iPod Co-Creator Helps iPod Competitor

One of the people responsible for the iPod UI (and no, it wasn't an Apple Computer employee) has jumped shipped to rival MP3 maker Samsung to help that company create an alleged iPod killer. Paul Mercer, a cofounder of the company Pixio, which designed the iPod UI for Apple, has helped Samsung create its latest MP3 player, the Z5. Due in March, the Samsung Z5 will feature a UI that rivals that of the iPod for simplicity and ease of use. However, unlike the iPod, the Z5 includes killer battery life (a whopping 35 hours) and—sigh—works with Microsoft's lackluster PlaysForSure initiative, and not with the iTunes Music Store. So, will the addition of Mr. Mercer to the Z5 design team give it a leg up on the iPod? No, I don't believe it will. But it's about time that some of Apple's competitors started thinking about the characteristics that make iPods superior to other MP3 players: style and integration

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