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SanDisk Baits Apple And Woos Rockbox

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-like-apes dept.

374

An anonymous reader writes "CNET reports that SanDisk is courting open source developers to port Rockbox to its popular MP3 players. SanDisk is currently the world's second most popular MP3 player manufacturer after Apple. Rockbox is an open source OS for most major MP3 players. The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps' and uses a 'street graffiti style' to create the illusion of a 'counter-culture uprising against the iPod'. The writer says, 'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod. To do so is to fight Apple on their own terms.'"

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Clever Campaign. (3, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456836)

Apple got it's dominant position largely through a clever (and cool, and the early) advertising campaign. They're firmly fixed as the 'cool' mp3 player to get.

Everyone else who's tried to take on Apple has (as the article notes) has tried to differentiate themselves through technological features (doesn't work 'cause most people don't understand) or price (doesn't work 'cause people don't want a "cheap and nasty" music player). Differentiating by making iPod users seem like sheep [idont.com] is a pretty effective idea.... perhaps! (I am sure the inevitable replies will correct me).

The rockbox news is far more interesting - vendor supported rockbox would be a cool thing to have (wish Rockbox worked on my 3g iPod - soon I will have ogg goodness). But (according to the article), its just a rumour, not a confirmed fact) - the submitter should perhaps have linked to another article?

(Oh, and this [idont.com] was my favorite poster - allthough I think the "shackled" image is more appropriate for an iTunes Music Store mp4 than an ipod itself)

Where is Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day been (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456900)

We all miss him

Re:Clever Campaign. (5, Insightful)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456912)

Differentiating by making iPod users seem like sheep [idont.com] is a pretty effective idea.... perhaps!
The funny thing is that anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.

Re:Clever Campaign. (0)

BMonger (68213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456968)

The funny thing is that anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.

Yeah... making your potential users feel like one of the flock is a bad thing [uriahcarpenter.info] ... :)

Re:Clever Campaign. (2)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457141)

*heh* - and look how that ad managed to unseat IBM & establish Apple as the dominant player in the PC space from the mid 80s on ;-)

Guess it goes to show that a clever campaign by itself isn't going to be enough - lets hope they do support rockbox. Tt could become the firefox of firmware!

Re:Clever Campaign. (0)

fm6 (162816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457045)

Take a look at other marketing campaigns. Most of them are built on exactly this kind of doublethink [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Clever Campaign. (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457135)

. . .anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.

Nah. They're signing you up to be a goat.

KFG

Re:Clever Campaign. (0)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457285)

"Sheep are stupid and have to be driven. Goats are smart and have to be led."
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods

Not Sheep (1)

Grendol (583881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457268)

They aren't sheep, they are pod people that Apple has been "snatching". And here we stand on the side of the information superhighway screaming "you're next!"

wait, I shouldnt have said that, I am one. Mmwuhh hahahahahaa!

Re:Clever Campaign. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457323)

The funny thing is that anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.

You know, now I think about it, perhaps such a negative (and as others have pointed out, blatantly astroturfing & subculture mining) campaign won't work so well.

I do partially agree with you - I think anyone who changes their mind and buys a sandisk based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep, but I think someone who sees this campaign and just thinks about it a little more next time they buy a mp3 player is not....

Re:Clever Campaign. (1)

XaXXon (202882) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457338)

anyone who changes their mind based on this stupid marketing campaign really is a sheep.

While this may be true, it's important to note that this particular changing of ones mind does not cause one to become a sheep, only reinforces that they are.

They may have purchased the iPod because they were a "sheep" already or may have become a "sheep" at this point, as well.

Re:Clever Campaign. (5, Insightful)

ePhil_One (634771) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456914)

Apple got it's dominant position largely through a clever (and cool, and the early) advertising campaign.

Apple got its dominate position by creating a effective and user freindly UI to a useful and stylish bit of hardware. If the underlying UI & Hardware weren't up to the task, the ipod would have fallen flat when the first generation of users didn't like them. I owned a pre-ipod player, it had a painful UI, so despite its slick hardware, I hardly ever used it and bad mouthed it to freinds.

Re:Clever Campaign. (1)

oni (41625) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457049)

Apple got its dominate position by creating a effective and user freindly UI to a useful and stylish bit of hardware.

bingo.

