Rebelling against Apple iPod+iTunes?

“When Max Roosevelt wanted to rebel, he got a Dell laptop and a SanDisk Sansa MP3 player. It was not a rebellion against his parents, who had been buying Dells for years. It was a rebellion against his peers, Mac-toting iPod addicts one and all,” Wilson Rothman reports for The New York Times.

“’I just didn’t want to have the same MP3 player as everybody else, and felt that there had to be equivalent or better players out there,’ Mr. Roosevelt, an 18-year-old native of Chappaqua, N.Y., said recently from his freshman dorm room at the University of Maryland. ‘It’s not that I don’t like it; I just don’t like the whole cult mentality towards Apple. I don’t like how everyone gravitates toward it immediately,'” Rothman reports.

“The iPod Nano may represent an irresistible combination of enticing design, futuristic technology and sledgehammer marketing, but does Mr. Roosevelt have a point? Are there other players that are more advanced or more fun to use? An examination of four non-Nanos suggests there are praises to be sung outside of Apple’s realm,” Rothman reports.

Rothman reports, “Each player is compatible with online music subscription services like Rhapsody, Napster and the new Urge, though none are compatible with files downloaded from the Apple iTunes Music Store… None of the players are compatible with Macs… None of the players are as slender as the Nano… At first, similarities were more apparent than differences, but that changed after some testing. Take, for instance, those built-in radio tuners… the Sansa generated too much static… The Zen also generated annoying static… Radio troubles were only the start for the spunky little Zen… it is the least user-friendly… it also reacted slowly to the push of buttons… Though the Clix is the best of the bunch… it has mysteriously been a poor performer in sales. Among the four, it is the one that least resembles the Nano, and perhaps that is the explanation: do those who buy a non-Nano secretly want a Nano?”

Rothman reports, “Max Roosevelt says no. When the Carbon broke down, he learned that its manufacturer had left the business, unable to compete with Apple. Determined to steer clear of Apple, he bought his six-gigabyte Sansa last June. ‘It may look a great deal like an iPod Nano, but it isn’t one,’ he said, ‘which is all that I really cared about.'”

Full article here.
Cutting off your nose to spite your face does not a rebel make; you’ll just be a noseless fool with a soon-to-be-defunct MP3 player and access to really bad, struggling online media outfits. While we’ll give Max a break – he’s only 18 after all, sounds quite confused, and he’ll eventually grow up – Apple is the rebel, Max, certainly not Microsoft and a bunch of also-ran device makers:

Related articles:
Study reveals Apple continues to gain share in music markets – October 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell’s ‘DJ Ditty’ flash-based MP3 player is dead – August 22, 2006
More blood on Apple iTunes Music Store’s play button: MyCokeMusic is dead – June 20, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver gives up on digital media player market – May 23, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Sony’s Walkman Bean is cooked – February 13, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Dell dumps ‘DJ’ hard-drive MP3 player line – February 04, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: iRiver pulling out of Europe? – February 01, 2006
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Thomson gives up on MP3 player, CE markets – December 12, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: BenQ withdraws from MP3 player markets – November 28, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Olympus halts production of portable digital music players – November 09, 2005
More blood on Apple iPod’s Click Wheel: Rio is dead – August 26, 2005
Apple’s iPod has blood on its Click Wheel: Virgin Electronics is dead – March 08, 2005
Apple’s iTunes Music Store has blood on its play button: is dead – March 28, 2004

Computerworld review: ‘Apple’s new iPods are better than ever’ – September 27, 2006
PC Magazine’s 19th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards for MP3 players: Apple iPod line – September 25, 2006
USA Today reviews new Apple iPod nanos, updated iPods, iTunes 7 (each earns 4 stars out of 4) – September 21, 2006
Time Magazine’s Gadget of the Week: Apple iPod 80GB – September 21, 2006
CNET Editor’s Choice: Apple fifth-gen updated iPod – ‘best, most attractive iPod to date’ – September 20, 2006
Disney’s remarkable 1st week iTunes movies sales should have studios clambering aboard Apple train – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
PC Magazine review: iTunes 7 ‘Apple’s best effort yet’ (4 stars out of 5) – September 15, 2006
CNET Editor’s Pick: Apple’s new 2G iPod nano – ‘sure to be top choice among wide range of users’ – September 14, 2006
Apple debuts new iPod in 30GB and 80GB with Hollywood movies, games and new lower price – September 12, 2006
Apple intros new iPod nano with new aluminum design in five colors and 24-hour battery life – September 12, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006


  1. It’s one thing to swim against the stream because you have gotten to a point whereyou question why everyone else is so fanatical about something.

    It’s another thing to do it JUST because the masses are doing something, and not questioning the substance.

    Perhaps this is what he needs to do to learn that there’s a reason why people love their iPods and iTunes.

  2. To say “there must be something better…or just as good” is pretty lame.

    This poor 18 year old has grown up in a world where the dominant OS is a disaster, but everyone uses it. This skews his mind to think that the iPod must too be a disaster because it is dominant.

    I feel partly to blame because as an IT professional, I helped Microsoft dominate the market by recommending Windows to people back when there was no better choice (sorry, Mac OS 9 > is horrible) and I didn’t do a great job unseeting MS when a better alternative (OS X) was avaialble.

  3. Anyone who defines themselves by their mp3 player and chooses a lesser option just to be different needs to take a look at themsevles. Irrsepective of how good or bad the iPod is or how good or bad the SanDisk models are, you should choose the one that’s best for you, not the one that isn’t what other people have.

  4. He doesn’t want to be like everyone else! Don’t you get it? He wants a Dell so that he can NOT be part of the crowd! Duh! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”confused” style=”border:0;” />

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