Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Digital music player thoughts

I finally received my copy of this week's edition of Newsweek. In front was a picture of a smug looking Steve Jobs holding a so called 'gadget of the century' (by Gwyneth Paltrow). The so called gadget is actually an iPod - a digital music player - that is in material terms is actually made of plastic, cheap LCD, a hardrive, battery, touchpad and motherboard.

A number of errors occurred on the article. The writer seems to imply that people with 'white cords dangling from people's ears' are iPod users. He is wrong. There are earphones sold that are white in colour - one being the Sony Nude MDR-EX71S fontopia. I have one because it is a great noise canceling earphones that does not costs a bomb on the market. I also have a Shure but I don't use it often. It so happened that it is white. It should be noted that I use it not on an iPod but on my iPAQ or my T3 or my DAB player. And so do thousands of people who bought this and its other colour options (red, blue, white & black). So if you see someone using a while coloured fontopia - just don't assume its an iPod wannabee.

Second mistake was writing that Apple's competitors are imitators that could not duplicate the iPod's appeal. First 'appeal' is a subjective word and just because Apple managed to sell millions of iPod does not mean it has appeal. It could mean that people are following trends. There are 6 billion other human beings who do not own an iPod for various reasons including being too poor and disliking the look.

Diamond Rio - what a beauty

And dismissing Apple's competitors as imitators is downright childish for such a huge magazine. May I remind Newsweek that Rio created the first digital music portable player and Creative marketed the first ever hardrive based mp3 player. It is Apple who are imitators in the portable music player market. And it so happens that it is fashionable. But we know fashion can die.

I am not against Apple. I really like the design but price is a factor too. I would buy the player if it was priced 20% less but it isn't. Buying the iPod would mean buying the brand. But for the price I can get better value players with better battery life. And don't get me on the iPod mini. If you want a small hardrive based player - the Rio Nitrus is the only way to go.

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