Design the next generation iPod

Design the next generation iPod

Summary: What would you, the end users, like to see in the next gen iPod? What's important to you?


In the space of a few months I've gone from not owning an iPod to owning two and I've also bought a few as gifts for the family.  Needless to say I'm impressed!  But every product has to move on and I'm sure that the designers and engineers at Apple are figuring out what should go into the next generation iPods right now.

But what would you, the end users, like to see in the next gen iPod?  What's important to you?

I think that despite being a huge commercial success, there are areas where Apple could improve on the iPod.  Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Longer battery life
    You just can't have a big enough battery.  Not only would it be great to see a a larger capacity battery, but a battery with an increased number of charge/discharge cycles would mean that users wouldn't have to replace the battery (or their iPods) as often as they currently need to.
  • More storage
    Be honest, who couldn't do with more storage?
  • Improve the interface
    The iPod interface is pretty sweet but there's room for improvement.  I think that more scope for personalizing the UI would be nice.
  • Improve overall robustness
    I wouldn't like to subject any iPod to any kind of serious stress.
  • Better earphones
    I'm certain Apple could come up with something much better than the current offering.
  • Improve iTunes
    As I see it, iTunes is the weak link in the iPod ecosystem.  As much as I like the iPod, iTunes leaves me feeling cold. 
  • Be greener
    Let's face it, when it comes to looking after the environment, most of the big manufacturers have an appalling track record and Apple is no exception.  Improvements here would go down very well in some circles.

What's important to you?

[poll id=111]

Topic: Apple

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  • Bigger Screen

    I want my big screen iPod like the big touchscreen iPhone. I literally can't wait.
  • iPod? We don't no stinkin' iPod!

    Bob Dylan once said: [i]"The times they are a changin'"[i]

    They are. Apple doesn't have a lock and key on the downloadable music market.

    In fact, interesting things are happening, with [url=]Real Rhapsody.[/url]

    The difference (vs iTunes) with Real Rhapsody is that you pay a montly 'flat fee' for unlimited streaming music vs a fee per song download. All you need is Firefox and the Real Rhapsody plugin, subscribe, and you are good to go! Login from any location and enjoy. What's nice is that it supports Mac and Linux as well.

    The readers are probably saying, you can't take it with you--well you can with devices like [url=]SanDisk's Sansa[/url] (additional monthly fee).

    As for myself, I've order a Linux-based [url=]Nokia N800 Internet Tablet[/url] with Real Rhapsody support.

    We don't need no stinkin' iPod!
    It's all about 'technology convergence'!
    D T Schmitz
    • Good for you.

      Myself, I like to take it with me. I like to 'own' the song and rip it to CD for travel. Real is just a 'lease'. Just like I always buy my vehicles, I will always buy my music and never 'lease' it.
      • Time, The Future, Convergence

        If that's what floats your boat fine. Spending time 'ripping' CDs is not something I care to be doing.

        The Nokia N800 Internet Tablet gives you many things that go beyond your basic iPod.

        Here's a good article on the [url=]N800[/url] and what 'convergence' is all about.

        Reserve judgment--read up and play all the Youtube videos.

        It's Linux-based, open-source and Nokia doesn't restrict or tell me what I can do or install on it.

        It's my choice. With the iPod, well you are locked into what Apple will or won't allow you to do.

        Hey thanks nomorems!
        D T Schmitz
    • Agreed.

      Tried Rhapsody thru Comcast and found they had pretty much all the artists/songs I was looking for, no need for iTunes here, though I was forced to download it with the Quicktime plug in, which slowed the computer until I uninstalled it afterwards.
      John Zern
  • Improve The UI

    I think the UI is due for a change (iPhone touch UI anyone?). To think, we are looking at basically the same UI from 2001 and yet it's still a dominant player today.

    My prediction:
    They will add a larger screen, new touch interface, the new 32GB flash which will make it even slimmer and more robust.
  • Give it a rest already

    on the greener mantra, you sound like a programmed robot. A programmed robot
    with no knowledge of the laws of nature.

