Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wisdom of the Crowds? iPod edition

I came across this thread today, which catalogs Apple enthusiasts' responses to the rumors of Apple's new product in 2001... the iPod. It's a fantastic read. Some choice predictions from the first few pages:
  1. hey - heres an idea Apple - rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive and crap server line up? or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?
  2. I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!Why oh why would they do this?! It's so wrong! It's so stupid!
  3. gee! an mp3 player with a HD! how original! kinda reminds me of a JUKEBOX i once knew..
  4. There are already two products similar to this on the market. The Nomad Jukebox and the Archos Jukebox which can come with a 20 gig HD. The iPod is obviously alot cooler and has firewire, but it is far from revolutionary. I for one am disappointed and think that apple is making a mistake by trying to get into this market.
  5. This Christmas you will see mp3 players be commoditized. Meaning that the players from Korea will be way less expensive tha iPod. The real money is in DRM and distribution (ala Real Musicnet). If Apple were smart they would be focusing on high gross revenue from services rather than a playback device.

Not everyone was down on it, though. Here's some comments with people with better foresight, or just more faith in Apple:

  1. We live in the YEAR 2001... not 6000 years from now when ridiculously awsome technology will exist. No other mp3 player has a harddrive like this... 5gigs... **** yeah. A rio of the same size offers 64megs. Jesum Crow, get over your moping.. .this is revolutionary.... plus it's just the beggining. This device litterally bests anything on the market by about 100x
  2. 5GB in a little tiny thing like that, it's amazing. I don't see anyone else making something like that. Do you?
  3. As long as apple markets it effectively, I think it's gonna do really well.
  4. This thing's too cool. It makes my Rio 500 (recently upgraded to hold 128 MB of songs) look pathetic. It's beautiful. It looks too easy to use. It has all sorts of cool features that I will never live without again. This is a home run

Note that Apple stock was trading at $8/share in October 2001, at the time of the thread and the iPod release, and is currently at $89/share. I wonder if anyone above put there money where their mouths were...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Update on DirecTV and MLB Exclusive Deal

It seems that we don't have to wait to see whether or not Arlen Specter is as big a baseball fan as he is a football fan. The AP (through ESPN) is reporting that Sen. John Kerry is going to raise concerns about the proposed deal between Major League Baseball and DirecTV which would make DirecTV the sole provider of MLB's Extra Innings package, which allows fans to watch virtaully any out-of-market game for a fixed yearly fee:

"I am opposed to anything that deprives people of reasonable choices,"
Kerry said in a statement. "In this day and age, consumers should have more
choices -- not fewer. I'd like to know how this serves the public -- a deal that
will force fans to subscribe to DirecTV in order to tune in to their favorite
players. A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having to
switch to DirecTV."

In regards to the "more choices" comment, I went looking to see what Sen. Kerry's free trade (which lead to "more choices") positions were; I remember him sounding very anti-trade in the last election. He may have come off that way during debates with President Bush, but it seems that, for a Democrat, Sen. Kerry does have relatively strong "more choices" (i.e. free trade) tendencies. Of course, regardless of anyone's positions on free trade, I think we can all agree that "A Red Sox fan ought to be able to watch their team without having to switch to DirecTV."

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