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Portable media players may struggle to find market

Posted By: IceMyst

Portable media players may struggle to find market - 08/20/05 03:28 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - If you build the portable media player, will they come?

Manufacturers keen to create the next iPod are starting to flood the market with a bevy of electronic devices that play movies, music and display photos.

Even Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) CEO Steve Jobs, who has repeatedly pooh-poohed the notion of a video iPod, may be getting into the act, if speculation on Apple rumor Web sites is to be believed.

The iPod was a stunning, runaway success. But it's not clear the next wave of media players will have the same appeal.

Ranging from devices from Archos (ARCH.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), Creative Technology (CREA.SI: Quote, Profile, Research) (CREAF.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Epson and the Sony (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) (SNE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) PSP and others, the players range in cost from about $200 to about $800. And, for the most part, they aren't small enough to drop in a pants pocket, analysts said, who question whether, in their current incarnation, they'll take off.

"In many ways, I do view portable media players as a technology in search of a market," said Van Baker, an analyst at industry research firm Gartner. "If I'm carrying music with me, chances are I want to carry something that's a little smaller than a personal music player."

Of course, digital music players are now as small as a pack of gum and range in size to as large as the dimensions of a deck of playing cards and easily slipped in pockets or clipped to belts and purses.

In a recent review of some of the devices, PC Magazine likened the current generation of personal music players to an eight-month-old baby: "It's generally enjoyable to have around, but it still doesn't really know what it is yet. And it's occasionally fussy and a bit heavy to carry everywhere."

Says NPD Group analyst Stephen Baker: "We haven't really given people a reason why they would want to own one yet."

He noted that there is a lack of infrastructure in place to easily download and manage movies and television shows, a problem that iPod solved for the music world.

"Downloading long videos is still not super easy to do and doesn't save you a heck of a lot of time over going to the video store, renting a video and playing it on your portable DVD player," NPD's Baker said.

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Posted By: Artic Warrior

Re: Portable media players may struggle to find market - 08/21/05 09:57 PM

Wouldnt it be cool if they develop a media player that is just a 1 inch thick screen about the same size as a lap top one and that is ultra light and is like carriing a thin book that holds movies and everyone has one. They could hook up to your cell phone and you could see the person you are talkin too. Even download your fav music videos to watch aswell. It would just need new tech batteries if its going to be that small among other things but one can hope.
Posted By: Gremelin

Re: Portable media players may struggle to find market - 08/21/05 09:59 PM

Not hard, use a slim cellphone like battery, the LCD screens exist, and they have those ultra thin hard disks that WD makes that are about 20gig and about an inch long...
Posted By: Artic Warrior

Re: Portable media players may struggle to find market - 08/21/05 10:07 PM

What about something efficent enough to keep it cool. I say liquard nitrogen. The software for the link to the cell shouldnt be hard! And then you can take it to your lectures at uni and sit it up where you would normally sit and just record the whole thing. Bwahahahaha.

This Idea is copyright!!! Now I just need someone to develop the software. How are you in that area Giz? wink
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