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Guest Stockwell

Why Is The Ipod So Good?

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Guest Stockwell

Hi everyone

 

Just a quick question over why the ipod is regarded as being so much better than any other mp3 player? I have read they are supposed to be of better sound quality, easier to use and the fact they are good to look at thanks to mr ive. What do the rest of the design community think? Why is it they are world leaders in this field from a design point of view?

 

Thanks

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Good?

Are we talking about the Apple Ipod?

If so.. well, it was good a couple of years ago, when it was kinda "the first of it's kind".

But overall Apple got lazy and didn't do many modifications over the years (although it would have needed a lot of mods to be a top of the field player).

For example the ipod sucks completely when it comes to sound quality (at least <5.5G, the first ipod with decent sound was the Nano, although it's still on the low end compared to iAudio, Meizu or Iriver), furthermore it's only a plain Mp3/Video Player, it doesn't have any extras like radio or microphone - why? Simply because this way there's a huge market for all those 3rd party accessories and apple gets a sh*tload of money for selling licenses to those companies.

Yeah, ok.. the interface is quite good, but then you need itunes to get you mp3s onto the player -> sucks (you can use winamp with a plugin as an alternative, but still you need software..).

The nano might be nice due to it's dimensions, but come on.. the 1,5" display is just ridiculous (for watching videos or viewing photos).

 

Overall I don't understand the hype about ipods (nowadays), there are plenty of better players out there, but the people keep buying ipods because they don't know better.

 

I personally prefer my Meizu M6 and my Mobiblu cube.

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Good?

Are we talking about the Apple Ipod?

If so.. well, it was good a couple of years ago, when it was kinda "the first of it's kind".

But overall Apple got lazy and didn't do many modifications over the years (although it would have needed a lot of mods to be a top of the field player).

For example the ipod sucks completely when it comes to sound quality (at least <5.5G, the first ipod with decent sound was the Nano, although it's still on the low end compared to iAudio, Meizu or Iriver), furthermore it's only a plain Mp3/Video Player, it doesn't have any extras like radio or microphone - why? Simply because this way there's a huge market for all those 3rd party accessories and apple gets a sh*tload of money for selling licenses to those companies.

Yeah, ok.. the interface is quite good, but then you need itunes to get you mp3s onto the player -> sucks (you can use winamp with a plugin as an alternative, but still you need software..).

The nano might be nice due to it's dimensions, but come on.. the 1,5" display is just ridiculous (for watching videos or viewing photos).

 

Overall I don't understand the hype about ipods (nowadays), there are plenty of better players out there, but the people keep buying ipods because they don't know better.

 

I personally prefer my Meizu M6 and my Mobiblu cube.

 

I feel completely the opposite. The reason it's so good is that it is SIMPLE. Instead of throwing on a bunch of tacky gadgets (like radios, microphones, etc) that nobody really gives a @#$@#$ about (except dorks and techies), they focused on ONE thing: Music playback and integration with your computer. It's flawless. Teh interface is great, the scroll wheel is fantastic. As for sound quality, that again is a stupid argument. Nobody can really tell the difference in sound quality when listening to earbuds or other headphones for the most part. Sure, if you have a seperate battery powered 'headphone amp', and some really nice (over $200) set of headphones, then maybe...but for the most part, it does not matter.

 

Oh, but you may argue, if you hook it up to a stereo... THEN I WOULD NOT USE THE MINIJACK, I would use the dock connector for superior sound.

 

As to the styling, read this article:

 

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable/fr...mind-124912.php

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Guest DCrux

I have a similar article on this topic called Design Rhetoric. Essentially you can't get a design hit by just superior specs -- many MP3 Players before and after have had superior specs. Others point out how innovative the clickwheel is (Apple didn't invent the clickwheel -- can't quite recall who did ...Creative Labs maybe?)

 

It turns out that much of the underlying iPod design was performed by outside companies. The Cupertino folk haven't given up on their heritage of design excellence—they're just bowing to some inevitable directions in consumer electronics by borrowing from established experts linked together for what may be the first design chain for the iPod.

-- Inside the Apple iPod design Triumph

 

 

Apple has never been about inventing ....not the clickwheel ...not the mouse ...not the GUI. Apple understands some things the computer/tech industry has a really, really hard time with -- human factors and integration. In essence, Apple understand what good design is. Not pretty design. Not blobjects. Few would-be competitors understand it's not how many components you cram into a box. And it's not the "lipstick on a pig" product styling either.

 

Ideas like the clickwheel seem like gambles because, while much is made of the term design language, people can't deconstruct a sentence, or "read design." That's why undertanding design rhetoric and rhetorical analysis is so important.

 

It's like the difference between Chess and the game called Go. Most western minds are reductionist, Apple design is emergent.

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Guest lufbrasketch

I think what makes it so good is how its a trend setter for other companies.

Look at how other companies have used things like the technology and the interface....to me thats what makes it a good product. Something which influences other product development.

