Are MP3 Players Too Focused on Storage?

The BBC has a very interesting article on their website about the sound quality of MP3 players or rather the fact that very few buyers and manufacturers talk about that aspect of the players. Here’s a taste:

When did you last read anything about an MP3 music player that mentioned the quality of the sound it reproduces?

You’ll find size, storage capacity, the type of music files played, even the pastel colour it’s available in mentioned in advertisements and reviews, but chances are that sound quality won’t get a look in.Having bought an iPod and returned it I would have to agree.

Yes that’s right, the super cool but ubiquitous iPod actually sounds bad frankly. I bought one and was very, very dissapointed; so much so it went back after just two days.

It seems that Apple have taken form too far with the iPod and forgotten about function.

The iPod has no bass and low volume. This means that you need to use the bass booster equaliser setting all the time so that when you turn the iPod up to an acceptable volume (music heard over commuting background noise) it distorts terribly.

I’m no expert but it seems to me that the iPod hardware cannot cope; I suspect that the headphone amplifier just isn’t up to the job.

So with this being the case I am amazed how well the iPod sells; does nobody listen to it or is a generation brought up on compressed CD production and even more compressed pop radio unable to tell whether something sounds good? I have to assume that they think it does sound good or maybe the lure of the coolness factor is too high.