September 28, 2006
Today Microsoft announced that they will be releasing the Zune Player on Nov. 14th and dropping the price to $249.99. This after Microsoft was thrown into a tizzy when Apple announced that its next generation iPod would retail for $249 and speculation started to swirl about what the final price of the Zune would have to be in order for it move off shelves. The original price of the ZUNE ($284), was leaked by WalMart and many laughed at the viability of the Zune making headway against the iPod at this price point.
Now that Microsoft was put a date and a price on its player all thats left is to cross its fingers and hope someone cares. The official Microsoft press release is here. My unofficial interpretation of a few lines from the press release follows.
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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!
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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.
April 17, 2006
Back in February I attended a panel discussion with the always humorous, Chief Digital Officer of MTV, Jason Hirschorn. One of the many provocative questions he threw out to the audience was "what are people filling their iPods with" given that only a billion songs have been sold for the 43 million iPods in circulation. Thats less then 25 songs per iPod! Great question Jason.
With all the expensive consultants and overpaid MBA's roaming the halls within media companies you'd think that a few of them would be able to figure this out. Alas, its not to be. Given, that I was once an underpaid consultant and I'm now an inexpensive MBA roaming the halls of a media company, I figure it wouldn't hurt anything if I gave it a try. After "running the numbers" (spreadsheet here), I came up with a couple of answers. One is that the music industry has lost roughly $40 billion dollars in revenue from not aggressively pursuing digital distribution. Read the rest of this entry »
March 29, 2006
So what do you get for the guy or gal with every iPod accessory on the planet? Why the iBuzz of course. Billed as the iPod accessory that lets you "Feel the music in a whole new way!" This device, offered by Condomania for $60 bucks has to qualify as the be the funniest iPod accessory available. However, the device may not be as entertaining as the press release that announced it to the world.
From the press release:
"Already a best seller in Europe, the iBuzz is a small capsule-shaped device that vibrates in sync with the music on your iPod or MP3 player. It can safely vibrate inside or outside of you or your partner with his and her attachments included. Turn up the volume, turn up the vibrations! iBuzz comes with a headphone splitter so you can listen on one end while, well, vibrating on the other."
While I have no idea what the "male attachment" could possibly be or do, the very idea of folks walking around listening to "Good Vibrations", while feeling vibrations is a bit much. This is technology that can truly touch the lives of many lonely people in very personal ways and I for one am glad to see it available in the US.