New iPod accessories: getting closer to the portable Holy Grail

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
October 17th, 2003 • 12:32 am

Apple has just announced two new accessories for iPods. I personally have yet to buy an iPod, in spite of my great love of music and extensive music collection. First I waited for the hard drive capacity to go up. Then I waited for Apple to add the features that I’d really like

These two accessories add two of the features I was waiting for. It makes total sense for me to have a really portable device where I can store thousands of digital pictures. Right now, I only have a 256 MB flash card for my Nikon Coolpix 5000, and, with the quality setting that I prefer, I can only have up to 100 pictures on it. After that, I have to transfer the pictures on my PowerBook.

Obviously, that means that, in most situations, I have to carry my PowerBook around as well. It’s not exactly convenient. With photo storage on the iPod, I can now imagine being away from my computer for days and still being able to shoot pictures to my heart’s content. It’s an exciting improvement that I had been waiting for for a long time.

I am not going to be too impressed, however, if it forces people to use iPhoto to transfer the pictures from the iPod to the computer. I personally use iView Media Pro, which performs much better than iPhoto. I hope that Apple provides the same application-independent capabilities in Mac OS X for transferring pictures from an iPod as it does for digital cameras and flash card readers.

The other improvement is of less immediate interest to me, but still opens up intriguing possibilities. You can now record hours of audio on the iPod. The issue here is of course audio quality. Are people going to be able to record music concerts when they are in the audience? This could create a whole new market for live music bootleggers…

There are still a couple of missing features that prevent me from breaking down and buying an iPod. While I don’t need a PDA per se, I’d really like to be able to do more than just browse my iCal and Address Book information on the iPod. There should be some way of entering DATA as well (and then synchronizing back with the DATA on the desktop computer). Obviously the input controls on the iPod are pretty limited. Maybe some rudimentary form of voice recognition? I wouldn’t mind spelling words and reading numbers to my iPod if it could record the information for me.

This way, I could add contact information for people that I meet while away from my computer. No more scraps of paper where people have to scribble their email address or phone number. Just dictate it to your iPod!

Still, this is a software issue rather than a hardware issue now that the iPod has voice recording capabilities (and I suppose you can always record the contact information as a voice recording and listen to it on your desktop and UPDATE your calendars and address book then…). So maybe I’m going to be tempted just the same…

2 Responses to “New iPod accessories: getting closer to the portable Holy Grail”

  1. Will says:

    To assuage your fears:

    “To retrieve the images, simply connect your iPod to your computer and import them into iPhoto or Image Capture.” (somewhere in the Apple website).

    So it’s all good!

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Great! :) Now I just need to find the money… :-/

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