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Columnist: \"Print needs its own iPod\"

updated 10:10 pm EDT, Mon October 10, 2005

Print iPod

The would benefit from an "iPod" of its own, says David Carr of the New York Times. "The newspaper business is in a horrible state. It's not that papers don't make money. They make plenty. But not many people, or at least not many on Wall Street, see a future in them. In an attempt to leave the forest of dead trees and reach the high plains of digital media, every paper in the country is struggling mightily to digitize its content with Web sites, blogs, video and podcasts." Carr talks about a device that would do for printed media what the iPod did for music. "Consider if the line between the Web and print matter were erased by a device for data consumption, not data entry - all screen, no baggage - that was uplinked and updated constantly: a digital player for the eyes."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. dettociao

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Digital ipod for eyes?

    *cough* oct 12th *cough*

    we hope...

  1. Rand

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    we can only hope...

    As an exchange student in Japan, I just got a Sony Librie yesterday - they've finally been able to subvert the DRM and convert it to an English Firmware. And it is gorgeous and ever-so-useful. I've drooled over them since I first saw eInk in a scientific American article, and as of a few months ago, a commercial test kit has been released. So hopefully the call has been heard, and we'll find more of these devices, especially in English, in America, and without DRM.

  1. RetiredMidn

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    eBook done right

    An iPod for the print media would be an eBook built on the iPod/iTunes model: a credible portable device combined with a web application (iNewstand?) from which a compelling choice of content (books, magazines, individual articles/essays, blogs, etc.) could be purchased and/or subscribed to.

    Probably even a tougher nut to crack than music. Coming up with a device that hits the sweet spot for a portable eBook (big and bright enough display, adequate battery life and storage, low cost) is one huge challenge, and getting the newspaper, magazine, and publishing industries to provide the content is another.

  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    RSS/XML

    RSS/XML is the middleman thats needed. I way to update is the tricky part. Music doesn't get old, not in the same way last weeks newspaper article does. You need a portable RSS aggregator. Something that can use probably cellular wireless to update itself all the time during the day every day. My cell phone can do internet now, and verizon charges every aspect of it they can. That is going to put a big kink on usage. You can buy an ipod and never spend another dime and have music. For a news device, you'd need something to subscribe to and keep paying. Even if the feeds were free, the device would need a service to update with. And thats whats not here yet. But these days everyone has laptops anyway, so I don't think there will ever be a kill app for this type of thing. Web sites and ibooks replace newspapers.

  1. freakboy2

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    uh, ok, he has a point

    BUT IT"S CALLED THE INTERNET!!

    i think this has already been invented. it's called RSS, internet whatever. If you want a device that can read the internet, maybe you could try a thing called a computer or a palm pilot, or any other of a variety of devices that can use the web.

    if what he's talking about is a decent software front end for the syndication of content..

    whatever. dude is a tard. what hes talking about is a compy.'

  1. macnews

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    The internet is not it

    News papers get read because they have hundreds of years of design behind them. They know how the human eye views a page and incorporate that in to the design. This is the one thing the internet has not done. It was built with advertising in mind and limited screen size.

    Granted, print media does need to change. It needs an iPod, RSS feeds and more. People do like to read but reading on a laptop, desktop, ipod or palm pilot is not a long term option. Computers are too heavey and way to bulky. Palm pilots and iPods, though smaller and lighter, are not reader friendly and again miss the design element.

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Print is not it!

    You can't translate "hundreds of years" of print design to a handheld, unless you have a magic inflatable one!? The internet is a closer paradigm because it is screen based and "scales" reasonably well (with the right setup) to small screens

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well, they do have it.

    I played around with electronic newspapers, NYT, Post, a lot of the big ones use it. When I used it it was PC only, but there was a web browser based version for the Mac; not as good as the software version. It is the actual newspaper in digital format, it includes several different ways to navigate the page and paper. Here's the problem with it, especially with the Mac, if you're tech savvy, and you use a computer to nav a paper, you more likely to use the internet, FOR FREE. The software version you could at least download and read, say on train, but the mac version, you needed an internet connection, that issue is apparent. I don't think newspapers problem is paper, it's just that there are so many other ways for people to get news. For newspaper reads, I understand there is something about papers people like, but part of that is the paper itself, so.......... I did see something like ten+ years ago about this very issue, someone wanted to make a tablet that you placed in a dock, and would download paper each day, it was suppose to have the tactile feel of paper, and I believe there was mention of even incorporating the smell. Never happened. Music is timeless; spans all ages. The market supports continued development of technology for devices, newspapers, now that is a niche.

  1. ecrelin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    couple barriers

    first as has been mentioned, too much technology needed to provide the proper user experience and second, they need content that is worth while, I canned my local rag, less and less content, over editorialized. Journalism has turned into a political soapbox with even the most innocuous stories slanted to push an agenda.
    However, as "news" outlets scramble to amass anything they can to remain fresh, vibrant and relevant and thus sale-able, I've found that I can go for days without the second by second headlines with no ill effect on my life. Real news is important for more time than it is given credit and many times getting the news retrospectively gives a clearer, less biased account. So that does fly in the face of the news lifespan argument

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Newpaper's replacement

    The replacement for newspapers must be: portable, lightweight, large viewing area (at least letter size), never run out of power, unbreakable, easy to update at least daily, let me fold it up and tuck it under my arm, and cheap enough so that if I loose it or leave it some place (or just don't feel like carrying it home every night) it's no big deal. Oh, and I need to be able to complete the sudoku puzzle on the train ride to work.

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