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Media (Apple) Businesses Media Apple

The Video iPod is on its Way 131

An iPod Speculator writes "Is Apple developing a Video iPod? Recent contracts and software releases suggest that a video enabled iPod is forthcoming. If so, what kind of features will it have? I offer some insight into why video is the next step for the iPod and how it might come about in this article."
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The Video iPod is on its Way

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  • umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geoffspear ( 692508 ) * on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:12AM (#12543032) Homepage
    Just unfounded speculation from some guy who's dumb enough to post a link to his own website on slashdot when he knows (and says, right on the webpage he's linking to) that he's not going to be able to afford the bandwidth to keep the page online. I think I'd prefer some unfounded speculation by someone smarter.

    We could already find this exact same speculation in comments on earlier slashdot stories, too. News? Hardly.

    • Re:umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by TheViffer ( 128272 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:34AM (#12543271)
      Mark this poster as a troll if you wish, but he makes a valid response.

      This article is written by a person "currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science" and thinks red hair is cool. In his spare time he dreams about the next iProduct to be released.

      So what is his article going to be next week? When Apple comes out with dual core Power Mac so that he can replace his Dual 2.7 Power Mac?

      Don't take it the wrong way I am sure Jay means well, but Jay needs more reliable sources then thinksecret and macrumors. A few years out in the real world would not hurt either.

      But I give him credit, he got it past the slashdot editors.
      • Slashdot has editors?

        -jcr

      • But I give him credit, he got it past the slashdot editors.

        That takes about as much effort as getting something past a fat, drunken old man lazily reclining in a bean bag chair whilst watching a porno and listening to Yani.
    • by Biotech9 ( 704202 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:04AM (#12544173) Homepage
      This is probably the worst thing I've ever seen passed as news on /.
      I've seen plenty of people complaining about Advertisements for people's new sites or products being posted as news stories, and I winced at that review of the Battery Sticker that gave mobile phones longer battery life, but this is an all time low.

      This article is so ridiculously retarded and bereft of any insight, it is not even an educated guess, or any kind of intelligent prediction. Someone using 3 appleinsider links as his sources and also stupid enough to postulate erroneously on the capabilities of the current iPod photo chip's power even though those data are available on the net with a little digging, does not deserve to have his drivel served up to /. readers as news.

      Having said that, this quote made me laugh,

      Their strategy is to release a bare minimum and upgrade if they absolutely have to. This is a major, major flaw of Apple and you can find examples of it over and over in their history (iMac with no way to write data, 12" Powerbook severely underpowered at 867 MHz, iPod photo that cannot actually take photos)


      what an idiot.
    • Agreed. Any chance of modding down the actual story itself? That would be nice.
      • Any chance of modding down the actual story itself?

        You bet. It's called: kuro5hin [kuro5hin.org]

        Stories like this would never get posted there specifically because the stories are voted upon with considerable vigor. On the other hand, you wouldn't have the fun of thrashing the author for as long (stories vanish when they are voted down.)

        Slashdot's story selection process is a mystery, at best. You like mysteries, don't you?

        :-)

  • No Way (Score:5, Insightful)

    by north.coaster ( 136450 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:16AM (#12543079) Homepage

    I tend to agree with some of the previous /. posts [slashdot.org] on this topic. Video makes no sense on a portable iPod device. The iPod is a natual extension to what people already do. Video is not a natural extension.

    • What bothers me about this (if it's true), is to see Apple trying to compete in the feature matrix wars. Putting another check in a feature matrix is not what Apple does best. Trying to compete on that level will only get them into trouble. I'd much rather see them continue to bring us well designed products that fill an existing need.
    • Re:No Way (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OmniVector ( 569062 ) <see my homepage> on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:29AM (#12543222) Homepage
      playing video back on a 2" screen is even more than silly, it's downright stupid. it's hard to watch, and impractical based on the usage conditions of an iPod. people simply don't want to watch video on such a small screen nor do they even have the opportunity (kinda hard to watch a show while jogging or driving to work), plus people don't want to watch the same show over. they DO want to hear the same song over and over.

      based on these implications, it's never going to play video on that little screen. however, look at what we now have:
      video out port on the ipod
      video support in itunes
      music video purchasing

      the writing's on the wall. apple will enable a video PLAYBACK on a tv with the new video out port for music videos. this should naturally support any video compatible with whatever it is that itunes 4.8 supports (it doesn't seem to support every codec, only a subset.. gee, maybe because it only supports what the new ipod will support? i think so).
      • playing video back on a 2" screen is even more than silly, it's downright stupid

