Hoping iTunes 6.0 is a stopgap

Posted: October 13, 2005 in General

After having a night to think about Apple’s announcement of the video capable iPod last night, I thought I’d weigh in with my opinions.

Overall I think a video capable iPod is a good move, there is no real reason not to have that capability. I only wish that Apple had decided to update all existing color iPods (including the nano) for the capability. Now I feel a little like I got burned (I bought a nano when they came out, and less than a month later I’m thinking that I should have waited). That, though, is not the point here.

My issue is with iTunes, which is starting to become less Apple-like (which is why it is/was so good). I’m hoping that iTunes 6.0 is a stopgap since Apple doesn’t have any kind of a library system for movies (yet). I started to get worried when it stored music videos and PDFs, and this latest (buying videos online) takes us another step in that direction (which isn’t positive).

My second issue is content. I like the idea of downloading TV shows and interesting clips that you can’t get (easily) elsewhere, but I doubt I’ll be using this too often (which is probably a sentiment shared by many others). This feels a little more like a “test run” than a real service (I’m sure they looked at the numbers, and I doubt that they will be making much money on this).

We can only hope that this is a precursor to downloading feature length movies. Of course this brings to light the only other issue, which is quality. 320×240 isn’t going to cut it. The iPod isn’t the ultimate destination for viewing this stuff, it’s the TV. Apple can have a huge win here if they start offering content in HD (1080 would be best, but 720 would be okay). Who cares about HD-DVD vs. Blueray? Allow me to download the latest movie in 1080p the day that it gets released and you’ll get a lot of $19.99 from me. Chances are, Apple’s already working on a lot of this with the movie industry, if they act quickly, they can come out of the gates swinging. What do you bet that the next major revision of the Mac Mini will be even more like a set-top box?

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