It’s a natural extension. Grow the iPod to about half the size of an iBook, add wireless, a bigger hard drive, and a high resolution screen. It’s the videoPod. The “personalPod” or the “padPod.”
Everyone wants one. Media pundits are predicting Apple will launch music videos this year along with a music video device. Me, too.
In an era where no secret leaves Apple’s Cupertino, CA headquarters without a press release, this one is no longer a secret. The only items left unknown are 1) when, 2) what configuration.
Granted, the “when” is probably easier to figure. Soon. As in “this year.” That’s my prediction. Probably by September to take advantage of the holiday selling season.
This is a sturdy limb to crawl out on. Apple already has the infrastructure in place to promote and distribute music videos with the iTunes Music Store. Digitizing music videos from the record labels and selling them for $1.99 each is a no brainer. It’ll happen.
There are already QuickTime versions of some music videos available. Some free, some with the purchase of music.
That baby step is the first step toward selling TV programs and movies and other videos online, though a number of elements need to happen or mature.
First, you can’t play music videos on an iPod; a shuffle, a mini, or the new white iPods (formerly iPod photo). That’ll require a next generation iPod. Sure, it will need to play music just like the current iPods; perhaps display photos, too.
This next generation iPod will set the stage for music video downloads. Ditto for TV programs, movies, and more.
Problems? Yes. Digital Rights Management (DRM). If I buy a downloadable movie I want to be able to play it in a number of places. My Mac. My PC. My videoPod (for lack of a better term).
Sidebar: I think we’ll see an iBook cut in half, ala Mac mini style, with a large screen, USB and Firewire and wireless capable. And a base station that will connect to the Internet and your TV. Think of it as the Sony Location Free TV (formerly Airboard) done right.
This is a nifty looking device that hasn’t done well in sales either in the US or Japan. It’s not cool enough. Yet. Click Here for a look at Sony’s offering.
The Apple version should be standalone, but could work as an addition to your Mac or Windows PC, ala the iPod.
Key to this whole deal will be DRM. It’s a mess. Apple got it right with the record labels for iTunes Music Store. Getting appropriate rights lined up for a similar video-enabled product would be like shaving a hungry Bobcat in a telephone booth. Messy.
Everyone is short on details. Me, too.
Gazing into my crystal ball, I find it much easier to describe what I want. A videoPad. A miniTablet. Wireless. High resolution screen. Audio out. Mic and mic input. Perhaps a base station (or, software that lets your Mac become the base station). I wouldn’t be surprised to see an iChat capable device with built-in video, but the cost just went up.
There are some issues. 802.11b and 802.11g are thought to be too slow, so I’d expect Apple to be ready with 802.11n, which is ultra fast wireless by comparison.
Pricing? The market might handle a price between a high end iPod and a low end iBook, so $699 to start. Less after the next model.
What say you? Are you ready to pony up for a padPod that does music videos, video, TV shows, AND connects to your Mac via wireless? How much?