Commerical MP3 Hardware
The current way I envision the commercial MP3 hardware development proceeding is as follows:
Generation 1: Stand Alone Devices (Example: Mozart's)
Generation 2: Integrated CD/MP3 portable devices (Example: MamboX)
Generation 3: In-dash CD/MP3
We are currently between generation 1 and 2. Generation 1 is complete with generation 2 devices promised to us very soon....
So why is it taking so long to make progress? I would predict many factors are inhibiting fast development. First was law suits regarding MP3's. I think many companies waited to see the outcome of MP3 and if it was going to be allowed by the courts. See Diamond vs. RIAA for more information. Next, I would say that companies were unsure of MP3 as the format for digital audio and I still think many people doubt its dominance. They almost fear a format brought up by the internet generation. However, we all know it is here to stay but they want to invest there money in the #1 digital format. Microsoft can make a big push of any format with a flick of its wrist. As a side note to popularity of MP3's, MP3 replaced sex as the #1 search word on the internet, MP3.com's IPO yielding a first day stock price of $105 a share..it did drop but there current market capital is worth 2.090 billion. Next, the SDMI (Secure Digital Music Initiative). Lets face it, many people like the MP3 format for its ease of transfer from person to person. SDMI is attempting to make the music secure, not to destroy MP3, but it will hamper significantly the forward progress of MP3. I do not think SDMI will be effective, but many companies are going to be mislead down the path wasting millions of dollars on products consumers don't even want. Next, research and development costs, I feel that companies feel the MP3 movement is still in its infancy and that if they create a product the number of people that will purchase it will be minimal. Plus, integrating this technology into a small in dash unit takes time, money, more time, and more money. They just don't feel that they will get a return on their investment by being the first company to produce a unit.
I am sure there are many more factors, but those are ones I can think of off hand. Nonetheless, we really have come a long way in a short time. I just fear a format war, they always seems ugly, BETA vs. VHS or DVIX vs DVD. Anyway, I would love some feedback or perhaps some refinement of my ideas....
I think the progress is so slow in some cases because even though MP3 is being called mainstream now, most people are still ignorant or very uneducated about it. I watched a report on ABC the other night about it and there was a informal poll to a group of college students about MP3s, and they all had used them (and all illegally heh) but I imagine that they simply could double click on the file. The mainstream public is still not computer literate enough to deal with hooking up a lot of MP3 players and loading songs into them. I think companies are still a little bit nervous about creating very advanced MP3 products because they arent sure if they would be accepted, and also a lot of time has to be put into them to make them as simple to operate as possible. Just my 2cents.
I agree.. the majority of people are just not smart enough to use the technology yet.. I showed my mp3car to a car audio guy.. and he just wasn't interested.. you could see he didn't understand it one bit.. and he didn't want anything to do with something he didn't understand.. if it doesn't have alpine or clarion stamped on it.. he doesn't wanna touch it.. but he still thinks he's some talented car audio buff..
Anyway.. digital music will eventually take over.. and all this bull**** secure music won't last.. the beauty of computers is that they are opened ended.. you can write programs and develop hardware for them.. so even if the music industry starts to distribute music "securely".. someone will break the code.. just like they've recently done on DVD.. and then it'll be converted back to mp3 for all to hear..
I also think its good, cause the music industry will shrink 100 fold in size.. and "artists" such as Mariah Carey and Britney Spears, won't be around any more.. cause there'll be no money in it, and there'll be no one to write their songs for the same reason.. and you'll only get hell cool bands like Pearl Jam and Radiohead, who write music cause they actually like it..
I think the people involved in the DVD encryption (and any other like it) forget that to view the movie or listen to the music you must decrypt the file. Now, if this is done using hardware its a little easier to keep the encryption secret, but there are software players and someone is always going to use the decryption programs for something that the creators didnt want. Secure digital music is a joke and it wont last. I think the record companies that will last, at least for now, will be the ones that ignore MP3 and other digital formats because they are still selling a lot of physical media copies. If their sales actually start to DROP then they should start to support digital music and attempt to boost revenues from other angles (or from selling the digital music.. there are still a lot of people out there who wont pirate no matter how easy it is)..
This is just my opinion, but then again, I'm entitled to it.
Windows CE holds a lot of promise for stand alone mp3 players, both in portable and in dash units.
Technology always marches on, and sometimes winds up where nobody least expected it. As far as piracy vs. purchase, I would be willing to pay for mp3 downloads, so long as the sellers weren't still charging as much per song as they do when the sell physical media.
FYI I didn't catch it, but BIll Gates was on Larry King on New Year's and he predicted that within 5 years, record stores as we know them will be dead. All of our music purchases will come off of the web.
The future is coming though. Generation 2 devices are being produced by two companies and we just got our hands on one of them. This device from Pine USA looks promising. We have sealed a reseller deal with them so that we may bring you this device at a discounted price. MSRP is $299.99 but we will come in less that that. For more information just click on over to http://www.mp3car.com/pine.html
what's the next generation then?
Oiiii!! emdzey01, step away from the time machine!!!
I heard that this new product called an iPod was pretty good...
That's got to be a record....