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Moto exec drops AirPod hint

An iPod, with added Bluetooth?

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A Motorola executive has hinted that Apple will deliver a wireless iPod. This is hardly a surprise, as wireless transmission technology fulfills the promise of the portable music player, making this solitary, anti-social device into the social hardware it should be.

It's also one of the most popular feature suggestions ever entertained by Register readers (see Apple's Bluepod - Promiscuous Exchanges With Strangers). Once you can stream and exchange songs with your iPod to other people on the move, the device becomes an excuse to meet people, rather than avoid them.

"There are iPods that will ship soon with Bluetooth technology," Bogdan Nedelcou, Motorola's manager for automobile products told a French radio interviewer.

So while Bogdan may soon expect an ear-bashing for his "indiscretion", we're not much wiser than we were before. Last November a patent filed in April 2003 emerged to demonstrate that Apple had indeed been thinking along these lines.

iPod owners already can listen to their songs sans wires in their car, using a third-party, add-in radio attachment such as the Griffin iTrip. At MacWorld Expo last month, Bluetooth add-ons were launched from two companies, Belkin and TEN. But none of them permit the full potential of the technology to meet the ancient human need to share music.

However, we fully expect Apple's wireless iPod to be functionally crippled, with share and stream - the most useful function - severely limited. Apple makes more money in the short-term from iPods and doesn't feel it needs to expend its capital on pursuing a long-term legislative solution. Many in other quarters of the industry - from publishing to consumer electronics - see the need for such a reform. In the long-term, a collective license allows device manufacturers to sell more gear, rights holders to collect money lost to "illegal" P2P networks, and customers to enjoy more music than they ever dreamed of hearing. ®

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