The Pros and Cons of iPod Video: iLounge Podcast 15 | iLounge News


The Pros and Cons of iPod Video: iLounge Podcast 15

imageIs the first video iPod any good? A big mistake? iLounge editors Jeremy Horwitz (in Irvine, California) and Bob Levens (in Cambridge, U.K.) started out with markedly different opinions on iPod video features before Apple Computer’s announcement of the fifth-generation iPod yesterday, but now they’ve changed their minds. Listen to the fifteenth iLounge Week in Review podcast to hear these two editors express their views on the new iPod, and learn all about its new features and omissions. Yesterday’s special breaking news podcast from San Jose, California is also still available for download.

Past podcasts are available through our iTunes Music Store podcast pages, as well as our podcast feed below. As always, your comments are welcomed.

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To me the video component is irrelevant at this point.  I believe it’s just a first step.  The people that have the cash to pay for videos will help apple build content and develop new interface for future models. 

My 4g 40g b/w cost as much as the new 5g, but for that same amount the 5g would provide more memory, longer battery, color screen, picture and video capability, black or white body color, and slimmer size.  So even if no one cares that the thing plays video, objectively, apple has provided a better product for the same amount of money.  And considering inflation, it actually costs less than the 4g.  So, while I have no desire to watch 2.5 inch video, physically and functionally, its a good deal, from my perspective.  However, I just want the thing to play and transport music, so I’m just fine with my 4g for now.

Posted by colloquy on October 13, 2005 at 11:22 PM (CDT)


The video iPod will undoubtedly be a huge success…I guess you can say it already is.  But, will it be the paradigm shift that Apple wants it to be?

As far as music goes, the iPod revolutionized an industry because on almost all counts it was a better alternative to the way we listen to music, buy it, trade it, store it, everything we thought about music—the iPod (and MP3 players in general) did better.

This may not be the case with video.  Here’s a few of my thoughts:

1. Music videos will not be as hot as some think it will be.  After downloading a few to try it out, I think most people will be done with buying videos, though concert videos may be a hit.

2. I like Tivo (I actually use ReplayTV, but I will say Tivo to keep it simple) more than buying songs from the iTMS.  A monthly fee of 12.95 and my cable subscription and I can get every show I want.  Beats $1.99 a pop for shows and the Tivo is already connected to my TV.

3. I’m not thrilled about watching a show on the iPod itself, and I’m not thrilled about carrying it from room to room to watch shows.  My Tivos are networked and they work great for watching shows on any TV in the house.  And, what happens when I take my iPod to the gym with me—no one else can watch a show?  I like the fact that the Tivo is always there.

4. The iTMS videos will work great for stuff like Dave Chapelle skits.  Something you can put on your iPod and share with friends at work or wherever.

5. I bought an episode of ‘Lost’ and it looks like garbage in my opinion.  Lots of artifacts.  Poor color.  DVD is way better.

6. Think of how many car accidents are gonna happen because someone is trying to watch ‘Lost’ while navigating the 405 in Los Angeles.

Simply put, I don’t think the video iPod does everything better for video like the iPod did for music, but it has tons of potential.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on October 13, 2005 at 11:33 PM (CDT)


first and foremost, the ipod is a music machine. the video is just an added bonus. and a cool one in my opinion. Now i can prove that i did that skate trick to my friends at school.

Posted by mrtambourineman on October 14, 2005 at 12:58 AM (CDT)


Like I always advise my friends regarding new releases: watch the keynote. Steve explains Apple’s viewpoint like no-one else can and it clears any mystery you might have had on why a product or a feature was released.

Steve’s viewpoint was “It’s a music player. Video is a bonus.” Viewed from this perspective, the somewhat-limited video capabilities make sense. What excites me the most is that this is a breakthrough, technologically but mostly in terms of content, which will lead to really good video solutions in the future.

Posted by Japester on October 14, 2005 at 1:40 AM (CDT)


Mrttambourineman,unlike the previous iterations of the iPod, the integration is much less seamless.  Unlike music, which Apple dominates in for its form factor and simplicity, the iPod + Video has such limited capabilities that its purchasers are going to ask ... “I already bought the Simpsons Season Six, so how do I get it on there”.  And the response is, unless you understand encoding and complicated user interfaces, you really can’t.  I’m dissapointed because the iPod with a larger screen isn’t going to be able to show “that skate trick” or much of anything else for that matter.

Plus it still scratches.

Posted by Kevin on October 14, 2005 at 2:57 AM (CDT)


Wonder if you can ‘import’ video natively if it’s of the right format/bit rate.  Is video playback only possible with a fairplay wrapper? If not, I can see a lot of freeware DVD rippers appearing that will encode for the ipod.

I can’t see anyone spending $2/wk per show to watch them on the ipod.  5 shows = $40/mo.  Don’t think that’s viable long-term.  Perhaps a yearly subscription at a considerable discount will be worked out by Apple.

Either way, this is a gimmick for now—if the 5G does well, a better video iPod will be coming in about 6 months.

Posted by Takeo on October 14, 2005 at 6:31 AM (CDT)


I can almost promise that there will be 3rd party apps/hacks to get DVDs onto the iPod in a few months.  Not that I know how to make them, but someone will.

My only complaint is the lack of the remote port.  Now this would be bad enough if I’d bought a $20 - $60 accessory like the iTalk or the Griffin mic thing (which I did) but those I assume will have docking port versions that come out.  My problem is it won’t work at all with my Burton iPod jacket.  That’s like $600 and it’s a great jacket.

Now granted I’m going to keep my old iPod photo and use that, but I would have rather sold it as I normally do to help pay for the new iPod.  Plus it means that since I’m going to want to use my Burton jacket for years I’m going to have to keep this iPod functioning for years.

