Talking with Ammy about user interfaces in general, I showed her just how off-base first impressions can be. Check out this iPod rant I wrote in 2001
right after it was announced.
The interesting part is that while I now adore the iPod (I own three) I still think these three-year-old points are valid, and that a 1 gig flash-based iPod is still the current best bet at a killer portable-music app.
Excerpt from the 2001 piece:
To me (and your mileage may vary) the more valuable iPod would be the one with 512 megs in RAM, not flash rom, but good ol' lose power and lose the data RAM. This, incidentally, would cost about $20 from the OEM as opposed to several hundred for the flash memory. (This is not the problem that it might seem, because you're talking about a device with a high-capacity fixed battery carrying redundant data. If the battery goes flat and dumps the songs, it doesn't matter because charging the battery by firewire-ing to your Mac takes an hour, while restoring all the songs will take only a fraction of that time over the same connection, and it'll happen simultaneously.)
512 megs would be enough RAM for over 8 hours of music (15 times more than my Rio). At the end of the day, when you plug your iPod into your Mac's firewire port, the computer can take a look at the music you listened to since the last sync, chuck those songs from the iPod, and randomly select more titles from the computer's iTunes library (toss 8 electronica songs, load up 8 fresh tracks, etc.).
Of course, if there's a song you listened to during the day that you'd like to keep on the player, you can always mark it with a button, to 'save until I delete' and it'll stick around. Further, you could, via the iTunes interface, choose specific songs or albums to be saved temporarily or indefinitely on the iPod. Basically, songs would be ephemeral unless specifically marked as eternal.
Think Different: Think TiVo. You get new stuff, you view (listen to) it. The next time: you have new stuff.
We'll see tomorrow...
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