iPod: 7 Reasons Why Apple’s Walkman Knock-Off Is Doomed To Fail

Throw away your Walkman! Get rid of that Minidisc player! Apple are here to save you! Or so they would…

Deryck O'Byrne

Contributor

iPod

Throw away your Walkman! Get rid of that Minidisc player! Apple are here to save you!

Or so they would have you believe. Shortly the company that brought you the Mac – sniggered at by PC users while they lament the fact that they can’t afford one – is going to revolutionise the world of portable music playing forever. Um, yeah. And record shops will be a thing of the past, I don’t doubt. Some people will believe anything!

We’ve been given exclusive access to Apple’s newest toy – which won’t even hit markets for a couple of years at least – and it’s all very odd.

But don’t take my word for it. Actually, do, because I’m now going to lay out the many reasons why such a venture could not, and never will, succeed. Mark my words, these new ipods I think they’re calling them are just the latest fad, and will soon flounder and disappear along with other bad ideas like DCC, Eight-tracks and Betamax videotapes.

7. The Design

First of all, look at the thing! They claim it’s the smallest player on the market – or will be – but I have a slimline Walkman that’s much smaller than that. Would it be worth carrying this thing around? And not only that, but you have to read it too, because apparently “a thousand songs” can fit on one of these little doohickeys. A thousand! How are you ever going to run through a thousand songs to find the ones you want? And look at how you have to search: a wheel? What the heck is that meant to be, I hear you say? Well, it’s what you use to control, er, everything on the music player of the future, apparently.

I’ve seen mockups and prototypes of these things and believe me they are not easy to use! That wheel — I think they’re calling it the “clockwheel”? — is so sensitive that one touch on it and you’re halfway through the list of your songs. Try to go back up and the same thing happens. See, you operate this clockwheel – sorry, I’ve just consulted my notes: it’s going to be called a clickwheel. What? Anyway… not by pressing it as you would say the key on a tape deck or even a Walkman. No, that would be too simple for Apple, wouldn’t it? They always have to be different…