With the announcement of iPod Photo and all the hype about it, I’m afraid that the iPod has become even less of an option for me. This little device is about PAST creativity, I take mobile devices with me primarily becuase of PRESENT creativity.
What do I mean? I bought a Creative Jukebox a while ago, not because it was nice looking (it’s certainly not) or seemed cool, but becuase it had a microphone inlet. (turned out to be useless for microphone without a preamp that I had to go and buy because it was really more of a line-in that didn’t get microphone-usability before many firmwares later, but that’s another story). The iPod, Jukebox and company are portable storage devices. That means that I should not only be able to retrieve information from them (photos, music and video is widely available on many of these), but I should be able to store it to them in an instant. Listen up, Apple: that means microphone in and a CF (and/or similar) reader. Minimum! (I’m sure many people would require Composite/S-Video, GPS in etc)
When I’m at a raga concert in India I want to record it to take back home and listen to how they make their music. I was, they didn’t mind, I recorded. An external microphone (Sony’s minidisc microphones are nice) should be enough of add-ons. But not with iPod, there you have to add a separate box for audio-in, and I haven’t heared much reports on it, so it’s quite possible you’d need the same preamp. For the CF-cards (yes, I took loads of photos of raga players in India, and yet, my CF-card went full) you have to add another external box. That it three or four boxes + of course a microphone and the camera. This scenario becomes nothing of creativity and lots of pain by carrying all these boxes, wires, plugging them all together, having batteries and monitoring their levels. It’s not just for concerts, it’s for when I’m praciticing and want to review my practising. Most walkmans now how to handle record and playback and don’t come with lots of extra boxes, just a microphone.
Apple & co: what I need is a storage device that’s small and allows for good input. A storage unit (iPod for instance), my camera, my microphone, I should be on my way. Or quite possibly, a storage unit, a microphone and a video camera.
When you’ve got this in place, you can think of putting a screen on it to watch those pictures, ‘cause I can watch them just as good on my camera when I don’t get them off my CF-card anyhow. And the few pictures I want to have with me to show people fit nicely on my mobile phone which has the same resolution as those fitted on the iPod Photo. I don’t take thousands of pictures with me for everyone to store, but I take thousands of pictures on the road to take back home, and it’s fun reviewing those while I’m on the road.
No, I’m not an iPod fan, yet. But if Apple would add input facilities, I’d be first in queue. Think how nice an iPod mini would be with the good battery time and filled with pictures and recordings from my trip. That’d be something to show to my fellow backpackers.