Does Apple Need Another Click Wheel Besides Classic?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by powerbook911, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Today I got out my 1st Generation iPod. Ok, it's not a click wheel on it, but the general idea.

    This got me to thinking. This was an amazing interface, to scroll through our music and just focus on "music." No distractions by Email App, Safari App, etc.

    However, there are so few iPods left today. Touch is really an iPhone with all the distractions.

    The nano is now some postage stamp, no click wheel. The shuffle is the shuffle.

    The Classic is still there, if you want huge capacity for now at least.

    However, wasn't the click wheel nano probably the sweet spot for just a great music player?

    I actually think as a music player, a click wheel iPod might still be superior in some ways to a touch interface. Scrolling feels nice with the wheel.

    Oh well, I just got to thinking, the day I can no longer scroll with a wheel will be a bit of a shame. This first gen wheel with physical movement is my favorite.
  2. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
  3. macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2007
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2011
    I'm a fan of your idea, because I like mp3-players which just music. I still think the touch Nano is the real and only sequel to the original iPod.
    Last year I had a 160GB Classic just because I was thinking like you.
    However, the user interface and menu on the nano touch is a lot more practical and you get things done a lot faster, I was so impressed that I sold my Classic to get the Nano. And the audio quality is a lot better.

    My opinion. I think Apple should just continue selling the Classic for at least a few years. I also read a recent article that some sort of "enterprise level" HDDs are being produced who have a considerable faster speed, could make the Classic interface smoother.. who knows
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
  6. thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I think the current classic menu itself got a bit complicated. Split screens and whatnot, it's just too much.

    The old non-color iPods I'm finding the best. I continued to use my first generation last night, it really reminded me why we all loved iPods so much. They were about the music, a music player!

    Now, our iPhones don't even have an iPod, they have "Music."

    I'm surprised the iPod has went away so quickly.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Jun 11, 2011
  8. macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2007
    Utica, NY
  9. macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008

    The click wheel interface is definitely superior by far to the current interfaces for most of the things a classic iPod does. That's why I never got an iPod touch. The Nano 5G is an awesome device, but I admit, the click wheel on that is so small and sensitive that it's actually a bit hard to hit a given menu item.

    In comparison, the swipe interface is almost comically inefficient, most noticeably so on the new watch ipods.

    All Apple would need to do is allow someone to put a software click wheel interface on the iPod touch, and all would be cool again. But just as they sued anyone who tried to duplicate the click wheel on other MP3 players, they're suing anyone who tries to make one on current players.

    This doesn't mean I don't like an iPhone, or that I think the menu designs of the iPods are perfect. But current touch is not as good at menu navigation or scrolling quickly through full screen photos. And that's honestly what sold me on the first iPod - that the scroll wheel was so much faster than anything you get on a computer... And that it works so well one handed.

    Of course, one critical part of the scroll wheel were the buttons - tapping a button to go back up a menu is so much faster and less tedious than going swipe, swipe, swipe...

    But yes, obviously - it's the classic iPod interface that rebuilt the company, even though the iPhone put it through the stratosphere. So there must be something good about it. :)

    - Jeff
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2006
    You kinda contradicted yourself here. You say the original iPod was so great because it only focused on the music. But now that the iOS 5 has got rid of "iPod" and made it even clearer - "Music", you say that that's a step backwards :confused: .

    That point aside, as much as I love the classic iPods too and find the click wheel to still be a great way to navigate, its a technology of its time and its just too limiting in what it can do to make it work on an all-singing all-dancing iPhone. And lest we forget, the iOS devices are where Apple is raking in the cash. I doubt they're gonna design a new Clickwheel device just for a few nostalgic fans.
  11. thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    You're probably right. I will just say that I virtually never play music on my iPhone whereas we obviously did use our iPods. At one time, my Mac & my iPods were my music sources. Now, it's my Mac only. I just don't think to listen to music on the iPhone much.

    In terms of the change to "music," I guess that is more clear, but I want an "iPod," even though I wasn't using it anywhere as much as a physical iPod. ha.

