I'd bet that Apple is working on a Wi-Fi-enabled iPod. I mean, this has been talked about for close to two years.
The arrival What may finally push Apple into action is the arrival of two actual, real-world Wi-Fi enabled MP3 players on display here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I am actually on my way to see them after making this post.
Giant International's Tao brand and RCA Lyra MusicGremlin will basically operate the same way. If you have one of these gizmos, and are within range of a public Wi-Fi hotspot, you will be able to purchase the music that you want and download it to your player right then and there. No more waiting to get home and doing downloads over your PC.
I like the idea. The fact of a mobile device requiring a user to be stationary - such as being at home to sync- is counterintuitive. I mean, consuming music through a portable player is something usually done when you are in motion, right?
I do think both of these players will be hits. And of course I know that iPod has a huge lead, but they ignore WiFi-enabled music downloads at their peril.
The Lyra will use the MusicGremlin download service- which at present consists of around two million files encoded in the WMA (Windows Media Audio) format.
Passalong, which is Tao's music download service, currently has more than 1.6 million tracks, also in the WMA format.
Expect both of these Wi-Fi-enabled MP3 players to hit the store shelves and sites within a few months from now at most.
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