cool, the 4G iPods are out.
The two biggest improvements I've wanted in it, however, are notably lacking. Sure, the 12 hours battery time is nice (I routinely run my battery down almost every day (yes, I listen to it *that* much)) but what I really would have been drooling over, and what I notice they didn't do (yet) is: a 60GB drive (they have purchased a huge shipment of them from Toshiba, why haven't they made it to the shelves yet), and a continuous playback mode. The continuous playback is what I've *really* wanted, as I have many mixset CDs that I'll rip to mp3, and having that slight pause when it goes from one song to the next can really get bothersome sometimes. Why can't they just have a slight read-ahead in the mp3 decoding module so that the playback module can be finishing up one song while the other is being added to the playback buffer? Or something.. This actually is a constant complaint of mine with pretty much every mp3 player I've ever seen. They've gotten close, and I've seen quite a few that can cross-fade, but that's not what I'm looking for either. I want one song to start the very instant the previous one stops. Not half a second later (with a pause) and not 3 seconds earlier (with a crossfade). A smoothe transition from one to the next, like you would normally get with any basic audio CD player.
Ah well, perhaps that feature will make it's way into the 5G iPods (or, preferably, as a downloadable software update). As it sits, I'm wholely unimpressed with the new generation of iPods so far. So the UI is slightly changed. They altered the wheel a bit, I actually like the wheel/buttons on my current one (though, in all honesty, I haven't tried the new one yet, could be I'd like it more -- must visit the Apple store to play) and they kept the max at 40GB. Oh, and they put "shuffle songs" on the main menu, which is nice because I almost never turn it on in the first place and it's handy to have more crap cluttering up the main menu that I'll never need. :)
Yeah, erm, Apple? This is not a noteworthy improvement in the iPod area.