Apple needs new iPods, but not for music

“New iPods may be coming tomorrow. I know. iPods? Weren’t they a big thing in 2006? Yes, but they fill a key niche, and prevent inexpensive Android phones from attracting future iPhone customers,” Sascha Segan writes for PC Magazine. “They need to stay.”

“The iPod is critical for Apple to have a full ecosystem experience,” Segan writes. “What sells iPhones, iPads, and Macs are the operating system and app design that you can only get from Apple products.”

“One thing we all have to do is set aside the association between music and the iPod. Yes, I know the iPod started out as a music brand, and Apple is doing some major music initiatives with Apple Music and Beats,” Segan writes. “But while music is a feature of current iPods, it isn’t the focus, and that’s not going to change. The iPod’s place in Apple’s str”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How about something light, but with GPS – they could be a runner’s companion for those who want to wear Apple Watch, but map their routes?

Apple’s next-gen iPod touch likely to sport 64-bit A-series processor – July 10, 2015
Apple to announce new iPod Touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle within days – report – July 10, 2015


    1. The shuffle could connect to the iPhone via bluetooth?
      On long car trips, where each person could have there own music tastes, each could have a shuffle pulling data off an iPhone to power Apple Music. The shuffle already supports voice recognition via the mic in the headphone which would be all that is needed to select any song from Apple music.

      1. The shuffle does not support voice recognition (and does nothing with a mic). By pressing the button (on shuffle or on cord) in specific ways, the shuffle can provide information using what Apple calls “VoiceOver.”

        But the shuffle is not generating speech either. It plays back pre-recorded audio that iTunes creates using the computer’s speech capabilities. In other words, iTunes creates audio of the computer speaking every song name (and other song info) for songs plus other things like playlists and audiobooks, being synced to shuffle; iTunes syncs that audio data to the shuffle at the same time as songs (and other media items) are synced. When using VoiceOver on the shuffle, the relevant portion of that audio data (for the currently playing song) is played back to the user, giving the illusion that the tiny shuffle is speaking to you “on the fly” to provide song name and other info. It’s a great example of Apple magic.

        In reality, iPod shuffle has minimal processing power. It cannot generate speech. Speech recognition is every harder; that’s what Siri does, and it takes an iPhone.

        Bluetooth would require more processing power too, plus a larger battery, and an antenna. It would make the shuffle about the size of iPod nano, which already has built-in Bluetooth (plus a screen to control more complex user actions). iPod nano already exists, and is better suited for what you describe.

    1. Or an iPad Mini. You can run all the iPhone software on it, use it for storage and run movies, photos, etc. to your Apple TV. Think of it as a Gateway (as in drugs, not the defunct computer manufacturer) iPhone.

  1. Well, I hope this is the case. I tried to order an iPod for a grandson’s birthday from three different places (including the local Apple Store) and they were all out.

    I won’t be able to get it, load it up, set the limits and send it out of state in time for his party, but at least it will be the newest model!

  2. I agree that iPod touch is important, because it’s an iPhone without the phone parts (and without a recurring long-term monthly expense). It’s also an “iPad nano.” Update it with the latest (or near-latest) tech specs. Sell current A5 model for one more year as $199 choice, with new model starting at a higher price.

    The main thing iPod nano needs is a software update to allow Apple Music DRM’ed downloads to play. Apple should also give existing 7th gen nano this software update. Since Apple Music is a subscription renewed every 30 days, the iPod’s onboard software needs to keep track of time since last sync with iTunes. If that time exceeds 30 days, any Apple Music “subscribed” songs on iPod stop playing (until iPod is synced with iTunes). If Apple Music is active at time of iPod’s sync, Apple Music songs on iPod play. If Apple Music has lapsed, iTunes removes Apple Music songs from iPod during sync. Putting more tech in iPod nano (like GPS or WiFi) makes it too expensive. Giving it 32GB with options for 64GB and even 128GB would be nice.

    iPod shuffle also has a place in the lineup. For people who just want “shuffled” music during exercise (no need to track anything), it is a convenient and economical “clip-on” choice. It certainly needs to have at least 8GB of storage. And it would be nice if it could also sync and play DRM’ed Apple Music song downloads.

  3. I would immediately buy an iPod Touch with 256gb storage. I need to replace my aging iPod Classic and a 256Touch would be perfect. I could take it on trips, use in the car, etc.

    Otherwise, my 6+ with 128gb has become the one and only device I sync to my iMac for music. I have eliminated multiple libraries and use docks for the different spaces in which I need music.

    1. Apple is going to be pushing streaming and cloud services, so I think there’s absolutely no chance of seeing a 256GB iPod Touch. I’m also doubtful if many consumers would buy an iPod with that much memory because Apple would charge an arm and a leg for it. I’ll be happy to be proved wrong because it might remove some of my pessimism about where Apple is putting its priorities.

    2. If your “aging” iPod classic is in decent shape (and it’s 5th gen or later), you can consider replacing its fragile hard drive with solid state storage, in the form of compact flash card, SD card, or mSata drive. Search on “tarkan adapter” for web site with more info, including demo of a 1Tb (as in terabyte) iPod classic.

