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Video iPod Apple's First Bad Move?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the keeping-up-with-the-comstars dept.

Businesses 598

An anonymous reader writes "Apple has had a lot of success with the iPod brand the past few years. The NYT has an article up wondering if, just maybe, this week's release of the video iPod was too soon." From the article: "Everyone from Microsoft to Comcast - in other words, the usual suspects - is working on or looking at similar pocket-size recorders. At least two companies, Pace Micro Technology of Britain and Samsung of South Korea, have said they plan to introduce models early next year. There is also TivoToGo, a service that can forward recorded shows to various mobile devices, even Sony PSP handheld gaming units ... [anyway,] the video iPod only has it half right: if it took material from the television as readily as it did from the Internet, it could be a blockbuster. But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free? Unlike its musical forebear, the video iPod may not be ready for prime time. "

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Missed the Point (5, Insightful)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803790)

Mr. Siklos seems to miss the point, and the details. Apple substantially downplayed the video capability of the iPod, and the audience reaction was understandably lukewarm considering the limited selection and quality of available content.

As for the details: There already is a "bogeyman" of online video: BitTorrent. Hell, it's the bogeyman of online everything, depending on who you ask. It's no centralized Napster, but that's mostly due to the lessons learned from Napster.

There are TV tuners for computers available. How long until it's seamless to drop content from your PVR software into your iTunes Library and onto your iPod? I noticed I can't drag just any video into my iTunes Library, but I haven't played enough to really see about adding my own video.

Trying to wedge PVR functionality into the portable device is overkill. It's a player. Let the computer do the work... that's why it's there.

Re:Missed the Point (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803829)

QuickTime Pro will export MP4 QVGA video with the new "Export for iPod" function. On a Mac, it comes up with an iTunes icon and a double click puts it in iTunes and read for the iPod (my new iPod hasn't come in yet, but I imagine there will be no problems). I've already converted a few shows I exported from my eyeTV.

I wanted a 60 GB iPod anyway, and would have bought one without video - the video is just an extra, like the games in the original iPod, or contacts in the 2G/3G/4G, or photos in the 4G+.

Re:Missed the Point (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803862)

Trying to wedge PVR functionality into the portable device is overkill. It's a player. Let the computer do the work... that's why it's there.

Sorry but I love the fact that my portable video player also acts as a PVR. I don't have to re-encode video to play on it and look correct, I don't have to have a Tivo and use "Record to VCR" or Tivo2Go if I don't want to, and I don't have to pay an additional $100+ on a decent PVR card to record content that I'm just putting on a portable device.

It's apparent to me that plenty of people are speculating on how moving content to portable devices will work and how well it will work. I'm not speculating as I do it every day with my Archos AV400.

Having a built in PVR is a GOOD THING.

Re:Missed the Point (1)

peterjhill2002 (578023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803944)

to paraphrase... "I noticed that I cant drag just any music into my iTunes Library"

yes, that is true... I am sure the ipod video is unlikely to support divx... alot of techheads will complain... oh well... I guess mp4 will "have to do" :-)

The old itunes had video support also, but I never used it.. I put movie trailers and such in my movies folder... (like the star wars version of cops... got to love that, troopers)... I admit, I like the video tab in the new itunes.. I have copied all my videos to itunes and am letting it manage them... including backing them up and search.

Re:Missed the Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803979)

>>As for the details: There already is a "bogeyman" of online video: BitTorrent. Hell, it's the bogeyman of online everything, depending on who you ask. It's no centralized Napster, but that's mostly due to the lessons learned from Napster.
 
The biggest problem with the viPod is the limited format support. My bittorrent downloaded eps of "Lost" are all AVIs. I don't think the viPod plays AVIs encoded in the divx format.

Re:Missed the Point (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804054)

No, you'll have to convert them. This typically has two downsides: it takes a while, and re-compressing an already lossy format lieds bad results. However, the latter isn't as big a problem as it usually is, since the AVIs you might have typically are in a higher resolution than the iPod plays. This should help making compression artifacts hard to notice.

Re:Missed the Point (5, Funny)

Saven Marek (739395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803988)

Here's some iPod history of all the bad moves apple has made with the ipod that clearly show how successful it can't be. except it still is.

Original iPod 2001
"Too expensive ($400)"
"Can't use regular batteries"
"No PC support"
"No Games"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

Second generation 10/20 gig iPods 2002 (PC support)
"Too expensive"
"Can't use regular batteries"
"The 10 gig will cannibalize 20 gig sales"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

Third generation 10/15/30 gig iPods 2003 w/ITMS and docking
"Too expensive"
"No one wants to buy just one song"
"Not enough titles in ITMS"
"10 gig will cannibalize 15 gig sales"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

iPod mini 4 gig (end of 2003)
"Too expensive" ($249)
"It's ugly"
"Will cannibalize iPod sales"
"Not enough storage"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

Fourth generation 20/40 gig iPod 2004 (Clickwheel)
HP Branded iPod
iPod Photo (40/60 gig)
U2 black iPod (October)
"Too expensive" ($299/$399, $499/$599 for photo)
"HP will cannibalize Apple sales"
"No one wants little photos on an iPod"
"Black iPod is ugly"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

iPod Shuffle 2005
Second generation iPod mini 4/6 gig
"One gig shuffle is too expensive" ($149)
"No screen"
"4 gig mini will cannibalize Shuffle sales"
"6 gig mini will cannibalize iPod sales"
"Shuffles will cannibalize mini sales"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

iPod nano 2005 (September)
"Too expensive" ($199/$249)
"Should have kept the mini"
"Will cannibalize iPod sales"
"No one will buy the Shuffle now"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

iPod with Video Playback 30/60 gig (October 2005)
"Too expensive" ($299/$399)
"No one wants little videos"
"Big flop.. Apple is through"

Re:Missed the Point (4, Insightful)

moonbender (547943) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804075)

Hilarious! :) You forgot the obligatory iPod flop prediction though: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."

