A Real Challenger to iPod

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Is the iPod too big to defeat? Countless portable players have entered the market with the intention of dethroning Apple’s reigning portable media champion, yet all of the competition still rides backseat to the iPod. Despite the odds, Broadcast Data Systems co-founders Hal Oppenheimer and Robert Uhlmann believe that PushButtonMusic, their portable media device pre-loaded with thousands of songs, has the potential to conquer the iPod.



Is the iPod too big to defeat? Countless portable players have entered the market with the intention of dethroning Apple’s reigning portable media champion, yet all of the competition still rides backseat to the iPod. Despite the odds, Broadcast Data Systems co-founders Hal Oppenheimer and Robert Uhlmann believe that PushButtonMusic, their portable media device pre-loaded with thousands of songs, has the potential to conquer the iPod.

Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) started in the ‘80s and has grown into the highly successful terrestrial radio monitoring system used by Nielsen Entertainment. Oppenheimer and Uhlmann believe that BDS has equipped them with enough knowledge to compile a selection of roughly 30,000 songs that most consumers listen to. The collection was constructed through monitoring radio airplay, social networking, purchasing patterns, and file-sharing. “Can you find something we don’t have? Yes, but we are addressing 98 percent of the market,” Oppenhemier told Digital Music News.


PushButtonMusic will allow consumers to select the music they want loaded onto their devices online before it is shipped to them. Sounds too good to be true—so what is the catch?

Uhlmann and Oppenheimer’s portable media players will be subscription-based, with initial figures looking to be around $20 per month. The device will not be iTunes compatible, a crucial obstacle PushButton will have to overcome if they want to win consumers. As of right now, iTunes is the preferred music library program for the majority of consumers. The initial, 30GB Creative Zen device launch is scheduled for July, with plans for more iPod-threatening, high-capacity players down the road.

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