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December 23, 2003

Mini iPods, $100, and the joys of iMovie

That's the rumor. 2-4GB capacity will translate to 400-800 songs... more than most folks have in playlists anyway. They will come in fashion colors, natch.

A cheap iPod (certainly without some of the bells and whistles of current models) will sell like hotcakes and (I have to say it) synergize brilliantly with the flawless iTunes Music Store.

There will also soon be an update to iMovie, which I used for the first time this week. Can I just say that it is the most fun I've had with a computer since I was like 12. In about 4 hours, I turned 2 hours of raw footage into an amazing highlights reel. What I really want to do is direct.

If people beg, I might even post the QuickTime movie of our vacation footage (complete with soundtrack) up on nonfamous. If people beg, and David's family promises not to sue.

Posted by jay at December 23, 2003 02:05 PM | TrackBack
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Ok, it may not be nearly as cute, but my Creative Zen Ultra MP3 player has a 30GB hard drive in it, so I'm not feeling so bad about choosing function over form. The first day I had it I copied nearly 2000 songs to it.

Posted by: paulette on January 1, 2004 10:36 PM

There's an article on Steve Jobs, Apple, and innovation in the current issue of Fast Company. It talks about Apple history, including a group of developers who worried in '89 that Apple needed to expand its customer base to remain competitive and designed in their spare time a Mac LC—a "low-cost" Mac with a parts cost of about $340. However, between their design and the LC that was finally sold, marketing and management had turned it into a $2400 machine.

Ah, my point: that cheaper iPods might demonstrate a lesson learned.

The end of the article talks about iTunes and the iPod and how these are great offerings, but they might yet again fit into a pattern of Apple innovating and even creating a market that competitors are set to take over.

Another part of the repeated pattern with iTunes and iPod: a closed system. I picked up a Creative Labs Nomad Zen. I certainly considered an iPod, but they are pricey, and they wouldn't play the 80 GB of WMA files I have without file conversion. I also installed iTunes the other day, but when I figured out that I could only download tracks in Apple's AAC format and would need to convert those files to MP3 for use on my Nomad, I removed the software.

I feel like maybe I should value design so much that I'd pay a premium for Apple's products, and I might get there pretty soon, but I'm a well-paid corporate drone with no dependents. How do they sell the rest of the country?

Incidentally, I bought a used Nomad Zen of the first version, because some of them were available with FireWire, which I have on my PC. The Zen II comes only with a USB 2.0 interface (which I don't have) so I guess Creative isn't expecting to sell any Nomads to Mac owners.

Maybe we could view this as a race to the bottom, as we have with Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart, in fact, is planning a downloadable music service. Can you imagine them not importing the cheapest portable players they can? Combine that with the fear of not doing business with Wal-Mart...

Posted by: Gary on January 4, 2004 10:02 PM
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