Oct 30 2005
Unless you’ve been living underground, you’re probably aware of the new video iPods.
The big question is, are they revolutionary or ho-hum? I say revolutionary and here’s why.
I thought the iPod mini was pretty cool, the Shuffle and the iPod photo were stupid and that the Nano has too small of a screen for my aging eyes. And like all Apple products, I think that they are pricey. But I’m jumping up and down in anticipation of buying the Video iPod. Because it’s the first true multi-media player in the iPod line, it’s the difference between radio and TV. When I’m going to a studio or meeting a client I usually have my iBook and a cell phone with me, so I thought having an iPod was kinda redundant. Besides I have a little cheapy multimedia thingy from Apitek that I picked up at Target that has a 512 CF card that plays MP3s, has a 2 megapixel (crappy cell phone quality) still camera, A 640×480 15 FPS video camera, a voice recorder, a 1.5 inch screen, An A/V out and a USB port, runs on two AA batteries, fits in my pocket and cost less than $200. Why do I need an iPod?
The video iPod changes everything, at least for me. Now I can carry around 30 to 60 Gigs of files. Display photos and video, playback audio. And have and organizer all in one pocket device. Why does the MacAudioGuy need video? Actually most of my sound design work is for video or synced to a video clip for a game. So now I can throw the finished product onto the iPod as a file and encode an iPod video for display on the iPod or outputting to a Monitor via the AV cable. Sure I can do the same thing with my iBook, but my iBook doesn’t fit in my pocket.
I’ve read the reviews and I can see why some reviewers were underwelmed by the video iPod especially longtime iPodders that can’t see beyond what a regular iPod does or those who try to compare it to a PSP or similar larger media player. But I think they missed a few features that make the video iPod, my kinda iPod. First off, 16bit 44.1 KHz stereo recording capability. (Making my portable DAT Machine even more obsolete.) How about he AV out, now I can playback the latest slideshow of my grandkids anywhere there’s a T.V. monitor. bwwhhahaha! And finally I think that most reviewers are underestimating the power of Video Podcasting. Which brings me to the truly revolutionary part.
Podcasting has become so popular because the iPod democratizes both the production and the consumption of media content. Anybody can have a radio show and anybody who is interested can listen to it. Now with the video iPod anybody can have a TV show and anybody who is interested can watch it. On the Go. Mark my words; this is the stuff that revolutions are made of. The video iPod is but one of the early forms of this type of media distribution device. Video mobile phones with RSS capabilities are hitting the market too. Think of it like having tivo in your pocket. The ability to subscribe or download video content to a portable device will soon give a whole new meaning to video on demand.
Yes, the revolution will be televised, but probably as a Podcast.
New and Cool!
At the risk of being perceived as a mouthpiece for Steve Jobs, The AppleG5 dual core line-up is both New and cool. The PowerPC dual cores will probably be that last hurrah for the IBM chip before the Intel’s arrive. And the way I see it, if I want to run my current software as fast as possible. I want to buy the lastest and fastest PowerPC based Mac. While the kick-ass Quad 2.5Ghz at a mere 3300 smackers is bit beyond my means. The dual 2.3 GHz is a pretty good bargain at $2500 when you look closely at the features. And you can even spend less for the $2000 Dual 2Ghz.
The bad news is that if you have a PCI or PCIX sound card (read Digidesign TDM,) it won’t work with the new PCI express architecture. Supposedly the PCI express is going to be around even on the Intel machines. But I’m sticking to Firewire audio interfaces myself.
Other than the PCI express caveat. The dual cores (which means two processors on one chip BTW) should be lean mean A/v editing machines.