As you know, I am a bit of a gadget collector. So it goes without saying I was interested in today's Apple conference where they revealed their next wave of iPods. Tell you what, it looks like a pretty nice set of new devices, but I'm not rushing out to buy anything just yet.
For starters, it's no secret my primary use for a portable media player is video. Not gaming, not music. Watching video. When I look at new devices, I look at several things, but the big two are storage space and the size and quality of the screen.
That rules out the new iPod Nano and the iPod Classic. Since I already have the 80GB iPod Video, there's no big reason for me to move to either of these devices. The Nano has a 2" screen and the Classic has a 2.5" screen. No thanks. Next...
Then there's the iPod Touch pictured at right. With a 3.5" screen, touch interface, a third of an inch thick, WiFi, web browser, integration with iTunes, etc. etc., it's one sexy little gadget. This will certainly be close to the top of a lot of Christmas lists. While the 16GB model with be adequate for many people, you can fill 16GB pretty quickly with video. I don't like to worry about that. I would rather see a 30, 60 or 80GB version.
The space needed for video depends on the quality of the flicks you are watching. After all, you don't need HD quality for these units. When I started doing video conversion several years ago for my PlayStation Portable (PSP), I was storing video on 512MG, 1GB and 2GB MemoryStick Duo cards. You get really good at managing space with those type of constraints.
I eventually got sick of the memory stick shuffle with the PSP and moved to a Zune, iPod Video, and Creative Zen Vision W. The Zune and iPod were purchased by Microsoft for work related activities. The Vision W is my personal workhorse and it goes everywhere I go. I have really enjoyed it because it has a 4.3" screen and a 60GB hard drive. That's the problem Apple has with me. Do I really want to downgrade my viewing experience for something much thinner? What about moving from a 60GB drive back to 16GB? For $400? Probably not.
Oh, there's also the Archos 605 WiFi to consider. I can buy a 160GB Archos 605 for the same price as the Apple iPod Touch. It's twice as thick but has ten times the storage capacity. It also has a 4.3" screen instead of the 3.5" in the Apple. Any questions?
Ok Zune team, your move.