Thanks for the comment Gavin. I agree that iOS apps that are already cloud based seem pretty sorted. MobileMe does I nice job syncing my address book and calendar, I think, and I set up my sister’s phone with Gmail which does it equally well. The trouble starts when iTunes gets in on the act, and if you step back and think about what we’ve come to expect iTunes to do, is does seem pretty ludicrous. It’s not so much the fragmentation that bugs me, it’s the each App should have well defined responsibilities, and, crucially that the Apps responsible for syncing stuff to the phone should be on the phone (or iPad), not running on some other platform creating and unwanted dependency.

I like iTunes as a music player, and even for videos but it’s a while since I had just one library. Apple seem to be pretty happy with the idea of people buying themselves multiple Macs but Home Sharing is very limited – there’s simply no way of even keeping two playlists in sync. So the problems its now having as a music player on the Mac (or PC) require the same solution as that for the phone – a separate, dedicated, always on library that is accessed ‘through the cloud’. I don’t see it as a specifically ‘file management’ problem though. I think Apple have done well to move away from thinking about files to thinking about ‘music’ and ‘photos’ and I certainly don’t want a whole new folder hierarchy (and when I have to think in terms of files, Goodreader serves well as the clearing station for sending and receiving to and from DropBox, MobileMe, email, work shared drive etc.)

I saw your post on the iPod Touch, very useful to see you picking up on this as I’m hoping to get one at work together with a Flip and an audio recorder of some sort (any recommendations?) for academics to trial (possibly with students). I see them as serving slightly different needs in terms of affordance, functionality, ease of use, etc. and I think it will be useful to let people get “hands-on” with them. I’m not sure I see applications in terms of VOIP but in terms of capturing audio and/or video (and in the iPod’s case even editing and uploading it) there’s a lot of potential.