January 8, 2004

iPods

I've heard a lot of disappointed groans because when the rumored new Mini iPods were announced this week, they were priced at $250�just $50 less than the cheapest regular iPod. There had been speculation about $100 or 200.

But I think people are missing the point. With gadgets, if you buy the "newest and smallest," you often pay more. Small means tricky engineering or the newest components. Charlene's cell phone is 1/3 the size of mine, and she had to pay extra for that. (Me, I prefer my big clunky Nokia. I could hit somebody with it in a pinch.)

The iPod is already surprisingly tiny and delicate. I'm guessing that when people actually can touch the new ones, they will not think "little," they will think "elegant," or "jewel-like."

Our daughter asked Charlene for an iPod for Christmas, and mentioned that they cost $500. Charlene told her firmly to forget it, we couldn't afford one. Of course I knew that that was the top-of-the-line price, and that there were cheaper ones. We bought a 10-Gig, and because of Charlene's very convincing refusal, Besty was completely surprised, (and very happy.) I packed the distinctively-shaped iPod box into a round box, and told her it was a "Legolas lampshade."

Also announced by Apple was the program GarageBand. My musically talented (He sure didn't get it from me) son William has been starting to wrestle with MIDI software, and the stuff seems painfully awkward and hard to learn. I think GarageBand is going to be heaven for him....

* iPod Update: Wallet-size? I found this an interesting take:

...What I noticed is that women writers on the web love this thing. Why? Believe it or not, it was not the pretty colors. Women are not as stupid as most men think. They really can and do make sensible purchases. The core reason was the high quality, the usual list of iTunes/ITMS access, cool accessories, etc. that makes the standard iPods a great buy, combined with the tiny form factor. It fits inside those humongous wallets women use. A standard iPod can't do that. Neither can any other hard drive based player....

Posted by John Weidner at January 8, 2004 8:01 AM
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