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MacBytes
Sep 5, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Shine wearing off iPod (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060905084501)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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swingerofbirch
Sep 5, 2006, 09:09 AM
iPods are so 2002.

Ascots are the new iPods.

Why, they're the bees' knees!

BenRoethig
Sep 5, 2006, 09:24 AM
If this is true and vista is able to at least keep the appearance of being as advanced and secure as OSX, Apple's window may be closing fast. Not too many companies get a second chance and if they blow it again, they deserve whatever happens to them.

zwida
Sep 5, 2006, 09:30 AM
If this is true and vista is able to at least keep the appearance of being as advanced and secure as OSX, Apple's window may be closing fast. Not too many companies get a second chance and if they blow it again, they deserve whatever happens to them.

The thing is, this can be true AND Apple can still continue to sell to the majority. As long as it doesn't build quickly, this will be a small blip. A mass market consumer item is sure to turn off some people, no matter how cool it was in the beginning, or how much utility it continues to have.

The thing is, that teenager's critique is not wrong, it's just insufficient.

mkrishnan
Sep 5, 2006, 09:43 AM
Apple has to continue to work hard to improve the iPod and iTunes and be innovators. On the one hand, I think this survey speaks to the fact that if you tell a bunch of rich teenagers from New York that they are "trendsetters" and give them the opportunity to bitch, they will find something to complain about. :eek: ;) :D On the other hand, it does say that they had not previously seen many negatives about Apple's hardware. On the third hand (my name is Zaphod), of course there will always be a minority who don't like a successful product. That's just a fact of life.

timnosenzo
Sep 5, 2006, 09:46 AM
There are some people out there that feel the more popular or mainstream something is, the more it sucks. It seems like the kids they interviewed for that article are those kind of people.

dontmatter
Sep 5, 2006, 11:18 AM
The thing is, this can be true AND Apple can still continue to sell to the majority. As long as it doesn't build quickly, this will be a small blip. A mass market consumer item is sure to turn off some people, no matter how cool it was in the beginning, or how much utility it continues to have.

The thing is, that teenager's critique is not wrong, it's just insufficient.

I don't think it's a matter of the problem being insufficient, per say. More, it's that making anyother choice is very inconvienient because of the monopoly ipod/itunes has. Instead, people will be using the system, but not because they love it, but because it is "good enough", or perhaps they dislike it, but they just have too much invested in itunes to switch.

I say this because the ipod and itunes have hardly changed, and in a device/category of this growth rate, that is this young, there ought to be a ton of change. Now yes, that is because the two were spectacular compared to anything else out there for a good long while. But the thing is, the music service they're talking about now is a very cool and innovative concept, and not the only one I've heard about. But guarenteed to flop. So many potential innovations have not only flopped but probably not even made it to market because who wants to fund an itunes competitior?

What it all comes down to is that apple has a monopoly, so they will do what anybod does with a monopoly- the minimum to keep it. There is no incentive to take risks, because they have way more to lose than to gain. It would be great if they opened the format up so more ideas could get off the ground, but they aren't going to, because they don't need to.

zap2
Sep 5, 2006, 11:30 AM
Not too many companies get a second chance and if they blow it again, they deserve whatever happens to them.

This is Apple's secound chance..the IBM and MS really kicked them around when Apple did not want to share its OS

starflyer
Sep 5, 2006, 11:34 AM
Interesting concept. I dont see it working tho.

http://www.burnlounge.com/default/index.htm

BenRoethig
Sep 5, 2006, 11:39 AM
There are some people out there that feel the more popular or mainstream something is, the more it sucks. It seems like the kids they interviewed for that article are those kind of people.

I know. I see it around here all the time.

autrefois
Sep 5, 2006, 11:47 AM
There are some people out there that feel the more popular or mainstream something is, the more it sucks.

I'm already a step ahead of everyone here. The growing trend (so says the all-knowing Zandl Group quoted in the article) is a backlash against the iPod. My guess is that in a year or two, this will become the mainstream sentiment. Which means there will be a backlash against that trend and non-conformists will be forced to start liking the iPod again in order to stay out of the mainstream.

Since I already like the iPod, I believe I am way ahead of things here. :confused: :p

slu
Sep 5, 2006, 12:45 PM
Who cares about anecdotal "evidence" from a 15 year old Austrailan punk?

Seriously, this may be true, but do some real research. Don't just interview the first kid you see with a skateboard.