        I happen to agree, yet every PDA/smartphone these days includes video playback capability. Vodafone are creating original video content for phones. Are they just ticking the feature box or is there a genuine market for movies on a two inch screen?
      • Re:No Way (Score:5, Interesting)

        by sockit2me9000 ( 589601 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:13AM (#12544243)
        I posted this last week but it got lost in the modding shuffle. I'm really interested to see if anyone else agrees with this so I'm going to repost it here:
        Apple is building a remote. It will really be a thin client/palm-style device. But it will be marketed as a remote for your entire life. Look, apple's already said that they view thier media in a modular way. That's because they are a weird amalgamation of a software and hardware. This model really affects thier design in a fundamental way. They view both as feeding the other. Unlike Microsoft. Or Sony. Both of those companies don't have the (ability) (balls) (forsight) to realize that you really do benefit from doing both. That's because the new tech market is turning towards usability as it's prime selling point. Witness the iPod. But you know this.
        Now, think about the home media center. What is the primary user interface element? The remote. For all intents and purposes, the equipment has acheived a level of abstraction in our heads. What do the butttons on a TV do? Who cares? The remote can do it. My AV receiver doesn't even have all the bottons on the face. Only on the remote. And this abstraction yeilds some interesting results. One, that you handle your remote more times in the average day than a book or your keyes. We don't even realize how much time we spend with these damn things. They are integral. And they almost uniformly suck. How many remotes do you use? How much fumbling? Your universal remote does most things. But what about when you need to schedule and rank your DVR? The remote falls apart. The fuction is mapped to some button that is not intuitive. It's a giant mess. Sort like the MP3 market ummm.... four years ago.
        While the remote is bad at it's primary function, it falls apart completely when it comes to digital media. Enter microsoft with their assinine "Media Center PC" Why God, why? Why do you need a whole new computer in your living room? You already have a computer somewhere in your house. But Microsoft is a software company. They need to sell the software. They're trying to break out of this with the Xbox. And they will haves success. But it's a lackluster implimentation of the central problem: the remoteis the media center, see. How are people going to interact with the Xbox? With the controller and a TV monitor. This is crummy, in my mind, because if thier view of media is to add another box to the den that just happens to deal with my digital media as a second fuction, I call bullshit. Let each componant do what it is primarily good at. The Xbox controller , even if it includes that rollerball thing, still is a poor way to interact with media. It'll be good for gamers, sure. But that will color the rest of it functionality. It already has, really. See, there's no big, legible display to speak of on the damn thing. So you abstract the abstract. The Xbox took over your media and the controller takes over your Xbox, which makes you look at the tv screen as the navigation aid. I'm not sure if I can exactly explain why.... but this feels icky to me. So, this is where Apple steps in. The Airport express is an important clue. The idea is make a centeral computer and stream over the air the media to a router near the media center. But make the router "magic" Using, I don't know, Rendevou...err... Bonjour. Which just got released for the PC, yes? Pieces are starting to fall into place. So, what's misssing is a remote that doesn't suck for your media that can interact wirelessly with your media. Something like a big lcd touchscreen. And only like an LCD screen. Nothing else. It's the display and the input. Simple. Elegant. Getting cheap. This is a thin client, really. But it won't be marketed as such. No, it'll be the iPod for the rest of your life. It'll be your remote. It'll be your newspaper. It'll be your media manipulator (edit movies, work on garage band tracks, retouch photos). It will be your morning newspaper. It will be the thing you pick up when you put your iPod down. Think about it. All the technology is there. But
        • Not to flamebait, but it would help for getting answers if you formatted your text with some whitespace in order to make it readable...

          You might want to read some insightful essays by a usability guru [jnd.org] on this very subject, addresing the forces that affect the problem [jnd.org] and an existing solution [jnd.org].
        • Mod SockIt2Me up.

          Absolutely right on target. The Media Center has to be the remote to make interacting with all this stuff easy--not work.

          I've seen a lot of normal consumer electronics in homes not work for the simple issue of connectors and "in and out" modes. A media center PC that has computer interface means a geek with an expensive TV on his computer.

          The conduit is the next generation Airport eXpress eXtreme II (or something equally hideously named).
        • I am fully on board with your insighful comments.

          I don't care what component in my AV arsenal is delivering the media - my wife cares even less.

          If Apple intros a remote that can logically control the devices and allow a PowerMac or iMac in the office to deliver H.264 HD to a flatscreen in the Den while being controled via an Apple Bluetooth remote or what-have-you, then Apple will have a major leg up in the "digital hub" realm.

