operates better on Mac Firewire than PC…

    I for one wish my 15GB iPod had better battery life, because I use it every day – at work, at the gym, and at home.


    Good article.

  11. I don’t think any of these other players are as good looking as iPod, though I cannot vouch for their performance. And yea, I wish my iPod had better battery life as well, but it can take me to work and back for a coupla days running, so what more can you really ask?

  12. I never really test the limits of my battery as I listen to my 15gb at work. All day long it sits in its dock suffling through my entire music collection.

    I bet the battery will be crap when I do go to use it though. Oh well. Doesn’t bother me. I’ll just get a car adapter for road trips.

  13. I always liked the ipod but never enough to buy one. I never thought the mini was overpriced, but I thought it was too expensive for me. However like Opinionated Jerk, after picking one up and playing with it, I was sold. I was going to buy a mini, but now my wife bought me a blue one (over 2 weeks and still waiting). Even though I have almost 20 gigs of music, I can live off of 3 mp3 discs for month. The mini will be like having 4 or 5 of these only easier to change and I won’t have to burn and rip my itunes purchases.

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