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Rendering of what the new iPod nano might look like  (Source: Gizmodo)
Since the iPhone's release, Apple has been silent about new iPod/iPhone designs. It appears that Apple is about to break its silence on Sept 5th and release at least one new iPod.

Apple made a special announcement, on Wednesday, August 29, which has the internet abuzz with rumors. Apple announced that it is inviting the press to a "special event" in San Francisco.

The invitation was titled "The beat goes on," and includes an image of a man, silhouetted and dancing with an iPod, in the graphic style of the iconic iPod commercials, on the cover of an album displayed in the style of Apple's "Cover Flow" technology, which allows users to flip through their music on their iPhones or desktop computers.

Forbes speculates this message likely indicates that Apple is preparing to release one or more new iPod models.

The iPod has been Apple's commercial wonder kid in recent years and the announcement of a new iPod is critical to Apple's continued success.  Forbes elaborates:
Sales of iPods alone accounted for 29.1% of Apple's sales of $5.4 billion for the quarter ending June 30. And if anything, that understates the iPod's importance. The tiny media players helped Apple crank out $608 million in sales of digital music and accessories.
For weeks now, the internet has been inundated with reports and tech blog posts claiming to have "inside" or "leaked" information on the new iPods, even before this announcement.

The LA Times reports having interviewed two unnamed music executives who claimed that Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO, revealed to them his plan to build a vastly improved version of the iPod with a larger video screen, a touch-screen interface and other features similar to Apple's iPhone.  These representatives asked the Times not to name them, due to their confidentiality agreement.

Further reports of this full screen video iPod appeared on the blog ThinkSecret, which cites a source at Apple as confirming the existence of this iPod, but refuted previous reports of a 3.5" screen width, mentioning that it would actually have a 4" screen.

Additionally, a report by the blog Infinite Loop claims to have information from sources in the "far east" who allegedly corroborate the rumor of a full screen iPod, and additionally claim to have worked with a revised traditional screen iPod.  The sources claim both new iPods run on a modified version of OS X.  The possibility of new iPod models running OS X is a widely speculated possibility for these new iPods.

Infinite Loop also points out that the September 5th announcement comes almost on the anniversary of the introduction of the original iPod Nano, 2 years ago on September 7, 2005.

Another very widespread rumor is that there will likely be new iPod Nano designs with 8 and 16 gb NAND flash memory capacities.

Finally, one more rumor about the iPod Nano is it is getting shrunk. This rumor stems from a purportedly leaked design shot, dubbed the "fat nano," which was posted on the tech blog Gizmodo.  Apple's legal team asked the site to take the shot down. Gizmodo, has since confirmed the shot was indeed Apple intellectual property.  The site, following Apple's orders, took the shot down and replaced it with a shot they rendered in Photoshop, which looks identical to the original, in their opinion.

Despite all these rumors and reports, the only official news from Apple is that there is none--yet.  The official word from Apple will be coming on September 5.  Until then, be discerning, as many of the rumors out there may be just that, rumors.  The article in Forbes warns us not to get too excited, Steve Jobs once held a similar press conference to announce the launch of a set of iPod speakers.  Stay tuned, though, because the official announcement is coming fast, and it may be big.


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As long as it has an I
By jstchilln on 9/3/2007 8:26:54 AM , Rating: 5
If it has an I in front of it the Apple cult will buy it. Pardon the pun but I wont




RE: As long as it has an I
By ATC on 9/3/2007 9:30:49 AM , Rating: 4
So you won't buy a product, good or otherwise, because it has an "i" in front of it? makes sense.


RE: As long as it has an I
By TomZ on 9/3/2007 1:27:12 PM , Rating: 1
Yep, and I feel the same way. I will never buy anything from Apple because their arrogant marketing campaigns rub me the wrong way. It's a risk a company takes when they create polarized marketing like that - there will always be people who find it annoying.


RE: As long as it has an I
By gramboh on 9/3/2007 9:46:51 PM , Rating: 3
I'm with ya on this one. I also hate the price premium they charge for style and their interface.

My friend just got an iPhone (in Canada) and yeah it looks pretty cool and the UI is interesting but it's not efficient, typing on it SUCKS compared to a Blackberry, especially having to shift.


RE: As long as it has an I
By theapparition on 9/4/2007 9:41:51 AM , Rating: 2
I would by Apple if they actually made something really good. I don't particuarly like their products, because they are in fact, not that good. You can usually get much better value out of competing products (computers and mp3 players) for less. I don't like the proprietory nature of Apple (or Sony) that wants to lock you into thier own format. While this may make it simple for the consumer, it also limits choice. But they are also the only one that offers an 80Gb model, so that's what my wife uses (I'm not syncing it for her, just dump most everything on there).

The 80Gb (and 30Gb before that) are very well made, slick pieces of hardware, that are very buggy. Constantly resetting the thing because of lock-ups. Itunes sucks, plain and simple and if it wern't for MediaMonkey, I'd have put a fist through my monitor. No battery replacement, and there are constant reports of these things dying. I also hate the click wheel. Why it's so popular I'll never know. I much prefer the useability of my Zune.

