Future Pods | iLounge Article

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Future Pods

Even technophiles have conceded that 2003 was not a banner year for portable gadgets. With the exception of a certain shining white star - one that sold out in stores across the world and established Apple Computer as the dominant player in the digital music industry - there wasn’t much pocket-friendly hardware to slobber over last year.

But the ever-optimistic crew at iLounge has continued to dream about the surprises Apple might have in store for the 2004 holiday season, and we wanted to share some of our thoughts with you. When you’re done reading, it’s your turn. If your creative impulses kick in, please add your comments - positive or negative - to the bottom of this article, and feel free to send us your best concept drawings or renderings for these devices, and we’ll post the best of them here.

iPod Pro | iPod 2 | iPod AV (Video iPod) | iPod mini 2

iPod Pro

Likely Features: Superior audio output, elite exterior casing, same-to-larger size, premium price tag
Likely Price: $399-$599

Though today’s iPods remain ever-so-slightly out of the mainstream user’s grasp at $299 and up, we expect that three trends (continued iPod popularity, co-branding announcements such as HP’s iPod embrace, and the release of the iPod mini) will contribute to an Apple decision to create a third iPod brand, iPod Pro. The original iPod will slowly fall in price to become Apple’s “mainstream” version of Sony’s Walkman, the iPod mini will morph to resemble either Sony’s Sports series Walkmen or a cheapie device with Nokia-style interchangeable faceplates, and iPod Pro will be aimed at DJs and higher-end “prosumer” consumers with extra cash.

The look and feel of an iPod Pro would be an evolution in class over the current iPod line, rather than a devolution, and the physical size would likely remain at least as large as current model iPods, if not return back to their predecessors’ slightly larger size. A higher-capacity battery would be the primary reason for this, although an extra chip or two might be inside the iPod Pro as well - for wireless and/or Bluetooth functionality. We’d rate the latter feature unlikely but possible.

We would imagine that iPod Pro would include a more powerful and sophisticated amplifier, with better equalizer functionality and perhaps 5.0/5.1 surround sound output. Relatively simple additions to the iPod’s playback functionality would include enhanced versions of the DJ-friendly time-scaling (speed up/slow down) and pitch adjustment features that Creative Labs has already included in its recent audio products. Our dream features would be live remixing ability to permit audio sampling, DJ-style record scratching using the scroll-wheel, and cross-fading between songs. (Truth be told, we think a second scroll-wheel for scratching and effects would be seriously cool, but highly unlikely.)

From Apple’s standpoint, and possibly for legal reasons, the biggest question mark would probably be whether to enable the iPod Pro to encode AACs or MP3s in realtime. We think true line-quality recording capabilities - a notable but probably very deliberate omission in the current iPods - would be almost mandatory for professional and prosumer users, and a feature that would nearly justify a higher pricetag. Do you agree? Disagree?

iPod 2

Likely Features: Same to Smaller-Sized Case, Enhanced RAM buffer, Modestly Superior Battery Life Augmented with Removable Battery, Enhanced Accessories
Likely Price: $249-499

Unlike an iPod Pro device aimed at wealthier consumers, the iPod 2 would be the fourth-generation version of the original iPod released in 2001, and like its predecessors, probably would not carry a “sequel” name for brand continuity reasons. Yet we would expect that this device would again change the “iPod’s” look and feel at least incrementally, and break once more from compatibility with the prior-generation iPods’ accessories in order to add increased functionality beyond current peripheral specifications.

While it’s possible that Apple would incorporate the iPod mini’s newly-integrated scroll wheel with buttons into the iPod 2, we’re not yet sure that will happen. We feel significantly more comfortable assuming that the device’s primary innovations will relate to its battery performance, which is today the subject of serious concern - and even lawsuits. The next-generation iPod will most likely switch to a user-replaceable proprietary battery that will be supplied (at a $39-49 price tag) by Apple, though the question of how to smartly integrate this into the chic iPod casing remains open. We suspect that Apple will develop a small, detachable rear panel rather than allow users to slide off or pry open the entire back of the iPod; Creative Labs’ recent implementation of a detachable front panel for battery replacement was a welcome functional addition to its Zen NX and Xtra players, but cheapened the device’s aesthetic in a way Apple wouldn’t tolerate.

The iPod, however, has two battery problems: the duration it can play before requiring recharging, and the number of recharges the battery will take before dying. Problem number two is fatal, but problem number one is also serious. Apple will probably consider doubling the current RAM buffer of the iPod in order to reduce hard disk access, thereby extending the apparent life of the battery. Unfortunately, real-life usage problems including randomized play, fast-forwarding, and higher-than-average bitrate recording would continue to create problems for the iPod’s too-tiny battery capacity, which pales by comparison with Creative Labs’ 12-14 hour Zens - and unlike the iPods, Zens actually meet their promised running times. We would therefore hope for, but not expect, a legitimate increase in the iPod’s actual battery capacity, preferably by filling more of the iPod’s case with a larger battery and reducing the size of its circuit board, or by cutting the power consumption of its components. (Some people might even be willing to see a return to the older case size in exchange for a larger battery.)

Accessories will become an increasingly important part of Apple’s iPod strategy going forward, both from an Apple first-party development standpoint and from a third-party licensing standpoint. Though Apple misstepped with their recently released bud-style In-Ear Headphones, as pressure builds on the company to reduce the price of the iPod hardware, Apple will try to sell additional items to help pad their per-device profits.* We would expect a more sophisticated remote control to be under development, most likely including a small but useful LCD screen with limited menu navigation functionality, and we would not be surprised if Apple was preparing Bluetooth or other wireless support for the iPod 2, along with peripherals to take advantage of such functionality.

While some of us feel that these changes will require revisions to the existing iPod dock connector and 4-pin wired remote jack, others believe that these standards will remain the same in an iPod 2. In any case, we would hope that Apple figures out a way to enable the iPod’s remote control buttons (and on-screen/scrollwheel volume adjustment features) to communicate with the external volume controls on future dock-connected peripherals, a recent iLounge pet peeve following our use of products such as Altec Lansing’s inMotion speakers.

Just to mention it, we do not expect that the next audio iPod will include a color screen, cellular telephone features, or enhanced gaming functionality. But we hope Apple comes up with a better memory buffering technique for the next version of Music Quiz, which is brilliant other than its impact on the battery.

[* = The inclusion of most of these features in any soon-to-be-released iPod will depend significantly on how much price pressure Apple feels on the current iPod, and how well the iPod mini performs in the marketplace.]

iPod AV (Video iPod)

Likely Features: Widescreen Color LCD, Miniature Stereo Speakers, 30+ GB hard drive
Likely Price: $499-699

Years after Sony introduced the Walkman, they experimented with various iterations of the Video Walkman - clumsily large all-in-one portable TVs with 8mm tape decks built in. We’ve come a long way since then, and like Walkmen, tapes are all but a thing of the past, as high-capacity hard disks come closer and closer to becoming the default personal storage devices for audio and video - at least TV - programming.

There’s nothing to say that Apple’s first-generation portable video device will contain a hard drive, but we’re betting that it will. Frankly, even the cleanest-looking Apple-branded portable DVD player wouldn’t yield either the oohs and aahs Apple wants or the profit margins on software it really needs. (But amateur concept artists, start your engines: this could be a cool test of your design skills.)

