An iPod Sheep Fights Back at Creating Passionate Users made me laugh. It was funny to me because it was a shrill defense against the accusation that only sheep would pay so much more money for an iPod (or Mac hardware in general) just to look cool. The Ignorance Premium, as Hugh McLeod refers to it as.
Why is the iPod so successful when perfectly fine alternatives exist? I don’t pretend to know, as I am one of the three in the world who don’t own one. But as I understand it, it is supposed to be the best form and function. It’s not just cool. It’s sexy.
And almost everyone has one. That’s what is so mind-boggling about it. If everyone has one, then how can everyone be sexy? But there it is. And people are willing to play extra for it.
Nevermind the DRM. Nevermind the issues with replacing a battery. Nevermind the need to choose between hard drive OR music player. Nevermind the lack of .ogg support. Nevermind that you can’t transfer music between friends that the local band told you was perfectly fine to do. People will pay a premium for the “best” music player, best being defined somewhere, I’m sure.
I’m fairly cost-concious. I didn’t shell out extra for a Starter jacket when I was younger even though everyone else had one and they all made fun of me for it. I didn’t think much of “diamonds” in my gym shoes, especially since those shoes were always heavier than mine. I didn’t even want to pump on my shoes. And I didn’t rush out to buy an iPod, partly because I haven’t been all that into music and so didn’t exactly have a portable CD player to replace anyway, and partly because of the neverminds I list above.
But wait. There was one thing that I fell in love with when I first experienced it. When Starfox 64 came out for N64, I remember praising the Rumble Pak that came bundled with it. Friend didn’t “get it” when I told them about it. “Wait, let me get this straight. While you play, this thing makes the controller shake? Um…so?” Since only a few games had rumble compatibility, no one was rushing to get one. Of course, once I let someone play, they quickly loved it too. Today, if a console doesn’t have controllers that “just shake while you play the game” it would be found lacking. I even bought a Logitech joystick that had force feedback.
But hey, I’m totally different from those iPod sheep. Force feedback was cool. B-)