Apple’s Let’s Rock event

Today, Apple announced a number of new things at it’s “Let’s Rock” event and I have to say, I was a little surprised and disappointed.

iPod Nano 4G
First of all, new iPod Nanos were revealed. Not really that surprising as the spy photos and rumour leaks were pretty strong this time around. I SO don’t need the green one but nevertheless I still want it bad (but am not buying one).

The disappointing thing with these nanos is that they are a throwback to the previous models before they got short and fat. Why did you release the ‘stubby’ only to kill it off? Other than the accelerometer and the cute ‘shake to shuffle’ feature, there isn’t much new here other than a bigger screen. I was hoping for an improvement in the user interface or featureset. I think Microsoft’s Zune interface is still slicker and even has wifi syncing which would be killer on the iPhone. I’m not talking about Mobile Me contact/calendar syncing – I mean music, podcasts, videos, etc. being synced over wifi (or even 3G). I’d love to be able to listen to my subscribed podcasts and have the ability to grab the newest episode if I’m away from my computer.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think the Zune’s navigation, with the custom backgrounds and nice smooth scrolling and animation:
Zune MP3 Player

is better than this:

Another disappointing thing was the release of some interesting new in-ear headphones with a mic and remote for the new Nanos and Touch which don’t appear to be iPhone compatible (according to Apple’s site). I would have liked to see a nicer option for iPhone users beyond the bundled buds. Still seems a tad overpriced at $79 and I can see them eventually offering something like this (if not these ones) for the iPhone.

iPod Classic 120gb
I was surprised to see them release a hard drive based 120gb iPod Classic. I don’t think I know anybody that bought the previous 80gb version so I’m wondering who really wants a 120gb model aside from some DJ’s and a handful of other music geeks. The market has to be fairly small…and I bet most of those people would prefer a 120gb iPod Touch even if it’s as thick as a brick, the user interface, touchscreen et all would benefit so much more from a giant hard drive.

Not surprisingly, the new Touch’s weren’t that much different. The expected inclusion of GPS didn’t happen but it did gain a speaker for ‘casual listening’ – probably a good thing just for watching videos or playing games. The Nike+ integration was unexpected but would make more sense in the Nanos or iPhone to me. One can easily speculate it may become an option in a future iPhone.

iPhone owners will have to wait until Friday to see what kind of improvements make it into the 2.1 firmware release. I’m going to reserve judgement on the new Genius feature of iTunes until I have more time to play with it…especially on the iPhone.

2 Comments

  1. josh says:

    As for earbuds I think the apple ones are hilariously bad, I feel bad any time I see someone using them. I haven’t tried their in-ear offering. I tried several in-ear earbuds including really high end ones from Shure, etc. and settled on the sennheiser CX 300 and am extremely happy with them. They might lack 5% of the quality of the $500 shures, but they are $99 and sound worlds better than the apple earbuds. In my experience the fidelity and clarity of any in-ear headphones compared to regular earbuds or over-ear headphones is amazing, and the sennheisers are great.

    http://tinyurl.com/5kzgsa

  2. Marina says:

    I’m a big fan of my Zune and I agree – the interface is much nicer than that of the iPod. So much so that I’ve put my iPod Nano away and have been using the Zune exclusively since I’ve had it.

    Surprisingly, the $30 (I think they’re $29.99) fancy in-ear buds from Zune are very nice. The cloth-like texture is a nice bonus too!

%d bloggers like this: