Apple got it right on several counts when it updated its iPod software and announced two new peripherals for the digital-music player last week. But 37 per cent of Macworld readers who voted in a recent poll believe that radio is the main feature lacked by the iPod.
The Macworld Online Poll asked: "What are the missing features" just days before Apple added support for a new Belkin voice-recording and photo-storage accessories to its dockable iPods.
Before the iPod update the most popular requested features were a radio with 36 per cent of the vote, and a voice recorder - selected by 20 per cent of readers. Following the update 37 per cent were still looking for radio, but the percentage of readers looking for a voice recorder (now provided) fell 8 percentage points to 12 per cent.
The feature that experienced the biggest vote increase following the iPod upgrade was a colour screen, moving up from 16 per cent to 21 per cent and taking second position from voice recorder. The iPod now offers photo-storage accessories with users able to store thousands of digital photos on their iPod, but not view them, yet.
Another wish-list accessory that grew in popularity following the iPod refresh, was a built-in mobile phone, originally receiving 7 per cent of the vote, following the announcement this gained 3 percentage points bringing it to 10 per cent.
Despite the added photographer's storage function the number of readers requesting a built-in camera decreased from 5 per cent to 4 per cent, and memory-card reader remained at 5 per cent. Digital video to TV output, which was 10 per cent, reduced to 8 per cent while a video-camera function increased its vote from 1 per cent to 2 per cent.
Despite figuring highly on most voter's wish-lists, some Macworld readers didn't feel that a radio is such a must-have: "Why the hell would you want a radio when you can have 10,000 decent songs," said one.
Pause and Effect One missing feature advocated by a few members of Macworld's online forum is continuous play: "It should play from track-to-track without a forced pause. A lot of people listen to DJ mix albums or albums that are continuous, and that little pause can be a tad irritating," said one.
Another reader suggested: "You should be able to check what non-music files are stored on your iPod and view a single iPod's contents on both Macs and PCs."
Some readers felt that rather than expanding the iPod, more ports should be added: "Then people could choose to make their iPod more than an MP3 player rather than be stuck with unwanted extras that will make it more bulky," said one.
Another said that: "More than anything the iPod needs to be smaller, lighter, and have a much better battery life."
One reader who suggested "The only real missing feature is an affordable price tag," will be pleased to hear that Steve Jobs has not ruled out a $100 model.
A first-generation iPod owner complained: "Apple should offer continued support and updates to first and second generation iPod owners. All the new software updates and sexy new add-ons are aimed at dockable iPod owners only."
But for some readers the iPod already offers perfection. One said: "Call me a killjoy, but I don't think the iPod needs any other features - for me the joy of using the iPod is its simplicity and uncluttered interface. Any new features would either increase the bulk, price or number of buttons on the fascia."