Today Apple announced the release of the newest iPod in their hugely successful line of iPods. This iPod, in line with many rumors, is video enabled. Also, as in the past, Apple has released an update to iTunes to harness this new video functionality.
The new iPod takes style hints from its little brother, the Nano. It has a larger screen and a much slimmer profile. This will probably make it feel like a half deck of playing cards. I really like the size of my 4G iPod, but who knows, the new iPod might not feel that small.
In addition to the smaller size of the casing, Apple also increased the disk size from 20GB to 30GB. Guess this only makes sense considering it is video enabled. Speaking of the video, Apple has struck a deal with ABC to let users purchase their shows at a price of $1.99 per show. For this price you get the show downloaded to iTunes in H.264 quality and the commercials are cut out. So, the way I see it is that you are paying a premium to cut the commercials out. Also from what I have read, which isn’t a lot, H.264 isn’t half bad and is being requested by a few companies to be included in DHDVD players of the not so distant future. Also, for $1.99 you can download music videos of many of your favorite artists.
But, this got me to thinking, if you can purchase TV shows on a show by show basis and if the quality isn’t half bad, what will convince me to purchase DVD box sets of shows once the season is over? I don’t know. If I had a nicer TV I’d say that I’d always get the DVDs. But, I don’t have one, so that makes my decision making much easier, right? However, I just don’t know enough about what my options are with my downloaded movies. I know that they use Apple’s FairPlay DRM; the same DRM used on their music. But questions remain, such as… What is the transfer limit between computers?
What happens once I burn them? And so on…
Overall, I think that the new iPod is a good step forward in the line and for consumers. It offers me more flexibility in the way I handle my media, although it is DRMed. But, now it’s flexible enough to hold 3 of the most popular media items out there: music, pictures, and video.
Now, when it comes to movies the iPod I don’t think is your device… yet. Not this iteration of it at least. I just don’t think that it’s meant to compete with the PSP in the arena of movies, but for TV, the iPod is just one small step forward. We’ll just have to see how selling shows and the new iPod goes. The iTunes Music Store has been wildly popular, but will video be just as popular? Only time will tell.
Update 10/12 @ 9:51p: Interesting article about the DRM on the iPod.