Apple released new iPods officially yesterday. New features include multiple on-the-go playlists, the ability to delete songs from those playlists, a revised menu including a “Music” entry as will as shuffle within easy access.
Apple also released a firmware update for all iPods, or so it would seem at first. They actually did not release an update for any iPod other than the new ones.
This has actually left existing users out in the cold. I can understand if certain features simply weren’t possible with existing iPod hardware (the ability to slow or speed up Audible content), but shifting access to the shuffle function into the main menu should be brain dead easy. It’s already implemented and in place on existing iPods, all that remains for Apple is to implant a menu item to access that call.
Surely that is easier to implement than say, adding support for their lossless audio codec to the original iPod. I fear that Apple, fearing decreased iPod sales is purposely keeping even the most superficial features from their existing base. That is, needless to say, a bad precedent.
Giving us a few of these interface enhancements would require little development cost and would pay over time in continued brand loyalty. No person in their right mind is going to buy a whole new iPod just to get shuffle into their main menu. They will, however, remember how they didn’t get it when it’s time to get a new MP3 player. It’s time someone stepped up to the plate and remind us why we should continue buying iPods.