SeattlePi.com posts a lengthy quote from Steve Jobs’ conference call about the one year anniversary of the iTunes Music Store:
Responded Jobs: “You know one of the things that I say around Apple, I paraphrase Bill Clinton when he was running long ago, when he said, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ I say, ‘It’s the music, stupid.’ We have to stay focused on the fact that people are buying these devices to listen to music. … People love listening to music as a background activity when they’re exercising, when they’re commuting and when they’re just hanging out. Music is a wonderful thing because A, it’s music, and B, because it can be listened to as a background activity. And a lot of these other things that people are talking about building in, such as video and things like that, are foreground activities. You can’t drive a car when you’re watching a movie. You know? It’s really hard. So we really are very focused on music because that’s what we think the revolution is here.”
While I think that Jobs is completely right about the iPod generally, I think he’s also missing something that will be obvious to anyone who (like me) has spent a significant amount of their tine commuting on trains: sometimes, mobile entertainment isn’t a background activity.And the key thing isn’t the idea of Portable Media Center being a video iPod, but instead how it can synchronize with Windows Media Center, and how well that works.
As Joe Wilcox has blogged before, Microsoft sees sycnronization as a key technology for the future. Whether it can match what Apple already has in its first release is unknown, and doubtful given the company’s past record.