Rants about the coming new year seem so last week. A hotter topic appears to be the size and price of the “freshly introduced iPod mini Apple. A number of people have taken their slice on the topic.
“A maxiPrice for Apple’s miniPod” Alex Salkever of BusinessWeek online
“Apple Unveils Fashion iPods” Leander Kahney of Wired News
“Mini? Really?” Douglas Bowman of Stopdesign
“You’re Not One of Those Agitators, Are You?” John Gruber of Daring Fireball
“iPod mini” Todd Dominey of What do I know
Personally I think it is great!
To put my take on it in perspective I need to point out I still use and love my first generation, 5 gig, iPod.
Although my MP3 and ACC library greatly outweighs the capacity of the relative dinosaur on my hip – I don’t feel the need for more music in one day. Smart playlists keep the sounds rotating, providing I plug into iTunes at home every now and then.
Since almost two years ago when I bought the olliPod (as it appears on my desktop) evolution has been progressing steadily. The third generation have some very appealing improvements: they are lighter, have smoother edges, scroll wheels without the moving parts and I could make good use of a number of the software refinements. The added capacity seems unnecessary for my purposes. In fact I normally have a least 1 gig empty!
I use the extras such as the calendar and address book frequently, regularly sync my bookmarks between home and work, occasionally I transport a bit of software on it – none of these things threaten to fill that space. Perhaps if I was regularly transporting hefty video files the 40 gig would be more appealing – but as a music player for someone who is rarely far from home 4 or 5 gig is ample.
In this context the new iPod mini offers someone like me all the good stuff wielded by it’s bigger siblings without the stuff I don’t need - namely more disc space. On top of that it improves on what’s already there. It’s smaller, the interface is even neater and last but not least it is cheaper! The only compromise I can see is the smaller battery reduces the playing time.
For many people the smaller drive as a backwards step in the development of the iPod. This would be true if the larger iPods no longer existed. With the miniPod Apple have simply redefined the intended function of the iPod as a portable music player.
With it’s little brother looking after the clean and simple music player market – “iPod bigger” will be free to stretch it’s wings. I expect the differences between them will grow beyond size in the near future.