It does not appear that Apple will provide a analog line out solution in it future platforms. It seems to me that Apple is not a significant player in the true hard core hi-fi portable arena any more, they simply appear to not care about the common head-fier frankly. I base this on these 3 facts.
- Apple discontinues its large capacity iPod classic in favor of 16, 32 and 64gig players. Lets face it 64gigs of files is going to get old real fast.
- Apple appears to eliminates the access to the analog line out, snubbing hi-fi headphone aficionados for a easy solution for use with a external amplifier.
- Apple goes with a iTouch as its core player but focuses it is as a video gaming toy rather than a serious audio player.
I would have to agree with the Cnet post from Molly Wood
This reminds me of when the Zune came out. I asked Pete Millet to help me decipher the line out signal of the Zune with hopes in making a LOD cable for the Zune. Pete was brilliant in figuring it out, and we concluded that the analog line out was software locked and was not accessible, which I thought would mean the end of the player eventually. Its a bummer that the Zune player and the new ipods are apparently having similar paths with regards to the functionality of the dock. I am very sad personally, I started my business making 30 pin cables for hard core head-fiers so to see it go away is tough. Apple's easy access of the analog line out was good for innovators, new accessory products, creation of small businesses and made the iPod stronger.
We will try and make a analog cable for the ipod regardless. And the real good news is Cypher Labs has a ready made working solution that is superior to the LOD cable, the Solo (CLAS) will be keep on rocking with the new iDevices. I would keep an eye on Cypher Labs !! wink wink.
We at ALO audio love portable Hi-fi, I cant help but see this as a sad moment really. But as Caleb said today in the shop "As one door closes, another opens" we are working to move portable Hi-Fi forward. I see this as a golden opportunity for a new ALO product ;-)