Looking forward to the future of Apple music products has had everyone speculating and proposing their ideas as to what the next iPods could offer. With the upcoming September events closing fast, the Reality of what we want and what Apple is willing to give us as consumers are two very different things.
In order to look forward, let us first take a look back at what people wanted in 2005. An article posted by iLounge in June of 2005 detailed what the top 10 requests for the next wave of iPod’s were.
1. User-Replaceable Battery: Still not part of the iPod lineup, but Apple has made strides for battery replacement from their stores and Genius Bar.
2. Gapless Playback: Gapless playback was offered to us in September 2006 allowing us to maintain the sound and feel of traditional CD’s.
3. Crossfade Playback: iPod does not support crossfade playback and only some iPod models support gapless playback via Apple’s support site. Crossfade is currently only available in iTunes.
4. More Interactive Entertainment: Downloadable Games: This became reality in September of 2006. We have only recently see this market really explode with games on the iPhone/iPod Touch thru the App Store.
5. An Open Platform: Apple’s current SDK for iPhone and iPod Touch is not completely open and that could be a good thing. While currently the main OS is locked down, you can run apps separately which leaves the OS alone to maintain its stability and prevents viruses within the OS. However, with all the iPhone crashes of late, more openess could provide a much more stable iPhone/iPod Touch experience.
6. Video Playback: Released in October 2005, currently this is what the iPod is all about. Music and Movies on the go when and where we want it.
7. Radio Receiver and Transmitter: Still no sign of an FM Receiver or Transmitter in the iPod
8. Bluetooth and/or WiFi: We have both Bluetooth and WiFi as of September 2007 in the iPhone/iPod Touch, but still no A2DP
9. Adjustable Equalizer and Support for Custom iTunes EQ Settings: We have had the EQ since we can remember, but still no customizable EQ
10. Reactive Volume Control: Still not available or iPod. The idea is that when noise around you increases, the iPod would automatically adjust to drown out the noise by raising the volume.
Today users have a lot of what they wanted in the past. Looking forward, a consumer always wants more and companies sometimes listen. It is very hard for any one product to achieve perfection for every user in a seemingly imperfect world. The next best thing is to listen to your customers and do your best to give them what they want while at the same time holding off to keep your customers wanting more.
Here are 5 additions we would like to see and may recieve:
1. A Subscription Service: Rhapsody is doing it. Napster is doing it. Even the Zune is doing it. So why can’t Apple do it? While the truth is they can and if rumors hold true, they will. Apple already dominates the downloadable music space and to continue forward the best model could be to get people to pay monthly to borrow music. At the same time many will no longer bother with illegal downloading if they have access to just about everything for a low monthly fee. A subscription service should be a no brainer for the future and we see this as coming to fruition.
2. Bluetooth A2DP: Currently you can use your bluetooth hands free device with the iPhone, but why not allow the use of wireless Bluetooth headphones on the iPhone and iPod Touch. You can buy accessories to allow this or you can occasionally play around and get this to work in mono. The iPod touch is more than capable of handling the task and this could be right around the corner.
3. User-Replaceable Battery: The ability to change out multiple batteries when your running low would be quit the feature for long trips where you don’t have an outlet. This would be especially true for the iPhone 3G user who has to recharge often or turn off features to preserve battery life. The unfortunate part is you would ruin the aesthetics and rigidity of the device and would lose the thinness Apple is known for. So probably not the most likely thing to happen.
4. Support for More File Types: Divx, Xvid, WMA and the many other file types would just make it easier and allow us less time re-encoding to get our files working on our preferred player. The idea of Apple expanding on its current supported codecs is one best left behind to save you the disappointment. For reasons that seem foolish to most, many manufacturers leave out codecs either to force consumers to use their products or to save them from dealing with piracy. This leaves the possibility of more codec support to be slim to none.
5. Wireless Syncing: The Zune has it and so should your iPod. This has been an old idea and seems ripe for the implementing. With the iPhone and iPod Touch having WiFi there is no reason we should not be able to sync to our own Mac or PC without having to plug it in every time. The feature could come any moment and we may see it before the end of the year.
Also worth Mentioning:
5Mp Camera with GPS
Safari Flash Support
Download Podcasts Wirelessly
What do you want or think may be coming? Let us know in the comments section below.