Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Two iPod notes

304 words

First

All the ads I ever saw for the iPod or iTMS her in Göttingen and in German broadsheets happened in the week that iTMS Germany was opened. And even then I was surprised as Apple Germany traditionally like to keep their products a secret. Now we’re back to normal with no ads or other Apple-induced public activity.

However, other companies have entered the scene now and you have ads for those companies, most notably Sony but also Coke for software and Philips for hardware, all over. The only funny thing is that every article or interview only ever mentions iPods and iTMS.

Marketshare may shift towards other offerings, but the mindshare seems to be secured. Even when the marketshare is gone, the ‘iPod’ name may remain. Just as nobody ever bought a ‘personal cassette player’ but everybody bought a walkman.

Second

Despite its odd deficiencies, one thing I find reassuring about the iPod is how well it handles special characters. The full (or ‘extended’) Latin character set is pretty standard today. And probably support for Japanese doesn’t really come as a surprise. But what really made me smile was seeing Das Pop’s I album name appear in its full beauty on the iPod.

Just remember how much of an effort it was to use more than one script on a full fledged computer just a few years ago. I consider this progress. Not perfect of course: For example support for א seems to be missing (It’s a good character to start your playlist names with if you want them to appear at the end of iTunes’ list – has this ‘infinity and beyond’ feel to it.) and I conjecture that all of Hebrew and perhaps Arabic, as another RTL language, may be missing.

How well do other players do in this respect?

August 30, 2004, 23:31

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