The long-running rumors of a video iPod proved to be true, with Apple today announcing new iPods with a bigger (though still small) screen that can play video, and the availability of music videos and Pixar shorts through the iTunes Music Store for $2 a pop, as well as episodes of some ABC and Disney TV shows. This seems fairly pointless when DVRs are so popular and so cheap now -- although, of course, getting your DVR content onto a portable device is another matter. There doesn't seem to be a lot to get excited about here, when Apple's selling a small collection of rather uncompelling video content in a format that's locked to the iPod thanks to Apple's copy protection (though you will be able to watch your pricey downloads on your TV, in stunning QVGA resolution). Part of the success of the iPod and iTunes was the ease with which it rips CDs, and organizes and transfers music. For a video iPod to be successful, Apple needs to come up with some software to make video ripping, conversion and transfer just as easy -- the idea that the only video content people will watch on their gleaming new iPod is content they buy from Apple is way off base. It's not the case with music, and it won't be the case with video either.
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