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Article: Retiring iPods, Macs for School, and shuffles

Posted on June 24, 2005

iPods seem to be the prevalent topic in this edition of the SchwarzTech Mailbag…

Responses to “Someone Should Make This…”

Dan K. replied:

“Don’t forget the interface. You’d need to put the LCD and wheel somewhere accessible. Some thoughts:

  • Product 1: 3.5″ iPod, no battery, draws power via USB 2.0 or FireWire port. Kinda graft the face of the iPod onto the top. Horizontal design with iPod in the middle:
    |  |###|  |
    |  |   |  |
    |  | O |  |

    Include line-out for stereo as well as a headphone jack. Include feet for air cooling and a stand so it can be used upright.

  • Product 2: Home stereo component, internal power supply, about 3″ high. Put wheel next to LCD.
  • Product 3: Remote control for #1 and #2. Maybe uses Bluetooth. (With Bluetooth, you could connect wirelessly from your Bluetooth Mac.) Looks like a small iPod mini. Includes clickwheel and LCD that mirrors information on iPod’s display. Could possibly be used with future Bluetooth iPods – this is something Apple should make.”

Jennifer G. shares her thoughts on that same article:

“What a great idea. What if someone took this one step further and allowed you to add storage to an existing iPod (think an iPod docking station) that gives you a stereo hookup, remote control, and more storage?”

What Will Your Next iPod Include?

A few weeks ago, we asked readers what they’d want in their next iPod – some responses were predictable, while others weren’t:

Katie D. decided that hers needs:

“My iPod would have to include a better voice recorder, the ability to check off to-do items, and the ability to turn shuffling on and off right from the main menu.”

Dan A.’s iPod would include:

  • AM / FM Radio
  • AM / FM Radio which is recordable, for timeshifting
  • Better (higher bitrate) microphone input for recording PodCasts. Include microphone input on iPod Mini and Shuffle


Emma J.’s question surprised me:

“Why do you guys change your site so much when it looks good as it is?”

Because I’m always finding out new things with CSS or Photoshop and have to share. :-)

Which Mac for School?

Andy N. wants to know our thoughts on the best tool for the job:

“I’m going off to college in the fall — what Mac do you suggest I take with me?”

As of right now, none. Try to buy your computer as close to when school starts as possible. Most models are due for a refresh soon, so you can either get a previous model cheaper or something better for the same price. Also, check with your school to see if they offer packaged deals. Many colleges and universities offer iBooks and PowerBooks with AppleCare and major OS X updates for 3 years for the price of a machine by itself. As for what model to pick, an iBook G4 will be fine for most tasks and is quite durable. Pick a PowerBook if you plan on doing more serious video and music work, or want more bells and whistles. Screen size is a personal preference.

A Hardware Query

Jim S. is curious about the Macs we use daily:

“What kind of Mac do you use for your work and what other Macs do you have in use?”

Well, if you ever check out the author bios at the end of articles, reviews, and other things, you’ll notice I have a Mac mini. My other computer is an iBook G3 (600MHz), and our staff has a wide range of Macs, including an eMac, a Power Mac G4, a Power Mac G5, iBook G4s, and PowerBook G4s. Let’s not even get into the amount of old Mac IIs and Classics that are hiding out in storage.

iPod shuffles Get No Lovin’…

Finally, I wanted to take a minute to comment on iPod gear being sold at Wal-Mart, since I couldn’t think of a better place to put it (think of it as interoffice mail):

“I visited my local Wal-Mart Supercenter the other day to pick up a few things. I had heard Apple and Wal-Mart worked out a deal, so I thought I’d see what they had. While checking out the electronics section, there were about 4 iPod shuffles (the 512MB variety) in a glass display case with other audio players. The shuffles were on the bottom shelf and not that noticeable (except the green packaging). I thought this was a bit disappointing.

Also, there were a number of Belkin iPod accessories (the same as what you’d find at Target, Best Buy, and Circuit City). These were on the racks next to the glass case. The only problem was that these were for regular iPods (car chargers, battery backups, cases, etc.), but no shuffle accessories. Unless there are plans to add more iPods, this seems a bit strange.”

This post has been filed in Articles, Reader Mailbag