Mix: Rio, TiVo iPod, Portable Media Centers | iLounge News


Mix: Rio, TiVo iPod, Portable Media Centers

Dan Torres of Rio Audio talks to BusinessWeek about how his company aims to take on the iPod. Strangely, Torres plans to target buyers who value “ease of use.”

Blogger Matt Haughey has received his free special edition TiVo iPod thanks to good performance in the company’s referral program.

In his review of Portable Media Centers from Samsung and Creative, Wall Street Journal tech guru Walt Mossberg says the handheld video and audio players are not ready for prime time.

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Sounds like the Rio guy is already pedaling furiously to save his own job - “we got out products late,” and “we’re on target,” so when their bad holiday numbers are revealed, he can point out if they only had gotten them into stores sooner but now, you can’t even compare numbers since it’s so off from ‘his numbers.’ And of course, he talks about ‘ease of use’ but might as well be saying, ‘uses a power source’ for all he’s really saying. Rio still thinks it’s a portable HDD market not a product like the ipod designed by music lovers for music lovers.

Posted by jbelkin on December 2, 2004 at 2:39 PM (CST)


No such situation exists for the digital video that might fill up a Portable Media Center. Illegal downloading of movies and TV shows has been much less popular than illegal music downloads. And unlike CDs, DVDs are copy protected, so far fewer people have copied movies to their computers than copied music.

Obviously Mr Mossberg has not checked out Suprnova lately. Of course, he is right that these weirdly constrained DRM-happy devices blow chunks when compared to some of the open-format PVPs. I mean, they have been making open-format video players for three years now. and the market has some traction. I can’t see the PMCs taking off until MS do an update that enables them to play back regular DIVX/MP4.

I think the real competition for the PMCs comes from the low-end devices sprouting up that don’t want to pay an MS (or Apple!) tax. And it’s no longer even a case of paying Archos $500 for their players - I see this nice 20GB audio/video player/recorder is on sale for $200. This little marvel plays back MP3, MPEG2/4, and even Real Media.

I mean, Walmart is even selling little colour LCD disc players for $50 these days!

I think these tech journalists are missing the bigger picture. Video players are coming from the bottom up, unemcumbered by DRM and ready to play back all the downloads from the Internet. Yet they are writing about these silly Hollywood-friendly emasculated, overpriced POSs. Go figure.

Posted by Demosthenes on December 2, 2004 at 7:30 PM (CST)

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