Results tagged “ipod”

Their Version

By Michael Mulvey on April 2, 2014 2:43 PM

CNN Money: Meet Cortana, Microsoft's Siri

NYTimes: Cortana, Microsoft's Answer to Siri

The Verge: The story of Cortana, Microsoft's Siri killer

Engadget: Microsoft unveils Cortana, its answer to Siri and Google Now

Gizmodo: Windows Phone 8.1's Cortana Is Google Now Plus Siri

The tech press, understandably, has been comparing Microsoft's voice assistant, Cortana, with Apple's Siri.

I love how they call Cortana, "Microsoft's Siri".

Sort of how the Zune was Microsoft's iPod. And Surface is Microsoft's iPad. And Bing is Microsoft's Google.

Best of luck in the mobile wars, Microsoft.


By Michael Mulvey on September 7, 2012 10:31 AM

I can see these popping up all over San Francisco:


via Shane's Blog

Many Fathers

By Michael Mulvey on April 24, 2012 3:57 PM

As I started reading this Co.Design post on the Nest thermostat, the first paragraph reminded how slippery the area of product attribution is:

When we first sat down with Tony Fadell, the CEO of Nest and the inventor of the Nest Learning Thermostat, we asked him what made Steve Jobs so great. Fadell is, perhaps, one of the best-qualified people on the planet to answer. He's the one who first pitched the idea of an iTunes/iPod ecosystem. He's the one who Steve Jobs hired to bring the iPod to life.

Depending on what you're reading and where, you will hear different named given to an inventor, designer, creator or "father" of a product. With the iPod, sometimes it's Steve Jobs, other times it's Jony Ive and in this case it's Tony Fadell.

It's important to understand all these answers are correct and all these answers are wrong. Jobs, Ive and Fadell (among others) are all responsible for bringing the iPod to market. The iPod would not be the classic, easy-to-use, iconic, digital music it is if any one of those men were removed from the equation.

Ten Years

By Michael Mulvey on December 6, 2011 2:30 PM


via Flickr via Shawn Blanc


By Jory Kruspe on November 15, 2011 10:40 PM

Influencer: Sony DVD Remote, 1999


Influenced: Apple iPod, 2001


Sony MDR-EX71SLA/B: Good headphones for your iPod

By Michael Mulvey on January 19, 2007 9:40 AM


It shouldn't bother me when I see dozens of people every morning on the subway listening to their iPods through the terrible white earbuds included when you purchase the player .... but I do get bothered.

The situation is understandable - if you've never used great headphones, you're below average ones seem to be doing the job fine (or if we can jump ahead 6 months - if you've never used an iPhone, your Palm Treo 650 seems perfect.)

If you wanted to, you could spend up to $500 dollars on headphones, but I'm not CNET and I'm not going to break down all your options - Shure, etc. I'm just going to tell you that for about $50, the Sony MDR-EX71SLA/B headphones are a great upgrade from your default iPod earbuds. They fit in your ear like earplugs, they don't rest in your ear like the iPod earbuds. By plugging into your ear, they accomplish 2 things: a) they block out a lot of ambient noise (subway cars, people, important alerts at the airport...) and b) by 'plugging' into your ear they achieve better bass - the bass doesn't escape into the open air around your ears. I'm not a physicist, but trust me, it's a scientific fact.

Apple should include better headphones with their iPods - it's like Ferrari deciding to include factory tires on all their cars and then making you upgrade to high performance tires.

Yes, $50 might be more than you'd like to pay for headphones, but you'll realize it was money well spent.

Sony MDR-EX71SLA/B headphones at Amazon

Turn it Brown

By Michael Mulvey on December 6, 2006 9:56 AM

Daring Fireball does it again - Conjectural Transcript of the Upcoming Negotiations Between Apple and Universal Music

Best line in the 'transcript':

[Steve] Jobs: How about you take one of those white Zunes and you turn it into a brown one, Doug [Morris].

iPods - is everything relative?

By Michael Mulvey on November 27, 2006 4:50 PM


Listen, I love my iPod, and I understand that the Cool Factor throws off any logical product price breakdowns, but does anyone ever stop to think about things for second?

I've been meaning to put together a chart (ala Edward Tufte) comparing all the current digital music players and their prices relative to their features.

A day with good things

By Michael Mulvey on October 10, 2006 10:33 AM

What things? Mostly nerd things:

Mozilla Firefox 2 RC 2 Release - they've fixed the stupid Flash focusing problem, added drag 'n drop tabs, moved the tab close button onto the tab like Safari.

*note - if you have a lot of FF extensions installed, they might not all work yet.

CD/DVD Scratch Repair Kit - apparently this works on iPods too.

Ofiicial Google Mac Blog - sounds good to me and makes sense, considering Eric Schmidt is on Apple's board now.

This is potentially, inevitably good news:
Apple about to announce wireless video iPod?

Function Follows Microsoft who Follows Form, er Something

By Michael Mulvey on July 28, 2006 10:11 AM

I'm always amused by the attempts every year to 'dethrone' the iPod. Actually I'm amused at anyone who talks a big game and then doesn't deliver. It's not that I don't think it's possible to beat the iPod, it's the fact that these companies and CEO's talk all this smack, and copy Apple - but only on the surface.

Just because you approximate the layout of the iPod (vertical orientation, screen on top, pseudo-click wheel area below) has nothing to do with that player being a success. In fact, I would say that companies might have better luck with a completely different mp3 player design. Apple invented the 'wheel' (no pun intended) in the mp3 player world, don't reinvent it.

If that wasn't enough amusement, then I read that Microsoft is trying to push some design methodology on PC makers to compliment their perpetually delayed Vista operating system.

From BusinessWeek Online (Found via MacNN):

A How-To kit for the ideal PC has been making the rounds of leading design shops. It calls for "accelerated curves" and "purposeful contrast." The preferred colors include a shade of black called Obsidian and a translucent white dubbed Ice. "We want people to fall in love with their PCs, not to simply use them to be productive and successful," reads the enclosed booklet. "We want PCs to be objects of pure desire."

On one hand I somewhat appreciate Microsoft's attempt to emphasize the importance of good design, but it just smells so fake for me. Apple's philosophy on design and function is engrained into the daily operations of its company and it applies to everything from iPods to their operating system to packaging to writing to store architecture.... I could go on, but you get the point. Microsoft is just telling all PC makers to use this pallet of colors.

That's brilliant - have all the PC makers look alike. So smart. That will be great for competition and it'll distinguish them all from each other. Again Microsoft, it works for Apple because Apple is a brand.

I'm going to stop trying to understand what they're trying to do. I'd rather just watch the train wreck happen.

*fun reading on Microsoft's Zune can be found at Daring Fireball


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