Portable Audio

Apple Announces New iPod Touch
October 4, 2011

At the “Let’s Talk about iPhone” event today, Apple also found time to introduce new versions of the iPod touch. The popular device—Apple VP Phil Schiller claimed it is the most popular music player and mobile gaming system in the world will be available with black and white finishes, and will support the forthcoming iOS 5. The new device will be available on October 12 in the US.

Apple Reportedly To Axe The iPod Classic, iPod Shuffle
September 28, 2011

Apple is planning to kill off the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle later this year, according to the Apple news site TUAW.com. The piece, which gives no sourcing for the story (other than to say it isn’t coming from an analyst), notes that the Classic uses a hard drive, while Apple is transiting to flash-based memory in more products. The Shuffle’s appeal has always been limited due to its lack of a display screen.

Apple's iPod Dilemma
July 29, 2011

While Apple is setting records with its iPad and iPhone, the iPod is sinking fast. Apple sold just 7.5 million iPods in its most recent quarter. It was the lowest since the fall of 2005, when the iPod was just 4 years old.

Unit sales fell 20% from a year ago and revenue from those sales dropped 15%.

It's still a lucrative business for Steve Jobs & Co., bringing in $1.3 billion in sales over the past three months. But sales have been in a free-fall for the past three years.

iPod Sales Expected to Decline 7.2% Year Over Year
July 18, 2011

iPod sales hit 22.7 million in the Christmas quarter of 2008 and have been going downhill, with seasonal spikes, ever since.

The quarter that ended nearly three weeks ago is likely to continue that trend, according to the 43 analysts -- professional and amateur -- we polled in advance of our quarterly earnings smackdown.

For once, the two groups are in agreement. According to their median estimates, they both expect Apple to report sales of 8.39 million units in Q3 2011 -- down 7.2% from the same quarter last year.

Sony Drops MiniDisc Players Years After Losing MP3 Crown
July 8, 2011

Sony on Friday said it was cancelling sales of its last MiniDisc player, the MZ-RH1. It would "complete" shipments of the five-years-old player in September 2011. The recordable 1GB Hi-MD discs it can use will phase out a year later. The company explained outright that "demand has decreased" for MiniDisc and that flash-based media players had taken over. Older style MiniDiscs would still be on sale for the foreseeable future. Sony first launched MiniDiscs in 1992 at the height of its popularity for portable music.

Mother's Day Gifts 2011: Ditch the Flowers, Go for Gadgets
May 5, 2011

Tired of giving your mother flowers that always end up dead in the garbage? Hate that the jewelry you bought for her never sees the light of day -- well, except for that one Halloween? Want to do something grander than a homemade card? I mean, you aren't in kindergarten anymore anyway. Then here's the ultimate Mother's Day shopping guide for you. Ditch the daisies, forgo the diamonds and leave the breakfast in bed to the children. This is the year for gadgets

Why Did the iPod Win and TiVo Lose?
April 27, 2011

Both were media-consumption game changers. But why did the iPod spark Apple's media empire while TiVo had to turn to suing companies that capitalized on its innovations?

A decade ago, two products were introduced that would change the way we consume media. One of them allowed us to carry hundreds, even thousands of songs around in our pocket so we could listen to whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. It was called the iPod. The other device allowed us to record dozens of television shows on a digital hard drive

PSP Go Not Dead, says Sony
April 21, 2011

PSP Go was never really successful, and Sony even claimed it was somewhat experimental. Over the last week, reports came in from Japan that the handheld had been discontinued and that retailers would no longer receive any shipments. As it turns out, the PSP Go is not being killed off in America - not yet, at least.

Sony Axes PSP Go After Short-Lived Attempt to Topple iPod
April 20, 2011

Sony on Wednesday confirmed rumors that it was stopping PSP Go production. The company in a statement said it had 'completed' production and was only selling remaining stock before it disappeared entirely. Firmware patches and repairs would still go on, the company told Impress, but the focus was on the NGP's release at the end of the year. The Go first shipped in October 2009 and was conspicuously designed as an answer to the arrival of the iPod touch, whose Internet-based game economy was already cutting into PSP game revenue.

Next-Gen iPods may get Wireless Sync Thanks to Carbon Fiber
April 13, 2011

Using a USB cord to sync your information may become a thing of the past. Apple CEO Steve Jobs is apparently pushing hard to make wireless syncing standard in the next iPod, according to a source from Cult of Mac. Jobs sees WiFi syncing as a way to renew interest in iPods, which have become increasingly obsolete with the mass adoption of iPhones.

The next iPod may also be sporting a carbon fiber casing to help solve problems with wireless synching, including issues with reliability, signal strength, case design and battery life.