    Regarding your other comments. Longer battery life or iPod form factor. Pick one.
    Again, you don't get to pick the laws of nature.
    • The ability to switch your own battery...

      It's the ONLY thing I contemplated on why NOT to get an iPod when I originally looked at buying my first MP3 player.
      • Curious what was your first MP3 Platyer ???

      • This is exactly my problem with the iPod

        I would absolutely *hate* having to send in my iPod for a few days and pay Apple a fee just to replace my battery, which I should be able to do on my own with a cheap battery available at major retailers.

        Aside from that issue, the iPod is too expensive for me compared to other MP3 players, and from what I understand, you can only use iTunes to swap files onto your iPod. If that's true, then that's another mark against it.
  • how 'bout better format support?

    i own a creative zen vision:M because i like the fact that i can take nearly every video i've got and just dump it on without needing to convert it. I can play Divx/XviD, WMV, and MPEG 1/2/4 on the player, while the ipod only supports quicktime and MPEG-4 and, if memory serves, only in certain resolutions. if I'm gonna kill processor time, it's gonna go to Folding@home or some other charitable use rather than waiting for my videos to be reformatted for my player.

    As for the lease vs. own debate, I do both. I lease songs I don't know if I like yet but don't wanna be stuck with, and buy the songs I really like. lease to sample, buy to own.

    • You might want to recheck...

      Your numbers and facts.

      [i]I can play Divx/XviD, WMV, and MPEG 1/2/4 on the player, while the ipod only
      supports quicktime and MPEG-4 and, if memory serves, only in certain
      resolutions. [/i]

      The truth can be found here.

      Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
      Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes
      Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple
      Lossless, AIFF and WAV
      User-configurable maximum volume limit

      Video formats supported: H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30
      frames per sec., Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-
      LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48 kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file
      formats; H.264 video, up to 768 Kbps, 320 by 240 pixels, 30 frames per sec.,
      Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48 kHz, stereo
      audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640
      by 480 pixels, 30 frames per sec., Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160
      Kbps, 48 kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
      • So I'm right...

        As far as video formats, the iPod only reads Quicktime and MPEG-4. H.264 is an MPEG-4 codec, and m4v is the iTunes store DRM'd version thereof.

        That still leaves me unable to play MPEG 1 or 2, Divx, XviD, and WMV (which i'll cut them slack on since the Zen Vision:M doesn't play quicktime).

  • Allow it to use Zune

    And other formats...
    • No one can use the zune format

      That's because of Microsoft's onerous restrictions. In order to listen to zune music,
      you not only have to have a zune, but you're also you're forced into buying windows.
      • Apple buys a license...

        no big deal.
        • If MicroShaft will sell one

          So far they have refused to license anything from zune to anybody. Not that anybody really wants to pay for a piece of 0.002% of the MP3 player market. The main problem with that, and WMA, is:

          1. How much will it cost?
          2. How much will it cost next year?
          3. When will MicroShaft yank the rug out by changing its "standard"?

          Once Apple buys the license, MicroShaft can raise the price, change the format, mandate some proprietary form of DRM, restrict it to MS-WINDOZE only, and anything else that pops into their greedy little heads. Or was that some other company that has the 20-year history of raising prices, changing formats, stealing software and abusing its customers?
          Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!
        • Why waste the money?

          ---Apple buys a license...---

          Why should Apple waste any money licensing a format no one uses. Next you'll suggest Apple support Ogg Vorbis as well, which has a much higher level of usage than Zune.
          tic swayback
        • That'll happen as soon as the Microsoft gets a license for FairPlay

          Yeah, I'm sure that'll happen as soon as the Microsoft gets a license for FairPlay.

          no big deal, indeed.
      • Sounds alot like

        Apple TV? In order to use Apple TV, you not only have to have the device, but you're also you're forced into buying a Mac?
        John Zern