Re:Clever Campaign. (0, Troll)

DJCacophony (832334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457063)

Ha ha, yeah, right. I suppose you're going to claim if the ipod was the size, shape, color, and texture of a cinderblock, and apple didn't advertise it at all, it would still be where it is now.

Re:Clever Campaign. (1)

KarateExplosions (959215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457272)

If it was the size, shape, color, and texture of a cinder block, it wouldn't exactly be "useful and stylish", would it?

Re:Clever Campaign. (-1, Flamebait)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457137)

If the underlying UI & Hardware weren't up to the task, the ipod would have fallen flat when the first generation of users didn't like them.

Look, it's Apple we're talking about here. The RDF here is as strong as the one that allowed W get reelected. The hardware was/is nothing special, from sucky to non-replaceable batteries, to sound quality, to HD capacity, not to mention the price all this comes at.

Re:Clever Campaign. (1, Interesting)

OmegaBlac (752432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457278)

Apple got its dominate position by creating a effective and user freindly UI to a useful and stylish bit of hardware.
I think we are at a point where it seems like everyone has an iPod and nobody wants to feel left out so they buy one to be apart of the crowd. Two of my friends recently purchased iPods specifically because they saw others on campus using them--nothing to do with UI and how stylish the hardware is. IMO, most people buying iPods these days are buying it to feel a belonging to a "movement"/culture or because it is some kind of new fad going on. Sheep indeed...

Re:Clever Campaign. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457314)

"Effective and user friendly UI?" Don't make me laugh!

Anyone who thinks the click wheel is "effect and friendly" has got to be an Apple shill. I don't know about you, but I find trying to rotate my thumb around that wheel to be one of the most unnatural motions ever attempted. Too bad Apple never figured out why every other dial in existance is designed to either be spun by the thumb or rotated by twisting it with the hands.

Then there's the play controls. You can either go back or forward on your playlist. That's it. No album skip. No "random song" skip. You can only play by playlist. No way to sort by genre, artist, or album. Fortunately, there's a solution to that: create a "smart playlist" for each missing sort mode you want. Yep. That's "easy to use".

There's also the fun "you want to erase your iPod, right?" that appears should you ever decide to hook your iPod up to a friend's computer. Forget copying or anything like that, I just wanted to charge my damned iPod, not erase the entire thing! That's REAL user friendly, deleting the entire thing when you plug it into the "wrong" computer.

Plus it doesn't support popular media formats. Want to play music from non-Apple online stores? Tough. No FLAC, no Ogg, no WMV, nothing but Apple or MP3.

The fact that the iPod has succeeded is proof that consumers are sheep - it's easily one of the worst MP3 players on the market in terms of UI and features, yet it's still the most popular.

Re:Clever Campaign. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457042)

The idea that the iPod is only successful because of its marketing is ridiculous. The iPod was a success well before Apple started the silhouette ad campaign. Sure, a lot of people chose iPods now because that's what everyone else has, but is it that hard to accept the iPod's initial success was the result it being the superior product? And other players haven't been able to catch up to the iPod, because Apple keeps improving it?

Re:Clever Campaign. (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457337)

I don't know. If I'm an iPod user (and I am, but I'm speaking hypothetically here), I'm not sure that I'm going to want to switch to a competitor because they insulted me for using an iPod.

And SanDisk is insulting every single member of the market that it is trying to gain. Historically, that sort of approach doesn't tend to work very well. [amazon.com]

Al Gore (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456845)

I hear Al Gore puts all his music in a Rockbox

Re:Al Gore (2, Funny)

jhsiao (525216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456945)

I presume he has the "I'm So Ronery" song from the Team America: World Police soundtrack in his playlist.

Re:Al Gore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457014)

Cerealy?

I can see this going over REAL well. (1, Funny)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456858)

Thats a way to compete with the competition, call all its buyers sheep. Worked real well last presidential election I heard

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456984)

It's more a way of going about the other thing.

Rather than saying, "ours is cheaper, works as well, and is also capable of playing everything that an iPod can play" they're saying
"Why are you buying that? Because somebody told you it's cool. Ours is the same, but CHEAPER and equally technically capable! Only a mindless follower would buy an iPod with reasons like that to buy a Samsung instead!"

Seems like a pretty good idea to me. It's working for Vonage, which is ironic considering that they're one of the worst VOIP sellers out there (they're swaying sheeple who don't do their homework before choosing a VOIP service).

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (0, Offtopic)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457027)

Please see my sig.

