PDA

View Full Version : Apple Marches to Own Tune in Shunning Video iPod


MacBytes
Jun 15, 2004, 10:07 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Marches to Own Tune in Shunning Video iPod (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040615230748)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Phat_Pat
Jun 15, 2004, 10:22 PM
A video iPod would be okay (if it had video/audio out)....
i would rather have one with a built in camera that records onto the Pods HD
then when you plug it into you mac
it has a interigation similar to iTunes and automatically downloads your
captured video files into a new iMovie project
and the camera would also be a digtial still camera.
WIth an iPhoto intergration

That would be sweeeeeeet. :D :D

themadchemist
Jun 15, 2004, 10:49 PM
I don't know if this might be a little too soon. We all know what happened with the Newton. Apple was just a WEE BIT ahead of its time, but that time differential was enough to kill the Newton.

I wouldn't want to see a vPod come out, fail, and tarnish the name and record of the iPod, only to be followed by a host of second-rate wannabes that capture a newly developing market that simply wasn't there when the vPod came out.

nacl99
Jun 16, 2004, 12:44 AM
I think Steve has pointed out the biggest flaw to a video ipod.

Who actually uses their ipod and pays attention to it while doing. The ipod is a support device, you put on some tunes while you do stuff, rarely do you sit and watch it play songs.

The video ipod would appeal to a completely different user, a user that is willing to not do stuff, and sit and be entertained.

Steve and I ;-) think there are not enough of those people out there, and those people are not average.

Most likely those few people have already bought one of the many devices out there that does it.

This is all why on a mass scale no company, not apple, or Microsoft will have success with such a device, basically too many of us have lives.

drizahy4
Jun 16, 2004, 06:59 AM
I think Steve has pointed out the biggest flaw to a video ipod.

Who actually uses their ipod and pays attention to it while doing. The ipod is a support device, you put on some tunes while you do stuff, rarely do you sit and watch it play songs.

The video ipod would appeal to a completely different user, a user that is willing to not do stuff, and sit and be entertained.


Very nicely said. I myself would think if they ever did try to do such a device they would have to call it a different name. The ipod would then have to be price significantly lower than what it is now so sales do not go south. Plus the 60gb ipod maybe on its way. BTW where are you gonna get movies from anyway. Its not like apple offers them. And I dont see how they would offer it the itunes which is a music store. Just makes no sense at this point. Give Apple another year.

crazedbytheheat
Jun 16, 2004, 07:03 AM
I too agree that I really wouldn't enjoy watching movies/tv on my iPod. However I would definitely be interested in being able to capture video. Not necessarily built into the iPod, but as an attachment (iSight?) like the voice recording, etc. The iPod remains the storage/music device and the add-on provides the capture. Wouldn't really add to the cost of manufacturing iPods and could push iSight sales.

JohnHummel
Jun 16, 2004, 10:44 AM
Here's what I want:

Right now, you can take an audio CD and go:

Audio track -> WAV/MP3/AIFF/M4A -> iPod

What I'd like to see is something like this:

DVD -> OGM/AVI/MP4

That's the first step. I prefer the OGM format, because I do tend to watch foreign films (ok, mostly anime, but still....) and the OGM format let's be bundle inside the various audio and subtitle tracks (and once Handbrake hits version 0.70, I can just use that to do this).

Right after that, I'd like to have an iTunes like piece of software that can manage those movies, so I can sort them by genre, rating, etc. I'd like to be able to have a standard "share" for these movies much like iTunes - local folks can watch them, so I could put them all into one computer, then my kids could log inside (and watch no movie higher than a G rating - they're only 5 years old now) and watch.

So far, so good.

Then, hardware. I'd like a device I could plug into my TV and, much like the Airport Express, I could then select what movies to stream from my computer. There should be a remote that goes with it, and maybe a one time "password system" where I'd go to the main computer and register my "iStream" or "Airport Movie" device.

Then, I could keep all of my DVD's in a case, safely away from fingerprints, and watch my movies when I want, select what language and subtitles, and not worry about it.

Right now, there are devices that come "close". Tivo lets you stream some things I believe, but only MPEG based. Some other players let you do some AVI stuff, but it's not to the level that I'm talking about here. A lot of "close, but not quite".

So why don't I have this? And why won't I for the immedaite future? Long story short: Pixar.

Wall Street Journal (June 14, 2004, starting on page B1) has a story about Mr. Jobs titled "Has Jobs Gone Hollywood", where he talks about high definition burners and the need to keep them copy-proof. This is his Pixar hat talking: those that can "Rip-Mix-Burn" their movies like their CDs might do this with "The Incredibles" the second it hits the movie stands.