          And why not? the pieces are all coming together. G5's with H.264 in QuickTime
        • Very interesting, perhaps even insightful! The remote you describe fits the news of the tablet patent from last week. Another thing I've pointed out on a few threads is how well most of the OS X GUI works out of the box for high color (24 bit) but relatively low resolution displays (like a TV). Two more pieces of the puzzle fall into place!
      • playing video back on a 2" screen is even more than silly, it's downright stupid.

        For you maybe, but I don't think so.

        it's hard to watch, and impractical based on the usage conditions of an iPod.

        For your usage maybe, but not mine (I spend a lot of time on buses and boats...).

        people simply don't want to watch video on such a small screen

        I do...

        nor do they even have the opportunity

        I have...

        people don't want to watch the same show over.

        Even the minis can hold more than one show...

      • playing video back on a 2" screen is even more than silly, it's downright stupid.

        I agree with you 100%...but who said it'd have a 2" screen? Knowing Apple, it would more than likely be completly aesthetically revamped.
        And even if it did have a 2" screen, I'd probably *still* want one.
      • have you people never flown in coach class on a plane? hold your 2" ipod up and compare the size of the screen to the relative size of the closest airplane video screen. chances are the sizes are comparable if you're sitting more then 2 rows away from the plane screen.... and yet you don't complain about the size of that?
    • People are showing pictures from iPod on TV, so why not video?
    • I'll say the same thing I said about adding a color screen to the iPod (before the iPod photo came out). If this feature greatly decreases battery life or greatly increases size or price, Apple shouldn't do it and probably won't. However, if Apple's engineers find a way to add in this feature without any major downside, then they should and probably will.

      I think it's likely that as Apple will continue to add new features into the iPod until it becomes an all encompassing portable device (PIM, music/video

    • Agree. It's like this: playing a movie file on a HDD-based system requires reading from the HD almost constantly for the entire length of the film. Playing a music file does not; with a sufficient amount of flash storage, the system can read the music data from the HD, send it to flash, power down the HD and play the file from flash.

      Playing movie files will not work with iPod hardware until we get nuclear batteries, 100% lossless compression (see also perpetual motion) or unless you never unplug it from AC
      • Archos claims 3.5 hours video playback battery life. There is no reason that the ipod couldn't do the same.
      • You're equating lossless compression to perpetual motion?

        Ever heard of a zip file?

        • "It is mathematically impossible [faqs.org] to create a program compressing without loss *all* files by at least one bit."

          My point was that eventually there's a point where compression can't do any more. We'll probably never see a compression algorithm that shrinks a full-length movie to 4MB while maintaining its original quality, for example.
          • So by "lossless compression" you actually meant not lossless compression, but theoretically impossible compression. Fine.

            But so what? Processors and transfer technologies are getting faster all the time, and hard drives keep getting bigger.

            You sound like someone 20 years ago claiming that we'd never have digital pictures that are as high quality as real photographs, because you'd never be able to fit a significant quantity on a 800 KB floppy disk and they'd take forever to send over your 300 baud mod

            • We don't disagree. Seriously.

              My original point was that movie files will not play effectively on existing iPod hardware, because the battery won't be able to handle the combination of current file formats and storage methods. I certainly do not think that all innovation has stopped and that we will never have a handheld media player capable of playing feature-length movies--but the iPod as we know it is not that device.
              • My original point was that DVDs will not play effectively on existing VCR hardware, because the heads won't be able to handle the proprietary disc format. I certainly do not think that all innovation has stopped and that we will never have a personal home video player capable of playing DVDs--but the VCR as we know it is not that device.

                Thank you Captain Obvious. X is not Y. Great! Thank you for clearing up that mystery.
  • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:19AM (#12543116) Homepage Journal
    Y'know, Apple's learned the form factor lesson from the Newton. The Newton was brilliant, but its form factor embodied a middle of the road compromise that pleased nobody. It was too big for a PIM, to small for a do your serious work on. The clamshell variant (the eMate), however, was the forerunners of the iBooks, which simply scaled it up to the minimum size and specs needed to be a fully functional computer.

    A video playback device in the current iPod form factor is a complete joke -- at best a novelty. However, an iBook sized playback device is plausible, however. If Apple goes that way, look for an innovative approach for how the device functions as part of the users' systems. This is where Apple succeeds and other fail: itunes store -- itunes/Mac -- iPod.
    • um... don't Apple already have "an iBook sized playback device"... the iBook?

