Dock, Dock, Goose

I started to write a comment on this post about iPod docks, but found I had enough material for a post of my own, so here we go.

The dock in that post looks very nice. I especially like that they included a screen shot of the TV interface on their website. Too often, companies leave out important details like that.

I have a love/hate relationship with iPod docks.

  • I love the looks of an iPod in the dock.

  • I love that Apple's latest universal dock, you can change out the inserts to support multiple iPods.

  • I hate that you have to change the inserts to support multiple iPods. It is harder than I'd like and you still have to keep the inserts sitting around somewhere, waiting to be used. I wish they could make a two sided dock so you could just flip it over to use a different flavor of iPod.

  • I hate that there aren't extra USB or Firewire ports on the docks. Not a big deal for many users, but as a Mac mini owner, my ports are precious. Sure, I can add a hub, but that adds clutter.

  • I love that you can use remotes with the various iPod docks on the market.

  • I hate that they are all IrDA. Bluetooth wouldn't require line of sight, could potentially go farther, would allow for 2 way data, and make it far easier to hack your own solution (Salling clicker anyone?)

I own an iPod and use it often, so I like the idea of a Mac with a built-in iPod dock. Then again, you have the same problem as the universal dock. You still have to keep silly inserts around to accomodate other iPods in your house.

Unconventional docks are another topic. You can dock your iPod in your alarm clock, in your living room stereo, and even your car.

These docks are great, but unless I need to charge, I'd rather just send the sound wirelessly and do away with the dock altogether. I want A2DP in my stereo so I can seamlessly finish the album that I was jammin to during the walk home from the bus. I want A2DP in my truck so I don't need an iTrip, and I don't need cables in my glovebox.

1 comment:

Thaddeus said...

I'm with you on the need for bluetooth in the iPods... I've been looking at in-vehicle solutions for my new car, and have also concluded that I don't want cables all over the place.

The dock in Jason's post is pretty slick, though. I watch enough other on-demand content that I'd be justified in just having a Mac mini on top of my TV, but I can also see some benefits of the dock, simplicity being at the top of the list.