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Topic: iPod Wheel to Touch Screen

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:25 PM
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iPod Wheel to Touch Screen

Over the years Apple has steered off the famous scrolling wheel for the iPod. They finally made the latest Nano a touch screen similar to the UI of the iPod Touch. I really cannot see what is going to come next except for upgrades to the touch screen interface and more integrated features. Overall the design and user interface upgrades over the years has only gotten better.

Any ideas on what you think may come next from touch screen iPods?
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Old 09-13-2010, 12:44 AM
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Mind control.

It'll come.



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Old 09-19-2010, 11:41 AM
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yes! Truth, iI've seen telekinetic obstacle courses.They read your brain waves through a headband and convert them to functions....iPods are only the beginning....
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:22 PM
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Umm the interfaces haven't gotten better, in fact I'd say its worse without the click wheel.



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Old 09-20-2010, 01:03 AM
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I love it without the click wheel. Whenever I tried to use it it always jumped and really annoyed me. Thats why I didn't get an iPod until the new one came out.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paranoidxe View Post
Umm the interfaces haven't gotten better, in fact I'd say its worse without the click wheel.
I used and loved clickwheel iPods for over six years, but I will give the prize to the touch interface. It's not a landslide, particularly depending on what you use an iPod for, but the advantage is there.

The clickwheel OS/control had its strengths:

- Pausing and volume adjustment were faster and easier. The buttons for changing volume are awkwardly placed for pocket use on touch devices (and, if it's not in your pocket, screen operation is not an issue), and pausing requires at least three button presses, either a quick double click of the home button to bring up just the play controls, then pause, or a tap, slide to unlock, and then pause (assuming the audio playback interface was the last thing active, otherwise, more presses of virtual buttons). Neither of those can be easily done sight free.

- Without doing something stupid (iPod in your pocket with irregular shaped objects), it was harder in almost every case to invoke accidental button presses. The only two exceptions I've found is that some genius placed the play/pause control in coverflow mode right in the (if you picture it in the traditional portrait orientation) upper left corner. Since you can't disable coverflow (for the love all that is good, why the hell not?), I have found it is very easy to accidentally pause the iPod as you put it in your pocket (although though now that I finally figured out *why* it kept pausing, I'll probably figure out how not to do this as much). The other thing is skipping tracks - the skip track buttons are always right there next to the play/pause button, and since they're virtual, all it takes is an errant skin contact and, DOH!

- And if you are the sort who deliberately skips through stuff much, the one press, eyes free operation that gets waved about like a flag on these forums was there. However, while I'd kill for a proper eyes free pause button on this thing, other than that particular function, in practice I don't really mind the absence.

However, that was about it. The complexity and precision of control possible with the touch interface is just something that could have never been done on a clickwheel iPod, even as an audio focused player (e.g. rating tracks, looking through long lists, searching, navigating something like the songs menu list). And if you remember that, oh yeah, this thing does a lot more than audio (and even video), there goes any question (let's see you make a forum post with a clickwheel ).

On the other hand, don't get me started on the new nano. I finally spent some time with the 6G nano at my Apple store while waiting on my wife to finish shopping and was NOT impressed in any way. Moving the touch screen interface to such a tiny device is a step backward in every way that I can see for the sort of uses the nano found itself in so often. If you think on paper it seems a poor successor to the mini->nano iPods that came before it, in person, the effect is 10X worse. It is truly nothing more than a shuffle with a screen, physically and in UI. Calling it a "nano" is a joke much like the corn refiner lobbyists wanting to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to "Corn Sugar" - calling it something that sounds better than what it is won't actually change what it is. In terms of information displayed, it feels like I'm back using my 2G nano (I suspect the 2G nano handily trounces it) - so you wind up with an interface that's geared to be used visually, yet there is so little visual information present that it really is another version of the 3G shuffle where the user is going to have invest considerable time in mentally adapting to the device instead of there being anything intuitive about it at all ("intuitive" is the last word I would use for its interface).

