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Monday, December 29, 2003

the mini ipods are coming

in a clearly clueful development (and we’re all very happy that apple is still getting the clues), think secret reported several days ago on the rumors of the mini ipod. that development prompted the ubergeeks at slashdot to share their few cents… i took a spin through that quagmire to save you the trouble. the slash geeks missed the clues.

here’s what’s interesting about this (and it has nothing to do with batteries or storage technologies): it more-closely matches the individual listening habits of most people.

sure, a musigeek might appreciate carrying 10,000 or 20,000 (or 75,000 for that matter) songs on their hip, but most people don’t know that many songs, and certainly don’t want to waste the time to load that many tracks, set up playlists, organize and categorize that much noise. most people have a couple dozen songs they really love, and maybe a couple hundred that they’ll listen to “for now.” beyond that, it’s just too annoying. it takes too much attention.

another [less relevant, but valid] view is the dollar-economics. ignore the illegal music sources for a moment, and you’re looking at $600 for an ipod, plus $10,000 or more to fill it up. can you afford to risk loss or theft of a $10,000 gadet? [note to self: ipod track insurance] makes all the noise about battery life seem a bit silly, eh?

so yes. for another week or so, it’s just a rumor that apple will bring us mini ipods in 2004. but i think the nature of the broader music-listening public makes the mini ipod inevitable – even if it has to come from someone other than apple.

a few hundred songs is “good enough” for most people – and that’s important, considering the economics of itunes.

posted by roj at 9:18 am