Remember the DJ Ditty? It’s OK: not many people do. The DJ Ditty line was Dell‘s early effort to kill the iPod by offering its own portable music player. Most people know how that worked out: here and there, you’ll still find a couple people who have heard about the iPod, but Dell discontinued the DJ Ditty line in mid-2006. When Dell acquired Zing Systems back in August 2007, speculation began that Dell might re-enter the personal media player market…although, to date, all the company has managed to do is offer to pre-load selected CinemaNow movies on new computers. However, Zing does provide the systems underlying some SanDisk media players and the Sirius Stiletto.
Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting (subscription required) Dell has decided not to bring its rumored new personal media player to market in time for the 2008 holiday season. Although no product details have been announced, industry scuttlebutt has consistently had Dell working on a sub-$100 player that could tap into online music services like Napster (recently acquired by Best Buy) and (maybe) Real Networks’ Rhapsody.
Instead, the Wall Street Journal says Dell plans to launch Zing-based media management software application, which—like Apple’s iTunes—would enabled users to organize and manage downloaded music and video on their PCs, and (very likely) tap into partners’ online music stores. Although Dell seems an unlikely player in the digital media management market, the company’s leading share of the U.S. PC market could make the application serious competition to iTunes…particularly if it can work with Apple’s iPod media players.