Quicktime has export to iPod Format (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804043)

I just noticed this morning that the export dialog in quicktime has a export to iPod option (320x240) build right in. Encodes it perfectly for you. This means anything you can open in quicktime can be saved to your ipod (movies, films, tv shows, whatever you can get your hands on).

Also, you can drag and drop movies that are the right format right onto your ipod via itunes.

Another point he missed is this big announcement isn't really about the video ipod, it's about FrontRow. Streaming you entire houses music, videos, and photos (via Bonjour, previously Rendezvous) and playing them on your TV is pretty sweet. It's just a matter of time before there are huge movie selections available (probably pay-per-view and streaming only).

Chris

Re:Missed the Point (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804078)

The "video" aspect of the new ipods definitely is pretty lame and reasonably underplayed. If you could easily put your own video of any type on it (and, if necessary, copy over whatever codecs you need to play them), then that'd be pretty cool. Even if they come out with a service that makes it possible for me to get some sort of an unlimited $15/mo subscription to download and play any content that I can find on television and cable and DVD releases, it won't mean much if I'm locked into subscribing to content and doing it the "Apple Way". That would be like locking the mp3 player into the iTunes Music Store only.

The really neat thing about the new iPod is that it's so small, but still 60gb. Now that is sweet. And people would be more interested in it if Apple hadn't already saturated the market in the last 18 months with minis, nanos, ipods, ipod videos, iPod U2 editions, shuffles and all these other stupid things. If you just bought a nano in the last few months, you're probably not going to rush out to buy the newest line just because they're thinner.

The iPod is a really good, durable product. People with first and second generation iPods are still happy with them. You have to really up the ante to make people who are very happy with what they have want to "upgrade".

That said, as soon as Apple comes out with a 300gb ipod (or maybe even a 120gb) that's the physical size of the one they released this week - I'm all over it.

"Video iPod Apple's First Bad Move? (5, Insightful)

jomas1 (696853) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803794)

"Video iPod Apple's First Bad Move? Unlike its musical forebear, the video iPod may not be ready for prime time. "

First, the ipod was not ready for prime time when it first appeared and yet look at what Apple has accomplished. When the 1st ipod came out in 2001 there was no itunes music store, no cottage industry of ipod accessories, no support for PCs and no cult of ipod. The only way to get music on your ipod was to rip cds yourself or download mp3s and get access to a Mac.

Now it's 2005 and the ipod is firmly entrenched in the American psyche and it is easy to get audio onto an ipod but difficult to get video on it unless you rip dvds or download optimized movie files yourself. The situation is hardly any different.

Second, Apple is not selling a Video-ipod or vpod or anything else that emphasizes video. Apple's selling ipods, some of which have video playback capabilities. These other companies are trying to sell hardware that may have no real market.

Legality of ripping CDs vs. ripping DVDs (5, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803910)

When the 1st ipod came out in 2001 there was no itunes music store, no cottage industry of ipod accessories, no support for PCs and no cult of ipod. The only way to get music on your ipod was to rip cds yourself or download mp3s and get access to a Mac.

Now it's 2005 and the ipod is firmly entrenched in the American psyche and it is easy to get audio onto an ipod but difficult to get video on it unless you rip dvds or download optimized movie files yourself. The situation is hardly any different.

The difference is that in Apple's home country, ripping CDs is legal (RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia) while ripping DVDs is illegal under the DMCA (MGM v. 321 Studios).

Say what? (4, Funny)

rosewood (99925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803800)

People who spend $400 plus accessories and bitch about spending $2 on a missed episode can shampoo my crotch.

$.99 for a song, 4-5 minutes. $1.99 for a TV show for 40 minutes.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803822)

But you watch the show once, maybe twice, and can listen to the song many many times.

Re:Say what? (2, Interesting)

rosewood (99925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803973)

Even then, Id rather pay $2 to not have to sit through comercials.

Re:Say what? (0, Flamebait)

johansalk (818687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803918)

Say, are you a spokesman for Apple?

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803925)

Shampoo your crotch? Come up with your own jokes; don't steal from Maddox [xmission.com] (check the updates). This is Slashdot, man. Possibly the hardest place to plagarize and get away with it.

Re:Say what? (1)

rosewood (99925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803959)

Sorry but your hero Maddox got that from As Good As It Gets. Maddox had an original thought once ... I think.

music is the same (5, Insightful)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803808)

"But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?"

and why would a person download from iTunes when free P2P networks exist?

Re:music is the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803884)

True, you can just go record that same episode for free but people will pay for the same reason they go and pay for music from itunes: none of the hassle with trying to get the music/video. Basically, people are lazy and willing to do whatever takes the least amount of effort.

Re:music is the same (1)

kraiger (704911) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803889)

That was the exact point I was going to make. You can download any songs you want for free, and yet Apple and iTunes seem to have a pretty good thing going for them ;) Just because you can download TV Shows for free, or rip them from your TV, Apple will still have a good thing going for them.

