Apple, iPods, and Apathy

For iPod users, this time of year is akin the Christmas. September is always New iPod Season, with music and gadget geeks alike waiting, wallets open and ready, for Apple to reveal the latest and greatest iPods.

In case you didn’t know, today was that day.

I was able to watch the event live thanks to Apple’s video stream, and in you happen to follow my Twitter account, you were likely inundated with my reactions in real-time. To put it simply, was pretty disappointed. I’m an avid iPod Touch user, as you probably know, so I’ve been eagerly anticipating the new revisions. My biggest hope was for the Touch to finally get a camera so I can take pictures and video without having to invest in a dedicated point-and-shoot. Unfortunately, it looks like we Touch users are only getting the latter, which is nice feature, but ultimately disappointing. I know I’ve talked about the down-side of convergence devices before, but a built-in camera would have easily made this upgrade a must.

Why am I so fixated on having a camera in my Touch? Because I have my iPod on hand everywhere I go. It’s the same reason why people want cameras in their phones. It’s small enough and light enough that I could easily take it with me on a trip to, say, San Francisco and not feel like my pants were falling down because of the weight. I also know that any cheap camera Apple could throw into the Touch would be infinitely better than the Kodak point-and-shoot I’m currently using.

But alas, I guess a dedicated camera is in this blogger’s future. Any suggestions?

The other announcements today were also a mixed bag, in my opinion. I love the revised iPod Shuffle and the return of physical buttons. I’m not really the target audience for that device, but maybe I’ll pick one up once I start going to the gym (it is only $50, after all). The new Nanos, on the other hand, are a misstep in terms of design. With each revision, Apple seems to move further and further away from having physical buttons on their devices, and I really think that’s a mistake. Before I owned the iPod Touch, I had an iPod Mini (I still have it, in fact), and one of the advantages it has over the Touch is that I could operate it without looking a the screen (which is especially useful in the car). Without physical buttons though it’s nearly impossible.

I’ve actually been considering an iPod Nano purchase just so I could have that same tactile experience again, but I guess now I’ll have to buy one of last year’s models before they’re gone. On the bright side, they’ll be heavily discounted.

Finally, we have the new iTunes 10 and Apple TV. The new iTunes logo is atrocious, but the actual meat of the software looks tender and juicy. I think Apple is smart to build a new social network – dubbed “Ping” – into the program itself. iTunes is already ubiquitous, so I can’t imagine Ping won’t succeed to some extent. The new Apple TV, likewise, has piqued my interest. If it were $50, I’d definitely buy one just for Netflix (as if I need another Netflic-capable device). At $99, it’s a harder sell for me personally. I’d much rather put that money towards a Kindle or Nook.

Honestly, I’ll probably end up buying a new iPod Touch. I’m already deeply invested in the App platform, and I’ve yet to see a better portable music player. I just wish I were more excited about it.