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I have never been a fan of the iPod. I still invite anyone to take the challenge of giving the iPod to a novice who's never used one, then ask them how to turn it off.

 

I personally have a Sandisk Sansa because it's the equivalent to an Ipod nano for much cheaper, rich in features (video, FM recording, metal case), and doesn't use the dirty whorish iTunes.

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I feel completely the opposite. The reason it's so good is that it is SIMPLE. Instead of throwing on a bunch of tacky gadgets (like radios, microphones, etc) that nobody really gives a @#$@#$ about (except dorks and techies), they focused on ONE thing: Music playback and integration with your computer. It's flawless. Teh interface is great, the scroll wheel is fantastic. As for sound quality, that again is a stupid argument. Nobody can really tell the difference in sound quality when listening to earbuds or other headphones for the most part. Sure, if you have a seperate battery powered 'headphone amp', and some really nice (over $200) set of headphones, then maybe...but for the most part, it does not matter.

 

Oh, but you may argue, if you hook it up to a stereo... THEN I WOULD NOT USE THE MINIJACK, I would use the dock connector for superior sound.

 

As to the styling, read this article:

 

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/portable/fr...mind-124912.php

 

I often use the FM radio to listen to for example the news or if there's a interesting topic being discussed.

With my M6 I even have the possibility to record the radio right away - very useful, at least in my opinion.

 

Yeah.. they focused on music playback...

Everyone (if not complete deaf) will recognize the difference in soundquality between a iAudio and an Ipod right away (using the same earphones), just try it and you'll know what I mean.

You don't need expensive earphones, use for example Sennheiser CX300 (about 40€, inear) or Sennheiser PX100 (headphones ~35€) or even if you use Sony earphones you'll notice the difference right away.

 

I personally use Ultimate Ears Superfi5pro and V-Moda Vibe and with those IEMs (in ear monitor) the difference is even more obvious.

 

Integration with computer flawless? yeah.. if you want to use an extra software to get your music onto the player. For me a flawless integration is when you DON'T need any extra software (just drag and drop) to get your music onto your player.

 

And regarding the dock connector.. why would you use the dock connector? Right. because this way you can bypass the miserable built in amplifier of the ipod and get the sound you're tunes really represent.

So once again an argument for the lush sound quality of the ipod.

Sorry mate, you can try, but you won't be able to change the truth. ;)

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Guest Hazdaz

Marketing!

 

Sure the iPod was one of the first major MP3 players on the market, and sure it has a very simple interface, and sure it interfaces easily with a download site (iTunes), and sure it has a clean design, and sure it is priced (surprisingly for Apple) reasonable. But take all that away and I would say marketing is what really has pushed the iPod over the top in terms of being not just a device, but an actual 'lifestyle'.

 

There are better, cheaper and more innovative media players out on the market right now, but few (if any) allow the seamless connection with a music library on your PC and access to purchasing more songs online. But none have the marketing muscle with stylish TV and print ads that Apple can deliver.

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Guest method

who gives a @#$@#$ about the ipod

 

i for one, do not.

 

i care about how much moneys in the bank, which girl im gonna sleep with this week, what are the world issues, who REALLY cares about other people

 

My god people........who really gives a @#$@#$ about a hard disc in a white plastic case??

 

PS. the owner is not responsible for the content of this message

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Guest DCrux

Sorry, I was under the mistaken belief this forum had some connection to product design. My mistake.

 

I hope the Chinese engineer -- the one with a bootleg copy of solidworks and a spare two hours to whip out "a design," because really any design will do -- can appreciate the work you're doing to commoditize the design idustry and ship it there.

 

Moreover, while styling was what kept buyers coming back year after year for the latest edition of their favorite car, Donner could not stand the prima donnas in charge of automotive styling. So, out of touch with where the public wanted the car companies to go in the future and completely dismissive of those inside of GM who did understand the proper evolution of the automobile, Donner slowly but surely led GM off the path to success. And Donner and his protégés in the accounting towers controlled GM’s fate for the next 35 years.

—GM: Cool But Misguided?

 

Nobody was thinking the same thing at GM and Ford. Both companies consciously declined to trade certain short-term costs, like redesigning and retooling, for possible long-term gains. Not unusual for large, risk-averse corporations. They’d rather be safe than sorry. Let tomorrow take care of itself, is their mindset. You won't hear them talk that way in public. But despite what American automakers’ TV commercials would have you believe, they got left in the dust, buried in confusion over what the public is clamoring for today.

—Corporate short-termism nets less than the long view

 

Essentially to the spreadsheet set, design is what you slather on the specs six weeks before you ship. They don't have users, they have consumers. And marketing has devolved into a price point that moves inventory. And design has devolved into little more than an outsourced modeling software operartor (temp) job.