Re:music is the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804062)

Perhaps Apple has been monitoring the ringtone market. People pay insane amounts for ringtones, so money obviously isn't an issue in that area. Video is different than music in the P2P aspect. To get video in the proper native resolution, it has to be re-encoded which causes a noticeable drop in quality not to mention it requires the appropriate geek factor. People want to be able to shop and go when it comes to these things, and they will gladly pay a couple bucks rather than sit at a computer and stumble through hours of trial and error to roll their own. If time is money, this is very smart.

I WANT TO PUT MY PEE PEE IN YOUR POO POO HOLE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803809)

i want to put my pee pee in your poo poo hole

Apple's First Bad Move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803818)

You're a couple decades too late, see the Apple III or the Apple Lisa.

Besides, hardcore geeks that want to watch TV on the go already know how to capture stuff and view it on PDAs. I do it all the time, and it's in 640x480 from an HD source.

Koolaid (-1, Troll)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803827)

The article doesn't understand about the Apple fans who have drunk
the koolaid. They will buy the Video iPod, which gets scratched by
cloth & paper. Then they will tubes & protectors for it. Then they
would buy replacement batteries (the originals last only for 3
months) from Apple Store. Then they would buy videos regularly
from the Apple Video Store. They would even buy Videos of Steve
Jobs from the store.

Apple cannot lose with an audience like this.

and ring tones? (5, Insightful)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803831)

And why do people pay $1.99 for a ring tone that lasts 30 seconds? As expensive as $2 sounds for a TV episode sounds, you can never underestimate the wastefulness of the consumer. I don't think Apple will find any problems making money off of selling videos, as long as they have reasonable co-operation from networks, and provide enough free content themselves, someone out there will spend the money.

Ringtone surcharges (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803949)

And why do people pay $1.99 for a ring tone that lasts 30 seconds?

Two reasons: For one thing, the supply is low because the mobile phone network providers and the premium-rate aggregators add their own surcharges that have no counterpart on the more free wired Internet, and their part of the pie is said to be about $1.50. For another, ringtones likely come with a limited license to publicly perform the underlying musical work for the duration of the ringtone whenever the phone rings.

Re:and ring tones? (1)

I_Love_Pocky! (751171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804002)

As expensive as $2 sounds for a TV episode sounds

$2 doesn't sound expensive to me at all. If Apple can get a few more shows on iTunes i will happily cancel my cable subscription and actually save money. There are very few shows I actually want to watch. Lets say a given show actually airs 4 new episodes in a month ($8). That means for the $60 I pay for cable I could equivalently get all the episodes of 7 different shows on demand. I'm not sure how many different shows most people watch, but I know I don't watch more than 2 or 3 in a given month.

I ordered my video iPod last week (its my first mp3 player, so that is really my primary motivation). I'm looking forward to its delivery.

Music Download Prices (1)

Bricklets (703061) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804034)

The focus shouldn't be on video download prices, but rather music download prices. With reports that the RIAA is negotiating with Apple to raise the price of music downloads from $0.99 upwards, Apple now has more leverage to keep prices where they are. If a commercial-free 45 minute episode of a hit TV series only costs $1.99, how much can they expect to charge for a 4-minute pop song.

Apple is dead! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803834)

Apple is dead, woohoo!

Re:Apple is dead! (1)

F1Driver (912890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803965)

Apple is dead, Long live the Pear.

The iPod is a music player *first* (5, Interesting)

JayDiggity (70168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803837)

My take on all of this is that people still want an iPod. If they want bigger than a 4 GB player to store their music, then they will go with a full-size iPod. Before, you got 20 GB or 60 GB and no video. Now, for the same price, you get 30 or 60 GB AND video. You pay the same price and you get more features. I agree with people who say "Who will use video on the iPod?" But when you realize that the iPod is a music player FIRST and a video player is an added bonus, it makes more sense. If you want a high capacity music player, then you want an iPod - everyone wants an iPod; they're cool. But then the video playing is just an added bonus. If you want a high capacity video player, then you'd get something else.

Is it ok ? (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803838)

Quick question. Is it ok to tape shows/music from radio/television ? More in terms of legal/copyright etc.

One of the reason itunes has caught up because it is legal and I don't have to worry about RIAA knocking on my door. $1.99 is not too much for the shows I really like. Still better than buying the >$20 DVDs later. (yes I will be missing the special features etc) but $1.99 is still cheap.

Re:Is it ok ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803961)

This was fought over 20 years ago with VCRs, and it was determined that it is OK to tape shows for your own PERSONAL USE to watch later as a form of TIME SHIFTING.

Re:Is it ok ? (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804021)

Of course! Once copyrighted content is under your private use, you can do anything you want with it, as long as it is kept private.

See also: Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios [eff.org]

Archos already does this (2, Insightful)

Bugmaster (227959) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803840)

the video iPod only has it half right: if it took material from the television as readily as it did from the Internet, it could be a blockbuster.
I should point out that Archos [archos.com] has been selling devices [archos.com] that do just that, for quite some time now. I'm sure there are other companies that do this, as well. Archos's video recorders are a lot bulkier than the standard iPod, though... But I haven't seen the video iPod, so I can't compare them directly.

Re:Archos already does this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803887)

Why is that relevant? Archos players have long been discontinued due to poor sales.

Re:Archos already does this (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803888)

If you've seen its predecessor; it is the same size, except that it is a bit thinner.

Bert
Who thinks Apple uses smaller zero's and ones to accomplish that.

