Ultimately Apple’s iPod is doomed to fail because it “only allows a very, very slim amount of participation by the outside world,” according to Dave Winer. Winer, described by PBS weekly online TV show NerdTV’s website, as the “Father of RSS and Web Logging,” talked about Apple’s iPod with the PBS’s Robert X. Cringeley in a portion of a rambling interview:
Be inclusive… Where it’s exclusive, you’re hurt – it’s not gonna work. That’s the Internet. And you might argue, actually, that that has always, even when we didn’t call what we were doing the Internet, that really was what we were doing. That was why the Apple II worked. That was why the Lisa did not work. That’s why the Mac worked, you know. That’s why ultimately the iPod is doomed. Because the iPod only allows a very, very slim amount of participation by the outside world. And, I guess it’s a temporary thing. The music industry needed that kind of – sort of control over it in order for them to let that thing do what it was doing. But, long-term, it doesn’t have a future in that way.
And I think part of it is the paranoia of the music industry, and part of it is that Steve Jobs really doesn’t like open platforms. And, ultimately, you know, he’s quite happy that – but something like the Archos that runs Linux, and it’s completely wide open. Supports – has Wi-Fi. It has every port known to man on it. That it’s not a – I mean nobody’s heard of it. Doesn’t matter. That’s the kind of product we’re gonna end up using, because it’s just – ’cause somebody’s gonna come up with killer app for all those – you know, whatever, anyway I’m rambling.
One of the things that’s like totally depressing about the iPod is all the car manufacturers that are building in iPod compatible ports there. That’s crazy, you know? USB, please, you know? I mean don’t do that. That’s so bad. – Dave Winer, October 11, 2005.
Winer also comments on Apple and CEO Steve Jobs:
Apple actually does work, okay? It’s the exception to the rule. It is the you sit at his feet and you receive the word of God. Okay. I personally can’t stomach that. I cannot sit in a goddamn room with Steve Jobs doing that. I wanna puke, you know?
It grosses me out, but there are a lot of people who like it, and his art is impeccable. I mean I did finally break down and buy a Mac, and I got it, and I like it. Hey, it’s a nice computer. It feels good. It’s – I like my Sony VAIO, too, but the Mac’s a good computer. He breaks the rule, and he gets away with it. But nobody else does.
There really shouldn’t even be one. Well, you see, his fatal flaw is the iPod, right? And the iPod’s wonderful. It’s breaking the market in every – it’s breaking it wide open. But it’s breaking it wide open for somebody else, because he’s playing the damn game the same way he always does. He can’t get spread out far enough to actually be the guy who continues to run it later. He’s doing it again.
He probably knows he’s doing it, okay. And he’s certainly cleaning up. And we’ll pay attention to whatever he comes out with next. That’s for sure. And it probably will be great, so, you know, but that’s his fatal flaw. But it’s probably one that he factors in. Jobs factors in, probably.
Full transcript here.
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Why is it totally depressing that all the car makers are building in iPod compatible ports, Dave? Because it shoots your argument that “iPod is exclusive” all to hell? Archos? Is that a joke? If not, give us a break. It’s an iPod world, Dave. Get used to it.
You have to expect this type of “expert” to be all about ultimate “openness.” Too bad it’s at the expense of common sense here. Winer is flat wrong about the iPod. The iPod+iTunes is the only cross-platform (Mac and Windows) solution, for one example of inclusiveness. It’s the Windows-only Napster, Yahoo, MSN-type outfits that practice exclusion.
Probable reason for Winer’s comments? Apple blasted by RSS community leaders for ‘proprietary’ iTunes Podcast implementation – July 05, 2005
Apple’s vs. Microsoft’s music DRM: whose solution supports more users? – August 17, 2005
Apple’s roadkill whine in unison: ‘incompatibility is slowing growth of digital music’ – August 13, 2005
Apple’s new iMac G5, iTunes 6, iPod video designed to bait Hollywood – October 13, 2005
Apple video iPod+iTunes could create mass audience for video on the go, despite studios’ misgivings – October 13, 2005
Watching episode of ABC’s ‘Lost’ on 2.5-inch iPod screen surprisingly compelling – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Apple has just produced ‘the tipping point’ for entertainment content – October 13, 2005
Fortune: With video iPod, iTunes 6, iMac G5 and Front Row, Apple ready for ‘a good holiday season’ – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Unlike Microsoft, Apple has the advantage by not licensing their technology – October 13, 2005
BusinessWeek: Microsoft fumbles while Apple turns the needlessly complex into the beautifully simple – October 13, 2005
Video report: Apple CEO Steve Jobs discusses new iPod, iMac and earnings report – October 13, 2005
NBC TV shows up next for Apple’s iTunes? – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Real and Microsoft deal ‘doesn’t change the dynamics for Apple in any way, shape or form’ – October 12, 2005
Apple’s video play likely to unsettle movie, TV, advertising and retail markets for years to come – October 12, 2005
Analyst: ‘media companies will call Apple to strike deals, Front Row is Media Center done right’ – October 12, 2005
Analyst: Apple rewriting media distribution rules, more people will consider switching to Mac now – October 12, 2005
Apple and Disney usher in new media era – October 12, 2005
Apple posts QuickTime of ‘One More Thing’ special media event – October 12, 2005
Apple’s Front Row with Apple Remote and iMac G5: media center done right – October 12, 2005
Apple introduces new thinner iMac G5 with built-in iSight video camera, ‘Front Row’ media experience – October 12, 2005
Apple releases iTunes 6 with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films & hit TV shows for $1.99 – October 12, 2005
Apple unveils new 5th generation iPod, now plays music, photos, and video – October 12, 2005