On true video iPods, and the possible usage thereof

by Giles Turnbull

Let's just assume, for the time being, that the Think Secret story about a forthcoming "true" video iPod is correct.

People have been busy making mock-ups which certainly make it look like an attractive, shiny little device. But wait a second - remember a certain problem with scratches on the first wave of iPod nanos?

If such a widescreen iPod does appear (iPod Pro, perhaps?), Apple needs to be paying extra attention to the surface, making it resistant to scratches and providing some way for owners to keep it clean. When the machine is sitting in a bag or pocket, playing music and not videos, it would have to be kept in a sleeve or protective case. I've no doubt that a simple sleeve would come in the box, but you'd be, uh, encouraged to splash out 20 or 30 more dollars on something a bit nicer.

As lots of folks have already pointed out, watching video content through a haze of sticky fingerprints and smudges won't be anyone's idea of fun.

So wouldn't it be nice if the video iPod included something else, some other way to keep your mucky little paws away from that pristine display? Something like an Apple Remote, perhaps?


Julio Ojeda-Zapata
2006-02-10 07:24:48
A stylus, of course :-)
2006-02-10 07:27:26
users of the PSP have already dealt with this problem, buy a $5 screen protector that "sticks" to the screen and prevents scratches.
2006-02-10 09:51:47
if it indeed will be a touchscreen, don't you think apple will have thought about the fingerprint problem?
2006-02-10 09:55:38
@ grant: That's *precisely* the point I'm trying to make. Whether they make it Apple Remote-compatible or not, I'm sure they've been giving the matter a great deal of thought.
2006-02-10 11:18:34
Why are mac writers so stupid? It's not like Apple's inventing portable video playback or touch screens here. People have carried Palm Pilots, Treos, Archos media centers, and lots of other stuff around for years without bitching about it. F'in macheads ...
2006-02-10 11:36:53
Well, the dimensions of the current 5G iPod would be almost perfect for full-screen HD-aspect ratio video... check out http://crazytimego.blogspot.com for the shocking truth :-P
2006-02-10 12:54:40
The "Movies" channel in Apple's Sherlock application has been down all day, displaying the message "This channel is temporarily unavailable. Check back soon." Could this indicate an impending launch of the 6th generation Video iPod which was also mentioned recently in a recent press release from online movie site 4Flix.Net?


Stay Tuned!

Luis Govela
2006-02-10 13:16:53
How about making the protector foldable?
2006-02-11 09:50:47
Together with the rumour about Apple's widget development toolkit suggesting Widgets for iPod's, I'm actually hoping for something along those lines - some sort of Webkit based runtime, similar to that used by Nokia. This would be the obvious thing to underly a richer iPod GUI, as well as tapping into an established community. This would, of course, be even better if combined with Wifi (imagine being able to use an iPod RSS widget to browse news stories, or quickly view the weather) but I don't think that will happen in this iteration.

John - I don't think anyone's being stupid. I've got a Palm, a PSP and a mobile phone, all with colour screens, as well as an iPod. Oh, and a Windows laptop whose screen is covered in fingerprints. The Palm works fine with a stylus, but it would kind of remove a lot of the flexibility of the iPod if you had to use pull out a stylus to use it. I wouldn't use my Palm as a video player. It's a perfectly valid question - could you have something that's both a usable video player and touch screen.

2006-02-11 23:40:02
I would think the fingerprintt problem would also be a security solution: password-protect your pod through finger/thumb prints.
2006-02-12 04:28:07
I owned a 3G iPod with the really, REALLY sensitive touch buttons and my new 5G iPod is immediately better to my feel. I can change the song or the volume without having to look at it - try doing that with this "improved" design. I never liked those clip-on remote things so don't even suggest it.
I'm not convinced it'll translate to a product anytime soon. I think it's there to back-up a claim of intellectual property for the future.