MacCast 03.01.2006

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Podcast

Listen to today’s show here! podcast-mini2.gif
MC20060301.mp3 [14.3mb 00:31:10 64kbps]

A podcast about all things Macintosh. For Mac geeks, by Mac geeks. Show 124. Apple Feburary 28th “fun product” announcements. New Intel Mac Mini. Apple leather iPod cases. iPod HiFi (Boombox). My final thoughts and reactions.

New music, Brighter Day by Derick Dahl

You don’t make history by following the rules, you make it by seizing the moment.

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There are 31 comments on MacCast 03.01.2006:

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  1. Tom | Mar 01 2006 - 01:52

    I really don’t think Apple needed to get into the home stero market, their are plently of 3rd party venders that provide great systems for a more reasonable price, 350.00 appears to be alot.

  2. Perry | Mar 01 2006 - 01:50

    I had the same reactions as you at first, Adam, but upon reflection, the new Mac Mini really looks like an awesome, awesome system. It’s really gotten me excited.

    The Hi-Fi, and the case…still bemuse me slightly.

  3. Alex Santos | Mar 01 2006 - 02:11

    Although I did mention in the forums that the boom box looks like, I repeat looks like it can scratch easily. Although I can’t very this these speakers do seem to be good otherwise, Steve himself said you can crank these babies up and not worry about distortion – that is really good.

    I actually like the book box, it looks nice and it fits the ipod really nicely.

    But yes a bit expensive.

    Heading off to listen to the maccast.

  4. Stephen | Mar 01 2006 - 02:26

    it’s on the expensive side, if you’re just looking at iPod-stereos. The Hi-Fi is designed to be equivelent to the large stereo systems that at times cost an arm and a leg. I’m glad the Hi-Fi is out, even if it does still cost a body part :-p

  5. g0rdo | Mar 01 2006 - 02:57

    Psshhh, im not buying a stupid iPod H-Fi!!! psshhh so stupid… 350.


    no way, I’m getting the widescreen touchscreen iPod evn if it’s $500

  6. Alex Santos | Mar 01 2006 - 03:33

    re: Leather cases. (sorry to chime in again)

    Yes they are nice. I don’t have an ipod but I would imagine the inaccessibility the design ‘features’ could be a bit of a drag (no pun intended) but could that be intentional?

    Would I be too bold to assume we may see a new headset come out? Well I can only say this based on Apple appearing to creeping its way into the home entertainment arena.

    After all, aren’t we all expecting an Apple media center of sorts, in essence the heart of a home entertainment centre?

    I suppose in 5 years or less a lot of companies including Microsoft may indeed have some sort of hardware servicing our living rooms. Who knows.

    Just a thought.

  7. Ryan Gray | Mar 01 2006 - 06:38

    As long as we are specifying the iPod Hi-Fi price to the penny, then at least get it right: Three hundred forty nine dollars and zero cents.

  8. Ryan Gray | Mar 01 2006 - 07:13

    The iPod Hi-Fi is not for you and me; it is for higher-rollers who walk into an Apple store and want to walk out with a complete package or just don’t otherwise spend all their time surfing every corner of the Net for the best deal. Apple is just capitalizing on their retail space. This is also true for the new iPod leather cases.

    Each announcement of new Macs this year needs to have some iPod announcement to go with it. Mac announcements on their own would not be that interesting, so sweeten them with new iPod things and draw the eyeballs toward the Macs. The Macs are being drawn into the halo.

  9. Paul | Mar 01 2006 - 07:21

    Dear Adam, always go with your first reaction!

    There was not need for this “event”. It is Apple’s Hype and not so much your “expectation”.

    One hundred bucks for a leather iPod case.
    With a little more memory, a mac mini is now a thousand dollars.
    Three hundred and fifty dollars for three speakers and an iPod dock.

    My money is staying in my pocket!

  10. Nick Circosta | Mar 01 2006 - 11:36

    “There was not need for this “event”.”

    Dude yes there was, FREE ADVERTISING :)

    By holding an event all these people like cnet engadget ect ect put on quite a bit of media coverage and reviews ect for the event, if apple had done it silently it would have taken at LEAST a few days before the mainstream people heard about it

    its only like less then a month till apples birthday so we can probebly expect some more cool stuff there

    and the BIG important thing of this event is that there was no “one more thing” and jobs said “we will see you all real soon” , he has a few more tricks up his sleve :)

    writersblocklive has a good write up

  11. Chris | Mar 02 2006 - 02:17

    I echo your comments Adam.

    The iPod Boombox – totally pointless

    The leather case – I thought it was a joke until I heard it on the MacCast

    I think that Apple are being sly here. They are deliberately using old designs (.e.g. from the outside the Mac Mini and iMac look identical) so they don’t annoy retailers.

