Friday, January 14, 2005

Ipod-ize the Palm

Recently, Apple has released yet another member of its highly popular IPod family of MP3 players. While many other manufacturers also offer portable MP3 players, none of their products is nearly as popular as these IPods are. They are not the smallest, and they arent the cheapest/most featureful devices available either. In addition, they also have quite some weight.
These units have only one strength-its an intelligent mix of features paired with ultra-simple usage. You don't need a special software for transferring music-the player can even be used as an external harddisk.
Palm OS licencees can learn a lot from Apple.
The most important lesson concerns features and hardware size. If a device can do all that the users want, and can do it well, hardware size is less of a concern. Inuitive usage reduces frustration.
Now, why do I think that the Palm OS ias better suited to such a task.
Well, the IPod has recently received lots of attention from extension manufacturers. This shows that IPods users want more from their handheld. But, the IPod lacks a big screen and an inuitive way of text entry. If Apple ever adds these features to the firmware, it will take at least half a year until good, stable applications become available. ln addition, these programs will work only on a new generation of iPods-leaving the existing user base frustrated. Compare this to the Palm OS-lots of programs are available right now.
Now, a PalmOS-based media player would be extremely feasible if only PalmSource could implement a FAT32 file system for Garnet.
The media application shipping with Zodiac and T5 handheld has the neccecary beef if enhanced to handle playlists,... , and the drive mode allows easy media transfer. You must also consider the advantage of a touchscreen when media management and selection is concerned.
Battery life can be increased by including underclocking routines into the application, and a poweroff&lock-option for the screen would also fit in nicely.
If the concept outlined above is equipped with big screen you have a super high-end gadget-use a small Low-Res screen for cheap products. The PalmOS is-unlike WinCE-not very picky when screen sizes are concerned.
Lets conclude-the PalmOS can be ideal for the huge PVP/media player market. Palm-powered media players have huge advantages over their dedicated comrades. Let's only pray that PalmSource finds a licencee.

7 Comments:

Blogger Tom Frauenhofer said...

Maybe Tapwave is already on to this:

Tapwave and Virgin Digital Sign Deal to Make Music Downloads Effortless on Tapwave's Zodiac

8:56 PM  
Blogger Brad Green said...

Sony tried with the TH-55. All they were missing was the WMA support and playlists (what were they thinking).

6:17 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi Brad and Steve,
thank you all for the comments! I think that the TH55 was not the perfect choice simply because it required the purcase of additional, expensive media before becoming useful...
BTW, this Tapwave move is a good one. Looks like Tapwave is now taking on the PVP systems and the MP3 players(another TamsPalm prognosis almost right;-P)
Have Fun
Tam Hanna

8:16 PM  
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