Backstage: On the Portable Media Center backlash

If registration weren’t required (or you wanted the hassle), you could read a reporter for a reputable publication opining on Microsoft’s Portable Media Centers at this link that “there just aren’t that many places where you can make use of” portable video devices, and how “other passengers… [would] think of anybody lugging around such a clunky gadget: ‘loser.’”

Frequent Backstage readers already know that iLounge’s editors (a) love their iPods and (b) don’t exactly love Microsoft, but (c) aren’t closed minded to non-Apple innovations or cool new gadgets. Given these factors, it should only come as a partial surprise that we remain intrigued by the Portable Media Centers and won’t dismiss them out of hand, despite the fact that they’re not receiving the warmest of welcomes from the press these days.

We think that if portable video had the right software package – read: TiVo, a legal DVD ripper, and access to a cheap pay-per-view TV library a la iTunes – the recipe would have the missing ingredient (or killer app, in Silicon Valley terminology) it needs to be a breakaway success.

We’re really curious, though, what you think about these portable audio, video and digital photo devices.

Is it worth our time to pursue them for Backstage reviews, or should we ignore them altogether until Apple gets off its rear and joins the fray?