IBS: ‘Choosing an iPod similar to buying an Apple computer instead of Windows, it is a more expensiv

“When it comes to choosing an MP3 player — or any digital music player — it’s all about size. You want to buy as much storage space as you can afford and as small a device as you can find,” Rick Ellis writes for Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS).

MacDailyNews Note: Heads up, brace yourselves, here it comes…

“No discussion of music players is complete without discussing the Apple iPod. Apple’s MP3 player is trendy and has lots of accessories to choose from, and it tends to hold more music than most people could ever listen to in one lifetime. But it is also a more expensive, proprietary device,” Ellis writes. “Choosing an iPod is similar to buying an Apple computer instead of a Windows computer. Either you can’t live without them, or you think they’re over-hyped and over-priced.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This article has already been picked up by over one hundred television stations’ and other media outlets’ websites that are affiliated with IBS which, according to Nielsen, is the #1 Local News Provider on the Web, covering more news viewers than any other local media publisher.

IBS Operates in:
– All “Top 10” US Nielsen markets
– 22 of the Top 25 markets, covering 93% of in-market Households
– 41 of the Top 50 markets, covering 89% of in-market Households
– 60 markets in total, covering 64% of all US Households

In the interest of clarity, we must first point out that no iPod holds more music than most people could ever listen to in one lifetime, unless, of course their lifetime is shorter than 41.67 days (60 GB iPod Photo holds up to 15,000 4-minute songs, according to Apple. That’s 60,000 minutes, or 1,000 hours, or 41.67 days). We understand Ellis was trying to illustrate iPod’s tremendous storage capacity. We’ll leave it to you to decide if he was trying to insinuate to his readers that buying an iPod would be overkill.

Now, for the more serious issue: what’s “proprietary” about Apple’s iPod that can play AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF, and Audible files vs., for example, a Dell DJ that can only play MP3, WMA, or WAV files? Which one is more compatible with more formats? AAC with Fairplay DRM files from Apple’s iTunes Music Store are “proprietary,” according to Ellis, but WMA files with Microsoft’s DRM aren’t?

Also, note how Ellis seems to try to take out Macintosh computers at the same time he goes after iPod? Why does Ellis do this? Why is this written this way? Is it sloppiness, ignorance, or something else? This hit piece needs to be explained and corrected:

Mr. Ellis has an email address: rellis@ibsys.com

In addition, IBS has an online contact form:


  1. Why is Mr. Ellis writing nonsense about Macs and iPods on a site devoted to sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Maybe he was suffering from a bout of craps when he wrote this drivel, but no wonder I’m not taking their criticism of Apple very seriously…

  2. I wrote Ellis and IBS a note explaining that the iPod isn’t any more “proprietary” than any other player. I also asked who Ellis’ editor was and why this article was allowed through fact checking.

    But, it’s really too bad that literally hundreds of thousands of people will read this and believe this crap. By the time they correct it, if they ever do, it won’t matter much.

  3. no seriously.. with the HP deal.. the iPod has economies of scale in its favour..

    .. kinda like the way IBM got kicked out of the PC party… just like Apple…

    Furthermore.. you have to decide what the most expensive part of an iPod is.. maybe it’s those damn HardDrives.. which are made by 3rd parties..

    so economies of scale dictates taht it doesnt matter which music player you pick, they’ll all benefit from economies of scale…

    but make no mistake.. with 90% of the HD music player market.. ECon of Scale is on Apple’s side.. they WILL bring the price down as soon as the supply catches up with demand…

    until then.. their profits will blossom as costs come down..

  4. That is one of the most gratuitous hatchet-jobs I’ve seen in a long time. A very concise, practical, quick-guide to MP3 players just suddenly gives Apple and the iPod a kick in the balls. I’ll bet he’s pissed off because he didn’t get any freebies.

  5. All jabs and insults aside, this is just a sad case of a writer basing his story on hearsay and ‘common’ knowledge, but not facts or research. You hope and pray that a ‘reporter’ would actually check his facts and write an article that isn’t replete with so many errors as to be scoffed and scorned by people who actually know these things.

  6. Once again Mac users are going to be perceived as lemmings when they flame this guy.

    I wish MDN would politely correct writers rather than inciting a whole lot of negative feedback to be dumped upon them.

    I am ashamed of MDN when it acts in this way.

    Apple deserves better coverage but we’re not going to get it for them by behaving like idiots.

  7. Pete,

    MDN called an obvious hit piece a hit piece. What did they do to make you “ashamed?” You sound foolish. This writer tried to screw Apple and the iPod with lies. MDN points it out. MDN doesn’t tell their readers to flame the guy. Read it again. MDN points out the guy’s lies and/or mistakes. As it should be. Same as Dan Rather on CBS. Caught red-handed. Liars cannot get away with it anymore. The people have the power now! Keep up the great work, MDN!!!

  8. I just sent the following note to Mr. Ellis and to IBS:

    I found your article “What Should You Look For In A Music Player?” (http://www.wral.com/technology/3907361/detail.html) irresponsible on a number of levels. First, with regard to your comment that the iPod “tends to hold more music than most people could ever listen to in one lifetime”, that is completely untrue. The largest iPod, 60GB, holds just 41.67 days of music. The impression that a reasonable reader would get from such a comment is that buying an iPod would be overkill for their needs. That is clearly not the case.

    The iPod line now holds dominating market share in the realm of portable music players – and with good reason. Analysts project that Apple will sell a mind-boggling 4 million iPods this quarter alone. For a market that is far from maturing, that is incredible.

    Your asertions that there is something “proprietary” about Apple’s iPod is worse yet. The iPod can play AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF, and Audible files vs., for example, a Dell DJ that can only play MP3, WMA, or WAV files. Clearly, the iPod is more compatible whether you’re on a Mac or a Wintel machine. If you were referring to the market-dominating, award-winning iTunes music store, then sure, AAC with Fairplay DRM files (as purchased from that store) are “proprietary” but WMA files with Microsoft’s DRM are more so! After all, WMA is a completely proprietary format whereas AAC (also known as MP4) is open.

    You also seem to try to take out Macintosh computers at the same time you goes after the iPod. Why would you do that? The Macintosh is a far more reliable, secure, and open (based on BSD UNIX) operating system than Windows. There is nothing incompatible at all about Macintosh, and in fact the incompatibility is on the other side. For example, I can browse any Windows or Novel network with my Mac with no problem. Files produced on Macs are completely compatible with files produced on Windows. The myth of incompatibility that you subtly perpetuate through your innuendo is a disservice to your readers.

  9. Do people who buy iPods really care what a computer geek thinks? Newsflash! The Samsung phone I have has “proprietary” software on it to run its color screen. What the fsck does “compatibility” have to do with consumer products? The phone just works – like an iPod!

    Does the iPod play MP3s? YES! Does it work with a computer (sorry Linux folks, I will assume Mac or Windows)? YES! Is there something to put my songs on it? YES!

    The platform wars are over, Windows won over Mac OS Classic. Maybe OS X will do something in the new millenium. But for now, all you computer geek reporters, STAY OUT OF THE CONSUMER PRODUCTS MARKET!

    You do not know what you are talking about!

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