The iPod touch is now 32GB, at least the top of the line model. I’ve got a 16GB model which is now the middle version a video iPod with 30GB (60 was the max, which is now 80GB and 160GB respectively). It’s hard not to feel shafted when Apple keeps pushing out products that improve on the last. I haven’t really gotten used to it since switching and maybe I never will but this is the right way to do it. The only problem I have is that many times the first generation product line is more or less a beta release with lots of problems. This wouldn’t be so bad if Apple took a better approach to customer service.
One thing I learned is that I wont be upgrading to 10.6 until I’ve seen the blogs go wild and the coast is clear. I also have nothing against Apple for continuously improving their products. The biggest problem is that most other manufacturers keep tricking consumers into thinking that products are improving when they’re not doing much more than taking advantage of technological advances from their parts suppliers (like faster processors) and repackaging it with a new design. This wouldn’t be so bad if the design was continuously improving but anybody who’s followed a company like Sony knows that this rarely happens. Some years you’ll see some great progress and the next year they come out with the ugliest crap you’ve seen and wipe out some really useful features.
I like Apple’s way of doing things. They design something and stick with it for a while. All the improvements happen under the cover. You get a bunch of same looking products but different "generations". This is how design really should be handled because good design should last more than a shopping season. Apple sure does seem to be accelerating their release schedule though. When I used to care about Sony it was easy for me to tell when a new model was on the horizon because they’d start discounting inventory like crazy and it usually came like clockwork around the change of seasons like summer or autumn. Not so with Apple. About the only time you can count on something is when there’s a big mac conference or the Apple Store goes offline a minute.
You just have to be aware that when you buy Apple you really have to make damn sure you want that product right now, warts and all. I bought a 16GB iPod touch after much soul-searching. Luckily, the 8GB model was sold out since it was Christmas season. It was and still is the single best investment I’ve made recently. When I’m having a tough week at work it’s the only thing keeping me from tearing out the freaking wall because the second I step into the train, it’s like I’m in front of the living room couch watching TV. I leave everything behind before I arrive home. Of course, 16GB is not much. At least not for high-quality video files. It’ll have to do until flash drives come down a bit more in the price department while increasing in the capacity department. Still, it’ll do just fine until the time comes.
What we have to ask ourselves is what the hell happened to the rest of the consumer electronics market. Why are there millions of models out there on the market without a single model that does what we want? Why do manufacturers keep changing designs without ever really improving them over time? Maybe if some manufacturers lay down a rule that they wont ship a new product until they can make a fundamental improvement on the previous, we’ll see more innovation and progress.