Personal stereo device expert: ‘iPod mini will be popular, Apple’s machines are brilliant in every r

Lecturer Dr. Michael Bull is “the world’s leading — perhaps only — expert on the social impact of personal stereo devices,” according to The New York Times. Wired News’ Leander Kahney has conducted a Q&A with Dr. Bull, also known informally as “Professor iPod.”

Bull stated:
The iPod mini will be popular. Sales will expand as the market expands. It’s a repeat of what happened with the Walkman 25 years ago. Apple is out front of a massively expanding market. Their machines are brilliant in every respect…. At the moment, they can’t lose, but Apple will eventually lose its dominant market share. The competition will be too intense.

One of the interesting things is that with vinyl, the aesthetic was in the cover of the record. You had the sleeve, the artwork, the liner notes. With the rise of digital, the aesthetic has left the object — the record sleeve — and now the aesthetic is in the artifact: the iPod, not the music. The aesthetic has moved from the disc to what you play it on … and the iPod mini will appeal to those who want an artifact for style….

The other thing is that there’s a lot of illegal downloading. Half the people I’ve talked to so far download music illegally. The investment they’re making is going into the artifact, not the music. The market is moving toward the artifact, not the music to fill it.

(Bull noted that a lot of users reported they stored a few “perennial favorites” on their iPod but generally were constantly shuffling new music in and out, which may explain why they’re reluctant to pay for something they don’t “keep.”)

Full Q&A article here.


  1. Hey Kenny L, you made me laugh out loud with that one! I have a lotta people that I call “Dr. Bull”. If he made a hit record, would it be Dr. Bull’s_hit?

  2. no duh the mini will be popular ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> it already is!

    it gets SO much attention, i have found the flirty tease way to wear mine 😀 I clip it to the v-neck of my sweater. natural cushion protection ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    with a pink iPod and pink sweater the wheel is like a middle n****e lol !!

    i can clip it inside too so it faces the right way when i pull it away to look at. but thats not as flirty just useful ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    i don’t think i could hang a regular heavy ipod that way without showing too much skin even for friday night ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. friday night looks to be over 🙁 saturday is coming ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    somebody was asking about the finish, it don’t think it will scratch like my ibook. i never played very long with a white ipod but this seems even stronger.

    the arm band holds really well with rubber to grip, but you are supposed to pop the mini in, not slide it in like i first tried. popping is easier!

    makes me want to shop for music again ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

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