Big-ish announcements from Apple today. iTunes 9 looks very nice, especially all the new sharing stuff. The new iPod Touch models are priced aggressively and specced out, from the mid-priced model and up. The new nano, which everyone expected to get a still camera, instead got built-in video. 8 GB of digital video for $149 in a device not much bigger (and much, much thinner) than a Bic? The nano might just re-invent the mini camcorder market. Oh, and it’s an iPod, too.
The best news for me though is what Apple didn’t do — they didn’t kill off the big, dumb iPod Classic, as they were rumored to do.
The Classic didn’t get a camera. It didn’t get an FM radio. It didn’t get anything but a bigger hard drive and the same simple, single price of $249. And that’s perfect.
My “brilliant playlists” work properly only if all my music is on board. At last count, that was 10,264 songs requiring 72.76 GB of hard drive space. And growing almost daily, since I discovered the (inexpensive) joys of Amazon’s used CD stores, and the (space-killing) pleasures of recording at 320 kbps. So, pretty much any time I think of an old album I’m missing, I order it up for four bucks. And then lose another 150 MB of hard drive. Hard drives are cheap, but less so when you want them small enough to stick in your pocket.
That, however, is the genius of the Classic. There’ll always be a market of guys (almost always guys) who
want need to carry around all their music, all the time, and don’t want to be bothered with fancy touch screens or any of that. And every couple of years, we’d like a bigger hard drive.
The R&D for the Classic is all paid off. If they need to fancy up the interface any, they can crib it off the nano, where they generate the big sales. All Apple has to do is stick in that bigger drive every September, and watch as their profit margins get fatter every year. We Classic fanboys aren’t a big market, but we’re reliable 12-24 month-cycle upgraders — and that bigger drive (paid for by someone else’s R&D, not Apple’s) is the only new feature we want or need.
Thanks for not forgetting us, Apple.