Chitika banner

Saturday, September 30, 2006

MP340, blind iTunes and the promise of convergency

I've finally taken the MP340 out of the box and it's sitting on my desk charging. I'm going to leave it there this week-end and explore it more on Monday before the kids clap their eyes on it.

One of the things I did though was connect it to my PC and launch iTunes. Surprise surprise, it didn't see it. I guess this has been written before but I think it's a pretty sneaky move to proprietizing music playback. It's like selling a CD and then only being able to play it back on a player from a single manufacturer. Don't know what's on the accompanying disk but maybe I'll re-install Music Match or Real Player - that should smooth things out.

I suddenly have an issue with Apple's system of patenting everything. Their products are undeniably slick, I'm not so sure I can say the same thing about their business practices.

But I digress. The MP340 is a cute little thing. I'll post about the performance when I've had a chance to play with it a little.

What I like about it so far is what it stands for. Suddenly, Acer is right smack in the middle of mainstream consumer products and convergency as a result is a little bit closer to becoming a reality.

As a concept, convergency is definitely something I'm in to. Bringing the best of both worlds (IT and consumer electronics) together is a killer idea, and I really like that Acer is making the first moves. I mean, there aren't too many Pioneer PCs knocking about are there?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

As if to prove a point

Like the title says, If you look at this photo, you'll see it's a 20GB Acer MP340 that's been getting quite a bit of re-circulated articles about how it's the only one out there with Sudoku on it...

OK. I understnd that these sites were pushing the same piece to add content to their own, and while I'm the last person to the work of others, is that all there is to say about it?

The end of the iPod is nigh because of Sudoku? Really? Can't see many Nike-clad joggers lining up for this then...

Normally I'd jump at the chance to write my own review of this but as it's been sitting where it is on my desk for the best part of two weeks, I guess it's not something that's going to happen soon.

Now fair's fair. One of the reasons I haven't unwrapped it yet is that I'm in love with my own iPod. A 6GB iPob mini that my wife bought me a year or so ago.

I have had no experience with other media players so it's going to be like switching from a Nokia to a Motorola. But if there's something I don't like about the iPod it's iTunes (I know they're separate entities but think about the natural link between these two for "the rest of us"). The number of times my iTunes store (Italy) hasn't had something that is freely (in the figurative sense) available in other countries actually gets right up my nose and has contributed to the not-inconsiderable erosion of the appeal of the iPod (simplicity and slickness).

And as my own music tastes have taken me to obscure places like K7, Kompact, Music for Robots or even the brilliant Real Audio from Switzerland, I'm beginning to discover that there's a lot more out there than play-it-safe iTunes.

OK. I'm weird. I have a serious music fever disorder and love everything that has a beat so my tastes aren't exactly mainstream but my move away from mainstream music supply chains just happens to coincide with the arrival of the MP340 on my desk which, as I haven't seen it mentioned in ANY home entertainment magazine or online review, is about as far away from mainstream as you can get.

In fact, maybe it's so uncool that I'll be named a national hero for being brave enough to take it out in public.

It's gotta be worth a try no? OK I'll start unwrapping it right away!

A quick intro

As this is my first post I guess I should introduce myself and clear a few things up. I am a consultant copywriter which is a lofty term considering I am re-discovering everything I do and stand for (see my other blog lingolook). Yes I do work for Acer but not directly and I do have other clients I work with on an ongling basis.

What I want to do in this blog is write about the stuff I see (and some I don't) and try and put a bit more effort in getting across the passion I have for Acer and its weird and wonderful products that I just can't get across in the standard 2-page brochure or single paragraph ad you might have read recently.

Don't get me wrong. This is not a Acer-push-site or some kind of guerilla marketing technique I picked up somewhere. I am the first (literally!) to have a hard time coming up with something creative (read: positive) to say about one or two of the things that come my way but more often than not I get my grubby paws on a much bigger picture than you guys eventually see (what's a PR guy to do?) and think it's only fair I share my feelings about them with you.

So. No sneek previews. No insider information, just a passion to get some more info out there and why not? pick up some criticism or encouragement along the way...