New Apple Gear: The Good…the Bad…and the Ugly

With all the new Apple announcements today, a certain Senator once again will have to be VERY concerned about how full his pipes are. A friend asked me what his name was, but I had to admit that I wasn’t sure. My wife keeps up on these things so I quickly told him, “I don’t know, Alaska.” Ba-da BUMP PSSSSssssshhhh.

OK, all joking aside (yes that was a joke), the Stevenote was very interesting and had me excited because I am in FULL reality distortion field mode while it’s going on. Makes the crash afterwards very difficult to manage, though I must admit that it does bring back vague half remembered memories from rock concerts in the 1970s. Let’s start with the good, the bad, and the ugly from each category.

New iPods with video.

The Good: More storage for less money, brighter screen, and games. Better battery life than the previous model. $249 for an iPod with video???? YOWSERS! Game selection is kinda limited, but that will improve quickly I think.

The Bad: Since the new features will all work with the last generation iPod with video, other than better battery life and a brighter screen, why buy it if you already have one?

The Ugly: Johnny Depp is the new featured image on iPod with video advertisements. You’re watching video on a 2.5-inch screen. A 4-inch, wide aspect screen is bare minimum required for anything resembling a pleasant experience. No love from me for the new iPod. Guess I’ll have to fumble along with just my nano until I can get one. Speaking of nanos….

2nd generation iPod nano

The Good: Twice the storage for top model for the same price. A brighter screen, longer battery life, and multiple colors.

The Bad: The top model sells for $249. Exactly the same price as the low-end iPod with video. However it’s worth it because it’s the only nano you can get in black…I didn’t just say that did I? Please buy an iPod because you want to use it for video or music. If you need fashion accessories, go to Macy’s.

The Ugly: PINK? Did they HAVE to release a PINK one? Just when I thought it was safe to go on tech sites because the pink mini had been gone for a year, they release a pink nano. My God, the HORROR! No movies or iPod games for the nano. (sarcasm) Imagine the fun of watching a movie or playing Pac-Man on a 1.5-ich screen (/sarcasm).

iTunes 7

The Good: Sidebar navigation cleaned up with a new look. I like it. New movies sold for the first week of release for less than was rumored with older titles going for as little as $9.99. Resolution increased to 640 X 480. Games being sold for iPods. NFL highlights (oh YEAH!) now being sold for $1.99. Cool new animation for flipping through your library.

The Bad: NEAR DVD quality. What does that mean and who sets the bar? Of course it would take bandwidth as big as the Alaskan oil pipelines to download HDTV quality video, so I can’t be all that upset. No one else is selling anything much better for downloads.

The Ugly: It’s still brushed aluminum and a Justin Timberlake recording is on the main iTunes page at Apple.

iPod Shuffle

The Good: It’s small, really small. The iPod inviso I’m sure is right around the corner. Bet I’ll be about the millionth person to use that pun. It’s barely bigger than the click-wheel. Built-in clip makes it easy to attach to your person just about anywhere. Chances are some really sick people will take this to the extreme.

The Bad: Still no eety-beety, teeny-weeny LCD display. Face it folks, you’re in permanent shuffle mode with this thing.

The Ugly: Future lawsuits are sure to follow as people accidentally mistake it for a suppository.


The Good: Oh man where to start? Priced at $299. Smaller than a mini, USB 2.0, Ethernet and Wi-Fi for network connectivity. Component video, optical audio and HDMI outputs. Priced at $299. Works with PCs and Macs. Sync your audio and video files from other networked computers at your home. PRICED AT $299! Did I say what the price is? If (and that’s a big if) it works like I think it will, this is what a computer-based media centric system should be like. Microsoft’s Media Center is too complicated for most folks (especially those with VCRs that go 12:00 blink 12:00 blink 12:00). Of course it’s still vaporware so let’s hold off on too much praise before the details are known.

The Bad: Just a pretty picture for now. No FireWire. Being that small, what kind of storage media (hard drive even?) will come with it? I wonder if it will even offer DVD burning? Possibly not as DRMed content providers would go insane if it does. If it simply relays content from other storage devices on your network, I’m going to be disappointed. Also, from the picture I’ve seen you can’t pass through video from your receiver or cable-box. SO, another TV input is required to use it. Those with only one will have to use whatever pass-through input/output is available from their main output to their TV. If it comes with at least a DVD player, this won’t be important.

The Ugly: The name. I can think of at least three organizations that are contacting their lawyers as you read this.


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