Bye Bye iPod

31 Jul 2005

Looks like it’s about time to sell your iPod on eBay, because the hype is over. Maybe there still are people that are willing to buy one now, but I can assure you it’s not HP. Despite the degree of coolness, Apple’s mighty fine tool seems to have lost it’s geeky ‘got-to-have’ status and has turned into the old toy nobody wants to keep. HP decided to stop selling branded iPods and to drop the product from its offer by September. iTunes – the music-managing-store, however, will still come installed on hp’s PCs.

I never really got the point the iPod was trying to make. It seemed kind of useless to me to have up to 15.000 mp3 songs with you when you don’t travel a lot, but are just commuting. I can see a bit of reasonable use for it on transatlantic flights or interstate train rides when you’re alone, if you take enough batteries with you. A 20 to 60 Gb hard disk. I guess it’s the amount of diskspace that blinded people when they went out in a rage to get this gadget, because that was something unseen. The wicked, smooth design… the round interactive navigation button, the funky screen. I’ve always thought it looked nice, but was too big.
20 Gig of music ? That’s like 160% of all music on my pc. Why would I take all of my music with me? If I cut it down the songs I really like, I’m down to 1 Gb. Can you see where I’m getting to?

It’s so ‘not-cool’ to have an iPod with all your pictures on it. The small display doesn’t allow much to appear, so the practical use of it also is unclear to me. ‘ALL’ my pictures, including the ones that are ‘just there’ to keep, that’s 3 Gb. See? I’m not going to pay $ 200 to $ 300 for a tool I’ll only use for a tenth of its capacity. That’s just stupid. I can imagine some up-2-date fancy secretary browsing through the thumbnails of her family and pets during lunch, discussing them with co-workers (f/m), coming home to download the newest pics of her daughter’s daughter, the ones from granny’s trip to Tenerife and by accident those from the girlfriend of her son, mistakenly left undeleted on the camera after transferring to the pc.

Nah. I wasn’t into iPods. That’s probably why I missed out on podcasting. First I thought it was something you could only do with an iPod. I also thought I needed an Apple computer to go with the Pod. Hah. Shame on me.

So, what did we learn? Here are some random thoughts I had about this issue :

It shows that the time it took hp to release the branded player was too long. They should’ve been ready months earlier. The market was almost saturated when they announced the official release back in april. That’s what they must’ve felt in the sales figures, I guess. Besides, branding someone else’s brand always is a dangerous operation, because your copy-brand will never have the same status as the original, and the ‘realness’ of the product decreases as time goes by. I must say I’ve never actually seen anybody with an hPod.

Apple has kind of confirmed his underdog position to me. It’s always the same with them. They show the world how it’s done, and then other companies take over. It’s been like that with the OS interface, with the look and feel of computers, with fonts, with design in general, with other applications… Apple is a leader in its branche, no doubt. But it looks like they seem to have trouble with generating a steady market for their products. They always seem ‘temporary’. I’m not saying they produce bad quality, or bad products. More like the opposite of that. With Apple, it’s always too much of goodies in one good thing. But the thruth lies in the deep lyrics of the former Spice Girls : “too much of something is bad enough”, to which I’d like to add : “to make a product less attractive and be ahead of its time”.

It would have made more sense, regarding the design of the iPod, and the capacity, to turn it into a pocket QuickTime player, with in the iTunes store an ‘iMovies’ department linked to it.
Really. That would’ve been something.

Quote [Yahoo!News] :

“Several varieties of the MP3 player were still available on HP’s Web site Friday, but the company will end its relationship with Apple’s iconic iPod by the end of September, said Ross Camp, a company spokesperson. HP will continue to install Apple’s iTunes software on its PCs, he said. “

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Posted by Miel Van Opstal in Gadgets & Digital Toys, General, Thoughts


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