Posts Tagged ‘Apple Lossless’

What the New iPod Video Can Do for You

Monday, November 23rd, 2009
Jeremiah Slivka asked:


The capabilities of the new iPod video continue the developing process of the old capabilities - software, hardware and compatibility with other devices.

Concerning the software, it is well-known that the iPod in general and the iPod video in particular play MP3, audible audio book, WAV, M4A/AAC, protected AAC, AIFF and Apple Lossless audio file formats. Since the 5th generation iPods there is another possibility of playing m4v and mp4 MPEG-4 video file formats. Only non copy-protected WMA files may be copied to an iPod. Other formats are not possible to be played by the iPod and this is the case of FLAC and Ogg Vorbis formats.

Besides, the iPods are especially designed for matching the iTunes media library software. This online music store appeared in 2003 and it sells songs and it was thought exclusively for the iPod users and not for other portable music players. This may have contributed to the success both the iPods and the iTunes music store and to the great development and improvements of the iPod’s capabilities.

The software of the new iPod video has new features - personalized recommendations and video content that can be played on a Pc or transferred to the iPod. The software was upgraded to Version 6, fact that represents a development and a distinct achievement.

Concerning the hardware of the iPods one may say that the first generation iPods were recharged only through FireWire with the help of a small power adapter. The 4th generation iPods may have been charged over USB. The 5th generation iPod may be charged with the help of a dock connector allowing the FireWire cable to be plugged in for the recharge.

Compatibility of the iPods with Windows is the idea of Apple, realized in 2002, fact that contributed to the creation of a Windows version of iTunes in 2003. The iPods could be made to be compatible with a Macintosh and there is also an iPodLinux project.

Some additional features may be mentioned while speaking about the iPods in general and iPod video in particular. The iPods can display text files, fact which is very useful. There are also PDA calendars, some games that were interesting several years ago but they seem outdated nowadays. The games available on almost every iPod except the iPod shuffle are brick, parachute, solitaire, music quiz. The most interesting game is the music quiz, playing some fragments of some songs and waiting the user to identify the song from a list. The disadvantage of this game is that it uses a lot of battery power.

All these capabilities seem to be improved in the case of the new iPod video except the creation of other games or the introduction of new ones. This may be seen as a disadvantage, but if taking into account the fact that it is a case of a portable music player this aspect does not have such a great importance.

The innovation is of course the video capability, although the main features of the new iPod stress on great improvements in the image and sound quality. The video image is surprisingly smooth and in this way may replace the skeptical attitudes with joyful exclamations.

Although it is not the first attempt of bringing video on a portable handheld device, this achievement seems to be the most successful. This success is due to a lot of required work and complicated changes in the software and hardware as well. In a way or another, Apple seems to be the champion in creating special portable devices and maybe some other steps will be taken in the development of the small video portable devices. In this way, maybe a special compatibility with more devices may be developed, ensuring other periods of great success. Other online stores may appear and develop in the tradition of the iTunes music store. Due to iPods from the Apple Company legal content of the downloaded and paid music or TV shows, episodes or other materials is ensured.



What’s in an iPod - And Why Is It So Popular?

Saturday, November 14th, 2009
Mike Singh asked:


Not only is the iPod popular because of its reception from the public, but also because it was Apple’s first and successful attempt at branching out from its iMac products and a reputation of being strictly “computer”. Unlike the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle which use flash memory, the iPod is designed around a central scroll wheel, with the full-sized models storing media on their internal hard-drive. The iPod is also used as an external data storage device, with its internal hardware and software design originally based on a reference design by another company, PortalPlayer. Apple had decided to focus on technical capability, wanting the iPod to focus on the development on the iPod’s simple user interface, along with its ease of use. The iPod’s software for the iPod development was not developed in-house for this, but contracted PortalPlayer, who already had the reference design based on 2 ARM cores. Apple then contracted another company, Pixo, to create and refine the user interface, under CEO Steve Jobs.

Currently the best-selling digital audio player, with over 50 million sold and over 1 billion legal downloaded songs from its iTunes online music store, Apple’s iPod player is the most popular consumer brand in the mainstream of a growing market of digital devices. Whenever the iPod is connected to the host computer, the itune will automatically synchronize musical playlists or entire musical libraries. The iPod can play several different formats: MP3, M4A/AAC, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless audio file formats. The newer iPods can also play MPEG-4 (H.264MPEG-4AVC), .mp4, .m4v, and Quick Time video file formats. It does not support Microsoft’s WMA format – as other media players do – but there is a converter available for non-DRM WMA files with the Windows version of iTunes. MIDI files cannot be played, but can be converted to audio files using the iTunes Advanced menu.

The Apple iPod can be used as a boot disk for a Mac computer, if it is formatted as HFS Plus, allowing one to have a portable operating system installed. If the iPod is formatted on a Mac OS X computer, it uses the HFS Plus file system format; if it is formatted on Windows, the FAT32 is used because Windows cannot access HFS file systems. A compatible third-party software must be used, as simply copying files to the drive will not allow the iPod to properly access them. As of now there are four basic iPod models that you can find on major shopping websites: the iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod photo, and the brand new iPod video. The iPod photo plays all the songs you wish to download to it, but also displays color photos (album cover art, etc.) on the mini-screen to please the eyes in addition to the already pleased ears.

