iPod: The Next Generation?

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There is no mistaking it, the iPod is a legend, the yard stick by which we compare all portable media players. When you hear phrases like "I just bought a Creative iPod, it's good, but not as good as the Apple one", you just know that, there's no mistaking it, that the iPod is now as much a metaphor for music players as Google is for Search.

Apple has come quite far in what their music players are capable of doing. From its first generation iPods back in 2001 which had 5GB hard drives, black and white screens, and could only play MP3 files, and those too for only 10hrs, to the second generation iPod Touch available today, which has a large 3.5" multi touch screen, with upto 32GB capacity, and with a battery life of over 30hrs.

Where could the iPod go next? Rumours are abound. From portable fitness instructors (for which Apple filed a patent), to a multimedia player with eBook capabilities, which would be in competition to the Amazon Kindle. Whatever it will be it is sure to encompass some of the same innovations that we have seen till now.

It is almost trivial to predict that we will see in increase in the amount of storage space in the iPods of the next generation. What we can hope to see are further changes to the very definition of Portable Media Player. An eBook reader? Surely! Further segregations in the iPod line, targeting specific user types perhaps. An even smaller "pico" iPod? With Apple doing the innovation, it is hard to predict where they might go, but what you can expect, is the unexpected.

The MP3 player is long gone, replaced by the Portable Media Player to encompass the much wider variety of formats that the players are capable of playing today. But hey, you needn't worry, you can still call it an iPod.

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