But this is not the first time an inferior product has won the market. Everywhere you look, iPod has the market. Apples computers are somewhat on par with the PC market, but again, you can get much more performance for less cost and greater compatibility.

Then there's Apples marketing. The reality distortion field is in full effect. Remember how Apples were much faster than those crappy intel PC's??? Now were switching to x86, and those intels are soooooo much faster than anything we had before. Huh??? Apparently, there 2-3% of the population that actually buys this marketing garbage. So, I'm with you, Apples' polarized marketing has had a negative effect on me.


RE: As long as it has an I
By gradoman on 9/5/07, Rating: 0
RE: As long as it has an I
By kmmatney on 9/8/2007 12:02:47 AM , Rating: 2
Disagree - I really hate Apple, but the Ipod nano is a great product and I have been very happy with it. Cost wasn't a factor , sin ce it was almost fully paid for by Best Buy gift certificates. My nano has been great, both as a music player and a storage backup device.


RE: As long as it has an I
By jstchilln on 9/3/2007 10:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
So you won't buy a product, good or otherwise, because it has an "i" in front of it? makes sense.

Oh sure I would buy a product that had an I in front of it. But I wouldn't buy one from Apple. Makes sense to me.


RE: As long as it has an I
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:12:42 AM , Rating: 2
iAgree :o)


RE: As long as it has an I
By Oregonian2 on 9/4/2007 2:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
Same reason people won't buy Microsoft even if they've good product at a good price. To be young (at any age) one must be anti-something and this is one way of venting against the establishment.


well
By meepstone on 9/3/2007 6:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
they could make it a phone too...




RE: well
By thejeffersonlee on 9/3/2007 12:14:33 PM , Rating: 1
they wouldn't make it a phone. apple always finds a way of making every product fall insatiably short of its more "advanced" models. the shuffle doesn't have a display, the nano doesn't have video playback, and any new ipod won't come close to apple's new bread and butter, the iphone.

as a former ibook and ipod owner, i will say that apple's product development is similar to the gateway drug process. you buy one thing, you get hooked, and then are always looking for a bigger fix. a new ipod for apple to push on kids at the playground...get a zune.


RE: well
By mm2587 on 9/3/2007 7:40:08 PM , Rating: 3
someone needs lessons in sarcasm


RE: well
By acer905 on 9/4/2007 8:45:19 AM , Rating: 3
I say screw apple, and microsoft. Buy a Sansa


RE: well
By TomCorelis on 9/4/2007 11:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
But navigating through 60gb of music without a click wheel is hell....

<3 my 4th gen ipod photo. Hate iTunes, though... but ml_ipod on Winamp does everything I would have needed iTunes for :-)


RE: well
By kmmatney on 9/8/2007 12:15:57 AM , Rating: 2
I was going to buy a Sansa, but the plastic on the Sansa felt too weak and flimsy. The Ipod nano, is built like a tank, with an aluminum body. The other players I checked out also felt cheap (there was a Samsung model that that was the same price as the Nano). The nanos are very good at taking abuse.


Touchscreen? are you insane?
By Bluestealth on 9/3/2007 9:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
I would laugh really hard if they really dump the tactile buttons and go for a full touch screen like the iPhone...
It would REALLY turn off a lot of potential buyers, despite Apple's hate of such useful interface options.

The only time I actually look at my MP3 player is to switch artists/playlists, probably like a lot of other people.

I also have no use for playing videos as on a postage stamp screen, I did that when I was a child downloading TV shows... on dialup. Unless we are talking about 6"-8" inches, don't kid yourself... its too small to be of much enjoyment. I think the battery required for this would turn the iPod into an iTank.




RE: Touchscreen? are you insane?
By kelmon on 9/4/2007 6:49:50 AM , Rating: 1
You, sir, are bonkers. A touchscreen would allow Apple to provide a bigger screen without needing to increase the size of the unit. Tactile response is not a requirement for such a unit (someone else suggested that they needed this in order to change the track with the iPod in his pocket but obvious what they REALLY wanted was a remote control) and moving to on-screen controls allows Apple to use the screen space more efficiently or even change the interface as appropriate.

The only caveat with this is that if an on-screen interface is employed then it needs to work well. The iPhone, however, does imply that this can be done so I'm really looking forwards to a video iPod based on the same principles.

With respect to watching video on an iPod or similar small-screen device, it's personal preference of course but I use it a lot. I wouldn't really want to use it to watch a long movie but it's great for television shows or video podcasts when you don't wish to be mucking around with a laptop or similar. Traveling has become much more enjoyable since I bought my first iPod last year and ripped a load of DVDs to it.


By rdeegvainl on 9/4/2007 7:15:44 AM , Rating: 3
Why would someone want a remote control for something that is the size of a remote control?
It doesn't make sense, If Chewbaca lived on Endor, you must acquit!


By Bluestealth on 9/4/2007 1:21:34 PM , Rating: 2
Well they could have a touchscreen but they need to keep a play/pause, next track, power, and lock/unlock button/switch imho; they might also want to optionally keep volume controls. A maximum of 6 buttons that I am suggesting.

