Too Hard on iPod® with Video

So many people are being too hard on Apple’s recent release (Oct. 12). Particular with their announcement of the Apple iPod® with video.

First of all note that they [Apple] did not label it the “iPod Video”. This is an important and subtle fact. In no way Apple or Steve Jobs thinks that people will want to watch high resolution videos on their 2.5 inch LCD screen of the new iPod®.

This new version (5th generation) iPod® is foremost a MP3 player with video capability.

In my opinion, the current version of the iPod® is a transport medium of video and it is a tip of the iceberg for what Apple will do for this area of digital media.

As in the original launch of iPod® there were very few features as compare to other MP3 players in the market at the time. Although due to its ease of use and design along with the introduction of iTunes Music Store (iTMS), which is how Apple took the MP3 market from the its well established competitors (Creative, iRiver, Sony, Rio, etc., the latter even went closed its doors).

Again Apple is doing the same thing here with videos. They are introducing a device that can do basically the same thing as everything else in the market. With only 2000 music videos and a handful of TV shows, it is not particular different from the 10s of thousands of songs available in the iTMS when it was first launch.

Yesterday iRiver just announced; to be released next month [November], a new device called “iRiver U10”, which has a smaller screen than Apple’s new iPod 2.2 inches compares to 2.5 inches. Most importantly the two devices have similar functionality, but the iRiver is much smaller in capacity compared to the new iPod (iRiver’s 1GB or 2GB compared to Apple’s 30GB or 60GB).

Another thing people are hard on Apple with, are the video codecs that the new iPod supports. Officially the new iPod supports the H.264 (aka MPEG-4 AVC) and MPEG-4 codecs.

People need to remember that Apple, unlike many others (namely Microsoft), supports industry standards. Both the H.264 and MPEG-4 are ITU-T and ISO/IEC respective approved standards.

I understand that many of the “torrent” videos available are encoded with the DivX codec, but that is not the standard for videos. Although it uses codec from MPEG-2.

They other misnomer is that the .AVI format is better than .MOV (QuickTime) or .MPG (MPEG). All three of these are “video/audio containers”. Neither of them are conclusively better than any other, except both QuickTime and MPEG are industry standards.

So what Apple has done and introduced to the world is only the “tip of the iceberg” of what to come. I do not know for a fact, but you can follow my trail of thought by reading my previous weblog article (“Next iPod“) on the subject.

One Reply to “Too Hard on iPod® with Video”

  1. You are right, Apple follows standards, MS sets the standards.Which is better ? The HD-DVD format is based on WMVHD.I don’t really see what the MS bashing had to do with the Ipod but I guess some peopel jsut have to say something bad about MS every chance they get.

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