      I can't see Apple making a crippled version of the iBook that can just about play video but nothing more.
    • It's interesting. I scoffed a bit at the iPod photo, thinking to myself as you do that the form factor does not match the content it's designed to handle. And really it isn't -- who wants to look at photos on a tiny screen like that? Until you factor in the ability to hook it up to a TV or a projector, which suddenly allows it to be a hand-held slideshow presenter.

      I imagine the same thing is in mind for the iPodVideo. The form factor makes it nearly useless to play video from itself, but when you con
      • who wants to look at photos on a tiny screen like that? Until you factor in the ability to hook it up to a TV or a projector, which suddenly allows it to be a hand-held slideshow presenter.

        I imagine the same thing is in mind for the iPodVideo.


        The problem is, a typical DVD these days is 7.5 GB of data, and only slightly better-looking than a standard-def TV signal.

        More and more people are beginning to own huge 720p or 1080i TV sets, and believe me, once you do, the relatively low resolution of DVD's beco
        • Enter H.264 (or whatever), the newest codec added to the Quicktime arsenal. Have you seen video encoded with this? There are test files available for download at the quicktime site that have been encoded with full high definition. Check it out here [apple.com], it's pretty spiffy and the filesize is shockingly low.
          • From the link you posted: H.264 delivers the same quality as MPEG-2 at a third to half the data rate

            So, to rip a DVD at the same resolution and frame rate, you go down from 7.5 GB to about 3 GB. Impressive, but still a huge file.

            And if you want to retain the quality of a full-HD signal, you are easilly looking at four times that size.

            Also, full-frame 1080i playback of H.264 files via Quicktime requires a dual-G5 tower. Do you really think the iPod will match that kind of processing power anytime soon?
            • Also, full-frame 1080i playback of H.264 files via Quicktime requires a dual-G5 tower. Do you really think the iPod will match that kind of processing power anytime soon?

              Well I know I haven't seen the specs for the purported iPod Video. :) I'm only theorizing of course, which is all any of us can do.
            • Why would you be trying to playback 1080i video on a 2" screen? Downres it to about 320x240 then put it on the device. You wouldn't be able to tell a difference.
              • The thread was about using the iPod for playback on bigger screens. For that, you would want something considerably better than 320x240
                • OK, so then you downres it to 640x480/720x480, DVD res. Unless you can somehow jury rig a DVI or component port to an ipod you won't be able to see HD res anyway.
                  • Unless you can somehow jury rig a DVI or component port to an ipod you won't be able to see HD res anyway.

                    Which kind of gets back to my point. Five years ago, something like an iPod that served up 640x480 video would have rocked people's worlds.

                    People's expectations are a lot higher now, and if you were going to make a hand-held video player for the sake of selling movies and playing back on modern TV sets, you would be laughed at if it could not handle HDTV.
            • Either you stream out the data to a device that can actually handle H.264, or you add a CELL chip to the video iPod.

              I think we are going to get a Remote that controls a media stream over a next gen Airport Extreme with some wireless receiver you add to your home electronics.

              A video iPod could control or sample the library of media through iTunes, and tell the computer to transmit or decompress the video.

              There are a lot of different ways you could, ahem, play this.
            • They'll just have a hardware decoder chip to watch 5 HD movies that you decided to take on your 60GB iPod. Remember that you can get an $20 DVD dedicated DVD player while a general-purpose computer capable of playing DVDs fullscreen costs at least 20 times more. A big hint on how future computers will keep up with Moore's law if you ask me.
      • Yes, I had the same idea -- portable video storage. But it hardly seems like a compelling problem. Sure, you can rip your DVDs to bring them over to your friend's house, but why not just bring the original discs? You can bring your home movies along, but why not just master a DVD?

        I don't see this as a compelling problem, or a compelling product, unless there is some kind of decent display attached (who knows -- video goggles?). If Apple sees a potential to sell what amounts to portable hard disk for you
  • by rokzy ( 687636 )
    didn't As Seen On TV already spell out how Apple understands that portable video is retarded (which it is).
    • Didn't they also say that solid state mp3 players are stupid?
    • Re:No. (Score:3, Interesting)

      He did. Which makes a recent trademark filing by Apple curious:

      IPOD: Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; provision of electronic publications (not downloadable); providing on-line electronic publications; publication of electronic books and journals on-line; providing publications from a global computer network or the Internet which may be browsed; computer assisted education services; computer assisted teaching services; computer assisted training services;

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @12:42PM (#12545148)
      If As Seen on TV is to be believed there were two key points he made.
      1) the continous run life of an ipod disk is measured in hours. mp3 and tiny photo loads are quick and played from cache. Movie playing would be real time streaming from disk and would kill it.

      2) watch the airport express.