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457167)

I think the point is the election shouldn't have been that close to begin with. Kerry should have won by MILLIONS.

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (1)

tinrobot (314936) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457227)

They can only steal it if it's close.

Thanks to the swift boat crap, it was...

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (1)

soupdevil (587476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457318)

They can only steal it if it's close.

Or, they can tell you it's close, ven if it's not, and then steal it.

Re:I can see this going over REAL well. (1)

jthill (303417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457041)

Yeh. And Apple's sales sure took off when they tried it too.

This'll probably go over like a lead zeppelin.

open source vs. single license locked itunes file (0, Redundant)

metasecure (946666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456866)

I like the idea of a music player that is open source and will allow you to play any time of music as well as copy it off and use it in another player. vs. iTunes proprietary format.

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (2, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456930)

I like the idea of a music player that is open source and will allow you to play any time of music as well as copy it off and use it in another player. vs. iTunes proprietary format.

The only "proprietary" format is the DRM from the Music Store, and maybe ALAC lossless (I don't know if ALAC is open or not). It plays industry standard MP3 and AAC files just fine.

As long as you don't care about buying music online, there is nothing proprietary about an iPod.

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (2, Informative)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456966)

he only "proprietary" format is the DRM from the Music Store, and maybe ALAC lossless (I don't know if ALAC is open or not). It plays industry standard MP3 and AAC files just fine.

mp3 & aac are both proprietary formats too.

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (4, Informative)

mveloso (325617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456938)

You mean proprietary formats like mp3 and AAC? While iTunes only sells protected AAC and audible tracks, you can in fact use your normal mp3 and AAC encoded files on your iPod.

I think what you mean is you'd rather have Microsoft Plays-For-Sure DRM'd files instead of Apple's FairPlay DRM'd files, which is something totally different.

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456972)

Though he is correct that the iPod software provides no easy way to copy music back off the iPod (and stores them stripped of their names internally if you get access to the file-system)

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457111)

One word: iPodDisk [ourbiti.com]

Re:open source vs. single license locked itunes fi (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457160)

Strips the names, but not the ID3 tags. Import them into iTunes, and your file names are automatically rebuilt.

Might as well cut out the middle man (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456867)

Oh goody, a corporate-manufactured "cultural backslash" to a corporate-manufactured "cultural movement".


I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...

Re:Might as well cut out the middle man (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456911)

well lets be honest, the iPod was not a result of a corporate-manufactured cultural movement at first. It has become that after word of mouth and Apple laching onto the momentum it created.

Re:Might as well cut out the middle man (1)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456990)

This is true, it's not like Apple invented podcasting (for example), as much as they now want everyone to think they did. It sprang from the community.

Re:Might as well cut out the middle man (2, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457176)

What you say? Apple would never do anything like THAT, would they? Taking community created and tested technology and putting it in a slick package would simply be unthinkable.

What are they gonna do next... take on open source operating system, put a slick UI on it and call it their own?

Re:Might as well cut out the middle man (5, Insightful)

McNally (105243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457170)

Oh goody, a corporate-manufactured "cultural backslash" to a corporate-manufactured "cultural movement".
I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...
Or maybe you just think you do..

Re:Might as well cut out the middle man (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457203)

I vaguely remember the days when culture had something to do with people, not just competing marketing departments...

You should come sign up for my online social network. We're much cooler than the dorks on MySpace, because we'd never sign up for something dorky like MySpace.

KFG

Who to support?! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456881)

I... don't know who to support! It's Apple vs open source software! My world is crumbling - fanboy fighting fanboy, zealot fighting zealot. Cats and dogs living together!

Re:Who to support?! (1)

leonmergen (807379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457291)

... and this brings me to a question: where's microsoft? shouldn't they at least have attempted to take over the mp3 player market by now?

Facts (2, Insightful)

MrSquirrel (976630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456904)

SanDisk is the second most popular mp3 player? I thought Creative held that (with about a 5% market share).

Re:Facts (5, Funny)

moorcito (529567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456957)

Second most popular? Hell, I didn't even know sandisk made an mp3 player.

Re:Facts (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457075)

Neither did I. Unless they are counting players that use Sandisk FLASH and not ones specificaly made by Sandisk. That would make more sense as Sandisk is a big player in flash memory.

Re:Facts (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457244)

Hence the ad campaign that will result in 15 minutes of fame then life will go back to normal.