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803841)

Apple's first bad move was not making the Mac a commodity item. That leaves the PC with all the apps and all the possibilities. The presumed benfits of iron-fisted control by Apple seem not to be real benefits. MS got the chance to make their desktops good enough combined with having all the apps/games. While Mac remain a niche computer.

I might pay (3, Insightful)

cyberformer (257332) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803842)

If the download was fast and I'd missed my favorite show, I might pay $1.99 to see it. It's true that the shows are also likely to be on BitTorrent, but that has legal issues, and the download might not be reliable. For people who don't watch much TV, the occasional $1.99 would work out cheaper than buying a TiVO and a subscription.

I assume you'll be able to watch it on a PC or a TV, not just a tiny iPod screen.

Re:I might pay (2, Informative)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803951)

This is correct, you can watch it on your tv with the video out cable that is included with the ipod video.

There's subscription and then there's subscription (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803976)

For people who don't watch much TV, the occasional $1.99 would work out cheaper than buying a TiVO and a subscription.

Not only that, but in addition to the $400 price of a lifetime-subscribed TiVo recorder, people have to pay $600 a year to the cable television company for TV programming.

I assume you'll be able to watch it on a PC or a TV, not just a tiny iPod screen.

Which is part of why the UMD Video format, another major player in the handheld video market, isn't likely to take off.

Re:I might pay (1)

kcarlin (99704) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804027)

I assume you'll be able to watch it on a PC or a TV, not just a tiny iPod screen.

iTunes 6.0 (downloaded and installed on my Mac yesterday as part of a standard update) includes "movie" support and the iTunes "Music Store" is offering Lost, Desperate Housewives, Night Stalker, The Suite Life, and That's So Raven at per/episode and per/season pricing ($1.99 per episode for either from what I've seen so far). There are also new links on the Music Store for music videos and Pixar content. Looks like you'll be able to watch from an iTunes equipped Mac, and probably a PC.

It's the content. (2, Informative)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803846)

Mark Cuban seems to think [blogmaverick.com] that's the important part of the video iPod. As do [ericrice.com] others [pbs.org] .

Leader of the pack (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803847)

Everyone is quick to attack the leader. Granted it might be too soon, but thats what always has made Apple successful. Yes, there will be other devices that can do video, probably even better than this device (Archos and Cowon make devices like this already).

But they are doing something different. They are creating a market for paying for video content via the Internet. I for one am interested--I don't pay for Cable and getting a decent version of a TV show for $1.99 is a good deal to me. I don't have an iPod, but might I get one once I buy a few episodes? Sure.

Apple is the leader of the pack. Just because they jumped in first doens't mean its too soon. Sould we wait until MS finally realizes its a good idea (late 2006, probably) for such content? No.

Simplicity vs Complexity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803848)

I'm not an Apple apologist (or even really a fan), but the one thing that sticks out about Apple's take on this is simplicity.

First, I still know people who have trouble hooking up their own VCRs (and to a lesser extent, DVD players), not to mention programming them. Hooking up a device to a TV to record a show would probably make their heads explode. Setting up the timing just right on a Tivo-like device would also be a daunting task to some.

And second, if programming the device to record a show is too much, you could just sit there and hit 'record' as soon as the show comes on, and 'stop' when it ends, but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a Tivo-like device. Why would these people want to do that when they can pay $1.99 or whatever at any time to get the show they missed the night before?

I think Apple made a good move with the Video iPod. That said, however, I think their initial offering of shows on the iTunes store is pretty pathetic. They should have launched with a slightly larger variety.

Missing the point (5, Informative)

yardbird (165009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803852)

The video iPod is getting all of the attention, but that's not the whole story.

Apple is moving into the living room. That means video, and Apple is getting started with a three-pronged strategy:

* Front Row [apple.com]
* iTunes Video Store [apple.com]
* iPod with video [apple.com]

It would not make sense for Apple to make the move into video and leave the video iPod out of it.

Re:Missing the point (1)

penguin_asylum (822967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803939)

It seemed to me that the video store was started because of the new ipod, not the other way around... Mainly because, without the video store and with no line-in recording, the video functionality would be virtually useless (especially if it respects DRM).

Students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803858)

ut then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?

How many students subscribe to cable when they're away at college?

Re:Students (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804004)

How many students subscribe to cable when they're away at college?

17.2% of them.

Looks like a good move to me. (1, Insightful)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803865)

Similar devices from other manufacturers will be released NEXT YEAR. Getting your product to the market first is a good thing, not a slip up. Somebody is just an apple hater.

Re:Looks like a good move to me. (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803879)

What fucking planet do you live on?! Portable video players have been around for years!

FIRST bad move?? hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803868)

everybodys already fogotten the IIgs, the Lisa, the newton, the hockey-puck mouse? that god-awful mouse that shipped with the g4 towers?

This is just another in a long line of bad moves by apple, not their first, or last. I personally find it more surprising when they make a GOOD move.

Re:FIRST bad move?? hardly (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803936)

The Apple IIgs was the shit. I still have mine hooked up.

Re:FIRST bad move?? hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13803967)

yea, IIgs was a good machine that died before its time was up, thanks to apple switching to the new macintosh machines. Which were terribly inferior comparitively.

Maybe i should have mentioned the macintosh as being the bad move instead, hmm.

