iBubble Thursday October 13, 2005, 7 comments

What the hell is Apple going to do when the iPod bubble bursts? Surely there is a limit to the number of new features Apple can add to the iPod before it traverses the gap between sublime and ridiculous?

The iPod Nano was, without a doubt, a masterpiece. The iPod form factor perfected, even if the capacity is currently too low. It built on the miniaturization of thee iPod mini and it’s fantastic click-wheel to give us a truly perfect music player experience.

Now we have larger screens on the new iPods, and they can play video. That’s all fine and well, though I am curious about the demand for such features. Do people really want to download television programs and watch them on the larger but still miniscule screen on an iPod?

They may. I wondered for a long time about the purpose of the iPod, and it was only when I finally had one in my possession that I realized the impact it would have on my music-listening. Perhaps it will be the same with video on iPods.

This doesn’t change the fact that Apple has no other product of merit available right now. The iPod line is floating the company (admittedly with a great deal of vigor) while its line of once-groundbreaking laptops and desktops grow stale on the shelf waiting for a transfusion from Intel.

What would Apple do if (and when, in my opinion) the iPod bubble bursts and it hasn’t completed its transition to Intel based systems? Will this video strategy bridge the gap for Apple, or will history record it as a mockery of the elegance that was the iPod?


Comments

Jorge Friday October 14, 2005


The iPod is an example of people’s ability to turn into sheep.

While impressive and small, and all that…
The audio quality is not as good as other players. Isn’t that what this was supposed to be about?

J

adrian Friday October 14, 2005


No, actually, it’s not about the audio quality, and this is a mistake many people who are not involved in user-interface design make.

999/1000 people cannot hear the difference between an iPod and another player with “better” audio quality. And those that could hear the difference would tell you they don’t care, because NO portable player sounds as good as vinyl played through the Class A tube amplifier systems they have in their sonically sealed A/V rooms.

Add in the ambient noice associated with portable music player user, and the sound quality argument becomes irrelevant.

The iPod’s success is directly linked to the simplicity of its user interface. Not a single competitor has been able to match the elegance and usability of Apple’s industrial design – especially where interfaces are involved.

Your use of the term “sheep” to describe iPod owners is pretty derogatory, and unwarranted.

Jorge Monday October 17, 2005


I’d argue with you on that.
Rio’s interfaces are pretty spiffy, and their audio quality is much better.

Sorry about the sheep thing. What I SHOULD have said was iSHEEP.

J

Jorge Monday October 17, 2005


:D

What do I know, anyway?

I’m just a PC user…

Adrian Monday October 17, 2005


Again, by using the term “spiffy” you’re concentrating on the looks of a thing, which has nothing at all to do with its usability.

Jorge Monday October 17, 2005


Er…
Ok.
The Rio’s interface is quite easy to use, probably just as much as the iPOD.
The REAL reason for the success of the iPOD is that Apple has successfully marketed a product with a sledgehammer so that people think that IT is the only one.
The last wave of RIO products has all but died out under the deluge of the MTV-esque iPOD commercials.
Kudos to Apple for their strategy.
But in my opinion, not the absolute top of the pops..

You just wait until I create my portable vinyl played through the Class A tube amplifier systems they have in their sonically sealed A/V rooms….
:)

CaptainPurple Wednesday October 19, 2005


Maybe my hearing is going, but the difference in sound quality isn’t that big a deal. Besides, my iPod is treated more like a tool. I use it when mowing the lawn or doing other work where a wailing radio isn’t cool. I’ll admit, some of the stuff I have sounds like crap, but I can live with that.

Bahhhh. Bahhhh, bahhhhhh

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