At last, Gapless Playback

The long-rumored touchscreen/Bluetooth widescreen iPod did not arrive, but Gapless Playback did. And that’s enough to get my hubby happy and at last purchase one. He was always saying that listening to “The Dark Side of the Moon” with gaps was not how the artist was intented it to be listened and so he snobbed the iPod for the last few years. Not anymore, I guess… Let’s see how long it will take him to rip his 350 CDs that he has purchased over the years.

The new iTV thingie seems nice, although as Thom pointed out, not having a standard HiFi size might be a problem for some living rooms. Maybe an XServe-looking iTV thin box would have been much cooler, a perfect way to show off to your (geek) friends.

Post a comment »

KCorax wrote on September 12th, 2006 at 9:32 AM PST:

About iTV, isn’t 299$ the cost of a core xbox that let’s you do the same things for a pc that has media center ? And it also plays games doesn’t it ?


Algogo-com wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 4:44 AM PST:

Yes,I think it plays.


KCorax wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 4:48 AM PST:

The prices you describe are US I suppose ? That’s not the case where I am the xbox remote costs 35E.

About the 800.11g, if I get windvd to play a dvd that is in my desktop and watch it on my latpop using a g dsl/wifi combo router, then I think it does cut it.

Serisously now, in a home with products like Slingbox and Sony’s new LocationFree supporting media and other random consoles and media servers, a closed circuit product that only plays with one brand is in tough competition. Not the place I’d wanna be if I were Apple…


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 7:17 AM PST:

The prices you describe are US I suppose ? That’s not the case where I am the xbox remote costs 35E.

Yes, I was referring to the U.S., but upon double-checking, the 360 remote here is $30, not $40. Oops. So the $440 I quoted is really $430 (300 + 100 + 30). My mistake. Still much higher than $300, though.

About the 800.11g, if I get windvd to play a dvd that is in my desktop and watch it on my latpop using a g dsl/wifi combo router, then I think it does cut it.

DVDs are low-quality video, and as I said, g is mostly workable in these situations. (Personally, I stream SD content quite often over my g connection, mostly with good results.) There are many tests online where people have posted their experiences using the 360’s media center extender capabilities over g and have had mixed results with higher-resolution content. (I get around 24 megabits/sec on mine, which is workable, but most of my friends in higher-interference areas [apartments, etc.] don’t get that.)

a closed circuit product that only plays with one brand is in tough competition. Not the place I’d wanna be if I were Apple…

Not that your point is necessarily wrong, but the 360 only “plays with one brand” (of course, that brand is Microsoft and the product is Windows, so that’s huge). Steve specifically said that the iTV would work with either the Mac or the PC, so it’s not really “one brand” other than (presumably) requiring iTunes. But since iTunes has millions upon millions of users, that might not prove to be an impediment.


KCorax wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 7:38 AM PST:

We are still comparing current prices with what Apple expects a product to ship at in January 2007.

About the dvd: dude I’m not encoding/streaming, I’m seeing my desktop’s dvd drive as a net share and playing from it. And I’m doing it out of need, my laptop’s battery is old and it really makes sense to use wifi instead of an optical drive.

> but the 360 only “plays with one brand”
One brand that allows you to watch tv. This brand fits well in a market that has services like tivo, netflix and sat tv in it. Apple still has to beat that.

God I’m so biased, signing off.


MatzeLoCal wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 8:10 AM PST:

iTV will play games… did I miss something????


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 8:25 AM PST:

> while I like that my DVD player, audio receiver, and ATSC tuner are all the standard width, my Xbox and my Xbox 360 are not, nor were my old roommate’s PS2 and Gamecube

You are forgetting that these gaming devices are in constant usage by children to change disks, so they have to be accessible in front of the TV (maybe on top of a living room table) rather on top of the TV (which can be high to reach for a small kid).

This is not true for the iTV though. The iTV you turn it ON once and you leave it ON. Therefore, it is a better candidate to be 43cm wide rather than any of the gaming consoles you mentioned. But it ain’t 43cm.

We have a TV input-exchanger at home. It has the standard 43cm size, but its electronics inside only take about 1/4 of the device. It is a very light device. And yet, these chinese manufactuers decided to go with the standard size, even if their device didn’t have to be as wide.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 9:07 AM PST:

Obviously not the kind of games XBox can. You can’t really compare Pacman with Halo. :D


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 10:53 AM PST:

The 360 is a great piece of hardware, no doubt about that (I love mine), and it’s conveniently subsized by the profits Microsoft collects from every game sold, so the hardware is cheap. Of course, the $300 price comparison ignores the fact that neither the core nor the premium Xbox 360 comes with a remote (the $400 premium model originally did as a limited-time “buy one of the first n units” special offer, but no longer does) and neither model has wireless (it’s a $99 accessory), so it’s really $440ish (that’s for the baseline core + wireless + remote) vs. $300 for the iTV. Not that the Xbox 360 is a bad price — far from it, IMHO — but it’s important to note when you compare prices. Of course, if you don’t need wireless (most people do, but some lucky people have wired homes) or already have a bridge or an AirPort Express bridging with WDS (like me), then the 360 price comes down again.

