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I pod

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  • 1. IPod Introduction The iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Computer. Devices in the iPod range are primarily music players, designed around a central scroll wheel (although the iPod shuffle has buttons only). The full-sized model stores media on an internal hard drive, while the smaller iPod nano and iPod shuffle use flash memory. Like many digital audio players, iPods can also serve as external data storage devices. Apple chose to focus its development on the iPod's simple user interface and its ease of use, rather than on technical capability. As of October 2005, the lineup consists of the 5th generation iPod that plays videos; the smaller iPod nano; and the display-less iPod shuffle. These models were updated in September 2006. A white 5th generation iPod with a sleeve and earphones. The bundled software used for transferring music is called iTunes. As a jukebox application, iTunes stores a comprehensive library of music on the user's computer and can play, burn, and rip music from a CD. Very little organization and no ripping or burning may be done on the iPod itself. The most recent version has additional photo and video synchronization features. 1
  • 2. The iPod is currently the world's best-selling digital audio player and its worldwide mainstream adoption makes it one of the most popular consumer brands. Some of Apple's design choices and proprietary actions have, however, led to criticism and legal battles. History and design The iPod came from Apple's digital hub strategy, as the company began creating software for the growing market of digital devices being purchased by consumers. While digital cameras, camcorders and organizers had well-established mainstream markets, the company found digital music players lacking in user interface design and decided to develop its own. "iPod" was a name that Apple registered for Internet kiosks, but never put it to use. Apple's hardware engineering chief Jon Rubinstein assembled a team of engineers to design it, along with engineers Anthony Fadell and Stan Ng. They built the product in less than a year, and it was unveiled on 23 October 2001. CEO Steve Jobs announced it as a Mac-compatible product with a 5 GB hard drive that put "1000 songs in your pocket." Uncharacteristically, Apple did not develop the iPod's software in-house. Instead, Apple used a Design Chain and contracted with PortalPlayer, who already had a reference design (based on 2 ARM cores) with rudimentary software running on a commercial microkernel embedded operating system. PortalPlayer had previously been working on an IBM-branded MP3 player with Bluetooth headphones. Apple contracted another company, Pixo, to create and refine the user interface, under the direct supervision of Steve Jobs. Once established, Apple continued to refine the software's look-and-feel. Starting with the iPod mini, the Chicago font (once used on early Macintosh computers) was replaced with Espy Sans, which was originally used in eWorld and Copland. The most recent iPods switched fonts again to Myriad — Apple's new corporate font. The iPods with color displays have adopted some Mac OS X themes like Aqua progress bars and brushed metal in the FM tuner and lock interfaces. 2
  • 3. User interface The display of a 5th generation iPod, playing the song Feel Good Inc. by the band Gorillaz The iPods with displays use high quality anti-aliased graphics and text, with sliding animations. These iPods have five buttons and newer generations have the buttons integrated into the scroll wheel, an innovation which confers an uncluttered, minimalistic interface. The buttons are: 1. Menu — to traverse backwards through the menus, and toggle the backlight on older iPods 2. Center — to select a menu item 3. Play / Pause — this doubles as an off switch when held 4. Fast Forward / Skip Forward 5. Fast Reverse / Skip Backwards The other operations such as scrolling through menu items and controlling the volume are handled by the scroll wheel in a rotational manner. A Hold switch on the top of the unit prevents accidental button presses. The iPod shuffle has five buttons that function differently to the larger models. It has a Play / Pause button in the center, surrounded by four buttons: Volume Up / Down and Skip Forward / Backwards. 3
