It might not warrant bands like Glassjaw or DJs like BT, but the Apple Store at the Palisades Center mall in West Nyack New York draws in a faithful crowd. Especially when that crowd is out to celebrate (and purchase) the new
With the store’s gates drawn the Macintosh faithful queued up behind a rope barrier in anticipation of the official release of the iPod. Anticipation began to build as a cart full of new iPods was wheeled to the front of the store with some in line pressing their noses to the window in a display of Christmas-like lust.
Brothers Dan, Ryan, and Colin Bennet drove from Monroe, New York to purchase new iPods, despite the fact that two of them already own a first-generation device.
“The smaller size is amazing,” said oldest brother Dan (15). “I like the backlighting too.” Dan and his siblings have had a chance to browse the iTunes music store, but have yet to buy anything. “No credit card” laments Dan. While he’s smitten with the layout, he thinks the store could use some more tracks.
“It’s really good, but it needs the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Two of the biggest bands ever and they aren’t on there.”
“It could use more alternative music too,” chimes in fourteen year-old Ryan “it’s a bit mainstream.”
The Bennet brothers aren’t the only ones to make the trek to buy new iPods. Bronx native Fernando Quinones passed on the festivities at the SoHo store to come buy an iPod at the Palisades Center.
“My wife game me a $100 gift certificate [at Christmas] and I wanted to get a new iPod. I knew they were going to upgrade them.” Taking the opportunity to do a little shopping and to see the new Xmen movie, Quinones waited in line while his wife spent time away from the Mac frenzy.
Quinones has also checked out the new music store, but has yet to buy anything. “I registered, I looked around, but I haven’t bought anything yet. I think it’s very easy to navigate.”
Quinones shrugs off comments about the cost of songs. “I think it’s a great deal. People complain that $.99 is too much to pay, but I don’t think so. I used to buy 45s when I was a kid. They were $.49, and I’ve still got loads of them.” The iPod is a hefty upgrade for Quinones who is moving up from a Rio 500 with 128MB of memory.
For some though, the iPod is more than a cool gadget, it’s a business necessity. Musician Jimmy Vali uses several iPods daily as part of running his music company,
Vali Music. “iPods have saved my life countless times,” explains Vali who uses the diminutive music player to ensure that his band is keeping tempo with key songs.
Vali explains that his iPod has also come in handy when the band takes a break, and as the musicians learn new tunes. Several office members use iPods, and Vali took the opportunity to purchase several of the new models.
From a business standpoint, Vali is smitten with the music service. “I’m an avid downloader,” said Vali, referring to his addiction to online music services. “I think the new store is awesome,” (although he too has yet to make a purchase) “I’m all for some place that’s convenient. I don’t mind paying the money to download songs.”
By seven o’clock the crowds had thinned, but not the enthusiasm. Store employees, obviously pleased with the turnout, danced to the music of DJ Frantik, as he mixed tracks on two iPods stocked with music downloaded from the store.
Dozens of iPods were snatched up in the first few minutes of the event, with a steady stream of additional iPods moving all night long.
“We had a great turn out, everyone is really excited,” said Mac Genius Forrest Dowling. “People are really digging the new iPods.”
Indeed they are. Perched around the store a handful of people (this reporter included) ripped open the packaging of their new iPods and grinned as they held their new toys.