      3) video is immersive and people dont do it on the GO (aside from cars which again are sedentary)

      The key I think is 2. As Cringley observed, the mac mini does not need an optical audio jack because it's on the airport express. And the mac mini does not need the HDTV horse power since that too can be offloaded to a custom $20 chip. Thus the mac mini is the internet download appliance and storage center. the processing power will be be custom and hence the need for a standard.

      But I think there is an even more important reason to offload the decoding to hardware. DRM. forget what you feel about DRM and just ask what would be the best way to do it.

      You dont want to do it on a custom reconfigurable computer. Because as we have seen repeatedly this means that you can intercept the digital decode step and rip a perfect copy with no DRM.

      Microsoft is trying to use paladium and now Janus to move the decode step out to a remote piece of trusted hardware closer to the delivery point, and most importantly away from the compute program.

      an airport express like device would serve.

      The trouble in implementing a real airport express would be the badnwidth needed. Can wireless support real time video streams. It certainly cant if the video stream is uncompressed. thus if it is to work it has to be sent compressed. so once again we are led back to the decoding at the airport express not at the computer.

      so I suspect all the clues about some modular video device are really about a new airport express module and not a video ipod

      • He's right (if he doesn't already know from first hand knowledge), I said this a few months back myself on another forum, using the AE to do video is where things need to go. It's already part way there. You put your AE behind your stereo system to run music to. What else is usually with your stereo system? Your TV.

        As for the bandwidth issue, according to Apple full hi def is 7-8 Mbps. Even 802.11b is 11 Mbps, and with the AE already using 802.11g, it shouldn't be a problem at all.

        If anything, my money is
    • Any time you put together a sentence with "Apple will never..." or "Apple knows that ... is retarded" or any other construct that attempts to predict that Apple WON'T do something... you're setting yourself up.

      Saying "Apple will never..." is a stretching excersize for fitting your foot in your mouth. For example:

      But no, I suspect you're right that [the $500 iMac] is a hoax. Not because of logistics, but because Steve Jobs irrational antipathy to "ugly monitors on nice Macs" is too well known... he'd muc

  • iPod Video (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BabyPanther ( 813124 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:25AM (#12543190)
    I disagree with all of those that think the video iPod is not a natural extension. Here are just a few reasons:

    * Plug a couple into the car to let a couple kids that can't agree on a movie watch whatever they want.

    * Use it to demo videos to clients. (Send an entire iPod to a client as a promotional gift with the new commercial that you created for them. Admittedly this is 0.0005% of the market!)

    * Take a movie over to a friends house -- just plug your iPod into the RCA jacks and play the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    * Last, but certainly not least for Slashdot geeks, take porn with you everywhere!

    iPod Photo is a half a step away from iPodVideo. Natural extension -- like putting on comfy slippers after having worn around sandals all day.

    It could also be a *huge* market. Not that competitors have ever swayed Apple, but xBox, Sony Playstation Portal (or whatever it's called), and now cell phones will have video capabilities of different sorts. Apple has a strong track record with music and can bring that expertise to video.

    • >Sony Playstation Portal (or whatever it's called), and now cell phones will have video capabilities of different sorts

      my phone has the abilty to play video because it also has the ability to RECORD video. so should the ipod video be a camera too?

      the PSP has video but it also has a screen that's already bigger than the largest ipod. plus it remains to be seen if anyone will seriously use the PSP video beyond initial novelty value.
      • Re:iPod Video (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BabyPanther ( 813124 )
        I would expect an iPod Video to be different from a normal iPod. Maybe even completely different. Afterall, Apple does do a ton of marketing research and they may completely revise our understanding of how an iPod Video would work. You mentioned a couple of the obvious features:

        * Larger video screen.

        * Ability to capture video: however, the counter point is -- does the iPod capture audio? Not without additional third party add-ons.

        There could be many more features -- firewire connectivity for faste
      • tiny-screen video playback may seem like a goofy novelty today, but i think it's more a question of 'when' rather than 'if' for ipod. i forget its name, but a video cellphone (for which your service would sell you the content) was pushed pretty heavily on tv for a while. we will eventually hit the point where the extra hardware to play video clips makes a trivial dent in prices. i think TFA hit it on the head when it suggested that a tiny video player would be about music vids and clips, not films, and i th
    • Re:iPod Video (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chromaphobic ( 764362 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:43AM (#12543356)

      The problem is, the only way much of that would be even feasible is if Apple launched the iTunes Movie Store, or whatever it might be called.