We presently expect that Apple will sit out 2004 and let Microsoft and its partners spend their holiday budgets trying to convince people to buy third-generation recordable portable video devices. (The first generation, Video Walkmen, never took off because of price, size, and reliability issues; the second generation, fairly recent devices by Archos and RCA, lacked mass-market friendly engineering and functionality that their successors will include.) The first of the Microsoft-powered devices, Creative’s Zen Portable Media Center, captured enough positive attention at CES that Steve Jobs felt it necessary to quickly downplay their importance while impishly hinting that Apple might be working on something similar. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t yet seem to grasp (or at least admit) that the market for portable video playback extends beyond movies to include television programming and self-made video, content that consumers are allowed to record and create.

Notably, Microsoft’s Portable Media Center devices will lack a feature their predecessors included: although they can store video on their hard drives, they won’t perform live recording of video output from televisions, VCRs, DVRs or other devices. Whereas the Archos and RCA devices are capable of digitizing video directly onto their hard drives without using a computer, Microsoft’s strategy is to only enable playback of video pre-recorded by a Windows PC or Media Center PC in Windows Media format.

Given that the iPods released to date have had a similar limitation regarding audio (ignore the Belkin Voice Recorder), and similar use of a proprietary format (AAC), we suspect that Apple may well make two unfortunate choices with an iPod AV: first, they may well sell the device without built-in video digitizing in order to encourage the purchase of paid, iTunes-style movie and TV content, and second, Quicktime could be the device’s sole format (over DIVX, MPEG or other formats) in order to encourage the purchase of additional Apple software, if not Macintosh computers, to do the recording.

In our opinion, to follow Microsoft’s lead in requiring proprietary video formats and PC-based recording would be to step into a trap Apple cannot afford, regardless of its successes with iTunes. Unlike the audio market, average people legally create and record plenty of their own video content, and a device which merely plays back proprietary-format movies would miss much of the potential appeal of portable video devices. We therefore hope that the iPod AV will support realtime video digitization and non-proprietary video standards. Apple, are you listening?

iPod mini 2

Likely Features: FM Radio, Eventual Switch to Flash Memory, Different Casings, Totable Straps
Likely Price: $149-$249

Last and perhaps least are our predictions for the iPod mini 2, and if you thought we were speculating before, we’re really imagining things now: any “sequel” device may well never exist if the iPod mini dies after release. (As of today, the iPod mini looks to be an unintentionally mismarketed baby sister to the iPod, with a too-high pricetag given its significantly diminished storage capacity and its less sophisticated casing.)

While the widely rumored $50 drop in price (anticipated by Summer if not sooner) may change the iPod mini’s fortunes, we would be surprised if a smaller and only slightly cheaper 4GB iPod was really what Apple wanted when it began the unit’s design. It might have wanted an iPod primarily geared towards female consumers, it might have wanted to appeal to younger users, or it might have wanted an offering for even more mainstream “active lifestyle” users who enjoy music but don’t accumulate 20GB collections. If it was trying to appeal to all three groups at the same time, the iPod mini starts to make sense, but then, how many people fit into all three groups?

What made far more sense was Sony’s approach over 15 years ago with its Sports series of Walkmen. Don’t get us wrong - the iPod mini’s resilient brushed metal is cool, but it still doesn’t look like something active users would feel safe taking to the beach or jungle. (When Apple’s web site markets the iPod mini to people who want a “three-day weekend getaway,” we hope they’re not suggesting it for safe, quiet indoor getaways.). Water-resistant materials, shock-and-drop protection, and integrated FM radio are the sorts of features active users want, just as Sony proved with the Sports line. (We especially loved their long-discontinued but ultra-rugged “Outback” version - try an eBay search.)

On the other hand, we haven’t reviewed the iPod mini yet, and despite the device’s mixed press, younger and female buyers may actually love the current design of the iPod mini, and inspire Apple to try more ideas to appeal to those constituencies. It could follow Nokia’s lead and produce accessories such as plastic replaceable casings and tote straps, or go the higher brow route with Coach leather parts, depending on how it wants to market the next device.

The internal hardware is also open to question. Flash memory continues to drop in price while increasing in capacity, and although 1-2GB of such memory is still too pricey for Apple to include in an inexpensive iPod, we suspect that if the iPod mini series continues, that’s the direction it will go in. Given warranty and repair headaches, Apple would probably love to advertise and sell a device with zero moving parts almost as much as we’d want to buy one.

We would also imagine that Apple might be tempted to try youth-friendly features in an iPod mini 2 - anything from cellular phone capabilities to Game Boy style color screens and games. But Nokia’s recently spectacular and global flop of their all-in-one N-Gage music/gaming/phone platform should serve as a strong warning against such ambitions, and we think that Apple will be far more likely to avoid taking the next iPod mini down this road than pursue it without the necessary phone and gaming experience.

What do you think of these predictions? And what sorts of new iPods, or iPod features, would you like to see? Share your thoughts with us below!

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) is Senior Editor of iLounge. His recent book, Law School Insider was named “the best book about law school - ever,” and he continues to practice intellectual property law to the beat of the drummers on his iPod’s playlist.

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Comments

1

iPod Pro?  The iPod is pro now.  Time scaling and pitch adjustment would be nice, but I don’t think DJs want to scratch and mix on the subway, and if they do, they’ll get (already have) laptops.  Also, give me one instance where you would be able to take advantage of Dolby 5.1 coming out of an iPod, other than transfering files from place to place, which you can do now.  Line in recording would be great, but they won’t do it.

iPod 2 won’t be called iPod 2, it will be called “iPod, now with longer battery life and another 20 Gigs.” 

No way they make a video iPod in 2004, probably not in ‘05 either, and my gut feeling is never, but it might be the tunafish I ate yesterday.

Ah…  Now the iPod Mini updates I agree with.  When they can make it with 4G of flash for $250 or less, they will.  Adding FM would be sweet, but I doubt you’ll be able to record. 

My prediction, if the iPod Mini and other 1-5 G HD-based players sell well and help bring hardware prices down, we could see a $99 iPod in 18 months.

Posted by Luke on February 5, 2004 at 8:48 AM (PDT)

2

I want an iPod for the home.  Somehow, I want to play everything in my iTunes library (i.e. Protected AAC) through my home stereo without having to have a full-blown desktop computer hooked up to it.  Currently I can use an iPod but no iPod can hold my entire library.  Third-party solutions out there are nice but they don’t play tunes bought from the iTMS.  Apple either needs to come out with a product to let me do this or license these third-party companies to play Protected AAC.

Posted by hondo77 in Southern California on February 5, 2004 at 9:54 AM (PDT)

3

I already have most of the iPod Pro - but it’s called the iHP-140. Truly this is the Rolls Royce of players.

Posted by iPodPro on February 5, 2004 at 10:19 AM (PDT)

4

To Luke - DJ’s wouldn’t play (exclusively) on the subway; they are increasingly using iPods in clubs.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on February 5, 2004 at 10:46 AM (PDT)

5

“DJs” using iPods are just lame - you might as well be DJing at weddings. There is a reason real DJs use vinyl - CDs barely cut it and that’s after a decade of development of CD mixing desks.

