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  1.    #1  
    Let me be the first to say, "huh"? I agree the MiniJam is a cool idea, but I don't agree it is the best module of the year. For one, it doesn't have all the features promised, such as the voice recorder. Plus, it has slipped its delivery date so many times, that ought to count against it. I would have voted for the Backup Module as the best of the year. It was readily available, delivered exactly what was promised, and has saved many Visorites from losing data when the enevitable crash happens.

    If the Backup module isn't cool enough for the Module of the Year award, then how about the SixPak. That has to be the most anticipated module discussed here. I've held off buying a modem module because I want the SixPak and the other features it has. Since it hasn't shipped yet, I can see where it might not get the vote for best module, but the MiniJam has been out for only two weeks. I think it total sales volume, the SixPak is going to beat the heck out of the MiniJam.

    RadarGreg
  2. #2  
    I agree. I posted my dismay in news . . .

    However, I think that the award could only go to a shipping product. So the SixPak is out, if I'm right.
  3. #3  
    Only modules that we have reviewed were eligble for the awards.

    RadarGreg is right though, if the six pack module was available it would probably have won since the unit has more wider appeal.



  4. #4  
    Only products that were received before September 8 (when the awards began) were eligible for consideration. You can bet that the SixPak will be up for next year's award.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  5. #5  
    was cost a factor in your decision in choosing the minijam? i'm sure if we had one for free, it would be a GREAT module, the best. but if we had to pay for it, would it still be worth the dough?
  6. #6  
    In a "Best of..." type awards, I don't think cost should be the key factor. We did have a Be$t Value award for products that offered a great price and was of high quality. As you can see, the MiniJam win that award.

    As I said in another thread, this year's awards didn't have enough modules available to let us use categories (modems, music, wireless, etc) like we wanted to.

    Is the MiniJam worth the money? I think it is, based on everything that you get with it and the expandability it offers.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  7. #7  
    Marcus/James:

    Could you guys explain why the MiniJam won over the SoundsGood module, your runner up? I'm thinking of asking for one for Christmas, and I'm stumped on which one would be better. I'd appreciate your thinking in this regard.
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by VTL
    Marcus/James:

    Could you guys explain why the MiniJam won over the SoundsGood module, your runner up? I'm thinking of asking for one for Christmas, and I'm stumped on which one would be better. I'd appreciate your thinking in this regard.
    Don't believe the Goos module is available to the Public as yet. I believe the VC staff received it after September 8th.
  9. #9  
    Originally posted by yardie
    [BDon't believe the Goos module is available to the Public as yet. I believe the VC staff received it after September 8th. [/B]
    They're both great modules. For the awards purposes, the MJ won out because of its expandability and extra features, but either would make an excellent MP3 player.

    I'm going to work on a comparison article on them over the weekend.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  10. #10  
    Both MP3 players are a lot of $$$$$$. I think the general public would prefer the PocketPC over the Visor with the Minijam. Both are within 50 or so dollars of each other. A lot of people would prefer the color screen of the PocketPC with the built-in MP3 player. I myself prefer the Visor and the Minijam or SoundsGood because of the Visor's expandability. However, the price is high. This is probably due to market shortages of parts, however, the general public pays alot of attention to price.

    In this same vein of prices, I would like to see Handspring include the Backup module and cradle with the $149 Visor Solo. The 2meg version is fine for most people that just want to carry address and calendar information. This would blow out the M100.

    Also would be nice to have the Visor memory user upgradable. This would be for someone who only wants to spend about $150 for a PDA, and then after realizing the potential of the device, needs more memory for other features.
  11. #11  
    Originally posted by BudPritchard
    Both MP3 players are a lot of $$$$$$. I think the general public would prefer the PocketPC over the Visor with the Minijam. Both are within 50 or so dollars of each other. A lot of people would prefer the color screen of the PocketPC with the built-in MP3 player.
    I'm glad I am not alone in seeing this. This has been one of my primary arguments in favor of the Pocket PC in relation to handheld multimedia. The Visor, in my opinion, is a terrible value for add-on functionality. If the MP3 or Wireless modules had been priced at around $50 per, they might have been successful. But since these modules cost much more than the Visor alone, they are doomed to failure. The only consumer who would choose a Visor + Mp3 module over a Pocket PC is one who literally can't count money, or doesn't realize he's paying more for the Visor than he would a Pocket PC!

