I have ranted about the iPhone’s horrible iPod interface in the past, and any improvement they can make is certainly welcome. But the improvements in the iPhone OS 3.0 update seem more half-assed than a true solution. Yes, the ability to skip back 30 seconds will be nice, but it’s still a ham-fisted solution to the problem of exact scrolling inside a 70 minute podcast. And the “scrubber” interface seems complicated and error-prone.
The frustrating thing is that Apple already has the One True User Interface for playing audio: the click-wheel. With its handling of acceleration you can both seek through hours of audio extremely quickly while still giving you the one-second resolution to seek to the exact point you want, and I don’t understand why it isn’t emulated on the iPhone and iPod touch. At this point, I have to believe that there is some limitation of the touchscreen hardware which prevents it. Sigh.