The photo feature is a favorite of most users who purchased this version of the iPod, but like all electronic gadgets, it has its downfalls. The pictures are hard for some to see on the mini screen and some were upset that you MUST purchase a separate plug-in to view pictures on your television screen. When you do buy the extra connection, you will be more than pleased with the clarity of the pictures on screen. All iPod models come with ear bud headphones, an AC Adaptor, and a 2.0 USB cable in addition to the actual hardware itself. Battery life is usually strong in the iPod with anywhere between 12-15 hour battery life (15 hours on the iPod Photo). Various hard drives are available for different versions of the iPod Photo, but a basic rule of thumb to remember with MP3 players is 2,500 songs per 10 GB.



A Brief History of Ipod

Thursday, November 5th, 2009
Roberto Sedycias asked:


iPod is a digital mp3 / mp4 player developed and marketed by Apple Inc., an American consumer electronics multinational corporation. During their research, Apple found that in comparison to available camcorders, digital cameras, and organizers; digital music players recorded poor sales, primarily due to their awful user interfaces. Apple wanted to do something about it and so Jon Rubinstein, Apple’s hardware engineering chief brought together a team comprising of Tony Fadell (who dreamed of a hard disk based music player), Michael Dhuey (hardware engineer), Jonathan Ive (design engineer), and Stan Ng (marketing manager). In less than a year, they designed a hard disk based music player, that had a 5 GB hard drive and capable of storing 1000 songs.

Apple’s iTunes software is utilized to operate the iPod (m3 / mp4 player). The software is compatible with all Mac systems. The operating system is stored on its hard disk. A boot loader program is contained in a NOR flash ROM chip (either 1 MB or 512 KB) which instructs the device to load the operating system from the hard disk. The iPod has a 32 MB of RAM, a portion of which is used to hold the operating system from firmware, and the rest is used to cache songs from the hard disk. Apple also invented a technology whereby the hard disk of iPod could spin up once and about 30 MB of upcoming songs could be cached into the RAM. This did not require the hard disk to spin up for every song and thereby saved battery power. Apple also introduced a Windows version of iPod, at a later stage.

The audio files that iPod (mp3 / mp4 player) supports are MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless audio file formats. MIDI and WMA files can be played only after a convertor accomplishes conversion, for non-Digital Rights Management (DRM). Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and other open-source audio formats are not supported at all.

Apple wanted an extremely user friendly interface and thus adopted the minimalist interface, which features only five essential buttons, namely, Menu (to access functions and to toggle the backlight); Center (for menu item selection); Play/ Pause (this also works as an off switch when held for few seconds); Skip Forward/ Fast Forward; and Skip Backwards/ Fast Reverse. An additional Hold button is provided for accidental button pressing prevention, and it can reset the iPod if it has frozen or crashed. Functions such as volume control, scrolling are handled by the usage of the rotational click wheel. Later models have some minor changes in the functions of the buttons but overall the number of buttons has remained at five.

To market this path-breaking mp3 / mp4 player, they needed a suitable futuristic name and so they hired a freelance copywriter, Vinnie Chieco, and other writers to give a name. Inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the dialogue “Open the pod bay door, Hal!” with reference to the context of the Discovery One spaceship and its white EVA Pods, Vinnie Chieco proposed the name of the product as iPod. The management of Apple accepted the proposed name and on 23 October 2001, the iPod was officially launched. The rest they say is history.

To enable customers to access songs of their choice, Apple opened up an online media store The iTunes Store on 29 April 2003, where individual songs could be downloaded at prices less than a U.S. dollar per song. The purchased songs can be played only on iPods. Subsequent versions of this iPod (mp3 / mp4 player) also featured video capabilities, and thus iTunes Store started selling short videos from 12 October 2005. From 12 September 2006, full-length movies were also available at the iTunes Store.

iPods have come a long way from their inception, and now the latest fifth generation iPods possess multimedia capabilities and are available in both Mac OS and Windows OS versions. Usually, if a new iPod is plugged into a Mac OS computer, then the hard disk of this mp3 / mp4 player is formatted as per the HFS+ file format, and if it plugged into a Windows OS computer, it is formatted as per the FAT32 file format. From being a digital music player, the iPod has now transformed into a digital media player.



Ipod - the Best Selling Portable Music Player

Friday, June 19th, 2009
Ajoy D. Saah asked:


An iPod has become the best selling portable music player. Designed and marketed by Apple Inc., its sale has crossed 140 million pieces. This brand enjoys the market share of more than 60% in portable media players category.

There are many portable media players available in the market. Many big corporations world wide have many such products. Then, what is the reason for such a huge popularity of a single product called ipod?

Ease of use has been cited as the chief reason. An end user finds it difficult to accept a product that is complicated to use. He becomes dissatisfied, distraught and ultimately abandons it. Apple accomplished this factor beautifully. Despite new technologies, an ipod is very easy to use. It gives ample satisfaction to an end user.

iTunes software is required for music downloads from iTunes Store. Both are owned by Apple. Present versions support mac and windows computers. You can download pop music, rock or any type of music. It can play all iTunes Store music and other limited external sources.

An iPod can play mp3, AAc, AIFF and Apple Lossless file format and other limited standard file formats. Music files from Napster and MSN can not be played due to digital rights management issues.

Classic, Nano and Touch are main model line ups. Classic is based on hard drive storage and offer capacities ranging from 20 giga bytes to 160 giga bytes. Nano offers storage ranging from 1 to 8 giga bytes. Latest classic and nano models can play video and image files also. Nano and Touch models are based on Flash memory cards.

It has won many awards as Most Innovative Audio Product, Fourth Best Computer Product and Engineering Excellence. An iPod has become most reputed audio product.