Radio & Music

iPod local syncing…

So imagine that you’re coming home from work with your iPod and you’re listening to a song. Let’s say that you’re listening to Don’t be Light by Air, because it’s an extremely good song. Now let’s imagine that your iPod has bluetooth capabilities (or something similar) and that you’ve already paired it with your home computer (that – of course – you have hooked up to your stereo).

Now for the vast majority of people, everything that’s on their iPod is also on their computer. And by that I don’t just mean the songs themselves, but also any of the potential playlists they might be listening to. So here’s my thing. You’re coming up to your front door, you pull the iPod from your pocket, you do the spinning thing until your menu is pointing to sync and then as you are about to enter your house your local copy of iTunes powers up, selects the same song that you’re currently listening to, skips forward to the same moment in the track and fades the volume up (at the same time as your iPod gradually fades the volume down) so you can seemlessly remove your headphones without spoiling your auditory experience. Wouldn’t that be neat?!

Extending it still further, using the same sync option, you could turn the whole iPod into a local remote control. But that’s probably less interesting. Well, less interesting to me, anyway.

28 replies on “iPod local syncing…”

Seems like a sort of similar concept to some of the new “smart houses”. They can play a song and have a certain lighting level and stuff, then when you leave the room and go into another room, the music will follow you on the speakers in the new room, etc.

Bluetooth isn’t all that expensive… but, fitting it into the iPod… now, that’s something alltogether different! But, I really think this idea is right down the middle of what Jobs’ idea of the hub of our digital life is all about! Good luck, however, in getting the props from the conglomerate if they add the feature in the future.

I don’t think cost is strictly relevant, since – you know – all things drop in price in time. And as for size – they can fit bluetooth into quite tiny mobile phones, so I’m not sure that’s an issue either. Also people have been talking about Bluetooth-enabled iPods for quite a while and it seems likely that they’re coming – either in the form of add-ons or integrated into the device itself. Check out: the Register, XTreme Mac and news about the Bluetooth enabled Toshiba Hard Disks. Mostly they’re talking about ways of connecting headphones or remote controls to devices, but there’s no reason they couldn’t extend it.

This is one of the greatest iPod ideas I have ever read. Sure I have heard about wireless sync of songs and playlists, but nothing to the extent of yours. Brilliant. I will think about it every time I am pulling my coat on and trying to get my iPod to the same point as I head out to walk to school.
Fingers crossed for that.

Yes Please…
So imagine that you’re coming home from work with your iPod and you’re listening to a song. Let’s say that you’re listening to Don’t be Light by Air, because it’s an extremely good song. Now let’s imagine that your iPod has bluetooth capabilities (or s…

Imagine that you are listening to a talk about the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, then you arrive home and your roomate is asleep on the sofa and then suddenly they are woken up by the Marxist MP3 you have been listening to.

The specific idea detailed above is a bit daft and sci-fi, sort of akin to having robot slaves doing the housework, but generally there is mileage in having a wi-fi or Bluetooth iPod. I’d like to see the iPod sync over a wireless network to load up with tracks; share files with other local iPods; and using it as a remote control for a bigger home music collection also makes sense.

Well I don’t think it’s particularly daft (in that this kind of continuity of experience seems to be something that’s actually desirable if we can find a mechanism that makes it happen simply and elegantly) or sci-fi (in that you could probably make it happen with a tiny piece of information transferral and a few bloody Applescripts). And – to be fair – robot slaves are already doing the housework of Matt Jones who has recently purchased a Roomba. As to your suggestions, the local data syncing aspect is quite likely to happen, the sharing with other local iPods would work perfectly well too (it’s just an extension of the stuff that iTunes does already so there’s a precedent there) and the remote control thing appeals to me, but – ironically – might be considered a bit of a confusion of function unless based on the metaphor of the same music being playable in different places – which of course leads back to some kind of interaction in which you can pick up and carry out – or put down in your home – whatever particular feed of music you happened to be listening to at that point in time. That is, of course, what I was suggesting in the first place.

Your idea is so clearly radical and common sense at the same time that it must be implemented: continuity of experience, data following the person instead of the machine, and a common simple interface between you and your enjoyment of your passive activity.
You realize, you must patent this!

