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September 8th, 2004

Personal Video Players

So there’s been a bit of a war of words between Mr. Bill Gates and Mr. Steve Jobs regarding personal video players. According to this article, Jobs feels that a video player would be less useful than an iPod – but Gates counters by saying that his kids would enjoy watching videos in the backseat of his car. (As an aside, isn’t Gates rich enough to have DVD systems in all of his 1,394 cars?)

I gotta say, I agree with Jobs on this one. I think portable music players work because you don’t have to watch the screen the whole time. It’s a sensory experience, but not one that totally surrounds you. For kids? Well, there is already a very low-end video player of sorts for kids. But I don’t think I’d trust a kid with a $500 piece of equipment – would you? That thing would have to be built like a tank.

I think we’re far off from personal video players becoming popular. The breaking point will be when advertisers figure out a clever way to use them.

Posted in Technology

FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday September 8, 2004 -- 10:28:54 am
If personal TV sales (remember the Sony Watchman?) ever took off, then I would agree that personal video players could also. But personal TVs have been around for years, and it's not like you see one strapped to the belt of every teen you see--and it's not because they're too expensive.

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday September 8, 2004 -- 1:25:51 pm
Watching TV takes much more effort than listening to music. Music can be in the background of almost any daily activity, but to actually watch a screen requires attention that you can't devote elsewhere. That's the simple reason that personal video players haven't and will never take off.

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