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by Mike Masnick

Separating The Content From The Device

from the and-so-it-begins dept

With CES going on this week, two of the early stories coming out point out the obvious trend: media is getting more mobile every day. However, it's not the way many mobile operators and content providers had hoped since it's not tied to the device. The first story comes from Motorola who is finally getting ready to launch their iRadio product that was the talk of DEMO nearly a year ago. It tries to bridge just about everything by creating a mobile phone that is the "hub" of a music system, but which can easily connect (via Bluetooth) to a car stereo, home stereo or computer. The idea is that it can store your music files or play streaming radio, similar to satellite radio offerings. The more interesting development, however, is the latest version of the Slingbox that connects to your TV and lets you watch your existing TV from anywhere over the internet. They've now added the ability to watch that TV via mobile device as well (something their competitor, Orb, has also been touting). What both of these developments show, however, is that people aren't going to buy into the idea put forth by mobile operators and content providers that you buy separate content for your mobile device. People just want access to content, in whatever is the best format at that moment. While the iRadio offering does have a component that allows paid-downloads, the idea of easy connectivity with other systems shows at least some recognition that people just want their "music collection" -- not their "computer music collection," their "stereo music collection," and their "phone music collection." More importantly, though, the Sling Media offering should scare the companies betting big (and they are betting a tremendous amount) on mobile TV offerings where people are expected to pay a subscription fee just to get mobile TV. The Sling offering recognizes that the content and the device don't need to be tied together -- and people will increasingly expect that they can view content in whatever way makes the most sense for them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Nokia Employee, 3 Jan 2006 @ 11:09am

    Good thing they aren't designing rockets.

    It is quite amusing to see the operators and content providers fail in this attempt to squeeze the consumer once again. Samsung with its new WiBro-enabled handset; Motorola with the home gateway for WiFi-enabled handsets; the writing has been on the wall for some time...consumers will float to the most economical means of satifying their voice (and data) needs. What the operators fail to recognize is that the average consumer may not be a rocket scientist either, but they are smart enough to figure out how to follow simple instructions in the pursuit of saving money. The smart operator is one that recognizes this and beats the others to the low-cost all-you-can-eat data plans that the consumers want.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jon-Paul Raymond, 3 Jan 2006 @ 6:17pm

    Moblie Devices Won't Need Much Storage

    I've been using PDA's since about 1998 when one of the first Windows CE devices (the Philips Nino) came out. I currently have a few, my primary being the Audiovox PPC-6600 Pocket PC.
    When I bought it, I was happy to see the built in POP3 client, remote desktop client and updated web browsing features. These days it appears I have little need for the POP3 and I can see the remote desktop taking over in the future with online apps coming (hopefully).
    I now use GMail for my primary mail and the POP3 button is now just wasted space. POP3 access is not even necessary with the way Google has setup that wonderful mail system. When I connect my laptop, whatever I've done on their mail servers is automatically synchronmized to my laptop... There's my hard copy... The installed apps such as word, excel, etc. can be easily trashed as well once online apps are a reality. Same thing with calendaring (google mail already can handle my contacts and does already, just as Yahoo already has calendar and contacts via web)
    My point is, all I really need is a phone with a great web browser. PDA's as we know them today can simply be thin terminals that do everything wirelessly.
    One day....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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