Monday, February 05, 2007


NP - Dark Tranquillity - Focus Shift

Ive always resented the whole fuss made about the iPod, but when asked about it, whatever. Its a powerful mp3 player, colour screen, interesting (if gimmicky) navigation system...and very pretty. All in all a nice mp3 player. But seriously, its been blown WAY out of proportion.

My lecturer was going on about it today and for me that was it. The myth that the iPod was the first mp3 player, or launched a new market, or exploited a niche, its absolute bollocks. And nobody's been able to convince me of it. Lets be clear: first you had the Walkman (cassettes: remember those?). Then you had CD players - nifty little things. I'm not sure if you had MD players or MP3 CD players after that, but with MP3 CD players you were getting into the convenient mass-music market.

And then you had MP3 players.

Thats right, the iPod is an mp3 player. Its not some brand new funky spunky alien technology, come to revolutionise our pitiful human ways. Its an mp3 like any other. Im sick of how people act like its the 2nd coming, or how my university's exam rhetoric states 'no calculators, electronic dictionaries, or iPods'.

The only revolution the iPod launched is a marketing revolution. Its success is ridiculous. Purely because of marketing, the iPod became the DEFINITION of digital music. Sure, its an awesome piece of hardware, but its not the first, nor the last. The fact that I can go to eBay and get a 4GB mp3 and video player with a 3 inch digital screen which is smaller than the iPod for 30 pounds is proof of that. Oh yeah, and its ridiculously overpriced. RIDICULOUSLY. Contrast the funky chinese device just described with an iPod nano, which is something like 130 pounds (and half the capacity).

But the iPod is a status symbol, like a Merc or a Beamer. Suddenly a device that sits in your pocket and lets you listen to your favourite rocker wont do it anymore - it has to be an iPod. Or you're not cool. People forget that there were mp3 players before, theres mp3 players today which are just as functional and cheaper, no it has to be an iPod.

I swear, people are sheep. It drives me nuts. Most people dont have any complaints about their iPods, and if it were significantly cheaper I would probably get one myself. Paying for an iPod, clearly you're getting more than an mp3 player, you're getting status. But I'm not the kind of person who needs to play ridiculous amounts of money for self-validation. I don't need an iPod to feel accepted. I need an iPod for music. And theres better alternatives.

Posted by illogicist at 10:43 AM 7 comments

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