Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Stiletto 2 vs iPod

Find out more about Stiletto 2 - including a complete review - here.

So many people have been looking up this question, I thought I'd split my previous post into two and cut right to the chase! I've tried to consider the options and this is what I've come up with.

Cost: An iPod 'classic' will set you back $349 - twenty bucks more than the Stiletto 2. But you don't need to pay a monthly subscription to receive service (the Stiletto 2 will cost you $12.95 a month.) Bear in mind, though, that you'll have to buy content to listen to, either in the form of CD's you 'burn' through iTunes, or through iTunes itself (in which you pay for each individual song or album you buy.)

The $12.95 for a SIRIUS subscription - which delivers 130 channels of constantly live music and talk - would buy you less than fourteen songs a month via iTunes. And with the 'love' button, you can store twenty times that many songs absolutely free on your Stiletto 2, to listen to any time you want. Winner: Stiletto 2.

Looks: The Stiletto 2 is very clearly a product of the iPod generation. From the glossy black finish to the rotating media dial, the whole layout of the Stiletto 2 should feel intuitive to iPod users. The Stiletto 2 is a very attractive little device - but it's clearly riding on the iPod's coattails.

From the slick little iTouch to the elegance and simplicity of the iPod 'nano,' this is the stuff Apple do best and however groundbreaking the concept and execution of Stiletto 2 is, the physical design of the device was intentionally modeled on the iPod concepts. Winner: iPod.

Features: On the face of it, the iPod might appear to have the Stiletto 2 beat. Even the budget priced 80gb iPod 'Classic' has ten times as much storage as Stiletto 2 - and can play videos and display pictures on the tiny screen. If watching squinty versions of your favourite movies (compressed to the size of a postage stamp) is your sort of thing, the iPod is the clear winner. On the other hand, Stiletto 2 features all that live music and radio, which the iPod simply can't match. The only iPod contents you can enjoy, you have to buy and upload yourself.

There's no clear winner here - you just have to decide what it is you'll be using your handheld device for. If you're pretty sure you'll only be using it to listen to music and radio, the Stiletto 2 is the winner. If you fancy looking at pictures and watching videos - or have a music collection that takes up more than one room of your apartment - the iPod is for you. Winner: Draw.

'Cool' ness: An iPod is SO last year. What was once the must-have accessory is now utterly commonplace. The iPod 'Touch' is pretty 'cool', as is the Apple iPhone, but the recent Apple scandals (like dropping the price of the iPhone just two months after it first went on sale) has damaged Apple's 'hip' brand and made a lot of their most loyal customers look like chumps.

For the next year or so, the Stiletto 2 will certainly top the iPod in 'show off' stakes. Winner: Stiletto 2.

So the verdict is in, two to one the Stiletto 2 is a better bet this season than whatever Apple is touting from their iStore. The question is whether consumers will be brave enough to admit it.

SIRIUS is launching a pretty daring campaign by going head to head with Apple. For the last few years, no handheld music device has been taken seriously unless it has an 'i' in the name. Although there are plenty of other portable devices that play music and movies (like the Microsoft Xune) the iBrand has a stranglehold on the market.

However, the Stiletto 2 is standing out from the crowd by genuinely offering something Apple can't. Stiletto 2 features live radio - 130 channels of it. It's effortless, it's ingenious and it genuinely appeals to everybody. There's SIRIUS Channel 80 for my father, Channel 62 for my mother, my wife can get her Morrisey injection on Channel 8, my sister can stay top of the pops on Channel 1 and there's even the defining music from my brother's generation on Channel 23. And for me? A quiet evening in with the Chairman of the Board on Channel 75.

What's great about the Stiletto 2 - and head and shoulders above the iPod - is that all of this content is live. If you're listening to the Top 40 on Sirius Channel 1, you can hear, save and store the new 'Number One' the moment it's announced. It's coming at you fresh, unscripted and constantly updated in a way the iPod simply can't deliver.

Stiletto 2 is available across North America for $329.99 - and requires a monthly $12.95 subscription to listen to SIRIUS Satellite Radio.


Anonymous said...

I work for Sirius and even I'm not that thrilled about the Stiletto 2. It's just a glorified version of its predecessor,the Stiletto 100. Even with its SD memory card expandability,the 80G iPod Classic holds,literally,10 times more than the Stiletto 2 with an 8G memory card. Honestly,I'm just not that impressed with Sirius's programming. Beyond Howard Stern(which makes up about 70% of Sirius's entire listenership),it's void of any good content.

Take it from someone who works with the company: save your money and spend it on some OTHER than Sirius.

Roland Hulme said...

You seem to miss the point of the Stiletto, though! It's not ONLY about storing music. It receives 130 channels!

No mucking about with itunes. No uploading your CD. Just a good assortment of music direct to your hand.

I don't see what the big deal about 80gbs is anyway. How much music do you have you need - absolutely MUST - carry about with you all the time?

The Stiletto can store enough music for you to listen to it for more than four days straight, without a break. That's without the microSD card, too.

As for SIRIUS itself - sorry you'e not impressed with the programming. I like the range of choice and the commercial-free music. Some stations have a limited playlist - but other stations make up for it.

Personally, I think it beats anything else out there.

