When you walk into Apple's new Palo Alto store, you're greeted with light (the whole place is glass), gadgets (duh), and sound.
But is it the sound of capitalism you hear above the beeps of downloaded apps and the "Never ever ever..." of downloading songs on iTunes? Or, is it the cacaphony of too much noise?
Former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gasse says it's the latter. Calling the new store "unbearably noisy," Gasse unleashed a blog post where he talked of bringing a sound meter into the store, to measure decibels.
Without getting into too much detail, suffice to say that Gasse is less than happy. As for the dozen or so Apple shoppers we spoke to as they exited the store today, opinions varied. Very few, when asked "how's the new store?" offered up anything about noise, most commenting on the glass, the hustle and bustle, or sheepishly grinning as they told us how much they spent.
When asked about the sound level, though, a few shoppers commented that it seemed noisy. None reported walking out early because of it, or shopping less in order to leave sooner.
Really, you'll have to do the research for yourself. I've been inside the new Palo Alto store a few times now. Yes, it's a noisy place. I've also been to various shopping malls with my daughters. After that experience, the new Apple store seems like a quiet afternoon in a hammock.
Scott, who really loves hammocks, is on Twitter: @scottbudman