iPod Dilemma

I’ve got a 2G 20GB iPod and the battery isn’t holding a charge very well anymore. I’d love to buy a new iPod, but I don’t see a really compelling reason to upgrade. I still have plenty of room and I don’t particularly need the ability to create a playlist on the iPod. Perhaps replacing the battery (or having someone do it for me – or perhaps not if it only takes 20 minutes) is a better solution?

So what features would make me want to upgrade? I’m almost the perfect iPod shuffle user. I generally hook up the iPod in the car, on random, and just hit play, pause and fast forward. However, when I’m listening to a song, I sometimes want to do things that I can’t easily:

  1. I want to easily be able to browse other songs by the currently playing artist. Let’s say “Walk on the Ocean” comes on, I might decide I want to hear “Crowing” or “Crazy Life” next. Navigating to the Artist menu, then scrolling down to Toad the Wet Sprocket, All Songs, etc. is a pain.
  2. I also have different versions of the same song – sometimes by the same artist, sometimes by different artists. Let’s say “Hazy Shade of Winter” by Simon and Garfunkel comes on; I might decide I want to hear the Bangles1 version instead.

I know that Apple would (probably) never add these features, because they represent a semi-complex concept and might be difficult to understand if you didn’t already know what was going on. However both of these and more could be accessed through a contextual menu from the middle button – “More songs by this artist”, “Similar songs by name” (would do a smart search on each word in the song title and return highest matches first), “More songs in this genre”, etc. Just noodling ideas around. The new versions don’t do this already do they?

Of course, all the sexy new iPod gadgets (anyone know if that thing works?) require a dock connector too…

UPDATE: As an example, last night, the iPod had just moved to 2 bars or battery. This morning, it was dead. In contrast, the GameBoy hasn’t been charged for three weeks and is still going strong.

  1. Don’t knock the Bangles – I saw a kick-@$$ cover band play a bunch of their stuff in Vegas a few years back and it brought me right back to Jr. High. ;) [up]