Microsoft's new "iPod Killer"

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Text from recent email I received from Paul Thurrot's Widnows SuperSite. Boldface font is my doing... ___________________________________ Reports on the Web suggest that Microsoft is moving a secret internal project--which I've been briefed on--into the product development stage. If true--and I have no reliable information to suggest it is-- Microsoft will go head-to-head with Apple's iPod in the portable MP3 player market as early as the upcoming holiday season. A report in the "The Seattle Times" says that Microsoft's MP3 player is code-named Argo after the ship that Jason and the Argonauts used to pursue the Golden Fleece. Microsoft's MP3 player is being developed by members of the Xbox team led by J Allard, an Xbox team cofounder. According to "The Seattle Times" reporter Brier Dudley, Microsoft is firmly behind the new player and has committed "hundreds of millions" of dollars to its development and marketing. Various reports say that the Argo player could be on the market as early as the upcoming holiday season, which would be an amazingly aggressive schedule. The Argo player will allegedly include a large wide-screen display, an iPod-like UI, Wi-Fi capabilities (so that users can download content from the MTV URGE online service without having to be connected to a computer), and possibly even video game features. The most alluring aspect of Argo is a new service that Microsoft is reportedly going to offer with the device. Essentially, Microsoft will scan your computer for any songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store and make those songs available to you from URGE for free, and in higher-quality Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. Microsoft will pay the record companies fees that are owed on the songs, so the net effect is that you've purchased the songs again, but Microsoft has paid for them. Although these costs are expected to be extravagant, Microsoft feels it's the only way it can overcome the final hurdle of moving people from the iPod: If users can't bring their music collections with them, many won't abandon Apple's device. If these reports are true and Microsoft can pull off a late-2006 release, it could be just enough for the company to overcome some of the negative momentum created in the wake of massive delays in Windows Vista, Longhorn Server, and the 2007 Microsoft Office system. And as Dudley points out in his report, the new player could help boost Microsoft's earnings in the crucial end-of-year quarter. Microsoft officially dismissed reports about Argo as "rumors and speculation" and hasn't further discussed the player in public. But various recording industry sources say they've been briefed on the player, lending credence to the rumors. Stay tuned. ____________________________ So let's get this straight, Microsoft is going to buy it's way against it's number 1 competitor, Apple? There's a problem here. Many of us listen to MP3 CD's in our car's CD players. Very few car CD players recognize the WMA format. Will a person go out and buy a new stereo head unit just so it can play WMA files, which are the default format for Microsoft's media products? Lastly, if Microsoft was to put this to market and miss the Christmas buying season, they'd look like fools once again. Vista is woefully behind schedule. To dealy another 'giant' consumer product is only bad news for Microsoft.
 
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The only way M$ can beat Apple here (or anywhere it seems) is to pay for it. Not a surprise, is it? That company is an embarrassment. Scott
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Zee1: M$ jumps in everyone's koolaid and steals the recipe, then makes it their own, and successfully so.
Um, not really. They may be the biggest, but what they make is not of the same quality. They've failed miserably on many fronts, but they have so much money, it hasn't started catching up to them until recently. Just another lame attempt at being the bully in the tech-world.
 

JHZR2

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stupid question - say I own CDs and rip them as high quality MP3s... Cant I just buy a player to play themdirect, like in the old days? Frankly, Im 25 and relativley hip... but there isnt much music coming out that is decent and Id want to buy anyway. Paris Hilton? come on! I want the equivalent of CDEX and winamp, in a portable unit with USB interface. I dont want something like itunes where when I convert to their interface, I cant transfer the file from computer to computer - makes a lot more headache when Im 10 years and 3 computers down the road... JMH
 

JHZR2

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OK, then not to hijack the thread, but how do you play real MP3 through the ipod without itunes??? My fiancee got an ipod nano, and I hooked it to my mac mini. I put the MP3 files into it, but they showed up as files and would play the music. I must have done something wrong... Thanks! JMH
 
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To play music on the Nano, you do need to use iTunes to load it. If you put files on the Nano from the desktop, they're just there as data files, and won't play. Scott
 
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I own a 2nd hand Ipod mini, which is built like a tank-all metal case; it has been thru rough stuff, and probably still can got thru a lot. My wife uses the ipod to play music in her car thru a cassette adapter, and it works great! I wonder what kind of build-quality the MS palyers will have... That Ipod mini is the only thing from apple that I have, but we love it. about car-stereos: a lot of the newer head-units in the low-mid price range do seem to have WMA these days, which might become a pretty "normal" thing. I'd also like to know how to use an Ipod WITHOUT I-tunes.
 