  • 4. Newer iPods automatically pause playback when the headphones are unplugged from the headphone jack, but playback does not resume when the headphones are re-inserted. An iPod that has crashed or frozen can be reset by switching 'Hold' on then off, then holding Menu and Center (Menu and Play on the 3G iPod) for 6 seconds. Software The iPod can play MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless audio file formats. The 5th generation iPod can also play MPEG-4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC), .mp4 and QuickTime video formats, with restrictions on video dimensions, encoding techniques and bitrates. Apple does not support Microsoft's WMA audio format — unlike most other media players — but a converter for non-DRM WMA files is provided with the Windows version of iTunes. MIDI files cannot be played, but can be converted to audio files using the "Advanced" menu on iTunes. Alternative open-source audio formats such as Ogg Vorbis and FLAC are not supported, possibly because they were not developed by media standards bodies (such as the MPEG group) of which Apple is a member . Each time an iPod connects to its host computer, iTunes can synchronize music playlists or entire music libraries and the user can choose for automatic or manual synchronization. Song ratings can be set on the iPod and synchronized later to the iTunes library. iTunes Store The iTunes Store (formerly iTunes Music Store) is an online media store run by Apple and accessed via iTunes. It was introduced on 28 April 2003 and it sells individual songs relatively easily and cheaply, with typical prices being US$0.99, EU€0.99, or GB£0.79 per song. iPods are the only portable music players that can play the purchased music. The store became the market leader soon after its launch[verification needed] and Apple announced the sale of videos through the iTunes Store on 12 October 2005. Full-length movies became available from 12 September 2006. 4
  • 5. Purchased audio files use the AAC format with added encryption. The encryption is based on the controversial FairPlay digital rights management (DRM) system. Up to five authorized computers and an unlimited number of iPods can play the files. Burning the files onto an audio CD removes the DRM, at a cost of reduced quality when re-compressed from one lossy format to another. iPods cannot play music files from other competing music stores such as Napster or MSN Music which use rival DRM technologies like Microsoft's protected WMA or RealNetworks' Helix DRM. RealNetworks claims that Apple is creating problems for itself, by using FairPlay to lock users into using the iTunes Store. Steve Jobs stated that Apple makes little profit from song sales, but Apple uses the store to promote iPod sales. File storage All iPods can function as mass storage devices to store data files. 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 format is used because Windows cannot access HFS filesystems. The user must use iTunes or a compatible third-party software to load audio, videos, and photos in such a way that they are playable and viewable on the iPod. Unlike some other MP3 players, simply copying files to the drive will not allow the iPod to properly access them. Some open-source iPod software allows this however. An iPod formatted as HFS Plus is able to serve as a boot disk for a Mac computer, allowing one to have a portable operating system installed. The older iPods with FireWire ports could additionally function in FireWire Disk Mode. With the advent of the Windows- compatible iPod, the iPod's default file system was switched from HFS Plus to FAT32, although they can be reformatted to either filesystem (excluding the iPod shuffle which is strictly FAT32). iTunes cannot transfer songs or videos from device to computer (although iTunes 7 allows it for music purchased online). The media files are stored on the iPod in a hidden folder, together with a proprietary database file. While the hidden content can be accessed through 5
  • 6. the host operating system, practical recovery of the audio with correct file names, tag meta- data, and playlists requires the use of third-party software. Additional features The larger models also have limited PDA-like functionality and can display text files. Contacts and schedules can be viewed and synchronized with the host computer, and some built-in games are available including Brick, Parachute, Solitaire and Music Quiz. Brick was originally invented by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak in the 1970s. A firmware update released in September 2006 brought several new features to 5th generation iPods including downloadable games, adjustable screen brightness, and gapless playback. Open-source alternatives The iPodLinux project has ported an ARM version of the Linux kernel alongside an interface called "Podzilla" to run on all iPods, although only the first, second and third generations are officially supported by the developers. The iPod shuffle is not supported.An open-source firmware called Rockbox allows the iPod nano, mini, and all display-capable iPods after the 3rd generation (not the latest 5.5 generation) to play Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, Musepack, Wavpack, Shorten, and MIDI files, but not FairPlay-encrypted files. Rockbox also offers gapless playback and a more sophisticated equalizer but is in a testing stage as of September 2006. Connectivity Originally, a FireWire connection to the host computer was used to update songs or recharge the battery. The battery could also be charged with a power adapter that was included with the first 4 generations. 6
