Random Thoughts from TasT
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Published on June 7, 2006 By TasT In MP3 Players

Have you ever asked youself why you associate all Digital Music players to the term iPod? Is it because Apple makes the best digital music player? No. Is it because all digital music players are iPods? No. Friends it’s simply because they market their digital music player and because they do, they have a 70%+ share of the market.

I must admit I own an iPod, well if you count my daughters Nano I guess I own two. I don’t own them because of marketing though, I own one them because of what the marketing has produced, Compatibility. I can easily get accessories for the iPod and I can connect it to several different car stereos. That is where my iPod will eventually spend it’s life, locked up in the glove box of my truck acting as one huge CD changer. At that point I will move on to what ever is the best music player on the market. My daughter’s on the other hand was purely marketing, I tried to get her to get a Sansa player or a Creative, they both had better features for the money and more storage, but no she had been bit by Apples marketing bug and had to have a Nano, I conceded.

Think about this, right now Phillips and Creative have Awesome players that trump the iPod in feature set but can you even name them? I am thinking about getting the 6GB Phillips for my Fiancée and I can’t even tell you it’s name. I can however, name every current iPod model and most of the past models! It’s marketing!

Why don’t the other companies market their players? I read in a news article about Creative Suing Apple that they claim they don’t have enough marketing budget. That’s rubbish. Being a business major and helping with my Fiancée’s Clothing Boutique I have studied and saw first hand that marketing your product is the most important thing you can do. Keep the ads out there and customers buy, quit the ads and you may get old customers and a trickle of new ones but if you competitor starts and add campaign your in trouble. The customers will follow the ads like sheep follow their shepherd and you are left wondering where your sales went.

Think about it, can you go a whole week without seeing and ad of some sort for the iPod? Maybe but I doubt it, they are everywhere, TV, magazines, Sunday paper sales flyers. Hell, I bet that Apple pays Best Buy, Circuit City, Target, Wal-Mart and the like to put the iPod in their sales flyers, The iPods are never on sale. (Apple has them price locked. And no, I don’t know why Wal-Mart can sell them a couple bucks cheaper.)

This is what I want to see. I want to see Microsoft expand their Play For Sure program. I want them to add a dock connector standard. Once it’s set I want them to license it out in levels such as simple Play For Sure compatible and Made for Play For Sure. One level would be easy and CHEAP to license. The other would be an actual certification process and would ensure complete compatibility with the standard. It would, of course, also cost more but still it must be Cheap. In fact the lower level needs to be so cheap that a manufacturer of potential accessories wouldn’t even think of not including the ability to dock a Play For Sure Device. This would be to ensure every possible Item from alarm clocks to car stereos had the dock connector or the ability to use it.

Next I want to see another major player build and Market a full line of digital music players. Apple has set the precedence for what is needed, COPY what they have but add in the nice features such as the FM tuner and voice recorder. Maybe Microsoft could even build and market a couple of high-end devices to compete directly with the iPod. Most of them though, need to beat Apple on price.

Next we need a music store. URGE, the MTV/CMT store that is soon to launch will do nicely. Not only will they have the Microsoft marketing machine but they will also have the equally efficient marketing machines of MTV and CMT.

The software should be taken care of by Microsoft’s next version of Media Player as it has stolen much of the interface from iTunes.

Last but MOST important, they must market the crap out of the whole thing, the players, music store, Media Player 11 and Play For Sure Compatibility.

They could even put the nail in Apples coffin by extending this all to Linux and Mac.

Come on guys you have the power to make Apple play fair in the digital music market all you have to do is get together and do it. As a consumer I want some choice, right now I don’t have it. If I want accessories and the ability to us a digital music player with my car stereo I have only one choice, iPod.

WOW us, I know you can.

on Jun 10, 2006
with the ipod, you're also getting beauty and simplicity. Honestly, I don't care at all about an FM tuner or a voice recorder. In fact, I think it would clutter the device. Even back when I had a walkman, I rarely used the FM tuner and never used the built in voice recorder.

Apple also has a huge market share because they have a beautiful product that is mind-numbingly simple to use. There was only the slightest of learning curves to use this product because I had to configure things with iTunes. Once I had the music on the ipod, I knew I could hand it to any friend of mine and they'd be able to figure it out (this was back in the day when not everyone owned an ipod).

Someone may eventually be able to trump Apple on the ipod, but I have a feeling that it will take quite a long time.