NPR: iPods Edge Out Home Stereo Systems

I heard this yesterday on NPR: NPR: iPods Edge Out Home Stereo Systems
My first thought yesterday was “it was inevitable”.
My second thought (on rethinking this today) is “it’s still inevitable.. but I think their story is misleading”.
The story says that “the popularity of digital music players … is reshaping the home-stereo business.” I can agree with that opinion. To support this opinion they cite the Consumer Electronics Association which places “the value of shipments of digital-music players” at $3.7 billion and [the value of shipements of] “traditional home stereo[s]” at $1.2 billion. This clearly shows that digital-music players seem to have outsold home stereos.
The problem is that it’s not an either-or situation.

I own both a home stereo and a digital-music player. In fact even before the players were digital I owned a portable music player. I’m a proud member of the “walkman” generation.
If they wanted to make a stronger arguement they should have compared home stereo sales with the sales of the plug-in bases for digital-music players, like the Klipsch iGroove. -That- would be an either-or situation.
Even with the misleading facts, I still think this move is inevitable. CDs are moving towards the status of premptive archive. You won’t keep the CD to listen to the music.. you’ll keep the CD so that if your digital music file gets corrupted you’ll be able to re-write it from your “backup” (that and to prove that you paid for the music).
What we need is a way for the digital storage system to make intelligent decisions about what music to play. Crafting a play list is tedious. I don’t want to have to do the work -and- I really want to be surprised when a song comes on. Pandora has it right.. but I want Pandora to arrange -my- music.. not just random music in its library.
I’m not passionate about music. I like music but I don’t live-eat-breath music. I don’t want to have to go through and tag all of my .mp3s. I want everyone in the world to do it for me. I’m imagining a central repository that has song-title, artist, record, etc and allows anyone to add a tag to any song.
Then I want to be able to tell my digital music player to play “sad” songs and have it cycle through my .mp3s looking for those that have been tagged “sad”.
The Ipod (or mp3 player) shouldn’t be the end-all replacement for the home stereo.. it should be the mobile carrying device for some of your music. Your music should be stored in some of that infinite storage space that the Internet provides. Your devices should know how to intelligently access it.


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