The last line of the article... (2, Interesting)

dracken (453199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803871)

....sums it up quite nicely

"And there are chewy, unresolved legal questions raised by gadgets like the PocketDISH or Slingbox" ipod is too much of a cash cow for apple to risk lawsuits. Do you think that the MPAA will sit around doing nothing if Apple introduced an ipod capable of recording movies ? Downloading video content from itunes is above the board, legal and safe (from apple's standpoint). And this is not the last ipod that apple is ever going to introduce. How about Mac mini --> Front row [apple.com] --> Sync recorded shows to video ipod ? They have the mini, they have front row, they have video ipod, the next step is too easy. Trust me, this take it slow approach is not because of lack of vision.

Apples folly in all this (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803874)

is not releasing higher def content. I realize that putting higher def content on the video iPod which cannot display it is dumb, but Apple already solved the "differenet resolutions for different devices" problem with the iPod photo. Obviously it would be pointless to put your 5 megapixel pictures on the iPod photo which cannot display it, it would waste space and more importantly, it would waste power because you have to spin the hard drive more just to load data that you will end up not really even using anyway. But at the same time you want to keep all those 5 megapixel pictures on your computer where you can use that kind of resolution. How did Apple solve the problem? Simple, when you first set up your iPod photo for pictures, iTunes automatically converts your photo library into a size that is usable on your iPod. Not the quickest of processes, but if you let it run in the background it shouldn't matter. I don't understand why they couldn't do this with the video content either. I bought a music video just to see what it would look like, and while it wasn't HORRIBLE I can find better looking content through other sources...

Another problem... (1)

penguin_asylum (822967) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803890)

At the school that I go to, many people have iPods. It's not too uncommon to hear of someone being mugged for their ipods. If this happened often when an ipod would be mostly kept in a bag or pocket and the only indication would have been the headphones, imagine how the problem would escalate if people were carrying ipods around visibly watching videos on them.

Thinking in advance (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803892)

But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?

The best reason I can think of is that you don't have to think of it in advance. You don't have to know when it's on; you don't have to remember to program your TiVo/VCR. You can say any time, "Oh, yeah, I think I'd like to watch that" and download it.

Or to put in another way: true cable a la carte, which consumers have been demanding for years and unable to get.

The end of "Oh, was that good? I missed it!" would be a revolution in television.

Who would? (3, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803893)

But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?

Er... those of us without cable television? Who will never have cable television, because we absolutely refuse to pay to view commercials?

Re:Who would? (1)

Z-Knight (862716) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804030)

Er..."Lost" is on PUBLIC television ... tune to ABC on Wednesdays (8pm CST)

Re:Who would? (1)

nolen (803875) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804081)

ummm... do you pay for internet service?

As Steve Jobs said.... (1)

Chickenofbristol55 (884806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803895)

... the new ipod is music FIRST, and video SECOND. It will be sucessful trust me.

Online Music Vids (5, Insightful)

Macka (9388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803897)


On the contrary, I think that Apple may be tapping into a potential gold mine. There isn't much of a retail industry around online music video content at the moment. Certainly not in the same way that there is for music. If they can make the online purchase of music videos as ubiquitous as they have done for music, they stand to make a mint.

Then there's "porn in your pocket, anytime, anywhere". Could be just the thing to spice up marital play time after the kids have gone to bed ;-)

1 word (2, Interesting)

sedyn (880034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803942)

porncasting

Definitely spices up marital play (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804086)

Nothing like low-res porn on a 2-inch screen to get the wife all hot and bothered.

iPod video works for me (1)

peterjhill2002 (578023) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803898)

I think it is a great feature addition to an already great product.. Sure the article mentions a bunch of other products, but how well do the integrate together...

As for paying for video, I have already spent about 15 or 20 on a combination of music videos (high replay value) and a tv show (long length), the pilot to Night Stalker... and I don't even own a video capable ipod... People are talking about why a 3 or 4 minute video should cost the same as a tv episode... in most cases the tv episode will only be watched one time... maybe 2... I doubt I would ever "subscribe" to a tv show when I have a tivo... but I might get an episode here or there if they had a series that I watched often and wanted to take an episode with me...

A good video encoder card or box will cost, what, about $200.. if you want good quality... at least svideo in... That is 100 tv episodes.. Unless you were going to set up a computer based pvr or were serious about watching alot of tv on your computer... that will buy you an occasional tv episode from apple...

I think that mtv should be the next thing to worry about apple... radio stations are already suffering.. Now that people can download the videos they want and watch them where they want... why would you put up with mtv which is now as bad as the worst clearchannel station.

Proofs they rushed it (0, Flamebait)

IntergalacticWalrus (720648) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803906)

First of all, the Lost and Desperate Housewives downloads are US-only. So for everywhere else than the US, Apple offers basically zero content to use for their hot new video iPod right now.

Second of all, hey, and what's coming up, Apple? Pixar shorts? Probably through some Disney contract, huh? Just like how those two shows come from a Disney-owned station. Hey wait, don't tell me Disney is the ONLY company you have a video content contract with??!!

Yeah, this definitely sounds like Apple rushed it out.

Re:Proofs they rushed it (1)

NtroP (649992) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803986)

It's not even U.S. only. I live in Alaska and I get an error message that says I'm not in the U.S. when I try to download the Pilot for Lost! WTF?

Re:Proofs they rushed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804061)

What do those Pixar shorts have to do with Disney? Disney does not own Pixar, they merely distribute and market their movies. Also, you should make note of the fact that Steve Jobs is CEO of Pixar Animation Studios.

ipod has a lot going for it (0)

Hyperlink Processor (923293) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803921)

Even if now isn't the "best" time, ipod has a lot going for it.