Don't get geeked out with GBs and fancy shit you don't need and you'll never use.

Stiletto 2 is a great handheld entertainment device and it does me well at home, in the car or on the commute to the city.

It's a darned impressive bit of kit and for the 130 music channels alone - plus instant 'love' button to store songs - I think it boots the iPod right in it's 80gb butt.

Anonymous said...

i agree with everything that ROLAND had to say sirius is just simply put the best thing out there. and when xm and sirius merge im sorry but that will be the steak in the ipods heart.

its the radio of the future even after howard stern leaves

robb said...

a STEAK in the heart? sound serious.

anyway. I listen to the iPod on the subway. that wouldn't work very well with this. Also, I listen to about 25 podcasts, many of them relatively obscure -- they wouldn't be on this thing. Also, I have my entire music library: more than 900 albums on my iPod, which would be hard on this. ALSO I have scripted the recording of all my fave radio shows including music programming from KCRW, KEXP, WFMU and the like to be put on my iPod daily.

I'm sure you'll have fun with your Stiletto.

Roland Hulme said...

Hi Robb,

Given the high cost of beef, we're working to high steaks indeed...

That being said, I disagree with your complaints. Sure, the Stiletto 2 can't pick up 130 channels of live SATELLITE RADIO in the subway... but on your walk/ride to the subway, it was automatically recording content so when you're on the subway, you'll find up to a hundred ours of much recorded for you, which you can listen to commercial-free on the subway.

You're missing the whole point of the SL2. It's easy and convienient whereas the iPod is hard work and inflexible.

Good for you, recording your favourite shows on terrestial radio, then converting them to Ipod format and listening in (including the commercials).

And your favourite podcasts? Unless they're from apple direct, in iPod format, you can listen to them on the Stiletto 2. It stores your MP3s for you to listen to whenever you want (in the subway, too.)

But the SL2's biggest weekness, you complain, is that is can't hold your 900 albums on in one device. But why would you NEED to? That's a LOT of music. At a rough guess, that's 40 straight days of listening right there. Are you leading the jews across the desert or something? Because nobody needs 40 days worth of music.

Stiletto 2 is more music than you'll ever have to listen to, delivered right into your hand and enjoyed, stored, saved exactly as you want it.

Until the iPod can pick up LIVE content, it's always going to be second fiddle to the Stiletto 2 and it doesn't matter how many GB's it has - most consumers never use a quarter of them.

Anonymous said...

I have had Sirius since the beginning. No matter what anyone says, it is the biggest New York ripoff ever created. However, I think the "commercial free" channels would be great if they didn't have commercials.

If I already have a radio and I have paid for my subscription and I am happily listening to my favorite songs, why do I have to hear advertisements for other Sirius channels? Ohhhhhhh, I understand, these are not advertisements, right? Perhaps someone in an ivory tower has decided that I am a closet redneck and want to listen to some Billy-Bob talk to Floyd while he drives a car around a big oval shaped road. Please, I have seen the channel list and I have learned to turn the knob, leave me alone and play the god damned music!

If I had a dollar for each time I heard a "radio personality" tell me that a artist or group was touring on certain dates and locations I would be rich. (Oh, silly me, these are not advertisements, I forgot)! However, this would not be good because I wouldn't live long enough to enjoy the money. I would have a heart attack because my blood pressure is so high from hearing the "music news" which is mindless babble stating artists names and tour dates. Certainly this is to keep the record companies over commercialized mediocre talents names in the public eye and to try to sell something that..... well.... sucks.

I think the traffic reports would be great if I was told that there was a traffic jam right where I was sitting for a half hour (while I was being told that there are "no problems to report").... Then the icing on the cake is that they actually have the nerve to broadcast an advertisement that the traffic data comes from "seasoned traffic reporters". What a joke!

Oh, while I am on a roll... since the music is "commercial free" then why do these morons insist on talking over the music with mostly seemingly retarded "personalities". The Newer music is talked over almost constantly so that it cannot be recorded and ripped. Also, wouldn't any non commercial format want to play all of the music of, let's say, the 70's (on the 70's channel) and not only the songs from artists that have just been "reissued" or on a tour of some kind? I honestly thought payola was still illegal. While I am listening to the 70's channel I want to throw my radio out the window each time I hear them play the AM radio edit version of "Do You Feel Like We Do". So why would a non commercial station not be interested in playing the most inspiring and creative part of the song? Beats me. But I remember hearing about something called "time compression" once.

Most people with a brain have always hated record companies and get ready to hate the new puppets of the record industry.... it's called satellite radio.

If the tie wearers driving the Benz had only thought of perhaps making the programming better and truly having no advertisements instead of giving some mildly humorous Jew $30,000,000 and a license to say the word fuck, the stock would be ascending instead of a nearly constant decline? In this world there is Karma, and every "dog" has it's day.

I will say one thing in it's (Sirius) favor.... When I crank up my 1,800 watts of Afro-Man and listen to "Because I got high" I don't have to worry about the embarrassment of a tampon ad coming on right afterwards. But on the other hand, aren't the commercials on the commercial free radio something that should be stuck up corporate Americas ass anyway?

Something you corporate fucks from New York do not understand... It's not always about the money. Loosen your tie and care about other people because your judgment day is soon to arrive.