Image via Washington Post
In this morning's Washington Post, Rob Pegorano presents an interesting suggestion - one that challenges us to view Microsoft and Apple as two major companies auditioning for new roles in our lives.
We need to retire the term "MP3 player." Not only do the newest media gadgets from Apple and Microsoft play more music formats than MP3 -- in addition to showing photos and videos -- they also fill some roles once reserved for high-end smartphones. They can even replace an old transistor radio.
With regard to the new nano, Pegorano says the video camera is an "awkward addition."
Its lens is too easy to cover with a stray finger, and it deals poorly with low light and moving subjects. In good light, it can record decent clips, but their low resolution (640 by 480 pixels) and dull colors make them a better fit for YouTube than your HDTV.
It falls into a gap between simpler players like older Zunes and full-fledged, Internet-enabled gadgets such as Apple's iPod touch.
The same, of course, can be said of Apple. Instead of rushing sloppy updates or unimpressive upgrades just to make the MP3 players of yesterday a little flashier today won't cut it. And to many, that's what it seems Apple and Microsoft are only interested in doing for now.