November 3, 2006
This morning I was checking out the folks at Zunescene when I noticed the following headline:
Many iPod Owners Will Buy Zune
The post pointed to this ABI Research article on a survey they did of 1,725 “consumers” and their likelihood to purchase a Zune player. Of the people who responded to the survey 58% of the “consumers” who said they had an iPod and 59% of those with a different music player, said they would buy a Zune. I love these sorts of research finds and broad claims without content. They make for great marketing statements and of course great articles, but they dont shed any light on the prospects in the market for the Zune to challenge the iPod. Lots of heat and no light.
The research brief is part of The Ecommerce Times did a follow-up on the survey and spoke to its principal analyst, Steve Wilson, who puts the Zunes market prospects in context this way:
“It’ll make a big splash, but it’s going to need something else behind it to make it take hold,” he said. “It’ll ride far on the initial marketing drive, but there’s nothing unique about it that’s all that compelling.”
Now that would make an interesting headline: Microsoft to Spend Billions and have little Digital Music Impact
September 18, 2006
I really wanted to title this post “Zune everyone will get the Urge for an iPod”, but thought better of it. What good would it do to make fun of the two companies I’d most like to work for in the future, if for no other reason then to get a bit of what their smoking. The real question though is how to best sum up last weeks buzz about Microsoft’s hurried announcement of the Zune player, in response to Apple’s more interesting iTV/iPod announcements? Dare I joke about the dorky name? Have I the tech chops to suggest that another DRM crippled player isnt what the music industry needs. Should I play it straight, parrot the pundits and shill the Zune’s main selling point, limited Wifi sharing (3 tracks in 3 days and then poof its gone)? In the midst of all this musing it struck me, the real story here isnt that the Zune player is gonna take down Apple’s iTunes/iPod combo. The real story is that the Zune player could be the final nail in the coffin of the MusicGremlin. Never heard of it? Exactly!
Read the rest of this entry »
August 14, 2006
What makes certain gear game changing? First, it has to do something old in a new way. Second, its gotta be simple. Third, it has to chart a new direction. Memorex seems to have the right idea with the iFlip, a digital display device that instead of trying to be another iPod killer, is an ipod extender. Its a simple looking tool that does one thing, it lets you play your iPod videos on a better screen for a mere 200 bills. Sure its not perfect, screen resolution is passable but not stellar and the battery life is modest but it shows where things are going. Memorex could pop the same hardware into its TV sets and begin the process of cannibalising sales of its commoditized DVD’s with higher-margin digital products like a TV with iPod dock. its own lunch before someone else gets around to it. build the value of of Storage is increasingly moving away from display Sweet. Smooches to the good folks at iLounge for the original posting with more info and images.
June 14, 2006
A small consumer electronics company in NYC has launched another digital music device, called the MusicGremlin. The unfortunately named device is billed as a "Wi-Fi Music Player" and supposed to provide access to over 2 million songs from major label and indie artist. The $300 8GB MusicGremlin device offers anyone looking for a clunky, obscure alternative to the ubiquitous iPod , an option. Read the rest of this entry »
April 28, 2006
Another cool toy via the good folks at Akihabara News. This time its OEM goodness that combines and SD card slot along with a USB key with a CD player for the ultimate in ripping convenience. What I find interesting about this product is that its the first one, I know of, that has ripping built into the hardware. With the press of a button your music magically moves from the CD your playing to the USB Key or SD attached to the player. With Gigabyte USB and SD cards on the horizon its only a matter of time before an enterprising OEM in Japan or Taiwan does the same thing for video. Read the rest of this entry »
April 14, 2006
How cool is this? TV anywhere, anytime on your laptop. A small device called the MobiTV Global was released earlier this week by the Japanese firm Links International. It’s about the size of your standard USB key and connects to your computer via the USB 2.0 slot, where it also gets its power. The device is supposed to allow you to watch TV on your laptop and record programs in MPEG2 video. According it the company it will capture VHF and UHF signals from 1-62 and non-encrypted cable signals from C13-C63.
Why is this game changing gear? As someone who watchs almost all my media on my Laptops (with XP Media Center), I’m sick of having to tether my PC to my cable box in order to get/watch programs. MobiTV is the first step I’ve seen in breaking the chains that tie the PC to the living room for media experiences.
Thanks to the gadget blog Akihabara News for its original post about the MobiTV.
..and just one more thing, check out the hysterical babelfish translation of the MobiTV release info.