Basically, it took me just a few hours of playing with my 4G touch before I admitted to myself that although every criticism I ever lobbied toward this thing was technically true, in the face of all the stuff it did better and all the other stuff it did that I could have never do on one of my clickwheel iPods, it just didn't matter all that much.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
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Pausing and volume adjustment were faster and easier.
While I'll agree with you in principle, the support for in-line controls on the earphones negates a lot of that disadvantage (leaving aside the fact that Apple didn't see fit to include them in the box this year, which is another discussion entirely). Play/pause and volume adjustments are trivial, and skipping tracks isn't all that bad. The only parts that are confusing are skipping through tracks, which is something that I think most people can live with pulling the device out of their pocket to do if they're unwilling to deal with the more-code style button clicks.

Quote:
Since you can't disable coverflow (for the love all that is good, why the hell not?), I have found it is very easy to accidentally pause the iPod as you put it in your pocket
Actually, with the new iPod touch and iOS 4 you can (finally) lock the device in portrait orientation, which has the nice side-effect of disabling Cover Flow. Of course, you have to go back an disable the orientation lock if you want to do anything else in landscape mode, but if you're primarily listening to music there's often little reason to not just leave it on.



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Old 09-20-2010, 05:29 PM
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Actually, with the new iPod touch and iOS 4 you can (finally) lock the device in portrait orientation, which has the nice side-effect of disabling Cover Flow. Of course, you have to go back an disable the orientation lock if you want to do anything else in landscape mode, but if you're primarily listening to music there's often little reason to not just leave it on.
It's a kludge, but a bad one. I can't conceive of any reason to lock portrait mode except for the purpose of disabling coverflow. If I want to lock an orientation, it would be *portrait* I'd like to lock, which, of course, I can't. Conversely, locking portrait mode to avoid the unholy abortion of all that is good in the universe, aka "coverflow" (worst feature ever brought to iPods, chiefly because it's still the same proof of concept alpha version that came out in years ago instead of a contextual coverflow, which would *rock*), just gets in the way because of all the times I do need to invoke portrait mode.

If Apple can't be bothered to make coverflow contexual like it is in iTunes, I just want it gone. It's the equivalent of browsing my iTunes library as a single list with no way to jump to any point. In going on 7 years of using iTunes, it's never occurred to me that browsing my music that way would be a good idea, and I'm still annoyed that Apple thinks it's an acceptable way to browse our iPods (particularly given that the overwhelming majority of their iTunes music sales are single a la carte track sales and coverflow is best used as a "CD browser").
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Old 09-20-2010, 05:33 PM
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I tend to agree -- Cover Flow is little more than useless eye candy. Looks cool on the surface, but I've never found it to be particularly useful either.

I suppose it really depends on how you use your device, but I find that I frequently lock my device in portrait mode just to keep things from flipping around wildly on me when I'm trying to use it on the go. Locking in landscape mode would be acceptable except for the fact that a lot of things -- like the home screen itself -- don't actually rotate into landscape orientation.



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Old 09-20-2010, 06:11 PM
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I suppose it really depends on how you use your device, but I find that I frequently lock my device in portrait mode just to keep things from flipping around wildly on me when I'm trying to use it on the go.
I'd like to be able to lock it in landscape for writing. Safari likes to reload many webpages (iLounge's among them) when you switch orientations, and since their accelerometer is like a spastic kid who got fed a box of cupcakes, it's a good way to waste time waiting on page reloads or, worse, lose something mid "keystroke".

I've tried the locking it in portrait to avoid coverflow and then forget it about and find a landscape game that won't work properly so I have to quit it and start over. It's like being asked how you want to be annoyed.

Give me an option to disable coverflow AND a choice of locking in either orientation and then I'll be happy. Until then, I remain annoyed
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:09 AM
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I really hope they don't make another iPod with a touch screen. I really love the click wheel, which was the reason which I did not buy a new Nano.
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Old 10-17-2010, 10:01 AM
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yeah i also think the click wheel is awesome it's what makes it an ipod
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Old 10-19-2010, 01:59 AM
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I agree. When I think iPod, I think Click Wheel and the classic iPod.
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Old 11-01-2010, 02:35 PM
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I kinda miss the roll of the old wheel. I think for the next 10 years though, we'll have touch screen technology on all phones.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:40 PM
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Whenever i look at my ipod touch, i don't see it as a "primary music player".
I will always look at my nano and think that it's more of a professional music player.
That being said i always use my nano as my number one music player and i am also very said to see the death of the wheel.
Maybe we should have a funeral for it?



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