Friday, April 25, 2003

Groove thing

Ready to buyTunes? All signs still point to an Apple announcement revealing a music downloading service on Monday.

A new MacMinute report is providing new insight, confirming MacUnderground's speculation that the service will be built into iTunes (version 4).

Also, if you live near an Apple Store with a screen in back, you'll be able to watch the satellite feed from the Apple press event at 10:00 a.m. PDT on Monday. Lunch break, anyone?

Inaccuracies Abound...
UPDATE

MOSR has pulled a large piece of their most recent post. Thus, some of what I commented on in "Inaccuracies Abound!" (see post below) are no longer on the MOSR site. I don't plan on removing or editing the post.

yes, it's that time again!
Inaccuracies Abound!

That's right folks, Mac OS Rumors has made their latest predictions, and boy are they... interesting. At the very least, they're worth looking at, for the sake of pointing out their errors.

Of greatest interest, and almost exclusive focus in MOSR's latest "report," is the upcoming iPod update (see that new nifty "Rumor Watch" thingy on the left side of the page). Yes, everyone agrees the long, long awaited iPod revision will finally, finally see the light of day on Monday, but there are still many questions about the new models.

Think Secret first reported that the new iPods would see a surprising design change, with the control buttons moving away from the signature scroll wheel.
Well, the folks at MOSR have taken that idea to a new level, with their prediction that the user interface will change so dramatically, that the current iPod's will be known as "scroll wheel" models. What will the new models use for interfacing? They don't know.

Here's the kicker, their prediction comes from the latest iPod software update (1.2.6) which mentioned it: "Improves battery life for all models including scroll wheel models..." Listen carefully. It's the sound of a mechanical scroll wheel, like the one in all 5 GB iPods. I can say with 100 percent confidence that Apple meant the mechanical scroll wheels there. Apple won't remove the innovative and lovable scroll wheel from the iPod.

You might remember that a while back people speculated that Apple would put a color screen with JPEG and MPEG support in a so-called "iPod 2." MOSR won't let sleeping dogs be with this one, claiming that - while no such feature will be added in Monday's release - Apple will eventually use an iPod-like device for such video and picture stuff... at some point, eventually. Gotcha.

Finally, the granddaddy of MOSRs speculation, the new iPod prototypes they reportedly saw a few months back. Sure they did. MOSR claims these prototypes had a different scroll wheel that was smaller (but didn't they just claim that Apple was possibly getting rid of the scroll wheel?) and had better traction. They also say the display is larger with twice as many pixels, raising the question: Where is there room for that? Lastly, there's this quote, straight from MOSR: "[the prototypes] included an impressive new backlight which could be produced in several different color tints." I won't pretend to understand that one, and why it would ever be practical.

Of course, all this is followed up with a sentence informing us that the design released on Monday may very well not have some of these features, maybe (just possibly) none of them. We'll see in just a few days, until then it would seem there are inaccuracies abound, indeed.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Think BIG...

Many rumor sites have noted that Apple will be broadcasting Monday's press announcement via satellite. While revised iPods and an Apple Music Service/iTunes 4 are expected, some are now speculating that Apple will make a bigger announcement. It has also been noted that all Apple Retail Store employees are required to attend work on May 2 for new product training. More as more becomes available (that makes sense, doesn't it?).

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Book him, Lou. iBook him

As you know, Apple quietly bumped up the iBook line yesterday (congrats to Think Secret for correctly predicting the specs).

As many have noticed, it was a very weak revision, not even featuring AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth support. So here's my thought, "don't buy an iBook!!!" The iBook is in dire need of a real revision, and one is definitely on the way, although still a few months down the line.

In fact, it would be my advice to keep away from making any hardware purchases right now. There're too many loose ends out in rumor land right now.
We'll probably see new iPods and the Apple Music Service/iTunes 4 next week. And then there's the cryptic "communicating device" rumor to keep an eye on.
The 15" Powerbook still hasn't been upgraded, and neither has the eMac (some rumors suggest the 50 pound desktop is nearing the end of its life).
Of course, all eyes remain on when Apple will announce the PowerPC 970 (probably at WWDC in June), and what machines the 64-bit processor will debut in.
Let's not forget the buzz around Panther (OS X 10.3). While many predict that it'll see an August/September release (Apple will announce it in June, at WWDC), we could see it much earlier, depending on the timing of 970 machines.

My point is, considering the rumor landscape right now, it would be a bad idea to buy a computer - desktop or otherwise - until at least some of these loose ends tie themselves up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Logo follies no more...

The mystery logo (as reported in "Logo follies?") is actually used for audio in Final Cut Pro. You can see it here (scroll about two-thirds the way down the page).

Logo follies?

According to Mac Rumors, Apple has trademarked this new logo.

From my perspective, it looks like a logo for some kind of wireless thingy. A network, or a portable device. Really, it's too soon to tell.

Silence is golden...

Apple has oh-so-quietly updated the iBook line, per Think Secret's earlier predictions. Hard drive space has increased, and clock speeds have hit 900 MHz. More on this, and its unusually underplayed release, later today.

Monday, April 21, 2003

Wild, cryptic, and otherwise bizarre speculation (it's that much fun!)...

Mac Rumors is posting an extremely, and admittedly, cryptic rumor about some kind of "communicating device" that Apple plans to release in the next few weeks.

Not a phone, not a PDA, but a standalone device with Powerbook, Cinema Display, and other various types of connectivity, that allow it to be used with other Macs as well. And yes, Mac Rumors says they have a reliable source here.

Okay, what is it? Without further information from Mac Rumors, I can only speculate, so speculate I shall!
I'm guessing that we're looking at something al la Macwhispers 8-inch mini-tablet (as reported here), with Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme connectivity. With any luck, it would utilize Rendezvous for fast syncing (not that I have anything against iSync).

Obviously, Inkwell would be the main source for input, although I wouldn't rule out a USB port, which would allow users to add a keyboard. I also wouldn't be surprised if Apple tossed in a Firewire port for super-fast wired transfers.

This kind of completely speculative device would be a sort of Newton/iBook offspring. Utilizing a G3 (we're still waiting on a device to use the GOBI), and some version of OS X (perhaps one slightly modified for a faster boot, and less battery drain). It would have a compact but large hard drive, al la iPod, and iBook-or-better battery life.

Yes, this is just me speculating on an incredibly cryptic rumor. But I wouldn't be surprised to see something like this come out of Apple (my reaction would be "pleasantly surprised," minus the "surprised"). For now, we'll all have to wait and see what else surfaces at the major rumormongers. Of course, we can always speculate...