Not So Quick, Still Vaguely Dirty

More blathering about the "One More Thing" event.

Okay. The news is in, the event is in the books, and on the key issue I was wrong. Dead wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. Feel free to gloat .

Anyway ...

Video iPod: My original thought on this (posted for posterity in These Very Pages) was "not a chance." Watching video on a 5 cm screen would be hopeless in the extreme (the same reason that nobody actually watches movies on their PSP) and Apple would never release something that essentially useless. Surprise - Apple thought the same thing and added a video output jack. Useless becomes "insanely useful". Now all those short videos that you make in iMovie and the slideshows you whipped up in iPhoto are instantly portable and easy to share, even with parents and other lo-tech types that might not have a DVD player. Just slip the 'pod in your pocket, wander over to the parental estate, and jack into their 25" Electrahome. Genius. Even more so when combined with ...

Downloadable TV Episodes: This totally and utterly came from left field - talk about a bombshell. Even without the aforementioned "video out", this would have make the video iPods instant winners. Watching video on a teeny tiny screen is dumb. Watching the episode of the TV show you missed last on a teeny tiny screen is perfectly fine - it beats "you snooze you lose" by a long shot, and opens up all new possibilities for train and bus commuting. And yes, you can watch on your regular TV too. Damn.

iPod Capacities: Disk-based iPods are now available in 2 sizes - 30Gb and 60Gb. Many people, including me, expected to see bumps to 60 and 100 GB. The word on the street is that the supply line of the Toshiba microdrives is extremely tenuous right now. So yes, these upgrades are coming, but no, not anytime before summer '06.

New iMac: A speed bump across the board (to 1.9 and 2.1 GHz) and upgraded video memory are the real stars here - the built-in iSight is (for now*) just a little bonus, as is the remote control. The bigger news is that there are now officially no Macintosh computers that have a modem built-in. For most of the world, dial-up is truly and officially dead, and Apple is moving forward to reflect that reality. However, there are stubborn pockets of beeep-beeep-sqwooooorot in the United States, and Apple is offering a very cute little USB external modem for those sorts of customers.

iTunes -Version 6: Well. That was quick. Version 5 lasted less than a month. New features include support for the remote control and support for music videos and television shows purchased from the iTunes store. Oh, and lots of Madonna.

FrontRow and PhotoBooth: Two new applications that come with the new iMacs. Haven't seen them, can't comment.

Music Videos and TV Shows: More than 2000 available to buy right now at 2 bucks a pop. Digital rights management is in place, so you can watch them on up to 5 computers, and play them from your 'pod to TV as often as you like.

iTunes "Gift" Purchases: Now you can buy music or shows for your friends and chattels. Easy, slick, and completely thoughtless. Welcome to Consumerville. I guess it beats getting lottery tickets ...

*NOTE: there is a master plan regarding the iSight. But for now, my lips are sealed.

Posted: Thu - October 13, 2005 at 02:11 AM