By Dave Huth
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October 11, 2005

Waiting for the iPod video

Why are so many videobloggers mad with impatience waiting for an Apple iPod video? Tomorrow Apple will hold yet another Very Special Press Event, revealing one more one-more-thing. It's likely to be the rabidly anticipated Apple-branded portable video device. Well, actually, it will not be the video enabled iPod. But wait! Yes it will be! Or maybe not.

Frenzied speculation is common around Apple product launches and updates. Apple works hard at cultivating a brilliant marketing atmophere of blended hype and hope, making the tech press, and those of us who obsessively follow it, positively jittery with anticipation. Shownotes for The Mac Cast podcast lists a round-up of the range of rumors, whispered back and forth across the blogosphere like kids passing urban legends back and forth on the school bus.

Do we need an iPod video? Not everyone thinks so. The concept has its detractors. Sadly for true believers, Steve Jobs seems to be one of the biggest.

I think some would consider Apple to already be too big for its britches in its dominance of the personal audio market, prefering for personal video a less corporate, more open source, pet platform from somewhere else (though where else this would be is a mystery to me, unless we're talking about the cool video-enabling Linux iPod hack promoted by do-it-yourselfers like the good folks at Make).

Or maybe we should be satisfied with the devices already taking up space in our lives, calling instead for a clever integration of our computers and our television sets. This is also already available to some extent, yet The Revolution remains sluggish.

What's not yet transforming the world of personal video distribution is our current setup, and this is likely why the hankerin' is so great for a piece of hardware that will do for videoblogging what the iPod did for podcasting. There's much work to do in streamlining the process of distributing new media to the average citizen commuting to work or working out at the gym.

There is a lot of video moving around the Net with the desktop computer as the most common access point. But whenever we're nearby a desktop monitor, we're usually doing something else, whether it's checking e-mail, surfing the web, or, most commonly, doing our jobs at work and simply hoping a friend will forward a link to footage of a meteor dusting up some weirdo's truck.

As a result, online video becomes little more than a (very) brief distraction from other tasks, and seems limited to narrowly humorous, cute, outrageous, or weird content. I'm among the crowds who hope for a break from what I've called the Tyranny of the Access Point. Will an iPod liberate us? I'm not sure.

For myself, my iPod has brought audio to 2 primary spaces of my life: commuting on the highway and running on the trail. Neither driving nor jogging are activities into which video is likely to ever penetrate, and so I'm stumped for now about just precisely where and when I would be watching my iPod video.

True, many commute on a train rather than in a car, and many workout on treadmills rather than in the street. I can imagine that these folks could at least in theory watch a handheld video device to pass the time. I'm not convinced there are enough of those people to make handlheld bideo successful, but of course it's hard to predict. Theoretically, any place someone could take and give attention to a paperback book could be a place someone could take and watch an iPod video. Whether we want or need any more reasons to leave the books at home is a seperate discussion.

It seems to me that the most sense would simply be to bring videoblogs to places where people are already watching: their living room sofas and recliners. You don't need a handheld device for that, unless the dock connector plugs easily into the back of the TV set, or the TiVO, or the DVD player. The iPod photo can technically plug into the TV, but I never once met anyone who did this regularly. Will an iPod video have a better chance?

Comments on "Waiting for the iPod video"


Blogger Benjamin W. Kearvell said ... (Thursday, October 13, 2005 10:34:00 PM) : 

People will purchase this device because it is there to be purchased. Does anyone need a smaller cell phone? Does anyone need three thousand songs in their pocket? Unlikely.


Blogger yaodownload2006 said ... (Monday, May 15, 2006 10:41:00 PM) : 

any body who have used PQ DVD to iPod Video Converter , some one said it's powerful enough, it can convert dvd to ipod just for 1 click, i don't know whether or not.


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