Posted by Clubber on February 5, 2004 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

6

umm the ipod mini is not overpriced or anything, if it was then how come it has been on apple’s top seller list for weeks raspberry

Posted by Jeremy on February 5, 2004 at 12:59 PM (PDT)

7

OK, there’s a lot of talk about market share, comparison with other players etc etc…

But the only thing that’ll convince a sizable portion of the people who don’t already have an iPod is PRICE.

Make at least one version good and cheap. Dirt cheap. Like 100 to 150 max cheap.

Posted by zpok on February 5, 2004 at 4:09 PM (PDT)

8

Would there be a big enough market to justify making an iPod Pro? It doesn’t seem like DJ’s and a handful of others would buy enough Pro’s to make the endeavour profitable for Apple.

Posted by grandmasterfunk on February 5, 2004 at 4:48 PM (PDT)

9

iPod Pro

I want to be able to dump pictures straight from my digicam on there. Picture view + QT Playback but only via a video out. take it around to a friend’ s + plug it straight into the TV. I’m NOT interested in a colour screen, or viewing pictures on it. Just use it as a carrier, you just no longer need a computer to view.

Recording : Yes please, musicians would love this. But rather than a line in (which would be fairly iffy quality on something that small), allow it to record an incoming FW/USB audio stream.
An audio mag tested the 1st iPod as a portable drive with Logic Audio. They got 8 mono/12 stereo tracks live record/playback. With the higher disk densities this has probably risen. You could attach your MOTU/M-Audio interface to it & record your gig directly onto seperate tracks.

I’m not bothered about direct encoding into MP3/AAC. With 40/60G drives AIFF recording would be fine. You can always compress it back home. Doing recording this way would make it too long winded for the casual user to rip stuff, (they’d need to spend $200 on the audio i/f), while helping people who’d really find it useful (songwriters, producers, DJs etc)...

MiniPod pricing

Did a search here in the UK, Creative’s 4G Muvo Player sells for 209 (cheapest I could find), MiniPod is rumoured to be 199, though I suspect that may drop before launch here in April. Doesn’t seem ovepriced…

Posted by steveo on February 5, 2004 at 4:53 PM (PDT)

10

It would be nice to have a 5 gb player with no moving parts.  Although I have yet to skip my iPod, the skipless possibility would be a good feature.  A iPod video would also be a good product, maybe the same size as the 3 G ipods but stretch the screen across the device and have control features on top of the device.  I have the Archos media center and it is nice, I can take my divx movies with me wherever I go.  I still carry my iPod with me more than the Archos because the size of the iPod gives it more functionality.  It seems that everything Archos makes is over sized.  The Archos Jukebox (20 gb) was like carrying a brick, the video player is like carrying a few of my text books.  If Apple wants to sell more iPods then they need to make cheaper units.  I thinks the iPod mini is overpriced for just 4 gb and 8 hours playback on the battery.  Why spend $250 when most stores are offering the 3 G 10 gb iPod for $259?

Posted by NoName on February 5, 2004 at 5:15 PM (PDT)

11

The iPod and an FM radio are two entirely different products, I for one would rather have a smaller unit and more battery life than unnecessary functions. With storage getting bigger and bigger most people will have a huge selection of music without wanting to resort to the commercials and low-quality of radio. If Apple really wanted to push the boundaries they could build a digital radio into it - the circuitry in the iPod already is pretty similar - but I’m thinking of the UK perspective, with standards long set and great urban coverage nationwide. Worldwide, it would be near-impossible to implement.

In terms of a ‘sports’ version, I don’t want bulk or features on my iPod for a small minority of active users. As long as it’s shock-proof and reliable there are plenty of aftermarket solutions for waterproofing, shock absorbtion and so on. How many people own off-roaders and never take them off-road?

Posted by viracochas on February 5, 2004 at 5:40 PM (PDT)

12

Steve Jobs has said that recording video is not a task computers are ideally suited to do because multitasking would degrade the quality of the capture. With this in mind I would like to propose my own vision of a video iPod. This device would consist of two parts:

The first part would contain a colour screen, navigation buttons, DSP for decoding of video, rechargeable battery and an Airport card.

The second part would be a dock that contains a 3.5” hard drive, DSPs for live encoding of video, AV ports and another Airport card.

By un-docking the portable component, users could program the dock to record at specific times and channels. If an internet connection exists in the house, television program guides could be used to make this process more intuitive.

Once the recording is finished, the portable component could be used around the house to receive video from the dock.

Such a system would be targeted specifically at home user because that is where people are most likely to watch television and films. By separating the hard drive and AV connections from the viewing component, the battery can be made to last a long time. Long battery life is vital for any portable viewing, especially for content like sports games and films.

Due to the components needed, such a product would cost as much as an eMac. At this price the product would be ideally suited to those consumers who bought 1st and 2nd generation stand-alone DVD recorders.

It should be noted that the proposed system would be good for standard definition video due to the limitations of current components such as the AirPort cards and hard drives. In time, when AirPort becomes faster and hard drive capacities become bigger, the system could be upgraded to record and play back HDTV signals. This in turn would make it possible to split the product line into a high-end unit and a cheaper, low-end unit, much like the current iPod line.

Posted by Sol on February 5, 2004 at 8:04 PM (PDT)

13

I enjoy the overall idea of the article, certainly a better possibility than the pre-mini rumors that seemed to imply that the whole iPod line would get video capabilities. But…you seem to get a little off base about Quicktime and the video iPod. Quicktime is a multimedia architecture that provides standard OS-level means for applications to play/record/edit audio and video. It supports hundreds of media formats. The standard Quicktime file format is a wrapper that can include many codecs, some are/were exclusive like sorenson, but most are open standards. QT handles other “external” formats as is without the QT wrapper, like in the case of a .MPG file that you seem to like so much. And what is the successor to MPEG and MPEG-2? how about MPEG-4? Since QT 6 Apple as been pushing this ISO adopted open standard to be its main format. Even more so, the MPEG4 wrapper/format is heavilly based on QT’s .MOV format…

MPEG4 is looking to become the standard on 3G cellphones and Apple obvious expertise with its own format and having a tried and tested platform (QT) to play/record/edit MPEG4 content makes it the best provider for tools, but nothing prevents other companies to provide such tools. Quicktime is a given in a future Apple portable video device. And just as the iPod also plays MP3s and AIFF, I dont see Apple crippling the portable Quicktime player to only play MPEG4 files. Even if it did, MPEG4 only is still way better than WMA only. MP4 is owned by a consorsium of companies and is an ISO standard, the format is open and documented. WMA is owned by a sole company,Microsoft, wich is not just any kind of company, they happen to dominate the OS, browser and office apps market in the whole computer industry they try to do the same with their WMPlayer, WMA is a closed format that MS can change at will to break the apps that could play it on other platforms/OSes. Its easy to label both as proprietary, like it meant they were the same. MPEG and MP3 are proprietary too, using that same loose definition. The group that owns those formats dont give a damn about wich OS its media plays, nor does it have any particular interest in protecting or breaking a particular app or media player.
—continues—

Posted by buzzy beetle on February 5, 2004 at 10:03 PM (PDT)

14

—continued from last post—

As for enabling users to play their own materials on the video iPod, I dont see any context where Apple (or even MS for now) would release a player that only plays DRMed commercial media. Also average people produced homegrown music way before the Digital Video/iMovie craze, with GarageBand even more than ever. You failed to mention iMovie in the iPod AV part, did you forget about this little video editing app? If Apple releases a video iPod it would naturaly integrate with iMovie ,and probably iPhoto too for stills, so you could transfer your own home movies,including tv shows you recorded for free using a video input if you want, or even reencoded movies you got from the web.

