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View Full Version : How far do you think the iPods can go?


G5orbust
Sep 9, 2003, 12:23 AM
First we thought 10GB was the ceiling. Then came the 20GB that blew everyone away. Then comes the 30GB, which replaced the mind shattering 20GB. Now we have the incredibly large 40GB iPod.

When do you all think that Apple will stop scaling gigabyte heights with the iPod or atleast add something new besides music function and USb2.0 connectivity? At what GB amount do you think the iPod will stop at or what new feature do you think the next batch should/might have?

rainman::|:|
Sep 9, 2003, 12:39 AM
much as i never wanted to admit it, i think the next gen ipods will be somewhere around 40-50, but with the addition of a color display covering one side. so far they've seen little direct competition for the iPod, nothing matching it's visibility tho. However there is a jukebox with color display coming out soon (don't remember which company?) that is said to be priced in-line with iPods. It would serve no other functions than control of the device and music video playback, perhaps photos and other video playback. there's a reason they named it the iPod, i think it's going to be a multimedia storage/viewing device.

in answer to your question, i think the next gen ipods, if going by the above, won't max out past 60-- that's enough music for just about anyone. but the storage needs of video will spur on the size war...

pnw

NavyIntel007
Sep 9, 2003, 12:59 AM
I mentioned in another post that the 1.8" hard drives used in the iPods must be close to their maximum capacity. Laptop hard drives have been stuck at 80 gb for almost 2 years and have been stuck at about the same prices. I would imagine the next update will be to add a larger color screen to play movies, show pictures, and even some games. Firewire 800 will eventually be adopted.

I'm surprised Apple maxed out the iPod. I thought they would wait as long as possible and milk the current specs as long as they could. Oh well... more for us I guess.

Flynnstone
Sep 9, 2003, 01:11 AM
perhaps Newton type behaviour :D
oh and throw in a phone :)

Lanbrown
Sep 9, 2003, 08:02 AM
The iPod will go much higher then where it is at today, but will also incorporate new functionality. Hard drives are getting larger and larger, but the smaller drives are no longer making the huge the leaps they used to mainly because there is a very small market for real large drives in the portable sector. Add in the fact you can get an external drive that is faster for less money. Eventually the magnetic media will give way to holographic which will provide hundreds of gigabytes of storage.

Right now all you see the iPod doing is mainly playing music and the HD being increased. When it becomes more feasible and the demand is there, you will start seeing video. I would not expect phone or PDA functionality though.

FredAkbar
Sep 9, 2003, 08:32 AM
So are these updated iPods still 3rd generation iPods? They've gotten a hard drive update, but from what I've seen and heard, they're pretty much the same as before.

fourthtunz
Sep 9, 2003, 08:35 AM
I haven't bought one yet, but am chomping at the bit! Features I am waiting for::D
Being able to use the ipod as a Hard drive for audio recording, connected to a powerbook would be cool:cool: 2 track recording built in would be nice and being able to run an app like soundtrack on an ipod would rule:D
Of course we need to do pics and video on our ipods:eek:
daniel

machan
Sep 9, 2003, 09:43 AM
The one thing that I really really really want to see in the next major revision of the iPod is some standard implementation of Airport Extreme or Bluetooth that allows me to stream music to a wireless stereo reciever or to other Macs in my house. Ever since I got a 12" Powerbook with AE, I've been addicted to the idea of everything being wireless. I feel much more motivated to use my computer and get good work done when I am not tied to a desk....which is what the iPod is really about as well.

rueyeet
Sep 9, 2003, 11:08 AM
"How far do you think the iPods can go?"

Dunno. Depends on your throw, I guess. :D

I think that technology will always find a way to get past whatever obstacles loom in the way of greater capacity or speed, whether that means improving existing technologies or finding new ones. So you can be sure iPods will have ever more GB as long as they continue to be made.

Whatever new features they put into the iPod, I hope they're actually useful and relevant to the device. They could take it in a PDA direction, I suppose, but then you're talking a convergence device, and one of the points of elegance of the iPod is that it does one thing--play digital music--really well. Adding video for movie watching and the like is dubious too, on such tiny screens.

Now, I could see them building in digital camera/camcorder capability, maybe. Or wireless capability. Those are features that would be useful in a portable multimedia lifestyle, and could be integrated with the digital hub concept.

wrylachlan
Sep 9, 2003, 11:52 AM
I very much doubt that the iPod will get PDA functionality or digital camera functions. That would clutter the device unnecessarily.

My take is that the iPod will only add functions that don't change the general control scheme and layout of the design. Things that fall into that catagory:

- A color screen - This could be used for a couple of things - firstly iCal color coding would make displaying scheduling information much easier. Second you could use the iPod to store iPhoto images just like it stores songs. Thirdly it could playback small video images.
- You could integrate video connectivity into the base station so that the iPod could store movies and play them back on a television.
- Voice recording - HELLO!!!! This one is a no brainer.
-Offloading Digital Camera photos. I really think this could be a killer app in the photo world. If the iPod had a color screen for preview, and you could connect your camera directly to the iPod to offload photos... think about it, what professional photographer wouldn't want 60 Gigs of storage for a photo shoot? (I say 60 because we are talking about the next gen iPod)

And the cool thing about all of these ideas is that with the exception of a small microphone, out of the way in the top corner of the iPod, none of the other ideas change the look of the iPod at all.

tpjunkie
Sep 9, 2003, 12:13 PM
I would not be at all surprised by a touch screen at some point in the future, but keeping the touch wheel as well.

alamar
Sep 9, 2003, 12:38 PM
Standup comics love the sony mini disc because of its ability to hide in a pocket and record a set from a chest mike, or be plugged into the sound board, and also hooked to a few ambient mikes around the stage/audience and make a CD quality recording. When the ipod can compete with that I will be interested in one. ESP since it doesn't require me to buy sony discs, and i can hide notes on it if i need to.

