MacWorld 2004

It was sort of a lackluster MacWorld Keynote today. While the iPod Mini looks cool, it’s only $50 less than the normal-sized iPod that’ll now hold 11 more gigabytes of tunes on it. Hmm. I think many of us were expecting an iPod for around $99 or even $149. Don’t get me wrong though, the size is spectacular. Heck, my old-school iPod only holds 5 gigabytes and was a heck of a lot more than $249 at the time.
I was most excited to see GarageBand, a new digital music recording app added to the iLife series. Maybe now I can get off my lazy ass and use my Mac to record some music again.
I realize there are plenty of professional recording applications out there, but the ease of use looks amazing — and I’ve been casually searching for a dead-simple recording program that does essentially what a four-track tape recorder would do. Something to plug into and record — without the bells and whistles. Looks like GarageBand might be fun to play around with.
Lastly, no new PowerBooks! As you may know, I was waiting to see if there would be any new models announced before purchasing a 12″ version. I guess it’s safe to buy — although in a few weeks time they could easily announce new models. I’ve come to the realization that there is no perfect time to buy. One could continue to wait… and wait. And there will always be a better deal on the horizon. Ah well.


  1. Paul says:

    $250? What a disappointment. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the iPod mini since the rumors started swirling about, and now to hear that they’re so expensive is such a let down.
    They look pretty cool (despite their horrific color choices), but how well are they going to sell? I can’t imagine why anybody wouldn’t just spring the extra $50 for 11 more gigs. I guess size is really the only thing they’ve got going for them.

  2. Clint Ecker says:

    I know many non-techie people who would find the $250 price of a 4GB iPod appealing. These people find spending $300 on a 15GB iPod a horrible waste of money because they’d never make use of those 11 empty gigs.
    If they could spend $250 on a 4GB or $175 on a 2GB they’d feel their money was well spent. These people probably have a max of 1GB of music on average. I think that these are the people who will be buying these iPod Minis.
    It also makes a lot of sense why they’d drop the 10G and move up to 15GB for the low-end “Macro Pod”. People aren’t really looking for the cheapest unit per se, but the item that makes them feel the best about their purchase. I think that the segment Apple is targeting with the mini iPod responds to that “feeling” and not the overall price of the unit,

  3. huphtur says:

    I was hoping for the ipod mini to be without a HD, but this one still has a HD (moving parts), so NOT good for running (eventhough apple says its ok for running). I guess I will have to stick to my oldskool Intel Pocket Concert.

  4. ray says:

    Yeah, i was waiting on news of a new/upgraded powerbook as well…
    think i’m gonna wait another month or so before pickin up my 12″ version.

  5. Steven says:

    Despite a fairly lackluster event, I’m pretty stoked about GarageBand. Like Dan, I’ve been looking for what is basically a computer-based 4-track that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I think GB is going to be just the ticket. I’ve already pre-ordered mine.

  6. charlie says:

    get psyched to lay down a badass version of Cabeza de Carne

  7. Check out the MacRumours Buyer’s Guide, which provides buying recommendations based on product cycles (and rumours). Very useful.

  8. Mike says:

    I’m so upset. I wrote more about it over here at my blog.
    Besides the iPod crap, I’m infinitely more upset about how Steve Jobs didn’t address the numerous QA, LCD display, and hardware issues popping up in the new 15″ Aluminum Powerbooks.
    There are a ton of very unhappy customers out there with massive white spots on their LCD screen, screaming at Apple for an update or some sort of a lifeline. Fortunately, I’m waiting a few months to get a new Powerbook, but what about people that were screwed by Apple with shotty-QA performed by our beloved fruit company?
    I’d be outraged if I had a white-spotted Powerbook.

  9. Jay says:

    I bought a TiBook the day the AlBooks were released. Although I was a bit dismayed that the screen sufferred from the “while splotch symdrome” I took it to the local Apple store and they sent it in for repair – no questions asked.
    48 hours later, my TiBook was back and the screen was perfect.

  10. shr!ek says:

    The price for the ipodmini is really a disappointment (also I was expecting a cooler design) though it is true that there will be people who will pay for it just like you paid for your old-school iPod. Well… I won’t be a ipodmini customer for sure but wait… there’s a 15GB iPod!
    And I’ve stop waiting for the nex-gen products cause when they come out they are usualy too expensive. If I wait for the price to drop I would have to wait for the next nex-gen product… It’s a cicle!

  11. Justin French says:

    It’s supply and demand. No doubt at all Apple could lower their prices — it’s criminal what you get in an eMac [a complete computer] versus an iPod [a glorified MP3 player]. However, the iPods are selling incredibly well, so why drop the price? Supply and demand.
    Instead, they just keep filling up the iPod with ‘more bang for your buck’. This is exactly what happens in the entire IT industry.
    So, with the mini iPod, they *do* offer a relatively cheaper price tag, but the key to it is the smaller size.
    History tells us that people pay much more for smaller, so anyone who would expect a Mini iPod to be proportionately priced on the storage space available was dreaming in my opinion.
    Just to make it clear, I *do* think they’re priced too high, but, I’m not one bit suprised.

