I Still Want Bluetooth in my iPod

Time flies. It's been nearly a year since I last posted about wanting Bluetooth in my iPod. If you don't feel like going back to read that post, I'll sum it up for you.

  • Address Book, Contacts sync

  • Audio to headphones (A2DP)

  • Music file sync in small quantities

I think all of that still has value, but I have a few more things that Bluetooth would enable.

Playlist sync - The playlist I listen to the most is "Not Heard Recently". I like to keep my music rotating through. I'll listen to specific things when the mood strikes, but usually it is NHR or shuffle. I recently upgrade to a 5G iPod which left my 3G iPod to secondary purposes such as hooked to my home stereo. I also have a shuffle which I use while working out, mowing the lawn, and riding my bike (only while on trails). I still like to keep that NHR playlist updated, which requires me bringing the pods back to the main machine every so often. Sometimes I'll end up with playlist overlap and listen to the same songs 2 or 3 times before they get pulled off of the NHR playlist. Bluetooth would allow me to keep the playlist more up to date and avoid that.

Playlist sharing - If you follow my blog, you'll see me posting music I like and DJ sets that I work on. Lots of the music comes off of the iTMS and the stuff that doesn't is usually available on Amazon. How cool would it be if you came up to me at work and I could just send you that playlist over Bluetooth? I would send the songs, just the playlist metadata. It would take about 5 seconds and brings a social element to the iPod experience. You can share playlists with people on the bus, or friends at school. If you have the songs on the playlist, you can instantly play that playlist in the order your friend made. If you don't, you can check out the songs on the iTMS the next time you are synced to your computer. Apple isn't making much on the music sales, but more sales has to be a good thing. Getting your customers "in" to the store is half the battle. Why not let your other customers help fight that battle by getting their friends in to the store?

Music send - A2DP works great to headphones. I've heard it and I'm considering buying a pair of headphones. In addition to headphones, there's no reason car and home stereos can't be the A2DP "sink". Sure, we can cable up, but do you want a cable hanging out of your car's dashboard, even if it is in the glove box? I know I don't. Add in the hand-off technology you get with Bluetooth headsets for your cell phone and you can have your car start playing the same music you were listening to on headphones when you walked up. Don't laugh, I know friends that do this every day with FM senders on their iPods.

Remote control - Control the iPod using the Bluetooth AVRCP. I was very disappointed to see Apple use IR for their universal iPod dock and remote for the new iMac. If they do bring out a Mac Media for the living room, it better have Bluetooth for remote control. They can keep their stinky IR, but add Bluetooth too!

Printing - Without getting too far away from the purpose of an iPod (music), you could bury the ability to print things like album art, playlists, notes, and even photos to Bluetooth enabled printers using BPP, or as a simple Object Push. This is another social element, and all part of the Apple Experience. Bluetooth enabled printers are out there and this would avoid you connecting your iPod to someone else's computer which may or may not have the right cables and software. This isn't vaporware stuff. It's possible today with the right software.

Finally, I have to comment... have you seen the new Creative Zen Vison:M? I can't stop laughing at the thickness. They better have room for Bluetooth in there...and a waffle maker!


Jason said...

Apparantly, iPod hacks are thinking along the same lines as you.
Here is their story/rumor from today. Note that they mention Jobs doesn't even see the point in adding Bluetooth to the iPod.

I, however, agree with you.

Thaddeus said...

And here as well...


Until now, there hasn't been anything about the newer iPods that would make me abandon my 4G 40GB. However, Bluetooth would definitely make things much more tempting, especially if I could find a car stereo sporting Bluetooth and full iPod support.