I am not mandating that they keep a click wheel. You could easily squeeze all these buttons onto the side of the display or the actual side of the device.
Why would I want a remote? I am not going to actually use it that much, I just like being able to flip tracks quickly without looking at the device.

This is also something that kills the iPhone dead for me... I always dial with my fingers, unless its a number I don't know. Tactile response is far superior in a large number of cases.

I realize now that I may have been a little... well... unreasonable in my first reply, but Apple's hate of tactile interfaces is somewhat mind boggling to me. Its nice when you can pick something up and just use it by touch, its something I've come to expect with well designed interfaces.


By TomCorelis on 9/4/2007 11:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry, but the click wheel needs to stay. The one thing touchscreens and side buttons don't give you is through-the-pants-pocket tactile response. If I have my ipod in my pocket, it takes almost zero effort to control the volume or track position without having to look at the screen, through my pants pocket! It probably looks weird that some dude is randomly rubbing the side of his leg with his finger, but really I'm turning the click wheel, pausing the thing, skipping to the next track, even scrubbing the track I'm in to go back a few minutes.

People go nuts over touchscreens. Why? It's great if you want to sit and stare at your screen every time you use it... but practically it's not a good idea as you don't use your ipod like you use a phone. I want to be able to control the thing without taking it out, without skipping a beat. If I'm running on an eliptical at the gym, I don't want the machine yelling at me just because I took both my hands off the pulse sensor for more than a few seconds.

In my opinion, the ONLY reason the iPod rocks is cause the click wheel. They've nailed it down perfect in the later iterations. I hope to God they don't change it.


By GoatMonkey on 9/4/2007 10:11:34 AM , Rating: 2
I'm kind of expecting it to have both a touch screen and a standard click wheel, but with the click wheel on the back.


How exciting
By Griswold on 9/3/2007 6:02:50 AM , Rating: 2
Another, newer, MP3 player. That definitely warrants multiple shows around the globe...

Hopefully its something completely different, though.




RE: How exciting
By inflames99 on 9/3/2007 11:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
i just hope they concentrate on increasing the quality of the audio tht comes out of the old pos ipods instead of adding more useless crap.


RE: How exciting
By plewis00 on 9/4/2007 3:29:43 AM , Rating: 1
Typical iPod hater response. The older iPods 3G and before did sound bad. The new ones have vastly improved audio - 4G onwards. The SNR isn't especially high but in terms of accuracy and audio reproduction the iPod isn't actually that bad. If it was as bad as you make out, no doubt it wouldn't sell. If you're talking about listening to an iPod through the Apple-supplied headphones then that is another matter.

I doubt no matter what anyone says the 'bad sound quality' myth will never be cleared up but someone has to point it out to uninformed people like you.


RE: How exciting
By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:38:44 PM , Rating: 1
The reality is that most iPod users don't care much about sound quality, so it's a non-issue most of the time. Professional reviewers have pointed out many times that other models have better sound quality, and for the minority of people who care about sound quality, they'll probably buy something else.


RE: How exciting
By TomCorelis on 9/4/2007 11:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
And it's not helping that the music everyone's downloading off of iTunes is crap quality...


RE: How exciting
By kmmatney on 9/8/2007 12:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
The Ipod pretty much sounds the same as all other players, as far as sound quality goes. The encoding format and head phones make the biggest difference. The Itunes encoder was pretty crappy for a while, but is very good in the latest version. You can also go lossless if you want.


wma?
By michal1980 on 9/4/2007 11:29:18 AM , Rating: 1
oh maybe it will play wma's since 90% of my music in wma.




RE: wma?
By lufoxe on 9/4/2007 12:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
keep dreaming michal. Although you could wish... but what wma? that's kind of like asking to be locked to a system


RE: wma?
By TomCorelis on 9/4/2007 11:28:59 PM , Rating: 2
ml_iPod will transcode WMA to something the iPod can play if you want it to...


I live how CNN has the goods before any tech site
By LCC2286 on 9/5/2007 2:16:40 PM , Rating: 2
By Michael Hoffman on 9/5/2007 5:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
The speed in which sites like CNET, Reuters, Associated Press, etc. get coverage posted is almost mind boggling!


this is MUCH more useful than the iPhone
By cgrecu77 on 9/4/2007 1:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
I would think that a touch-screen is way more useful in an iPod than in a cellphone. You don't need to type all that much on the iPod and a large touchscreen will allow for much faster navigation. Not to mention that having an OS and wireless opens up huge possibilities, from games to a pseudo wireless phone, using skype. In large metropolitan areas where they have city-wide wi-fi, you could even use it as a very cheap cellphone ... :)




By TomZ on 9/4/2007 1:42:16 PM , Rating: 1
I agree - I much prefer tactile response buttons. Most people don't seem to realize that touch screen is a design and cost optimization that decreases usability (negative) and makes the design simpler (positive) and reduces cost (positive). Now depending on how you weigh these factors, the net change might be negative or positive.

For me, touch is a net negative. I have a pretty new LG cell phone that has some touch-screen type buttons and some normal buttons. I am always, by accident, activating the touch buttons - drives me crazy. The design tries to compensate for this, but there are still lots of times when I hit the buttons by accident.


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