Sunday, October 10, 2004

Rumored PhotoPod vs. Portable Media Center

Paul Thurrott asks Apple fans if we think the rummored photo iPod is "just right" compared to MS Portable Media Center based devices. Here is my response. It's obvious that viewing photos on a 1.8" (digital cameras) or 2" screen (iPod 4G) is too small to see detail. The 3.8" screen of the Creative Zen Portable Media Center is large enough for viewing some photo detail, but you are giving up a lot on the form factor. Here is a picture of the device: This beast is designed to be held with 2 hands. The iPod is designed to be held and all controls usable with just one hand. The Zen is far larger than even the speculated dimensions on the PhotoPod, which is designed to fit in a pocket, not a backpack. The Zen only has a 20GB HD, the PhotoPod is going to have a 60GB HD. The Zen has between 7-22 hours battery life, the iPod 4G has a 12 hour battery, I think it's likely that the PhotoPod has the same, but you never know, Apple may have a trick up its sleeve. No question the iPod is not going to do video or TV shows, but I question the usefulness of these features in such a small form factor. Everyone has music and pictures, taking video or recorded TV is still not as commonly done as listening to music and viewing photos with friends and family. I am curious what the sales are like on the whole Portable Media Center category.