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Al Williams

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Cult of the iPod

March 29, 2010

I know its futile, but I have never been one to jump on a trend. That TV show that "everyone" is watching? I haven't seen it. That hot new movie? Didn't see it either. Even my cars tend to the unusual (I had an Isuzu Impulse if you remember those and even today I have a hardtop convertible).

So it might not surprise you that I don't own an iPod or an iPhone. Yes, I'm the one. Don't get me wrong. I have many devices that will play MP3s. My Blackberry, my GPS, my Dell Axim PDA, and and old Archos I bought from Woot. I just don't have an iPod.

However, years as a consultant has taught me one thing: I'm not typical and if you want to make money you need to play typical. That's why even though I really love Unix (and, by extension, Linux) nearly all of my software books have been about Windows. So while I'm not especially fond of the iPod myself, I fully understand that the rest of the world thinks they are indespensible and miraculous.

That's why I noticed a news release from Microchip today that they have three development kits aimed at people developing accessories for the iPod and iPhone. The press release link, unfortunately, doesn't really tell you much other than you need to apply to Apple to be a developer to find out more (maybe that's one reason I don't like the iPod/iPhone and its relatives). You can presume the three kits probably target Microchip's 8-, 16-, and 32-bit families. The release also mentions you get access to a no-cost software library to "support the development of accessories for iPod and iPhone." But, I guess, only if Apple lets you join the club.

Regardless, I'm sure this is huge market, and if you are looking to invent the next mass market sensation, it might be worth trying to dig out what's in these kits.

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