Cover Flow on iPod: Why it’s Good

iPod Classic, Cover Flow

Okay, so Cover Flow is a little small on the 3rd-Gen Nano and the Classic, but it sure beats scrolling through a list of text. I’ve wanted this for a while, as I’m intimately familiar with the covers of my albums and think of them in visual terms. This is especially good on a Classic, where thousands of albums can be housed. Trying to visualise the albums from the text listing on old iPods leads to overlooking a lot of music because it’s too hard to do rapidly while scrolling.

The interface is not bad on the new iPods. You scroll with the scroll wheel, then click to spin a cover around. Click a track and it starts playing. Press Menu to go back to Cover Flow. It remembers the last cover it was displaying, even after a sync.

Here’s something insanely cool: I’ve just discovered that with the iPod in the Universal Dock (first version), in Cover Flow view, you can actually scroll left and right with the remote! How cool is that? It’s a little limited compared to using the wheel itself. You can’t rapidly scroll by holding down the button and if you click Play/Pause, it immediately starts playing the album from the beginning rather than presenting the songs for selection. But this is a nice hidden interface detail. Perhaps the dock will interact with the iPod in more ways in the future.

I can’t wait for my Touch, to play with that Cover Flow.


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