By Richard Menta 10/04/05
OK, I'll say it once because everyone else online is. "Hey, what kind of Mickey Mouse player is this"! There, are you happy. My goodness, Disney takes the risky iPod wannabe plunge, but just look at those cute little ears on the control pad.
Maybe it's not so risky as Disney is targeting the under 10 year old market or the iPod on training wheels set (how many puns can I squeeze out of here boys and girls). The players are called the Digital Mix Sticks and Disney plans to pre-load these units with music from the teen artists it records and pushes on Disney radio and TV (thus making it a promotional vehicle also, a smart idea). The players come with 128MB of memory and are expandable with memory cards called Mix Clips that carry full-length albums from Walt Disney Records. The slot reads regular SD/MMC cards, so users can expand the memory with up to 1GB of their own MP3/WMA tunes.
Disney Digital Mix Sticks
The cost for the player is $49. Mix Clips albums will be priced the same as regular CD, forcing the owner of a broken Mix Stick and a lot of Mix Clip albums not to trade up to big boy players. Disney got that idea from Apple and the way iTunes locks users into the iPod. The units look rugged and simple, perfect for you little monste...err...child.
The reason Disney is even getting involved with small electronics like this is because the world is changing and so are our little tykes. It seems that kids graduate from Donald Duck to cell phones much earlier than they did just a few years ago and as USA Today recently pointed out Disney has much more competition for the dollars offered by the small child market.
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The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon