By Richard Menta 11/20/06
Last month Creative performed a dirty little trick. In an effort to cull favor with the record industry, the MP3 player maker included code in its last version of its firmware update numbered 1.50.02 that disabled the FM record feature on already sold portables. The move was met with considerable uproar in the DAP community, including a ruling of "Not Acceptable" from MP3 Newswire on its player line. Now Creative has reversed course and reinstated the disabled feature in a new firmware update.
As we said in our prior article on the subject, selling a device promising an array of features and then removing those features after the sale is both misguided and wrong. What if Ford used a software update to intentionally disabled the air conditioning on your car during your next service? You paid extra for AC and now it is being taken away. Such a consumer practice is folly and Creative should have known better.
Samsung YP-K5 is available on Amazon
What may be proving to be the biggest folly of all is trying to be friendly to a record industry that encourages such acts. As Paul Resnikoff eloquently wrote on Digital Music News the relationships with a major label can quickly turn from a hand shake to a middle finger. Microsoft's decision to create a label-friendly DAP may have undone Zune whose sales are weak under significant criticism from the digerati.
That the major labels may simply be an unwise choice for business partners is one message that is being telegraphed in the ever-evolving digital music space.
Other MP3 stories:
Zune Opening Sales Good, but Not Great
iPod Killers for Christmas 2006