Companies put Apple iPods to work

“Apple iPods are becoming an important training and communication tool for some companies,” Anjali Athavaley reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“When Gaddis Rathel needed to learn Spanish for his job, his boss gave him an unusual tool to help: a black video Apple iPod, preloaded with language lessons,” Athavaley reports. “Last month, Mr. Rathel’s employer — ACG Texas LP, a Plano, Texas, franchisee of the pancake-house chain IHOP Corp. — started testing Apple Computer Inc.’s digital media player on a few employees to save money on Spanish-language classes. Now, rather than sit in a class on company time or read a textbook, Mr. Rathel uses the iPod for audio training in his spare time.”

Athavaley reports, “People used to hide their iPods from their bosses, if they used them in the office at all. Now the bosses are passing them out to their employees. Companies from health-care suppliers to fast-food chains are handing out free iPods so that employees can download audio and video files of CEO announcements, training courses and sales seminars.”

“Last summer, National Semiconductor Corp., a chip manufacturer in Santa Clara, Calif., spent $2.5 million on video iPods for its 8,500 employees, including those overseas, for training purposes and company announcements. At Capital One Financial Corp., a financial services company based in McLean, Va., more than 3,000 employees have received iPods since the company began using them in supplementary training classes,” Athavaley reports.

Full article here.

Related article:
National Semiconductor gives all 8,500 employees 30GB video-capable Apple iPods – June 12, 2006


  1. The Other Steve: i think you have to pay for most of the language courses which are available for the iPod. An alternative is free news podcasts. Par example, to keep my French in shape i subscribe to RFI:

    iTunes link

    and for German i use Deutsche Welle:

    iTunes link

    i am sure there are Spanish options as well.

    good luck

  2. TowerTone: how do you know they got a new server? They might have just rebooted the old machine.

    It would be great if MDN invested in some new hardware and some better community features around here. It took years of pestering them to get a “most commented” section added so i am not going to hold my breath.

  3. Doh! I think the real point of the article is that the iPod has many other uses other than just a music and video player. I have searched for a program for the iPod that does translation of English to Simplified Chinese and vise versa, but to no avail.

  4. Ron
    It’s strange but that has always been my philosopy except that I always added the caveat:
    “Always be worth more than you are paid,
    and you will be a valuable employee.
    The alternative is to be paid more than you are worth, and then you will be expendable.

  5. Am I the only one to remember what happened when one of those National Semiconductor people quit? NS asked for “their” iPod back. They had neglected to mention that the iPods were “company property, for the employee’s use, for job-related purposes”. Quite a few employees had to go out and buy (back?) iPods – they’d sold the ones they were ‘given’ by NS. Oops!

    As for lots of other comments, I’ve had several jobs where I was ‘given’ a laptop in case I needed to work from home – even when my typical office time exceeded 40 hours a week. I even had one job where I was told to get cable broadband because the company wouldn’t “support” the DSL I’d been successfully using.

  6. Could you help me. Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
    I am from Antigua and , too, and now am writing in English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “cheap airline tickets cheap airline tickets news read it at rss.”

    THX :-D, Rock.

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