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Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:01 AM
The Lure to Switch
Kevin Salwen on Technology

What would it take to get you to abandon your iPod for another mp3 player? If you're like me -- owner of one of the first generation iPods -- a LOT. Walt Mossberg's piece in today's WSJ lays out the changes competitors to Apple have tried: "Some contenders were cheaper. Others had built-in features the iPod lacked, like FM radios. Some had more capacity, or greater battery life. Others relied on monthly subscriptions instead of per-song fees."  No thanks, we've always responded, we're sticking with Apple.

But Mossberg's column today focuses on a small New York City company called MusicGremlin. The new twist: its music player is wireless. The $299 Gremlin portable player has built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking, so it can download songs from an accompanying subscription service directly, without requiring the use of a computer.

Walt writes: "Not only that, but Gremlin users can wirelessly exchange entire songs right from their players, legally, as long as both the sender and receiver are subscribers to the MusicGremlin Direct service, which costs $14.99 a month. This process, called "beaming," allows you to share songs with your Gremlin-toting pals, no matter where they are, without ever using a computer or a CD burner. You can even peer into other users' Gremlins to see what they're playing and what they've downloaded, and pluck any song you like from their devices, if they give you permission."

So, is it worth switching yet? Is this the application that makes us change?


Martin - 6/15/2006 1:14:59 PM
Nope. That's not a reason to switch. Considering that the actual year long cost of the Gremlin is over $450 and has an install base of less than 100,000, you're buying into potential rather than the iPod's actual.

Grant is right. The next gen iPod will do as those that came before it, dazzle. And unless you're into priating video content, the iPod still offers the widest legal video content online.

Grant Henninger - 6/14/2006 12:34:42 PM
But how do you watch TV shows on the Gremlin? Seems to be that this company is still a few years behind the times. If the rumors are correct about Apple's next iPod, it's going to blow the competition away. Just think of an iPod the size it is now, with the entire front being a screen. Somehow, I don't think I'll be switching away from an iPod anytime soon. When my current one dies (a 4th Gen) I'm just going to end up getting an upgraded one.


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