Microsoft have stirred up the portable device market with their revamped Media2Go platform: the Portable Media Centre, which is itself a portable extension of the Media Centre. To date there are two manufacturers that support the platform and the focus of both is a video centric experience. The devices themselves are nice enough but they aren’t going to start eating into iPod sales any time soon. Firstly they are significantly larger, secondly they are pretty pricey, and thirdly they are an entirely different proposition. Viewing video entertainment is not a passive activity and requires some one to be stationary, if serious injury is to be avoidedðŸ˜‰
But that doesn’t mean that they don’t represent opportunity for record labels. If used with a music video subscription service (such as Sweden’s Music Brigade) they could present a distinct proposition for music fans. Whilst walking, running etc the device could be used for purely audio playback but when sat on a train or bus it could be used to view music video clips, to replay last night’s TV chart show or to view a copy of a DVD live concert.
So there are potential uses, but the size, cost and lack of legitimate content suggest that the opportunities in the music space will lie in the longer term.