- This product is leading the pack. Is there anything that offers the same integration for this service?

- The cult of mac. It plugs in with itunes, it's part of the ipod series... It's integrating technology.

These are the same advantages that kept ipod afloat against comparable music players. No reason to think it'll stop working now.

I just don't.. (1)

jkind (922585) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803927)

I just don't see the thrill of owning one of these things.. Word has been out now for a while and it's just not drilling up much buzz at all..
How often do you see someone watching a movie on their laptop? I realize it's a slightly (ok majorly) different form factor.. But still, the demand just isn't there!

Re:I just don't.. (1)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804070)

just don't see the thrill of owning one of these things


If you can see the trill of owning a regural iPod, then you should see the trill of owning one of these new iPods as well.

Seriously, this is not rocket-science! people will continue to buy iPods for the same reason they bought them before: to listen to music. It just happens that the hi-end iPods can also play back video. Or do you think that people get excited about the iPod and plan to buy one, and then find out that it can also play back video, but is a way that some people might find less than perfect? I don't think so. the video-playback is an added bonus to a device thats primary purpose is to play back music.

iPods have been selling VERY well indeed. Do you think that their sales are going to drop because they ADDED a feature to the lineup? I'm planning to buy one of these new iPods. Not because I need video-playback (hell, you can't even get the tv-shows in Finland!). But because the 6GB iPod Mini can't hold all my songs. and because they dropped the size of the regural iPod, increased the size of the screen and increased the capacity, it became a very tempting device to own. The added video-playback is a nice extra to have, sure, but it's not the feature that is most compelling for me.

It's all about the marketing... (1)

Jeian (409916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803934)

It's not like the iPod was the first MP3 player out there, it was simply the best-marketed.

There may be other portable video players on the horizon, but unless the manufacturer can out-market Apple, the iPod will still lead.

Re:It's all about the marketing... (1)

gunpowda (825571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804047)

It's not like the iPod was the first MP3 player out there, it was simply the best-marketed.

I'd be tempted to disagree. It (arguably) has the best design of any available player and it's definitely the easiest to use. The marketing buzz and the entire iPod 'image' have spawned from those qualities, not the other way around.

It's not difficult (3, Informative)

sockonafish (228678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803937)

The latest QuickTime release has an Export setting for the iPod video. If you can get a video on to your computer that QuickTime can understand (which may require the use of things like Flip4Mac [flip4mac.com] ), you can definitely watch it on your iPod video.

Of course, there are other tools for re-encoding to H.264 and MPEG4, as well.

A hacked TiVo, TivoTool, and a video iPod. (1)

pwnage (856708) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803946)

With a DirecTV hacked with vserver, John Susek's TivoTool [tivotool.com] (with built-in iTunes integration), and soon-to-own Apple video iPod, I've got everything I need.

Did Apple jump the gun? Not for me.

This thing is specifically targeted at five things (1)

melted (227442) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803948)

Video off the Torrent, pr0n, video podcasts, music clips and home video. Moreover, its primary function is _audio playback_. Video is just gravy there. The reason why Video iPod will sell insanely well is because it's way thinner than the competition, has the functions that _audio_ competition does not have, and doesn't cost all that much more when compared to it.

Re:This thing is specifically targeted at five thi (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804052)

I was going to get an iPod for my birthday anyway . I heard that the new Video enabled iPods were out and my first though was "Bonus".
All this talk about it being a bad move is rather redundant , It's an iPod with a better form factor , A bigger HDD(in the cheaper version) and it plays videos .
I am currently re-ripping my DVDs in anticipation.

It would have been a bad move if:
  • It was a separate product
  • It cost more
  • It didn't play music

The fact is :it is just an extension to the current model ,it costs the same , It has the same functionality plus some new fangeld video features and it has a better form factor .

Not everyone is a geek. (5, Insightful)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803950)

"But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?"

My response: "But who would pay $.99 to download a song when I could hook up to the radio and download the song for free?"

BECAUSE MY TIME IS WORTH MONEY.

Wireless gonna happen? (1)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803956)

When I heard video iPod and "download newscasts" to put onto your ipod and go, I was thinking that the next logical thing would be an ipod that could handle this function of buying $2 clips wirelessly through cell towers so people could get a little bit closer to "live" media, but then I thought about the audio. Apple never put a radio tuner on any iPod, obviously for marketing reasons (people'd be more inclined to buy more itunes music if they couldn't listen to the radio). But they could concievably beam people straight into iTunes from future ipods, I guess pre-programming the ipod like a cell account with its own ESN, for these functions, but then there isn't much room on that screen and leaving the computer mandatorily in the picture gives Apple literally more room to maneuver on a monitor for marketing purposes.

Why haven't they roled a iWireless iPod out yet?

Reasons why this is a good move (5, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803975)

Most people want to highlight why it's bad. With music, as most slashdotters recognise, it's far more portable than video. You can listen to video while driving to work, travelling, standing in line, exercising, jogging, etc. Video requires eyeballs, of course, which are often doing other things. It might work while travelling on a train or plane, standing in line, or exercising, but video is not workable on 40% of the list I mentioned

However:

1) People do want to take video with them. Take a look at the recent portable kid video players. They've mostly been crap, but they are for kids who don't care as much about quality, and for parents who want to occupy their children on long trips and commutes. Also, if you are riding the train to work every day, why not get that extra episode in during the commute?

