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  #1  
Old 11-07-2008, 08:13 PM
David Tucker
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Default Holiday Gloom?

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0810/gallery.holiday_gadgets.fortune/2.html' target='_blank'>http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008....fortune/2.html</a><br /><br /></div><p><i>"Microsoft's latest answer to the iPod, with 120 gigabytes of storage and a 3.2-inch high-resolution color screen, is a vast improvement over the original Zune, which debuted in 2006. But the new Zune faces the same problem as the iPod: Smartphones and other Web-enabled devices chock full of features (think iPhone) threaten to render these one-trick players obsolete."</i></p><p><img src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1226085184.usr307.jpg"></p><p>The holiday season is getting close and that means big sales for a lot of gadgets. <a mce_href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0810/gallery.holiday_gadgets.fortune/2.html" href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2008/fortune/0810/gallery.holiday_gadgets.fortune/2.html"> Fortune has a list</a> of gadgets, though, that it thinks will be flops. Fortune's biggest issue is that the prevalence of smartphones make the mp3 player start to look a bit long in the tooth. I'm not sure I agree with that assertion. Camera enabled phones have really done nothing to the digital camera business. Most people realize that a stand alone device is better in a lot of cases.<br><br>I think that, for now at least, the standalone MP3 player is still superior to almost any phone based option. The only one that really is a usable solution is the iPhone. And really, with phones tied to carriers, who wants to use that as their primary entertainment device. I really don't know that many people who have eschewed their iPod for an iPhone. Even people who have an iPhone mostly seem to have an iPod as well.<br><br>So with all that said, I think the impact on the Zune will be minimal. There is a large market for MP3 players that I really just don't see going away any time soon.</p>
 
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  #2  
Old 11-07-2008, 08:41 PM
inteller
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being able to order songs you hear off the radio wirelessly is one trick? being able to wirelessly exchange songs and podcasts between friends is one trick? being able to stream an entire music library and listen to same songs as your friends are listening too is one trick?

and this is before we even talk about smartphone audio DSPs being woefully inferior to dedicated units. Please show me where I can find a Wolfson DSP in a smartphone.


PUH-lease.....I've totally stopped reading MSM mag reviews of the zune, they are all stupid. please show me a smartphone that can do any of that.
 
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:55 PM
David Tucker
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Not to mention if they felt this would be a problem for MP3 players in general...the only player that REALLY has room to disappoint is the iPod. But yeah...I have a Zune to listen to music. Its for seriously listening to music in ways that I can't with a non-dedicated device.

There was a brief move towards integrating everything at one point but people began to realize that there is value in separation.
 
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:01 PM
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Default Small vs. Large Audio Players

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Originally Posted by David Tucker View Post
[...]I think the impact on the Zune will be minimal. There is a large market for MP3 players that I really just don't see going away any time soon.
I thnk you have to look at it as two segments: small (flash) vs. large (disk) media players.

I think the market for flash-based media players will be hurt by smart phones. With an 8 GB memory card in my Motorola Q9m, I have as much storage as most iPhone 1s, iPod Nano 3Gs, Zune 2s and earlier models.

The market for disk-based media players, though, is a different beast. Those allow you to carry your entire music library or lots of video, something no phones can do (yet). If somebody really needs to carry more than 16-32GB storage, they'll need a media player.

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Old 11-07-2008, 11:08 PM
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Default Small vs. Large Audio Players

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Originally Posted by inteller View Post
being able to order songs you hear off the radio wirelessly is one trick? being able to wirelessly exchange songs and podcasts between friends is one trick? being able to stream an entire music library and listen to same songs as your friends are listening too is one trick?
Many smart phones are adding FM radios, and they obviously have wireless, so it wouldn't take a rocket scientist (or theoretical physicist) to add those features to Windows Mobile or the iPhone.

And, with services like Orb, you can stream your entire music library from your home PC to your mobile device.

Of course, the iPod doesn't do those and still sells quite well, so many people don't appear to think they're that useful anyway (or they're suffering from iTunes inertia).

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Originally Posted by inteller View Post
and this is before we even talk about smartphone audio DSPs being woefully inferior to dedicated units. Please show me where I can find a Wolfson DSP in a smartphone.
I can't help with that last request as I don't even know what a Wolfson DSP is (I know what a DSP is, just not a Wolfson one). However, if you're a real audiophile, do you really even want a lossy format recording? Shouldn't all of your music be ripped to WAV or FLAC?

Most consumers are probably happy with their low- to mid-range audio system, and most digital music users may be happy with their smart phone (especailly if they only have to carry one device).

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Last edited by Pony99CA; 11-07-2008 at 11:10 PM..
 
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:16 PM
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I agree that it will eventually eat into MP3 player sales but I think there will be a market for PMPs for a long time. That said I don't see how the current crop of smartphones has any realistic chance of affecting MP3 sales other than the iPhone.
 
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:07 AM
Jason Dunn
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Some great points David. I think what people fail to take into account is that, just like with HDTVs, there's a point where the market is saturated and almost everyone who wants to get a certain product has already bought one. So in the case of MP3 players, the market isn't growing in leaps and bounds because so many people already have MP3 players...so the iPod and the Zune are competing for people who are upgrading essentially...
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pony99CA View Post
I think the market for flash-based media players will be hurt by smart phones. With an 8 GB memory card in my Motorola Q9m, I have as much storage as most iPhone 1s, iPod Nano 3Gs, Zune 2s and earlier models.
I used to be a die-hard "one device to rule them all" guy, but after having more than one experience with having the battery die on my PDA or phone because I was listening to music or watching videos, I switched to being a two-device guy and I haven't looked back. It would take a HUGE breakthrough in battery technology for me to ever consider switching to a one-device solution again.
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  #9  
Old 11-08-2008, 01:11 AM
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Default Battery Life

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Originally Posted by Jason Dunn View Post
I used to be a die-hard "one device to rule them all" guy, but after having more than one experience with having the battery die on my PDA or phone because I was listening to music or watching videos, I switched to being a two-device guy and I haven't looked back. It would take a HUGE breakthrough in battery technology for me to ever consider switching to a one-device solution again.
That's a good point. I suppose it depends on how much you listen to music or watch video, though. I don't do much of either, so my Windows Mobile device is fine as my (infrequently used) media player.

If you do listen to a lot of music or watch a lot of video, maybe getting a second battery or one of those power packs that recharge your device would be a good investment (and cheaper than a dedicated media player).

On another point, if your experience is the norm, that implies most of these iPhones won't be a user's primary media player, right? People might think they can use only one, but they'll eventually revert back to their iPod.

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Old 11-08-2008, 03:00 PM
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There.s more to it than just battery life too but its a big consideration. I also once thought I could do everything with one device. The all in one device suffers some huge problems though that are almost unresolvable. My phone is an ok phone and an ok PDA. Its a mediocre camera. Its a terrible MP3 player. A big reason for that is that the controls on the phone are designed to be a Phone and PDA. Its not a very natural device to use for music or video.

With the Zune if you want to play music anyone can figure that out. Hit play. Convergence really only hit the PDA and phone because of how many functions made sense to work together. Contacts make sense to be on a phone. Contacts are an important part of the rest of your PIM operations like scheduling. The ability of a phone to connect to the web increases the phone's utility as a business device.

The only benefit a music player gets from a phone is the web connection to d/l music. Honestly that's not something I do even when I'm able to. If I'm at work I jsut want a device that can play my music easily. Most people I think are in the same boat.
 
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