iPod Touch needs offline Maps


Google Maps on the iPod touch is great but with only Wi-Fi for internet access, it's often inaccessible when you need it most: in the car. I'm really hoping someone uses the new iPhone SDK to create a Maps application that works offline by locally saving maps of the entire US. Even iPhone users could find this useful as it would probably run much faster than Google Maps over the EDGE network.

Requisite iPod Touch Entry


Through a rather odd turn of events, I'm now the proud owner of a 32GB iPod Touch.  Looks like I'll no longer be using my trusty 20GB iPod 4G (sigh).  Anyways, I've been using it for several days now and it's great.  I actually wrote a full review, but decided it was too long and way too boring.  So I've boiled it down to some highlights. 

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iPod Delete Workaround


In the past I've written that I thought the iPod should have a "Trash Can" or "On-the-go Delete" feature.  But through the magic of music synchronization and Smart Playlist you can pretty much create this functionality yourself. 

Check out my new instructable "Automatically remove unwanted songs from your iPod."  You actually use your iPod to mark which songs should be removed, so you can do it on-the-go.  And don't worry this won't delete songs from iTunes, just from your iPod.

Special thanks to Andy Budd for turning me on to Smart Playlists, and this very clever commenter for giving me the idea.

Delete Videos from (the) iPod Touch


Looks like you'll be able to delete videos directly from the iPod touch to free up space, presumably so you can buy more music from the iTunes WiFi Music Store. But you still can't delete music, bummer...

Source: iPod Touch Manual

iPod Touch Gestures

While I love the idea of the iPod Touch, I'm a little wary of how the touchscreen will work in the real world.  With my current iPod (20GB 4G) I can easily skip a track or adjust the volume while walking, I don't need to look at the screen and in a pinch I can even control it from inside my pocket or bag. However, with just a big touch screen, it may not be as easy to control the music on the iPod Touch.  Even the iPhone has dedicated volume buttons on the side and the included headphones have a play/pause and next track button on the microphone.   37Signals wrote a great entry on customizable gestures on the iPhone.  I mentioned a similar idea here, and I still think some kind of gestures to control music would be awesome.  Here are my ideas for some music control gestures for the iPod Touch (or iPhone) that could work with the screen turned off or locked:


The iPod Touch has an accelerometer so it knows which way is up.  So for the volume control, just drag a finger "up" to raise the volume, or drag your finger down to lower the volume, it would know which way is up no matter which way it was oriented.  Using a double tap for play/pause might be a little tricky to distinguish between accidental taps, so that might not be realistic.  Of course, the iPod Touch isn't even out yet, so this might turn out to be a total non-issue. 

Lots of New iPods


Apple announced lots of new iPods yesterday.  I think this is the first time that Apple has released new iPod while their annual student promotion is still active.  The biggest news is the iPod Touch, which is an iPod with a multi-touch screen and WIFI for web browsing.  Like a lot of people, I'm pretty psyched about the iPod Touch but also wish it offered more than 16GB capacity.  I'm also a bit baffled, by the iPod Classic; 80GB and 160GB iPod seems like overkill for most people.  And while that much storage is probably great for movies, the little 2.5" screen is not.  I fully expected that when Apple finally made a multi-touch iPod that it would be high capacity, and just be called "iPod."  However, it's very likely that an iPod with a big multi-touch screen AND a hard drive would AND WIFI would have suffered from really awful battery performance.  I can't wait to try out the iPod Touch when it shows up in stores, but I might just wait until they bump up the storage.

On-the-Go Delete on the iPod


Sinve I've started listening to a lot of Podcasts on my iPod, I've wanted the iPod to have a Trash Can even more.  I usually just listen to each podcast once, but I rarely remember to manually delete the ones I've already listened to.  When I first wrote about this idea, I proposed that the ratings interface also be used to delete, but that has some problems.  Unfortunately I can't think of a really good way to delete music from the iPod without adding another Now Playing slide-across screen.  Maybe, with the next iPod revision we'll see some more advanced functionality.

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Will the iPod remote make a comeback?


I love my iPod, but my one gripe is that it's very hard to do things like change the volume with the iPod in my pocket. Oh how I've longed for a little volume dial on the top of my iPod like on my old Walkmans. It's only really a problem when you're walking on the street at a good clip and don't want to risk pulling that ever so smooth and slippery iPod out of your pocket to change the volume or skip a track. This problem may only get worse if the next iPod's whole front surface is a touchscreen, similar to the iPhone, which will offer no tactile feedback. Hopefully they'll be able to offer simple controls that can be used without looking at the screen, perhaps using simple gestures. For instance, changing the volume could be done by sliding two fingers up or down the screen. But that could be hard to do from your pocket, and for those of us that like to keep our iPods in protective sleeves. Also, I can't imagine Apple will disrupt the design of the new iPod for a few buttons on an edge or front. But they may bring back the iPod remote as freebie with some model iPods, perhaps even one using Bluetooth. Back when I purchased my 15GB 3rd generation iPod it came with this great little remote pictured above. If Apple doesn't bundle a remote with the touchscreen iPod, I could see a huge market for attractive iPod remotes.

The iPod Needs a Trashcan


Everyone once in a while, when I'm listening to my iPod on shuffle a song comes on that I really hate or doesn't play right. The problem is I never remember to actually delete the song. If the iPod had a trashcan, I could just add the song to the trash, which could be automatically emptied when I sync. Or better yet, I could empty the trash on the iPod itself.

Trashing a song could be done through the rating interface, by adding a trashcan icon before the stars. That way rolling all the way counter clockwise would mark it for the trash. This even makes intuitive sense, as if the song really sucks (i.e. low rating) it should probably be deleted. Of course, that would make it hard to trash a song and keep it's rating...but hey that's for Apple to figure out.

No more student discounts on iPods :(


Well, it seems the days of modest student discounts on iPods are over. Since dropping the price of the standard iPod to $249, Apple also dropped academic pricing on all iPod models. Previously, students were privilege to roughly a 10% discount on all iPods, but now, prices for academic customers are the same as for everyone else. Hopefully, this isn't the first step in the elimination of all student discounts on Apple products.

Transfer iTunes Purchased Music from iPod

This is a simple one, iTunes purchased music should be able to be transferred from an iPod. If I accidentally delete a song file, or my hard drive crashes I should be able to restore any iTunes purchased music back to my computer from my iPod, that just seems fair.

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iPod Hi-Fi with AirTunes


Like most people I was a bit disappointed by the iPop Hi-Fi. I still can't understand why Apple bothered to make a dockable speaker system, which is objectively just like all the other dockable speaker systems. It just doesn't seem worth their time. I'm also incredibly suprised and confused that they did not build "AirTunes" into the iPod Hi-Fi. Being able to stream music from iTunes to the iPod Hi-Fi is not only an obvious feature, but it would have clearly distinguished the iPod Hi-Fi from all the other high end dockable speaker systems.

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