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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Apples on teen wish lists?

Well, there may not be too many iPod Photos on teenagers' holiday lists (they're $499!), and the just-announced U2 iPod is cool because it's black, but U2 is "so corporate," I've heard. Still, iPods and G5 computers have been leading the pack, where coolness is concerned, and not just in the aesthetics department. They really work. According to the Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who reviewed three "supposed iPod killers" (Dell's Pocket DJ, the Rio Carbon and the Creative Zen Micro), the competition doesn't come close to the iPod in functionality. And the elegant G5 can do anything a Windows PC can do, reportedly (see "Freshest Apple"), with much more security (just because hackers always go after Windows PCs, though that's beginning to change - see "Mac users face rare threat").

However, even though teenagers won't be scrambling for an iPod sporting the signatures of U2's musicians, this special-edition iPod is very interesting - as part of the ongoing recording-industry-vs.-music-fans debate. One analyst told Wired News he was following this one because he's very curious to see how other bands will work with MP3 player makers as a means of distribution. Music marketing has become very complex - from testing tunes on blogs like to pre-installed playlists on MP3 players - and our teenagers are key targets of all these methods and messages. [BTW, the iPod Photo - which Apple says will hold 15,000 music tracks and 25,000 photos, according to the BBC and others - is an interesting experiment too. Do people really want a photo album on their MP3 player? Hmmm.]


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