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View Full Version : Mobile music is 'the future' - IDC


MacBytes
Jul 20, 2005, 08:15 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Mobile music is 'the future' - IDC (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20050720091520)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by arn

macnulty
Jul 20, 2005, 09:05 AM
A more apt title would be telephony or digital music is the future, "mobile music" has been around since the first hand held transistor radios and then exploded with the Walkman.

Loge
Jul 20, 2005, 09:20 AM
Digital music has been around since the introduction of CDs in 1983 or thereabouts.

nagromme
Jul 20, 2005, 11:37 AM
Better title "mobile phone music."

And... no.

Like subscriptions, it's something Apple can dip their toe into if they wish, and some people may find some value in it. Choice is all good. But for most people, it's a miserable option as I see it.

Phone hardware will get better and cheaper and hard disks will be common, but I'm not sure carriers will get any less greedy--and they're happy to artificially block hardware advancements (like Bluetooth). I do see multiple devices converging in the end--the device is like a computer, able to do many things well. Music, camera, PDA, phone, portable game... But the device must do many things WELL--and we're not there yet. The device must be just as full-featured, just as easy-to-use, and just as fast as the dedicated players/cameras/PDAs etc. And it must be just as slim and light as ever, get the same good battery life, and not cost much extra.

Someday, but not now. A phone can do music playback, but not well--and music SHOPPING would be awful:

* Very hard to search and shop. Compare using a tiny phone screen and thumbing a numeric pad (or scribbling a stylus) to using the full iTunes with mouse and keyboard (and the room to see long lists with many columns of info)!

* Very slow to get songs and previews. Lower than modem speeds?

* Playing songs--and downloading them--drains your battery and thus interferes with your ability to talk on the phone!

* Very limited capacity typical (for now).

* No clickwheel ease-of-use (Apple could step in and change that though).

* More expensive than buying online. (Maybe TWICE as expensive per sone, and maybe with bandwidth minutes too.)

* Desire to shop and browse music on your own free time in the comfort of your home without HAVING to go out... high. Desire to shop and browse for music on the street, in your car, at the grocery store... low.

* Your computer is your "master library," with your music management tools (Smart Playlist creation, tag editing, big readable lists, etc.) and your stereo hookup. Your iPods/portable players are a copy of your music, not the functionality. It's more convenient to buy songs directly into your "master library" than to buy them into your portable device and sort things out later.

* Oh, but the carriers seem to want to stop you from taking your music other places--to your computer, to CD for the car, to your iPod.

* And they want to stop you from getting your EXISTING music onto the phone. They want ALL your music to be bought (or at least transmitted) to the phone so they can charge you for it. Charge you for the minutes of synching your own music if nothing else. (Like the carriers disable Bluetooth intentionally so you use their transmission instead even for silly localized tasks.) People want ALL their music playable on the same device. It doesn't sound like carriers want that--they seem to want only songs sent through their network to be on your phone. Feel like buying maintaining two separate libraries, one at home and one on your phone?

* Home Internet basically always works for you. Mobile networks don't. Fighting no-coverage areas and dropped connections with voice is bad enough. Fighting that while trying to download a big file you paid EXTRA for? No thanks.

Some of the above can be helped by carriers letting go of some ridiculous attempts at revenue streams. But much of the above the carriers really cannot fix.

birdherder
Jul 20, 2005, 12:40 PM
Assuming broadband comes to mobile and is as pervasive as it is in homes...
Assuming Microsoft or Apple standardize the format that most carriers use for downloads.
Assuming the iTunes phone from Moto actually sets the standard for music on phones and the functionality gets right.

As nagromme points out, the carriers see this as a revenue generator and want to keep the environment closed to competitors. It wasn't until 2005 that MMS was interoperable between major carriers in the US. Number portability is still new. I find it laughable that the ringtone cost is a dollar more than buying the whole song from iTunes.

Perhaps an alternative would be wireless aware iPod devices that could stream/download music from a broadband cell phone network. That would be cool and something that I would pay for. I'd still probably use a Mac to buy the songs and organize the library but it would be cool to be able to have access to my music anywhere I can get a cell signal. But I still want an iPod-like device for listening to music and a cellphone device to talk on the phone to people.

Just because you can pack an MP3 player into a phone doesn't mean the market is screaming for it.

speleoterra
Jul 20, 2005, 12:53 PM
Duhhh,...

some prediction,...
why not just state that 8-tracks are dead and people are moving to cassette tapes? :eek:

macnulty
Jul 20, 2005, 07:52 PM
Digital music has been around since the introduction of CDs in 1983 or thereabouts.

Absolutely, I was actually thinking in terms of digitally compressed music and should have been clearer ( & wittier ).

I think nagromme is wholely correct. However, it will be popular with teenagers in high school in the never ending cycle to one up everyone else in their clique or keep up with'em.