I might also pick up a iPod mini somewhere just to have a back up remote port iPod.

Posted by Jeffery Simpson on October 14, 2005 at 7:51 AM (CDT)


Bob seems to have a few things wrong:

1) The iTMS in the UK has ALWAYS been priced at 79p. They didn’t reduce the price to 79p. Napster did, but Apple didn’t.

2) The TV Licence would not apply to the iPod. It doesn’t have a TV tuner and it doesn’t recieve broadcast TV. In addition a TV licence covers one household. Not how many TVs there are in that house, so even if you had 4 TVs and you purchased an iPod with Video you would still be within the law.

Posted by Daveoc64 on October 14, 2005 at 11:33 AM (CDT)


1) From what I can recall the original price structure of iTunes in the UK had songs priced at 99p. This was reduced to 79p on the launch of iTMS UK. Sorry if I confused the issue.

2) I don’t think I said that the TV licence would apply to the iPod, nor did I intend to. Jeremy happened to ask about licensing - I was pointing out that if I had a computer which could receive a TV signal it would require a licence - assuming I hadn’t already got one.
Regarding one licence per household, again in the dim and distant past I thought there was a restriction on the number of sets one licence covered - must be my old age ;-)

Posted by Bob Levens in UK on October 14, 2005 at 12:49 PM (CDT)


It’s about freakin’ time it plays video!  Look at all the other little players out there and with PSP’s release, Apple had to do it in my opinion.  I hope it’s possible to play movies from purchased DVD’s because when I’m on a plane, I want to be able to watch a movie regardless the size of the screen.

Last but not least, it’s the ultimate pocket porn on the go!  Yeah, I said it.

Posted by wonger on October 14, 2005 at 1:06 PM (CDT)


“I can almost promise that there will be 3rd party apps/hacks to get DVDs onto the iPod in a few months.”

I think you mean a few minutes:

Posted by m.sherman on October 14, 2005 at 1:24 PM (CDT)



Do you know of a Windows version..?

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on October 14, 2005 at 1:54 PM (CDT)


Hey has anyone realized that it doesn’t have the expansion slot with the headphones… does this mean that I won’t be able to use most of the current iPod accessories, like iTrip or iTalk? (Why did they do that?)

Posted by Mikey on October 14, 2005 at 5:02 PM (CDT)



That’s Apple for you…droppin’ it like it’s hot!

They’ve done things like that in the past…it’s one of the things I don’t like about that company and why I won’t invest in their iTMS songs.  They have a tendency to change their minds and when they do, they have no regard for the investment the consumer has made.

Posted by Talking Madness in Los Angeles on October 14, 2005 at 6:20 PM (CDT)


I see the video only as an advantage when travelling.  I have been watching videos on my Palm T3 for a year now with vids ripped from DVDs.  The full rotated screen on the T3 (+/- 3” by 4”) seems to be as small as my old eyes could use to watch vids on a plane.  I don’t see the ipod (even the larger) screen being of any real use for long term use.

What would be cool is if I can put a few DVDs on the ipod and then hook it up to the TV in a hotel.  If the image was good and there was a remote, this would be a winner.  Right now its seems like a cool gimmick.

I will still buy one for the 60g, black, thinner…

Posted by Hugh Campbell on October 14, 2005 at 7:10 PM (CDT)


Is there a way that we can rip our legally owned DVD to the ipod format with a windows OS?

Posted by Mike on October 15, 2005 at 9:51 PM (CDT)


I think a portable DVD player with a 7”-10” screen and a/v inputs would be a pretty good accessory for the new iPod.  Great while transporting the rug rats. Should also work well in the kitchen with the under cabinet lcd tv’s. A 7”-10” screen is good since it’s much bigger than the iPod’s, but not so big that video artifacts are very noticable. What would be cool is if a company could create a dockable lcd screen that folds up like these portable dvd players with extra battery capacity.

As for iTMS video quality, we downloaded and watched a few tv shows (Lost) on a 12” Powerbook, 15” PC laptop, and 36” TV via mini-dvi/s-video. The image on our 36” TV had a lot of pixelation, much, much worse than a show recorded at basic quality on Tivo for those who are familiar with Tivo. The 15” was similar to Tivo basic qualty, and the 12” was slightly better than Tivo basic.

Posted by Yet Another Mike on October 15, 2005 at 11:49 PM (CDT)


Is there a way that we can rip our legally owned DVD to the iPod format with a windows OS?

Yes. Do a Google for ‘em…they’re out there. As for the legality of using any of these ripping packages…well, given the way Fair Use is currently ‘enforced’ with video DVD it’s not legal, regardless of whether or not you own the actual DVD disc itself (which BTW doesn’t mean the same as if you truly “owned” the actual CONTENT, according to the guys in the monkey suits who write legal briefs for a living).

Posted by flatline response on October 16, 2005 at 4:48 AM (CDT)


it can only play around 2 hours of video on one charge. thts pretty bad.

Posted by milo on October 16, 2005 at 8:27 AM (CDT)


There’s a positive side to the lack of a remote port.  Don’t get me wrong though, I’d rather that they left it in there (as well as Firewire support especially), but it’s not entirely a bad thing.

Now that there is no remote port, companies will (more often) start releasing accessories that use the Dock Connector rather than the remote port and headphone jack.  All iPods since the 3G (except shuffle) have an indentical Dock Connector, so there’s more compatibility.  Griffin just released a Dock Connector iTrip because of the release of the iPod 5G. Now that iTrip is compatible with a variety of iPod models.

Posted by Jake on October 16, 2005 at 6:52 PM (CDT)

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