Opining On Audio
I do have some concern that with the whole digital music phenomenon, which I support, there’s not enough talk about performance. And if there is no talk about performance, that will hurt us, because that’s what we sell. I don’t think digital music and performance discussions need to be separate, but iPod itself is not viewed or discussed as a performance-based product. On the other hand, the ability to have a 60GB iPod almost full with a CD collection and to have a music server at home, and one in the car, and have them all sync up—we’re not very far from having that occurring. That will drive interest in audio. Our dealers will win, if they put themselves in the right position with these products.
Fabiano: I don’t think it’s hurting. We may think, at first, that way, but the iPod creates a taste for good-quality sound. It’s like taking people from wine in a box to a wine-tasting experience in Napa Valley. All of a sudden you’re going to know, by tasting a small sample, the difference, and soon, you’ll be spending your entire savings on cases of good wine. So that’s why people will start looking into ways to just press a button and get music everywhere—into how they can get their 500-CD collection into a music server. The customer becomes aware of it, and we can be ready with the solution. It’s an easy step to digital music servers.
I just had a customer who walked in and wanted to buy an iPod integrating device for his house. And he started telling me he wanted three or four for throughout the house. And I asked him what he would do, when he came home, and dropped everything on the dresser, and all of a sudden wanted to play music through his control system, and guess what? The iPod is not where it’s supposed to be. How frustrating would that be? And so, he said ‘You have a point. How much is the music server?’ You need to make the point of using the right tool for the right purpose. The same comparison can be made with portable TVs versus the big screen you watch every night in your den. Isn’t it refreshing to know that you have a TV in place, looking at you and ready to turn on? I love the iPod. But when you have that type of customer who is interested in a high-quality product, they want convenience, too. The iPod serves a purpose, and it also educates people and kids about the pleasure of the omnipresence of music.