Point – Counterpoint:
iPod Photo Is Apple’s First iPod Mistake
You’d think many Mac naysayers would learn a lesson after once declaring the 5 gigabyte iPod as too expensive. Until this week, 40 gigabyte iPods were selling out at $399.
Now, Apple has introduced three new iPods. The U2 Special Edition iPod for $349, the 40 gigabyte iPod Photo at $499 ($100 more than the regular iPod at 40 gigs), and the big dawg, the 60 gigabyte iPod Photo at a whopping $599.
Is this expensive iPod for digital photos Apple’s first iPod mistake? Jack D. Miller thinks so. Tera Jean Patricks thinks not.
Point: Jack Miller—journalist, former Windows user, sometime Apple critic.
Counterpoint: Tera Jean Patricks—writer, Mac user, iPod user, music lover.
Point – iPod Photo Is Apple’s First iPod Mistake (Jack D. Miller)
There’s no denying Apple’s success to date with the iPod and iTunes Music Store. They’re big hits. Even the iPod mini is a hit. But not the iPod Photo. Apple is about to hit the ditch with this overpriced, under-featured plastic brick. Not even Steve Job’s Reality Distortion Field can save it.
Counterpoint – It’s the high end, Jack. iPod Photo is not an iPod replacement (Tera Jean Patricks)
What are you thinking? Look at the curve. Music first, then digital photos. It’s a natural progression. People were into music long before digital cameras hit the streets. Now, digital photos are catching on big time. People want to store, display, and share. It’s an easy transition for the iPod Photo.
Point – This iPod is waaaaaay overpriced (Jack D. Miller)
Think about it, Tera. It’s $600 for an iPod that just happens to sync with iPhoto and has a video out? What’s a video out cost Apple? $2.00? For that they can charge $600? A new iBook only costs $999.
Counterpoint – iPod Photo pricing is in line with the market place (Tera Jean Patricks)
iPod Photo is not too expensive, it’s not too little (well, maybe it could be less). Early adopters will lap them up like Anna Nicole hitting the pasta menu at Olive Garden. Next year, as digital photography continues to replace film cameras, the price will drop and more features will be added. You can’t fit an iBook in your sock, Jack.
Point – Apple is greedy. Sales will be disappointing. (Jack D. Miller)
Who wants to show still photos on a TV? Apple missed the boat. More features are needed now to justify the $600 price tag. Why can’t iPod Photo take photos direct from a camera? That would be a big plus. No, you have to load them into iPhoto first. I don’t know anyone who displays photos on a TV.
Counterpoint – Most Mac users put photos into iPhoto (Tera Jean Patricks)
iPhoto is the application of choice for most Mac users to collect and managed digital photos. Seamless synchronization and display is all the iPod Photo needs to do now because that’s all most users need to do.
“Why can’t iPod Photo have “on-the-go” albums like iPod has for on-the-go playlists?”Point – iPod Photo video out is a mess; low quality, difficult to use (Jack D. Miller)
Only the iPod Photo dock has S-video which is much higher quality than the crummy composite video out on the iPod itself. Apple blew it by going cheap and then charging too much for it. Why not a digital interface to display photos?
Counterpoint – iPod Photo will display photos at TV quality (Tera Jean Patricks)
And S-video only enhances that quality. Once HDTV increases in market penetration you’re sure to see a digital interface to match accordingly. Right now, what Apple delivers also works with the greatest number of likely users.
Point – Professional photographers need direct digital image input. (Jack D. Miller)
iPod Photo doesn’t deliver that. You have to spend even more money to get digital photos into the iPod, and then they still won’t synchronize with iPhoto. Why can’t iPod Photo have “on-the-go” albums like iPod has for on-the-go playlists? Then sync back to iPhoto on the Mac or Elements on Windows. Another Apple mistake.
Counterpoint – What percent of the iPod Photo market is “pro?” (Tera Jean Patricks)
Can you imagine professional photographers worried about getting their digital photos over to their iPod? Won’t happen. The target market is the typical Mac “digital hub” user. They want to backup photos and music, listen to music, and display photos. That’s it. For now. This is a natural and effective migration for users as digital photography overtakes film.
Point – Apple is charging way too much, for way too little (Jack D. Miller)
Add it all up. It’s just an iPod with a video out connector and some extra software functions to display albums and sync with iPhoto. That’s it. And for that, Mac users have to cough up the typical Apple “pay-through-the-nose” premium for the latest cool gimmick. This time, even the Mac faithful won’t be faithful. Watch the prices drop on this hot potato faster than Ashlee Simpson’s credibilty on SNL.
Apple hurried too quickly to get the iPod Photo ready for holiday shopping. It’s not ready for prime time. More features are required. And a lower price point.
Counterpoint – iPod Photo is the perfect addition to a strong line of products. (Tera Jean Patricks)
Jack, you ignorant slut (sorry—I just had to squeeze that in somewhere). You miss the whole point of what Apple’s doing. More people care about music so there’s plenty of iPods to go around. iPod mini is multiple colors. iPods from 20 gigs to 40 gigs.
They’ll be the big sellers because most users, now anyway, care more about their music. That’s changing.
Many Mac and Windows users also have extensive digital photo collections in iPhoto and Photoshop Elements/Album. iPod Photo is the natural product line extension to take care of their growing numbers and increasing needs.
The new iPod is perfect sync and backup for digital photos. And it will display those photos in a way that will make most users very happy.
Who’s got a better product for less? Who’s got a better product for more money?
Summary – There’s much more to come and we can see it happening. (Tera Jean Patricks)
Look for Keynote presentations to be synchronized to the iPod Photo. Look, eventually, for plugging photos directly into the iPod Photo and creating “on-the-go albums), too. It’s likely that those will be software upgrades so the original investment remains.
I have no doubts that the iPod mini and 20/40 gig iPods will remain the big sellers. But the market is beginning to move toward other spokes on the digital hub, and that includes digital photos. Apple has it nailed.
I ordered one. Jack, are you still using that Sony CD player your mother gave you? Maybe you should upgrade to the iPod U2 Special Edition. It fits your personality.
Editor’s Note: What do you think? Is the iPod Photo a winner or a dud? How would you defend the iPod Photo against Jack’s arguments? Did Tera do a credible job? What iPod Photo features are missing? Do you plan to buy one of the new iPods?