Wireless iPod?

2+2=5 for sufficiently large values of 2.

Once in a while some hapless media type manages to get an interview with my man Steve Jobs and invariably they ask him about the possibility of a wireless iPod. Being tech writers - and therefore being given endless swag by every company with a product to sell - these mopes usually have Bluetooth headsets on their phones, and they wonder why they need to have a cord running to their ears so that they can listen to music.

Steve then proceeds to rip them a nice shiny new asshole, pointing out a couple of things:

One, the bandwidth of Bluetooth is way too narrow to stream music. It might be fine for voice over cell, but listening to music through a BT link would be akin to listening to music with Windoze Media Player ... way too lo-fi to bother with.

Two, nobody wants to be recharging their headphones all the time.

For the most part he is right on target with both of these objections. But ... and we are entering the realm of some pretty tenuous conjecture here ... there is still some reason to believe that the idea of a wireless iPod is not completely stupid. There is a company that most people have never heard of called "PortalPlayer" ... they make a fairly large chunk of the custom silicon that you will find in the guts of any iPod. PortalPlayer makes about 95% of its fairly healthy revenue this way, so you would be safe to assume that any major decisions or announcements that they make would have something to do with the 'pod. The connection? They recently confirmed the addition of a bona fide wireless bigwig to their Board of Directors. Doing the math here is fairly simple - some part of their product line is going wireless, and the only real product line they have is iPod hardware.

Stay tuned.

Posted: Fri - December 16, 2005 at 12:03 AM