Monday, October 24, 2005

With Video IPod, the Music Still Comes First (Excerpts)

The video downloads for sale consist of music videos, six short movies from Pixar Animation Studios, and episodes of five TV shows from ABC and the Disney Channel. Each sells for $1.99 and can be played on up to five computers at once and an unlimited number of iPods -- but can't be streamed over a home network or copied to DVD for viewing on a TV. (You can't even copy a music video's soundtrack to an audio CD.)

Getting other video files on an iPod, whether downloaded off other sites or made in such programs as Apple's iMovie, is unacceptably complicated. Instead of simply dragging a clip into iTunes to have it converted and copied automatically, you must adjust esoteric file-export settings in iMovie, buy a copy of Apple's $30 QuickTime Pro, or mix and match random freeware programs to make your video clip iPod-ready.

This level of complexity is standard procedure in much of computing, but it's not what Apple sells. That, and the selection of video downloads sold at iTunes, needs to improve in a hurry, or the "video" iPod will remain just a great way to listen to music on the go -- not that Apple would necessarily be upset with such an outcome.


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