    As a colorful inexpensive organizer with tons of third party software, the Visor is a triumph. But as a handheld computer with built-in multimedia functionality, the Visor is a failure. My biggest gripe is that none of these MP3 mods actually NEEDS the Visor at all! If you duct tape a Diamond Rio 500 to your Visor, does that make it an MP3 capable handheld? The Visor seems more like an expensive placeholder rather than a tool in this regard. I truly hope Palm and Handspring realize they are heading down a dead end road. The last thing I would like to see is yet another Microsoft dominated field. If you think I'm wrong, just look at what Sony has in store...they know what's up! It a natural and pleasant experience to be able to plug a set of stereo headphones into your handheld and listen to your favorite music. Anyone who disagrees with me has obviously never had the experience, or they would soon change their "tune". This isn't a luxury, it's a competitive advantage. Palm is positioning the M100 at teens and pre-teens. My question is; what the hell are they going to do with it? Hold names and addresses of their friends? I don't think so. The Cybiko is a much more compelling devices than an M100. It has wireless instant messaging features, games, calendar, address book, memos. The M100 has...let's see; address book, ToDo list, address book, ToDo list. Hmm, those aren't very compelling features, my Cell phone can do all that, and more and more teens are carrying Cell phones. Where does that leave a low-end plain vanilla Palm? And they aren't going to be downloading many third party apps with only 2MB or Ram. AvantGo will take up at least half of that allotment, and that is by far the best "Killer" application for the Palm platform.

    What really pisses me off with Palm is that there have been no major innovations to this platform since the original Pilot. Sure, we have seen interesting new products such as the Palm V and the Visor, but neither of these handhelds have really tried to push the envelope of handheld computing. Palm added color to the IIIc almost as an afterthought without making any serious of practical use of it. And at 160x160 pixel resolution, the display is almost unusable! If you buy a Palm IIIc, my best advice is; get a good eye care plan, you'll soon be wearing glasses or contacts from the damage to your eyes.

    Well, I digress. That's enough ranting for now. I'll come back when I've gotten my second wind, and then some more ranting.
  12. RJT
    RJT is offline
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    #12  
    Module of the year criteria?

    Cost? Not a Factor - score = 0
    Deliver what's promised? Not a factor - score = 0
    Delivered on time? Not a factor - score = 0
    Truly needed with added value? Not a factor - score = 0
    Is it kinda cool? - Everything - Score 100

    Based on criteria, Car and Driver selects Ferrari each year.

    [Edited by RJT on 09-15-2000 at 06:16 PM]
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by BudPritchard
    Both MP3 players are a lot of $$$$$$. I think the general public would prefer the PocketPC over the Visor with the Minijam. Both are within 50 or so dollars of each other. A lot of people would prefer the color screen of the PocketPC with the built-in MP3 player. I myself prefer the Visor and the Minijam or SoundsGood because of the Visor's expandability. However, the price is high. This is probably due to market shortages of parts, however, the general public pays alot of attention to price.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Pocket PC come with a maximum of 32MB of RAM? So for the same price you can hold twice as much music. Plus that 32MB is in contention with other applications that consume far more space than Palm apps.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  14. #14  
    Originally posted by JHromadka
    Originally posted by BudPritchard
    Both MP3 players are a lot of $$$$$$. I think the general public would prefer the PocketPC over the Visor with the Minijam. Both are within 50 or so dollars of each other. A lot of people would prefer the color screen of the PocketPC with the built-in MP3 player. I myself prefer the Visor and the Minijam or SoundsGood because of the Visor's expandability. However, the price is high. This is probably due to market shortages of parts, however, the general public pays alot of attention to price.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Pocket PC come with a maximum of 32MB of RAM? So for the same price you can hold twice as much music. Plus that 32MB is in contention with other applications that consume far more space than Palm apps.
    true true but when you consider that most (all???) PPC come with CompactFlash slots (or in the case of the iPAQ a sleve that lets you use compact flash, but it is another accssory ) Not dissaggreing with you James just playing devils advicate(or however you spell that word) the one thing I thik that ppl haven't considered is that in the next generation of Visors which should include More Powerful processors, More memory, and maby if we are lucky a software grafti software area. This would basicly be a pocket PC only with PALMos, and you should be able to use all of your existing springbords (hopefuly) but this might be a dream
    Sam Kleinman

