By Casey Lynn
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
In the late 80s, Sony marketed a series of small-scale electronics intended for kids under the name “My First Sony.” They were plastic, bright colors, and with big buttons. I had a “My First Sony” walkman. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still in my parents’ attic somewhere (though I’d probably be hard-pressed to find a cassette tape to play in it).
Well, apparently the gadgets-for-kids movement is starting up again, though not with Sony this time; instead, it’s Crayola, with a line of kiddie tech products, including an MP3 player. It runs on batteries, holds 2GB of music, and comes with stickers. I think it’s a great idea, myself, and I can’t help but wonder if this is going to be the next big thing–like when gadgets makers started cranking out pink digital cameras and sparkly cell phones. If this Crayola thing takes off, I predict that Sony will be reviving the “My First” line. Maybe Apple will even make a kid-friendly iPod.
Still, parents may run into a problem when getting this MP3 player for their kids, especially if they’re iPod/iTunes users. After all, even the new DRM-free iTunes music store hasn’t solved the interoperability problem–i.e., those DRM-free MP3s might not work on the kiddie’s shiny new MP3 player. Maybe this will lead to My First Illegal File-Sharing Site?