Apple Portable Video/Media Device?

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,654
10,975
This Sun-Times article discusses what technologies to expect to hit it big in 2004.

The author speculates that Wide screen/HD TV, Portable Media centers, Home Media Centers, and PVRs will capture the limelight this year.

In discussing the prospect of Portable Media Centers ("iPod on Steroids"), the article states that another Microsoft-Apple battle may be coming, claiming that "Apple is testing a device in Silicon Valley".

Steve Jobs had discussed reasons why he doubted portable video players would approach the success of portable audio players. Of course, Jobs teases "Now, I'm not saying we're not working on something like that, Who knows what we've got in our labs?".
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
5
i dont know about a portable video player...it just doesnt work like music would....but a media center gizmo that works with your tv, stero, and computer all wirelessly now that could be something sweet that i wouldnt mind seeing come into fruitation.... :p
 

MOM

macrumors member
May 14, 2002
81
0
San Francisco
Why is this on page 1? I know Apple news has been slow lately, or is there something more behind this?
 

DreaminDirector

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2002
646
0
Ladera Ranch, CA
Every time I hear this so called "rumor" I get my hopes up. And every time I'm let down. It's like the boy who cried "video ipod" or "apple mobile phone".

I just dont really believe them anymore....
 

xtekdiver

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2003
132
0
Looks like this is going to be an interesting year for Apple. Elgato makes a nice PVR device, but the problem with MPEG2 encoding is that it does not support 16x9 HD. I want to be able to record National Geographic in true HD for example. Jobs has made the comment that the technology currently available is not good enough quality for Apple to work with; but that tells me that if they are developing something then it has to be much better than what is currently available. I want to be able to watch HD TV on my 23" Cinema Display. I have opted not to purchase a TV in the hopes that Apple will bridge the gap this year and offer a device that will let us do this.

As for a portable media player (ie. iTV), it is debatable how much demand there will be for such a device. Without downloadable movies, I am not sure Apple will jump on that bandwagon; but an iMovie store would be interesting and a nice complement to the iTunes store. But back to my original hope, downloading movies will only work if you can get them in with DVD quality and can watch and save them on your computer along with the movies you record from your TV.

Here's hoping the rumors are true.
 

BornAgainMac

macrumors 603
Feb 4, 2004
6,485
3,522
Florida Resident
I hope it is something like a Tivo but with Apple's ability to make it more mainstream. There still is a lot of people that don't know about products like Tivo or don't see the value in it. I am sure if Apple were to create a Tivo type device, it would be much better and get a lot of free press in the news. In 2 years, Apple would own that market.
 

fixyourthinking

macrumors 6502a
Oct 24, 2002
665
0
Greenville SC
RCA Lyra

PlaceofDis said:
i dont know about a portable video player...it just doesnt work like music would....but a media center gizmo that works with your tv, stero, and computer all wirelessly now that could be something sweet that i wouldnt mind seeing come into fruitation.... :p
If you go to Best Buy and play with an RCA Lyra you'd see how cool something like a video ipod (that also plays Mp3's) would be

I personally think that Apple selling movies - called the iMovie Store would be pretty cool - independant movie makers would also have a new area of distribution. The only problem would be preventing pornography and who is to decide what is and what isn't porn? This is where music has a slight advantage in distribution, you only can hear, not see explicit material.
 

Sol

macrumors 68000
Jan 14, 2003
1,564
6
Australia
Not without video downloads

If Apple releases a portable video player then it would also provide the content for it. Seeing that DVD ripping is not an option, Apple could sell MP4s online. Video clips sold in the iTunes Music Store could be one possibility, free movie trailers another. However, the big sales would be in television series sold online. Television episodes would fit the travelling nature of a portable video player better than a film; they are shorter.

Short films and documentaries would also carve their niche online. You could ride the bus AND learn something. Such content is necessary to make portable video work as a complete solution. Due to the running time of this content, the file downloads would be short. This would certainly make portable video content a lot more viable than selling films online.
 

Grimace

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2003
3,542
43
with Hamburglar.
an iMovie store would be neat, but really useless. Users would have to have serious high-speed connections. We're not talking about teenie-boppers downloading the latest 5MB Britney song, we're talking about DTS 6.1 encoded full length movies. How long would it take to download 4GB on a 56k modem??
 

lajocaab

macrumors newbie
Jan 8, 2004
13
0
TX
Let's have the iSlate now

The technology is available to provide consumers with a product like "iSlate". Of course only Apple could really do it right, although several other companies are attempting to create some variation of this device. Unfortunately many are too focused on video playback only, & not creating a true multi-function device that could be used at home, at the office, or on the road. This product would integrate well into the "Digital Lifestyle" philosophy & compliment existing Apple products.

It would provide a screen large enough to actually watch video & view photos, while still being small enough to be portable. It needs to be smaller than a notebook computer, but larger than a PDA. Granted, you can not put a device the size of a DVD case in your pocket, but something doesn't have to fit in a pocket to be portable. This device could be used in so many different situations that it would have broad appeal in the market. I only pray that Apple is working on such a device & will release it in 2004. They have an opportunity to impact the industry with the iSlate & iVideo media Store as much as the iPod & iTMS will.

iSlate

New Apple mini-tablet –> PMA (portable media appliance)

Designed not to be a creative device like a desktop or laptop, but rather a sophisticated display device that communicates seamlessly with other devices via Rendezvous & 802.11, BT, GPRS, FireWire, etc.