      Otherwise how do you get those movies for the kids or that copy of the LOTR trilogy onto the damn thing? Legally and easily, at least. If it's on DVD there's no way to legally copy the movie onto an iPod, short of using a video capture card (as with transferring VHS tapes) to record the output from a DVD player. Which would be prohibitively time consuming for most, in addition to the fact that few people (at the base consumer level) even have video capture devices.

      Sure, there's other ways to copy a DVD, but nothing legal. Will Apple be able to get the MPAA to sign on the dotted line when they know it will lead to people circumventing the copy protection to copy their DVD's? Will Apple be able to get people to buy it if they're locked into either buying from the Apple video store or breaking the law to copy their DVD's?

      Yes, there's a huge potential market there. But DRM is seriously impeding taking advantage of that market. Unlike music, whose media is mostly (for now) unencumbered with DRM of any kind.

      • Re:iPod Video (Score:4, Informative)

        by Golias ( 176380 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:51AM (#12544050)
        Sure, there's other ways to copy a DVD, but nothing legal.

        Oh really? So it's illegal to make a backup archive of your own DVD on a hard drive you own?

        Both Apple and Microsoft are enabling copyright violations by having the ability to open VIDEO_TS folders with their included DVD players?

        Everybody who rips DVD's they own to their laptop hard drive so they can get more battery life when watching their movies during a long flight is breaking the law?

        Good luck trying to make that case.

        Don't take this too personally, but I think there should be a "-1, Factually Incorrect" mod option.
        • Re:iPod Video (Score:4, Informative)

          by chromaphobic ( 764362 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @03:52PM (#12547416)

          Oh really? So it's illegal to make a backup archive of your own DVD on a hard drive you own?

          No, that's covered under fair use. But, the DMCA does make it illegal to circumvent the copy protection: "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title." So, without decrypting the files, can you do anything with that backup? Can you copy those files back onto a DVD-R and burn them, without modification, and have a watchable DVD? I've never tried it, but my suspicion would be no.

          Both Apple and Microsoft are enabling copyright violations by having the ability to open VIDEO_TS folders with their included DVD players?

          No, because the files themsleves remain encrypted. You can get at the files, but, without decrypting them, can you do anything with them?

          Everybody who rips DVD's they own to their laptop hard drive so they can get more battery life when watching their movies during a long flight is breaking the law?

          If they've used any method of decrypting the data on the DVD to facilitate the copying or viewing, yes.

          Good luck trying to make that case.

          I have no interest in trying to make that case, I think it's a fucked up law. The MPAA, however, just might. The portion of the DMCA that prohibits creating or distributing software to circumvent copy protection has already been tried and held up, in the DeCSS case. They haven't, to my knowledge, sued any individuals for decrytpting DVD's, but they do have the DMCA behind them if they ever actually wanted to.

          Don't take this too personally, but I think there should be a "-1, Factually Incorrect" mod option.

          Trust me, I don't take anything on Slashdot personally. :-) But, in this case, I think my facts are correct. If I'm wrong I'm sure someone will correct me, and I'll have no problem admitting so if that's the case.

          The full text of the DMCA is available from the EFF [eff.org] if you really want to actually read through it all.

        • Re:iPod Video (Score:2, Informative)

          Golias, it would take too long to explain how wrong you are.

          As things stand right now. Apple could not make a device to grab video from a, current purchased DVD and store it to play back unless it copied the DRM with it and added some other restrictions that would have to be negotiated with each and every DVD vendor who could have rights infringed.

          So, it will have to be video downloaded from iTunes or future DVDs that have a new license and DRM scheme. The device would not copy older DVDs because--there i
    • Re:iPod Video (Score:2, Insightful)

      by salzbrot ( 314893 )
      * Plug a couple into the car to let a couple kids that can't agree on a movie watch whatever they want.

      Just what we need. A couple more kids that think they have to get anything they want right here, right now and never learn to compromise.

      I mean kids cannot agree on which movie to watch in the car?!? In my times we read a book. Sheesh...


      • Re:iPod Video (Score:2, Interesting)

        by BabyPanther ( 813124 )
        I mean kids cannot agree on which movie to watch in the car?!? In my times we read a book. Sheesh...

        Did you read the same book at the same time? ;) Ok, maybe you read it out loud. I agree that it is a shame, but movies do help past the time on long road trips. And, you could load only educational shows on the video iPod. Content is still your choice.

    • The thing is if you use your video ipod to store films on for playing on TV, then you have to store them (and download them from itms) in HDTV resolution. And then fudge them down to the 2" screen in hardware.

