Surfing my blog reader the other day, I couldn’t help but react to the news about Microsoft bringing ads to the Zune. Boy, that ought to *really* help sales. Reg Braithwaite has commented on this already but I’ve really got to wonder how long it’ll take companies to figure out that putting the customer first works. I think Reg hits on it – we aren’t the target market here, shareholders or marketing departments are. Clearly the music industry doesn’t get it but anyone want to wager on the likelihood of ads on an iPod? Only one US air carrier posted a profit in the first quarter and they consider themselves first and foremost a customer service organization. Huh. Wonder if there’s a connect there? Nah, couldn’t be.
Like many, I’ve been watching a fair amount of Olympic coverage these days and throughout, I’ve been amazed at the number of little white earbuds (don’t they know the sound sucks?) I’ve seen. I don’t know why I’m surprised – I mean you can’t walk more than about 100 feet without seeing a nano or a 4G somewhere (if I had just bought Apple stock when my *dad* purchased himself an iPod for Christmas a couple of years back…) Gez, if it’s this bad in the big Minnie, I can only imagine what San Fran or New York is like!
I’ve written about my iPod before and I have to admit…I really like it. Frankly, I don’t listen to that much music but I’m digging podcasts especially while I’m working out. I used to try to read a book or a magazine but never again – it’s just much easier to listen to something and with the quality of the podcasts out there I can learn a ton. Anyway, two of my favorite blogs commented on iPods and the Olympics and I just had to chime in. First, Clive Thompson, over at collision detection posted Do iPods help Olympic athletes perform better? where he points to an article from the Baltimore Sun. A little while later I ran into Kathy Sierra‘s post iPods increase performance? which talks about the same article but also references this New York Times piece (interestingly, Clive and Kathy posted within 20 minutes of each other).
I completely understand athletes listening before their events – I used to throw the shot and the hammer and part of my routine was a selection of music to “put me in the mood” but the technology I had at my disposal pales in comparison to today. The jackets that the snowboarders wear sound incredibly cool:
The U.S. snowboarding team’s pinstriped uniforms are already wired for the machines, with a nifty iPod-size pocket, speakers in the hood and a control panel on the left sleeve that allows the athletes to select songs.
How cool is that? Man, wish I had one of those keeping me warm! The iPod will be indelibly identified with this Olympic games – from the speed skaters preparing for their races to the snowboarders rocking out while performing you couldn’t miss them. And most remarkable at all – Apple didn’t pay a dime for that exposure which, to me, makes it all that much more authentic.
“One of the lasting images of these games is going to be these snowboarders with their iPods,” said Abraham Madkour, executive editor of SportsBusiness Journal, a trade magazine that covers the sports industry. “It’s the perfect form of subconscious marketing.”
I was really fascinated at what different athletes were listening to (and the impact their revelations had on the artists) still, something just nags at me about an Olympic sport where you can jam away on your favorite music while competing. I wonder why none of the curlers are sporting iPods?
It always happens doesn’t it? You buy some new-fangled gadget and a week later out comes a cheaper, faster, bigger, prettier gadget. Sigh. Back in late August I broke down and bought an iPod – mostly for our trip to Spain – and now we have video iPods. When I first heard rumors about watching a movie or TV show on an iPod, I had to admit I was skeptical. Well, I guess I should know better than to do doubt – Apple has sold more than a million videos in less than 20 days despite a rather limited content.
I’m very interested to see how this experiment works especially as more shows and movies are added. While I doubt I’ll be buying one soon (maybe I can give “my” iPod to Christine and buy a newer, shinier video iPod…yeah, I doubt it) I have to admit, I would have watched an episode of Lost in Spain…
Many have claimed that Apple’s recent stock performance is largely due to the amazing popularity of their ubiquitous iPods and the “Halo Effect” this is having as people purchase Macs to go with their music players. I’m no economist but I should have known something was up when my dad bought himself an iPod a couple of Christmases ago (oh if I would have picked up some Apple shares then!) I held out – sure, iPods are trendy and lots of my friends have them but I just didn’t listen to enough music to justify the cost. Well, today I broke down and joined the masses.
Am I a sheep? I don’t think so, but I’m happy to be in the flock as it were. If there is such a thing as the “Halo Effect” I think I’m part of it but not in the way you would expect. You see, a few months back I bought a 15″ PowerBook. I’ll write more about why I switched soon but frankly, that purchase spurred me on to get an iPod. I suppose that’s backwards, but then most of the things I do are!
Of course the “real” reason I bought an iPod had to do with photos (I bought a 20 GB now that they are all color) more specifically our upcoming trip to Spain. While I have a 512 MB chip for our nifty digital camera, I didn’t want to deal with deleting photos or shooting at lower resolutions. Sure, I could have just purchased more memory cards but what fun would that be? Anyway, I’ll let you (yes, all two of you) know what I think as I start to play with this new toy but so far so good! That said, the ear buds aren’t so great – if you have any advice on good replacements (that don’t cost more than the iPod itself) I’m all ears!