Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

Was the iPod Shuffle like New Coke for Apple?

Sun, 11/13/2005 - 16:17 -- rprice

This post is a bit old now, as I wrote it up as a draft, and never finished writing it. Here it is, some weeks later.
I was listening to Marketing Online Podcast from September 30th entitled "What Harry Potter Taught Us About Podcasting and Directories" when I heard this, and I think it is a good bit of rumor. If you download this file and listen from 27:03 to 27:49 in the timeline, you hear Alex Mandossian sharing his opinion about the iPod Shuffle in relation to the new iPod Nano.

I have this crazy crazy theory... I think the Shuffle without the screen... was intentionaly done; just like when Coca-Cola came out with the new formula, and then renamed it and 'Classic Coke' became the hit again. Well I think they went to 'Classic iPod' with the screen, and they just went up 1 Gig... just so they could get penetration. I think people are trading up right now, as we do this podcast.

Your thoughts?

I agree. Even if it is not the intended outcome, the 'New Coke Effect' is what happened anyway. I honestly don't know why they have the shuffle at all, but I guess $100 for a 512MB player is mostly affordable, so they now have 3 teir pricing along with 3 levels of storage and functionality with the product. Taking in to light that the standard iPod now plays video, you have the Shuffle, which just plays music, the Nano, which does Music and Photos, and the iPod, which does Music, Photos and Video. A harmonious existence, no overlap between products like they used to have between the Mini and the iPod, just choices A, B, and C, and then two different sizes and prices to choose from with each. Pretty nice.


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VideoEgg Publisher

Sun, 11/13/2005 - 11:50 -- rprice

A few weeks ago I heard about this great tool called VideoEgg Publisher, released by NewEgg, Inc. in New Haven, Connecticut. They let me upload a video less than two minutes in length, and are hosting it for free for 30 days. Check it out.

They have really nailed ease of use, cross-platform compatibility, and just down-right simplicity with their platform. Uploading was a snap, and I was given the option to set a start and end point, as well as "erase" portions of the video.

Go to for more information and a demonstration. To use the VideoEgg plugin, just go to VideoEgg and choose "Product Demo" form the menu.

If you are a TypePad user , you can try the publisher out now and videoblog. TypePad offers 30-day free trial for non-users, which can be accessed via the VideoEgg Site or TypePad.

Good work, fellas. I hope to see more plug-n-play style tools for the internet in the future.


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Work Related Thingies

Sun, 10/30/2005 - 19:02 -- rprice

So, Apple auto-upgraded my Dual 2.3’s to Dual 2.7’s, FREE. More after the jump, as they say on Boing Boing, or Engadget, or one of those type sites.

I also found out Charlie and I will be attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Vava Las Vegas!

Ok, on to the email from Apple.

> To Our Valued Apple Customer:
> Apple is pleased to announce a new generation of the Power Mac G5!
> Your Power Mac G5 order has not shipped yet, so we would like to offer you
> these two options:
> 1. Keep the previous model Power Mac G5 at the same price with an upgrade to
> the Dual 2.7GHz PowerPC processor. If you chose custom options they will be
> transferred to the upgraded model.
> OR
> 2. Upgrade to the new Power Mac G5, which will increase the cost of your
> order. Please visit the Apple Store at to configure
> and price your new Power Mac G5.
> Our new Power Mac G5 includes an updated PCI bus. Some PCI cards may not be
> compatible with the new PCI bus. Before you decide how to proceed with your
> order, you may want to check the specifications for peripheral devices that
> you plan to use with your new Power Mac G5 to be sure that they are compatible
> with the new PCI options as described here:

> Please visit
to make your selection.
> After you make your selection online, we will send an email within 24 to 48
> hours confirming that your request is being processed.
> We would like to hear from you by Friday October 28th, so please visit our
> website and make your selection soon. After Friday October 28th, we will
> release your order to ship with the previous model Power Mac G5 at the same
> price with an upgrade to the Dual 2.7GHz PowerPC processor.
> For the latest information on your order please visit
. The online order status site will keep you
> up to date throughout the purchase process. Once your order ships, you will be
> able to obtain tracking information here as well.
> Thank you for choosing Apple!
> Sincerely,
> Apple Store Customer Support

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Flock Web 2.0 Browser

Fri, 10/21/2005 - 12:00 -- rprice

I got my invitation to Flock. I have installed it, but I don't have time to check it out just yet. I will be posting my report along with some news soon.




