21 September 2006

The iPod & the Law

The following article was written over the course of a week...
It has come to my attention lately the pervasiveness of the Apple iPod. It appears that it has permeated through many facets of society, especially here in Southern California. However, just as anything that suddenly becomes a dominating force in society, the Apple iPod has a dark side that was previously unseen.
Every day I see kids walking or biking to school with the all-too-familiar white cords hanging off their ears leading down into their hand, pocket, or purse. I remember the time when I would be like that, though I had a different type of MP3 player (and black headphones). But what makes the "iPod Revolution" so much different is that more than 45% of the people I see on a daily basis are carrying one around. Even my girlfriend has a iPod Nano! Not that I'm jealous, because I'm not; I have a PDA myself, it can do everything the iPods can do plus much more. But it gives you an idea of just how widespread iPods are nowadays.
However, people have found that not only is the iPod quite expensive itself, but the long-term ownership is expensive also. When you first get an iPod, you need to put music on it, which inevitably consists of music you do not own the CD for. Solution? Buy it on iTunes. Well, what if you don't want to spend any more than the $200+ you just spent on the unit itself, which is the case for most of us? Well, in that case, you download it illegally off the Internet. Thus, the iPod perpetuates illegal downloading of music - because people aim to save money, even if they know that it is illegal.
Another ramification of the iPod is the rise in theft of them. It seems that more and more kids and teenagers are stealing the iPods of their peers. Why? Perhaps the price tag of one of the units is far too high for them to buy one themselves. Perhaps its the rich music library that they desire. Perhaps its just a compulsive desire to steal the iPod (these most often become theives that are more problematic in the future). But it seems that, despite all the reasons for it, theft of the iPod is in some way almost directly related to money and jealousy.
Since the iPod's release not long ago, it appeared that the little devices were going to be just a fad that would come and go, but since many accessories have become available for it, the once-just-a-fad device has become a product that appears to have a longevity unparalleled by any other media-centric device before it. Will it stay around for the next 1-, 2-, or 4-years? Who knows, there seems to be a big push for other similar devices, but the ultimate deciding factor would be how people intend to use the devices and which ones have those characteristics that people will be willing to keep. Darwinism in electronic devices...

1 comment:

ajpapa.net said...

Saying the iPod perpetuates illegal downloading is like saying cars perpetuates bank robberies because criminals use it to get to the bank and use it to get away. If anything people perpetuate illegal downloading =)

Having been a recent Apple convert let me tell you why I choose to join the masses.

It plays well with my Apple brethren. Its sleek, sexy, and well designed, the storage is immense which is something most PDA memory cards lack, Apple iTunes is just unbeleivable with its selection of movies and tv shows which allows me to hook it up to my tv and choose my own programming.