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DVD Insider: Phones, Snapshots, Music Mobile Video

With a little bit of storage thrown in for good measure By Miles Weston

DVD Insider Miles Weston is going to wait until the name calling and mud slinging settles in the blue laser discussion(s) before he expresses his opinion because they are all talking about products that will have traction in 2007 -- and that is like the 10th of Never! Meanwhile, the mobile world is changing and expanding rapidly.  We want it all.  "They" want to give it to us all.  But there are potholes in the road to success. 

Once when I was young my parents took me to visit the Grand Canyon.  I sat on the edge of the gorge and watched the sun dance across the etched landscape and the clouds overhead.  I sat there for more than an hour listening to absolutely?nothing!
In today's ADD world, people would swear you were on drugs if you did that?sitting there that long, looking at and listening to nothing!
If we were to do it now we would have to have our digital camera and our camphone as well as our iPod as well as our PSP and notebook hoping there was a WiFi hotspot close at hand.   That way you could take a good photo with the camera and grab some snaps with the camphone to send shots to people halfway across the country to show them the huge hole in the ground.  The MP3 player and PSP are just for entertainment because how long can you listen to the wind or look at erosion?
Change is Constant
Multitasking and constantly being in touch is expected, accepted.   Or as Peter Drucker said, "everyone has accepted by now that change is unavoidable.  In a period of upheaval?change is the norm."  We are becoming so connected, some are beginning to wonder aloud if we are becoming less connected.
We can't go too long without checking email.  Our cell phone is on 24x7 (on vibrate in meetings/public events and off on plane trips).  Music fills our office during the day while others in the office listen to Internet radio while working.  Our CFO has a small window on her system open all the time monitoring the stock market.
Silence and solitude are more distracting than chatter and commotion. 

It is no wonder that portable devices are in such high demand and are the technologies we expect to upgrade most frequently (Figure 1). According to InfoTrends, more than 740 million mobile phones will be sold worldwide this year and 50 percent will be camphones. By 2009 at least 85 percent of the mobile phones will have at least camera capabilities.

Different But Equal
Kristy Holch, group director of InfoTrends, noted that household penetration of digital cameras still surpasses camphones in the U.S. where they have only recently taken hold (figure 2).  She points out that there is a big difference in units sold, household penetration and usage.  For example in our household everyone has upgraded to a camphone+.  The kids use theirs for video clips which they arduously save to their notebooks or send to friends.  The wife uses hers for remodeling ideas and impulse shots.  We use ours for our IMing and ?calls! But we share the digital camera when we want "good" photos.

Fig. 2

We expect to use our cellphone for more but we'll see what the next generation of units offer.  And if you believe all of the announcements out of IBC last month, CTIA this month and even the InfoTrends Digital Imaging Conference; next year could be the year.
Just a "few" issues to be worked out but we'll come back to that in a minute because while video is on the horizon, music is here and NOW!
The Music Play
Hardware, software, content owners and service providers are saying what Estelle Reiner (mother of Rob Reiner) said after watching Meg Ryan explain intimate relationships in When Harry Met Sally?"I'll have what she's having."
According to a recent report there are more than 75 different MP3 players available?and more on the way.  It simply proves how well Jobs has built the image for iPod and iTunes.
While Apple still has the biggest chunk of sales, everyone is bent on becoming their replacement in a rapidly growing market (Figure 3).

Fig. 3

But buying download music shouldn't be any more difficult than going to the grocery store.  The problem is that the iTunes music Store, MSN Music, Napster, Real's Music Store, Rhapsody, Sony Connect, Yahoo Music, Amazon and the rest have different protocols and don't sell the same bundle of bits.  They have to deal with the licensing organizations to have the right inventory and after all of that your store(s) may not have the artist, album or song you want. 

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Related Keywords:DVD Insider, Miles Weston, blue laser, cell phones, mp3 players, music downloads, iPod, iTunes

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