Anyhow, just a lengthy way to say how I feel Quicktime/MPEG4 is the logical choice for an Apple portable video player.  I dare you to think otherwise after reading this article: http://www.etaiwannews.com/Business/2004/02/05/1075949225.htm

Posted by buzzy beetle on February 5, 2004 at 10:04 PM (PDT)

15

how about having the album art show on the screen?  Even if it was just a grayscale image, that’d still be cool.

Posted by art on February 5, 2004 at 11:16 PM (PDT)

16

I like the idea of a video iPod but if this video Archos already costs $900 then how much would a classier Apple version cost?

Posted by video Ipod on February 6, 2004 at 9:38 AM (PDT)

17

I’d like for Apple to include XM or Sirius satellite radio reception with on-the-fly encoding.  Might be worth a small monthly access fee.

Posted by robert on February 6, 2004 at 1:46 PM (PDT)

18

why does the iPod need to have all these things added to it. i agree that a scrathing wheel whould be cool. but it whould take away from the dj experience. blue tooth would be sweet along with a mini air port card. xm maybe…the iPod was ment to hold a gig-antic amount of songs. and for some of us its more than enough.“iPod, now with longer battery life and another 20 Gigs.” -luke. its an iPod not a replacement for your computer. if you stare at your iPod screen all day, you need a hug.  its ment to play your favorite tracks, in your ears not your eyes. “Due to the components needed, such a product would cost as much as an eMac”-buzzy beetle. iPod not iBook

Posted by sene_ncb on February 6, 2004 at 2:25 PM (PDT)

19

I never advocated adding video to standard iPod, it would be released as a separate line of product. Also we are talking about the future here, maybe 2005-2006. At one point Quicktime-on-a-chip or MP4-on-a-chip will be cheap because of its use in 3G cellphones. This chip will stream the video right of the hd to the lcd screen and to an tv output. Very cheap and low power small screens are increasingly used in cellphones.It becomes an added bonus. In one year or two, I’m guessing, the price difference to add video to an iPod-like device will be around 100$ Maybe you dont find any use about having a portable video collection that can be viewed on any tv and -previewed- anywhere on its screen (no this thing is not about watching a whole 2 hours movie on its small screen), and it all fits in your pocket, but if its sleek and simple and well integrated with software like the iPod is, it can become a must-have for many.

Also I don’t know why so many people dispite the idea of a color screen on the normal iPod. Again these things are increasingly cheap and low power. The normal music player could have the bonus of displaying still images like art cover and have the interface colored. Once you get a cheap color screen that replaces the b&w screen for about 30$ its all a matter of software wich doesnt really add to the hardware cost. If you dont add video (to the normal color iPod) you dont even have to change the processor.

Posted by buzzy beetle on February 6, 2004 at 6:48 PM (PDT)

20

i was not pointing fingers at ne one i used a quote from you saying it would cost more.  was not ment to be mean. sorry.

an ‘iPod’ for films by it self whould be kool. burn your dvds to it and be able to bring them around with you and have a screen that was like 3x5 whould be great for bus trip and stuff like that even in the back of a car.  iFilm?.  iPod for music iFilm for films.

Posted by sene_ncb on February 7, 2004 at 6:38 AM (PDT)

21

Whatever changes occur to the “next” series of iPods, when do you think, or better yet, what is Apples usual release dates for newer generation items? I am seriously interested in the next iPod. I own a 3G 40gig right now and the battery has gone to s**t in only 4 months (will not play for more than 2 hours under ANY circumstances. 

Posted by waiting is the hardest part on February 9, 2004 at 5:06 AM (PDT)

22

I heard the iPod is actually bought from the portalplayer company. When I looked at there website they have only a music player and a photo+music player.

So I think Apple will not bring out an ipod with video until portalplayer releases a video player. And they have not yet done this. So I will keep watching their website to see when they release something new.

Posted by waiting game on February 9, 2004 at 6:49 AM (PDT)

23

“I already have most of the iPod Pro - but it’s called the iHP-140. Truly this is the Rolls Royce of players.”


40 GB and only 1,200 songs? iPod Pro yea right….
sorry a** peice of sh!t

Posted by dan on February 9, 2004 at 1:11 PM (PDT)

24

ummmmmm that says 1200 hours of music, not 1200 songs.

Posted by Alpha on February 9, 2004 at 9:08 PM (PDT)

25

will there be an fm radio on the ipod 2. much needed!

Posted by joel on February 10, 2004 at 1:20 AM (PDT)

26

i like the idea of a removable battery.  i just purchased a 40G iPod this past fall and i’m already saving for the $99 price tag for a battery replacement.  i agree with sene_ncb on his arguement on why the iPod does not needs all this “excess” stuff.  i think the little white box does just fine the way it is (except for the battery of course).  i bought a powerbook two weeks ago and love how i can transfer fileusing my iPod, i’m a graphic arts student.  the only thing i would change is maybe taking the casing(only) back to the 1G style.  my buddy has a 10G 1G iPod and i feel that his is more sturdy then mine.  on a side note…what would the point be to a fm tuner?  don’t you buy cds/download music to listen to what YOU want to listen to, not what some corporate owned DJ tells you what to listen to.  what the hell is the point of having an iPod if you’re gonna listen to the radio.  go buy a am/fm tuner with a headset if you want that.

Posted by brian on February 10, 2004 at 10:23 AM (PDT)

27

Just give me longer battery power and an exterior that doesn’t scratch when I look at it the wrong way.

Removable batteries and a changeable face a la Nokia phones would be perfect.

Posted by JR on February 10, 2004 at 10:25 AM (PDT)

28

I use my mp3 player with tuner to listen to NPR. It’s also nice to record good talks and news programs off the air so I can listen to them later. Also drama. Not everyone is interested exclusively in listening to pop songs or cheesy music 24/7.

Posted by npr on February 10, 2004 at 10:43 AM (PDT)

29

although i do not find the radio statoin npr interesting i can see the use in downloading talk or news programs.  so maybe an am/fm tuner wouldn’t be so bad.  but adding options that make the price skyrocket is silly.

Posted by Brian on February 10, 2004 at 11:39 AM (PDT)

30

ipod at the mo is fantastic enuf for a year or so….but wud luv to see a video-pod (vPod). watch films on the go…sweet!!

Posted by bob the turd on February 10, 2004 at 2:30 PM (PDT)

31

Do you think Apple has some people in the lounge checking on what we’re saying?  Like PR people making our voices heard in the company?

Posted by Nizzle in Canada on February 10, 2004 at 5:59 PM (PDT)

32

First, better battery life, second, cross fading between tracks, and third… VIDEO!!!!