    PocketPCThoughts.com
    CollectiveArts
    Free-ePress
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    CollectiveArts TechMusings

    "Everybody don't like something and we all don't like you." -- Richard Thompson, Hard Luck Stories
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by JHromadka
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Pocket PC come with a maximum of 32MB of RAM? So for the same price you can hold twice as much music. Plus that 32MB is in contention with other applications that consume far more space than Palm apps.
    James, while I do agree that Pocket PC apps tend to be larger than their Palm equivalents, you seem to be ignoring the fact that third party Palm apps are getting fatter in size as well. I've noticed that every application that I have downloaded from PalmGear recently seems to be weighing it at a hefty 100k...ouch! PortaKitty, PortaFish, Action Names (250k), All Money (250k), BugMe, TealDoc, TealInfo, Zap!2000, Race Fever, TealPaint, Xenoprobe, SmartDoc. They all run at 100k or greater, Which doesn't seem very efficient to me, especially for a thin-client handheld. What happened to the days of 17-45k hacks and games? DateBK4 tips the scales at...hold on to your hats...450k, woohoo!

    Handspring sells their whimsical 8MB Flash memory module for $80, while I can buy an 8MB Compact Flash card for $15-25.
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    James, while I do agree that Pocket PC apps tend to be larger than their Palm equivalents, you seem to be ignoring the fact that third party Palm apps are getting fatter in size as well. I've noticed that every application that I have downloaded from PalmGear recently seems to be weighing it at a hefty 100k...ouch! PortaKitty, PortaFish, Action Names (250k), All Money (250k), BugMe, TealDoc, TealInfo, Zap!2000, Race Fever, TealPaint, Xenoprobe, SmartDoc. They all run at 100k or greater, Which doesn't seem very efficient to me, especially for a thin-client handheld. What happened to the days of 17-45k hacks and games? DateBK4 tips the scales at...hold on to your hats...450k, woohoo!
    That's a problem with developers, not the platform per se. Developers insist on writing apps for the color Palm OS, and are too lazy to write monochrome-native versions. Considering that the Palm IIIc is a flop, the wisdom of writing color apps at this time, adding unnecessary overhead to the majority of clients, is questionable to say the least. It's unfortunate that most developers are testing their apps with a color POSE and want to post color screenshots on PalmGear.

    Since developers would rather waste RAM than their coding time, it's unrealistic to expect a them to write separate monochrome and color versions. One solution is to archive the earlier mono versions of the apps and give the user the option of downloading the leanest or the latest. If they found that 90 percent of users were downloading the mono because it consumes one-tenth the memory -- and were even willing to forego newer features because of it -- they might think twice about writing color apps.

    I don't have a single application of my Visor that's over 80k, since I refuse to use newer versions written for the IIIc. I haven't even used 2MB on my Visor yet.

    Handspring sells their whimsical 8MB Flash memory module for $80, while I can buy an 8MB Compact Flash card for $15-25.
    What's "whimsical" Flash memory? And despite the larger apps, 8MB on the Palm still goes a long way, since you're not storing 3-6MB MP3 files.

    [Edited by Gameboy70 on 09-16-2000 at 05:27 PM]
  17. #17  
    How is the Pocket PC with 32 MB of RAM better than the Visor plus MP3 module? I doubt you would be able to add two mp3s on the Pocket PC once you install a few software. And if the Pocket PC is sssooooooooooooooo good ..why is it that they are stuck on the store shelves?