That's where the product needs to go first. IMHO

Grimace
Sep 9, 2003, 12:58 PM
NAVYintel,
Why have laptop hard drives been limited around 80GB?

Lanbrown
Sep 9, 2003, 02:40 PM
Originally posted by carletonmusic
NAVYintel,
Why have laptop hard drives been limited around 80GB?

While your question is targeted to NAVYintel I will answer.

For several reasons. One is the limited space; they have a much smaller area to work with. Another would be how much storage does one need on a notebook? Notebook drives have a shorter life span; they see more vibration, get turned on and off more often which shortens them and they see more temperature variations. Some people take a bitter cold notebook and power it up. This is very bad for the whole system. Notebook drives see much more punishment then their desktop brothers. Another factor is heat. That heat has to be dissipated, which is easier to do on a desktop then a notebook. Power requirements also play a huge role, as the more power it takes, the shorter the runtime is. The manufacturers are working on speeding up the drives right now and making them quieter. Take some large fast drives for the desktop/server market and no one would want those as notebook drive.

I never leave important files on a notebook, they are always on a network drive or RAID setup and if I need them on a notebook, they get copied over. When I am done, they get copied back in they were modified. So large drives are not really needed for notebooks. As I mentioned earlier, external storage is there if you really need storage.

Dreamail
Sep 9, 2003, 05:47 PM
In this IBM article on their 'Pixie Dust' technology (http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20010518_pixie_dust.shtml) some theoretical limits are listed.

They consider the next theoretical limit for 2.5" notebook HDs to be 200GB. That's roughly more than twice the current size.
From that we can guess that an iPod's HD (at 1.8") will see its limit around 80-100GB.

It's well worth reading this article. It explains how brilliant and revolutionary this technology really is. Too bad, because it also explains that this technology is not necessarily scalable. Those figures are physical limits, although they are hopeful that they can surpass them somewhat. But unless another similarely revolutionary HD technology is found those sizes will be it for a while.

In a nutshell, don't expect 100+GB iPods any time soon. However, 'Pixie Dust' technology is quite well understood so that I wouldn't be surprised to see these limits approached soon. Maybe there will be 60 and 80GB iPods within 1 year and a half. But beyond that it'll be tough.
Too bad holographic memory is likely not ready for mass consumption within the next 10 years.

Flynnstone
Sep 9, 2003, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by machan
The one thing that I really really really want to see in the next major revision of the iPod is some standard implementation of Airport Extreme or Bluetooth that allows me to stream music to a wireless stereo reciever or to other Macs in my house. Ever since I got a 12" Powerbook with AE, I've been addicted to the idea of everything being wireless. I feel much more motivated to use my computer and get good work done when I am not tied to a desk....which is what the iPod is really about as well.

What do you think of my idea :
iPod with iTunes on a G5. Optical output connected to stereo receiver. Playlists for every party.
:cool:

G5orbust
Sep 9, 2003, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by Dreamail

Too bad, because it also explains that this technology is not necessarily scalable. Those figures are physical limits, although they are hopeful that they can surpass them somewhat.

Remember when hard drives couldnt go any higher than 8GB because of a physical barrier within the connection itself? Seems like the computer world got over that hump quickly. Im almost positive that laptop drives will never level off as platter density gets higher and higher and as new technology comes into play (nano drives, holographics storage, etc.). Though I assume the iPod, logically, will level off at a certain point, (I mean, who, normally, really has over 80GB of anything on their entire systems, let alone digital music.) I do not think that we can accurately say that the iPod (which, by the way, uses 1.8" drives, not the standard laptop 2.5") will really ever "level off". I think it will, instead, evolve. Apple has suprised us before and I think that the future of the iPod will be one of those suprises.

Lanbrown
Sep 10, 2003, 08:27 AM
Originally posted by Dreamail
In this IBM article on their 'Pixie Dust' technology (http://www.research.ibm.com/resources/news/20010518_pixie_dust.shtml) some theoretical limits are listed.

They consider the next theoretical limit for 2.5" notebook HDs to be 200GB. That's roughly more than twice the current size.
From that we can guess that an iPod's HD (at 1.8") will see its limit around 80-100GB.

It's well worth reading this article. It explains how brilliant and revolutionary this technology really is. Too bad, because it also explains that this technology is not necessarily scalable. Those figures are physical limits, although they are hopeful that they can surpass them somewhat. But unless another similarely revolutionary HD technology is found those sizes will be it for a while.

In a nutshell, don't expect 100+GB iPods any time soon. However, 'Pixie Dust' technology is quite well understood so that I wouldn't be surprised to see these limits approached soon. Maybe there will be 60 and 80GB iPods within 1 year and a half. But beyond that it'll be tough.
Too bad holographic memory is likely not ready for mass consumption within the next 10 years.

Pixie dust is old news and some other developments have come around since then. Platter and head technology is where the advancements have been made.

Holographic storage should be coming out soon and would expect a lot of companies to jump on it. We shall see. HDTV programming will almost make it a necessity.