It’s pretty much Apple week here at Medialoper, and why not? So I figured that I’d add my perspective on the new iPods, as well as the Universal’s wholesale abandonment of iTunes for Amazon’s Unbox.
Everybody I know seemed to be keeping at one browser tab open on the press conference yesterday, and until the drastic price drop of the iPhone, it pretty much went the way that most people had predicted beforehand. Without going into any deep analysis of What It All Means, here are some of my thoughts.
Price Drop on the iPhone. I have a hard time being all outraged about this. I randomly walked into a situation during that first weekend where I could purchase one without waiting in line, and I knew damn well that the price was going to be lowered even before Christmas. So boo-hoo for me. I’ll just wait 30 years and sell it to some museum or antiques dealer at a profit!
Widescreen Nanos The new Nanos kind of confuse me. Part of the original point of the Nano was the amazingly small footprint, but making them squat seem to defeat the purpose. Also, with an 8GB iPod Touch being priced only $100 more than an 8GB Nano, I’m honestly not sure what the point is of the Nanos anymore. I’m sure someone will enlighten me.
The iPod “Classic” Uh, sure, Steve. It’s the latest sign of the hyper-accelerated culture where a product that’s been out for 6 years is the “Classic” version. It could be worse: the iPod Touch could have been called the “NewPod.” That said: I already know what I want for Christmas, if not my birthday (or even our 10th anniversary, Rox): that 160GB iPod. In Black.
It ain’t enough to hold my entire music collection, but it is enough to hold pretty much everything that I would want to listen to again.
iPod Touch. When Kirk wrote yesterday that there was some grumbling about the limited capacity of the Touch, he meant me. Ideally, I could have the touchscreen functionality that I enjoy with the iPhone combined with dozens and dozens of GB to play with. But that’s the only quibble: I already know how well this will work, with one huge caveat: the wireless.
Kids, wi-fi in the wild isn’t all that easy to come by. And it’s the scarcest when you need it the most: on the road, away from your normal environment. In those cases, I have come to rely on the lame-ass EDGE network to (s l o w l y) give me information. If you are buying the iPod Touch specifically because of the wireless, and you don’t spend a huge amount of your time in an environment nicely blanketed by wi-fi signals, prepare to be disappointed.
WiTunes. If I’m lucky, I’m the first person to refer to the Wireless iTunes store as WiTunes. Probably not, by now.
Universal to Apple: Piss Off!!
In the meantime, Universal was announcing that they were pretty closing up their iTunes TV shop and transferring everything to Amazon’s Unbox.
And in case anybody didn’t want to see this as a fuck-you to Apple, the NBC Unbox shows are priced at $1.99, which is the price that they wouldn’t give to Apple.
On a strictly personal note, this is great news. Why? Because I have a TiVo, and I can now order up a bunch of great shows — Heroes, Friday Night Lights, that entire amazing Thursday night comedy lineup — directly through my TiVo, instead of having to download through iTunes and mess around with getting the computer hookup working just right with the TV.
I love having this as my backup system for those inevitable times when the cable goes out, the TiVo messes up or some major local event messes with the broadcast. It just gives me more choice.
In the end, what’s good for me is still bad overall. As a consumer, I shouldn’t feel lucky that a series of deals totally out of my control means that I have a choice that I suddenly didn’t have. I should already have the choice of purchasing the same shows from Unbox or iTunes (and other services) and not have to worry about what works with what. And if I was one of the 37 people who bought Apple TV, I’d be pissed.