iPod enhancements withheld from previous hardware

iPod enhancements withheld from previous hardware

Summary: Apple's new "enhanced fifth-generation" iPod (with video) comes with some pretty interesting new features and I want to take a look at which of them you can expect to work on the previous iPods.


ipod-e5g-search.pngApple's new "enhanced fifth-generation" iPod (with video) comes with some pretty interesting new features and I want to take a look at which of them you can expect to work on the previous iPods.

The new iPod e5g comes with several software-based features including searching (pictured) via virtual keyboard, smart scrolling which allows you to scroll through your library at lightning speed, games and a brightness control.

The problem I have is that half one of these new software features are isn't available on previous iPods - including the just-discontinued iPod 5g - despite the fact that the hardware is almost exactly the same.

If Apple can make the games and brightness control work on the prior iPod 5g, then they should be able to port the search and smart scroll feature as well. I hope that Apple releases a software or firmware update so that iPod 5g owners can enjoy the new feature. And while they're at it, there's no reason why search and smart scroll can't migrate to the iPod nano 2g as well.

Granted, the iPod e5g has some new features that are based in hardware, most notably the 60 percent brighter screen and longer battery life, and we can't expect to see them in older iPods. But c'mon, the rest is just software.

UPDATE 2006-0917: As it turns out, the previous iPod 5g does, in fact, get the smart scroll feature after the latest software update, but it doesn't get the smart search feature.

Topic: Apple

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  • Smart Scrolling ENABLED

    The smart scrolling feature is in fact enabled on the previous 5G model after a software update - the only thing we are missing is the search feature - which (I agree) should be made available on previous generation 5G iPods, as it seems to be only a software issue.

    The brightness sub-menu has also been added to the previous-gen 5G ipod - so only minor complaints from me for not putting the search feature in there.
  • Amen...

    I was about to post this about your previous blog post, but decided not to...

    What about gapless playback? Another software-only improvement that is not included in the 1.2 firmware update. This really stinks of planned obsolescence (I seriously doubt Apple wants to be in the same company as GM circa 1974...), and is a good way to piss off potential Windows switchers who bought 5G iPods just before this new release.

    • am not sure, but think we might we been given gapless...

      Howdy pschwa,
      I'm not sure about this but I think gapless playback on the 5g
      iPods. I updated my iTunes yesterday and plugged in my iPod to
      sync. I went to work this morning and was listening to 'Parabol'
      & 'Parabola' off of 'Lateralus' by Tool and couldn't hear a gap
      between the 2 tracks! It's worth getting your prog rock out and
      giving it another check :)

      The lack of a search option is still unfair though...

      Life as an Apple switcher,
      • still gappy

        I've upgraded to iTunes 7 and it has run the "gapless analysis", then upgraded my iPod (30G video model, definitely a 5g system).

        <growl>Still gappy.</growl>
        diane wilson
        • gapless does work!

          But not without work. You need to:

          1. Install iTunes 7 and let it run the gapless analysis.

          2. Install the 1.2 firmware upgrade. It's not quite trivial, and there are lots of problem reports on the Apple site. Read them first.

          3. Be sure to turn off crossfade support. Crossfade and gapless playback are mutually exclusive.
          diane wilson
  • Not very fair

    I think this is rather unfair on the part of Apple. I bought a top
    of the range iPod last year, partly because I wanted something I
    wasn't going to want to change for a while. Seeing as the new
    iPod only has had no fundamental changes to the hardware, this
    seems like a bit of a mean path for Apple to take. I imagine that
    there won't be many people switching from a 5g iPod to a e5g
    iPod and not allowing a full e5g update just stands to be bad PR
    with no great gain in sales.

    Life as an apple switcher,
    • Unrealistic

      Not to be rude but, to buy a piece of technology and not expect it
      to obselesce fairly rapidly is, well, unrealistic. Apple probably
      expects to sell the new iPods to the folks who are still using 3rd
      and 4th gen versions or some other DMP. Even though I purchased
      a 60gig w/video in March, I would buy one of the new ones if the
      capacity was larger.
  • Nothing new

    After I bought my 1st. Gen. iiPod, Apple added on-the-go playlists
    and the ability to rate songs on the iPod. Both seemed like software
    updated, but they never came.
  • remember the shuffle functionality?

    When the 4G ipods came out, Mr. Jobs talked about this special new feature that let you access the "shuffle" function from the root menu. Though it was there in all the previous ipods, this one let you access it from the root. There was kind of a din about this, and the zealots claimed that it required the new hardware of the 4G to pull off. There was a discussion of it here:
  • Message has been deleted.

  • kmgordu 04 zib

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