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Nomad Jukebox 3 Officially Out 254

An Anonymous Coward writes: "It seems that the long awaited Jukebox 3 is officially out. Features include time scaling, to play files at different speeds without affecting pitch, multichannel effects, optical input, wireless remote and two battery ports. Probably not an iPod killer yet, although it has many, many more features and welcome firewire port. Now when will this thing be available?"
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Nomad Jukebox 3 Officially Out

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  • by VonSnaggle ( 64586 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @06:46PM (#3354346)
    Is this one of those paid advertisment/article things????
  • maybe the price will come down on the previous models, so i can have a shot at owning one...
  • why people buy mp3 players shaped like cd players; the circular design is not nearly as convanient as a small rectangle. is there something I'm missing here?
    • To keep the corners from poking you, sending subliminal messages telling you MP3s cause harm.

    • why people buy mp3 players shaped like cd players; the circular design is not nearly as convanient as a small rectangle. is there something I'm missing here?

      rounded appliances don't crack as easily as square ones when you drop them?

  • I wonder how long it'll be until the RIAA releases some new survey blaming music jukeboxes like this for a decrease in sales?
  • by IronTek ( 153138 )
    I think I must be caught in Steve Jobs's Reality Destortion Field.

    ...because I still want an iPod over this thing!

    Actually, this thing is great, certainly better than the first two (of which I never really liked), but it's still too large to be truly portable.
  • by Cheshire Cat ( 105171 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @06:50PM (#3354373) Homepage
    I don't mean this as a flame, but articles like this do beg the question of whether or not advertisers are paying to have the products promoted as a Slashdot story. Especially when there's nothing really that insightful here. Furthermore given the financial strugges of Slashdot's parent company, its not unthinkable to see them accepting advertising funds in exchange for Slashdot hits.

    Just wondering, I guess....
    • by Mr. Sketch ( 111112 ) <mister,sketch&gmail,com> on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @07:05PM (#3354475)
      I guess that April Fools story [] about the updated slashdot advertisement policy wasn't an april fools after all...
      • Updated Slashdot Advertising Policy Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday April 01, @05:13PM from the tightening-our-belts dept. In response to increased advertiser demand, we have decided that we will post one story a day paid for directly by our advertisers. These paid "Slashvertisements" will appear daily amidst the normal stories you read here. Our first Slashvertisement is for our sister site, ThinkGeek, stuff for smart masses. From Linus' Autobiography to 42" Plasma Screens and Caffeine Products Galore, ThinkGeek has everything you need, except love. But enough of their gift certificates could bribe your way to that too! And check out their current exciting specials!. Also at the request of our advertisers, anonymous posting has been disabled. If you are interested in reaching quality demographics using Slashvertisements for your company, or just have questions about the new ad policy, email Hemos
    • You'll know if you start seeing banner ads for Nomad tomorrow...
    • by ( 463190 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @07:28PM (#3354621) Homepage
      articles like this do beg the question of whether or not advertisers are paying to have the products promoted as a Slashdot story

      As someone who has sent a product [] to Slashdot for review, let me tell you that this is *not* how it works. These guys like gadgets, and they consider product announcements to be worthy of "news for nerds". Judging by the number of comments attached these stories, most slashdot readers agree. That's why you see a lot of MP3 and PVR related stories.

      We didn't pay slashdot to review the SliMP3. All cmdrTaco got out of it was a free prototype. I wasn't even the one who submitted the original story about my project. Somebody just found us on the web, and submitted a story. That's usually how slshdot works. If that weren't the case, you wouldn't see the slashdot effect - don't you think sites would prepare for the traffic if they knew a story was coming out?
    • I think /. should adopt a new policy of not allowing AC submissions of product announcements in the name of journalistic integr...

      Oh wait... never mind...

    • Nah to really promote the product via a /. story would require that your skeptical comment be nuked also (should be part of the hush-hush agreement, don't accept negative replies when issuing a product placement story.)

    • Pretty fishy, especially after this almost duplicate story [] posted just the other day?


