Opinion

Public Confidence, Thanks to iPod

From The Daily Kent Stater

iPods are great when you want to look busy. They're great when you need to focus on something other than the excruciating pain of your intense workout. They're great when you'd rather not talk to the girl who decides to come to lecture for the first time this semester and is staring at you because you seem like the type who takes great notes.

For me, the most important thing my iPod has given me is the confidence to blow my nose.

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"Hidden Details" from the iPhone Keynote

(Shawn's Comment: Not exactly hidden but revealing. Pay particular attention to his comments regarding ringtones)

Apple TV: Why It Matters

From PC Magazine

Apple is extending its digital lifestyle concept to the TV, with Apple TV. I find this move by Apple very interesting and potentially important to the market because of the impact it may have on consumer trends. Of course, Apple is not the first to try to extend Mac/PC content to the living room; in fact, it's five years late. Microsoft's Windows Media Center has been doing this since 2002 with mixed results, and various other media adapters have come to market since then and gotten only minimal consumer acceptance.

On the other hand, you could say the same for Apple's late entry into the MP3 space.

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Stem Email Overload

From Macworld

For most of us, e-mail has become a primary means of communication—which means that we have an ever-expanding list of messages to read and process. To keep from being overwhelmed, first figure out how to keep your inbox under control, and then decide on other details of e-mail organization. As with organizing your files, choosing strategies to implement will depend on whether you prefer to find a place for each message or to rely primarily on searches to sift through your mail.

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iPhone Price Barrier for Some, Strategic for Apple

From iPodObserver

Nearly a third of the potential customers of the iPhone cited concern over the high price. That result was found by ChangeWAVE Research of Rockville MD and reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

If Apple won't give on the pricing, then the some analysts wonder about flexible service schemes AT&T might come up with. Previously, Apple has simply noted that the purchase of the phone requires a two year contract with AT&T, but few details of that contract have been made available. AT&T/Cingular spokesman Mark Siegel said that they are not ready to dicslose the full pricing, and that suggests that a lot of research is still going on to determine how customers feel about the prices. In addition, there could be plans for a variety of specials services which would generate a strata of price models for consumers.

"I see them staying at the high end for at least quite some time," said John Jacobs, director of notebook research at DisplaySearch in Austin TX. Basically, as each new iPod roled out with more capability, the price remained about the same. Then after a few years, they introduced less expensive models.
If history is any indicator, there will be plenty of people who will pay what Apple is asking for the first iPhones. A little bit of pent up demand, techno-envy, and healthy gross margins for an Apple iPhone would be hard for Apple to resist even if they lose some initial customers based on price.

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The iPhone: Mac or iPod?

From Fox News

The Apple iPhone will change the way people use their cell phones. The question is, will it be the new Mac or the new iPod?

Apple has innovated like this twice before, to very different results.

The Mac introduced mainstream users to mice, icons, windows, and menus. It inspired Microsoft's Windows operating system and pushed the entire PC industry into the GUI world. Yet it has relatively little market share. The iPod, on the other hand, has owned the MP3-player market from the moment it became Windows-compatible.

But I think the iPhone will be more of a Mac: a cult item that will influence, rather than dominate, its industry.

Why? The biggest reason is that devil's bargain with Cingular.

(Shawn's Comment: Interesting thought. I disagree that it will be "Cingular's fault" but the point still stands. Will the iPhone affect the consumers like the iPod or like the Mac? Hugely popular or clut-like? Only time will tell))

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Emerging Media: The Big Apple

From StreamingMedia

When I was coming up in the industry, Microsoft was the 800 lb gorilla that was going to eat your lunch. The oft-repeated refrain I’ve heard from too many VC’s is “what makes you think those guys at Redmond won’t just clone what you’ve made?”

Well, it seems like Apple’s the new monster (perhaps Godzilla in this case?) that will eat your lunch. Thought of making a digital convergence phone? Apple’s got that one covered, thanks. Thought of bringing digital assets into the living room? Why bother, that’s Apple’s territory (never mind the millions of digitally connected Xboxes in market).

Next time you’re writing your business plan for how you’re going to take out old media with your revolutionary digital technology, perhaps take a play from Apple’s book. Don’t gird your loins for a fight with the other bit players (pun intended); look at what it’s going to take to displace the brick-and-mortars, the ancient, grooved-in distribution channels that have been pushing product forever.

Oh, and pick a category Apple hasn’t already taken.

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Apple - Sshh!! The Giant is Sleeping

From BloggingStocks

For investors who do not own Apple, your opportunity is here. Since the earnings announcement and the froth of iPhone are now behind us, the stock has given back about $13 in share price. The shares will base here for awhile before resuming its upward trek. This is the time to accumulate shares of Apple, Inc.

For now, the giant is just taking a well-deserved nap.

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Sirius/XM Merger Announced!

From Howard Seriously

The iPhone *will* be Sirius enabled. It will be able to receive Sirius broadcasts. Apple has nothing to do with it. Sirius doesn't need Apple's permission.

The iPhone has a full featured web browser which allows it access to the entire internet including Sirius' web broadcast. (And XM's by the way.) Apple would have to actively prevent the iPhone from getting Sirius. If Steve Jobs tried to do that, prevent web users from accessing specific content, all hell would break loose. Especially given the fact that iPod and satellite radio are viewed as competitors. Sirius could easily sue them and win.

Moreover, it simply doesn't hurt Apple if their iPhones can receive Sirius web broadcasts. If anything, it will simply help iPhone sales.

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iTunes versus Pirating

(Shawn's Comment: I feel the article writer's pain. While I can't be bothered pirating DVD's, I also can't be bothered with buying TV shows, let alone movies, off of the iTMS. We've bought some episodes of Battlestar Galactica, Lost and Heroes and the quality was pretty bad.)

I’ve purchased a number of things from the iTunes Store. Music and TV shows primarily, and I’ve been pretty happy with the ease of use and quality of my purchases… The problem i have, though is that television shows such as Lost, which are broadcast in a 16×9 aspect ration HD, when purchased from the iTunes Store, are only 4×3.

As you can see in the above image, by purchasing the episode from iTunes rather than just pirating it, i actually get less of the show. …and to be honest, pirating this episode took maybe 2 to 3 minutes more work.

The downfall of pirating, though, is that iTunes (and therefore most likely AppleTV) doesn’t not play friendly with DIVX, but then on the plus side, there’s no DRM. I can convert my pirated copy to any format i want, burn it to DVD, extract clips, scrub through frame-by-frame, etc.

Sounds to me like legality, and even the convenience of auto-downloads, are having a hard time competing with pirating.

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A Comparison: Adobe Lightroom vs. Apple Aperture

by Michael Clark

With all of the recent buzz about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and its release today, the big question is how it compares to Apple Aperture. In tandem with Micah Walter on the Inside Aperture website I will be conducting a comparison of the two programs and how they stack up for my workflow. I’ll just say upfront that my purpose is not to bash either of these pieces of software. They are both incredibly powerful and a cut above the rest of the RAW processing and image editing software programs on the market today.

For the next ten days, I will work with both Lightroom and Aperture to work up images from a recent stock shoot and draw conclusions as I compare how each program deals with a variety of workflow topics. I don’t intend this to be a definitive comparison - just my thoughts on what works for me.

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