I was really pleased to find a few controls added to the audiobook (and podcast!) iPod controls in last night’s iPhone 3.0 update.
The small “30” with the arrow moving in a circle takes you back 30 seconds; quite handy when you’ve missed something that was just said.
The “2x” is a speed toggle; clicking it multiple times will change between double, normal and half speed. Prior to this, you had to take a trip onto the Settings app to change it. Handy!
Lastly, you now get visual feedback when you scrub back and forth in a track. The way this works is hard to explain, but it works like this: if you grab the play head and start dragging it to the right, you move forward in the track. This is fine for relatively short tracks, like a five minute song, since each pixel only represents a few seconds on the scrub bar. On longer tracks (take a two hour podcast, for example), each pixel then represents a huge chunk of time and it becomes very difficult to skip back a few seconds (though the new 30-second skip alleviates that need!). Apple’s solution is for you to keep your finger on the screen, but to move it lower on the screen, completely off of the scrub bar; the lower on the screen you go, the finer the control you have! Fantastic! This used to work in past versions, but it wasn’t as well implemented, and had no UI.