How UMDs could have succeeded.
(inspired by 'Will PSP UMD formats become useless?' by Devun_06)
Sony could have easily made UMDs a hot item in a market saturated by digital media. Before launching the PSP, or shortly after, Sony should have created external UMD players that were simply a LCD screen and a UMD - much like a mini DVD player, except smaller, much smaller. This device would cost around $49.99 (not unreasonable considering the device itself would be easy to manufacture). This would inspire people who didn't want to dish out $249 for a PSP to play movies (UMD) at a low cost. Perfect for travel, kids, etc. You get the picture.
Sony should have also been smart and not whored the rights to the UMD. Imagine what could have happened: create your own music UMDS (compatible with the mini UMD player, or external UMD audio player), but the catch is (obviously) the "custom" UMDs can't be fully supported like game UMDs, meaning no piracy would happen with the PSP. Maybe not an iPod competition, but a few million sales and a custom familiarity with UMD format.
Then, we have portable UMD players, portable UMD audio players, and then the PlayStation Portable. Finally, there would be a player, less than a deck of cards that would run UMD-Video on a TV, supporting TVs up to 30" - anything more would obviously result in low quality.
Oh yeah, and not release 100 UMDs on the PSP launch date. Why Sony did that is completely beyond me. That's like releasing 10,000 Blu-Ray movies tommorow, when obviously no one is going to buy a video that has more copies than the player itself.
I think if Sony was careful enough, they could have already made UMDs a consumer friendly asset, and would have succeeded with the format. Oh well.
What do you think Sony should have done?