So what does the future hold for Digital Music Players? ECommerce Times posed this question to some of industry insiders and came up with some predictable and one unpredictable answer. Rio vice president Kevin Brangan in an interview with E-Commerce Times says that the current marketplace is 80 percent flash players and 20 percent hard drive players — and he that ratio is unlikely to change in the near future. Like him, others expect the players to get smaller and have longer battery lives.
“If you go from a 1.8-inch drive to a 1-inch drive,” he said, “you could save 60 to 70 percent of your power consumption based on form factor alone,” Hyder Rabbani, president and COO of music-player manufacturer Archos remarked. Gateway executives expect to see players come with preloaded content in the future. What you’re going to see soon are players that come with preloaded content,” Rick Grienzewic, Gateway’s director of digital audio, told the E-Commerce Times and added, “New digital rights management will allow you to do that, and I think it’s going to be big.”