  • 7. The 3rd generation began including a dock connector, allowing for FireWire or USB connectivity. This provided better compatibility with PCs, as most of them did not have FireWire ports at the time. The 4th generation iPod allowed recharging via USB and eventually Apple began shipping iPods with a USB to Dock connector cable instead of a FireWire cable. A FireWire cable was available seperately from Apple however. The 4th generation iPod could use either FireWire 400 or USB 2.0. Chipsets and electronics Some electronic components used in iPods Model Storage medium Microcontroller Audio chip iPod 1G, 2G, 3G 1.8 inch (46 mm) ATA hard drives (with proprietary connectors), made by Toshiba Two ARM 7TDMI-derived CPUs running at 90 MHz. Various audio codecs manufactured by Wolfson Microelectronics iPod 4G, 5G Variable speed ARM 7TDMI CPUs, running at a peak of 80 MHz to save battery life. iPod mini 1G, 2G 1 inch Microdrives manufactured by Hitachi iPod nano 1G Flash memory from Samsung, Toshiba and others 2 ARM 7TDMI CPUs @ 80 MHz iPod nano 2G Samsung System-On-Chip, based around an ARM processor iPod shuffle Flash memory SigmaTel STMP3550 chip that handles both the music decoding and the audio circuitry. The iPod's operating system is stored on its dedicated storage medium. An additional NOR flash ROM chip (either 1 MB or 512 kB) contains a bootloader program that tells the device to load its OS from the storage medium. Each iPod also has 32 MB of RAM, although the 60 and 80 GB 5th generation have 64 MB. A portion of the RAM is used to hold the iPod OS loaded from firmware, but the majority of it serves to cache songs from the storage medium. For example, an iPod could spin its hard disk up once and copy about 7
  • 8. 30 MB of upcoming songs into RAM, thus saving power by not requiring the drive to spin up for each song. The current iPod models use internal lithium-ion batteries. The 1st and 2nd generations used lithium polymer batteries. The larger models use touch wheels provided by Synaptics. On 26 April 2006, EE Times reported that Samsung had won the contract to provide the media processor for a future model iPod, replacing Apple's previous design supplier PortalPlayer. Criticisms Battery life advertising In 2003, class action lawsuits were brought against Apple complaining that the battery charges lasted for shorter lengths of time than stated and that the battery degraded over time. The lawsuits were settled by offering individuals either $50 store credit or a free battery replacement. Apple later complained that its competitor, Sony, had misled consumers in its advertising for Sony's music player. Apple complained that Sony had not considered real-world usage. Non-replaceable battery The battery in all iPods is not designed to be removed or replaced by the user. Some users have been able to pry the case open to replace the battery, as some online stores sell them. Compounding this problem, Apple initially would not replace worn-out batteries. The official policy was that the customer should buy a refurbished replacement iPod, at a cost almost equivalent to a brand new one. All lithium-ion batteries eventually lose capacity during their lifetime (guidelines are available for prolonging life-span) and this situation led to a small market for third-party battery replacement kits. 8
  • 9. Apple announced a battery replacement program on 14 November 2003, a week beforea high publicity stunt and website by the Neistat Brothers. The initial cost was US$99, but it was lowered to US$59 in 2005. One week later Apple offered an extended iPod warranty for US$59. Third-party companies offer cheaper battery replacement kits which often use higher capacity batteries. For the most recent iPods, soldering tools are needed because the battery is either soldered onto the main board, as with the nano; or attached to a metal backplate, as on the 5th generation iPod. Hearing loss Critics have expressed concerns that prolonged use of iPods with the included earphones can facilitate hearing loss, since the iPod is alleged to be capable