      I reckon that:
      • the itunes changes are for using a mac mini as a media centre
      • the video ipod will come out when they can make one the same size as an ipod that clamshells open with a flexible LCD screen inside that bends round the hinges, so you get a 4"-5" screen. And even then, I'm not sure that wo
      • The thing is if you use your video ipod to store films on for playing on TV, then you have to store them (and download them from itms) in HDTV resolution. And then fudge them down to the 2" screen in hardware.


        That's where the oh-so-scalable H.264 MPEG codec comes in... scales from HDTV all the way down to... well super tiny screens.

        But has anyone considered that the video iPod would most likely be a massive launch. And we all know that Apple likes to keep massive launches secret (save for rumor sites).
  • But... (Score:3, Funny)

    by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:28AM (#12543216)
    ...will it have a stopwatch !?
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:37AM (#12543288) Homepage
    While on the plane with my game boy advance, I've ben asked multiple times "can you watch movies with it". Granted the clamshell game boy looks like a small portable dvd player. I thought the screen was too small, but people seem to think it would be a good idea.

    We will see how well PSP does well with movies, from there anything can happen.
    • I've ben asked multiple times "can you watch movies with it".

      To which you answer, Yes. Yes it can. [lik-sang.com]

    • I'm an early adopter of the iPod, and I can't imagine how I got through the first 29 years of my life without one. I've supplanted my everday use of my 15GB 3G iPod with my Shuffle, which provides the soundtrack to 50% of my PSP usage (games). The other 50% of my PSP usage is for movies, and I've been using my PSP to watch a host of MP4s in the past several weeks with round-trip travels from East Coast to West Coast. When I get tired of playing Lumines, I've been watching Ali G, Lewis Black, Chapelle Sho
  • pr0n (Score:1, Funny)

    by birdwax2k ( 787311 )
    Now I can watch my pr0n on my way to work on the city bus!
  • by hadleyhope ( 822056 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @09:49AM (#12543430)
    • iTunes (4.8) can now play song videos.
    • iPhoto (5.0) can now play imported video from digital still cameras.

    So would it make sense for colour screen iPods to support the same?

  • OMFG (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by yotto ( 590067 )
    I didn't read the article because I won't want to give this guy yet more free hits for his advertisers, but I suspect the article boils down to: OMFG IPODZ R TEH BESTEST I 3 VIDEOZ!!~!

    My only hope here is that it drives the price of a 40 gig ipod to under $100 so I'll be able to even think about the possibility of some day buying one.
  • Groundwork (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bats ( 8748 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @10:28AM (#12543826) Homepage
    The fact the iTMS is suddenly selling music videos is clearly not ground breaking. It is, at most, a curiousity. Some folks will download some videos simple to see how it works. (I probably will.) For Apple, however, its a public beta of their video distribution channels. Its important that they test out their distribution chain end to end. This is a lot easier with 3 minute music videos rather than all 12 hours of LOTR. The iPod isn't going away any time soon, but clearly in several years, the cell will absorb these functionalities. (Cell phone outfits are already planning (announced?) cell phones with hard drives.)

    What's more likely is a home entertainment device, probably tagged with the iPod moniker -- iPod TV if you will. Imagine a small (probably white) box that you sit next to your TV. Plug in a couple cables and {poof!} you can see all the media on your mac. It'll probably have ethernet as well as Airport Extreme. It'll be zero-conf and automagically find your mac via Bonjour/Rendzvous/whatever. A lot of this functionality is available on your TiVo today, at least music and photos. iPod TV will likely provide similiar functionality plus video. On the mac side, iTunes will expand to encompass video as well, managing video playlists and libraries, all exported to the iPodTV. iTMS being able to deliver video content over the internet is the last piece to this puzzle. Jobs has got to annouce something at WWDC.

    Oh, and BTW, bluetooth on the iPod is stupid for syncing. There's just not enough bandwidth. Airport and Bonjour could do the job though. That's not entirely crazy.

    • The only thing I could see bluetooth being used for on the iPod is playlist syncing-- not music syncing. Right now, smart playlists don't really update until you connect to a computer. So I could see bluetooth being used as a way of updating playcounts (and other such metadata) as well as playlists, but I'm not sure it'd be worth all the price and trouble.
    • I agree. A small whitish box, say 6.5"x6.5", about 2.5" tall. It could fit right into your entertainment center, hook up to your TV, fit into the home network via ethernet, Bluetooth, or Airport. Don't know about the name iPodTV, though. How about Mac mini?
      • No! No! No!

