4 thoughts on “Daring Fireball on the rumoured Flash iPod

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gary,

    Excuse my ignorance, but what’s the difference between flash-based and hard-drive-based memory? i.e. the iPods we have just now and the ones that are being speculated about?

    Ronnie Brown

  2. Gary says:

    Hey Ronnie. Are you still blogging btw? I’ve lost your URL.

    The stuff people are speculating about is solid-state storage, which is being used by some of the cheaper MP3 players such as Creative’s MuVo and the millions of no-name players you can pick up for £40. Effectively they’re compactflash or secure digital cards with an MP3 player built around them.

    The problems with hard disk-based players are twofold: size and price. There’s a limit to how small you can make a hard disk, so you won’t get hard disk-based players much smaller than a typical mobile phone; with flash-based, you can make an entire player that’s smaller than a lipstick. And the smaller the hard disk, the more expensive it is. For anything up to 1Gb, you’re better off with flash memory – it’s cheaper.

    The other thing is power consumption: because flash players have no moving parts, they can (potentially) consume much less power than a hard disk.

    Does that make sense?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Gary

    That’s made it a bit clearer. I think. Was just bemused by how data is actually saved onto Flash cards (and Flash mp3 players) if they’re not using ‘hard-disks’ per se.

    PS, still got a site and still talking nonsense on it over at http://www.160676.net

    Ronnie

  4. David says:

    Ronnie

    In its most simple form flash memory is essentially a whole array of switches which are either logically on or off. Unlike the memory in your PC they are made in such a way (it involves electrons somehow) that when power is taken away they don’t change state – a bit like a seesaw – when you sit on it it goes down and when you get off it stays there (assuming you’re alone!) So when you go back to it it is the same as before. When attached to a device it simply (i bet you it isn’t that simple irl) flick the switches back and forward as required.

    I may have totally made that up!

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