Re:Facts (1)

vought (160908) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457320)

SanDisk is the second most popular mp3 player? I thought Creative held that (with about a 5% market share).


As the second most popular .mp3 player manufacturer, SanDisk should be very wqary of Creative's legal department - especially since some of the folks from Creative have been taking notes from SCO's legal department!

NEWS FLASH: iPod "Killer" Product/Campaign Launch! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456905)

Dear Rockbox,

Oh no, not that! Nobody has ever accused iPod owners of being slaves to fashion before! I'm sure everybody in the world will now rush out to buy your heroic piece of shit music player now. What ever will we do???

Love,
Steve Jobs

P.S. Why not just make unlicensed stickers of Calvin pissing on the Apple logo while you're at it? The rest of your ads are almost, but not quite, that cool.

Re:NEWS FLASH: iPod "Killer" Product/Campaign Laun (1)

infinityxi (266865) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457018)

Yeah, you probably mean SanDisk. Rockbox is just the open source firmware/software that can be installed on a variety of mp3 players. Sending them that email will probably result in absolutely nothing. Try an online petition against rockbox for doing something they have entirely nothing to do with.

Re:NEWS FLASH: iPod "Killer" Product/Campaign Laun (1)

mindtriggerz (914619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457019)

Dear Mr. Jobs,

I believe your letter should be addressed to SanDisk, not us.

Lollypops and Rainbows,
Rockbox

Breath of fresh air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15456919)

Anything to break the apple monopoly. SanDisk unlike others can be a formidable competitor to Herr Jobs's Apple. Their new e2xx players aren't too bad themselves.

A Graffiti campaign? (1)

NekoIncardine (838965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456921)

I wonder who that's failed for recently *cough*Sony*cough* (Admittedly, these guys aren't being QUITE as brazen about it as Sony was, but...) I'll withold judgement on the item advertised itself since I don't know how good it is.

iZZZZZZZ (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456932)

The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps'

What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

and uses a 'street graffiti style' to create the illusion of a 'counter-culture uprising against the iPod'.

And nothing says "street cred" like a modern Western corporation. Hey, I be down wit dat, um, dogg... or word, or whatever. Shizzle-something.

The writer says, 'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod.

Thanks SanDisk! I was just thinking this morning that, gosh, there simply is not enough mental illness^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H ideology in this world.

Re:iZZZZZZZ (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457096)

"The writer says, 'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod."
Which is exactly how Apple has sold their products in the past. The whole 'Think Different' campaign was perhaps more subtle but was still using the same idea.

Re:iZZZZZZZ (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457130)

The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps'

What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

Your knee hath jerked too soon. First, engage brain.

The primary target market for Sandisk is people who don't have an iPod. Why? Because they already have a fucking mp3 player. Their targeted market segment (with this campaign, especially) is the people who can't afford an iPod, or who don't want to patronize Apple because of the lingering air of fanboyism that permeates their products.

These people will likely respond favorably to being led to believe that they are not sheep (though clearly anyone who buys based purely on advertising is indeed a member of the sheeple at large.)

Re:iZZZZZZZ (2, Insightful)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457158)

>"Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

The iPod owners aren't their target market. Those people are a lost cause.

Re:iZZZZZZZ (1)

Fatal Darkness (18549) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457209)

What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

They probably went to the Sony school of marketing.

Re:iZZZZZZZ (2, Insightful)

EvanED (569694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457294)

What was the executive meeting for that one? "Hey, boss! Let's insult the hell out of our target market!"

As opposed to the recent Apple commercials that feel as mudslinging as anything you see around election time?

"Finally, the Intel chip is freed from dull little boxes performing dull little tasks"

Re:iZZZZZZZ (2, Interesting)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457334)

And nothing says "street cred" like a modern Western corporation. Hey, I be down wit dat, um, dogg... or word, or whatever. Shizzle-something.

I think you give suburban middle-class kids with lots of 'guilt money [investinkids.ca] ' *far* too much credit. Take a trip to a local high school - you'll see more walking billboards than at a NASCAR event...

Corporations have figured out teens for some time [pbs.org] now.

More Info: (4, Interesting)

shrapnull (780217) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456934)

I "accidentally" stumbled onto the iDon't [idont.com] website the other day when I was researching Ogg alternatives to iPod.

