Death of the click-wheel?

September 17, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Music, Technology | 1 Comment

One of the features of the Apple iPod that made it a hit was the “click-wheel”, the round control below the players screen. A single control allowed for standard button presses, like Play, but also to scroll and navigate easily and intuitively.

Recently, Apple released a new cell phone, called the iPhone, to some of the greatest buzz in memory. It includes a brand new on-screen interface that lets you type, browse, zoom, and select, all with simple on-screen finger strokes.

Now they have introduced an iPod with a similar interface. The iPod Touch. (and a new squarish Video Nano)

Nice to see Apple once again innovating the user interface. I understand there are already knock-offs of the iPhone with interface advancements.

For myself, I quite like much of what Apple produces, but they have a bit of tendency to “my way or no way”. Being a person who likes Open Standards, I have some resistance to too much ‘self-referential’ technology. The iPod Touch video above, for example, puts the wireless downloading of music purchases from the iTunes store as a top new feature. A mini-music store at Starbucks too. And indeed, a WiFi iPod with browser is very cool. But this is like saying “Buy our car and we’ll let you buy our gas”.  While you can still buy others, its much harder. YouTube is fully integrated into the interface, but what of Google Video? A bookmark in Safari is your best option. Thats one click vs 3+ for every non-standard choice you make.

Shades of Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Still, its nice to see such innovation. If it gets popular, hopefully they will expand choices through user customization.

1 Comment »

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  1. A little Follow-up on this one. I’ve read a couple of reviews and both report great potential but some issues with this first generation product.


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