  • no vorbis? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bani ( 467531 )
    no sale...

    better luck next time, creative.
    • by krmt ( 91422 )
      Is there any techincal reason why no one supports vorbis yet? I know... I know... it's not as popular as MP3 and therefore probably not worth the money, but in terms of the purely technical, why isn't there a portable ogg player? The project is in the 1.0RC phase, and we all know it's a high quality product. Given that the software itself is free, how hard would it be to put the decoder in to one of these things? I just don't understand.
      • Re:Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 )
        Someone has to manufacture an ASIC to decode vorbis. You can't do it on a general purpose processor because the usual embedded processors like ARM are not fast enough and processors that are fast enough use too much power. I don't think anyone will produce a vorbis ASIC until a huge market for portable, low-power vorbis players exist.

        The only likely scenario would be an existing MP3 ASIC manufacturer adding vorbis support to their product. At least that wouldn't require (much) more space on the circuit board.
        • Re:Exactly (Score:2, Informative)

          by ikeleib ( 125180 )
          You are wrong. The ASIC based decoders have less horsepower than the ARM based decoders. It's lack of a codec that's holding it back. The ammount of NOR flash on most player boards is more than enough for an additional codec. NO ADDITIONAL PARTS WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR MOST MP3 PLAYERS.

          To help in making a fixed pont Ogg codec, see:
          • Interesting... how much work is this project going to entail? I don't know much about encoding, but if you could point me towards whatever docs need to be read to help out, I'd like to help. I feel like I've been waiting for a portable vorbis player forever, and if this would really be the key, then I'd like to help.
      • Re:Exactly (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Free vorbis decoders use floating point.

        Portal players use integers.

        There aren't integer vorbis decoders that are free (beer or speech).

      • One of the problems is that the present decoder requires a floating point unit to be present (or to use the horribly slow emulation). Apparently, there is/will be a integer decoder available for sale from the creators of Vorbis that will fix this situation. Apparently, there's even been interest in said decoder. Maybe soonish we'll see some hardware players supporting Vorbis... that will be sweet.

        See this thread [] for details.

      • Re:Exactly (Score:3, Informative)

        by John_Booty ( 149925 )
        From everything I've read, including posts from the Ogg guys, the Ogg decoding algorithm requires floating-point math, something small embedded processors typically don't have. This isn't the case with mp3's.

        I bet the hardware manufacturers would love to implement Ogg- I doubt they like paying licensing fees to Microsoft and Franhofer (sp?) for WMA and MP3 licenses.

        I believe the Ogg guy(s) are working on a decoding algorithm that doesn't require floating-point math. I'm out of touch with Ogg land though... check their site.
        • Actualy, an integer math Ogg library does exist, but it just isn't free. Whoever the "Ogg guys" are decided they needed to eat, and decided to charge money for the integer math decoder. Nothing, however is stopping anyone else from writing their own integer math implementation.
    • ... And no Linux! At least in the system requiremets page.

      I guess I'll have to wait.
    • No Vorbis?

      Probably because only 1% of the people they're marketing it to actually want it, so it's not worth the effort for them to put it in.

      It's like going to Ford, and asking why the hell their cars don't support MiniDisc. (Which I personally love.)

  • Is it like (or compatible with) IEEE 1394?
    AKA FireWire/iLINK.
    Anyone else find it funny that the non apple version is called 'iLINK'?
  • by neksys ( 87486 ) <grphillips AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @06:52PM (#3354386)
    Lets see.... $21 per gigabyte, if this tariff passes. $21 * 20 = $420 + retail. Somehow I doubt Canadian consumers are going to be shelling out around $1000 for something like this. How long before companies like Creative step in to try to put a stop to our new proposed levies?
    • Technically it can't be called blank media if they put one short sound clip extolling "Your brand-new Nomad blah blah blah, go everywhere with music you have never gone before, blah blah blah"

      Then you can let the tarrif be a bygone. I know it doesn't work in the long run (because they probaly will then rewrite the law to close that loophole) and also because it doesn't address the tarrif for CD-R/W discs.

      But mostly, you guys over that imaginary line called "border" have my fullest sympathy, and encourage you guys to do what you can before this rediculous-ness catches on here in the good ol' US of RIAA.


    • How long before companies like Creative step in to try to put a stop to our new proposed levies?
      My guess is never. Or, at least, a very long time. The market is considerably smaller in Canada. The money expended to protect a potential market is better spent on inproving products in an already-competitive market in the US. It's just the economics of it.
  • I wonder if the battery life is really anywhere near 22 hours, and also if it is turned into a brick with two batteries.

