“This month the Navy contingent at Fort Gordon bought 200 iPods. Earlier in the year it bought another batch of 500. These were not the dinky, low-capacity shuffle-only kind, but the new 30-gigabyte models with fancy video screens, so you can watch reruns of “CSI” and “Fear Factor” (available for download at $1.99 an episode). These iPods start at $299 apiece, so the Navy must’ve paid at least $210,000 for the lot,” Corey Pein reports for MetroSpirit.com.
Pein asks, “Why does the military need these hip digital fashion accessories? To boost morale? To indoctrinate the troops? To study how long-term use of “ear bud” headphones affects human brainwaves?”
“A message left for NIOC’s commanding officer, Capt. Sean Filipowski, was directed to the flacks at the Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Va. Turns out there was actually a pretty good reason (make that official reason) for the iPod requisition. John Donaldson, deputy public affairs officer, says the iPods are being used for foreign language training,” Pein reports.
“Aha! Just as we suspected! ‘We’ve gone from reel-to-reel players to cassette tape players to these,’ Donaldson said. The advantages of the new technology are obvious. One of the portable digital players can hold an entire study course of Arabic, Farsi or Mandarin, with plenty of room left over for James Brown’s ’20 All-Time Greatest Hits!’ ($5.99 from iTunes),” Pein reports.
Full article here.
Just a note that bulk pricing probably came into play; we doubt the Navy paid retail prices on orders of 500 and 200 units.
Duke University’s iPod program revolutionizing students’ experiences with language studies – December 04, 2004