Our World. Our Minutae.

Friday, September 22, 2006

New iTunes Dual Sync: Dawning of the Age of the KIOSK?

One of the new appreciated but not heavily discussed feature is the ability of the iPod now to let you buy a track from iTunes at work and when you go home, it'll sync it with your home machine - nice. Once again, a small but thoughtful gesture on making the iPod-iTunes experience seamless ... but if you really think about, this really opens the door for the dawning of the age of the iPod docking kiosk.

The possibilities are endless - instead of Starbucks setting up an expensive small-selection jukebox and a CD burner, an iMac and an ipod dock is all you need to grab a couple tracks while waiting for your order. Or your flight is delayed a couple hours, maybe grab a movie ... here is a cool Samsung-only sponsored one in Europe.

Just like the Zoom vending machines at airports & at Macy's, these kiosks could go anywhere - even inside an Apple store to teach people exactly how to order tracks!

But that's just the beginning - think of the promotional possibilities ... on college campuses, the vending machine artwork can be changed electronically to promote different artists with special pre-release tracks, music videos or featurettes.

Or like Clear Channel selling "instant" concert CD's at the end of a show - some people might prefer just to drop in their iPod and have it transferred directly ...

Or like this store in Sweden offering free iPod text recipes ...

One of the reasons iTunes sales in Europe & Asia are lower is simply that cultures are more social - that people spend more time in town squares, plaza, eating out (part of it is that the cities and towns are much smaller - and gas is much more expensive tosimply drive around) - and thus, less time at home in front of a computer. Another reason is that people are less likely to have a lot of credit cards or use them to a great extent - people are used to pre-paying monthly for their cell - so, again, having docking kiosks fits into their "norm." While out with friends, they can just drop their iPod in and grab a few tracks with a pre-paid iTunes card. Again, the promotional possibilities are almost endless.

While other companies have talked about creating an iPod docking kiosk, as we've noted ONLY Apple can sanction one - after all, Apple is not going to turn over your iTunes account info to a 3rd party and of course, unless it had the giant glowing Apple logo, you would not trust it to plug in your iPod to key in your account info.

We have already returned back to the future with the return of the Automat, now called BAMM! in NYC. And we can finally be like Japan where nearly everything can be bought via a machine.

It's not like this is some outlandish concept - it's pretty much already here ... we just have to connect the iPod connector dots ...

... You think Jonathan Ive can come up something we might like :-)