Why is the industry so lame?

I'm a 40+ audiophile who just can't understand why the industry is so tied to the past. Countless audio manufacturers will eventually go the way of the buggy makers if this continues. Consider:

In 1998 the Diamond Rio was introduced and Diamond was sued by the RIAA.
In 2001, the Ipod was introduced and it held 1000 songs.
In January 2003 Flac was introduced.
In 2003, Sonos was founded.
In November 2003 the Squeezebox was introduced.
In April 2004 Apple introduced its own lossless codec.
In 2005, Apple sold over 20MM Ipods for the first time.
In December 2007, Apple sells its 125 Millionth Ipod.

As we head into 2008, this is where the industry finds itself:

A growing number of mfrs now have proprietary Ipod docks to enhance their revenues to the tune of $100-300.

Krell now has a dock dubbed the KID that includes a preamp for about $1300. Matching power amp TBD.

The vast majority of preamplifiers have no DAC or DAC option.

Bryston and Naim have integrated DAC's into one of their integrated amplifiers (Bryston's is an option).

Only Outlaw has a 2 channel receiver with built-in DAC.

Rather than seeing the emerging new technology as something to be embraced the entire industry seems to regard it as something to ridicule. Sure, not everyone wants a DAC in their amp but how many are buying $2500 CD transports these days or even $1000 phono cartridges.

When will the industry wake up and smell the coffee?
Audiophiles should make a truce with pro sound hardware, which I think will be around for a while. The latest pro sound units are darned good, and, incedentally, do not carry absurd prices. The technology is the same as audiophile gear...certainly closer than the consumer products that people have mentioned above.

I use several pieces of pro sound hardware and find them all very satisfactory...something that I cannot say about lots of audiophile equipment I have owned.

Behringer DEQ2496 equalizer (3)
Ashly electronic crossover (2-way four channel)
CarverPro ZR1600 amps (3)
To second Eldartfords point - much of the early work was done in the pro/semi-pro audio space. Think of the Apogee DAC, the Waveterminal U24 USB to SPDIF box which vanished and Blue Circle is now emulating and on. These are tools and the people who make the best tools that meet the needs of their customers win...

FWIW - several years ago I proposed the idea of running a USB port into a very high profile US mfgrs CD player to leverage the owners investment in the internal DAC... to say nothing of the cables, isolation and other tweaks... still waiting. Meanwhile I no longer have a CDP
Ckrody: Isn't the Benchmark 1 derived from or in fact a piece of pro gear?

My CDP is gone now too... sniff sniff.
Mrtennis, following your logic that "technical progression=sonic degradation," does my great grandfathers old Victrola blow away today's systems? Does my 1972 Ford Pinto better my Honda Civic? etc. etc.

I've owned an Ipod for four years now so I'm not arguing for/against a product I'm unfamiliar with. I copy my CD's to my iPod in WAV format to avoid the audible problems evident with compression, but the iPod still isn't all that great sounding. Like you I'm 46 years old; I also work in semiconductors so the technology thing isn't a foreign concept either.

There are many that will argue digital is finally as good as analogue, no one will argue it's better (for what it's worth a decent analogue rig still stomps any digital source I've ever heard). And when I say digital source material I'm referring to store bought music in uncompressed format, not the "lossless" or "lossy" compression techniques that are used by Apple and others.

My reference point is my analogue front end, followed by several quality CDP's (feel free to browse my virtual systems), iPod doesn't even come close to even my kid's systems for sound quality.

You feel that high-end companion products ought to be offered up by the likes of ARC, BAT, CJ, etc.. The fact is you can't fix problems downstream: Garbage in, garbage out. Why create "music-first" products when the source is compromised from the get-go?

So.... some value ease of use, others will go the extra step because quality matters to them. Audiophiles are passionate about their music and as such, we forego convenience.