        Connecting a desktop computer to a TV is the realm of linux weenies who argue about gold-tipped cables. Real People, the kind that buy macs because they 'just work', don't want to use a keyboard anywhere close to the TV! This device needs to be a dedicated box that does one thing and does it well. It bridges the gap between media center in the living room and media depot on your mac. A resonably equipped mac mini (airport, memory, applecare) is about $700 or $800. This device needs to be $2
    • I would say Bluetooth DOES have its uses... HP just released some very nice bluetooth headphones for their iPaqs... wireless headphones could be very nice.
    • I'd imagine they will call it either iPod AV, and the new airport express will be called Airport Express HD...

      It would fit with iChat AV and iMovie HD....
  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @11:19AM (#12544305)
    Lots of people are speculating about the "iPod Video", even though Jobs and others have pointed out that while music is a "background" to daily taskes, watching a video is an action that few want to commit 2+ hrs to on a 2" screen.

    But, I propose that the latest itteration of the iMac G5 [apple.com] is the perfect "iPod Video". Here's why:
    - G5 processor can decode H.264
    - Upgraded graphics cards in the iMac line can now handily manage HD video
    - Beefy 1GB Eithernet can get content (from the iMovie Video Store?) in a flash (too bad Cable/DSL lines can't fill that but it's atleast faster than a USB2 iPod connection)
    - BTO options for internal 400 GB at 7200 rpm means no HD lag or filled drives
    - External Firewire drives and the Dual layer DVD burners in the iMac G5 allow for archiving large video libraries
    - 17" and 20" flat screen options also have VESA mounts for dramatic display opportunities
    - standard bluetooth means wireless keyboards and pointers from the sofa
    - add an Eye TV [elgato.com] 1080i tuner and you have a great PVR

    Even if Apple introduced an "iPod Video", I am not in the market. But with an iMovie Video Store, an iMac G5, cable/ADSL modem, and a stack of dual layer media, I am in the market to dispose of my Blockbuster membership card.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      - G5 processor can decode H.264

      Any processor can decode H.264. Examples can be found on the definitive H.264 site [shapeofdays.com].

      Beefy 1GB Eithernet can get content (from the iMovie Video Store?) in a flash

      Ah, yes, you need a gigabit ethernet connection to go with your fancy new gigabit cable modem. Oh, wait.

      17" and 20" flat screen options also have VESA mounts for dramatic display opportunities

      If you think a 20" screen could ever be considered "dramatic" in any room bigger than an airplane bathroom, you're out
      • As I mentioned:
        - G5 processor can decode H.264 - didn't say other processors could not, only that the G5 can.
        - 1 GB Either is much faster than cable and adsl today - but 1 GB either would be great for playing a movie off your own home file server if you have a network.
        - "dramatic display" refers to the VESA mount - not the 17"/20" screens.

  • hmm.. I'll wait until the Video iPod Shuffle comes out.
  • It would further acceptance of the format, increase competition among players (reducing prices), and would probably add credibility to the longevity of iPod (not to mention UMD).
  • by wtmcgee ( 113309 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @12:37PM (#12545085) Homepage
    Not only is the article total speculation, the title is worded in a manner that makes it sound like a video iPod is coming, and the proof is below. The link goes to some kid's blog site with his wish list and some links to mac rumor sites.

    I have no problem with some speculation of what's coming next, but this isn't 'news', so let's not label it as such.
  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Monday May 16, 2005 @02:20PM (#12546313) Journal
    Simmer down folks. Just because it may have the word "iPod" in the name doesn't mean it's going to have a tiny 1.5" screen. Hell, the iPod Shuffle doesn't even have a screen, yet it still says "iPod". What better way to capitalize on an amazingly successful brand name...use the term "iPod". Use the marketing muscle, the brand awareness, and put out a small video device that all Mac-heads, all trendy people, all geeks, and all consumers will want because "it's an iPod that plays video".
  • Those tiny screens you put on eyeglasses are ready for public consumption? Those ones I saw military usage etc.

    Yes, you understood what I predict ;)

    BTW, why does iTunes have fullscreen video playback and "contains unpublished work from Dolby labs" ?
  • Archos beat Apple to the bunch with their excellent Gmini400 video player with its 2.1" color screen. It plays DivX/XviD encoded AVI files which can be ripped off DVDs. Its 20G HD has space for about 25-30 full-length movies. Plus, it has composite video out in case you want to plug it in a TV or projector.

    AND it has a compact flash card slot for saving/viewing digital camera images. Like the iPod Photo, but more useful.

    AND it can record audio via the built-in mic

    AND it's an MP3 Jukebox of course, wh

  • Video iPod + Boring Class = Happy Student Sitting in the Back of the Room

An Ada exception is when a routine gets in trouble and says 'Beam me up, Scotty'.

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