The WSJ is reporting that Dell may be back in the game as soon as September with a player that is currently being referred to as “The Zing”. Zing is a company that Dell bought not too long ago that helps users discover new music. So with that its assumed that Dell’s new player will be tied to a music downloading subscription like service.
Dell’s last MP3 player episode was back in 2003 with a few of their own MP3 players ODMed by Creative, but was relatively unsuccessful. The details on the new player are a mystery to me, but I would tend to lean towards the Zing not doing so well. The market is crowded and no one seems to be interested in a wireless music service.
Dell announced today that it will be acquiring privately held Zing Systems with plans “…to continue improving the entertainment experiences…” Those unfamiliar, Zing is a software and service that helps device users find new music , share playlists, and add more functionality to audio streams. It is a sort of semi-social music discovery system. That’s the best way I can describe it without putting a device that uses Zing into your hands. Zing’s latest infiltration is the Sansa Connect which uses Zing to create automatic genre or artist playlists though its Wi-Fi connection.
Dell ditched their MP3 players some time ago, but could this mean they are getting back into the portable audio game?
Although an official announcement has yet to be made, several places (including Wikipedia) are reporting that Dell discontinued its 512MB DJ Ditty flash player last week and that nothing but error messages abound when searching for the device on the company’s online store.
Well, Dell must have caught wind of the reports and mistook the spike in traffic as renewed interest, because it is in fact still selling the players. The DJ Ditty website now redirects you to Dell’s main mp3 player section, where the Ditty and a handful of accessories can be accessed (and subsequently purchased) through the sidebar.
Production of the players may have come to an end, but you can still get yours – if only for posterity – for $58 (w/90-day service) or $69 (w/1-year advanced exchange service)…at least for now.
[iLounge | Dell]
Dell has officially discontinued its hard drive based line of MP3 players, but will still continue to sell the flash based DJ Ditty. The reason for Dell’s decision is due to the pressure from the market, but more specifically it is the fact that they failed to offer something innovative to distinguish themselves from the rest of the market. The Dell DJ Jukebox was a decent player; they just failed to compete as far as features and price.
Two things about the DJ Jukebox I really enjoyed was the dedicated volume buttons and the tactile controls. These features were a product of their own consumer research, but that was as far as they went. After that, the Jukebox was neglected and research was ceased.
Dell could have produced something great, if they had actually progressed the DJ Jukebox with the needs and demands of the rapidly changing market. They have a captive PC buyer audience and the money to continue the innovation of their hard drive based line of MP3 players.
[Statesman] thanks Davin
Dell has recently pulled the pages for the DJ20 and DJ30 MP3 players from their web site. More than likely this is a clue to the new device they will be unveiling at CES 2006.
The player will have a color screen and XM satellite radio features; this meaning that it will not have built in XM reception but rather downloadable XM content while in the docking station. Sorry not XM time shifting or cool things like that; the copyright people would throw a fit. More to come…
[Dell via DAPReview]