    The MP3 modules are expensive, but they are not much more expensive than stand alone players.
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    James, while I do agree that Pocket PC apps tend to be larger than their Palm equivalents, you seem to be ignoring the fact that third party Palm apps are getting fatter in size as well. I've noticed that every application that I have downloaded from PalmGear recently seems to be weighing it at a hefty 100k...ouch! PortaKitty, PortaFish, Action Names (250k), All Money (250k), BugMe, TealDoc, TealInfo, Zap!2000, Race Fever, TealPaint, Xenoprobe, SmartDoc. They all run at 100k or greater, Which doesn't seem very efficient to me, especially for a thin-client handheld. What happened to the days of 17-45k hacks and games? DateBK4 tips the scales at...hold on to your hats...450k, woohoo!
    You'll get no argument from me about apps needing to be as small as possible, but many of those apps you referenced are games or business applications that tend to be big. And Pimlico continues to support prior versions of DateBk for those that can't afford the size constraints of DateBk4.

    It is unrealistic to compare the Pocket PC to the Visor+MP3 and say "they're the same price, so what's the difference?" As I said earlier, all that PPC music is stored in the 32MB of RAM that is contending with applications. Yes you can buy Flash Mem, but then you're comparing external storage.

    I'm also moving this to Off Topic.
    James Hromadka, TreoCentral Editor
    Houston - EST. 1836
  19. #19  
    Gameboy:

    What's "whimsical" Flash memory?
    I meant that it IS whimsical to charge $80 for flash memory when I can pay less than 1/3 of that price in another form factor. Would you pay $100 for Zip disks from Iomega when you can get the same disk from another vendor for $10? Of course not, 8MB is still 8MB no matter what format it comes in. Why would should I pay this price, just becuase it wears the Handspring logo.

    Yardie:

    How is the Pocket PC with 32 MB of RAM better than the Visor plus MP3 module?
    It isn't a matter of being better. It's a matter of value. By the time a buyer pays $250 for a Visor Deluxe, and $270 for a Soundsgood, or MiniJam, they could have purchased a Pocket PC for $400. The whole point of the Palm platform is value and versatility. In this case the Visor is clearly a poor value. After all, you aren't getting color display with the Visor, and there is no need to lug MP3 modules around with a Pocket PC. But I wouldn't say that one or the other was better as an MP3 player.

    I doubt you would be able to add two mp3s on the Pocket PC once you install a few software.
    Pocket PCs come with a desktop application that converts MP3s into Windows Media Files. In short, it can take a 5MB MP3 and turn it into a 1.5MB WMA file without any loss of quality. It's rather impressive, and the sound quality is great.

    And if the Pocket PC is sssooooooooooooooo good ..why is it that they are stuck on the store shelves?
    Stuck on store shelves? Where have you been? In case you hadn't noticed, Pocket PCs are selling hand over fist. In fact CNET just ran an article that mentioning that Compaq and HP are ramping up production. In fact, Compaq expects to ship 1 million handhelds by the end of this year. You can't even get a PPC in any electronics store because they are out of stock. Ebay is a feeding frenzy right now for people wanting to grab an iPAQ. I know because I just sold mine there for a handsome price. I don't see Palm IIIc's going for $1000, do you?

    James:

    It is unrealistic to compare the Pocket PC to the Visor+MP3 and say "they're the same price, so what's the difference?"
    They are not the same price in every instance. You can get a Jornada 540 for less than $400. But by the time you pay for a Visor Dlx + Soundsgood, your paying over $500. Where is the value there? You would be far better off buying a Diamond Rio for $150. There isn't a chance in hell I would ever pay $270 for an MP3 "module". I'm not really arguing with you in this case. In my opinion, all of these devices are grossly overpriced.



