Over on the BBC News website they have up an article talking about the new Portable Media Centers (they actually fail to mention their names). It's based upon some of Jupiter Research's findings on consumers demand for portable players that can handle video.
It reads "the analysis of the portable media player market found only 13% of Europeans want to watch video while out and about" "By contrast, almost a third are interested in listening to music on a portable player such as an iPod." and continues "The firm said gadget makers should avoid hybrid devices and instead make sure music reproduction was as good as possible."
Now I don't usually have a problem with the BBC's coverage of technology, (other then the fact it is very dumbed down, and Bill Thompson's columns where he always seems to reach an either nonsensical or bogus conclusions), but this has gone too far. I'm not sure if this is the BBC news technology team twisting things up or just some poor advice from Jupiter.
But let's address some issues here;
1) 13% of Europeans, they make it seem like a small number it's actually 95 million people, doesn't sound so small any more does it?
2) Yes of course more people are interested in listening to music on the go, you don't need to look at anything you can just keep the player in your pocket. But the way they dismiss the option is nothing short of plain stupidity. They mention the iPod, as you would expect as they do seem to be obsessed with the device, despite there being far better players out on the market and for lower price points.
3) Concentrate on better music reproduction, well that's a joke to start with as any audiophile will agree with me when I say the iPod sounds a lot worse compared to Creative's offerings, who also do manufacturer a Portable Media Center, an image of which was featured in the article. The iPod doesn't support WMA, which is the best sounding mainstream format for storing lossy-audio, it supports AAC a minor fringe technology that has very little support from anywhere.
BBC Tech seem bent on trying to limit consumer choice by publishing rubbish articles like these, the Creative Zen Portable Media Center is available for only £30 more then an iPod, it's an absolute bargain considering all the features it supports, storage for 85 hours worth of video, double the battery life, so it won't run out after just a few hours like the iPod.
Why limit consumer choice? I think we just again see the BBC's anti-Microsoft tendencies coming through, if it was Apple who came up with the Portable Media Center I'd bet they'd be jumping on the idea like it was the work of gods.