Posted by Pax Webb on February 10, 2004 at 10:47 PM (PDT)

33

I would love to see a replacable battery; I often make long journeys by plane and unless you are prepared to lug around a big, heavy expensive battery pack it’s no iPod for more then half of the flight; imagine a spare pack, like I got for my digicam, and a seperate charger; the iPod would be perfect!

Posted by dura on February 11, 2004 at 1:53 AM (PDT)

34

yeah im also saving up for a new battery. there is a link some where on this site for one… but mine is not that bad yet but im going to still buy a new one. i want to see whats going to happene after the law suites over the battery are over.  apple knows that if iPod was to ####### sky rocket over $500 hardly any one whould buy one. i have a 3g 20gig and that was costly enough to me. if al else fails on the battery theres that battery “back pack” thing.  im perfectly pleased with it excpet the battery is going to die…. 8.5 out of 10…

Posted by sene_ncb on February 11, 2004 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

35

Voice control would be nice for using in the car . Not having to scroll
while driving would be great. It would take time to set up but it would be worth it.

Posted by Brad on February 11, 2004 at 12:32 PM (PDT)

36

i want the ipod combined with my cell phone!

still too many gadgets in my pockets!

Posted by mo on February 11, 2004 at 11:59 PM (PDT)

37

i just wasted a whold 15 minites of mylife reading this S#1T

Posted by doss_boss in Preston on February 12, 2004 at 12:44 AM (PDT)

38

HELLO <scroll=“no”>

Posted by doss_boss in Preston on February 12, 2004 at 12:45 AM (PDT)

39

boloks

Posted by doss_boss in Preston on February 12, 2004 at 12:46 AM (PDT)

40

Fortunately, no one cares, mo.

Posted by noktulo on February 12, 2004 at 7:32 PM (PDT)

41

The next ipod product should be a pod for still images, a new take on a digital camera.
It would have a hard drive, a snapshot sized screen, and a lens/CCD just a bit better than the best cellphone. 
The emphasis would be on sharing/transporting files from iphoto, including images from better cameras.  But then you would be able to also take some ‘party’ quality shots on it as well.

If you want to go from here to video, thats great, but this ‘digital wallet with camera’ could happen now.

Posted by roy on February 13, 2004 at 5:09 PM (PDT)

42

Yes a photo wallet would be good. I saw this below on the Lounge today! I think an iPod Mini with a lens and a memory slot would be a cool device.

I’m surprised he didn’t review the new Archos Gmini. Forget the old Archos doorstop - these new Gminis are super-small. The 20GB is almost as petite as the iPod Mini, and comes with compact flash slot and recorder built-in. They also have a 2.5” greyscale LCD - nice for previewing photos. I’d prefer color though. But it is Mac/Windows friendly.

http://www.archos.com/products/prw_500452.html
http://www.archos.com/img/products/290x230/gmini220.jpg
http://www.archos.com/img/products/290x230/gmini220_spec.jpg

Posted by agreed on February 13, 2004 at 5:31 PM (PDT)

43

old bag

Posted by joe mamma on February 14, 2004 at 11:12 AM (PDT)

44

I want an iPod with OGG support and recording capabilities.

Posted by root on February 14, 2004 at 11:35 AM (PDT)

45

Let’s have an iPod with built in voice recording.  It’s cool that you can accessorize the current line - but I can’t be sold on a device for which I’ll end up carrying around extraneous parts.

And concerning turn table style scratching on an iPod. . . forget the real DJs - I agree, they’ll continue using turntables. . . but adding that feature on a consumer music device could inspire all kinds of cool creativity from everyday consumers.  Picture two people on a subway having their own scratch battle - just for fun.  It would be the epitome of Apple’s dream to innovate the way we use and enjoy media.  I’d be all over it, for sure. 

Posted by Bent on February 14, 2004 at 12:37 PM (PDT)

46

Ipod Sport
A more rugged version of the Ipod that would most likely include texturized rubber on the sides for extra grip, along with being “weatherproof” and scratch resistant. If this could be applied to any of the ipods, I think that would be a truly beneficial add-on.

Posted by Ryan on February 14, 2004 at 4:11 PM (PDT)

47

Yeah it’s super late but I took the liberty to waste my time and tiredly p-chop an iPod-Pro it’s not awsome by anymeans but I figured since I was bored it might just tickle some of your fancys…  Here’s my rendition of the ipod pro (the bottom buttons are to que up songs or loops quickly) and mine is designed to be held with two hands one for the top and one for the bottom wheel.

http://www.cuttinginqueue.com/images/ipod_pro_sm.jpg

and this one is the big one:

http://www.cuttinginqueue.com/images/ipod_pro_sm.jpg

Enjoy!

-Silent-

Posted by Silent Lite on February 14, 2004 at 11:54 PM (PDT)

48

Opps! The big one is:

http://www.cuttinginqueue.com/images/ipod_pro.jpg

And I know que is spelled queue I’m tired…

Posted by Silent Lite on February 14, 2004 at 11:57 PM (PDT)

49

I’m far less interested in neato extras than I am in the iPod doing what it already does better and acting more like iTunes on Mac. Better battery performance and lifetime, more capacity, the functionality we enjoy with iTunes at home, seamless updating of tag info with and between our main computer so our library doesn’t become divergent…

While AirPort enabled might be cool (I envision moving about the house with my iPod and it is playing through my home sound system), I wouldn’t suffer it at the detriment of being better at what it already offers.

Posted by HeadCase on February 15, 2004 at 6:54 AM (PDT)

50

i want apple to bring out an ipod that is the size of the mini with a colour screen and can hold 10,000 tunes. what do you think the chances are of this happening in the near future?

Posted by Paul Whitehouse on February 15, 2004 at 11:19 AM (PDT)

51

That photo of the ipod MNini Pro looks more like a high-tech crowd control baton than a convenient pocket device.

Here are some photos of existing advanced media players - some of them look pretty good for non-Apple devices - I look forward to Apple’s take on this device:

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/rd2780_2.jpg

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/SharpAV1.jpg

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/SonyVaio.jpg

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/Creative.jpg

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/iRiverPMP100_full.jpg

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/Samsung-YH-999.jpg

[imghttp://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/MP3OK-ET970.jpg[/img]

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/ZVue.jpg

Posted by photos on February 15, 2004 at 11:40 AM (PDT)

52

Ooops, typo!

http://shanebrinkmandavis.com/homepage/JBMM/Competition/MP3OK-ET970.jpg

Posted by photos on February 15, 2004 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

53

it looks like an evil remote!!! i like the speaker tho and the favorites button on the bottom.whats your bpm?

Posted by sene_ncb on February 16, 2004 at 7:04 AM (PDT)

54

You people are all losers. iPods have s.h.i.t.t.y battery life and sound quality. Not to mention they are huge ripoffs.

Oh and waiting game, you are the dumbest person I’ve ever seen. Learn to read. Any 40gb drive holds the same amount of data, no matter what its on.

Hondo77, you truly understand quality mp3 players.

Posted by Jeff on February 16, 2004 at 2:24 PM (PDT)

55

You forgot something, Apple can probably already implement in the current iPod models: The Audio-LineIn Support.
Although not very likely, since Apples contracting with RIAA members to make iTunes possible would not allow such an addition, a LineIn Recording Support would be awesome and then completely replace the AudioTape, which I still sometimes use to record interviews on the radio or else.