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Fri, 10/14/2005 - 11:29 -- rprice

Yesterday I got 2GB of RAM I can do nothing with until the nice boys in Cupertino (well, China I guess) put my machine to gether. I also have this big fancy KVM Switch coming (for using two computers, but sharing the peripherals) that I consider to be a long-term investment, because it cost an arm AND a leg AND my left nut. Unbelievable.

For the curious, I am getting:

Dual 2.3GHz G5 PowerMac
2GB 400MHz Memory
256MB Radeon 9650 8xAGP
16x Dual Layer SuperDrive
My 17? ViewSonic CRT for now.

As of about a week ago, I work for Cervo Systems and Charles Kreuger. Basically, his means any work I am currently doing, professional or non-profit, if it falls under the jurisdiction of what Cervo Systems does, I have to at least give them (us) credit.

More later… got distracted.

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Apple releases iPod Video

Wed, 10/12/2005 - 13:13 -- rprice

People have been saying this was coming for years, and now it has arrived. The iPod Video is no longer an iPod with a color display, but a full-blown video player. The new iPod is thinner with a larger screen; 320 x 240 vs. the old 220 x 176 pixel screen. The physical device has actually grown in height and width, but shrunk in thickness. iPod Video also comes in two sizes in every sense of the word: the standard 30GB model ($299) claims 14 hours of music playback, 3 hours of photo slideshow playback, and 2 hours of video playback, while the fatter 60GB model ($399) has 20 hours of music playback, 4 hours of slideshow playback, and 3 hours of video playback.

Even though we all knew this was coming, what will now happen to the thousands of existing iPods with color screen? Will they be marked down for quick selling? Apple has pretty much cut them out of the store and all the advertising as though they no longer existed. Sure, this happens every time they release a new device, but geez... At least the higher capacity video models are priced the same as their older cousins. That will help them sell ten thousand units before the christmas season.

H.264 video: up to 768 Kbps, 320 x 240, 30 frames per sec., Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

MPEG-4 video: up to 2.5 mbps, 480 x 480, 30 frames per sec., Simple Profile with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats

Also announced are two new official Apple accessories: the Universal Dock and the Apple Remote. The Universal Dock fits all shapes and sizes of iPods with Dock Connectors, has A/V and S-Video output, and the most interesting feature, the IR port for the Apple Remote, which looks a lot like a Shuffle, with just 6 simple buttons for play/pause, menu, forward/backward, and volume control buttons. The cool thing is your Apple Remote can also control your iMac home-theater style.

That was another announcement from today: the new iMac. The iMac is slimmer with a faster processor, more memory standard, a SuperDrive (now burns DVDs instead of just reading them), and a built in iSight webcam. The Apple remote is intended mostly as a control for the iMac, which is Apple's version of a Media Center PC. I guess this could be OK if you have a desk near your entertainment center, but an iMac is not the kind of toy I would want to use just for music, photos, home movies and DVDs. It is a full-fledged PC with a 64-bit processor, not an appliance. It would be a shame to hook it up to an HDTV and waste the built-in display. A crying shame. Still, I like the direction you're going in. Give me the entire digital lifestyle in a one-stop shop. Now that Sony is starting to open retail stores, Apple may have some competition in that market.

Pretty cool Apple: you finally caught up with the rest of the market by offering video. Now what kind of content will you have? What will it cost? Who will be the first company to sell me a movie to play back at tiny resolutions? Wait and see.

Some facts taken from Wikipedia's iPod listing.


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Viral Marketing that Works

Tue, 10/11/2005 - 08:05 -- rprice

If you haven't yet visited Carlton Draught's Big Ad Website, you should check it out. You will be asked to trust a Java Applet that helps play the ad in full screen. Then you see thousands of people in colored robes running across an Australian valley a la Lord of the Rings. People in primarily yellow robes led by a man on horseback running toward another group of people mostly in red robes. At least hundreds of people are really there in the camera shot. I don't doubt that computer graphics was used at some point to fill in the rest.

This ad has got a couple of things going for it: humor in a few places, a catchy song (everybody knows Carmina Bruana), and most of all the "WOW" factor. The production quality is also excellent. All of these things are there to make you send the web link to your friends an coworkers, and it obviously works. I love the last line of the song, "Hopefully this ad will sell some bloody beer!" I'm sure that's what all the Cartlon Draught people are thinking.

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