This Week's Apple Rumor: iPod Video

from the an-apple-rumor-a-day-keeps... dept

People on the internets have moved on from the Apple MVNO rumors, and are now working themselves into a lather over the prospect of a video iPod. Kicked off by an article in this morning’s Wall Street Journal saying that Apple has held discussions with record labels over licensing music videos to sell through the iTunes Music Store, the story brought some fresh energy to the long-standing expectation that Apple would announce some sort of video player. The rumor is backed up by the usual logic surrounding potential Apple moves, like “Macs are great for audio and video”, therefore a video iPod will be a success. While the product launch is a safe bet, the success of a video iPod product isn’t, for a variety of reasons. First and foremost is content: will people really want to pay $1.99 for a music video? That seems doubtful. And given Hollywood’s unwillingness to evolve its business models, it’s hard to see many studios lining up to let Apple sell their movies. There’s another problem, though: with iTunes, the expectation has been set that users can rip their own media and transfer it to their portable device. While Steve Jobs doesn’t have any trouble shaking things up, it would be pretty bold, even for him, to give users an easy tool with which to rip DVDs and transfer them to a portable player. History’s not on Apple’s side either: video-centric portable media players haven’t been a great success, and paid movie downloads have been a failure thus far too. A bigger issue for Apple is the form of innovation it’s bringing to the iPod product line: while users may be buying iPod photos for their color screens and larger capacities, using them to actually view photos hasn’t really taken off. With people clamoring for certain enhancements to be made to the iPod, like the addition of wireless capabilities, changes requiring a significant shift in user behavior — like using an iPod to view photos or files — are less than assured of success.

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Comments on “This Week's Apple Rumor: iPod Video”

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jeremiah (user link) says:

iPod Video/ Video RSS/ Storage

It’s not really too far of a leap to think that the iPod may have an S-Video output in the near future. That feature, in concert with exponentially expanding storage capacity and RSS feeds may signal a shift to iPod as PVR. Additionally, Quicktime 7 will have support for h.264 compressed HD video. Steve Jobs has also stated “2005 is the year of HD…”, which I take as a sign the company is moving swifty into owning not only the dev tools, but the distribution system, too.

I’ll say that again because it’s vaguely important: Apple owns not only dev tools for HD, but a distribution system as well. Hello, Sony??!!?

Lastly, I submit that a lot of people with laptops already do something similar on S-Video capable units, plugging it into the TV to watch whatever ridiculous guy-falling-down video du jour.

Ivan Sick says:

Re: iPod Video/ Video RSS/ Storage

The PVR model is a step in the right direction…If we can have capture capability (through S-Video INput, maybe 1394), that would just open the device to so many more markets. For five extra PCB components and one extra button…this shouldn’t be too hard, but it still won’t be done. There are other pocket-sized devices out there for this, I know, but more models=lower price (especially if Apple gets into the game)

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