Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Things that don't exist but should

MP3 players are now small enough to fit into a pair of earphones. Why has no company produced a pair of lightweight noise cancelling earphones with a built in MP3 player that takes an SD Card?

Another similar non existent product thats overdue is the MP3 player built into a compact cassette form factor. Many MP3 players come with a 'car kit' with a dummy cassette that you stick into the dash which then drives the magnetic heads on the cassette player with the signal from the headphone socket.

The MP3 player is now much smaller than the cassette. In the ideal system the player would pick up power from a dynamo connected to the motor drive and would also be a satelite radio.

Speaking of which, why is it so hard to find an aftermarket car radio with built in XM Radio support and slots for MP3 media? CDs are now an obsolete technology The changers are bulky and don't hold much music. One would think that it would be easy to buy an MP3 player that was plug compatible with the existing compact disk changer and would allow a decent quantity of music (8GB or so) to be stored.

Last Xmas I bought a device that was an MP3 player that just plugged into the cigarette lighter socket and broadcast by FM radio. It was a nice, simple design. Pity it was made so cheaply and baddly that it broke after less than an hour of use. The design was good the execution hopeless. But I have not yet seen one like it from a name brand.

The point here is that we are moving from the stage in the market where the mere ability to do something matters much less than execution. Products need to be properly engineered as systems and not just as components that the user is expected to connect together and cope.

Forget bluetooth, its a crutch that encourages engineers to still think in the looser mode of components. Think about the system.

1 comment:

tbond said...

Digisette (R.I.P.) was a product before its time (~2001 or so?). In addition to being a cassette-based MP3 player, it actually allowed you to record to the flash memory card using a regular cassette deck.

I used it for a while before succoming to an iPod.