Device Size:
8” x 5.0” x .65” (±15oz)
± 1/2 size of a 17” PowerBook
± 2x size of a Palm T3 or an iPod
± size of a DVD movie case
small enough to hold with one hand by the bezel (.5” bezel on the sides)

Screen:
±8” LCD (16:9 ratio) -> 800 x 480 pixels minimum (1024 x 600 ideally!)
± 1/2 size of 17” PowerBook screen
± 2x size of a Palm T3 screen
able to display “640 x 480 material” & DVD (720x480) quality video natively

Battery:
6-9 hr. Li-Ion battery (or some new battery technology)

Storage:
1.8” 20GB or 40GB Toshiba hard drive (additional capacity can come from external devices)
128MB or 256MB RAM - fixed
CF slot (w/ adapter for SD, xD, Smart Media, Memory stick)

Processor & OS ??:
Motorola 800 MHz G4 mobile w/ Mac OS X lite or
Intel 400 MHz XScale PXA263 w/ Palm OS 6 or Mac OS Mobile?

Connectivity:
802.11 –> Desktop or Laptop, Stereo, Internet via Wi-Fi hotspots
Bluetooth –> Keyboard, Mouse, PDA, Wireless Headphones, Internet via GSM Phone
FireWire –> iPod, Computer, external Hard Drive, DVD/CD writer, Video Camera, iSight
USB 2.0 –> Printer, PDA, Digital Still Camera
mini-DVI w/adapter for:
-> ADC & VGA for larger monitor
-> DVI for video projector or HDTV
-> S-Video for video projector or TV
-> Composite for video projector or TV
Stereo mini out
Stereo mini in
Rendezvous for seamless connectivity to other devices

Input:
Inkwell via touch screen &/or stylus
Keyboard & mouse via Bluetooth or USB
Microphone
Remote control via Bluetooth

Applications:
inkwell, iPhoto, iTunes, iMovie, Safari, QuickTime, iSync, Rendezvous
Preview or Acrobat Reader, Mail, iCal, Address Book, Sherlock, iChat AV
Keynote, FileMaker, Quicken,

A/V Formats:
Pixlet, MPEG-4, MPEG-2, MPEG-1, AAC, MP3, WAV, AIFF, Audible, JPEG, TIFF, GIF

Accessories:
Charger, External Battery, Stand, clip for iSight, Portable folding BT keyboard, BT mouse
Headphone w/Microphone boom, quality stereo headphones

Price ??:
$699 to $899

Create a device that is bigger that the largest PDA or Archos type device, yet smaller than the average notebook or tablet computer. Imagine if you will, holding a device (about the size of a DVD case) away from you anywhere from 12" to 18". Obviously a 4" screen would be inadequate, but a 7" to 9" diagonal widescreen would be more than acceptable. It could still be small enough to fit in a stack of books, a briefcase, a large purse, of any number of other carrying cases. It would be something that could be viewed in an office, at home, in a coffee shop, on an airplane or train, or even in the backseat of a car.

The idea is not to see how much visual information one can cram into a small space (3" to 4" screens) or replace existing devices like the TV or Video Projector. The idea is to create a device that is a reasonable compromise between portability & "acceptable or pleasurable" viewing for multiple applications & that also complements existing devices.

Although a 4 lb, 12" notebook computer displays video beautifully (I use one everyday), it is too big for the situations I have described. Beyond the innumerable business applications it could fulfill, it could display video & photos on a screen that is much bigger than an Archos type device or PDA, & yet smaller than a notebook computer. It doesn’t need to carry everything all the time, so it doesn’t require a massive hard drive. The internal HD needs only to be large enough for the OS, applications & enough storage to carry material while you away from any connectivity to other devices or the internet.

From a strictly “video perspective”, a large part of its success would hinge upon Apple's ability to distribute video clips through an online store much like iTMS. This store could provide educational content, business content, news content, & entertainment content beyond just movies. To be truly successful, it must integrate into Apple's "Digital Lifestyle" strategy, & be truly portable (ubiquitous wireless connectivity & good battery life).
 

w00master

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,120
304
My problem w/ Portable Vid Players

Here's my issue with Portable Video players. First off, I do think that they are "cool" in a gadgety sort of way. However, in a mostly car driven society, I can't see the long-term viability of portable video players. Sure, they're very cool, but I just can't see how or when the majority of users would ever use them.

Portable music players are great, because no matter where you are, you can use them with little to no distraction. In a car? Just plug it to your car stereo. Taking a walk in the park? Just put on some headphones. Etc. etc. But with portable vid players? You can't really do any of the above. I could see some viability with the business audience. They take a lot of business trips on planes, etc. But this is such a small audience, I just can't see it having any future legs. Thoughts?

w00master
 

27407

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2004
46
0
w00master said:
Here's my issue with Portable Video players. First off, I do think that they are "cool" in a gadgety sort of way. However, in a mostly car driven society, I can't see the long-term viability of portable video players. Sure, they're very cool, but I just can't see how or when the majority of users would ever use them.

