Apple is incredibly dominant in the mp3 player market – it has over 80% of the US market for example. Why is this?
Firstly because iPod’s still lead the way for music playing capabilities – most independent reviews say they just sound great. Secondly, the iTunes is the best music management software. On top of that, the iTunes music store is the easiest to use and has the greatest choice.
And last but certainly not least iPod’s are just such amazingly sexy devices!
The iPod model range changes regularly.
The latest iPod is the iPod Touch. The iPod touch has the incredible touch screen user interface, plus it feels sexy in your hand, thanks to its amazingly thin, contoured enclosure made of polished stainless steel. The iPod touch provides up to 36 hours of audio playback or 6 hours of video playback (which is enough to watch three or four movies between charges).
It also has a built-in speaker so you can listen to the music, dialogue, and action without headphones, perfect for casual listening.
The iPod classic comes with 120GB of internal disk storage, which equates to 30,000 songs, 150 hours of video, or 25,000 photos. It is available in silver or striking new black and now has an upgraded all-metal enclosure composed of anodized aluminum and polished stainless steel.
You can also use the new Apple Remote with an optional iPod Universal Dock to control your music, videos and slideshows. There is of course a huge range of third party accessories with similar capabilities to the Apple ones – sometimes even better than Apple’s and often at lower prices.
Apple’s tagline for the nano is “impossibly small” and it certainly is incredibly small and light. It is currently available in 8GB and 16GB sizes, which hold about 2,000 and 4,000 songs respectively.
The nano has a colour display, so you can view album art as you play your music. The sexy feature taken from the iPod touch – give your iPod nano a shake and it shuffles to another song in your library – thanks to the built-in accelerometer.
Because it is so small and light, Apple emphasises the nano’s wearability. You can easily wear it around your neck or keep it on an armband.
The shuffle is the entry level iPod model and is even smaller than the iPod nano – about the size of a pack of gum and weighs less than a car key.
The shuffle doesn’t have a display so its playlist control is fairly basic – play, pause, skip, repeat, hold and shuffle (random).
Like other iPod models the shuffle has been upgraded to use anodized aluminum and is available in blue, green, pink, red, and original silver
It is easy to hook up to a computer – just plug it directly into a USB 1.1 or 2.0 port, or use an optional Dock. You can sync a specific iTunes Playlist, or drag and drop individual songs or albums from iTunes into the iPod shuffle. The shuffle also automatically charges during syncing.
Apple still holds a clear lead over other mp3 music player vendors. The iPods sets the pace in most aspects – storage, packaging, sex appeal and now even price. There is a huge 3rd party add on market that gives the iPod owner a wide choice of accessories.
Really, from the position it now has, Apple has to make big mistakes or just get complacent to lose its #1 market position.