of outputting sound at unsafe levels for human hearing. While hearing loss is a potential problem with any Walkman-style tape or CD device with earphones, the iPod is particularly risky due to the fact that users often listen to the iPod for long periods of time at potentially damaging sound levels. In response to these claims, Apple introduced a volume limit option for 5th generation iPods, iPod Nanos, and iPod Shuffles. Bass response The 3rd generation iPod had a weak bass response, as shown in audio tests. The combination of the undersized DC blocking capacitors and the typical low impedance of most consumer headphones form a high-pass filter which attenuates the low-frequency bass output by up to 10 dB. Similar capacitors were used in the 4th generation iPods. The problem is reduced when using high impedance headphones and completely masked when driving high-impedance (line level) loads. The 1st generation iPod shuffle uses a dual transistor output stage rather than a single capacitor-coupled output, and thus does not exhibit reduced bass response for any load. Equalizer If the sound is enhanced with the iPod's software equalizer (EQ), some EQ settings — like R&B, Rock, Acoustic, and Bass Booster — can cause bass distortion too easily. 9
  • 10. The equalizer amplifies the digital audio level beyond the software's limit, causing distortion (clipping) on songs that have a bass drum or use a bassy instrument, even when the amplifier level is low. Notable song examples include Bob Sinclar's Love Generation[24] and Jem's Wish I. One possible workaround is to reduce the volume level of the recorded MP3 by modifying each audio file. However, this cannot be done with DRM-encrypted music, and different tools are needed for each different file format. Manufacturer quality control According to a 2005 survey conducted on the MacInTouch website, the iPod's reliability has generally improved for each new generation, although Apple did report that between September and October 2006 some iPods were made available for purchase carrying a virus. Per Apple, some 5th Generation iPods left its contract manufacturer carrying the virus RavMonE.exe, which affects Windows operating systems. The iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and Mac OS X were not affected. The virus, if present, can be cleaned using popular antivirus programs using the instructions at Apple's website. The surface of the 1st generation iPod nano and of the 5th generation iPod can reportedly become scratched easily. Many users complained and a class action lawsuit was filed. Apple initially considered the issue a minor defect, but later began shipping these iPods with protective sleeves. Many products are available to remove scratches, such as iCleaner, AppleSauce, and the metal polish Brasso Worker exploitation On 11 June 2006, the British tabloid Mail on Sunday reported that iPods are mainly manufactured by workers who earn no more than US$50 per month.The report stated that the five-story Longhua factory — owned by Foxconn — houses 200,000 workers, with most of them living in dormitories that house 100 people. The report also claimed that visitors were not allowed and that the plant is secured by police officers. These allegations were denied by Foxconn but Apple investigated and discovered that employees worked more than 60 hours a week for a third of the time and worked for more than six consecutive 10
  • 11. days for 25% of the time. The workers were not forced; they chose to work the overtime, albeit by financial necessity. Patent disputes In 2005, Apple Computer faced two lawsuits claiming patent infringement by the iPod and its associated technologies: Advanced Audio Devices claimed the iPod breached their patent on a "music jukebox", while a Hong Kong-based IP portfolio company called Pat- rights filed a suit claiming that Apple's FairPlay technology breached a patent issued to inventor Ho Keung Tse. The latter case also includes the online music stores of Sony, Real Networks, Napster, and Musicmatch as defendants. Apple's application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent on "rotational user inputs",as used on the iPod's interface, received a third "non-final rejection" (NFR) in August 2005. Also in August 2005, Creative Technology, one of Apple's main rivals in the MP3 player market, announced that it held a patent on part of the music selection interface used by the iPod, which Creative dubbed the "Zen Patent", granted on August 9, 2005. On May 15, 2006, Creative filed another suit against Apple for patent infringement with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Creative also asked the United States International Trade Commission to investigate whether Apple was breaching U.S. trade laws by importing iPods into the United States. On August 24, 2006 Apple and Creative announced a broad settlement to end their legal disputes. Apple will pay Creative US$100 million for a paid-up license to use Creative's recently awarded patent in all Apple products. Creative announced their intention to produce iPod accessories by joining the Made for iPod program. Sales 11
