Arvind Nigam’s take on why the music phone will outlast MP3 players.
Technology around music has come a long way. About a decade ago bigger speakers meant better music. But that’s changed. Devices have become compact, sound is richer and every day sees a new feature, cheaper technology, and better performance. A single moment of boredom and I can instantly access my music-phone and switch to my favorite track. I do it often when driving, or during work, when I’m eating and sometimes, I confess, even during meetings.
Another reason for me to smile is that I can expect a new device every so often. The once ubiquitous Walkman is dead. I still remember that childhood secret desire to own a Walkman. The booming iPod (from Apple) too is now showing signs of fading away. Today’s mucic phones are sleek and chic, with uber-cool interactive interface — like my own HTC smartphone.
There is a splurge of mobile devices with music capability in the market: and you can even get cheap Chinese phones that deliver good sound and music whatever your budget maybe. MultiMedia Intelligence forecasts that by 2011, more than half of the 941 million handsets that will ship worldwide, will be music phones.
I believe that music phones are here to stay longer than the iPods & other personal music players. Who can do without a mobile phone? While stand-alone music devices like Walkman or iPods are already dispensable. Why would you want to carry the extra burden? Fewer objects mean less clutter. The frustrations of disentangling wires of my earphones is a thing of the past — thanks to Bluetooth technology.
Yet it is still quite reasonable to assume that technology will keep evolving almost ruthlessly and music might just get better in yet another enticing form. I am waiting for direct and cheaper video-streaming on mobile devices very soon. The arrival of 3G, 4G or whatever be the advancement tomorrow, would mean multiple and better ways to listen to music. This is where the longevity of music phones will come into play. I might just buy the latest music player tomorrow, but my love for mobile phones (with music) will remain.
For now, this is what I am waiting for. Continuous music, even uninterrupted during a call, albeit in a low background-level volume so that the caller can listen to it in the background too. Am I asking for too much?
[The writer heads www.bubbleideas.com]