2) Get into the market now and define the standard everyone has to beat. Those kid players I mentioned were dismissed as toys. The iPod has a mystique as a sexy "entertainment device." The video isn't all that bad, for that size of a screen anyway, and you don't need high quality video for Desperate Housewives, it's a dialog and situationally driven show.

Apple is always on the edge. If they are first to market, a lukewarm response as the front runner is just as good as a strong success in a large field of competitors. Now the competitors have to play catchup while Apple surges forward with new ideas.

3) It's still a 30/60 GB audio iPod. The high end iPods before video could practically be replaced by the shuffle and Nano because those two fill strong niches and are just about perfect for their market segment. The high end iPod needed an update to justify it's existence. In this manner, Apple keeps the high end and justifies distributing new versions. It's similar to the idea of putting a camera in a phone. It won't but hugely useful but it will be cute and people will eventually catch on and want to have it.

Personally, I don't want a Video iPod for any of these reasons and I'm a touch of a videophile so the screen will be way too small for me. Come back to me when someone creates widely available sunglasses that project an image for me that looks like a 30 inch widescreen TV that no one else can see and I'll buy it.

However, in terms of the market, this isn't all that bad as people make it out to be. The NY times smells that, unlike the other products, the video iPod is not a huge smash, and therefore wants to start the FUD right away, just like any other sensationalistic ad-driven media whore of a news paper.

More crappy editorial (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13803996)

How is this a "bad move"? A bad movies implies that this will cost Apple something, not simply that it won't take off. Some of us would call this a "sensationalist headline."

What video iPod? (2, Insightful)

Darius Jedburgh (920018) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804003)

I'm amazed by the ignorant talk I keep reading about the iPod. The most glaring fact that many reviewers and 'pundits' seems to have missed is that there is no video Ipod!. Just go to Apples iPod web page [apple.com] . There's an iPod shuffle, an ipod nano and an iPod. There is no 'video' iPod. Apple haven't taken any wrong turn because all they've done is upgrade the top of the iPod line - the regular iPod. It's priced like previous offerings and has much the same functionality. As a bonus it also plays video. How can this possibly be a wrong turn - to add some bouns features to an already existing product line? Apple have done the smart thing - they've released a product that is nearly identical to a current best seller with some functionality that allows them to test the waters.

At some point Apple may choose to release a video device. You can be pretty sure it'll have a much bigger screen than the current iPods.

Need High Def downloads. (1)

vspazv (578657) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804013)

At this point they're offering a low res version of the TV show for $48 a season. This seems pointless to me when I can get the same episodes in High Definition with 5.1 surround sound for free less then 48 hours after most shows have aired.

I think they need to offer several levels of downloads for the shows. My suggestion would be the current resolution for $1.49, 640x480 for $1.99 and high def shows for $2.99.

The biggest (pun intended) issue for me (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804017)

Is the screen. It's great for the music UI and the few other funstions it has, but if I wanted to watch portable video there is no way a 2.5" screen would be my first choice. I'd go with something from Archos or somewhere else if I really wanted portable video. Second is the dismal battery life while using the video. Not a huge misstep for Apple, but unlike some raving Mac fans I can see it for what it is, a stop gap and not a very good one.

A killer product (2, Insightful)

Dexter77 (442723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804019)

"But then who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free"

That must be one of the most stupid comments I've ever read. There are about 4 500 million people on this planet who can't record it from television without a satellite disc. Getting something like Lost from an online store is something I've been waiting for ages. It's not about some certain series, it's about same philosophy as in iTunes, there's a never-ending library of albums that you can download when ever you want.

Since VCDs became leechable online, I've downloaded thousands of movies. Last year alone I lost two terabytes of movies in hard disk failures. I'm sick and tired of downloading and archiving everything by myself. It has nothing to do with the money. I can't watch everything when it comes out and especially non-main-stream movies vanish from the Internet in couple of months. There's no other way than download and archive it by yourself, if you wan't to watch it eventually. Ofcourse I could order the same thing from a DVD-shop, but takes over a week. When I want to watch something, I want to do it that day, otherwise 'mood for the movie' is gone.

If iTunes starts to sell movies and series, I'm in! 1-2euros per episode is not much. A good set of pay-tv channels cost 30-50euros/month (atleast where I live). That's about 40e/2e = 20 episodes / month, which is about a season of any tv-series. Therefore, you could buy twelve seasons of tv-episodes for the price of a set of pay-tv channels. At the moment there are barely six series running that I watch, sometimes even less.

And about the video iPod. Fancy technical journalists are comparing it to those pocket tvs that existed over 10 years ago. They didn't sell that well. But has anything changed? Hell yes! I owned one of those crappy tvs at the time. It consumed a set of AA-batteries in two hours and its LCD screen was something like 80x60 pixels. You could barely read subtitles. And they're comparing those to movie iPod.. if it works even half as well as music iPod, it's gonna be a killer product! Mark my words.

Re:A killer product (1)

DaveCBio (659840) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804048)

Ummm, if your iPod or PC crashes you can still lose all the content you paid for. Yes, you can most likely get it back, but your point is a non-issue. Downloading from iTunes won't be instantaneous, so you'll still have to wait. It's not like it's streaming. Also, who said anything about full length movies?

First bad move. (0)

SQLz (564901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804024)

Was picking Intel over AMD.