Another factor to consider is that the iTV speculatively might not use g (Steve only said 802.11); given the product’s timeframe, I wouldn’t be shocked to see n. The 360’s wireless adapter is g only, which is fine for music, etc., but as many places on the web have shown, is questionable (mostly workable with the right wireless conditions, but…) for HD video. AFAIK, we don’t yet know whether the iTV will support HD. For example, if you used your Miglia running El Gato’s EyeTV software. Certainly, the 360 does via Media Center. Of course, it’s just speculation whether the iTV will have g or n. In the same spirit of speculation, I didn’t catch whether the iTV’s ethernet port is gigabit or not, but the 360’s is 10/100 only. Not too big of a deal, since I imagine 100 is workable for pretty much all content, but it’s another possible bullet point, if the iTV is indeed gigabit.

As for Thom’s objection, while I like that my DVD player, audio receiver, and ATSC tuner are all the standard width, my Xbox and my Xbox 360 are not, nor were my old roommate’s PS2 and Gamecube. (I’m not sure off-hand whether the PS3 will be.) Nor are many DVD players you see in stores, many DVRs, etc. I don’t personally think it’s a dealbreaker, but his mileage obviously varies. As for his comment that it’s just a (outrageously priced) glorified receiver, that’s simply asinine. It’s not like the $160 DLink player on Amazon outputs to high def; hell, it doesn’t even have HDMI or DVI output. (I haven’t heard whether the iTV will have the processing capabilities required to decode HD video, but between the connectors offered and Steve’s comments, especially during the photos portion, it’s pretty clear that the iTV will output a high resolution to the TV.)


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:40 AM PST:

You are forgetting that these gaming devices are in constant usage by children to change disks

It’s not worth arguing, but just as an aside, the vast majority of PS2, Xbox, and Xbox 360 owners are not children. :) Realizing this trend made Sony a bucketload of money with the PS1 and PS2. Not the main point, of course, but for most people, a console has to be no more accessible than a DVD player (I’d wager that more children watch DVDs than have an PS2/Xbox/Xbox 360.) And if you go to an electronics store these days, only a portion of the DVD players are the standard width.

We have a TV input-exchanger at home. It has the standard 43cm size, but its electronics inside only take about 1/4 of the device. It is a very light device. And yet, these chinese manufactuers decided to go with the standard size, even if their device didn’t have to be as wide.

Sure. As I mentioned, most of my electronics are also that width. What I don’t quite understand is why it’s that crucial. I guess it hurts stack-ability, but are people really stacking their DVD player on top of their DVR on top of their receiver now? Most setups I’ve seen, mine included, have a shelf per device, or stack at most two. So it just doesn’t sound like the end of the world to me. It could either rest on its own shelf or be stacked on top of any other wider device. I could see someone saying that it would be nice to have it be the standard width, but I can’t think of any situation off-hand where it’s crucial. How could Thom not fit it anywhere? It’s less wide! That means that it could go on top of a wider device, no?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:44 AM PST:

>but are people really stacking their DVD player
>on top of their DVR on top of their receiver now?

YES. We are out of space here, so our input-exchanger is on top of our DVR. And our Yamaha thingie is on top of the Sony CD changer.

In today’s modern livingrooms there are many devices that people have to have included. It is much PRACTICAL to stack then on top of each other, because space doesn’t come for free.


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:45 AM PST:

In today’s modern livingrooms there are many devices that people have to have included. It is much PRACTICAL to stack then on top of each other, because space doesn’t come for free.

Ok, so why can the less-wide device not be stacked on top of the wider devices?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:49 AM PST:

Because you can’t stack anything on top of it, and because it will look out of place. It won’t look uniformed.


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:49 AM PST:

btw: by “entertainment center”, I meant a piece of furniture for electronics equipment. That can mean either the big furniture pieces or just a stereo rack like this.


Billy wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 11:53 AM PST:

Because you can’t stack anything on top of it, and because it will look out of place. It won’t look uniformed.

Sure, the least-wide unit will obviously go on top. But now the complaint is “it won’t look uniform”, not Thom’s complaint saying you won’t be able to put it anywhere. (Not looking uniform is a valid complaint, but it’s certainly less of an issue than “it won’t physically fit”, no?)


Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.