I still remember my first portable media player. Back then, it was called a “Boom Box”. Yes, it was portable, despite being rather large. The speakers were detachable, so that’s something, right? My Boom Box came with two cassette players, and an AM/FM radio. Heck, I didn’t even get one until I was in the 8th grade. Apparently, if I had listening to music before that point, it could have led to Devil Worshipping. Who am I to say? That’s what my parents believed back then.
Certainly today, the idea of portable media is vastly different today than it was. I have a wish list from Tom of the top five things he would like to see in portable media devices.
- Store – We need a unified open store with access to all of the various music stores online, such as iTunes and the Zune Marketplace. This is something that portable device companies haven’t considered, but should.
- Removable DRM – This may not apply directly to a portable media devices, but it certainly influences how they work. When buying a song off of a music store, DRM does not give you free reign over the file you bought. The consumer doesn’t directly own the file. You only own it as long as you continue to use the music service or media device.
- Games – I know games already exist on the iPod. However, games that exist on portable media devices, not counting the PSP, leave much to be desired.
- Wireless charging – I’ve only heard trace rumors stating that wireless charging is on the way. Wireless charging, in conjunction with wireless syncing, removes the need to ever connect the device to the pc. This eliminates frustrations with proprietary USB connectors.
- Remote access – However cool the Zune’s file sharing may be, sharing the song stops the song from playing on your own device. Instead of receiving a file from the device, it would be much easier to be able to share the screen so you can watch and listen along with each other.
There’s a lot going on right now in relation to music and video. Competition between many different companies is a good thing, but I’d honestly like to see Microsoft and Amazon do something together. Even though we’ve made great strides when it comes to music and the way we listen to it, there’s still a long way to go, and many new things we can do.
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