Doesn't anyone listen to mr. Jobs anymore? (5, Insightful)

Pliep (880962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804025)

As Jobs has stated 3 times; video is a BONUS on top of a normal music player. the iPod has been, is, and will be a MUSIC player. Just like the additional funtionality of being able to display photo's from the photo library, or calendars and contacts, it can now display video from the video/movies library. It is NOT A VIDEO iPod. It's a music player that also happane to play some video formats. It is NOT a dedicated handheld video machine. When Apple built calendars and contacts into teh iPod, did ANYONE headline "Apple's PDA iPod a bad move?"

More to the point... (1)

mikehunt (225807) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804026)

Why would I want to watch a movie on such a tiny screen?

*All* of these products are a non-starter as far as I
am concerned.

Am I the only one thinking... (1)

squatex (765966) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804028)

...that maybe the video ipod isnt the real focus for apple here? Remember a cool little device they released several months ago called the mac mini? When I fist saw the thing It was just begging to be put in front of my television. Sure, right now the quality of the content is low (too low for me to enjoy on my HDTV probably). But that all could change very quickly. If the itunes video test goes well you know they have to be thinking about it. Itunes video + higher quality + mac min = apple becoming a major player in the distibution of major network content IMHO.

It's *not* the Video iPod... (5, Insightful)

JakiChan (141719) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804050)

It's the new iPod. It just happens to do video.

From my point of view they announced the 5th gen iPod, which some were waiting for. For the same price as the 4th gen 60GB iPod color you get one with a better screen, *way* more battery life (going from 12 to 20 hrs) and smaller. Yeah, it does video, but that's not what it's really about. If the feature takes off then expect to see something new, but if it doesn't then who cares - it still costs the same.

The new iPod is what I was holding off for - a regular iPod using the latest PortalPlayer chipset to up the battery life, and maybe some new features. I suppose they might have waited for Hitachi's new 80gig perpendicular drive to up the content, but otherwise I'm happy.

And BTW, I ordered white because it's the One True iPod color. Anyone who orders black is a heretic and should be beaten.

FIRST bad move? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804060)

The "first" bad move by Apple?
Anyone heard of the Newton? What about the Apple II GS?

GRRR!!! (3, Insightful)

ajservo (708572) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804077)

This glass is only half full!

I want it thrown out! Give me one that's half empty!

Come on. The device isn't even out yet.

I see this as a great opportunity for the smaller people out there to provide unique content. Podcast subscriptions should point out that people don't want "popular" all the time. What's in itunes' top 20 podcasts?

There's only 2 podcasts that could be tied to a commercial show. Everything else is talk, news, or NPR!

I see a forbear of people willing to give original content a chance here. It's worked out well for ifilm and atom films, why couldn't it work here?

The paid content will come. It's a revenue stream, and there's nothing to suggest that other studios wouldn't follow. It's easy money and they don't have to produce a physical product unlike a DVD. If NBC gets their act together, they'll get WB up with them and get Friends on there. You want to see sales? Get that or Simpsons on there, and you've filled the ipods of every potential future client. That and some CNN broadcast videos and no one will ever complain.

The only misstep I think they made with the ipod is the current paid content. LOST is a very dark show. It's not easy to distinguish jungle environments on a small screen. They should have started with a lineup of more comedy and less drama. They could put "Whose Line Is It Anyway" on there and it would have been a lot better choice that something from the disney channel.

I would pay for it, if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13804079)

I don't have cable, or even an antenna, and I'm currently abroad, but I like Lost. I bought the DVD set on the recommendation of a friend and really liked it, so I'd like to watch season 2 now. As I said, I don't have the means to watch it, so I've been downloading the new episodes via bittorrent.

Then the itunes announcement came, and I was pretty psyched. I had already seen the latest episode they had for download, but I bought it anyway. I earn quite a bit more than $1.99 in the time it takes me to set up the torrent download, so it's a good deal for me. And I do feel bad about downloading the episodes illegally, so the $2 is good for that, too.

Unfortunately, the episode looks like absolute crap. It's old-school TV format, not widescreen, and it's compressed way too much. They're well aware of this, which is why the video plays in a tiny window in itunes by default. They make these episodes in HDTV widescreen, and if I'm going to be giving them money, that's what I want. Compared to the box set I bought, I'm paying more per episode for way less quality. I started buying music from itunes because of the convenience and then bought an ipod shuffle because of that. If this is what Apple has to offer in the way of video, then I'm not going to follow them down that road.

I have a PSP with a giant memory stick, and I really wish it were easier to get content on there, especially DVDs I own. I've done it, but it's not trivial, and Sony's filesystem layout and file format for movies is absurd. Hopefully the ipod video will spur some progress in conversion utilities and get Sony to make things a bit less stupid.

(the main reason I don't have an antenna, cable, tivo, etc. is to ration how much I watch TV; I find I waste a lot more time on it when I have free reign)

Not a video Ipod (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804088)

I also make this claim. Yes, it is not a "great" video player, just as yes, it is not a "great" games machine. First and formost better ipod, more storage, nicer screen, thinner, and it also plays videos, why not, it also plays games, and stores photos.

On top of this I can do this whole new thing, and as to the dowloading from the internet thing. You're kidding yourself if you don't start finding IPOD specific torrent material start showing up.

Who would pay? (1)

robogymnast (755411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13804091)

who would pay $1.99 to download an episode of 'Lost' from iTunes if the iPod could also hook up to your television and record that same episode free?

The same people who would buy a song off of iTunes for a dollar rather than download it through BitTorrent/some p2p program for free.
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