 

Which is what you get when the sales and finance guys commandeer design. But then, according to that conventional wisdom Apple can't exist. And this one dimensional thinking is what gets you "Apple is Dead" articles every single year. This year, you'll be happy to know Mircrosoft killed off iPod with Zune. No wait, Microsoft never gets anything right the first time -- the next try will really eat into iPods market share. ....Except Zune is Microsoft's next attempt.

 

Well, Microsoft has money. Just wait til the ads run -- you know; the ads that make people buy stuff -- then Apple will be done for. ...No wait. Microsoft is a genius marketer. ....no wait. If Microsoft is a genius marketer why do they need the much fabled several tries to get something right.

 

The commodity and management-by-spreadsheet mindset simply can not understand why Apple exists. They don't understand what a highly devoted customer base looks like or how to produce the products that earn that level of devotion. It must be advertising ...because I really love my blender that much. You'll find the atitude with almost every design focussed company.

 

Or maybe they haven't got the "magic jingle" Apple has that forces people to buy badly designed products. Sorry, that's an archaic word. I believe the modern word for magic market-defying fairy dust is branding today. Let me introduce a new word into the vocabulary: Brand Dissonance. That's where your products catch up to your sales hype.

 

Who ended up running the company? Sales guys. At the critical juncture in the late ’80s, when they should have gone for market share, they went for profits. They made obscene profits for several years. And their products became mediocre.

 

—Steve Jobs, OK, Mac, Make a Wish Apple’s ‘computer for the rest of us’ is, insanely, 20

 

Apple was in the same spot Microsoft is. Led by people who discounted, dismissed, and misunderstood design. And they got the same results GM, Ford, and Apple's own competitors get. Apple is much better now.

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Guest R.B

I don't think it really is that good, it's just alright, but with a massive marketing campaign to pull it in. It isn't any easier to figure out and use over the Creative Zen for instance, it doesn't look that much better, the features aren't better...the battery that can't be replaced is cheeky bit of extra money for them, being forced into using iTunes is a major pain (I've used iTunes at work, there are aspects of it I like, but mostly, it's a heaving pile of kack).

 

What I think it does excel in, with the advertising blanket, is the after market sales, they just have so many add-on's and covers etc you can get for it over the other players out there.

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Guest DCrux
But take all that away and I would say marketing

 

I think we're stuck in "but take that all away" mode here.

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But take all that away and I would say marketing

 

I think we're stuck in "but take that all away" mode here.

 

I've owned a few MP3 players and I've liked my iPod the best. easily. The RCA, the nomad, they all suck in comparison. They just aren't as nice to use. Some of you sound like camaro owners trying to tell me camaros are better cars than porsches because they're faster. Sure. Whatever. It's faster. I really don't care, the iPod is still better.

 

B)-->

QUOTE(R.B @ Jan 5 2007, 08:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't think it really is that good, it's just alright, but with a massive marketing campaign to pull it in. It isn't any easier to figure out and use over the Creative Zen for instance, it doesn't look that much better, the features aren't better...the battery that can't be replaced is cheeky bit of extra money for them, being forced into using iTunes is a major pain (I've used iTunes at work, there are aspects of it I like, but mostly, it's a heaving pile of kack).

 

What I think it does excel in, with the advertising blanket, is the after market sales, they just have so many add-on's and covers etc you can get for it over the other players out there.

 

That's bullshit. Anybody who has the slightest inkling of mechanical ability can change a battery on an iPod. You just pry them open, pop off the rear cover, and teh battery is right there. Simply unplug it, and put in a new one.

 

Now what I HATE about iPods, are the easily destroyable hard drives and the retardedly high prices that new drives cost. It's simply NOT WORTH it to repair an iPod with a bad hard drive. You're better off buying a new one.

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Guest R.B

I don't think it really is that good, it's just alright, but with a massive marketing campaign to pull it in. It isn't any easier to figure out and use over the Creative Zen for instance, it doesn't look that much better, the features aren't better...the battery that can't be replaced is cheeky bit of extra money for them, being forced into using iTunes is a major pain (I've used iTunes at work, there are aspects of it I like, but mostly, it's a heaving pile of kack).

 

What I think it does excel in, with the advertising blanket, is the after market sales, they just have so many add-on's and covers etc you can get for it over the other players out there.

 

That's bullshit. Anybody who has the slightest inkling of mechanical ability can change a battery on an iPod. You just pry them open, pop off the rear cover, and teh battery is right there. Simply unplug it, and put in a new one.

 

Now what I HATE about iPods, are the easily destroyable hard drives and the retardedly high prices that new drives cost. It's simply NOT WORTH it to repair an iPod with a bad hard drive. You're better off buying a new one.

 

yes, because voiding your warranty is a good thing.....and of course everyone is mechanically inclined or a designer....if you think that way, you are very blinkered in your thinking. People are stupid, don't over estimate there abilities just because you can do something easily, look at it in the vain of an old person who could knit a jumper in a day who gives you the knitting needles.

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