One Forbes writer has issues with Apple’s iPod mini, iTunes

“Apple Computer’s iPod mini looks as if it was designed for adolescent girls who like their electronic devices to look like their candy. The new portable MP3 player comes in five shiny new colors: blue, sliver, green, gold and pink. Apple describes the iPod mini as the ‘ultimate fashion statement’–a line that could have been pulled straight out of Tiger Beat magazine,” Betsy Schiffman writes for Forbes.

“If you cut through the layer of teeny-bopper marketing, however, you will find Apple’s iPod mini is a decent player that deserves to be marketed as more than a fashion accessory–it works well, it’s easy to use and the simple design is friendly and functional,” Schiffman writes. “Although users of Microsoft’s Windows like to complain that iTunes software is problematic on their machines, we used the iPod mini and iTunes on a Windows 2000 system and didn’t experience any incompatibility issues whatsoever. If we had any complaints about iTunes (we used version 4.2), it is just that the application itself is big and unwieldy, and it can be slow and clunky to use.”

Schiffman writes, “Besides the basic MP3 playing functionality, the iPod mini also comes with a slew of extras including a few silly games, and a place to sync your contacts, calendar or notes. The extras are fairly useless, though… since the iPod mini doesn’t have a keyboard or a phone, it’s not the most logical place to store contacts or keep your calendar. And if you do choose to sync your contacts with your iPod, it might be the third place you store them (in addition to a phone and a personal digital assistant)–how many more places do you need to store your address book? Is your belt buckle next?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: An interesting article that should be titled, “iPod through the eyes of one Windows user” instead of “iPod through the eyes of a Windows user” for clarity’s sake. Schiffman’s opinions just don’t jive much with what we’ve read elsewhere. Most articles praise iTunes, like some or all of the games, and understand the value of having your calendar and contacts on your iPod. We don’t know why Schiffman feels this way or reaches these conclusions. A lone wolf howls while the rest of the pack jumps on waiting lists to get their own iPod mini.


  1. Well maybe she forgets that not everyone caries a PDA or wants to slowly enter you contact information into a Cellphone using a 9 key alpabet. Now if i had na iPod, i would definately rather type my information into my address book and sync it into the iPod, than type it into my phone. THat is unless you have $300 phone that you can sync it into. So i guess she has a $250 iPod, $400 PDA and $300 phone. I guess she is doing ok. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    It seems her main complaint is that she has to many expensive gadgets. Well if only that was my problem.

  2. What is wrong with marketing to adolescent girls? They influence the spending of a lot of disposable income (their own, their parents, the income of love struck adolescent boys).

    Besides, Apple’s iPod marketing strategy clearly seems to be working.

  3. Why do these Windows people keep saying that iTunes is big and unwieldy? Do they not know you can click the green button to minimize the interface? What exactly do they mean by unwieldy? Is she just trying to pull things out her arse?

  4. Two complaints about her take on the iPod mini. I think having other colors is nice to have. If you don’t want something fancy, get a silver one- it looks professional enough.
    As far as the criticism of the extras being fairly useless- I disagree. I do not own a pda or cell phone so I like having the contact and calender features available to me. I use them regularly. Sure, I cannot add striaght to the iPod but I just collect numbers or cards, put them in my wallet, and enter them when I return home. No big whoop.
    I know other people have these new-fangled “cell phones” and these fancy “personal digital assistants” but I am in the stone-age and haven’t succumbed to the pressure yet. I used to want a pda but now I don’t think I need one. I really don’t think I’d enter items into it too often. As for cell phones, I’m avoiding brain cancer as long as possible.

  5. I never get the complaints about iTunes, it’s clearly the best digital music app on Windows. I have extensively used MusicMatch (the king of bloat), WMP 9, WinAmp and several others, and iTunes wins hands down. Combined with iTMS it blows every competitor out of the water, from Napster 2.0s horrid interface to Rhapsodys faulty copy protection scheme, and on and on and on… iTunes is a clear market leader and no one gets close.

  6. iTunes for windows is not clunky, slow, or unwieldy. Before a Security patch destroyed my Sony and I switched in February, I was using iTunes on a Sony Vaio with AMD 900mhz. It worked fine, ripping was fast, the visualizer was responsive. This woman wouldnt know quality if it bit her in her butt.

  7. Interesting thing about the games, calendar and contacts – if you don’t like them, don’t use them. They don’t detract from the overall usefulness of the iPod for its original intention, which is to play music.

    Although I’ve tried Breakout a few times, I really don’t even notice that these options are there. I don’t know why she’s complain about them. It’s not like they are taking up valuable space, or causing her iPod to slow down.

    Some folks just look for something to complain about!

  8. I used to own:
    Palm Tungsten E
    Sony Minidisc
    Crappy Samsung Phone

    But I was lusting after an Ipod, so after switching cell phone services and getting a tiny but functional Sony Ericsson phone, I sold my 3 old devices and got a 15gb Ipod.

    I now keep contact/calendar (all I really used on the Palm anyway) synced between Outlook, the web, my phone, and my Ipod. One less item to carry constantly, plus ALL of my music on hand all the time.

    Simpler and cheaper for me since I am not too often in a position where I absolutely have to enter PIM info on the fly.

  9. What did the writer mean by iTunes being “big and unwieldy”? Compared with what? I take a dim view of writers who just cough up statements without explaining what they meant.

  10. I have a 15 gig iPod and I praise it everyday, but I never use the calendar or contact extras on a daily basis. The writer’s comments make since in that regard. The contacts extra is great for storing a back-up that you can access when you are in a bind, but if I need an address or phone number I just use my mobile phone. I rarely use the games on my iPod, but then I rarely use the games on my mobile phone. The iPod is for music, period. What makes the iPod better than all the rest is that it has these “extras” that you can use or not use, your choice. All in all after reading the article I think the writer mainly ahs an issue with the marketing not so much the iPod itself or iTunes… and that’s just one persons opinion, windows or not.

  11. The only problem iTunes on Windoze has is when it runs on underpowered hardware. The typical office PC has a midlevel CPU and not enough physical RAM, forcing the PC into use of virtual memory. Top that off with a little spyware and you have a formula for an unstable PC. I would bet that well over half of the PCs in corporate america are loaded with spyware and other sh*t that consume resources well out of proportion to their function. I see this at work every day.

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