    In London, for example, all the major high street department stores that stock Apple stuff would be very upset if all their stock looked dated.

    Apple are deliberately waiting for these to sell before they make major changes.

    Audiophile and mp3 do not belong together the same sentence.

  12. Jim F | Mar 02 2006 - 02:26

    C’mon guys, cheer up! I was excited by the Intel
    based Mac Mini. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted
    coming from a Unix/Windows world.

    Yeah, they bumped up the price, but we get a lot
    more than PPC version (builtin wireless +
    bluetooth, GigE, memory upto 2G, 2 extra USB,
    SATA). I’m thinking they’ll probably drop the price
    later on in the year just before back to school.
    The production cost always starts high and they
    need to keep margins also. It’s understandable
    (I am an engineer building network equipment
    so this sort of make sense from manufacturing
    standpoint). If I have any cash left after
    I pay Uncle Sam, I think I’m going to have to
    pick up a mini with a core duo. This will make
    it my second mini. :)

    I’m due for a laptop upgrade, but as long as Mac
    only has 1 button mouse, I don’t think I’ll buy.
    I do a lot of things in Unix/X windows and I need
    at least two buttons (three preferably). :)

    The music box didn’t appeal to me, either. Let’s
    wait for Apple’s birthday celebration. If they
    don’t have something big to announce then, I would
    really be disappointed. ciao.

  13. John J | Mar 02 2006 - 03:53

    Yeah…MP3/Audiophile….what….maybe the audiophiles of the latest generations whose hearing is already destroyed but some people of older generations won’t even listen to CD’s because of their low fidelity, records that is also extreme cases, but for steve jobs to consider himself an audiophile and have a MP3 playing boom box as his sound system is a joke…..

    That being said another joke is obviously the leather case, the iPod hi-fi has its place maybe a nice thing to transport to summer homes, nice for kitchens, dorm roomsstuff like that you can argue the alternative solutions, which i know of and take advantage of, but face it most consumers have too much money and too little time and are just plain lazy they’ll but what they are sold, and the apple logo sells itself to alot of people.

    The mac mini is really excititng anything big is being saved for april, but this is a nice move into the living room with new shared photos, music, and movies capabilities of front row

    And thats my 10 cents

  14. Paul | Mar 02 2006 - 03:28

    Dear Nick Circosta:

    I stand corrected on both points. No, I know not and was not considering the mindless advertisement bubble.

    I don’t mind being called a sucker by my PC friends, but I do get a bit indignant when Apple considers me a mindless money supply!

    Has Apple “Jumped the Shark”. Is this the beginning of the end of uncritical goodwill towards Apple by their user community?

  15. Rod | Mar 02 2006 - 06:22

    Apple’s latest security update, which I installed after a software update check. I am sure I had a different version of iphoto on my PB G4 than version 5. I’m also sure that the software update window informed me of an update for iphoto to 6.04. Well I look this morning and I see that iphoto has not been updated at all, it still says I am using version 5, go figure. Soooo I go to the Apple site and down load an update to iphoto and go to install it, and I get the message saying no version of the software you are trying to update is available on this machine. Now is there still alcohol in my system from New Years or am I imagining things? If I am completely off my mac rocker please tell me I can take it. TX

  16. Gary Toews | Mar 02 2006 - 06:28

    The Intel Mac Mini is just the machine I was looking for. This is not a low powered computer. I am looking for a Mac to turn into a server for student writing in my school district. They will be using Blogger to compose their blogs and the Mac Mini to host them behind a password. Right now I have this system running off a G4 iMac but with only 250 users. I am looking at expanding the service to several thousand users, so more horsepower is necessary to keep up with the demand. By the way, Ward Mundy has an excellent series of articles for turning your stoack Mac Mini into a server for next to no money. Gary

  17. Anthony | Mar 02 2006 - 08:53

    Meh, the integrated video doesnt have a hardware T&L engine – its likely you wont be able to play games like Sims 2 and WoW (either they wont run at all or you’ll get 5fps, rendering it unplayable). It is definately not a box to game on.

  18. Billy | Mar 02 2006 - 11:19

    Just listened to the show and Apple has update their “Learn More” section on the Mac Mini hard drive specs. Here’s what it says now:
    “A variety of hard drive capacities are available for Mac mini. All Mac mini models include standard Serial ATA hard drives featuring data transfers up to 1.5 Gigabits per second. All hard drives run at 5,400 revolutions per minute (rpm).”

    So apparently they saw their mistake and apparently all Mac Mini hard drives are going to be 5400rpm….kinda dissapointing.

