Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The genius that is the iPod

Think back 5 years ago and try to recall something you really wanted. I mean let it be something you were really focused on. Something that could enter your life and really improve it.

I'm sure you thought about life changing medicines, the removal of certain politcal candidates, the end of suffering and really lofty things that would improve your life.

So turn it down a notch, what abouty your personal daily life? if you could have had anything what would it be? Does your list contain a personal trainer or gym membership? A big screen TV or home sysem? A new car? A new bike (it should)?

Did anywhere in these various lists did you say "I want music delievered to my ears 24/7." I mean I doubt anyone would have said that. We've been able to do it for years with walkmans and CD players. Heck, mp3 players had been available for years and were catching on. Did you ever think, "Lord, I need to watch Pirates of the Carribean on my way to work while I take the train, and it would be nice to hear that radio program from last week on 'not wasting time', etc, etc." The answer is no, no one ever said those things.

And that is the genius of the iPod. Apple created a device that all of sudden caused the entire world, not just our country, to suddenly desperately need music on demand. I mean individuals who never owned a walkman suddenly had to have one and listen to their music all the time, at work, on the commute, at the dinner table, with family, and even when cycling (which I don't support).

Apple made a device that worked simply, it did one thing extremely well, which was to deliver digital music to individuals and provide a way to manage that music via iTunes. They concentrated on what I call the success point. That one tiny point, or even moment of recognition, where the customer realizes that the product is right for them. After they won that battle the sky was the limit and Apple is still flying up.

Personally I waited until the Video iPod before I bought one. I travel a lot and wanted to take my video with me on the plane and in the hotel. Music delivery was not the need I had. I knew Apple would get there, it was only logical. I'm glad I have one now. I'm actually getting back to listening to music I own, taking many a trip down memory lane (trust me that there are artists on my iPod you will not have on yours, can you say Flake?) Now that Tivo Desktop Plus (only $25) will transfer and convert my tivo recordings for my iPod it is even earlier. As an early technology adopter I used a system that required me to manually convert every .tivo file twice before iTunes would see it and sync. Still it got the job done.

I think I've now purchased about $300-$400 in iPod accessories, and actually that would be $1200 if you consider the two pairs of Bose noise reduction headphones that we purchased (btw, awesome if you travel by plane). I've got cases, a car adapter and a mini dock station with speakers for those rooms we work in where the stereo is not piped in. On top of this I've bought other things at the Apple store as well (external hard drive). So Apple has done some things really well here. They've now suckered me into giving them my money (made with a PC btw).

The iPode revolution as I will call it is fascinating. I give Steve Jobs and those at Apple their mad props. Now if they would just help making and supporting software for a Mac as wonderful I'd name my first child Steve Jobs Sheppard-Moran.

Another funny observation, everyone now has white head phones stuck in their ears. I think that in Resident Evil part 10 (which will still be starring the super sexy Mila Jovovich all the zombies will just be ordinary citizens with iPod head phones in their ears. Of course some thing terrible will happen to cause them to eat people, maybe the only song for download will be Achy Breaky Heart. (movie studios you can have that idea for free).

So as I sign off soon, listening to my classic rock shuffle, the Rolling Stones signing "you can't always get what you want," I ponder that they might be right. But some one might just convince you need something you never really considered before and that's a win too.


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