      I don’t have experience using a 5th gen or later iPod classic, but I did the equivalent upgrade with an older 4th gen iPod “classic” (monochrome screen). It originally had a 20GB hard drive. Using an adapter (different type from Tarkan’s), it now has a 64GB compact flash card inside. iTunes shows it having about 60GB available. My iTunes music library is about 50GB. This old iPod model topped out at 40GB, so I wasn’t sure if 64GB would work. This old iPod works better now (in many ways) than when it was brand new. 🙂

      If affordable flash-based storage had been available (like today) back in 2001, Apple would have skipped using 1.8-inch hard drives altogether. Fortunately, “classic” iPods are modular in its components, so replacing the hard drive with flash-based storage is just a swap (through an adapter).

  4. It might be possible to get some degree of GPS type functionality from having WiFi. If the iPod spotted WiFi hotspots on it’s travels and matched those spots to known locations, it should be possible to recalibrate the ‘dead reckoning’ from the movement detection systems to better estimate where you actually are.

    Obviously it’s likely to work better in urban locations rather than the countryside, but it should be possible to get some of the functionality of GPS without the hardware, extra bulk or battery drain.

  5. How about something light and without actual GPS but, rather a proper Beats 1 Low Earth orbit receiver which would work everywhere on earth and – just by coincidence – was capable of sat-nav???

    Please check: “Iridium GO!” as well as “Iridium and Boeing HI-GPS/iGPS R&D project”.

  6. I’m still using my iPod mini (09/2004), now running on its second replacement battery (€ 7.99) and a 16 GB Compact Flash card (€ 14.99). Great for the beach and at the pool since nobody will want to pinch it while I’m swimming.
    The iPod touch should be fitted with GPS and mobile connectivity. They could call it the iPad nano ’cause that’s what it is.

  7. How about iPod with wifi integrated across the range and with an Apple SIM inside that only allow the owner to access Apple Music? Listen to Apple radio and download music on the go …. All within the Apple Music subscription price … Simply free … As a value added service.
    This will make the beginning of the new radio era.

  8. Lots of people give their kids iPod Touches for 2 reasons:
    1- It lets them play iOS games & music without the expense and contract of a cell phone.
    2- A simple VoIP app (there are many) can add Telephony wherever your child has WiFi access. At a friend’s house, at many schools, most restaurants, most hotels and in many cars.

    Finally, I still would like to see Apple mod the iPod Touch by adding iPhone-like Mics and speakers and market it as a WiFi VoIP Phone for both Home and Enterprise use. Existing VoIP phones are expensive and clunky. I think they are missing a market by ignoring the possibility.

    1. Agreed.

      But the same can be said for iPad mini WIFI only.
      And the pricing is very close.

      So do you want your child to be squinting for hours at a 4 inch screen or the larger iPad mini?

      People joke that the iPad mini is too larger to hold up to ones ear to talk on… how absurd – use a bluetooth ear plug as we also use bluetooth keyboards if not content with the virtual keyboard.

      Screen size does matter, and Apple had told us all that the cost of making such devices with larger screens would cost more. IF so marginal. Apple said making things larger is easy, and putting in a bigger batter is a piece of cake… so do it Apple. iPhone 6 Plus has proven people want larger screens.

      Yes the iPod touch from day one seems to me a much more beautiful phone… and yes it can be used as a VoIP phone… with the growing numbers of WIFI hot spots being on TRAINS PLANES BUSES and AUTOMOBILES yes… this product still has life.

      However, the pricing is a concern. There are over laps to the next product which make consumers confused. Why buy a fully loaded iPod touch when I can have a mid level iPad mini for the same price or within 40 bucks? Is that larger screen more useful? Most cases yes. Would I rather carry a iPad mini and a Bluetooth ear Bud to use the device as a VoIP — I am sure most will.

      How to solve this? Stream line the product line. Space pricing out more and make it easier to decide what one needs.

  9. Apple NEEDS to streamline its product offerings.
    iPod devices were so yesteryear.
    iPhone and iPads basically are the same thing just different sizes. Rename these devices to make clarity and ease of purchasing. Sure there are still music players from Apple. Keep those items which remain generally just that devices to just play music iPods. But the iPod Touch clearly is named in correctly. It actually is a iPad micro.

    Lets review all the screen sizes Apple now caters to.
    iPad, iPad mini, iPhone 6 plus, iPhone 6, iPod touch and soon an iPad Pro. That makes for 5 device sizes.
    A B C D E sizes.
    Apple should offer each device with both WIFI and CELLULAR as Phablets. Phone capable components given.
    And then offer the same 5 different sizes with WIFI only.
    Add in the option for storage space.

    Large, Medium, Regular, Small and Mini

    iPad mini becomes the iPad Small.
    iPod touch becomes the iPad mini.

    If this is confusing… Bring back the letters.
    iPad A-16 — A referes to the largest screen size and 16 the year 2016
    iPad E-16 — the smallest screen 2016

    Offer all devices with the latest processors.
    And last years processors for cost saving option.

    Letting the processor go for three or four years is fragmentation and automatic obsolesce. And that is not Apple style.

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