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O’Reilly: Five things the next iPod software version needs to have

“Here’s five things Apple could put in the next update to the iPod’s software that would make it a music power tool (in order of how much I want them):

1. Line-in recording
iPod hackers have shown that the iPod is capable of recording a few seconds of audio through it’s headphone port. Being able to record through this port as actual line in would enable you to record pure audio whenever you could get a line. No, the current voice recorder doesn’t count.”

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Comments

21

There are a lot of improvements that can be done in the On-the-Go playlist. Reordering the songs is one of them. An essential one if you ask me. I have used other players that have this feature and when I found out that ipod does not, I just couldn’t believe how something as fundamental as this is not part of its features. Come on Apple… it’s not that hard…

Posted by mcde on January 23, 2004 at 3:42 AM (PDT)

22

Crossfading between two songs would be amazing (like in iTunes). Being able to delete songs directly from the ipod is also on my top priority list.
Please apple…

Posted by Tomaz on January 23, 2004 at 4:25 AM (PDT)

23

Crossfade. My god, crossfade please already. What is the point of adding other stuff, giant hard drives etc, when the ipod still can’t play back a single cd as it was recorded. Tell Apple as i did.

Posted by langdonauger on January 23, 2004 at 4:46 AM (PDT)

24

Recording is a niche feature, but in that niche it’s *extremely* useful.

I sing in concerts and stuff.  I often record them using a stereo mic (with permission &c), and in some cases have mastered the results onto CD and distributed them for small amounts of money.

Previously, I recorded onto MiniDisc.  However, it’s a real pain getting the sound from there onto my HD; it’s a pain changing MDs during the interval (if there is one—I’ve lost the end of more than one event); and the compression doesn’t help, either.  If my iPod could do this, it would make life an awful lot easier…

But I gave up on waiting for this feature.  I bought a cheap 6GB Zen Jukebox; the battery life is terrible, it only accepts line level so I need to take a pre-amp too, and it’s *far* too big for listening or anything else, but it does the job.

What’s most frustrating is that the iPod hardware is clearly capable of recording; we just need Apple to either add the feature to their software, or else open their software up a bit and let someone else do it.

Come on, Apple—like Ogg playback and some of these other feature, it won’t cost you anything!

Posted by Gidds in UK on January 23, 2004 at 5:02 AM (PDT)

25

More file formats supported is what I’d want more than anything - WMA, Ogg Vorbis, MP3 Pro… I had to rerip all my CDs when I got my iPod because I was using Ogg format for them. 

Posted by Fenn on January 23, 2004 at 5:51 AM (PDT)

26

1) I want to be able to TELL my iPod what I want to listen to. This is mainly while I’m driving or doing something else where looking at and concentrating on my iPod isn’t a good idea. Think of having a button that you push and then saying, “play playlist 60’s.” Or, “play album white album.” Or, “play artist Beatles.” You get the idea.

2) I want my playlists to update on my iPod. For instance. If I have a playlist where I tell it to play all Jazz songs with rating higher than 3. I want my iPod to update that playlist if I up the rating of one song from 3 to 4 or one from 4 or 5 down to 3.

3) No gaps, especially because of audio books that I’ve imported from CDs. I don’t think Apple will do this however because they will sell less books from AudioBooks.com if they do.

Posted by olsonbw on January 23, 2004 at 6:08 AM (PDT)

27

Just to clarify, Olson, it would be “play album The Beatles”!!
Ob-la-di!

Posted by Big D on January 23, 2004 at 6:28 AM (PDT)

28

Big D - I sit corrected.
Ob-la-da! lol

Posted by olsonbw on January 23, 2004 at 6:40 AM (PDT)

29

Um, Olsenbw, if you have ‘live updating’ checked on your smart playlist in iTunes, it _will_ update on the fly on the ipod.

Posted by Druid on January 23, 2004 at 7:12 AM (PDT)

30

Druid - thanks - I’ll check on that.