    [Edited by foo fighter on 09-16-2000 at 07:06 PM]
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by foo fighter
    I meant that it IS whimsical to charge $80 for flash memory when I can pay less than 1/3 of that price in another form factor. Would you pay $100 for Zip disks from Iomega when you can get the same disk from another vendor for $10? Of course not, 8MB is still 8MB no matter what format it comes in. Why would should I pay this price, just becuase it wears the Handspring logo.
    Unfortunately the format does matter, and there's no constistency in price between "equivalent" technologies. I just bought an MTrip CD-RW portable audio player for $106. I can burn 650MB of MP3 onto a CD from my PC and play that CD on the MTrip. And it plays regular audio CDs. The price of most portable MP3 players (standalones and Springboards) is comparable to buying an MTrip and a CD writer. You can also get a Nomad Jukebox, which stores 6GB of MP3, for $499. Chip-based solutions like Flash, MMC, SD, Memory Stick, etc. vary wildly in price. But I'll concede to your basic point: memory is cheaper on PPCs than on Visors. Since Visors aren't multimedia, they don't need that kind of memory.




    How is the Pocket PC with 32 MB of RAM better than the Visor plus MP3 module?

    It isn't a matter of being better. It's a matter of value. By the time a buyer pays $250 for a Visor Deluxe, and $270 for a Soundsgood, or MiniJam, they could have purchased a Pocket PC for $400. The whole point of the Palm platform is value and versatility. In this case the Visor is clearly a poor value. After all, you aren't getting color display with the Visor, and there is no need to lug MP3 modules around with a Pocket PC. But I wouldn't say that one or the other was better as an MP3 player.
    False economics. If, like me, you're not buying an MP3 module, then you've saved $150. I'm also not paying for a color display that I don't need. On the other hand, if I change my mind at a later date, I can always buy the module to lug around like, say, the CF card that you'll need for an acceptable amount of MP3 storage on a PPC. But I'd probably keep the Springboard in the Springboard slot for convenience.

    As it stands, I'd rather carry my MTrip and listen to 650MB of MP3 than either a 32MB PPC or a Visor with a 64MB MP3 module. Moreover, instead of dealing with the transfer times necessary to swap out files in the latter two devices, I can just switch CDs.

    I doubt you would be able to add two mp3s on the Pocket PC once you install a few software.

    Pocket PCs come with a desktop application that converts MP3s into Windows Media Files. In short, it can take a 5MB MP3 and turn it into a 1.5MB WMA file without any loss of quality. It's rather impressive, and the sound quality is great.[/i]
    True. A definite plus for the PPC.

    And if the Pocket PC is sssooooooooooooooo good ..why is it that they are stuck on the store shelves?

    Stuck on store shelves? Where have you been? In case you hadn't noticed, Pocket PCs are selling hand over fist. In fact CNET just ran an article that mentioning that Compaq and HP are ramping up production. In fact, Compaq expects to ship 1 million handhelds by the end of this year. You can't even get a PPC in any electronics store because they are out of stock. Ebay is a feeding frenzy right now for people wanting to grab an iPAQ. I know because I just sold mine there for a handsome price. I don't see Palm IIIc's going for $1000, do you?
    The iPaq is a definite hit, but the increased production has as much to do with short supply as it does with high demand, so I wouldn't read too much into the eBay prices. The Staples a few blocks from me has iPaqs in supply, for what it's worth. HP will lose market share to Compaq, but still hold its ground. I predict that Casio will be the fifth OEM to drop WinCE/PPC.

    It is unrealistic to compare the Pocket PC to the Visor+MP3 and say "they're the same price, so what's the difference?"

    They are not the same price in every instance. You can get a Jornada 540 for less than $400. But by the time you pay for a Visor Dlx + Soundsgood, your paying over $500.
    Again, false economics -- unless you're original intention is to buy a PDA as an MP3 player, which isn't true for most of us. Here's a test: make a note of the next 10 times you see someone in public using a PDA. How many of those 10 were using their PDAs to listen to MP3?

    Where is the value there? You would be far better off buying a Diamond Rio for $150.
    Rumor has it that the Diamond Rio's not much of a PDA.

    There isn't a chance in hell I would ever pay $270 for an MP3 "module". I'm not really arguing with you in this case. In my opinion, all of these devices are grossly overpriced.
    Amen to that. At last, we've reached common ground.
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