Friday, September 07, 2007

Why Wi-Fi iPod?

OK, I know iTunes has sold a bazillion songs and TV shows and movies. But as Steve Jobs pointed out in his open letter on digital rights management not long ago, the vast majority of songs on the average iPod are ripped from CDs or free peer-to-peer sites.

I still recall giving an iPod-loving teenager an iTunes gift card as a birthday present a couple years back. She glared at it like it was an ugly alien. "What is this for?" she asked.

So I doubt there will be a huge rush of teens flowing into Starbucks to use their new iPod Touch devices to buy music on iTunes. Too bad Apple didn't consider Bluetooth for ad hoc links to let people share songs between their iPods. This was a feature users really want and one the otherwise bedeviled Zune got right.

The iPod Touch won't flop. There are always Apple fanatics eager to show they have the latest expensive status box and will pay the ~$300 just to have the multi-touch display and the cool-looking album cover flipping interface. Wi-Fi will probably be something they learn to turn off because it sucks the battery dry too fast. Ah, consumer electronics!

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