Remember the 2nd Gen iPod Shuffle? The one with the actual, physical buttons? Of course you do. While it really wasn’t all that good as a dedicated MP3 player for most people, it did have one thing going for it that Apple butchered in the 3rd gen release: buttons. The 3rd gen had nothing but a lock-unlock slider and a headphone jack. Better looking? Maybe. Functionally better? Not at all.
Apple pulled another shuffle today at their Music Event with the new iPod Nano. Remember the older Nanos? The ones with click-wheels, tactile buttons and 2.5″ displays? All gone and replaced by a 1.5″ touchscreen. Now, from the outset, it might seem like having a touchscreen is a big plus. Touchscreens are the rage these days, but really; on a dedicated music player, touch screens just don’t cut it.
People use their MP3 players – mostly – while on-the-go. They listen to music while gardening, walking, jogging, running, cleaning the house etc. MP3 players need dedicated buttons so you can operate the thing without looking at it. You can’t do this with a touchscreen cause you have to look where to touch!
Also, with my entire thumb/finger covering the screen, how am I supposed to scroll through my music library without getting frustrated?
Despite all its magical features: the 1.5″ 220ppi capacitative multi-touch touchscreen, FM Radio, shake-to-shuffle, photo-viewing, a rocking new design and whatnot… the fact remains; the new Nano is fundamentally flawed as a dedicated MP3 player. This is just bad design. Apple needs to stop putting touch-input on every product.
Do you agree?