Thursday, December 9, 2004

All Hail Apple and Itunes

Apple computer is revolutionizing the music industry courtesy of Napster.  The Apple Ipod is the most exciting audio device to have appeared on the scene since the Victrola.  Infinitely portable, it holds up to 40 GB of information, whether those be songs, files, or other data, and they communicate with computers, the internet, and your home and car stereos.  The cheaper knockoffs that have proliferated in the market during the past six months--I think I saw my first Ipod commercial with the dancers in silhouette this past summer, maybe this past spring--bear testiment to a market that has not been saturated, and supports, like the portable PC industry, a broad range of specifications that appeal to different kinds of users for a multitude of reasons.  If cost is your sole concern, get something other than an Ipod.  If having the most solid-state, dependable, functional, and versatile device is your cuppa, then you can't do better than the Ipod.  This device will destroy the CD industry.  We're not talking now of the music industry, but the manufacturers of music CDs.  Optical disks have become as cluttering as tapes and videotapes.  And they're far more fragile than first believed.  A unit that keeps an entire library of music CDs in the space taken up by a deck of cards is a boon to all Feng Shui masters and consumers who are tired of scratched disks and broken jewel cases.  Kudos to Apple for creating the most user friendly and exciting portable device on the planet (this year at least).  I'm getting one for myself for Christmas and I can't wait. 


stwill61 said...

I agree that this method of carrying music is going to change things dramatically.  And I just know you'll enjoy the iPod.

I do want to point out, though, that current digital music formats do lower the quality of the sound -- often to a point which will be noticeable if you listen to music with delicate instrumentals, or tracks with dramatic changes in volume within them.  So don't count CDs out totally.  You will probably listen to your opera and orchestral pieces from CDs when listening from a room stereo.  But for ordinary headphone listening, you will probably be happy with MP3s on your iPod forever!

hackermc said...

I agree, Steve.  I've noticed this myself, the sound from MP3s is sometimes too bright and brittle, and actually hurts my ears.  But, what's bad for music is great for the spoken word.  I love audio books, and the Ipod is fully compatible with my membership--so that's another selling point.  Also, there's quite a large difference between shared MP3s and MP3s you can create for yourself.  For example, when I'm creating MP3s using Roxio Media Creator 7, I can choose what quality I want by specifying what compression ratio I want.  The lower the compression ratio, the higher the quality of the sound.  But you're absolutely right, the depth and tone of the music is different.