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Chapter 9 The iPod: A Service Avatar > 9.2 The IPod and the itunes Service - Pg. 120

120 SMART THINgS: UBIqUITOUS COMPUTINg USER ExPERIENCE DESIgN Figure 9-3 A 2002 Sony leaflet advertising an MP3-enabled MiniDisc player, obliquely stating that MP3s could be obtained "from the Internet." (Author's collection) market began competing on price. MP3 players drove unit prices down by ever- decreasing margins, often sacrificing design and durability in the process. Price competition meant that player memory capacity was quite limited, ranging from 32 to 256 MB, equivalent to two to five CDs worth of music. Supporting desktop software seemed to be an afterthought. MP3 player manufacturers appeared to have ignored how buyers would acquire MP3 files. Some players did ship with software that converted CDs to MP3 files. But the software was slow, often taking significantly longer to encode a CD than to play it, and it required computer beginners to learn yet another program. Others avoided the topic entirely. For example, Sony (Figure 9-3) and Philips (2000) only obliquely mentioned that MP3s were available "on the Internet." 9.2 the ipod and the itunes service With the iPod, Apple successfully integrated existing MP3 player technology with better design, an improved interface, and an extensive library of licensed content. This proprietary hybrid of networked content, devices, and access software is a closed system controlled by Apple in California. John M. Jordan (2007)