Ugg
Sep 5, 2006, 01:30 PM
I don't think it's a matter of the problem being insufficient, per say. More, it's that making anyother choice is very inconvienient because of the monopoly ipod/itunes has. Instead, people will be using the system, but not because they love it, but because it is "good enough", or perhaps they dislike it, but they just have too much invested in itunes to switch.

I say this because the ipod and itunes have hardly changed, and in a device/category of this growth rate, that is this young, there ought to be a ton of change. Now yes, that is because the two were spectacular compared to anything else out there for a good long while. But the thing is, the music service they're talking about now is a very cool and innovative concept, and not the only one I've heard about. But guarenteed to flop. So many potential innovations have not only flopped but probably not even made it to market because who wants to fund an itunes competitior?

What it all comes down to is that apple has a monopoly, so they will do what anybod does with a monopoly- the minimum to keep it. There is no incentive to take risks, because they have way more to lose than to gain. It would be great if they opened the format up so more ideas could get off the ground, but they aren't going to, because they don't need to.

How wrong you are on all counts.

Apple does not have a monopoly there are literally dozens of other music stores out there. None of them have been successful because of the limitations imposed on the by the music companies, hardware, software and the inability of anyone to come up with as great of a product.

There has been a phenomenal amount of change within iTMS since its beginning and the iPod has changed as well. One thing few people will accept is that if Apple opened the iPod to other music services, the customer complaints would skyrocket due to the multitude of EULAs out there. Until the music companies standardize their offerings, Apple would be incredibly stupid to open up the iPod to all services. Everyone wants to blame Apple when the problem lies elsewhere.

Apple will continue to gain marketshare, not because they are adverse to risks as you claim but because they are willing to take risks and they listen to their customers. The video iPod is but one example. The iPod makes up a significant amount of Apple's yearly sales, they're not going to just sit back and allow the iPod/iTMS to fade away. This fall's new iPods will prove the point.

calculus
Sep 5, 2006, 01:33 PM
Are 'tech savvy fifteen year olds' really the main buyers of iPods? Everyone I know who has one is an old git like me.

rockthecasbah
Sep 5, 2006, 02:59 PM
Are 'tech savvy fifteen year olds' really the main buyers of iPods? Everyone I know who has one is an old git like me.
Well i'd say that most of the buyers are "old gits" because the teens probably whine and beg to get their parents to buy an iPod for them :p

p0intblank
Sep 5, 2006, 03:00 PM
That article is... annoying. The iPod will be around for years to come and I say this with confidence. Apple knows they have to keep the iPod new and interesting. They've already updated it quite a bit to keep giving the people what they want. First it was photos with a color screen, then Podcasts, and now video (which took off instantly). The 5G iPod is simply a test product for video. Apple is paying attention and they know video is taking off like crazy, hence all the TV show episodes being downloaded.

First we'll see a small iPod nano update, which will bring in even more sales since it is already insanely popular (I see them in the wild all the time). Then in probably 2007 we will see the true iPod video and with the upcoming iTunes Movie Store, this new iPod will take off just as well as the previous models have.

Sometimes I think these "authors" write these artlces just to get attention. What they should be doing instead is analyzing Apple and their strategies... kind of like what I just did.

spicyapple
Sep 5, 2006, 03:04 PM
At some point, Apple will have to stop adding new features to the iPod line to keep the price point the same, and start lowering prices. To a degree, too many new features will dilute the iPod brand, then it will be less cool.

rockthecasbah
Sep 5, 2006, 03:11 PM
At some point, Apple will have to stop adding new features to the iPod line to keep the price point the same, and start lowering prices. To a degree, too many new features will dilute the iPod brand, then it will be less cool.
That's a very good point, Spiceyapple, i agree completely. I don't think that time will come for a while though. I mean features don't just sell iPods. Apple could get away with more updates on just specifications or casings long after they stop adding features.

dornoforpyros
Sep 5, 2006, 03:26 PM
what's this? A fad is fading? OMG!

Some one alert the cool hunters! :rolleyes:

although that remark about aging hipsters hurts :p

bousozoku
Sep 5, 2006, 03:27 PM
At some point, Apple will have to stop adding new features to the iPod line to keep the price point the same, and start lowering prices. To a degree, too many new features will dilute the iPod brand, then it will be less cool.

