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August 16th, 2005

iPod Declared Inferior by Computer Expert

Like zillions of others, I’ve got an iPod. But, unlike every other mammal on the planet, I don’t think it’s all that great. Frankly, I don’t get it. What’s the big deal? I’ve had MP3 players before and I think they’re terrific, but the iPod, frankly, is inferior to all of them. It’s just a hard disk with a Play button….
Jim Turley (, editor in chief of Embedded Systems Programming, a sister publication of EE Times. [Full article, such as it is, here.]

Ipod DartsIt wasn’t too long ago that stupid reviews like this one had me worried that once again consumers were going to be corralled away from superior technology and toward the inferior solutions so favored by Microsoft and its band of brothers. After all, during its first few years, the iPod was so daringly different from the much cheaper flash-RAM mp3 players that dominated the market that it wasn’t at all obvious it would achieve the success and market dominion it has today.

The whole concept of a hard-disk-based mp3 player is one that Apple pioneered, and until last year, most Windows-only technology pundits were convinced that Apple could never succeed against the steady onslaught of would-be imitators that were built to promote Microsoft’s proprietary media solutions. My, weren’t they surprised! Apple wouldn’t have won if they had stopped innovating and let the iPod stand still, but that didn’t happen. (See John Gruber’s prescient August 2004 article “Why 2004 Won’t Be Like 1984.”) And now the competition is running out of steam, looking more and more like sweaty, limping sprinters trying in vain to catch up to the race leader who never seems to tire.

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Just Say No To Flash