Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Why iPod Will Stay Number One For a Long Time.

article that led to this post

The iPod has entrenched itself so deeply into the culture of generations born between '70 and '90+ that no matter what superior similar media device performs better, people just don't/won't care. We can only speculate on why iPod is so entrenched.

1 - Itunes: People use iTunes because people want to use a standard digital music application. The program works adequately compared with its competitors.
a - Itunes integrates seamlessly with iPods.
b - Itunes sells music files that can only be played portably on an iPod.
2 - Used and new iPod accessories widely available.

3 - Major style points: Let's admit the fact that owning an iPod makes an average person feel at least 26 points cooler on a 25 point scale. Apple has been successful in desinging their products with trendy colors, seductive plastic curves, and a futuristic tiny form-factor. People first bought iPods to listen to their huge digital music libraries that they had recently downloaded off of Napster, etc. Those early adopteres found that the technology was worth the cost.

But the next wave of adopters not only loved the functionality of the device, but to a great extent they began choosing their dollars for just the opportunity to pop the trendy white ear buds in their ears--to show their friends that they have the "status symbol." Dr. Seuss called it "stars upon thars." People wanted to be part of the iPod group. The style value is different completely, and it's nearly impossible to for competitors. I know people who value the iPod and other electronics highly for largely their aesthetics. My satirical advertisement for the new iPod

4 - Ipod was the first brandname in mp3 players to ride the fad wave. It was good enough to stay atop a wave for a few years. Ipod has become what Kleenex is to facial tissues, what Q-tip is to cotton swabs, what Coke is to carbonated beverages, what Palm is to PDAs, what Karo syrup is to corn syrup, and what Crisco, Clorox, Saran, and Zip-loc are to shortening, bleach, plastic wrap, and resealable plastic bags.

How long will iPod be the #1 music player?

I dunno. I don't like the isolation it creates for users considering the benefits are small. I'm trying to talk to users sometimes, and I have trouble interacting with them. I've been snowboarding and bicycling and seen fellow riders listening to iPods/clones. What is this about? When did ceaseless music become so important? I think it will cost the generations that use it or similar portable devices because they are abused by some.

Four Societal Costs:
1. Users trade quiet moments that could generate personal reflection for music pop-music listening.
2. Users trade away valuable opportunities to interact with humanity for music.
3. Users handicap their sense of hearing, failing to protect themselves from hazards.
4. Users will no doubt have decreased permanent hearing ability.

Societal Benefits:
1. You can listen to any music at almost anytime and it distracts the user from the worries and stresses of normal life.
2. It makes you look cool. (Wait, that's not a societal benefit... how did you get in here #2?)

Am I jealous that Jobs is making lots of money instead of me? Yeah, a bit.

Does that make me a little biased? Yeah, sure. Take this for what it's worth.

Do I think iPods should be outlawed? No, not on this side of winged-pigs.

Do I aspire to be as successful as Jobs? I have a way to go, but yeah, at least.

Final note:
Our money is better off in Jobs hands than in the government's coffers. Everybody go start a business if you can. Think up a good idea, make a plan. Hire anybody who will work.
Ready... break!


Blogger Justin said...

i read an article explaining why the ipod is such a great device and why people love it. the author came up with it after attending the CES convention, where he saw hundreds of supposed "ipod-killers". he calls his theory the "swiss-army knife theory" which states that once you make a device too complex, the functions kinda suck and it's too confusing.

fact: you can always have music playing on an ipod within 2 button clicks. always. most other players, especially ones that converge technologies, are much more complex.

and of course, all the other things you mentioned.

6:29 PM  

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