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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
4/16/2009
10:01 AM
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A New Twist On Player Wars

A company called doubleTwist offers a free, single media platform to support all of your music players, cell phones, cameras, mobile game devices, and any other transfer challenge of getting digital stuff onto or off of your computer. It's a big idea.

A company called doubleTwist offers a free, single media platform to support all of your music players, cell phones, cameras, mobile game devices, and any other transfer challenge of getting digital stuff onto or off of your computer. It's a big idea.Think for a moment about the number of unique software tools that come with the devices you own: each gizmo has its own tool that works differently than the others, and they look different, too. Sometimes, I can get one to do a few things (I use Apple's iPhoto to support my Kodak camera uploads and downloads, for instance), but I'm still stuck using a different program to manage my digital music. My daughter's phone requires its own software. I regularly forget where downloaded video gets stored on my hard drive. And I have no idea how to get things to or from our PSP.

So I think there's a functional need for a centralized, seamlessly easy way to move digital content across all devices. And, from a branding perspective, this raises an intriguing question for which I don't have an answer: should CE brands care?

The devil is in the details when it comes to the messy business of transferring stuff. I've written in the past about my difficulties getting email on my mobile phone, and I've silently fumed as I couldn't burn a DVD of a movie file that had no obvious DRM limitations. However brilliantly various companies are able to deliver branded products and services -- Apple, Microsoft, Sony, yadda yadda -- it seems that they tee-up just as many conflicts and inconsistencies when it comes to moving your digital content from one to the other.

None of them have actively (or aggressively) taken responsibility for these inconsistencies, yet when I can't get my email on my branded phone, for example, I blame that brand, even if there's some good reason why the brand isn't at fault.

Frankly, I'm surprised that this reality hasn't moved the leading CE businesses to build interoperability into everything they sell, or to agree on some shared standard for function and format. So instead, it took an independent provider to hatch a solution.

I can't attest to whether doubleTwist is the answer, but I'm going to test how it addresses my next transfer question.

Jonathan Salem Baskin writes the Dim Bulb blog and is the author of Branding Only Works On Cattle.

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