I think Apple won’t add too much stuff to their players, their motive has always been simplicity and to get more of the masses they should stick to that one. You gotta remember: The few technique-freaks that surf on iPod and the couple of DJs around aren’t the most profitable market one can imagine. Apple wants to grab the man on the street, give him a device he can understand and at some point pay.
But his will mean that Apple changes some of its policies, regarding audio-standards and else. Of course Steve Jobs says, keeping the Apple platform closed ensures its quality - but it sure doesn’t give Apple the bigger market share and customer satisfaction.
My mom doesn’t care about AAC or WMA. All she wants is listening to music, no matter what format. So do I, although my sympathies to Apple let me favor AAC.

Anyway, I hope Apple will work on the AudioLine in. One must have dreams..

Posted by Obi-Lan on February 16, 2004 at 5:13 PM (PDT)

56

I don’t want a ‘Pod that doubles as a George Forman grill.

Apple can make all the additional ‘Pods it wants, as long as they make one that is the best, most elegant music player around.

Posted by RAMdd on February 16, 2004 at 6:53 PM (PDT)

57

The removable clip on battery is a brilliant idea. To go with this idea there should be a slot on the redesigned dock where you can slide in a 2nd battery to charge.

Having 5.1 capabilities when dealing with stereo signals is completely pointless.

Line-in recording is a must. FM radio similar to that included in many mobiles would be great especially if you can use it with the recording function. I’d love to be able to record live concerts or DJ mixes broadcast on the radio.

Posted by Stu on February 17, 2004 at 1:36 AM (PDT)

58

Guy’s, guy’s, guy’s or (girl’s, girl’s ,girls), come on people the only things that the ipod needs changed is a killer battery life, say like 15hrs (seeya competition!) a beautifuly functional wired backlit lcd remote control (ala the ihp-140) and possibly a larger capacity (say 60gig for the musical collection freaks among us).

SIMPLE.SLEEK.ULTRA-FUNCTIONAL.

IPOD Gen4

Posted by Neo on February 17, 2004 at 6:26 AM (PDT)

59

5.1 sound is not “pointless”. SACD and DVD-Audio both have 5.1 sound to let you feel immersed in the soundstage, or to create environmental effects like “concert hall” or “jazz club”.

The Creative Zen, despite being a huge bear of a player, does have excellent sound processing, with lots of such presets. They really make a difference to the playback of the sound. They call is “EAX”.

Posted by Surround on February 17, 2004 at 7:29 AM (PDT)

60

Ipod hifi: in a couple of years when the storage capacity has increased to hundreds of gigabytes there will be an ipod with support for lossless compression / without compression.
Wonder if there will be any audiophiles left by then…

Posted by Dan on February 18, 2004 at 12:25 AM (PDT)

61

Video! But not on an ipod. Maybe a separate product. I see a device much like the ipod av but with an emphasis on taking videos and photos. Think about it: Quicktime/mpeg 4 compress dvd quality to about 6mb/min. Imagine how many home videos would fit on a 60 gig ipod. The best part imo is that these videos would be perfect to edit in imovie. But unlike the current dv home camcorders, you would be able to edit directly on an ipod connected to a mac. No need to import! Perfect iapp tie in to imovie like ipod/itunes. If the imaging device was also capable of taking megapixel stills and had a flash, an ipod would be able to hold a virtually limitless number of photos. The same tie in with iphoto applies. Of course if i could still store my music and play it, i would have a perfect device. Even if it were slightly larger (but only slightly) than a 40 gig ipod, I would gladly fork out the cash to have one device replace my current ipod, digicam and dvcam.

The resulting device would have:
1. way more storage than even a suitcase full of dvtapes.
2. way more photo storage than even the biggest flash cards
3. a huge size advatage over two devices
4. much better connectivity/integration with macs than digicams and dvcams
5. an archive of your edited videos and pics with you at all times. just plug it in to a tv and share. or use your mac to burn dvds etc
6. people carying around one device that does it all. with only one small device, youre more likely to take pics and vids. How many of you have had an ipod in their pocket, saw something interesting and wanted to take a pic or vid? I bet you have!

Can such a device be built? I dont see why not. Apple already has a bulk of the technology needed to make it happen. Optics from an isight (although the resolution needs to be upped to at least 1 megapixel for decent stills), codecs care of quicktime and a platform in the ipod. How much would it cost? If it cost $699, I see apple crushing both the digicam and dvcam markets. Even $799. $300 for digicam+$600 dvcam= a lot more than a video ipod. Please, free me from all the digital devices and build a video ipod!

Posted by Glassbreaker on February 18, 2004 at 3:13 AM (PDT)

62

That 3d render looks lame.

you put 2 pictures of the ipod together and photoshop’d it.

model ur own design!

Posted by Stasyna on February 18, 2004 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

63

WHY CAN’T WE HAVE A COLOR SCREEN ON MY IPOD I HAVE OBE IN MY LITTLE CELL PHONE Please adapt the technology that lets me veg out on my phone to my ipod

Posted by Chris on February 18, 2004 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

64

hey people i think that ipod should just be changed slightly for either, mini or normal ipod(or mainstream) i feel tha the ipod mini/mainstream should have a color screen making it a more useful everyday tool more accessories could be added to this product and it would also have more available functions. even though this would make it more expensive it would ocme down in price over time making it a market leader.

Posted by matt302 on February 18, 2004 at 1:26 PM (PDT)

65

Color LCDs are thicker than mono LCDs, and consume a lot more battery juice. Adding a color LCD to any iPod would halve the battery life, or necessitate some bulking up.

The solution is organic light emitting diodes - thinner than LCDs, flexible, and less power hungry.

Maybe Apple are waiting until OLEDs are mass market, one year, maybe two, before using them? Kodak have launched an OLED camera in Europe, and there are a few mobiles using them. I think they are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Posted by OLEDs on February 18, 2004 at 1:37 PM (PDT)

66

Features I would like are:

1. Media slot for uploading photos (for CF cards). I think it would outsell the units that do that.

2. FM radio with direct recording.

3. Built-in sensitive recorder with no need of accessories

Posted by Jacob on February 19, 2004 at 9:26 AM (PDT)

67

yeah and anybody who owns a ihp-120 or ihp-140 already owns the future of ipods.  in-line recording realtime mp3 and wav encoding.  optical line in/outs.  microphone built in as well as external.

Posted by kking on February 19, 2004 at 12:42 PM (PDT)

68

Yeah the iRiver is a nice, advanced player. But it has too many menus! I’m a geek and it scares me! Also, no on-the-go playlists - even Apple managed to fix that error by the 3G iPods. How can they have so many menus and forget to put in something to let you create on-device playlists?

Nice remote though. Apple should copy that for the 4G.

http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0001BRITE.01-A1NDBS7YGOPBD6.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Posted by iRiver on February 19, 2004 at 1:22 PM (PDT)

69

I don’t have an iPod yet, one of the main reason I do not buy one is the battery issue every one is talking about… So Apple should correct this before anything else new.

