Virgin unveils ‘iPod mini killer’ and openly chides Apple for not allowing iTunes support

Virgin Digital has announced their own “iPod mini killer,” the weirdly-named “Virgin Electronics Player 5GB” which features 5GB of storage (which Virgin bills as capable of holding over 1200 songs), a built in FM tuner, weight of 3.1 ounces, and dual headphone jacks for $249.99. Virgin’s site states, “We’re making these as fast as we can! Should be in stock within 2 weeks.”

In a veiled dig at Apple’s 4GB iPod mini, Virgin’s site reads, “5GB means you’ve got room for over 1200 songs or 80 CDs – give or take a few. No matter how you slice or dice it, we’re talking 25% more space than 4GB.”

In a totally unveiled stab at Apple, Virgin’s site reads, “Buy your music from any download service… well, almost any – The Virgin Player 5GB rusn [sic] music purchased from: Virgin Digital, Real, MusicMatch and coming soon, any Plays For Sure compatible service. Songs downloaded from iTunes are not supported. Its their choice, not ours.”

Virgin’s specs pages states, “Compatible with Windows XP/2000 (Mac support coming)” and “Plays MP3, WMA formats 64 to 320 sampling rates.”

“‘No one else has the same sort of brand energy that Apple or Virgin has. Plus, our heritage is music,’ said Greg Woock, chief executive of Virgin Electronics. ‘Apple is dominating, yes, but the market share that it has today is not going to last,'” AP reports.

More info, photos, and specs here.

MacDailyNews Take: Attention to detail? Perhaps they should get basic English words spelled correctly and fix the typos on their introductory page first. Is this really an “iPod mini killer” or will it be just another slow-selling player that can’t match Apple’s iPod mini?

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple iPod grabs massive market share, leaves also-rans in the dust – October 12, 2004
Apple iPod dominates with 82 percent market share in U.S. retail stores in August – October 11, 2004

62 Comments

  1. Hmmm, 1 GB more, Radio included, crummy user interface (at least compared to the iPod), and same price as the iPod Mini. I can see some people opting for that (not me of course). It will be interesting to see how this does. Virgin has more “cool” factor than some of the other players we have seen so far. We shall have to see if they are cool enough.

    Funky thing is, iPod is becoming the standard name for an MP3 player for a lot of people. Like a “Cresent Wrench” instead of an “Adjustable Open End Wrench”. The other day I showed my iPod to someone and they asked what brand it was. I said “Apple” and they said, “well, I have been meaning to buy an iPod and this one is cool so I will buy an Apple iPod.”

  2. A radio? Gee, I wish my iPod had a radio tuner – NOT! I don’t want ads. I don’t want static from bad channels. I want to be able to choose my songs, my playlist, etc.

  3. Bwahahahaha…do you have to have an emblem on everything? “Intel inside”, “Centrino”, Emblem fixation disorder. NOW….”PlaysForSure” Oh man! This cracks me up. Dude! With an iPod it doesn’t have to be mentioned…it just phucking plays. Your choice not ours, right back to you!

  4. Bring on the competition!!!! Apple swats ’em down like flies. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    (Interesting to see that they are going to add Apple support.)

  5. Another also-ran tries to position themselves in relation to iPod.

    It’s ALL ABOUT iPOD.

    Think of the horror show on Christmas morning… thousands wake up to find this piece of junk under the tree instead of a genuine iPOD….

    Ah, gee, thanks Dad, I think, um……

  6. Yeah, i don’t really get the FM tuner on the MP3 player. I thought the goal was to take the music you like with you because radio seems to be so bad? Anyway, I think Apple might need to attempt to compete on price soon. They still have the cool factor, and iPod is definitely becoming the Xerox of our time (it is a brand, not a verb – “going to xerox something”). But look at the MHz wars. People see 5GB v 4GB and just assume. Plus, it can’t be that long before someone comes up with an “as good” or “better” way to scroll through and view the information. I don’t think there is much concern regarding the portable media centers, but these iPod-copying, music only devices will continue to get better, and Apple really had to stay on there game.

  7. In looking at the Specifications, there are some features that would be nice to see incorporated with existing features of the iPod.

    – one-button access to settings like equalizer, shuffle, etc
    -improvements to the playlist and dj
    – built in FM tuner is a great idea for those occasional times when you’re in someone else’s car and you don’t have a tape adapter/FM tuner with you

  8. WOW! Another FUGLY iPod wannabee. Apple has nothing to worry about (again!) How incredible is it that these other manufacturers keep churning out one FUGLY looking design after another and think that consumers will find them attractive?!!

  9. Radio included
    Built-in FM radio tuner means you don’t have to carry two devices or pay extra to listen to your favorite shock jock morning show or politically correct news program.

  10. ” built in FM tuner is a great idea for those occasional times when you’re in someone else’s car and you don’t have a tape adapter/FM tuner with you”

    Why would you want to have a radio in a car that already has a radio?

    This is not an FM transmitter, but a receiver (standard radio).

    Like ‘AdMan!’ said: “Yeah, i don’t really get the FM tuner on the MP3 player. I thought the goal was to take the music you like with you because radio seems to be so bad?”

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