Personally, I tried to pirate a movie once to see how long it would take (since evidently "millions" of movies are being downloaded every day according to Jack Valenti). After 4 days of downloading, then burning to a pair of VCD's for a grainy quality video and, on the second disk, constant skipping, my wife and I shrugged and said it was a good thing we had already seen the movie in theaters. Then I threw away the disks and haven't worry about it since.

I think this is a movement that could do the tech industry well, and perhaps even the movie industry. Imagine an iTunes Video Store that uses Bittorrent like technology to allow all of those downloads. Each movie, when compressed, would be around 200 - 400 MB in size. A long time to download, even with Bittorrent like technologies, but since there's no medium to worry about, the movie studios could afford to sell each one for $9.99 and still make a fortune, even if they let us "burn" our own DVD's off of it (at a lower quality, and missing all the cool DVD features).

But it won't come for at least another 5-10 years by my reckoning because of all the Fear Uncertainty and Doubt surrounding the issue. Too bad, because I'd love to see that iStream in my home. (Which is why I'm going to order an Xbox and modify the sucker to use the Xbox Media Center program instead. Hey, if I can't get Jobs or someone else to sell me what I want, I'll just have to make my own.)

mrsebastian
Jun 16, 2004, 10:54 AM
a videopod just seems rather pointless at this time. i can burn movies to dvds or even as video cds and play them on most dvd players or computers. as for portability, why spend (estimated) $400-500 on a videopod when i can purchase a mini dvd player with a 7" screen for $150-200 and play all my burned discs? apple is smart and knows there is currently no market for it. besides, with a color screen and a few software mods, i don't see why future versions of the ipod won't be able to play video.

shamino
Jun 18, 2004, 03:47 PM
The video ipod would appeal to a completely different user, a user that is willing to not do stuff, and sit and be entertained.

Steve and I ;-) think there are not enough of those people out there, and those people are not average.
We are those people, just not at the same time.

We love to sit back and be entertained at the end of the day. We relax on the couch, turn on the TV, and pull up a movie from VHS, DVD, cable, satellite or other sources.

In that venue, however, you don't need something small and portable. You want a 27-60" screen and a device that you manipulate with a remote control from across the room. Portability is unimportant. Batteries (that need to be recharged) are a drawback, compared with a normal AC plug. Maybe computer integration would be nice, but that's a market for a TiVo-like appliance, not an iPod-like appliance.

There are some occasions where a truly portable video player is nice - like when you're on an airplane and the movie they're showing sucks. For those occasions, there are already portable DVD players with built-in screens. But they are not tremendous trend-setting items.

Making a portable video player play from a hard drive (uploading from a computer) instead of a DVD may well be a disadvantage, since most people do not have large video collections on their computer. And the amount of data (4-10GB for a commercial DVD, 1.5GB for a full-length movie on VCD format) is such that the average user will not want to create such a collection - nor will
he want to upload it into a device. Even at FireWire-800 speeds, we're talking a significant amount of time to upload even one movie.

And, of course, if you reduce the screen size (to make it pocket size), you hurt your marketability tremendously. Nobody wants to watch movies on a 3" screen. The 7" screens of the portable DVD players are about the smallest I'd ever want to watch a movie on, and I really prefer the 12-17" screens of a laptop computer.

IMO, the only way to break open a portable video market will be to start from existing portable DVD players and find a way to cut the price in half without changing any features. And even then, I don't think that market will come close to the size of the portable music market.

shamino
Jun 18, 2004, 04:07 PM
I too agree that I really wouldn't enjoy watching movies/tv on my iPod. However I would definitely be interested in being able to capture video. Not necessarily built into the iPod, but as an attachment (iSight?) like the voice recording, etc. The iPod remains the storage/music device and the add-on provides the capture. Wouldn't really add to the cost of manufacturing iPods and could push iSight sales.
Sounds like you're describing a camcorder with a hard drive instead of a tape drive.

Which is not a bad idea. A 120 minute miniDV tape has a capcity of about 10GB. A hard drive at that size isn't terribly expensive. At Pricewatch, a 20G 2.5" (notebook-size) hard drive goes for about $85. It would probably cost under $50 purchased in bulk directly from the manufacturer. I suspect a good quality mini-DV tape drive would cost more than this.

But for a product like this to be successful, it would have to function as well, or better than existing camcorders. I think Apple would have to buy/license/OEM a product from another manufacturer to pull this off.

Still, it would be nice. Especially if it seamlessly integrates with iMovie.