Also, voice recording is great, but not if no microphone is included in the iPod itself. I can’t imagien myself having parts of my cell phone in my pocket. My cell phone is very cheap but as a microphone included, OK, it is a device to talk to, but the point is it is not that big, compared to the Belkin voice recorder…

I personnaly don’t beleive that Apple will relesse 2-3 or more variety of the iPod. They already have 2 with the mini, so I’m much more imaginating a mini line for music only, and a iPod for the rest of us. In my opinion, the mini will stay at at least 4 gig, may drop price in the future when flash goes down, and may come in the future in more flavors of size (maybe next 2 years).

As for the pro line (the iPod itself), color screen will be the next step. With the already ability to capture photos, now will se them. It is most likely that Apple release a video iPod in the game, since they had a job annoucement last year in september (saw on Macrumors, but the annoucement on Apple site is no longer available http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2003/09/20030927164327.shtml) for a person with video knowledge for the next generation iPod, it is most likely. What it will do? uncertain… But there is also rumors about an Apple setup box (http://www.macrumors.com/pages/2004/02/20040218044854.shtml) that relates to iPhoto, iTunes and iPod as well.

As for DJs on the iPod, don’t beleive professionnal will play with a device that compress sound in a way that could degrade the quality of the sound (Macaddict last release advise from using MP3, but AIFF files for parties, so that won’t be 10000 songs…) and also the disk may heat the iPod since it has been built for personal use, not DJs.

so let’s wait for the best!

Posted by Meall on February 19, 2004 at 5:31 PM (PDT)

70

Why psychics never win the lottery—predictions are easy.
For example:

By the 2004 Holidays look for the miniPod to be priced at $199 with a larger capacity mini added at the $299 price point.

The $299 iPod will be dropped from the lineup with the gen4 intro this August. Featuring larger capacity and COLOR screens, the $399/$499 iPods will utilize the mini’s buttons-on-scroll wheel. This allows those four other buttons to be utilized for new software control keys.

The software update [iPod only] will allow browsing albums by cover art and using said art in screen saver type slideshows. Look for this iPod to be able to import images directly from firewire cameras & card readers. Also, it will connect to DV cameras for importing digital video on the fly [optionally converting it to QT]. Look for a marketing partner to intro a tiny video camera in early 2005 that is designed to use the iPod for it’s storage.

Those extra keys will open up all kinds of future potential in iPod software, including third party developers. Hold on to your…Pods!

Posted by anton on February 20, 2004 at 8:30 AM (PDT)

71

I would like to see a combination ipod/ portable XM Radio… Probably the technology is still a bit too expensive, but soon…

Posted by Expungable Robot on February 20, 2004 at 9:22 PM (PDT)

72

Firmware update for present iPod: You guys know what Powermate is, right? Isn’t it good to have a free Powermate because your iPod has the best scroll wheel in the planet. If Apple update the firmware so your plugged iPod can help you edit video, control volumn, edit picture, browse the internet and the possibility is unlimited! Just imagine five extra buttons with a killer scroll wheel more for no extra charge. Guys, help me to let Apple know that so we will become the luckiest computing population in the universe. Secondly, Apple shouldn’t let someone like Belkin to ask for unreasonable price for those accessaries. Why? Just make the future iPods come with the replaceable batteries. A mini mic is cheap too! Apple should put one in each iPod (just like the left “dot” in iMac’s ) so they will be voice recorders! Card reader? Hey! I think it is cheap and easy to put a SD reader in an iPod. Pls. correct me if I am wrong. Taiwanese factories listen. Pls. make some cheap card readers for iPods like the one I have which costed me only USD 8! for my mac. I am willing to pay USD 20 for a card reader, but not USD 100! Finally, I am not so eager to see iPod to play video, I mean large files like movies. A color display that makes viewing pictures and short video clips possible is something really nice. iPods should always be small and simple.

Posted by Kris on February 20, 2004 at 11:34 PM (PDT)

73

I just got the mini and already love it more than the 40 gig iPod I had. I would definitely like an FM receiver in it to use at the gym to watch and hear TV programs wirelessly sent while exercising.

Posted by iPod mini lover on February 21, 2004 at 10:21 AM (PDT)

74

My biggest vote for an improvement is put a groove or something on the stupid “lock” switch so you can actually get a grip on the thing!  Even without my xSkin cover on it, it’s a pain to lock and unlock.

As for a SPORTS iPod, mine’s already 95% there with the xSkin cover.  I dropped it from about 1.2 meters onto concrete while getting out of a cab, and it just bounced a little—kept right on playing without a scratch on it.

Posted by otterpop on February 22, 2004 at 12:00 PM (PDT)

75

I dont think that apple should make a ipod av… the cost would be way to high and for that price… what they should do however is make the ipod able to send out movies to a tv using a cord

Posted by Ipod user on February 22, 2004 at 1:09 PM (PDT)

76

I have a problem knowing that I spent $400 on the 20G ipod, and someone’s going to come behind me w/ a better one w/ a better price. It hasn’t been that long its been maybe 6 months since I bought it. Mine already seems bulky compared to the Ipod mini. I guess I just hate change. But the Nokia type removable cases would be great. Iskins work for now.

Posted by chocobabe0 on February 24, 2004 at 9:58 AM (PDT)

77

I think it’s too early for the iPod to change it appearance/functionality a lot. Apple doesn’t want to confuse consumers, but rather imrpove what they already have, like battery life, capacity, moving parts, hard drive vs. flash drive, etc.

Color screens, more games, recording, etc, will come later, when the iPod is absolutely established in the market. It seems like all the other companies are expecting Apple to screw up to take an advantage and get market share and ridicule Apple like always. iPod pro is not a good idea. iPod mini improved and/or cheaper would be welcome, but I don’t think the mini is overpriced, but it would attract many more to get iPods (not that I don’t see at least 10 people a day with one)

Apple should improve products and leave radical changes for later. Maybe radio… but who wants to listen to the radio?? All those commercials poluting your ears all day long? No, thanks. I prefer to listen to my songs!

Anyway, higher capacity in 4th generation iPods, as well as larger battery life and not too expensive, please.

Add-ons for minis or price drop.

Whatcha think?

Posted by Ssn Mx on February 24, 2004 at 10:25 PM (PDT)

78

The machine I’d most like to see from Apple is a non-portable iPlayer - a pitch-perfect, audiophile quality hi-fi component which would connect permanently to my hi-fi, link wirelessly to my Mac, and allow file sharing between iPod, Mac and hi-fi. I’d also like to be able to record straight to it from my stereo, in whatever format I like. Kind of like a Linn Kivor, only better integrated into my “iLife”, and a damn site cheaper!

Posted by Red_Machine on February 25, 2004 at 2:29 AM (PDT)

79

I’d really like to see the iPod have Palm capabilities, it would be nice to be able to add an address, date or phone number, they did away with the newton, why not revamp the iPod. Another thing that would be really cool, is bluetooth earplugs and remote. Colour screen doesn’t bother me, and get rid of all the games, this isn’t a toy

Posted by Paul on February 25, 2004 at 2:29 PM (PDT)

80

as far as wishes/desires for iPod gen IV, I would ask for:
  1) increased battery life
  2) crossfading between tracks (don’t you hate that gap when going from one live track to the next)
  3) improved on the fly playlist management (read: winamp2)
  4) no/minimal change in dimensions, no color screens, no radios, no video, no scratching. I purchased my iPod as it was the best functioning mp3 player on the market. Looks good, feels good, works good.

