Everybody agrees that the name "iPod" is synonymous with the word MP3 player and that's mainly because the iPod is one the first devices that revolutionized digital music distribution. It was sold in over one hundred million devices in under 10 years and keeps selling like hot cake. In the first years of life, Apple had no competition for the iPod: the other models were bigger, lower capacity, had difficult to use interface and were not that good looking and sounded worst.
In past years things have changed a lot, as many manufacturers now are trying to kill the iPod with better and cheaper models. They are even trying to launch better alternatives to iTunes, but there's no competition here yet. Also recently people started using their mobile phones to listen to music, as pretty much every model on market today can play tunes in MP3 format, one of the best of the pack being Sony Ericsson with its Walkman line of products.
That being said let's see if there really is an iPod alternative and what are the features that it must posses to have a chance in front of the all mighty iPod. First I'll start with the brand part that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with users:
- It must be a well known brand, or a brand which is known for its audio products
- The product must be heavily advertised, as it won't get the media coverage a new Apple product does when it's launched
- Must be backed up by a music/app/movie store with plenty of cool titles (not old movies for example)
Now the list of thing an MP3 player must do to call ifself 'better than the iPod':
- It must have great audio quality, equalized functions and a very good pair of headphones/earbuds, with wire audio controls
- It must have plenty of storage space and expansion options (in case you decide to wear all your music collection in a pocket)
- Must have other recreational options, when or while you're listening to music: games, applications, Internet connection and a good browser
- Powerful hardware to be able to run 2-3 applications concurently (games and music simultaneously)
- Good battery life to be able to last at least one full day of heavy use (recharging it once a day isn't such a pain for me). Â· Simple to use user interface
- must have implemented better touchscreen technologies than the iPod/iPhone
Those are the things an MP3 player must do if it wants to have a chance at getting at least a tenth of the sales numbers the iPod gets today and call itself an ipod alternative. Do you think there's more that must be included in the list?