New York Times’ Pogue: iPod Mini rivals worth a look

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.


  1. As a proud owner of a 20 gb ipod i would not recommend a cheaper non-apple player to anyone. the non-apple players look like trash….i have used non-apple products in the past and they all felt cheap and broke easily….

  2. Funny.. There are bound to be iPod haters.. as the monopoly solidifies..

    Kinda like.. gee..Microsoft? (points to everyone in the room)

    Take it as a compliment…

    But really.. I’ve noticed this iPod backlash for a while.. even from PC users who refuse to give Apple any money… That is totally beyond reason. They hate QT.. they hate Apple.. they think its crap…

    They probably think a G5 is equivalent to a 2.5 Ghz P4…

    There was another PC user who wanted an iPod and he said, “But the iPod is the best.. I definitely want one” I think it’s only the extremely hardcore (the iPod hater was an Computer Tech in Training.. doing IT in school etc) who have anything against Apple.. for most its the good ol’ I word:


  3. Let the pc masses and their “cheap!cheaper! cheapest!” mantras wallow in their nondescript world of crappy, uninteresting, uncreative, good enough universe.
    If we all followed the good enough philisophy it would be a very boring world. thank God for companies like Apple ..

    I really don’t care anymore about competitors .. at least we can have confidence now that Apple will be around for a long time to come and its installed base (loyal and not flitting around to the cheapest alternative) will ensure that.

  4. LOL. MDN even though what you are saying is true, I had to laugh. Substitute software for accessories and computer for player in the following quote and you will see why: “don’t expect to find many accessories for your odd-ball player”.

    But it is nice to have the shoe on the other foot for once. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Al
    I hate to say this but, a lot of the reasons we give for not buying an ‘iPod mini wannabe’ sound a lot like a lot of the reasons they give for not buying a Mac.

    State some of those reasons then.

    Reasons for not buying a mini knock off (that are not reasons for not buying a Mac):

    1. more elegantly designed hardware.
    2. sturdy.
    3. seamless integration between player and software.
    4. best user interface.
    5. beautiful, and refined looking.
    6. status symbol.

    Okay, so let’s hear yours.

  6. With speculation about the new minis that are likely to be on the way soon (MWSF Jan 10), I just had an idea..

    What if Apple releases 2 lines of minis.. one say is the “low end” model, similar to the current line-up, with either 4GB or 5GB HD, and a newer flashier model with a color screen, maybe better battery life, some new spiffy features, and either a 5GB or 6GB HD, depending on what is available (basically 1GB more than the low end).

    So even if the difference in capacity is minimal, you still have a color screen and maybe 1 or 2 cool new flashy features on the color model.

    What do you guys think?

  7. Get a Rio Karma, you have to slam it on a desk to make it work!

    Rememeber one thing, one these companies sell you a player and they can’t sell anymore, out of buisness they go! HO HO OOHHH!

    IBM PC, Gateway PC, EMachines PC, Compaq PC


    You a cheep bastard to buy a inferior player for $50 less expect problems just like the Sony and Rio’s.

  8. As for the headline up there – the last three words – “Worth a look” – okay, they’re all worth a look just to make sure that what you’re REALLY going to buy, an iPod, is really the item with which you will be most satisfied and happy!

  9. Must say that out here in the tropics, wild screaming was the result of my frere’s distribution of 3 iPod Minis from under the X’mas tree. Who cares about the rest. Ouiiiii…….

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