iriver doing nice work

iriver2

Some might say they are riffing off Apple and some might say the design is so simple, its boring.  It also has a bit of mid 80’s Japanese electronics feel, think Sony back then.  I just played with the Spinn for a bit.  It’s definitely a nice product.  OLED display is awesome and the build quality is solid.

iriver1

The Visual Media is really nice as well, simple swiss grid like feel.  They are also talking about a new home screen they are calling “magazine” style on some of their other big screen products.  I think its a really fresh take on media design.  It goes beyond the Apple jelly style buttons, or any buttons for that matter, you just interact with the media itself.  But their website, ugh, in this case, Flash doesnt have anything to do with how fast you can view all of their products.  The site is really painful to navigate as well. That said, the UI on the Spinn was a little strange combining touch and physical control in a way that wasn’t naturally intuitive.

sony_walkman_1

You gotta love the original walkman, it changed the game in personal electronics. 1979…wow.

to kill and ipod

The infamous Apple ipod. Here’s what we all know:
Itunes store (still the best music store)
Itunes software (still the best software interface)
Iconic AND easy to use interface on the device
Classic design that’s not very polarizing and easy to customize
Nice line of accessories, most via 3rd parties
Great overal product “feel”
but poor longevity
Poor battery life
Screen problems
Complaints of easily damaged/scratched product
Too many products intros in the flavor of small variants of the same thing.

Maybe its time to think out of the box and get passed the thought of how to “beat Apple”. Manufacturers: bring something to the market that people want. Create a great experience with the technology you KNOW and is readily available to you. If you invent something new, be sure its useful, we’ve had plenty of useless inventions over the past years. Finally, exceed expectations.