In his latest missive for BusinessWeek.com , columnist Charles Haddad boldly pronounces that Apple’s iPod will “stand tall. Very tall.” His comments come in a new “Byte of the Apple” column entitled For Apple, Sweet Music From iPod.
Haddad suggested that the iPod would have the same effect on the MP3 player market that the Palm Pilot had for handheld computing: “that is, ignite demand like a match to dry twigs.”
Haddad said that he hasn’t taken leave of his senses: he’s well aware of Apple’s spotty track record in consumer electronics, with past failures like Pippin, eMate and Newton. iPod, however, doesn’t have those older products’ shortcomings. It’s not too big, it’s not too difficult to use, and it’s not too expensive, when you compare it to other products in the same market.
Haddad noted that Iomega has the $300 HipZip that can only store 40MB of data at a time, compared to the iPod’s 5GB drive. Creative’s Nomad Jukebox is available with more capacity than the iPod for the same price, said Haddad, but “it’s barely portable … and its hard drive runs like molasses.” Sonicblue’s Rio is “clumsy and buggy,” and all of these USB-based devices are slow in transferring music.
The iPod, meanwhile, hits the ball out of the park. “It’s a breeze to use, automatically loading any digital sound file after you’ve saved it in Apple’s iTunes software. And it syncs the two every time you plug it into your Mac, just like a handheld computer,” noted Haddad.
FireWire helps transfer songs quickly and also recharges the iPod’s battery — good for a 10 hour charge, “the longest of any on a consumer computer device.”
If there’s a downside, Haddad said it’s that the iPod only works on the 7.5 million Macs equipped with a FireWire port and capable of running iTunes. “I don’t think that will long remain an obstacle, however.” Apple is readying a PC version of iPod, and many PCs are also equipped with FireWire ports.”
Haddad ultimately expects the iPod to overcome the age-old Mac versus Windows debate. “The iPod will appeal to anyone who wants to carry their beloved songs with them everywhere.”