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VerizonThis is a trend I think we’ll see over and over again this year with phones and the music stores carriers are going to roll out – the slow death of MP3 playback on phones, or having to have a Windows PC and Media player 10 to convert to WMA before your phone can play your music. Techdirt has a story about Verizon phones that will no longer play MP3s one upgraded to use their new music store, if customers complain they’ll get an old refurbished phone with older firmware, but it doesn’t appear that the user is warned before updating that they’ll lose their MP3 playing feature. [via] Link. (and more details here).

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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  1. DanLockton says:

    I think the trend’s even wider than that: if you look at the phone contract as a ‘product’ in itself, this is effectively the feature set of the product being reduced without the consumer necessarily being aware (and with no easy way back). Kind of like the mandated TiVo software update that put time limits on how long you could keep certain ‘premium’ content.

    This field of consumers’ behaviour being intentionally modified, restricted or controlled by the way the product or service is structured interests me quite a lot: there’s only going to be more of it, and it (potentially) has a lot of implications for ‘Makers’ as well as consumers, and, in the long term, for innovation in general.

    More on these “Architectures of Control” in design at http://architectures.danlockton.co.uk

  2. DanLockton says:

    p.s. the site also features a nice photo of MAKE magazine half-buried in the contents of my ‘electrical/electronic oddments’ box!