Wednesday, November 24, 2004
iPod Photo UI works for pictures should stretch to videos
I had a chance to play around with the iPod Photo, (Thanks Bomba.) Like the other iPods this is a great experience and the first real extension to the iPod concept since the launch of the Music store. Ironically few week before the annoncement I started to use iPod for storing pictures and other valuable personal content (see my post on it here), I only use it as a backup.
When I first read about the iPod Photo I was pleased that Apple did this product, as mobilizing your memories is one of the key thoughts we have in Lifeblog. The key thing missing is an easy way to share content. Well it is first generation for a mobile iPhoto.
Read more for my intial impression.
Here are my initial impressions:
1. I was surprised how fast it was. I assume they must store two
thumbnails, the little and the full screen. With a rotator UI speed is
2. I do agree it makes sense to have your're images in your pocket, that is one of the carrying thoughts in Lifeblog. However it opens up for a new type of use case coined by my friend Matti. The iPod Photo provides a new new way to torture your friends by suggesting: 'Should we look at some of my pictures, I have all my 5000 photos in my pocket....'
3. I think the resolution of 220x176 (the same as many smartphones, but positioned landscape) is too small for 25 thumbnails. I usually like efficiency in UI's, so I am bit surprised by my own reaction. Lets see if I get used to it.
4. I think the font is too small to be anti alised, the font is dirty. This should be changed, designing low resolution bitmap font which loks good is not easy.
5. I found it amusing that the Slideshow settings where the first menu item.
6. There are no possibility to modify the content on the iPod Photo and hence no need for robust sync. with conflict resolution etc.
The reason the iPod Photo UI works is that iTunes and iPhoto share the same UI metaphor, or UI style as I would call it. Pictures are like songs and albums are like playlists. This metaphor holds as long as the user makes albums or do not mind lots of browsing. The only problem with albums is that eventually the pressure for nested folders arise and then there is little difference between.
There are no features to manipulate, organize or annotate your images, it really is a player for visual content. Lets see how they will evolve. If they want the iPod to succeed it has to become a 'platform' and without text input that is very difficult.
There are no way to search for images other than to browse and at some point one cannot browse and one will not remember in which album the image is. making a rotator based input method seems incident in the long run, if Apple wants to make iPod into a more general purpose device.
I read somewhere that Steve Jobs does not think people will watch
movies on small screens, I tend to agree, but I see no reason why one
could not watch shorter productions, the type of production consumers
make with iMovie. To add the possibility to watch and share clips would
be great. I am quite optimistic about clips as even a decent video
photographer can direct a short 30 second clip conveying much more
substance than a picture.
Pictures without words are not stories and stories is where the beef is. The photos needs to have some sort of access to the text on them, but this is omitted. This goes back to the primarely problem of the missing text input for this device.
I am looking forward to getting my hands on the device and see how I could use it in practice. More later.
Locate it. You`ll be happy
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