  19. Marshall | Mar 02 2006 - 11:35

    Rod, it looks like the iphoto 6.04 update is only for people who are already using iphoto 6. iPhoto 6 isn’t a free download; you have to buy it as part of the new iLife ’06 suite.

  20. Rod | Mar 02 2006 - 12:05

    Marshall you are right. I too looked further at the Apple site. Like I said in my previous comment, maybe there is alcohol left over in my system from the New Year. The next time I will pay more attention to the update list along with the descriptions. Over the years I have gotten so used to accepting what updates are coming and just don’t look. Tx again.

    Adam, thanks for a wonderful podcast. Your hard work is very apparent in the broadcast.

  21. MacFanDave | Mar 02 2006 - 03:59

    Adam, calm down. Breathe. Relax. Are you alright? Good.

    Now, shame on you! You’ve been a Mac user at least as long as I have and you’re still going for the Apple hype?! And most of it is not Apple’s hype, but is whipped up to a fever pitch by the rumor sites! (Remember, Apple said “fun, new products” and that should have told you all you really needed to know.)

    At first, I was disappointed by the “integrated graphics” ploy, but everyone said that the Intel GMA950 trick is better than the Radeon Graphics card that is replaced. I’m reserving judgment until I see it in person. Likewise, I’m holding my tongue about the Hi-Fi. I only use my iPod at work (earbuds), at the gym (earbuds) and in the car (FM transmitter), so I have no need for any entry in that market anyways.

    Now about the leather case: you think too much like an engineer, that is, highly practical, but insistent that everyone else in the world think likewise. My neice sells pretty ordinary looking jewelry (according to my taste) and lots of people are spending wacky amounts for it. Apple is looking to send these cases to those people and not engineers like you and me. Pity them, Adam, some people have to buy their “cool” — we have our geek chic working for us all the time! ;-)

  22. Jim F | Mar 02 2006 - 03:06

    Regarding the integrated video on mini, I’m thinking
    this is the same chipset used on the Pentium M. It
    is a decent graphics chip. I tested playing on my
    Windows XP Pentium M with a FPG (Ghost Recon) at
    1280×768. It worked quite nice. I wouldn’t worry
    too much. The bad part is it uses system memory for
    its video. Oh well, I’m excited I can put 2G on it.

  23. Michael | Mar 02 2006 - 10:31

    About the memory issue and upgrading in pairs: AFAIK, if it were indeed dual-channel, it would be mandatory to install RAM in pairs. If you didn’t, it wouldn’t work. Period.

  24. Nick Circosta | Mar 03 2006 - 07:47

    Ok Hopefully my Reseller here in Aus will have the machines by tommorow and i’m off to cheack them out , if it works the way i want it to ill buy a stock one on the spot and whack behind my TV to replace that stupid mythtv box,

  25. Chris | Mar 03 2006 - 10:39

    Hey Adam – have you seen this

    Apple’s advert in the UK:

    not calling PCs ‘DULL’ Boxes

  26. Alex Santos | Mar 03 2006 - 03:40

    Hey Chris thanks for the link, it’s really appreciated. I left the link below to return the favor. It’s an audio ‘mini podcast’ of the Feb 28 Apple presentation.

    Sorry but the N. AM version is much more poetic. I like the “the Intel chip will be set free and get to live life inside a Mac”

    Life inside a mac! You see, Macs do have a soul. I think this is how Adam saw the soul bit originally, as a metaphor.

  27. Robin Teo | Mar 03 2006 - 07:57

    There a post in Mac Daily News on a test with Mac Mini Intel Core Duo running 1080p 24fps playback. He got positive results with the test.

    I thought it was dissapointing how they replaced the ATI card with motherboard Intel graphic card instead. It will be interesting to look at the performance with the games. Eug of everythingapple has posted some interesting Open GL results as well:

  28. Chris | Mar 04 2006 - 06:03

    Here’s a video of the iTunes Hi-Fi event (will launch iTunes)

  29. Jimmy JCHTV | Mar 04 2006 - 01:10

    Adam, I hope you’re wrong about Apple not making a DVR since it can sell all the TV shows on ITunes. I’m fortunate enough to live in a big city (Philly) so I can record all my HDTV stuff OTA via my El Gato 500. We’ll see!

  30. Sebastian | Mar 05 2006 - 08:48

    Despite earlier assertions from other publications, Apple Computer is currently not interested in releasing a version of its Mac mini with digital video recording (DVR) capabilities…

  31. AJ Strong | Mar 07 2006 - 01:33

    While I’m glad the mac mini is much faster in its itnel reincarnation, I’m saddened to see the price bump. With the intel iMac, the price points remained the same. The mini, however, has gone up. I thought this was the apple to give switchers no excuses. Apple needs to get that mini back down to $499.