  12. Where does the iPod go from here?
    Now that it’s capacity is enough to hold almost anyone’s music collection, Apple will have to stop increasing the size of the hard drive, and compete on price and new features.
    I’m looking forward to seeing what new tricks Apple can build into the iPod – voice memos is the one I’m really waiting for.

  13. Will says:

    Actually, the ability to take voice memos is already here. Belkin makes an adapter that does just that (ok, so it’s not built into the actual unit, which may be what Robert wanted).
    And as far as the price, I was hoping it would be closer to $200 for the iPod Mini. I’m sure it will be there in a matter of time, but enough people have already echoed my opinions on the “wait to buy” cycle.

  14. Tubby says:

    Well, even though the 15gb iPod is a sweet deal, up here in Canada, it’s still $400 (plus 15% tax)… doh!
    BTW, it’s currently -25C in London, Ontario…

  15. Tom says:

    The iPod Mini just seems like a waste of time and money to me – it may only be $50 more than a flash player, but it’s also only $50 less than a full-blown 15GB iPod. However, I have to say I’m glad that they’ve brought back the ‘classic’ button layout.
    Once again, Apple’s prices will hamper their sales. iPod sales have been continually increasing – in the past 8 months a £330 10GB iPod G2 has turned into a £250 15GB iPod G3. What do they expect? £250 for an iPod is a fair price. £150 for a 4GB iPod Mini would have been fair. But £180? Not a chance. I’ll be sticking with my 10GB iPod G2 until a 100GB model comes along :)
    By the way, does anyone know anything about these new headphones? My iPod ones are bust are they look pretty cool…

  16. paul says:

    i’m stoked to get my copy of garageband too, even though it looks sort of ugly. it looks far easier to use than protools. now i can spend less time messing about with mixing/mastering. i hope.

  17. owen says:

    This seems to be another growing problem: It, though smaller, doesn’t become cheaper nor does it have the ability to become cheaper by reducing it’s components.
    I want a ipod with 1 gigabyte of memory and is the size of a normal ipod. wouldn’t that be sweet? well it dimensions would become an pain but if it’s cheaper wouldn’t that weight the size issue?

  18. Gambit says:

    The new iPods are nice, but its more of a marketing gimik than anything else. Same Hd(smaller though), same os just packaged into a smaller box with a different color at a lower price (cant even count, the difference between an iPod mini and an entry level iPos is minimal).
    The iLife package sounds rad though. Keen to smash around in garagebband.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Steve Jobs had not one mention of Apple’s popular iBook series during the MacWorld Expo. Coward. Portables represent 42% of all Mac’s sold…and not even a mention? It was the most disappointing MacWorld Expo ever (considering it was the 20th anniversary of the Mac). Nothing new except hype over the over-priced mini-ipod and nostalgia about how great Apple used to be (1984 ad). I think the showing of the “1984″ ad was to divert attention from the fact that Apple failed to innovate in 2003, maintain the status quo, or do anything new for that matter. As a matter of fact, the only thing newsworthy as of late is Apple sales of faulty and/or defective iBooks to unsuspecting customers (and educational institutions). BlackCider’s recommendation: Never by a first generation Apple product. The mini-iPod might be great in the future, but wait until revision 2 when they have the bugs worked out. Apple tends to rush things to market, especially around the time of the MacWorld Expo.
    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

  20. Down10 says:

    First, can we please NOT use the terms “old school” or “oldskool” to describe something TWO years old? “Previous” works just fine. Also, you still sound like rich white boys while talking about your electronics, so stop with the phony street slang. Thank you.
    I, too, was disappointed by this year’s Macworld. Usually, Apple has a mind-blowing new product or technology, but the iPod minis were disappointing surprise, and too expensive for what they do. They aren’t priced to move, but neither are any of their iPods — is the demand really that much more than for other MP3 players?
    I wish they’d introduced a G5 version of the Cube… The towers are enourmous, and I thought they really had something going there with a smaller desktop unit that wasn’t an iMac. …Oh, well. there’s always next year.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Idiots. The mini iPod IS highly-competitive with other flash-based MP3 players. Go price some for yourself, you won’t find anything at that size for that price with such good connectivity, usability, not to mention design.

  22. gdg says:

    I agree with #21′s comments. The iPod mini is well priced, coming in at exactly the same price as Creative’s 4G offering. Plus, only the mini iPod has the wheel. The wheel is great!
    To me, as an AAPL stockholder, the mini iPod signifies Apple agressively acting to maintain their market lead in this area. The HP branding deal, where HP/Compaq ships iTunes on all their computers for the next X nears (3?) is another example of that.
    If there had been a cheaper, smaller Mac only two years after the first mac, with prices dropping after that, the world might look a lot different today.
    So from my standpoint, the MacWorld was VERY exciting, and the 1984 Ad was right on point. She
    was wearing an iPod this time around, and iPod is
    a very important brand to Apple.
    The Ad had another clue, too, if you were paying
    attention. January 24 was the introduction date,
    and mark my words, we will get another Mac
    announcement in the next 13 days.
    Because you never get another chance to have a 20th anniversary.

  23. Brian says:

    OK, it’s the 24th. Where’s my new 20th anniversary Mac?