Note: I’m a SON of Ole. Not a Sen.

Posted by olsonbw on January 23, 2004 at 7:20 AM (PDT)

31

Don’t forget about on-screen text size selection. That size is way too big for showing the song lists. The could easily use the bold Calendar font and still be readable.

Posted by ikelleigh on January 23, 2004 at 7:56 AM (PDT)

32

silver_haze20,
I agree with your comments 100%

Posted by revmike on January 23, 2004 at 8:18 AM (PDT)

33

Line-in for sure.
I record a lot of talk radio shows.
Now, right now I can stream the show either live or from an archive and record it in real time with a netrecorder of some sort but this means having to have the computer on and to mess with setting up the recorder..on and on. ANd it means having to be awake to stop it.

To be able to sit on my sofa..run a cable from my little radio into my ipod and let it run..if it’s a show I am recording over night I can set the sleep timer.

My other want is a built in AM-FM radio on the 4G.

Posted by Json on January 23, 2004 at 11:07 AM (PDT)

34

I really like how the rio karma has folders for each letter in the alphabet.  Lets say you click ‘A’, it expands and shows all the artists/album/songs that start with A.  This is invaluable when you have 5000+ songs and want a specific artist.

Posted by dave on January 23, 2004 at 11:20 AM (PDT)

35

“I want to be able to TELL my iPod what I want to listen to. ” - olsonbw

Whatever, thats is such a waste of time… Apple, I want to be able to THINK and have my iPod do what I want it to do, no more of these stupid buttons… wink

Com on Apple, is it really that hard to do?

Posted by rackirlen on January 23, 2004 at 1:56 PM (PDT)

36

rackirlen - I don’t really care if YOU take me seriously as long as Apple does. This would be so much faster than going through the menus and far less dangerous when you aren’t able to concentrate on the iPod screen.

I also want to be able to connect a small keyboard to my iPod like with Palms so I can update my calendar, contacts, etc.

Posted by olsonbw on January 23, 2004 at 2:02 PM (PDT)

37

olsonbw - Don’t get me wrong I can understand your reasoning. And if it could be done without the many side effects I would like voice abilities as well.

I am drive, while using my iPod, pda, laptop, and cell phone concurrently. I am not a great hazard as I am skilled, where as my mother has issues with the lights, but that’s another topic…

So I understand the usefulness. But the voice ability adds a lot of problems, most pressing in my opinion would be the battery effects, due to increased power usage. If the Ipod has the bare minimum to do mpeg audio playback, then would not a much more powerful processor be needed? If I could have it without the side effects, great, but with the problems it would bring.

Lastly, the Plus! Add-on for Windows Media player had a “voice command” ability so to speak, and I sure was not impressed. And I have more processing power than the iPod could ever need, and a much better microphone than an iPod could have built-in.

To sum up, if we get to “Star Trek” type power consumption rates, and voice command intelligence, then I am behind you 100%...

Course Apple is the only company that comes to mind that could do it right if they felt like it, so maybe you are on to something here.

Posted by rackirlen on January 23, 2004 at 8:01 PM (PDT)

38

I disagree that voice commands would cause lots of battery drain. It would only be “on” when a button is pushed and only long enough for it to listen and find what you are looking for. Maybe three seconds to 5 seconds at the most. Besides. Those that don’t want to use it would notice anything.

WMA - ABSOLUTELY NO!!!!!! There is nothing that you can’t get or can’t convert from WMA to MP3. It would not do Apple any good to do this at all. WMA is HIGHLY restrictive (AAC IS NOT). If you don’t like AAC then just use MP3.

Posted by Sabon on January 25, 2004 at 8:06 AM (PDT)

39

good site dude

Posted by chris on July 18, 2004 at 11:37 PM (PDT)

40

cheers chris- i agree

Posted by bob on July 18, 2004 at 11:38 PM (PDT)

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