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Not to beat a dead horse, but now Bill Gates is piling on the iPod as well (which, for those counting, puts me in agreement with former RIAA president Hilary Rosen and Microsoft, two constituencies with which I have long been at odds).

Eric Hellweg, one of my writers, and I had a debate with Technology Review editor Wade Roush on just this subject. There is an ever-shrinking minority of people, it seems, who believe the iPod’s success will continue – at least at its current market share. As cell phone makers continue to pump out more powerful tools (such as Nokia’s coming phone which stores 3,000 MP3s), it’s probable that mobile technologies – at least those with audio – will shrink into one device.

I do there can be a case made that video devices like the Sony PSP will remain as stand-alone products in the near future, but even they will likely be migrated into the audio devices as hard drives get bigger and battery drain issues are solved.

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