The Not So Great Future Of The iPod

by Tanner Godarzi Mar 16, 2007

Face it. Two roads lay before the iPod, good and bad. I have already covered the good, but the bad is a whole other story. That little metal and white player will eventually go the way of the Sony Walkman. Why would that be? Hasn’t the iPod been a major hit? Yes, but all good things come to an end.

Any Apple fanatic will promote the iPod to its fullest extent. The halo effect is a great thing at bringing in new Mac users but you can only be amazed by a portable music player so much. Don’t get me wrong, I like the iPod; as I type this I’m watching Heroes (great show but too fast paced for me, I prefer Lost which just happens to be on in half an hour) on my iPod. But as with any electronic device, as with any electronics manufacturer, they will go down. It’s inevitable, as with anything; whether you want it to or not, your computer or gadget will become obsolete.

So how does the not-so-great future of the iPod pan out? Well, last week I covered the great future of the iPod and listed how Apple could improve functionality through wireless features, allowing content to be downloaded anywhere. Common sense would say “Oh, he’s going to say the battery life is going to prevent the iPod from getting this awesome feature so that’s how it’s not going to be so great.” Wrong: the Zune (which sounds like a toddler’s toy) can pull off wireless with a very good battery life. By the time Apple adds WiMax support, if ever, they will have access to batteries able to support that kind of power consumption.

What will eventually ruin the iPod is not what makes the device but what powers it, what drives it at the core. The three words that have given Apple a monopoly, a stronghold on the MP3 market: Digital Rights Management. It is this that so easily allows Apple to control the portable MP3 market.

If you remember Steve Job’s open letter about DRM then you will know that was merely a letter saying “Yeah, we hate DRM, sort of.” Even some record labels are offering DRM music. The downfall of the iPod will be Steve Jobs and Digital Rights Management.


  • I can’t believe you would like a show like Lost more than Heroes because Heroes moves too fast.
    I can’t stand it when a show drags on and on.

    Regarding the DRM of MS, Apple et al:
    I’m sure that for both ZM and iTunes, we get the best that all of the labels would agree to. I agree with Eric that the confusion of trying to make sure what I can do with my movies and music while I’m trying to check out is the equivalent of waiting in line at the grocery store while some little, old lady counts out her nickels and pennies. I just don’t have the time. Apple’s DRM to me is almost transparent as I’m sure ZM will be for most people that use it. I just don’t think it matters to the overall success of the iPod or the Zune for that matter.

    Gabe H had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 40
  • But ultimately, it’s like arguing whether you’d get kicked in the nads five times or six.  No matter who it is, it’s all bad and it all needs to go.

    Yeah, no joke.

    A colleague of mine reminded me that iTunes is cross-platform for Win and Mac. Has anyone confirmed their Mac-bought content plays under an authorized Windows machine (or vise-versa)?

    Eric Brodeur had this to say on Mar 19, 2007 Posts: 23
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