- Attack of the Anti-iPods
WITH FLASH AND FANCY FEATURES, NEW DIGITAL-MUSIC PLAYERS ARE TRYING TO PARE APPLE
From the article:
Sure, sure, you're hopelessly, helplessly in love with your iPod. That doesn't mean your precious doesn't have pimples. What about iPod's notorious lack of endurance between recharges, the sealed case that means you may have to scrap the thing if the internal battery dies, and the proprietary digital-music format that joins you at the hip to Apple's iTunes online store? Apple may hold more than 60% of the market for hard drive--based digital-music players, but even iPod devotees may have wandering eyes--and competitors are crying "Pick me!" by delivering fetching new digital-music players that adopt some of the benchmark's strengths while offering more flexibility and features.
I love the part about "the proprietary digital-music format that joins you at the hip to Apple's iTunes online store?"....vs the alternative: "proprietary digital-music format that joins you at the hip to Microsoft's WMA restrictive DRM format".
My own preference is obviously always going to be the open and portable solution, but given the market realities of the situation, companies selling music online simply must have some sort of digital rights management built into the media file in order to get the music / movie industries on board in the first place. However, with that being a fact of life, given the choice of who I am going to commit to - I would choose Apple over Microsoft for a million different reasons, every day of the week. The absolutely slickest portable music player and online store in the world vs a plethora of poorly designed, cheaply constructed 'portable' players (and I say 'portable' because due to WMA's licensing restrictions ala Napster, you literally have to sync up your player with the net every few days or the music just stops playing!). On the ipod, once the song is on there, that's it - just enjoy it.
I think it will be really interesting to watch this whole thing evolve over the next two years. Will people really put up with it? For me personally, I've dealt with this kind of crap from Microsoft for over two decades and these days, I literally just want things to work easily, work with others and do so as eloquently as possible. I never want to be one of those people who talks at length about things that they know very little about (much less have any experience with) and I've heard numerous Windows-biased web writers say many untrue things about Apple's DRM and iTunes in general. I try and make it a point to go out and use other services and see what they are really like and along those lines Microsoft really has gotten a lot better but the overall experience between the two competing service is just miles apart in my humble opinion and people will do as they like, I'm just glad that I made the decisions that I did.
- 3:52:56 PM