Once the ultimate iPod has been offered for sale, Apple can kiss the market goodbye. The patents will eventually run out and everyone will be able to create and distribute their own iPod

Hopefully, Apple will have new ideas on products that people will want or perhaps, they'll just perfect someone else's ideas, but they'd better have a plan for that day when an iPod becomes another item that you can buy at 7-11.

mduser63
Sep 5, 2006, 03:40 PM
Are 'tech savvy fifteen year olds' really the main buyers of iPods? Everyone I know who has one is an old git like me.

Absolutely. It may be that it doesn't seem that way to you because most of the people you know are your age. I can assure you that iPods are hugely popular among high school kids.

bousozoku
Sep 5, 2006, 04:00 PM
Absolutely. It may be that it doesn't seem that way to you because most of the people you know are your age. I can assure you that iPods are hugely popular among high school kids.

Popular, yes, but they're rarely the buyers.

ThePreacherMan
Sep 5, 2006, 07:14 PM
Born in the late fifties, I bought my first Ipod on my 45th Birthday, the same day as the mini-Ipod was released. Since then I have purchased three shuffles (one for everyone in the family who wanted one) a Nano, and a 30 Gig video. I work out at LA Fitness and it seems as though each day that I am there, some regular shows up with a new Ipod of some sort. The other day for fun I counted Ipod users (53) to non-Ipod users (12) that is a significant difference and a pattern that I don't see changing. When Apple makes its announcement in the next few days, I predict we will see something totally new from Apple along the lines of a new Ipod Video as well as 8 and 10 gig Nanos. This will cause a whole new rush to buy the latest and greatest as it usually does with Apple. Now that Preaches!!!

jettredmont
Sep 5, 2006, 07:44 PM
what's this? A fad is fading? OMG!

Some one alert the cool hunters! :rolleyes:

although that remark about aging hipsters hurts :p

Completely off-topic, but that seems to me an odd sociological quirk. Which is the insult, the 'aging' part, or the 'hipsters' part? I mean, no one calls themselves a 'hipster', so maybe that's the insult of the phrase, but I'm not sure why.

'Aging' is the funny part. It's funny because as much as the teenager (15 years old) is deriding others for getting older, he's aging in an absolute scale just as fast, and in a lifetime-proportionate scale (% of years added each year) twice or three times as fast, and in a maturity scale ... well, hopefully even faster (although that's not always guaranteed). The only scale where he ranks as "aging" slower is the approaching-death-proportionate scale (ie, % change in remaining life expectancy each year), which is a rather fuzzy scale to try to quantify, and, frankly, he might very well be statistically incorrect there as well (death rate spikes in teenage/twenties, drops significantly, then gradually increases from middle-age on).

Strikes me as an odd insult, and yet, I remember the same insult being around twenty years ago. It's gotta say something about the teenage mind...

jettredmont
Sep 5, 2006, 08:37 PM
From a purely high-level perspective, it seems the outline of the article has these major bits:


"Beat on the Street" - Find single teenager to espouse an opinion which can be made into a good article title
Survey results to show that, for the first time evar, such teenagers exist, statistically speaking (not that they are a majority or even significant percentage, just that some unspecified number of teenagers complained about iPods last month)
Teenagers (presumably the subset complaining about iPods, or maybe just a completely unrelated grouping) steal music.
Spiral Frog says teenagers want free stuff, and are willing to listen to 90 seconds of commercials, per month, per song they download, instead of just downloading from Kazaa or whatever.
Universal exec states the obvious.


The first two points take up about half the article. That's about the iPod. Let's think about those.


