Help now available for the iPod illiterate

“Is the thought of loading your CD collection onto that little white box called the iPod enough to scare you back to vinyl? You aren’t alone. As Apple Computer’s popular MP3 player becomes a mainstream must-have, it’s only natural that the ranks of techno-deficient iPod owners will continue to grow,” Seth Porges writes for BusinessWeek.

“And where there’s a demand, someone is always ready to help. A slew of books and services has popped up to take the intimidation factor out of the iPod,” Porges writes.

Full article here.

29 Comments

  1. hey david,

    i agree with you 100%. i also have a Sony-Ericsson. Nice phone management. very nice, user friendly interface. Camera is worthless because of quality. but more importantly can’t get a clear connection. not exactly Sony-Ericsson fault. but the point is with all the techno and feature on the phone, the basic function is broken or not up to par.
    Apple cannot afford to just stand by. they have to keep adding features and functions to ward off the competition. and with the 4G iPod, they did that. are they making the iPod more complicated? sure. but at least in this case the basic function of listening to music is still working. but unlike the other competitors, Apple has made the process easy. SJ has made it the point of playing a song in 3 easy step. I don’t think the competitors hardware is that simple. and from all the other review i’ve seen, they suck big time.

    Not Apple’s fault if some people are stuck in the cassette or 8-track ages. tech is moving faster now especially with small form factor. expect things to get smaller and with added features. at least give Apple credit for keeping to their true simplicity and user experience. it could be a lot worse. just look at the competition.

  2. Gandalf…

    Cell phones did work better in the past, because they were larger and had longer antennas. I guess they had bigger transmitter / receivers, I don’t know.

    But users wanted smaller cell phones and less obtrusive antennas, so the Cell phone companies obliged, knowing full well it would degrade performance.

    The will of the people, the tyranny of the majority.

    David Vesey

  3. Hey ME…

    And I agree with YOU 100%. Apple has done more than anyone to simplify and make intuitive, and -fun-, things that other companies make dreary, complicated, and dull.

    My point was that even when Apple streamlines all these steps, there are people who can’t keep up. Won’t keep up. And to have the features that Apple products have, it’s unlikely they could be made even simpler.
    When the Walkman busted into the scene as the latest greatest techno/miracle/toy for the masses, a 4 year old could master it. It was for the masses.

    But we now have techno marvels du jour that some people cannot understand or refuse to learn. In the past, the big breakthroughs like the electric light or telephones or TV were very simple to use.
    I suppose as our tastes are more sophisticated, and modern gizmos have to do so very much more to improve on the past, the day when you had a box with only two switches is over.

    And we have unleashed the dogs of Featuritis.

    david vesey

    (this is david vesey, and I have approved this message)

  4. David,

    Yeah my old Moto was a ‘transportable’, a big lead acid battery with a radio on the side and a handset on the top. With the aerial far away from the head it was permissable for the transmitter to be more powerful (I think 0.6mw rather than 0.2mw for transmitters held against the head).

    Best keep even 0.2mw away from the head – and other sensitive parts too ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />. The threat from radiation is real, just like the tobacco industry and the fast food industry the mo-fo industry will get sued to hell in 50 years time.

  5. These services are popping up all over the place!

    I’ve noticed two in the UK this week alone, including some guys called Encoda (http://www.encoda.co.uk) who are so keen to get customers registered that they’re offering iPod mini’s for some customers and the customer who sends in the 250,000th disk gets whatever is the top-of-the-line G5 at that time.

    I’ve registered for it and referred a half-dozen friends. Now if only they’d put up a counter like the iTMS 100 million thing.

  6. I’ll tell you what people want. They want a device (I love saying the word device, it covers so much) that will enable users to playback my funky ‘Get On Your Feet’ dance again and again.

  7. oh i like the idea of winning that G5, and all I have todo it get them to encoda my music collection..

    Well I have been thinking about jumping onboard the mp3 player thing, but just never known which way to go. I have some 700 cd’s in my collection and do not fancy sitting each weekend for the next 5 months ripping them myself with iTunes on my old Powerbook, if i had only 30-40 then I would be like ok that will take me some time but it can be done. But if you have any big number it would take you days or even weeks? so I have to say I think this sort of service is ok in my books.

  8. There are a LOT of people who can’t or WON’T bend to the evergrowing complexity of ordinary household devices. The consumer WANTS all the features, but will never bother to learn them. And in the end is just frustrated and angry because it makes them look stupid.

    Often what features are already available are more than enough. Many computer users limit themselves to the raw basics like web browsing/services (webmail) and text editing but anything beyond that is quickly intimidating. And what they’ve “learned” is purely procedural, with little or no conceptual understanding. That seems part of the reason why anything that takes more than a couple steps is overwhelming.

    I don’t like to overgeneralize causes for this sort of technophobia but the symptoms are often similar. There’s a lack of interest and motivation combined with fear and doubt. And it seems like an innate characteristic with certain people towards anything unknown that triggers a loss of control. Plus there’s the media’s negative, paranoid influence.

    Anyway, I say push the pedal to the metal.

  9. People having trouble understanding the iPod don’t need to pay to have it done – they need a friend that will walk them through the process.

    Unfortunately this takes a bit of time and repetition. Have them get a stack of CDs and let them load a few. Then show them how to set up a smart list – have them do a few. Then have them sync their iPod and select music. Then start over with a few more CDs.

    Helping someone learn means having them do it time and time again. Repetition. But when they learn how to do it they will be able to do it for a long time. That’s what being a friend is all about – not just giving them a 5 minute lesson that will be forgotten tomorrow.

  10. Ken,

    Some people – my friend being one � might have a two year old Windows laptop.

    I showed her how iTunes worked yesterday – one hour end-to-end.

    Her problem is the [B]twelve[/B] minutes each disk takes to convert.

  11. KEN sez:

    “Helping someone learn means having them do it time and time again. Repetition. But when they learn how to do it they will be able to do it for a long time. That’s what being a friend is all about – not just giving them a 5 minute lesson that will be forgotten tomorrow.”

    Ken, you are absolutely right.. and sitting down with them is the best way.

    I spend a lot of time helping/training/troubleshooting my friends computer problems. But I’m usually forced to do it over the phone. Which is a lousy way to do it.

    It’s very hard to get them to see what is in front of their face, and understand WHY they are doing it, and having them remember. They get frustrated and start feeling stupid, and begin to concentrate all of their attention on trying to prove why the computer is at fault.

    Doing it in person has to be the best way.

    david vesey

  12. KEN sez:

    “Helping someone learn means having them do it time and time again. Repetition. But when they learn how to do it they will be able to do it for a long time. That’s what being a friend is all about – not just giving them a 5 minute lesson that will be forgotten tomorrow.”

    Ken, you are absolutely right.. and sitting down with them is the best way.

    I spend a lot of time helping/training/troubleshooting my friends computer problems. But I’m usually forced to do it over the phone. Which is a lousy way to do it.

    It’s very hard to get them to see what is in front of their face, and understand WHY they are doing it, and having them remember. They get frustrated and start feeling stupid, and begin to concentrate all of their attention on trying to prove why the computer is at fault.

    Doing it in person has to be the best way.

    david vesey

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