Video iPod

In tech on October 16, 2005 by karan

Every man and his internet-enabled pooch probably knows that over the last year or two, Big Apple Event equals New iPod. And the speculation kept mounting each time that this would be the one, the killer, the Video iPod that would surpass all comers, and at the last one, dropped in almost casually with a “One more thing…” title, they finally Did It and unleashed the next generation of iPod… without actually calling it that, or putting ‘video’ in the name at all.

So if this is finally It, why so underwhelming? … was the first thought to flit through my head. It’s no revolution, that’s for sure – evolution is the only way to put it. The iPod Photo has had its screen stretched, thinned down a bit and given a black twin brother. Oh and the uber click wheel has been shrunk… just a tad. What this doesn’t shout to me is “different.” It’s like the new Porsche models – the designers went to the minimal effort to adjust it to the newest components and requirements, and then sat back and said, “yeah that should do it.” While yes, very cool that it can do video, it is limited in its capabilities, and the standard video offering from Apple is a measly 320×240 – resolutions not seen since the days when VCDs were considered inadequate.

I’m sure they’ll improve the iPod in years to come, and Apple will continue to dominate the MP3 player market with their brilliant pricing and product positioning – they’ve got the market covered from top to bottom, really, and the Shuffle is the only weak one in the line-up to me, since it really could do with a tiny little LCD just to display trackname and let you fiddle. But it feels to me like Apple could have done Video ages ago, but thought it didn’t make enough sense. Maybe the economics of the thing have changed, and certainly with the Nano they’ve hit a very sweet spot to keep profits churning. Making the iPod thinner will always improve it, and while the other dimensions are probably as big as they could be while staying comfortable, some of the photoshopped fakes with LCD screens rotated 90 degrees looked far more… well, pleasing to the eye.

New iPod, all well and good Stevie J, but next time, make it something significant, not a half arsed hack job? (and what the hell was it with iTunes jumping a whole version number? Version control this ain’t.)


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