iPod – Where's The Hook?

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Date: Tuesday, October 30th, 2001, 11:18
Category: Archive

The iPod looks like a fantastic utility. It has the simple elegance and appears to have the ease of use typical of Apple’s high quality products. However, the iPod being merely an MP3 left me wondering how Apple could possibly think that such a device will result in a great number, or even a good number, of PC converts – which is one of their stated goals. There are a number of good quality MP3 players on the market that will satisfy the non-Mac user.


The iPod looks like a fantastic utility. It has the simple elegance and appears to have the ease of use typical of Apple’s high quality products. However, the iPod being merely an MP3 left me wondering how Apple could possibly think that such a device will result in a great number, or even a good number, of PC converts – which is one of their stated goals. There are a number of good quality MP3 players on the market that will satisfy the non-Mac user.

I work in a typical PC office environment, complete with a company issue laptop that I can take home every night. Though I would prefer to working and playing on a Mac, it is a good and fast machine and I have no reason to spend money on a Mac for the house. Upon hearing the pre-release announcement, I was hoping some of the rumors of a PDA were correct. I was hoping for something that would allow me to support a company that I greatly respect for their ingenuity, creativity and sincere attention to detail.

Alas, I am not disappointed… my life will go on. But, in looking at the iPod, I cannot help wonder why Apple didn’t combine the daily conveniences of a PDA into the unit. Doing so would only have used a fraction of the memory – the most memory on a Handspring is a scant 16 MB, after all!

The Firewire connection would allow for rapid updating of personal information while your iTunes is updating. Now, this would truly have been a "breakthrough." This would have added the one missing dimension – the one thing people like to have with them that current PDAs can not accommodate. Not only your appointments, schedule, phone numbers, work documents, e-mail, (and a lot more – think about it, 5 GB!), but your entire music collection organized and there for you anytime you want it.

(Oh and make it similar in shape to the iPod, though perhaps a little thinner, and make it Titanium.)

With this sort of product on the market, EVERY non-Mac user would have a clear and compelling reason to switch platforms – at least on a home computer. I’m not holding my breath, but will keep looking for it. Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting for a Mac-using friend to buy an iPod but, that might be awhile – consensus is that US$399 is a little pricey. Hopefully the Denver retail store will open before that so I can stop in a play with a demo model.

Please forward my plea directly to Steve Jobs…I know you have his direct line and he always takes your calls.

[He may not take my calls, but he reads Go2Mac.com… -Ed] What are your thoughts on the iPod? Sound off in our new iPod Message Board thread and vote in our new poll in the left navigation bar.

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