Thursday, June 22, 2006

Michael Gartenberg - Gigabeat S - First Take

Michael Gartenberg writes at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs about his thoughts on the Toshiba Gigabeat S and whether he thinks it stands up to the Apple (AAPL) iPod. Gartenberg states:

When I first looked at PMC a couple of years ago, I was pretty impressed at the concept but the form factor left a lot to be desired. Toshiba's taken care of that and has got the Gigabeat down to a slim device that's a little smaller than the 60gb iPod but just a hair thicker. It's a very pocketable device. Everything works as it did before and Toshiba has thrown in an FM radio as well. The UI redembles Media Center and is easy to get around. Controls are good and everything is responsive. Pictures transferred well as did some video I had on my machine. Other WMV files did not transcode and just generated an error. Syncing TV content with Media Center worked but is still painfully slow as a process.
He points out two big differences between the Gigabeat and the iPod: Support for subscription music and video services. He writes a little about his experience trying Urge for music and Vongo for video and says both worked pretty well. Gartenberg concludes:
My overall impression is pretty positive. If you're into subscription services video or audio, this is pretty much the device to get. The loose association of brands such as Vongo, Urge, Gigabeat S and Portable Media Center are going to make it difficult, however, for consumers to tie all the pieces together. The simplictiy and integration of the iPod and iTunes, combined with the iPod platform of acessories and add ons is not likely to be threatened any time in the near future.