According to David Pogue, New York Times technology writer, there are several iPod Mini rivals that are worth a look, “the Mini was an enormous hit, and back-ordered for months. Its appeal was never about logic; it’s about emotion, style and status. It’s so small, cool and comforting in the hand that to hold one is to want one… Inevitably, the Mini inspired other companies to send in the clones. This month you’ll be able to choose from four impressive iPod Mini competitors, courtesy of Dell, Rio, Creative and Virgin Electronics… Four great players, each with some superpower that the iPod Mini lacks. It’s curtains for Apple, right? Not so fast. On something that’s as personal and frequently used as a music player, little things make a big difference, and it’s in the Little Things department that the iPod Mini really shines.”
Pogues writes, “The iPod Mini’s rivals aren’t as elegant or as polished, they’re not as thoughtfully conceived, and they may not fill you with as much pure, overwhelming technolust. Apple’s message seems to be, ‘Perfection has a price.’ Thousands of people, however, don’t require perfection; they’d much rather save the 50 bucks. Thousands more would really like a built-in radio or microphone. On the Web, you’ll even encounter a small army of militant iPod haters, people who despise the whole phenomenon: white earbuds, good reviews, status-symbol status and all. For these demographic groups, the arrival of rivals to the Mini is a welcome development.”
MacDailyNews Take: We wouldn’t recommend trying to save a lousy $50 just to have a player that’s less elegant, not as thoughtfully-conceived, and less polished, or because you’re a “militant iPod hater.” If you could save $50 and get a better player and online music buying experience, now that would be something – but you can’t. Still, to each his own, so go get what you want. If you choose a cheaper iPod knock off, don’t expect to find many accessories for your odd-ball player, realize that the world’s best online music store’s songs, Apple’s iTunes Music Store, will be off-limits to your player without first burning CDs and reimporting as MP3s, and understand that Apple will do just fine no matter what you do.