It's not so much that the iPod is without it's flaws, but for them to masquerade as a "revolution" counter-culture and have me find out that it's a sponsored astroturf really pissed me off. Not only that but the link to the SanDisk player on the site, also went to a SanDisk-sponsored page Anything But iPod [anythingbutipod.com] .

I can judge for myself based on the qualities and features of a player for myself, but blogs are getting more and more worthless every day since big media will simply continue to masquerade with a false list of "satisfied customers" for everyone to see. A previous employer of mine has actually added astroturfers to their PR team that do nothing but spam forums with their excellent experience with the product they secretly happen to sell.

sigh...

Re:More Info: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457034)

Astroturf abounds.

Slashdot is currently stacking high with panels of fake grass purchaced by Nintendo to hype the Wii.

Blogs and forums are filling up with this kind of crap.

The lesson here: Just because "1337RadicalD00d" on totallynotshilling.com says it, doesn't mean it's true, nor does it even mean that he believes what he's saying.

Re:More Info: (0, Troll)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457151)

Any company that advertises its products by calling users of other products derogatory names automatically has a major hit against it in my book. Calling Ipod users "iSheep," "iChimps," "iHerd," etc. is counter productive. "Hi! We're the company that slings around insults like 6-year-olds. We can't really compete with the iPod so we'll just resort to name calling." Yep, that's an intelligent way to win fans. Just because negative campaigns *barely* work in politics doesn't make them good business practices.

I just wanted to add that Apple does poke fun at its competitors in its ads but in a much more subtle and light-hearted way. There really is a big difference in these new anti-iPod ads and what Apple does in their ads.

Re:More Info: (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457297)

That's a good point, like with their new "I'm a PC" "I'm a Mac" ads, they still make it clear who's cool, but they don't really argue that you can't do things on a PC... you just don't want to.

Re:More Info: (3, Insightful)

siegesama (450116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457182)

Slightly off-topic, but I'd like to mention (regarding your search for Ogg alternatives to iPod) that Rockbox runs awesome on my 5G iPod. Originally I would have preferred that apple would have stepped up and provided the Ogg support on its own, but the features and UI of Rockbox are actually better than the stock Apple firmware. There are some bugs and missing features to contend with (lack of video playback), but if necessary you can have rockbox boot back to the original firmware!

Re:More Info: (3, Informative)

ElGuapoGolf (600734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457200)


Anythingbutipod.com is not a sandisk site. They're an independent site that reviews MP3 players, as long as they're not iPods.

Yuck. (4, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456941)

"'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod. To do so is to fight Apple on their own terms.'"

"Fighting Apple on their own terms," they say? I see it as more of a "sinking to their level."

Re:Yuck. (1)

ppz003 (797487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457052)

"'SanDisk is the first company to market its player as an ideological rather than technological alternative to the iPod. To do so is to fight Apple on their own terms.'"

"Fighting Apple on their own terms," they say? I see it as more of a "sinking to their level."


Well, you do have to go to where most of the potential customers are, don't you?

So why not do it themselves (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456946)

and make it their core? This is the best way to get things moving.

Who's the sheep? (4, Funny)

deltagreen (522610) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456951)

Don't be a sheep and copy everyone else. Be an individualist and buy a completely unique looking MP3-player that resembles nothing else [sandisk.com] :-P

Re:Who's the sheep? (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457185)

Now your post is pretty funny.

Sad individual who needs to get with the program (2, Interesting)

kindbud (90044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15456973)

Their propaganda site www.idont.com used to have a message when you logged in with Javascript disabled that said "You're a sad individual who needs to get with the program." Really. This message was surrounded by a bunch of slogans like "Think For Yourself" and "Resist Conformity."

They've changed it to say "This site requires Flash and a sense of humor" but I thought the earlier message was a lot more funny.

Is it just me... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457011)

Or does this article stink like a press release?

the campaign is quite hysterical (4, Insightful)

X_Caffeine (451624) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457028)

Since it has that sort of stink of knee jerk "anti-corporate subversion" advertising (see David Foster Wallace's E Plurabus Unam), it fails to astroturf. The graphic mentally reinforce "ipod ipod ipod ipod" in the viewers subconscious. In the end, it just makes you feel sorry for all of Apple's competitors.

Re:the campaign is quite hysterical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457266)

I believe there was an advertising idea which basically said "never mention your competitors name, it just reaffirms in the consumer's mind that your product is inferior." While I didn't see Sandisk actually using the iPod name, using the lower case i followed by capitalized Word is close enough.

