Monday, August 07, 2006

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With all the premature speculation (dare I say "e-speculation") about the possibility of Zune being an iPod killer, I have to wonder: Why do we need an iPod killer?

If you want a portable media player, but not an iPod, there are plenty of options, so it's not a matter of lack of choice. Some people complain about iTunes DRM locking them in to one device. This is true for video (at least for now), but iTunes audio files can be burned to CD to be played on any CD player. The CD can even be ripped to MP3 or other format. The only issue with that is possible loss of quality, but that's not a DRM or iTunes-only issue. Furthermore, you can dodge the issue entirely by buying music on CD, as most people still do. Oh, but that's less convenient isn't it?

So if there are so many choices out there, why does the iPod still dominate? One word: simplicity. My mother-in-law, a certified non-techie, can buy iTunes songs, load them on her Shuffle and burn CDs, and I only needed to show her once. That's not a system to be killed; it's a killer system. If Zune's as easy, great. But I don't see how it could be any easier.

I should point out that while my wife has an iPod and I started using iTunes in 2000, back when my workstation was a cherry red iMac, I myself don't own or use an iPod.
[You: Sumocat, WTF? No phone, no iPod? What kind of gadget freak are you? Seriously, WTF?]

Maybe the fact I don't own a 'Pod is why I don't understand the demand for an iPod killer. Is it simply because the iPod dominates 70-80% of the market? If so, why look for an alternative from a company that dominates 90% of the OS market? Doesn't sound like a great trade-off to me.

Do we need an iPod Killer?


  1. Hello Sumocat

    I agree with you when you say people should buy cds. Doesn't anyone realize that if the artists go bankrupt they won't make any more music?

    About the iPod I don't know. I own a mp3 player from Creative and I think it's pretty simple and user-friendly - never had to go look in the instructions book. But I agree that it's stupid to invent something, not for the sake of it, but to "destroy" another one.

    By Blogger Helena, at 8/10/2006 02:05:00 PM

  2. Actually, I was only pointing out that CD remains the most popular form of music media. My personal preference is online distribution. I buy singles at iTunes. Two of my last three CD purchases have been through the artists' websites. I've also been keeping tabs on Weedshare, which gives artists a bigger percentage than any corporate distributor, but none of the artists have really grabbed me yet, except for the Presidents of the United States of America but I already have their first CD.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 8/10/2006 04:56:00 PM

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