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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Music And The iPad

The day after the big announcement, we've seen articles from industry pundits that have run the gamut from the number of people who will buy an iPad to the technical innovations within it. Surprisingly, there's been more naysayers about the product than Apple is used to having.

I think the trouble with the iPad is one of perception so far. It's the same problem that bedevils our President - good idea, bad explanation.

In my view, the iPad is an ebook reader that also happens to do a bunch of other stuff, which is a bonus. It's being explained as a unit that does a bunch of stuff, and also happens to be an ebook reader.

What does that have to do with music? The iPad won't be an innovation that spurs additional music sales because it won't be the type of machine that people buy primarily to use as a storage and listening device, like the iPod. What it does allow you to do is listen to music as you read, or as you search the web, or as you search the book store or app store. Music is ancillary to it's primary function, which is as a reader. This can change though, if any of the media packages meant to replace the album ever catches on.

The iPad won't make a significant dent on the music world as everything stands right now, but it will change the way we read. That's innovation enough.


ilter said...

I think iPad has the potential of being the perfect remote control in the sound recording studios. Might as well in live concerts.

We've seen a couple of geeky stuff before but this thing will be able to run -already established- iPhone apps.

With its bigger screen estate, I think many people in the recording business will start using it from the day 1.

Michael Mahoney said...

"good idea, bad explanation"

More like "good idea, bad execution." On both counts.

The problem is that it's a bad reader. A backlit, non-reflective screen for a reader? Apple must own a stake in a couple of eyeglass makers.

It should make an excellent tool for live music, though. There are several possibilities, from a control pad for running Ableton or some such program, for a portable chart reader, or even for an instrument of sorts.


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