Survey: 10.8 million Next-Gen Music Players to be Sold in 2004

New research from Informa Media predicts that the world is going to rush out and buy 10.8 million digital music players in 2004. By the end of the year, there will be 21.5 million of them – most of them on the Central Line, I predict.

Informa say that this spending will have a mixed effect as consumers will fill the players with their existing CD collections before venturing out to buy music from online stores. “It’s great news for the actual manufacturers, but for the music companies at the moment it’s not going to be an instant boom,” said Simon Dyson, an analyst with Informa.

I know my own music purchasing took a dip as I spent my first couple of months with my iPod listening to things that I’d bought years ago and not really bothered, with before buying new music.

Online music services are doing spectacularly well nonetheless, and will only do better as more players get into the market and people experiment with new music.

Projected snags are the public’s realisation that they can’t transfer tunes from devices and that many music stores are incompatible – something bought from Napster won’t play on your iPod, for example. Writing about music services means that I have a vast array of music in different formats and remembering what track plays in what programme or device is extremely irritating.

“Incompatibility between some downloads and the most popular portable players could become an issue in the very near future,” Dyson commented.

You don’t say.

Informa media

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?