  • 12. Since October 2004, the iPod has dominated digital music player sales in the United States, with over 90% of the market for hard drive-based players and over 70% of the market for all types of players. During the year from January 2004 to January 2005, its high rate of sales caused its U.S. market share to increase from 31% to 65% and in July 2005, the market share was measured at 74%. The release of the iPod mini helped to ensure this success at a time when competing flash-based music players were once dominant. In its first quarter results of 2006, Apple reported earnings of US$565 million — its highest quarterly revenue in the company's history, although how much of this was attributed to iPod sales is unknown. Apple and several industry analysts have suggested that iPod users are likely to purchase other Apple products such as Mac computers. On 8 January 2004, Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced that they would sell HP-branded iPods under a license agreement from Apple. Several new retail channels were used — including Wal-Mart — and HP-branded iPods eventually made up 5% of all iPod sales. In July 2005, HP stopped selling iPods due to unfavorable terms and conditions imposed by Apple. 12
  • 13. iPod sales according to Apple's quarterly financial results from 2002 Q1 to currently ended 2006 Q4. iPod quarterly sales. Fiscal quarter iPods sold 2002 Q1 130,000 2002 Q2 57,000 2002 Q3 54,000 2002 Q4 140,000 2003 Q1 219,000 2003 Q2 80,000 2003 Q3 304,000 2003 Q4 336,000 2004 Q1 733,000 2004 Q2 807,000 2004 Q3 860,000 2004 Q4 2,016,000 2005 Q1 4,580,000 13
  • 14. 2005 Q2 5,311,000 2005 Q3 6,155,000 2005 Q4 6,451,000 2006 Q1 14,043,000 2006 Q2 8,526,000 2006 Q3 8,111,000 2006 Q4 8,729,000 Total 67,642,000 Earphones The iPod's white earphone cords have become symbolic of the brand, and advertisements feature them prominently. In fact, the earphones have such strong visual recognition characteristics that some have said they can be a liability. After a 24% rise in robbery and a 10% increase in grand larceny in the New York City subway, a spokesperson for the NYC police suggested that iPods might be behind the increases. Accessories Several companies produce accessories that are designed for iPods. This market is sometimes described as the iPod ecosystem. Some accessories add extra features that other music players have, such as sound recorders, FM radio tuners, wired remote controls and audio/visual cables for TV connections. Other accessories offer more unique features like the Nike + iPod pedometer and the iPod Camera Connector. Other popular accessories include external speakers, wireless remote controls and protective cases/films that help prevent surface scratches. Notable manufacturers and resellers include Griffin, Belkin, JBL, Bose, Monster Cable and Apple. Car integration 14
  • 15. BMW released the first iPod automobile interfacethat allowed drivers of newer BMW vehicles to control their iPod using the built-in steering wheel controls or the radio head unit buttons. Apple announced in 2005 that similar systems would be available for additional vehicle brands, including Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Nissan, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Acura, Audi, Honda (with speech recognitionRenault and Volkswagen. Some independent stereo manufacturers including JVC, Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine and Harman Kardon also have iPod-specific integration solutions. Alternative connection methods include using adaptor kits (via the cassette deck or the CD changer port), RCA inputs, or FM transmitters such as the iTrip, although personal FM transmitters are illegal in some countries. Conclusion The iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Computer. Devices in the iPod range are primarily music players, designed around a central scroll wheel (although the iPod shuffle has buttons only). The full-sized model stores media on an internal hard drive, while the smaller iPod nano and iPod shuffle use flash memory. Like many digital audio players, iPods can also serve as external data storage devices. Apple chose to focus its development on the iPod's simple user interface and its ease of use, rather than on technical capability. 15