    Silly perhaps indeed, but the iPod (physical one not iOS) did seem to connect us to our music a bit more.
  12. macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2008
    Killing off the wheel...

    I think you're reversing cause and effect here. Apple killed off the iPod Nano early, IMO to push more people onto the iOS platform to compete with Android. Now of course, iPod OS sales are tanking, because all people have to choose from is the classic and the "shuffle deluxe."

    Yes, I wouldn't want to run an iPhone off of a click wheel, but I think for stuff like listening to music, you could do a lot better. And as mentioned, you don't have to produce click wheels - you have a touch screen now. It could be even more sophisticated than that. But pay attention to ergonomics again.
  13. macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2009
    It's never going to happen. It's not worth the investment to recreate a new design for an iPod classic. Everyone wants the 'touch' product and a larger screen. It is possible that they simply install a larger hard drive in a later iteration, but I highly doubt it. The margins simply aren't there.
  14. applefanboy4739, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2011
    Only on thursdays. @_@
  15. macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2011
    I don't know what apple was thinking in 2010 with the iPod nano. The 5th generation nano was the best music player. I don't like the classic because it has a hard drive and $249 for 160gb is still expensive. If apple lowers it to $200 I'll get the classic.
  16. thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    I like the classic. You might look at Amazon or the refurb store. They might get you close to $200 for a classic.

    I agree with you though. Sure wish I had gotten a 5th generation Nano. How can they still not make that sweet spot player, even if the wheel was a bit small?

    There's probably some room for them to bring something like the 5th gen Nano back, thicker, and start pushing for closer to iPhone camera on it. That would probably be a decent market.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Touch products make poor music players, I can't stand using my iPod Touch for music especially since you have to take it out all the time and look at it, plus the navigation is slow, there is some serious lag when you have a large library, something the classic doesn't seem to have (not referring to the crappy click wheel that is unresponsive at times).

    I don't necessarily think they need another click wheel product but I think they need to add at least some seek buttons to the iPod touch, like off to the sides of the home button.

    If this were to happen I could see myself using the iPod Touch as a music player but as of right now the classic is the best of the iPod line for playing music.

    I honestly think they haven't updated the capacities on any of the iPods to try to sell their iCloud service, which is ridiculous for a couple of reasons:
    a) connections can be slow
    b) can't get a connection everywhere, my work for instance gets no reception in the building.
    c) limited bandwidth by the wireless carriers that love to nickel and dime their customers for everything they are worth.

    I honestly think if it weren't for iCloud and lack of competition we'd be up to 32GB on the nano, and 128GB on the iPod Touch.

    I would be looking at other players right now if there were decent alternatives that weren't
    a) made with cheap plastic
    b) could work with iTunes, bloated or not iTunes is state-of-the-art program when it comes to creating things like smart many options compared to the competition.
    c) didn't invest in the DRM music in the early days of iTunes.


    I don't suggest refurbs for the hard drive based models, I got a refurb from the Apple store the first drop killed the hard drive. As opposed to my 120GB that has a dent in the casing and has been dropped at least 8 times in the last 3 years and works just fine still.
  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2006
    I think Apple has given up on incorporating more physical buttons on the actual devices. Its been pretty clear for a few years now that the only way they want that to be done is via an in-line remote on the headphones, which more manufacturers are finally incorporating.

    I don't think its necessarily the refurb that killed your iPods hard drive, more the fact you dropped it and were unlucky in how it shook up the drive.
  19. macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    I'm siding with the OP here. For me it's personal preference, I jumped on board the iPod bandwagon when it was still "A Thousand Songs in your Pocket" and was amazed at how simple and intuitive the iPod OS + Click Wheel (or for those first iPods, the scroll wheel) combination worked.

    When it came time to upgrade my iPod the most recent time around, I bought an iPod Mini from a center processing DOA returns, stripped out the battery and hard disk, installed a NuPower battery and a Flash memory card. Still have it today.

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