Dvorak: Apple’s iPod may get a run from MSI’s X2 MEGA View portable multimedia player

“Various interlopers have taken on Apple with lower price points and failed largely because the Apple design is the most compelling. This may end if the Taiwan based MSI has any say. With a range of X2 branded MP3 players. The company is matching prices with the Apple hard disk offerings but adding a video component. This is something Apple has been reluctant to do and others who have tried have not achieved the price points of the X2 brand handheld hard-disk-based MP3/MPEG4 combo player,” John C. Dvorak writes for CBS MarketWatch.

“I have used the new MEGA view $399 device and I’m impressed. I’m not easily impressed, either. This device, which does everything the Apple iPod does, also allows you to use its PVR (personal video recorder) capabilities to record and play video. You can also drop your digital photos into the unit to create a slide show for friends. It also incorporates an FM radio (which you can also record from) and a digital voice recorder… To me this concept replaces the various video ‘Walkman’ devices such as the one I once owned shown in this picture. I suspect that this device will be something children will love to have on long car drives,” Dvorak writes. “I chatted with X2 President Rex Wong about the device and price-points and specifically asked about the apparent reluctance of Apple to move into video on its iPod. Wong believed that Apple was too enamored with its price points and margins and would have to price the video iPod at $499 or higher which is impractical. Indeed, others have tried to sell $500 devices such as this with no luck. He believes that $399, the same price as the highest price iPod will trigger sales.”

MacDailyNews Note: The iPod with the highest price is the iPod photo 60GB which goes for US$599 and is selling briskly along with its US$499 sibling, the iPod photo 40GB, according to anecdotal reports from MacDailyNews sources.

Dvorak continues, “The other factor regarding the iPod is the fact that Apple also sells content for the device with its iTunes initiative. I’m guessing that it’s trying to come up with a video equivalent iMovies initiative to rationalize a video iPod. Having used this device, there is no question that Apple and all the others will have to consider video in this mobile media market. For the short term X2 is the leader.”

Full article here.


  1. Also from the article:

    With the ability to act like a simple VCR you can record between 20-80 hours of video depending on the quality you choose. (It does not have a TV tuner, you simply jack into a video source with cables provided…I recorded a TV show from my Dish Network set top box…

    And that’s why Apple won’t have video on the iPod anytime soon–there’s no legal content that can be easily put on the machine. Your software would either be bootleg (rips of DVDs, bittorrented stuff) or from rigging together AV equipment–for most people it would be rigging the machine off the OUT plugs on a VCR.

  2. “Apple and all the others will have to consider video in this mobile media market”

    Yeah, so I can watch a 1.5″ to 2″ for 2 hours at a time. Sounds like a recipe for eye strain and a headache.

    Pocket portable video will never work in the mainstream market. Copyrights, vision problems, attention span, and portible DVD players with 7″-10″ screens will all cause this idea to fail.

  3. sorry John….

    When is someone going to come out with something that provides some real competition? Most companies still don’t get it. I hate to say it, but any new device needs to overcome the “cool” factor, and this player has no chance of doing that. Would you be seen in public? You probable would if you were hiding it and using white earbuds to cover up that fact.

  4. Video on a small screen just doesn’t make sense. Get a laptop.

    If Apple ever releases an iVideo or whatever, I’d be surprised to see if even they could make it cool.

    These all in one devices are just such a waste. They end up doing a mediocre job of a bunch of things (video, pics, music, recorder, FM-as if I want radio!!!- does it do the dishes too?!) instead of doing one thing really well like the iPod (now 2 things with the pics tho’ I’m still not sold on that)

  5. “For the short term X2 is the leader.”

    And I always thought you had to at least be entered into the race to be a leader. In what way does John believe the X2 is a leader?

  6. This is the time honored case of a technology coming to the market even though there’s no crying need for it. Just because it can be done doesn’t mean it will sell. It’s a toy for techies and as stated there is presently no legal way to download anything and the idea of looking at a 2 inch screen is ludicrous to my thinking. I listen to music. I watch movies on a larger screen. The two are simply not interchangeable. (How many people have a PDA sitting in a drawer now?)

  7. Dvorak makes several statements that eliminate any credibility that he may at some time in his life claimed.

    “Various interlopers have taken on Apple with lower price points and failed largely because the Apple design is the most compelling. This may end if the Taiwan based MSI has any say.”
    -While the first sentence is true, I don’t know how he could assume the second sentence. A quick glance at this player shows a very unintersting, boring, ugly, technological mess that screams anything but ease of use and style.

    “I have always believed that the rationale behind the hard disk iPod was a little silly…It just seemed like overkill.”
    – It apparently never occured to him to use an iPod as an external disk drive.
    – He apparently does not grasp the concept of the iPod (to carry your entire music collection in your pocket).
    I guess he would rather watch movies while he’s driving and listen to his music collection while at home.

  8. As soon as Apple released the iPod Photo, there was no doubt that they will make a video iPod.

    First, they will want to cover the entire market, even if sales are minimal. Second, Apple has the most extensive line of video production software on the market, so it is a natural fit. It will plug into TVs just like the iPod Photo.

  9. Actually, I don’t mind if he wants to use it. By all means…..Those of us who have an iPod enjoy the whole experiences of iPod/iTunes and what we can now do with our music libraries.

    He’s missing out and those who are still looking for a viable non-iPod experience, keep looking…..

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