The past 17 years I felt I saw the law and business on digital consumer video go a different way than the law and busiess on digital consumer audio. By this I mean not only the hardware prosumers buy, but the way we watch media or listen to media as well. Before Spotify there has been a series of market leaders, where as when it comes to movies and TV shows in the USA, it was really a format war until we went digital pretty much wholesale.
I read this review of the iPhone 7 and I can’t help but to think of two things:
- Lack of a headphone jack is no big deal; and
- This is a great illustration where we are at when it comes to digital mobile experience for sound versus the digital mobile experience for photography/videography
Nilay is right that the mobile photography world has been so boosted by these powerful phone cameras that it has been truly revolutionary. And it wouldn’t be fair to give Apple all the credit; tons of people have been shooting with their flip phones well before 2008, but the backend of the ecosystem have matured enough (maybe) between first media-oriented sites but now social networks with good video/audio support.
The audio world, not so much. Which is well-symbolized by some high end tech dude reviewing the latest electronics lamenting about a connector older than the floppy drive. Nilay recognizes this in this review as well, but I guess he’s not taken to this conclusion.
Because, as someone who has made two major switches in his life (one to go wireless, one to go to usb-to-go to a portable DAC…so even more wired?) when it comes to listening to music/audio on his phone (and I’ve been doing this since like 2003), the headphone jack is not really all that useful on your phone. At least that’s my opinion.
Where are all the whiners that complained about the lack of a S-video port or whatever? RCA jacks? Display port over HDMI? I don’t get it.
I guess when ethernet jacks left the building so did common sense. [Read Mossberg’s rant on this, it’s utmost stupid.]
I’m not going to get into why I feel this way, besides as someone who has been using bluetooth wireless headsets for like 8+ years. Who knows where the pain point is (it’s not sound quality or batt life, far from it). And I believe most people just don’t know/care about audio enough to justify their whine. To be fair Apple is complicit in the media blowback somewhat with their nonsense audio standard and their usual play to sell more junk that doesn’t really do anything. Maybe it’s a good reminder that an iPhone is a closed ecosystem and you’re going to hit those drawbacks. But seriously, bluetooth is plenty good. It works well. It’s not the greatest, but odds are your come-with-iPhone headsets are worse than the one you now need to shell out for to fully enjoy that Bluetooth experience.
And I feel, it really comes down to that most people just don’t care about audio that much, and those who do are stuck in their irrational ways to really offer good, rational criticism. Verge included.