    Also, can it act as a normal hard drive?

    I just wish the empeg group of SonicBlue would release a hard drive portable player. But with the Riot out, it dosen't look overly promising to have a linux hackable MP3 portable player anytime soon. The iPod is nice, but I doubt it will just get OGG support, dynamic compression, a web server, and other interesting features hacked into it. OGG support on the empeg-car will be so nice.
    • Also, can it act as a normal hard drive?

      yes. it must not mount as a normal portable hard disk in windows, though. it comes with the "creative file manager" app for transferring non-music files to/from the device.

      there's one bullet about this on the features page [] ("Creative File Manager - Use the player as a portable storage device").
    • I wonder if the battery life is really anywhere near 22 hours, and also if it is turned into a brick with two batteries.
      The 22 hours quote comes from the maximum battery life when you have two battery packs installed. The maximum battery life time is 11 hours with the one supplied battery. The entire specs can be found here [].
  • (Score:2, Informative)

    by Britano ( 183479 )
    The source for all Creative Labs news, and not paid for by CL! []
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A lot of people who have used the original Nomad Jukebox do not like the software that comes with it called PlayCenter. An alternative that has become very popular in the Nomad community is Notmad Explorer [].

    It provides full Windows Explorer integration, access to the Jukebox via a built-in webserver, and search and report generation features using a built-in SQL database.

    There's a free trial version []. Notmad Explorer is also mentioned in the first full review of the Jukebox3 at [].
  • 8,000 songs (Score:1, Redundant)

    by blugecko ( 152079 )
    I wish they would say how many Megabytes this thing holds, not how many songs. I am assuming they are assuming that the average mp3 file is something like 4megs, who knows. My average song size is something like 60megs, since I listen to a ton of live electronic music. I guess it's a step up from library of congress or (gasp) that stupid story that measured things in terms of the human genome....
    • Re:8,000 songs (Score:2, Informative)

      by Fletch ( 6903 )
      from the specs page []:

      16MB DRAM buffer
      20GB hard drive storage (333 hours at 128kbps MP3 encoding)
    • It holds enough megabytes that if a football pitch sized colony of ants were to hold one bit per ant and stood on top of each other it would reach to the moon in more time than Concorde could fly between London and New York if all the passengers were listening to inferior MP3 players during take off and landing.
  • "It seems that the long awaited Jukebox 3 is officially out." "Now when will this thing be available?"

    OK, that confused me at first. (I thought 'out' meant it was 'available')
  • by 2Bits ( 167227 )
    Wake me up when there's a player for Ogg Vorbis.

    I've converted most of my CDs to Ogg already,
    and getting rid of the mp3 formats.

    While we're at it, please make one for my car
    too, will ya?

  • Still no Ogg Vorbis (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bmw ( 115903 )
    According to their page it seems to only support WMA, MP3, and WAV formats.

    I'm aware that Ogg Vorbis hasn't reached 1.0 yet, but still, you'd think they could include support for it pretty easily. Anyone know if you can upgrade the software on these things? Their site doesn't mention anything about it.
  • Maybe its just me, but I like the tiny little iPod. Why oh why can't they make them smaller than cd players?
    • I'm guessing the HD the Nomad uses is a laptop drive - much larger than the matchbox sized Microdrives from IBM that are used by iPod.

      Microdrives don't hold as much as laptop there even a 20GB microdrive? If there were, I'd guess it'd cost Creative over $500 per device, meaning the Nomad would cost close to $1500 MSRP. I may love music, but that's a bit steep for a dedicated portable device, no?

      So it comes down to price vs. capacity. Want big drives, buy a Nomad or other device that uses a laptop drive. Want a small device? Buy an iPod.
  • PC Minimum System Requirements:
    Microsoft® Windows® 98 (Second Edition required for SB1394 transfer)/2000/Me/XP
    Intel® Pentium II 233MHz or AMD K6®-2 266MHz (Pentium III450MHz or higher recommended for MP3 encoding)
    SVGA graphics adapter (256 colors, 800x600)
    Internet connection for Internet content downloading or CDDB® support (any charges incurred are the responsibility of the end user)
    64MB RAM (128MB recommended)
    USB or SB1394 port (found on Sound Blaster® Audigy(TM) series of audio cards)
    30MB free hard disk space (more for audio content storage)
    Installed Mouse
    Sound Blaster® Audigy(TM), Extigy(TM) or Live! for EAX® enhanced MP3 encoding
    CD-ROM drive with digital audio extraction support

    end thieved content from NOMAD page

    I have to buy a new SOUNDCARD to use this thing? I just got my 5.1 Platinum six months ago. I'm not sure a lot of people are going to be up for paying $100 for a new card just to be able to use "SB 1394."

