I’d make it have the same kind of screen as the Amazon Paperwhite. Why? Movies, Coverflow, and Photos have always been stupid features for iPods. If apple can make an e-ink screen that can refresh fast enough for click-wheel scrolling, they’d have the best iPod Classic possible.
Things I miss about the 4th Generation iPod
- Scrolling Smoothness and Speed
- Outdoor Screen Visibility
- Lack of unused features
If Apple can stop playing copycat (that’s right, I went there) and make a device that’s ONLY the best music player (and not the worst photo viewer) then the iPod Classic would have.
- A frontlit E-Ink screen for viewing in all lighting
- All Flash architecture for worry free skip free playback
- No battery sucking features like coverflow
- BT 4.0 for wireless headphones / stereo connectivity
- WiFi for syncing/AirPlay only
- Ridiculous battery life
- iPhone 4 style volume buttons (not a rocker)
- No Camera
- No Photos
- No Videos
- Brick, Solitaire, and Music games but no others.
- Read Only Contacts/Calendars/Notes
My justification is simple: build an iPod that iPhone owners might actually consider buying, the same way iPhone owners also own iPads. To do so, you have to decrease feature overlap and make the primary feature (music playback) so much better. The first, obvious way is that you’re not sharing music storage with Apps and photos (8MP photos take up space quickly). But iPods already do that. What they don’t do is behave as smooth as iPods did in 2003. The greyscale screen’s anti-aliasing algorithm was faster and thus the UI was faster. The greyscale screen was also viewable outside. Finally, scroll wheels are can be operated blindly in a way a touch screen can never hope for.
I’d buy one to leave in the car.