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The new iPods

Article illustration for London Design Festival

When I was crossing my fingers for the much-rumoured and eargerly-awaited new iPod, I never expected the entire product line to be refreshed, and I don’t think I was alone. New Shuffle, new Nano, new iPod (now iPod Classic)… that’s quite an update. But then – just as we’d all sighed a slightly disappointed sigh at the lack of an iPhone-esque, touchscreen iPod – they go and unveil the iPod Touch! Bloody hell… I think I need a lie down.

But wait: after the initial excitement, there are quite a few disappointments here. First off is the new external design of the iPod Classic, which I think looks pretty cheap. The previous generation (and the first generation Nano) had a real class about it – a look inline with the new iMacs, in fact – but I’m really not sure about that bevelled edge. And what on earth is going on with that half-screen bastardisation of the software interface? Why do I need to see my album art when navigating the menu? I’m listening, aren’t I? And although I’m very happy to see the inclusion of Cover Flow… white background?!?

On a personal level, I now have a real dilemma in terms of choice. The reason I was hoping for a new revision to the standard iPod line was so that I could finally get myself an iPod to hold my entire library and thus ditch my cute-but-frustrating Nano. The iPod Classic (now with up to 160GB capacity) solves that problem to an extent, but with the iPod Touch looking so beautiful, do I really want to settle for the ‘consolationPod’ if I’m going to fork out all that money? Not really. So iPod Touch it is, then (despite its much smaller capacity)? No! Because it’s just too much like an iPhone, and I know I’m going to be kicking myself as soon as the iPhone (eventually) hits ol’ Blighty’s shores.

So what should it be (and bear in mind I might wait until I’m over in NYC in November to pick one up at a reduced price)?

  1. iPod Classic (huge capacity but not too happy with either the hardware or software design)
  2. iPod Touch (all the lovliness of an iPhone but with hardly any storage space)
  3. iPhone (the sexiest of them all and with more functionality to shake a stick at, but still falling short on storage (and do I want a first gen one? Many of us Brits were planning on holding out for the second, will power permitting))