10:39 AM

Mossberg goes for the PMC jugular

by Doug Millison for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

Influential tech writer Walter Mossberg slams the Portable Media Center, a Microsoft design implemented by Samsung, Creative Labs and iRiver, in today's Wall Street Journal.

Readers won't have to search for Mossberg's hard truth, which comes in paragraph two of his Personal Technology column:

It's too early to know which of those fates awaits the latest premature tech device: the handheld, hard-disk-based video player. But one thing is certain. It's not ready for prime time yet.

After describing some details of his experience with the Samsung and Creative Labs versions, Mossberg makes the kind of statement almost unheard of in the business press about a potential advertiser's products:

Based on my tests, I can't recommend either player for mainstream, nontechie users. This is not so much because of the design of the players themselves. It's because there's so little video content available to play on them, and Microsoft's software does a poor job of transferring commercial content to the players.

Mossberg's conclusion is equally blunt, pointing non-geek readers to an alternative if they must put some sort of expensive consumer electronics gadget underneath the Christmas tree this year:

So unless you're a techie or a hopeless gadget freak, stay away from the Portable Media Centers for now. If you want a portable video device, you're better off buying a portable DVD player. They can be bought for half the price or less, come with larger screens, and are able to draw from an almost unlimited selection of content.


Portable Media Center Is the Wrong Choice For Nontechie Users by Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal

What's the story? Doug Millison also edits OnlineJournalist.org, "on a need-to-know basis"