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The Indefinite Article.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Photo iPod Thinking

Maybe it says something that I don't remember exactly if its the Photo iPod or the iPod Photo. Maybe it takes the third of so variation on a name to set the mold that the modifier comes after the name: iPod Mini, iPod Photo, (what next?). When I jokingly asked Killy if he was going to get one, he responds with some verbal force against the well received unit. I was kinda taken aback. What's the big deal?

The unit seems like a logical evolution of the iPod--color screen and more storage space. It's a matter of keeping up with or ahead of the Creatives and iRivers, etc. So with all this additional space, what are people going to do with it? How big are most people's music colelctions anyway? Okay, mine has grown to 18 gigs now, but is still far outstripped by my current iPod's 30 gig capacity, which is far smaller than the new biggie's capacity: 60 gig. Electronic photo album seems to be a logical next extension.

The iPhoto library I keep on my computer is 1.6 gig, so it is reasonable from a space perspective. One of the things my family enjoys whenever I return from a trip or am visiting is to check out pictures on my laptop, so photo display capacity within the iPod seems like it would be pretty handy. You just hook it up to the TV, clicky-clicky on the scroll wheel and presto, something handier than everyone squishing together in front of my laptop.

On the other hand, $600 for a music and picture player seems pretty excessive. For just $300 more, you can pick up an iBook and have a handy laptop that is far more flexible than the iPod. You can plug it into a TV just the same or show photos in 1024 by 728 resolution, much sharper than TV. You can play music with it too.

But would you really want to? The power of the iPod is how it leverages your current computer resources into spaces where using a computer is incovenient or practically impossible. The original iPod was dubbed too expensive at $399, and opened the way for larger capacity and more expensive versions. It also eventually lead the way to less expensive and more capable iPods. In some ways the iPod Photo is a version one, something to test the waters and see what it next.

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