    I can get an 10GB iPod with XDrive for under $450. Yes, the storage site is only 10GB, but with true Firewire I can shift files on and off in minutes rather than the hours USB1 takes.

    Come on Creative, give us REAL Firewire support!

    • Only if you want the EAX encoding. No clue as to what that adds, sound-wise, but I don't think creative is stupid enough to try to force you to buy a card to go with that expensive mp3 player.

      However adding functionality to said player with certain cards means at least a couple power users are destined to plunk down a bit of extra change for one.
    • it is real IEEE1394. it's just passed their audigy firewire port compatibility tests, so it's called sb1394.

      it should work with any other IEEE1394 card you might have.
    • Well, of course Creative would love it if you bought an Audigy...but that shouldn't be required.

      If nothing else, this thing also says it has a USB interface, and 1394 is 1394 - no matter what marketting name is applied to it.
    • dude, sb1394 is real firewire, except it can't power devices. So this thing'll hook up to any workin 1394 connection you may have. Just don't plan on recharging devices with sb1394.
  • 20GB storage space holds up to 8000 songs encoded in WMA at 80kbps or 5000 MP3s encoded at 128kbps

    ika:/home/derek> bc

  • Almost my entire music collection is in oggs now.

  • When will people learn that WMA and MP3 support isn't enough anymore? Really, how much more would it take to decode Ogg or, even better, allow for writing to the device. Just my -$0.02
    • When will people learn that WMA and MP3 support isn't enough anymore?

      but it is enough. there may be .001% of the music population that even knows what Ogg Vorbis is, but most folks buying this stuff only know MP3.

      I suspect most people wind up with windows media files more by accident (because the media encoder does them by default) than because they know anything about the format...
  • I'm buying a bunch then going to sell them to canadians to avoid their tariff on blank media.

  • AC reports that you could look more like a geek with new Apple cupholders that display the temperature of your liquid (using a cut down AMD chip), only $9.99.
  • Wired only and costs extra.
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @07:14PM (#3354535) Homepage Journal
    Reasons the iPod rules over the Nomad:

    -iPod is way smaller.
    -iPod software (iTunes) rocks.
    -The iPod is a pretty rugged little box.
    -Proven to be extensible.
    -Works as a standard IEEE 1394 external disk.

    Reasons the Nomad rules over the iPod:

    -Holds 20Gb of MP3 data (as opposed to iPod's 5 or 10GB).
    -You can add a second battery and double the life to 22 hours. The iPod only is good for 10 or so.
    -Safe assumption - the Nomad works better with Windows, no 3rd party software needed. No Linux drivers for either.
    -Both USB _and_ 1394 on board. Hopefully the port isn't some kind of funky "almost-standard" version.

    Reasons the Nomad may kind of suck anyways:

    -Size. Why make it look like a CD player if it relies on a hard drive?
    -Ruggedness - every Nomad I've seen yet has been kind of flimsy. Until proven otherwise, I'll assume this one is, too.
    - It uses a Sound Blaster for "enhanced MP3 encoding". Requiring an add-on product for best results is lame. Though I guess to some a Mac is an add-on product for an iPod...

    • by cygnus ( 17101 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @07:30PM (#3354629) Homepage
      Requiring an add-on product for best results is lame.

      yes, LAME is an add-on product that will produce the best mp3 results...

    • You forgot one very important thing: It says as a data storage medium you need Creative's software to move files. If the computer you are moving files to doesn't have the software you have to bring a floppy with drivers and the program for the other computer to recognize and use the device. There already are a significant number of computers (notbooks mainly) that don't even have floppy drives. What is going to happen then? I'm still going to wait until Apple makes PC software for the iPod (or until Apple ports OS X to x86)
    • SB also has one advantage that, to me at least, is a decision maker: The Jukebox3 has input ports. I want to take this to my practice space and record three hours of my band playing. I can't do this with an iPod (but Steve Jobs, if iPod2 has a line-in/mic, I'm sold).