Sure, you might be able to sway a couple people, but you end up losing more potential customers than gaining them.

who's the ape? (1)

matthewcharles2006 (960827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457051)

The article also talks about SanDisk's subversive new anti-iPod advertising campaign which calls iPod owners 'iChimps' and uses a 'street graffiti style' to create the illusion of a 'counter-culture uprising against the iPod'.

Their argument that iPod users are chimps would be a tad more convincing if, when seeking evoke urban street style 'counter-culture', they didn't turn to the same method every other ad agency does: aping Shepard Fairy's decade old Obey posters.

I don't get it... (3, Insightful)

craigtheguru (919530) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457053)

Siding with Microsoft and a conglomeration of other Plays For Sure companies sure sounds like stickin' it to the man and independent thinking to me! *shakes head*

It is obvious that these companies don't get it. Instead of trying to compete by offering a compelling and highly integrated product they've moved on to what is essentially name calling. Next they'll say that every time you buy an iPod Jesus cries and kittens die.

Just produce a must-have product and the sales will take care of themselves! Until that time I'll keep buying iPods because that is what iPod+iTunes is!

Misdirected? (1)

manx801 (698055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457058)

I'm not sure how mocking ipod owners in this way will entice potential ipod buyers into opting for something different. In my experience, people attracted to the ipod are kind of sheep like in many ways. Those that reject (or wish to reject) sheepish behavior tend not to like ipods. So this advert campaign with likely have little effect.

Sandisk who? (2, Funny)

Infernal Device (865066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457062)

Good luck with that advertising campaign, Sandisk.

adjusts iPod earbuds for slightly more comfort. Goes back to happily munching grass ...

Re:Sandisk who? (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457241)

I wish them luck too. Afterall, calling your potential customers names is bound to work.

Variety of Models can be Confusing (4, Insightful)

abscissa (136568) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457073)

Psychologists have consistently shown that people actually prefer fewer choices to more choices. It just makes life easier and more straightforward, even though it is counterintuitive.

Part of Apple's strength is that there aren't ten trillion different models with model numbers to purchase, only 3 that come in difference sizes. Has anyone seen Creative's lineup of MP3 players? They have an MP3 player for every occasion.

Copying one part of Apple's marketing strategy alone is not sufficient to match their unparalleled marketing genius.

Re:Variety of Models can be Confusing (1)

Budenny (888916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457204)

"Copying one part of Apple's marketing strategy alone is not sufficient to match their unparalleled marketing genius." No, you have to work very hard at it, and first acquire 15% of a growing market, and then figure out some way to get steadily down to 2%, while having your fans cheer all the way and proclaim your unparalleled growth and extraordinary marketing genius. There may not be room for two of these in the world.

They don't support OGG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457087)

They are all anti-iPod-ideology but they don't support OGG format...

On Apple's Terms (4, Interesting)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457093)

Apple's terms haven't been popularity, "counter-culture" or anything else. Yes, that's helped, a lot, but the biggest thing about it is it is easy. It's a music player. Nothing more. It's not a strange new fangled USB device that connects to the computer in some weird way, and you have to load weird software and jump through hoops to get it to work. Apple integrated everything it could, made it as simple as your CD player, and then sold it.

It's cool for geeks to have an iPod cuz they're expensive, but for most of the world, iPods work. I've known people who have bought most others and spent days figuring it out. With an iPod you go home, install iTunes, rip a CD, plug it in(or sit it in the dock) and that's it. You don't have to click through 15 menus to copy music over, you just connect it with the computer and it does the rest for you.

Not trying to sound like an Apple Fanboy here, but it looks like SanDisk is only targeting geeks with this. The counter culture thing is cool, but when you tell your friends you're gonna go get a sandisk whatever it's called, they'll say "Oh, that's really hard to use. I just sold mine on ebay and got an ipod" what's all that counter culture crap gonna do for you?

I don't say this to say "Apple Forever!" I'm saying that everyone else needs to make it simple. I'm tired of calls from friends and relatives who got an MP3 player and can't get it to work, the others I tell to get an ipod and poof, no trouble. Just cuz you have an MP3 player doesn't mean you know what an MP3 is, what a computer is, or how or why the CPU is not the big black box that everything plugs into with the Dell logo.