Portable music players are great, because no matter where you are, you can use them with little to no distraction. In a car? Just plug it to your car stereo. Taking a walk in the park? Just put on some headphones. Etc. etc. But with portable vid players? You can't really do any of the above. I could see some viability with the business audience. They take a lot of business trips on planes, etc. But this is such a small audience, I just can't see it having any future legs. Thoughts?

w00master
Remember that while the US is a car driven society, many other places in the world are not.
 

Dave the Great

macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2004
160
0
xtekdiver said:
.. but the problem with MPEG2 encoding is that it does not support 16x9 HD. ...
Yes, it does. Look at DVHS, this is MPEG-2 HD (16x9).
Also, look at JVC's HD1 and HD10. This is also MPEG-2 HD (16x9).
 

eclipse525

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2003
850
0
USA, New York
It's just not going to happen.

Video is just not as universal as Music. In the sense of day to day. Also, video is alot more distracting than music.

Unless this little miracle iPod(A/V) unit can recieve satelitte feeds(directTV) but highly unlikely.



~
 

Stolid

macrumors regular
Jan 29, 2004
110
0
Norfolk, VA, USA
Also: Look at the Game Boy's success. This could easily be a GB for "respectable adults" or people who just don't like playing games - nice way to pass the time where-ever, when-ever
 

macdong

macrumors 6502
Mar 25, 2003
349
0
Seattle, WA
well, some vehicles have DVD player in the back or even in the passenger side. it'll eventually be possible to plug a protable video player in and play the movies, just like how you can plug your iPod in and play music.

w00master said:
Here's my issue with Portable Video players. First off, I do think that they are "cool" in a gadgety sort of way. However, in a mostly car driven society, I can't see the long-term viability of portable video players. Sure, they're very cool, but I just can't see how or when the majority of users would ever use them.

Portable music players are great, because no matter where you are, you can use them with little to no distraction. In a car? Just plug it to your car stereo. Taking a walk in the park? Just put on some headphones. Etc. etc. But with portable vid players? You can't really do any of the above. I could see some viability with the business audience. They take a lot of business trips on planes, etc. But this is such a small audience, I just can't see it having any future legs. Thoughts?

w00master
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
adzoox said:
If you go to Best Buy and play with an RCA Lyra you'd see how cool something like a video ipod (that also plays Mp3's) would be
The problem with these gadgets is that their usefulness wears off pretty fast after their original wow factor. These things are cool just for the sake of that they can do something. But is it usef? Is it something people will want to keep using?

For a portable video player to work, you need content to be readily available and easily accessible to the device. For example, no one is gonna bother ripping their dvds and copying it over to their device; the process is too cumbersome--for now. now, with the popularity to media center PCs, video content is becoming easier to collect. Apple needs to jump into this market with some killer technology. They can't let Microsoft dictate this emerging market.

My guess is that Apple is planning something big with phone/wireless networking and quicktime. Imagine being able to download to your iPod sports highlights, movie trailers, news flashes, etc. Apple needs to identify what kind of content works for this type of device and then promote a package that includes hardware, software, service, and content. The total package. And seemless integration with your Mac.
 

Wonder Boy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2003
833
0
South Windsor, CT
portable music player

i almost never watch dvds in my house, im not about to spend 400+ so i can watch indiana jones on the way to class.

i say "bah" to you PMA

but at this rate, ill take anything apple leases. life in appleworld sucks right now and has for a long time. tomorrow will be the 2 month anniversary of mwsf, and all we have to show for is ilife o4 and (woo frickin hoo) ipod minis. yup those will increase marketshare.we are not amused.
 

TBR

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2004
274
1
Blackpool - England
carletonmusic said:
an iMovie store would be neat, but really useless. Users would have to have serious high-speed connections. We're not talking about teenie-boppers downloading the latest 5MB Britney song, we're talking about DTS 6.1 encoded full length movies. How long would it take to download 4GB on a 56k modem??
But the iMovie store would be primerily to allow users of the "iVideo" to download the movies to play on that device. I wouldn't envision that this device would be playing such high quality video, I see it more as a VCD quality player, 320x240. This would allow video to be approx 10 meg a minute.

This would take approx 2hours or so for a 45min program on slow 1/2 meg broadband.

I think that this would be reasonable trade off of size of file and quality.

People wanting MEGA quality video arn't going to want to watch it on a tiny screen anyway and I woould see this product aimed at the casual user, the walkman of videowho would be more than happy with a 320x240 resolution.
 

Wonder Boy

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2003
833
0
South Windsor, CT
dongmin said:
Imagine being able to download to your iPod sports highlights, movie trailers, news flashes, etc. Apple needs to identify what kind of content works for this type of device and then promote a package that includes hardware, software, service, and content. The total package. And seemless integration with your Mac.
that sounds good but it has to have a phone intergrated. there is no way im paying 45$ a month for a cell phone and another 50$ to download sportscenter highlights.
 
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