iTunes 5 (finally), iPod nano, etc.

Posted by Pierre Igot in: iTunes, Macintosh, Music, Technology
September 8th, 2005 • 9:43 am

It’s hard to believe that we had to wait this long, but it’s finally a reality: You can now organize playlists in folders in iTunes 5.

It’s hard to be enthusiastic about a feature that should have been added years ago — but hey, better late than never.

The iPod nano looks good. It’s a pretty logical development (basically an iPod shuffle with a screen and the full range of navigation capabilities), even though no one had predicted it (as far as I know). It contributes to turning the iPod into more and more of a commodity — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In an all-digital world, devices are easily replaceable. It’s the digital content that’s on them that makes them unique. As long as you keep backups of your stuff, the actual object doesn’t really matter that much.

I find it strange that, now that the iPod nano is also available in black, the black model is not featured more prominently on the site. The only picture I can find of it is the tiny icon at the top of this page. It’s a logical extension of the iPod U2 design, and I suspect it won’t be long before the iPod itself is available in black (without the red click-wheel). (The Gallery for the iPod nano does have pictures of the black model, but that opens in a separate window and means that the user has to find the gallery first.)

To me, another big news item is that iPod integration is going to become a standard feature in many cars by many different car makers. Our VW Jetta is 10 years old and has more than 250,000 km on its counter. It won’t last forever. When I buy a new car, I want it to have iPod integration. I don’t want to have to deal with third-party accessories.

I don’t know why Apple filed this car integration stuff in the iPod nano section (the URL is, but presumably it uses a standard iPod connection and works with all iPod models!

The mobile phone stuff doesn’t affect me much, given that I live in an area where we don’t even have digital coverage yet, and the analog coverage doesn’t even reach my own house. In any case, I have absolutely no need for a mobile phone except in case of an emergency, so I’ll probably buy another iPod sooner than I buy an iTunes-capable mobile phone! Still, I suppose that mobile phones are such a big thing these days that the integration of the two was unavoidable.

3 Responses to “iTunes 5 (finally), iPod nano, etc.”

  1. ssp says:

    For the car integration: It would be really good if the different manufacturers of music players agreed on a single interface for charge / control / line out, so people could have an easy time installing them in their cars. But that’s not going to happen… :(

    Luckily I don’t have a car…

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    The main problem is going to be with how easy it is to browse your playlists, artist lists, etc. from the dashboard. I hope that there will be some decent solutions — but the industry might need a while to achieve a mature kind of interface. There are too many bad interface designers out there. We’ll see.

  3. Paul Ingraham says:

    In my little world, I thought the announcement of playlist folders in iTunes was the first news item to eclipse New Orleans since disaster struck there. Okay, so maybe they’re not so important in the grand scheme of things, but damn I had a lot of playlists, they were getting pretty hard to scroll through, and I am tired of hearing bad news! My face really lit up when I saw that little 5.0 in the Software Update window. :)

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