Re:On Apple's Terms (1, Insightful)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457242)

It's not a strange new fangled USB device that connects to the computer in some weird way, and you have to load weird software and jump through hoops to get it to work

Uh, the iPod may have some strength but what you described is the iPod. 99% of all mp3 players you just connect to your computer and put your music on. No software required, no hops to make them work, and they work everywhere (on any OS) as long as you bring the USB cable. The iPod on the other hand does require software to be installed. And it won't function properly without it.

Re:On Apple's Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457279)

"It's not a strange new fangled USB device that connects to the computer in some weird way"

"and you have to load weird software and jump through hoops to get it to work."

iTunes? So my ogg and FLAC files will play on there no problem?

I'm sorry, I'll stick with my USB Mass Storage based players, no special drivers, no special software, any OS, just use the standard file managment tools (Windows Explorer, Finder, cp, etc.)

It's the prefix (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457117)

Apple got its position due to a catchy and flexible prefix: 'podcast', 'podslurp', pod-anything.

Definitely not taking them through price... (2, Interesting)

guice (907163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457124)

0.o

Sansa(TM) e270 MP3 Player 6GB Price: $279.99
Sansa(TM) e260 MP3 Player 4GB Price: $229.99
Sansa(TM) e250 MP3 Player 2GB Price: $179.99

A bit high there. My music collection won't even fit on their highest end product. Not to mention any videos you might want to load. They do realize it takes a little bit more than direct attacks against "the fad" to gain customers over.

Their right but (4, Insightful)

Coeurderoy (717228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457166)

Currently the SanDisk line required Window XP and WMA 10+
So let's say it's tito raging against staline, or Franco against Musolini.
If they offer a rockbox version and find some distributors willing to support music and video distributions in some open format i'll be able to aplaud.

Right now I'll keep my PMA400 (archos PDA+Player Linux based :-))

SanDisk Baits Apple.... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457190)

The only problem is that they're not masters at it.

:-D

Audible (1)

Midnight Warrior (32619) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457211)

Perhaps they'll help get Audible out into the open with their proprietary codec. Doubt it though Audible everyone shuts down everyone who posts tranfer methods from their proprietary format to MP3. Sorry, no links since those get taken down too (i.e. GoldWave)

just about marketing? (1)

General Lee's Peking (954826) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457218)

Whoever wrote the article, as well as many people in this forum, seems to believe that the success behind the iPod is merely or at least mostly about marketing. Even though the iPods are not the most impressive players out there with respect to either technology or price, I have to disagree with the pure marketing theory. There is also the question of support. The iTunes software is an extremely easy and convenient interface for a computer to the iPod. Furthermore, buying music off of the iTunes music store is far more convenient than ripping it from a CD, especially if you don't really ever plan to play the physical CD after buying it. And it takes a lot for a company to make something like the iTunes music store available.

That being said, the SanDisk might be a better choice for CD pack rats such as myself, but I don't feel most people seeking convenience are going to feel the same way.

illegal in the EU? (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457247)

Are they allowed to do this kind of aggressive marketing in the EU? I thought there were tough laws that prevented direct comparissons between products or "xxx is 10% better than yyy".

SanDisk only supports Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457255)

...so much for being a rebel against the iPod hegemony if you use a Mac or a Linux box. Apparently, you can only be a Rebel(tm) against the iSheep(tm) if you run Windows.

All the wrong cues (1)

bakayoko (570822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457273)

"The stencilled graphics and ancient typewriter font give the impression of an underground movement against cultural homogenisation. But visit the idont.com Web site espoused by the ads and you'll uncover a different story. Far from a triumph of AdBusters or a campaign financed by Naomi Klein converts, these posters are actually SanDisk's new marketing campaign."

Uh... Underground movement against cultural homogenisation? AdBusters? Naomi Klein?

They seem to be taking their cues from some really effective and successful campaigns.

Recipe for an iPod (1)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457293)

1 part - Good UI 1 part - Stylish and different hardware 1 part - Integration to computers and music store 1 part - Marketing

Never say things you will regret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15457317)

never say things you cant take back.

Apple shouldn't complain (2, Insightful)

m874t232 (973431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15457341)

Apple has made a career out and a fortune out of portraying their competitors as evil and dominating, and people who buy their competitors' products as boring and conforming. It is only fair that when Apple dominates a market, others do the same thing to them.
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