I found on the BBC today a video preview of the next generation of iPod nanos and iPod touch. It seems the leaked images I posted a little while back were spot on, for a less blurry version, check out BBC’s website.
Not sure whether I like these new designs much, but credit to Apple for constantly refreshing (or just changing slightly to encourage people to buy new iPods every year) their range. When I get a chance, I will have a play with one of these ‘in the flash’ and report back.
UPDATE : I am starting to get the impression this market has matured drastically in the last few months. Apple have been making iPods for 7 years now, improving on the design and functionality as they go along, but is there any real selling point to these new iPods apart from the fact they are new? Sure the screen is slightly better, sure they have a motion sensor… but so what? When it is in my pocket, am I really going to care enough about how different it is to my 3rd gen nano?
I normally don’t pay much attention to ‘leaked’ designs or pictures as they invariably turn out to be fake or photo-shopped. However, I do trust some sources more than others and the following picture caught my eye.
Apple’s strategy of radical redesigns every couple of years form a clever strategy for separating people from their money periodically. This built in redundancy by design is quite remarkable, just look at the first generation nanos if you don’t know what I mean. Anyway, it may be real, it may be fake, but I thought I would share it.
The ‘new’ iPod nano (3rd generation presumably) … not sure if I like it much, although it is hard to tell from this blurry shot. The orientation is interesting and might suggest a landscape style view for movie playback.
Just wanted to briefly mention a free video editing program I am playing with at the moment. It is a free but slightly feature poor program that I guess can be thought of as Pinnacle Studio’s smaller brother. Despite this, it is a fantastic and simple application for editing all manner of video files and exporting in a variety of formats. Whilst I have only been encoding into DVD (i.e. MPEG-2) there are also options for iPods and the Sony PSP. The best thing about the program is the way it automatically breaks up video streams into segments based on scene changes. This makes editing out commercials from recordings or clean cut editing (i.e. without manually going frame by frame) child’s play.
The only downside it the processing and encoding appears to be single threaded which is a massive let down and there is no direct option to make DVD compliant data structures. Despite this, if you need to casually edit video files and have been wading through pages of useless google results looking for the right program – give VideoSpin a try.
Presentation: 8/10 – Great, everything is clearly and intuitively laid out.
Features: 6/10 – Nice range of export formats, but some are lacking. Feature poor compared to commercial version.
Power: 6/10 – Fast, but annoyingly only single threaded, Dual and Quad cores will be left underutilised.
Overal: 8/10 – Great program, shame about the limitations.
I want to briefly share an interesting story about a fake iPod I came across earlier in the week. At work, it turns out someone had tried to return a Apple iPod Nano 8Gb they had bought, substituting the Apple iPod for a cheap fake. The circumstances surrounding this are a bit sketchy as I was not there at the time, the first time I came across it was when the fake iPod nano was returned by Apple with a polite and bemused letter to the effect that Apple only services original hardware. Intregued, I took another look at the iPod nano.
As you can see, from the outside it is a very good quality fake – the screen looks a little strange but there are no marks or variations which would immediately suggest this product is a fake. The back plate is engraved correctly with the appropraite logos and serial numbers, although there is a small circular hole on the back plate which should not be there.
On switching on the iPod however, it becomes immediately apparent it is not a geniune article, the unit took a few seconds to boot during which it displayed a strange egg time icon immediately followed by an odd screen with an Apple logo and an animated message saying ‘Loading…”.
The low resolution screen looks awful and the user interface, although trying to copy the iPod interface, clearly fails to impress.
The scroll wheel doesn’t work, nor does the middle button. To move from entry to entry, you have to press the left and right buttons (for up and down respectfully) along with ‘Menu’ to enter into an option.
Entering any of the menu options results in this bland and annoying message for a few seconds.
The Music section looks as though the skin has been copied from WinAMP. Apart from the initial menu, no effort has been made to recreate or emulate the Apple iPod interface in any of the ‘functions’ of this device. Song and albumn navigation is rudimentary and feels more reminiscant of a portable CD player than a modern MP3 player.
The photo / picture option takes you to a very unfriendly file browser with no previews.
I never did get far into the movies function given that the machine appartently was devoid of movie content. Next up is the radio function. I didnt test if this would tune into anything but at least it is a feature not found in original Apple iPods.
Voice recording, another first for the clone! Unfortunately it didn’t seem to want to record anything and I quickly moved on.
The eBook feature simply took me to a screen saying Empty Disk and promptly switched off the machine.
And of course the essential “Good Bye” screen, you will be seeing a lot of it as the battery is terrible, the clone performs poorly and frequently switches off at random. I have no idea what a fake iPod like this would cost, but the only value I can see it having would be in situations like these where people try to con refunds on their original Apple products (or as a film prop), I pity anyone who would consider using this as a functional MP3 player.