Thursday, September 2, 2010

The end of the "click-wheel" era

The iPod Nano has officially joined the touchscreen party!

Apple has recently launched the latest line of their popular music players. With the iPod Touch being pushed as the front-liner of this batch, and with the Nano now embracing touch-sensitiveness, the much loved "click-wheel" feature of the iPod is nowhere to be found. There were rumors months back that the iPod Classic is about to be discontinued, and this could very well be true.

While techies the world over rejoice, I felt kind of disappointed having to face the fact that I have little choice but to settle for the Touch on future iPod purchases going forward. Well, I was never a fan of touchscreen to begin with. I like the click-wheel. It gave the iPod an identity of its own. I also think that the Touch is too sleek and expensive-looking for my liking. I like my old no-frills 30GB iPod Video.

And I'm just not ready to get used to seeing gadgets looking like mirrors.

Now, let's look at the new features of each iPod:

The Nano, obviously, has ditched the clickwheel for the touchscreen. Problem is, they look like they're too small to even put a finger on them. It also has a built-in clip, much like the old Shuffle. Again, this clashes with the touchscreen concept 'cause clipping it in jeans/clothes (personal experience) can inflict hairline cracks to the device.

Oh wait, it has an FM radio. Now we can listen to Mr. Fu's radio show. Yey!

No doubt, it looks good. But from my viewpoint, there could be potential clashes of form & function for the Nano.

The Video, well, it looks more like an iPhone and an iPad combined (don't they all look the same?). It has a built-in HD video recorder, which is impressive. The best feature of the Touch is, of course, the gaming apps. Oh, and the Retina display thing. I seriously don't know what that's for, but...

The iPod Shuffle. These look like the 2008 version. I had the blue one, and it really looked like one of these. Of course, they retained the VoiceOver feature from the last model, so you can command your iPod to play your favorite Paramore song for five consecutive times while other LRT commuters look on.
Well, I haven't seen them in person so I'll give Steve Jobs the benefit of the doubt. However, I am still saddened by the impending departure of the incomparable click-wheel.

The end of an era, indeed.

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