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iPod Video | by Alexandre Van de Sande
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iPod Video

probably anytime before we start writing down our christmas lists apple

is going to release it's new ipod, an all bets on the net are that is

going to have video support. There is not much inovation on that single

piece, and in a market where windows media mobile failed to get off,

where sony's PSP have a comfortable large screen for playing games and

watching videos and most important cell phones are already able to

stream any video to their screen apple is going to have to justify it's

next step. But there is still another bigger challenge on portable

video players: what are they for?


Videos, unlike music, requires your full attention and are

unapropriate for jogging, walking, working and may be even ilegal while

driving. An average everyday commute seldom lasts enough for your

average 40minutes  sitcom episdode. And if you do have a commute longer

than that you probably won't want to show off that you are carrying a

400 dollars portable device, let alone rest it in your lap. Maybe you

could want it during a trip, unless it's an air one as most airplanes

have individual screens for low budget seats.This restricts drastically

the usable window for a video iPod but apple seems to insist on it.

They are smarter than me so, let's try to figure out why:


My bet, think about portable, not mobile. A mac mini is a portable

computer, but is far from being a mobile computer. It´s easy to carry

it around, but you are not carrying it all the time. If ipod tries to

be an all media in one, in your pocket, then I´m with microsoft in the

opinion that thei´ll be won over by cell phones. But I trust apple´s

inteligence on not going in that direction, but surprising us all.


The new iPod could be:


1-Your personal mtv

That´s where apple want us to look. Just a natural extension of your

music iPod, but instead of buying music you buy video clips at the

ITMS, and let the thingy playing over your deck. But video could go way

beyond that


2-Be your media center

Throw away your phillips DVD  player. Have an iPod deck with video

output. Leave you iPod there, and it´s all the media you need. An iPod

as your home media center works as a concurrent of the huge and not so

sucessfull windows media center PC. Or maybe the Xbox, which microsoft

is selling as more than a video game but a whole media center (videos,

music, games) for the teenager. And if  you want to go to a friend´s 

movie party, why not take it all with you?


3-Be your remote control

It´s reasonable to believe the next iPod will come with bluetooth.

It´s logical to think your iPod dock (or your macmini connecetd to your

home theather) will also have. So why do not control all your movie

functions from the wonderful-easy-to-use-patent-pending iPod interface.

A quick look in the average home user and his one hudred buttons among

his 10 remote controls in his living room reveals to anyone how much we

need an upgrade in that system.

Maybe your next home theather may even come with bluetooth. Or your

movie party friend´s.


4-Never rent a movie again

Never go to a blockbuster again. You could buy whole movies from your

ITMS for a reasonable price and download directly from apple. The

difference between buying or renting a movie are not so big in the end,

you rarely get to see the same movie twice, downloading a movie from

apple would be like a long term renting: you got the right to watch

again the movie you picked up last week.


5-Be your TIVO

At the side of each podcast in the new iTunes you will se a column

entitled "price". Althought until now are podcasts are free, the fact

that this columns is there itches a lot of people. But althought

everyone agrees that it would be foolish and absurd to try to charge

for subscribing to a podcast when there are so many excelent ones free,

most of us wouldn´t be offended if they charge you to subscribe to a

sex and the city sitcom. What if the biggest TV series start being

podcasted? Then apple´s iTunes may be the next big television...

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Taken on August 31, 2005