The Prism might be the strangest marketing ploy since the introduction of limited edition colored vinyl records. Despite the "markety" nature, seeing people break from common music distribution paradigms is always exciting. In this case, we have a solid cube which encases digital storage that contains 12 tracks and provides a minimalistic, analog user interface. Sound, as far as I can tell from the equally minimalistic documentation, is pumped through a mini headphone jack. Not sure if there is an internal speaker.
Beautiful? Not sure. Different? Yes. Functional? TBD, but I'll not be the one putting down my $40 to make that determination.
It is literally a boxed set but figuratively speaking, leaves a little to be desired. For $40 one might expect more than 12 tracks - espeically given the fact that much of the included music is available for free from the artists via SoundCloud.
Things The Prism really should include:
- 100% exclusive tracks: given that you cannot easily remove the music from the box, this would go a long way to drive up the feeling of exclusivity and therefore, value.
- At least 30 tracks.
- A small LCD or multi-segment display to show the artist and track names.
- A "random" function.