Is it really all that important that you can find a teenager to gripe about a product? I mean, back in the day, Vans were the *****. You know, the "skater" shoes. Still, despite the fact that, statistically, every kid and their brother wanted Vans, you could find a dissenter amongst the ranks within five minutes. Look for someone not wearing Vans, and especially someone who looks like they might be a tad "rebellious", and they're pretty likely to give you a contrarian view of the topic. Seems simple enough. Funny how this teenager is described as listening to ska and punk and filling his hard drive with illegally downloaded songs (of ska and punk, presumably ... which is both obvious and sad at the same time; it's hard to find good ska or punk in stores these days, so I can understand). Seems pretty likely that he also dresses the part, and so when you walk down the street with the two criteria of "no iPod" and "looks rebellious" ... well, obviously that's the kid you're going to stop and ask, right?
Anyway, there's a survey to back this up. Frankly, what I find interesting is that never before have teenagers complained about the iPod in this survey! Does no one else find that more interesting than the fact that, this month, someone actually complained? I mean, I could take a survey about world peace and I'm pretty certain that I'd hit at least one person out there who thinks there's too much! So, is the survey just a crap survey, or is this 'uptick' the result of a change in format, or did teenagers really just now escape the RDF and realize that, genetically speaking, they are supposed to be complaining about anything someone might call "cool"?
Time to radically shift gears. This is great for the article writer because he can deliver 5,000 words with a title that ties it to something cool, like the iPod, and not have to come up with 5,000 relevant words about that topic. He chose to shift to the ever-groundbreaking discussion on teenagers stealing music. Maybe this is the same set who are dissing iPods, maybe not. Doesn't matter. They steal music. That's bad.
Product placement for Yet Another Obviously Flawed Business Model. Spiral Frog, this one is called. Maybe it ties in to the article lede because it's obvious that the guy who named the company was an 'aging hipster'. I don't know. Business Model: you listen to 90 seconds of ads, then download a song. The song is in WMA format, natch, so you have varying and restrictive rights depending on the studio, and certainly can't listen to it on your iPod. And, best yet, if you don't go back every month to listen to more ads, the music just evaporates (well, it's still there, but locked out and unplayable. I think I'd prefer it to 'evaporate'.) Yeah, that's much easier for your average teen to deal with than just firing up Acquisition and pulling down the latest 50 Cent trainwreck. Honestly, I can't see the lede's antihero embracing such a establishmentarian approach: he'll either use a script to automatically mute the speakers and 'listen' to ads while he's at school, or he'll go the simple route and just use the same piracy tools he's using now to get that Eminem must-have song. Or, oh yeah, he'll continue listening to that ska-core crap that you won't be able to find for legitimate download anywhere anyway, which means he'll have no choice but to use those piracy tools (or buy real life CDs at shows or from the bands directly). But, no, much more likely that he'll disavow his rebellious nature and embrace the hip Scissor Sisters album and listen to 18 minutes of ads to download it (to be fair, I had to look these guys up in iTMS to see that their album had 12 songs; they don't sound too bad, especially compared to the other acts they're mentioned with in the article; still, not necessarily something you'd want playing alongside your Fugazi/Bosstones/Bim Skala Bim/Dead Kennedys unless you're just a complete shuffle freak like me).
Fair and Balanced. After about 35% of the article espousing Spiral Frog, a two-short-paragraphs admission from its primary studio benefactor (Universal) that it, well, probably won't succeed.


All in all, seems like a poorly-constructed article with one interesting data point (although it misses the interesting fact entirely), an ad for a 'hipster' company, and an admission that it's all just crap anyway.

Shrug

mduser63
Sep 5, 2006, 09:03 PM
Popular, yes, but they're rarely the buyers.

They rarely pay for them, but they can be considered the buyers. It's not as if the parents are choosing the iPods, it's the kids asking for them.

zap2
Sep 5, 2006, 09:15 PM
Are 'tech savvy fifteen year olds' really the main buyers of iPods? Everyone I know who has one is an old git like me.


Some are...but few of them...heck only about 2 kids in my grade can tell me what Linux is...myself and my other friends(who comes to MR)

calculus
Sep 6, 2006, 03:29 AM
Absolutely. It may be that it doesn't seem that way to you because most of the people you know are your age. I can assure you that iPods are hugely popular among high school kids.
...apart from my children and all their friends.

California
Sep 8, 2006, 06:49 PM
Well at the gym yesterday I looked around just on the row of eliptical trainers out of 10 machines I saw: two iPod minis, one iPod 4th gen clickwheel, two iPod shuffles (including mine) and one nano. One chick had a weird elaborate set of big ear muff headphones and what was probably an off brand MP3 player but -- Apple iPod ruled the day. It was almost embarassing to see all the white earbuds and cords. Who cares what the Aussie kid thinks? Cool to me is what works and works well -- function is the iPod's style.

I just sold one 4th gen. 20gb but still have my other pristine one. I also just sold a 30gb iPod video and so presently only own two iPods, the 4th gen and a 1gb shuffle; waiting to see what happens next week...

Buschmaster
Sep 9, 2006, 09:35 AM
Well, I have to say that a ton of people in High School had an iPod, to the point where it was weird when someone didn't of one sort or another.

iGav
Sep 9, 2006, 02:15 PM
As soon as something becomes popular, it is no longer cool.

nitynate
Sep 9, 2006, 04:55 PM
This kid is retarded.



iPods are much cooler and more slick than anything.


He is just mad 'cause he cant afford one like all the cool kids. :rolleyes: