Strange Brouhaha

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This is a problem how?

Creative Labs apparently thinks that they can build an MP3 player that can beat the iPod. Why? Well, because if you want to purchase music online, the iPod will only play music purchased from iTunes Music Store.

How is that a problem? Do they really think that there are any iPod users who care that much about buying music from, say, Musicmatch? Or Real?

With the new iPod shuffle, Apple is going to dominate the low-end market too. The iPod shuffle is the MP3 player that everybody was predicting when the iPod mini came out. Yeah, you can only buy from iTMS. You can also rip your own music. At least for me, iTMS (and any online music-buying service) is a distant, distant afterthought.


  • (Josh) I don't follow your arguments at all. I'm sure it's just me. Two friends of mine have Creative's products. More memory for less money, and solid players all around. AND you don't have to send it in and pay a king's ransom to replace the damn battery. The iPod I have was a gift, but since at only 15G it's already full, I'm looking to upgrade and CL is getting a serious look. More details on your nay-saying, please.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:14 PM  

  • Yeah, it's really not too coherent, is it?

    I object mostly to Creative thinking that they're going to kill the iPod solely on the basis of online music purchases. My iPod, for example, is about two-thirds full, and I've gone online and bought exactly six songs. I think the issue is a non-starter. The objections you raise are a lot more important--the battery especially. And yet Creative seems to think that all people care about is online purchases, as if saying "You know, you won't be able to play music from on that thing," is going to be a deal-breaker.

    The other thing is that it's going to be really hard to beat the iPod shuffle at $99 for 512MB and $150 for the 1GB model. Sure, I'm a fanboy, but I think the only reason not to buy one would be if you need something RIGHT NOW. Those prices are right in line with the other companies in that product space, and given the tremendous cachet that Apple and the iPod have, I doubt that it will fail. And there again, we'll see Creative not saying "But it doesn't have a display!" or "You can't replace the battery yourself!", but rather "You can only buy from iTMS!"

    (And by the can actually replace the batteries in the iPod yourself. It voids the warranty, but by the time the batteries need replacing, it's probably out of warranty already.)

    By Blogger Robert, at 12:23 AM  

  • Oops...and yeah, I'm not at all saying that Creative doesn't make solid products. Just objecting to their product strategy.

    By Blogger Robert, at 12:25 AM  

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    By Blogger rysolag, at 12:37 AM  

  • It's an attempt at redirection. "We can't compete with Apple on industrial design, or the smoothness of the interface and the whole-system interaction, so we'll tell the stupid consumer that they actually care about something else." Like I give a shit whether I buy a song for $.99 from Apple or Napster or Virgin.

    Not to mention that any song I buy off of the iTunes store is going to play on any iPod. Which none of the WMV-compatible players can claim. If you buy any random song off of any random service, there's a percentage of brands of players that can't play it.

    That's why our idiot marketeers have created the "Plays for sure" logo program... but even that's a lie: it's actually "probably plays" with a massive disclaimer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:41 AM  

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