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you don't need itunes, even with an ipod you don't need it. cloest thing to what you are describing that I have seen is the older style dell dj, worked great....till the battery gave out - then I knew it wasn't just apple using trash batteries, which is why I steered clear of an ipod for so long and will continue to do so. My step dad has 4 ipods with dead batteries. As far as M$ goes I believe their MP3 player will be a pretty big hit, they have the financial backing to make it one and there is obviously a big market out there that wants something new - which will also drive down the price of the ipod, which is just ridiculously ludicrous.
 

JHZR2

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quote:
To play music on the Nano, you do need to use iTunes to load it. If you put files on the Nano from the desktop, they're just there as data files, and won't play.
Is it different on the non-nano ipods??? Ive heard you can even boot macs from an ipod... yet you cant play old fashioned MP3s without itunes?!?
quote:
I own a 2nd hand Ipod mini, which is built like a tank-all metal case; it has been thru rough stuff, and probably still can got thru a lot. My wife uses the ipod to play music in her car thru a cassette adapter, and it works great!
The fiancee's father plays his ipod in his store non-stop, and takes it out all the time when marlin fishing (he goes a LOT as fishing tackle is his business). Apparently it didnt even have a case until the otter case came out ~last x-mas... still works fine though! Personally, I worry about rotating parts in someting lke that - and I think the originals may have had some issues... but his has been great apparently... and he got a second -60 gig? to put pictures and what not else on too! JMH
 
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No way, ipods are overprices and M$ will capitalize on this even if it costs them money, they will sell it at less than the cost to make it just to capture market share and we all know they will. ipods are ridiculously overpriced, and almost everyone accepts this because the alternatives are almost nonexistant. M$'s answer will be successful, in fact I'd wager that a lot of the ipod fans will switch if apple doesn't lower their price to match.
 
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Well, Zee1, over 45 million people disagree with you - including me. I've got 6 iPods in my house, and they are not overpriced. As for no competition, you're again wrong. There have been plenty of competitors, they just didn't last long. If you think M$ "competing" by losing money to take market share is good, then you'll indeed be happy with whatever P-O-S M$ releases. BTW, Apple just announced another 8.1 million iPods sold...so add that to my number above. Scott
 

JHZR2

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an ipod is a fashion statement at this point... and an MP3 player will be called an ipod the likes of supermarket brand tissue being called kleenex. Apple has more or less cleaned up on this one! when things become household names and fashion statements, you ge to a point where the loosely held monies (uneducated, kids, teens, showoffs, poor folks who feel they 'deserve' good stuff) automatically pay for the right name. The fact that Apple makes a good product only strengthens from there. Apple holds the market for a lot of the non-computer geek educated type, most of their stuff is relatively high end, so they have good share there too - they have the map pretty well covered. MS could undercut severely, but to some extent it would be like buying clothes from k-mart. Theyre mor eor les just as good, but not the right name, and so not the thing to buy. Which one would Paris Hilton be a spokesperson for? The answer to that is pretty evident, and also points to where the holiday money will flow. JMH
 
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Actually, Apple wasn't the first to put out an MP3 player. Second, as much as Wintel PC folks seem to hate Apple and it's products, the iPod had to be superior to get where it is today. It's simple, looks good, and works. That Apple makes it is only a bonus. Scott
 

JHZR2

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youre right, I own a 64 MB intel solid state mp3 player that runs off of one AA battery - and that was not the first gen MP3 player either, by a long shot! But at this point, Apple has taken the cake. Other tissue brands existed before kleenex became the household name that everyone refers to... other MP3 players existed before an 'ipod' became what you call an MP3 player. I just think that the very excellent and populat ipod will become a household name, and a tough to beat product, which others have to play catch up against indefinitely - or at least fora really long time. JMH
 
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