Damn, sorry, meant to post this over the weekend: MIT’s Progect Oxygen already has code to do something very similar to what you want. See: – the videos down the bottom of the page, either the “Cricket” one or the “MetaGlue” one. I was kind of put off because it’s mostly the same old active-badge magic that they’ve been playing with at UCL and other places for over a decade, but the music-player tricks are cool.

I already do the same thing by putting my iPod in the cradle connected to my stereo.. although I would like it this way as well, but I think doing it through the standard firewire cord would be fine instead of needing bluetooth..

The problem is, is that your stereo is connected to your computer, and not the inline-port on your iPod base. My configuration has two sets of speakers, but only because of been too lazy to explore splitting my stereo speakers. But one set of speakers are connected to the inline jack of my iPod stand, the other to my stereo. When I come home, I take my iPod out of my pocket, with headphones on, and place into my iPod base, the current song keeps playing in both my headphones and now my speakers. I then just remove my headphones. If I decide, I want surround sound, then I turn on my stereo and just plug-in my iTrip. It then streams my music to the stereo speakers. Its all rather seemless, with no worries about syncing, or fading music in and out at the right time. The biggest issue is turning my stereo on and off, since I hate that background buzz, that happens when I’m not actually streaming music to it.
In this regard, the best decision I made was not to have the iPod base station receive its charge from the computer. Since that always interrupts the flow of music when your computers takes over the iPod. So no I deliberately sync my iPod to my computer, at least once a week, but occasionally more often–typically after new music purchases, or if I’ve added a batch of new contacts or meetings. Otherwise my set-up keeps the iPod as the primary music source, and with the new inline jack, the iTrip, and or the PowerWave, the music keeps playing freely without a skip from one source to another.
Though bluetooth iPod capabilities would be nice so if I’m on my latop at the couch, I could use my laptop to jump playlists. Or to use Bluetooth to stream data from the iPod to Synergy or my laptop. I love have the album art, song, album, artist, and rating flash on my screen. i’ve noticed that with Smart playlist I frequently run into music, I didn’t realize I had, and don’t immediately recognize.

and then, as you are about to enter your house, your neighbour’s local copy of iTunes powers up, selects the same tune you’re currently listening to, and confuses the hell out of them.
At the same time, your iPod gradually fades the volume out, convincing you that you need to put it on charge.

You can do this already Coates:
1. Plug your i-Pod dock into your stereo.
2. As your enter your flat pluck your i-Pod from your pocket and slip it into the dock.
3. The song you were listennig to will continue uninterupted.
Granted, it doesn’t have the sexy wireless implementation of your idea but it works and it’s *now*.

some thoughts on the new Apple iPod photo
Apple have released the much rumoured iPod Photo, available from the Apple Store. I think it is a lovely product, even the slideshow on TV is beautifully designed, showing the battery live onscreen too. I love the 5×5 display for preview too,

I gratefully received an iPod for my birthday. The problem is that ever since I installed iTunes etc. I have noticed a problem with my main speakers not muting when I plug in my headphones into the headphone jack on my PC. Therefore I have sound coming out of my speakers and my headphones at the same time. I have since contacted Dell support who sent an engineer out yesterday to replace the headphone port, still unresolved. Apple support told me that it is very unlikely it is their software. Does anyone have any ideas?

I’m a first time iPod user – I bought the new 5G (video). I’m using the calender (ICal) on my Mac and syncing it to Ipod. I also use a Mac at work.
Is it possible to ‘up’ sync from ipod to my work mac so that all my contacts and ical info can be viewed at work. I know if I got a .Mac acciunt I could do all this – but this could save me some money…

The iPod must have cross fade functions to survive. If Apple doesn’t listen then someone else will cease this… dont let all the good work go to waste Mr Jobs!!

I was told yesterday at the Apple store that Ipods will never have crossfade. I had to disagree with the store clerk. If my iBook were a little saller, it would almost be a friggen iPod. I’m waiting for crossfade to arriver on the iPod before I upgrade to a new iPod and that’s all there is to it!

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