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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Sorry Walkman

Sony Network Walkman NW-HD1How can companies like Sony still release obviously-flawed iPod-challengers like the Network Walkman NW-HD1? (I understand enough about how large organisations work for that to be a rhetorical question)

‘Features’ like the poor software, lacklustre design (nice and small, but a bit dull and buttons are fiddly), and the fact that it can only connect to your PC via a special cradle which has to be kept plugged into the power supply (no direct connection or USB charging) should have been enough to send it back to the drawing board. Anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave for the past 2 years knows that a product going up against the dominant iPod can’t just be good, or better in some areas, it has to be outstanding in its execution and marketing.

Sony fans will buy, but I’m sure there are many within Apple who can barely believe their luck as they see rivals struggle to understand the basic design, marketing and usability issues behind the iPod’s success.

(apparently the near-identical NW-HD3 will feature MP3 support, USB charging, and different colours, so they’re slowly addressing the basics)


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