Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The iPod video

Finally got my hands on one of the new 5th generation iPods (with video) and now I'm wondering why Apple bothered...

I remember Steve Jobs being quoted as saying that Apple had no plans to upgrade the iPod to play video and that it was essentially a bad idea with no market. Of course a few months down the line and out comes a video enabled iPod to much marketing hype selling TV series episodes via the Apple Music Store.

However, having seen the woefully small images of a few widescreen movie trailers displayed on the tiny 2.5" (320*240) screen, I believe Jobs is probably still right and they should have left well enough alone or developed a much more video specific device. Sure, the quality of the picture is exceptionally good but it's still too small to view comfortably for long periods.

The iPod is essentially still the best personal music player available and I don't think that'll change anytime soon but to promote it as a video player that you could use to watch a full movie or even an hour-long TV series episode is pushing it too far. Not that you'd get much viewing done as the battery life while playing video is said to be reduced to just over two hours.

I can see the potential use in storing decent quality video on it for replaying back through a TV for say, going on holiday but there's no actual movies available unless you rip'em off yourself or download them illegally. Even the TV stuff is still limited to the US market at the moment so where's the market for this?

In my opinion, it would have been a much more viable prospect if they had turned the screen sideways, made it 16:9 (568*320) and boosted the battery life but that would probably have made it too large to accommodate the click-wheel control.

One of the guys in work brought in his early Christmas present, a Sony PSP and boy is that so much better. Pity it didn't have a video out capability or we'd have been seriously entertained. Of course, it can't compare to the iPod for music storage capacity but for video and games - wow!

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