    • - It uses a Sound Blaster for "enhanced MP3 encoding". Requiring an add-on product for best results is lame. Though I guess to some a Mac is an add-on product for an iPod...

      The SoundBlaster Audigy has both dedicated hardware for MP3 encoding and a firewire port. It is one of the few, if not the only, sound card to provide these features.
  • The iPod does so much more than any other MP3 player right now.
  • by BigBir3d ( 454486 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @07:29PM (#3354625) Journal
    aparently the newest thing to bitch about when /. runs the latest story *cough* ad *cough* for any sort of mp3 player is "if it does'nt play ogg, i won't buy it!"

    so? it is a mp3 player, not a ogg vorbis player. note the key word, mp3.

    ogg is open source, which is nice. but not too many people use it, that don't read slashdot anyways.

    get over it.

    wait about 2 or 3 years, and they will come. when was napster really popular? 1999? how many portable mp3 players were available then that had more than 1 GB of storage?
  • One advantage of Archos Jukebox [] players is that they double as hard drives. In practical terms, what this means is that you transfer .mp3 and other files back and forth between the Archos Jukebox and other PCs. As far as I know, the Nomad units can only receive files from PCs - I guess as an "anti-piracy" measure.
  • I think that the previous version had Mac support.. what's the Mac support like with this thing? I looked at the site but didn't see anything about the Nomad 3 being supported under the MacOS.

    I just love it when a company takes Apple technology (firewire) and then doesn't support the Mac.
  • Okay, for all the "no linux software" posts:

    libnjb [] is a fantastic Linux library for interfacing with the Nomad Jukebox. There are lots of links that take you to software.
  • It's officially available? yeah, right.

    As of 17:22 Tuesday (PDT) it's not on:
    Creative's online shop []
    Amazon's "Nomad Jukebox"... All Results [] page

    Any even of my local retailers (check here) [].

    I'd really be interested if anyone could tell me where to get one online.

  • Is it just me, or are they deliberately making fun of so-called audiophiles? "Enjoy audiophile quality playback anywhere" and "5000 songs at 128kbps" send two very, very different messages. I'm not an audiophile (I spent around $50 on my stereo receiver), or even someone who puts much effort into mp3 encoding... and I found 192 to be the range where my sucky hearing stopped detecting problems.

    So are they going after audiophiles, or are they going after losers who believe Creative hype about what audiophiles use, need, and buy? For that matter, given Creative's history, why am I even asking this question? :-)

    Bah. As soon as they or Rio start posting the weight of their devices when they begin the hype, instead of doing their best to make it look small, I'll pay attention. Until then, I know without picking one up that it's not what I want.

  • Nomad 3 Review (Score:3, Informative)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <asv@ i v o s s . com> on Tuesday April 16, 2002 @10:34PM (#3355851) Homepage Journal
    The first hands on review of the nomad 3 is available here [].
  • I have a Nomad Jukebox and I have been very, very, VERY disappointed with the "user-interface" on the thing. There is no quick access to songs (by first letter or such), so you have to scroll down linearly through your entire collection to find an album, artist, or title. This is made even more painful because the thing becomes very sluggish and the scrolling has "hiccups" while a song is actually playing. Mine takes over a minute to boot (not an exaggeration), frequently will hang with a "Please Wait..." message for a good 20-30 seconds when switching modes (normal/random) or navigating a large playlist.

    Not to mention that the interface menus are laid out inconsistently, and it has two modes you have to switch back and forth between just to create a playlist. The physical button layout is very inergonomic and difficult to manipulate without looking while driving.

    I just took my Nomad on a road trip and I honestly had to spend several minutes explaining the interface to my friend (an engineer) just so he could operate it while I was driving. In terms of ease-of-use, it's the exact opposite of an iPod. By the end of the trip we were ready to chuck the thing into the Grand Canyon.

    The point of this tirade: don't waste your money on a Nomad 3, at least not unless they've spent a lot of time improving what must be one of the worst interfaces ever designed.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that the unit locks up playing some mp3's (possibly the mp3's had encoding errors, but still...), and the Creative PlayCenter software you use to download songs crashes constantly when transferring, even after several upgrades to both it and the Nomad firmware.

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons