More iPod Playlist Features I Wish I Had…

Here are some more features that I wish the iPod offered:

Side-Trips From Current Playlist

When I’m playing through one of my playlists and I get to a song I really like, I wish I had the ability to take sidetrips to other related subjects, accessible from the trackwheel or menu button:

  • After this song, side-trip to more songs by this artist (plays all songs on iPod by artist, starting with highest-rated, even if not in current playlist; when you end the side-trip it returns you back to the previous point in the playlist you were at when you started it.)
  • After this song, side-trip to more albums by this artist (plays all albums on iPod by artist, starting with cumulatively highest-rated, even if not in current playlist; when you end the side-trip it returns you back to the previous point in the playlist you were at when you started it.)
  • After this song, side-trip to a different playlist (plays that playlist; when you end the side-trip it returns you back to the previous point in the playlist you were at when you started it.)
  • After this song, play related playlist. Since some songs are in multiple playlists, this fact can serve to implicitly relate playlists. (Gives you options to related playlists to segueway to).

Earmarks in Playlists

I wish there was a way to earmark at least one position in every playlist — which by default would be the last song played during the last session playing the playlist. I have some very long playlists and this would help me so that I don’t have to start from the beginning each time; instead I can just pick up playing where I left-off last time. This is also essential for audio books or recorded lecture series, so that you can pick up where you left-off each time you listen.

Playlist Display Features

When viewing a playlist on the iPod you can only see the song names, not the artist or album names. This is because the screen isn’t wide enough to display more columns of data. But this could be solved by allowing the user to "toggle" through different columns by clicking one of the buttons. Better yet, how about just having longer lines per row, and letting the user select the order of data fields in each row (separated by commas). And as long as we’re on the subject, how about having numbers prefixing each row of a playlist — would be really helpful in order to quickly find your place in a playlist. All that would be needed is a way to scroll horizontally along the row data in playlist — perhaps using the trackwheel with a "shift" function, such as by pressing the center button and turning the trackwheel simultaneously. Here are some row data fields that would make playlists much more useable:

– Index number; the number of the present song in the sequence of the playlist
– Song name
– Artist name
– Album name
– Rating
– Number of plays
– Date of last play
– Genre