As for an iPod mini revision, my interest is piqued by the sony sport direction. A 3-5g flash memory based player, with a radio (perhaps xm/sirius as well?) in an all weather small, scratch resistant package resembling the current mini would be attractive.

I love my ipod for taking around campus, on flights, road trips. But the one area it fails is my rowing addiction. I can’t really use it on the ergs, and definitly won’t take it out on the water.  I have toyed with the idea of buying a little flash player, but a gen II mini that’s water-proof would sell me in a sec. But only if it’s small enough to attach to my arm, so I can erg with it.

Posted by sixfootfive on February 25, 2004 at 4:42 PM (PDT)

81

bluetooh earplugs? Hmmm… that doesn’t sound like a good idea, at least not with the earbuds, LOL :D, you would see white little thingys lying on the street only to realize somebody dropped an earbud… bluetooth remote would be SWEET, for both iPod and iPod mini…

More capacity for the mini… making it… maybe 10Gigs… that’s what they’re already selling the 10Gig iPod for.

Posted by Ssn Mx on February 25, 2004 at 9:21 PM (PDT)

82

I would like a body that doesn’t scratch so easy, colour screen (?), not so sure about video, the price might be too high. Oh and replacable family. 

Posted by Matt on March 1, 2004 at 9:33 AM (PDT)

83

I posted this prediction on Feb. 20—‘iPods will utilize the mini’s buttons-on-scroll wheel. This allows those four other buttons to be utilized for new software control keys.’

I put together this mock-up of what that might look like here:

http://home.comcast.net/~anton.www/k_stuff/futurePOD.jpg

Might be functional.

Posted by anton on March 1, 2004 at 11:20 AM (PDT)

84

I think that the evolution of technology will greatly approve and so will the i-Pod. I am almost certain that by the time next year comes they will have come out with a better and safisticated i-Pod perhaps holding 100,000 songs. Seems impossible right? Well. If you look at a wired magazine. It has a rumor about an i-Pod going to come out that holds up to 100,000 songs. Cool eh?

Posted by iPod13 on March 3, 2004 at 1:47 PM (PDT)

85

With current GMR technology, hard disk rates will go on increasing until around 2010 when they reach a maximum density equivalent to around 20 Terabytes on a 2.5” drive.

Of course, by then one hopes that wireless broadband will have advanced so the notion of carrying your library around in your pocket seems like quaint overkill.

I expect a within a few years most low-end digital cameras will be replaced/absorbed by cell phones, and similarly with increased capacity and braodband cell phones will replace dedicated mp3/video players by 2010.

Why carry three gadgets around when you can carry one - and the most popular hardware is the phone. Given its eocnomies of scale it will absorb all the other pocket gadgets.

Posted by future capacity on March 3, 2004 at 5:10 PM (PDT)

86

No one seem to realize that when Apple releases a product it is beyond what normal people can imagine, Apple thinks differently and would be better off making the ipod with the same screen it has now (mono, low-res) and making a video port that can be plugged into any TV to play video, which would completely revolutionize the world (again), you could store dozens of DVD quality full length movies on it to play almost anywhere. (it would need a better battery life though), also it could just be smaller clips made with iMovie or downloaded. (still waiting for a video library style iTunes app)

Posted by Ikari on March 5, 2004 at 2:52 AM (PDT)

87

jack-sensing of some kind
that the ipod doesn’t play if there isn’t any headbud insert

Posted by Ijope on March 5, 2004 at 4:39 AM (PDT)

88

i just want a line in function- i could put anything on my ipod, even use it as a recording thing for my guitar or future band

Posted by ipoddude on March 6, 2004 at 9:49 AM (PDT)

89

iPod pro needs a 5.1 Sound amplifier, and some better EQ options
iPod 2/4G should have a click wheel and be a tad smaller, and get rid of the aluminium back
iPod mini 2 needs to come in bigger memory sizes, and Black


all need better sound amplifiers and batterys

Posted by Kentros on March 22, 2004 at 6:42 PM (PDT)

90

I would like my iPod to have some sort of Airport card for receiving internet radio from my iTunes library.  I could listen to internet radio through my iPod headset, or listen to internet radio through my iPod, while hooked up to my entertainment system.

I would also like to see an FM tuner built into the iPod.

Posted by Rusty on April 8, 2004 at 11:56 AM (PDT)

91

I’m about to start saving for a Creative Labs NOMAD Zen Xtra 60GB, so if Apple can bring out an iPod with a bigger battery life and replaceable/switchable battery packs (e.g. charge one and use one) then I’ll buy one.

Posted by Chris on April 10, 2004 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

92

I think Apple will release a PowerPod (get it, PowerBook ; PowerPod) and it will offer superior sound quality a bigger hard drive more business apps like Email’s and stuff and an elegent Grey design. but like all the “Power” it wouldn’t differ much from the iPod except from a bigger price tag !

Posted by Ben Niculescu on April 20, 2004 at 10:56 AM (PDT)

93

ipods suck ###!

Posted by iriver lover!! on April 29, 2004 at 1:42 PM (PDT)

94

An Infra Red port or Blue Tooth accessability would be good for transfer of files between ipods…like borrowing a friend’s dvd, only you never need to return it and your friend probably has it with him all the time (if he takes his ipod everywhere like many of us do).

Posted by Nunumaker on May 14, 2004 at 10:13 AM (PDT)

95

I disagree with HeadCase. I’m all for the extras: more games, etc. The capacity is fine: not that many people actually have over 1000 songs.  The sound quality is great.  The battery… eh.
An iPod Pro would be like Paul Whitehouse’s suggestion, with more extras and better in-box accessories (like charging docks and covers), with optional upgrades when you buy from Apple.  Carry cases could be upgraded to personalised leather ones, earphones could be upgrades, etc.

Posted by Laura on July 2, 2004 at 11:39 AM (PDT)

96

whats the point of having a big 2 handed ipod? today its all about having a small player with big capacity. correct me if im wrong

Posted by THE bomb on July 13, 2004 at 5:41 AM (PDT)

97

Well, they could call a video iPod the “iPod DV” (like they did with the iMacs that could play DVDs) and fash-based iPod the “iPod micro”.

Posted by Steve on August 20, 2004 at 4:07 PM (PDT)

98

near future? apple does not see the need for a colour screen - so they will not put one in. as for having video functionality, you’ll need a big lcd or else you’ll get headaches from looking at it.  viewing pictures on an ipod mini? well the screen still needs to be bigger, and no one currently makes an lcd thats an inch big and has a high enough resolution to view pics (just the ipod 4g has like a 160x160 screen or sumthin like that)

Posted by creamsoda in toronto, canada on August 21, 2004 at 4:50 PM (PDT)

99

How bad is the Ipod battery at present, im about to buy one and now im worried, how long will it last?

Posted by Ed on September 2, 2004 at 4:36 AM (PDT)

100

GPS full color ipod!!!

This is what I want. In the car navagation plus mp3.
and with a full color screen you can have visuals effects playing to the music like sonique does.
Big market for gps. No one has done it right yet.
How about it apple? you can do it

Posted by adam on September 24, 2004 at 10:52 AM (PDT)

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