Thursday, October 13, 2005

Thoughts on the 'ViPod'

Now that Apple has finally unsheathed the video iPod, media pundits and trend analysts are pointing each other in the eye with it, some calling it a brilliant masterstroke while others deem it a bumbling overreach. Though not an Apple-user at the moment, I am a Mac-head from w-a-a-yback and think the company that has brought so much innovation to the home computing will do just fine, thank you very much. Maybe I’m just stoked I put off buying that iPod until now. Either way, let’s hear from a few other cyber-critics for I chew up any more bandwidth on my own opinion.

My own personal media guru Mark Hamilton (of Mark on Media) kicks things off with a salient point. It’s not the tiny new screen, but what you can (cheaply and easily) put on it:

“This launches a whole new market, the way that iTunes and the iPod kick-started the music download business. And it establishes the price, too: $1.99 for commercial-free, yours-to-own video. Anybody that wants to play in this new sandbox is going to have to either match that, beat that, or have such compelling offerings that they can afford to charge a few cents more.”

Phillip Swann begs to differ, seing the addition of video as an unneeded feature born of arrogance and greed.

“The video iPod will be Steve Jobs' folly. "Americans will not watch full-length videos -- or perhaps even short music videos -- on 2.5-inch screens on portable devices. It makes no sense. The music iPod is successful because it replicates something we've been doing for more than two decades -- listening to portable music players while on the go…The video iPod will require you to stop what you're doing and focus on a video. Who has the time to do that during the day?”

Terry Heaton, perhaps. The Emerging Media savant thinks plenty of people will pay to squint, pointing to Apple’s deal with ABC to re-purpose content to the ‘ViPod’ as the first rumblings of a great seismic shift.

“Now that ABC has broken the mold, the others will follow suit. And once it's discovered that people will pay a couple of bucks for programs on demand, other "sizes" of the programs will follow as well. Only the distribution method remains in question, and technology will take care of that...The pre-bundled media model is dead. Broadcasters can slow its demise, but it cannot put the genie back in the bottle.”

Perhaps Cory Bergman at Lost Remote says it best with a catalog of reasons the video iPod WILL succeed - a list that includes some intriguing predictions.

"Video podcasting ("vodcasting") will overshadow podcasting as the coolest thing since sliced bread. Shoot some video, edit it and upload it to iTunes. Or just upload it to your video iPod and show your friends. Forget baby pictures. Now it's baby video. Right here on my iPod. "

Though the market for a handheld video portal has been mostly theoretical until now, that all changed about twenty fours ago. I think the ViPod (my term, but I love it) will be quickly embraced by tech-savvy , the young and the unencumbered. After that, it’ll get around to folks like me, mortgage holders with limited cash for such personal indulgences as things with headphones who cannot ignore a media revolution but for so long. Apple’s deal with ABC is integral to the launch, but I think the video iPod’s real success will come via the easy portage of personal media, not the hoarding of network fare. As for whether a new generation of viewers will embrace such a tiny screen, you ought to watch my 11 year old re-program my camera phone...

1 comment:

sapphoto said...

I'm not sure why I try to write. I think it does me some good to get the gobledy-gook out.

I've got my own thougths on the ViPod(I like the name). I was thinking I'd almost be willing to forgo the digital SLR I wanted to get my hands on this.

You could download the content you want: news, sports, movies, shows, vodcasts, you name it, and really "time shift" any video produced out there. All you have to do is load up your pod and watch it if you ride the train to work, watch it during the lunch hour, watch it while you wait in the truck for your reporter to finish that script.

I better stop. The drool can't be good once it sneaks in under the keys to the keyboard.

p.s. I've seldom read anyone who can make non-fiction read like you can. keep on typing.

p.s.II. we need more pictures of Stew in his tropical/hawiaan wear.