iPod Supports Standards

While researching iPod minis I found a nice surprise on Apple’s site.

Standards like MP3? Nope, web standards. Go to the iPod sub-site and toggle your stylesheets using a favelet. Notice anything? Now check out the source; still crufty in places, but a giant step forward from Apple’s old code, which is still viewable on other parts of their site. Great!

I noticed this because I was on the site to check out the iPod Mini. Yes, I know that for $50 more I get 11 more gigabytes, but even the largest iPod still wouldn’t hold all my music. Realistically, I don’t 10,000 songs in my pocket. About a thousand should hold me for a few days between syncing. I thought the Minis were pretty silly until Elissa dragged me into an Apple store the other day and I saw one up close. My goodness those things are small, making the iPod feel gargantuan in comparison. Size does matter, a lesson I learned from my old 16.1″ Sony laptop, bulky digital camera, and the Visor Prism. My only concern about the Mini is I wouldn’t be able to use accesories like this voice recorder. That’s probably for the best though, as I need to stop recording concerts and such on hardware not meant for it and break down and get (another) MiniDisc recorder and a decent microphone.

While at the site I noticed the rollovers were so fast they had to be CSS, and checking under the hood I found not only a mostly-CSS layout, but pages just a few simple mistakes away from validating. It’s good to see a company that “gets it” in many other areas finally maturing in their web presence.

UPDATE: Apple properties which seem to be on the bandwagon:

This is obviously a work in progress becuase you have pages like this antivirus page which is very much old-school markup. Can’t wait to hear more about this, or an official word from Apple with more information about their new-generation markup. Are there any bloggers inside of Apple?

17 replies on “iPod Supports Standards”

I remember reading that Zeldman (or Happy Cog, maybe) was consulting with Apple. I suppose this is the result?

You’re right. It’s nice to see them moving into the web standards game. Of course, they still need to loose the table based navigation, but it is a major move forward for them.

Also like Christian, I remember quite a while back that Zeldman was supposed to be consulting with them. Do you think this is the outcome?

Tis true; Zeldman did announce[1] at the end of August last year that both he and Doug Bowman would be working with Apple. However, I refuse to believe it’s taken these two almost 8 months to rework the iPod home page, so maybe the pair have been contracted to bring Apple’s internal web team up to speed on Web Standards and such..?

It might not be unreasonable to expect either Zeldman or Bowman (if not both) to produce a juicy article on the process for, say, A List Apart in the not-too-distant-future. Or they might be hog-tied with a non-disclosure agreement. Who knows?

[1] http://www.zeldman.com/daily/0803a.shtml#apple

I’ve updated the entry with links to the sub-sites I found that are using CSS. More are welcome. The markup on the new pages looks pretty darn clean for the most part.

Well, the lovely and talented (and smoochable, shurely?!) Doug Bowman said on his personal Weblog that his and J the Z’s work was not a redesign. I can certainly imagine it took this long to unf<asterisk><asterisk><asterisk><asterisk> their templates and propagate them through the site.

This has actually been there for a few months at least. I’ve noticed it appearing on new sections of the site as they are added, as well as the older ones. I can’t wait to see what goes next.

Before MWSF04, the iPod site actually had a style switcher for each of the iPod colors. The Buy Now button and the top banner would change. This is something that has yet to let up on international sites. See the UK site [1] for an english example.

As far as I know, the (“old”) iPod site was the first “new world” (;)) web site Apple put up, and came only a couple of weeks after Zeldman’s announcement.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/uk/ipod/

One comment about what you “think you need”. I decided to go with the 20gb because I thought, “hey, how could i need all that at one time” but now that I have it and it doesn’t fit all my music, I regret not going for the 40gb one. Don’t underestimate it. It’s a hassle to choose what you want and dont want, but if you really want the the smallness, go for it.

The problems with the iPod mini’s are very rare and over-publicized. If you ever have a problem, they’ll send you a new one.

I like your statement about not seeing the benefit of carrying 10,000 songs. I’ve been reluctant to upgrade my 5 gig iPod (I was an early adopter) because I don’t need to carry more music. I only want what I’m in the mood for. Now, those minis… they’re really appealing.

Speaking of which, forget the Belkin mic. It’s crap. Check out the iTalk by Griffin Technology (http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/italk/). It’s got a built in mic AND a mic jack so you can plug a real mic in. It also works with the Mini. Probably not Apple approved but I’ve read reports on Macintouch.com saying that it does work.

I heard that Apple developers spent a long, long time trying to get that top nav bar (which is table-based) just right. They probably won’t be recoding it in XHTML/CSS anytime soon!

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