The new Video iPod

So yesterday, Apple finally announced their video iPod.

Personally, I think being able to play videos on your iPod rates somewhere between "Music Quiz" and "Photos": I just don't see it as being very useful. Owning an Axim x50v Pocket PC, which can play videos at twice the resolution of the new iPod, I've tried watching videos on a portable device before. My experiences with that device were:

  1. The screen's just too small
  2. The portability is really not that important as video (unlike audio) takes your full attention, so you might as well sit in front of a TV or computer instead. (That is, if you have that option of course. For people who commute by public transport, portable video may be useful (until they get mugged anyway))
  3. Windows Media Player on the Pocket PC sucks. The user-interface is clunky and video can at times be choppy or lag behind the audio. The Core Pocket Media Player works much better, but doesn't support wmv (so can't play any videos from channel 9 for instance).
  4. Moving video to the Axim is a pain. Using the standard (USB 1.1) interface is way too slow, and the alternative of using a USB 2 card-reader instead makes me feel like I'm back in the early 90s again, but with smaller floppys.
The iPod video should definitely improve upon 3. and 4. (though I'm sure it still won't support wmv), but can't do much about 1. or 2. unless you get the universal dock and remote, but then you're back to a non-portable solution again.

All this being said, my 3rd gen 15Gb iPod is on its last legs; its battery only lasts for maybe 2 hours at a time, and I'm tired of having to decide what songs/podcasts to take off every time it's running out of space again.

So once my iPod settlement check comes in, I will most likely pick up a new iPod anyway. Video may be getting all the publicity, but much more important (and worth the purchase) to me are features like a thinner body, a big color screen, 30 (or even 60) Gb of space and 20 hours of battery life.

But video? Meh.

UPDATE: According to Gizmodo, "there is going to be another, even bigger announcement from Apple next month". Considering it will probably take about another month before they send out the settlement checks anyway, I may just get whatever they come out with at that time. I wouldn't mind a 40Gb player in a scratch-proof iPod mini enclosure...

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So, as another owner of an x50v, what are the chances of seeing sharpreader for Windows Mobile in the future?

Posted by Baron at October 13, 2005 12:18 PM

YMMV, but I've found that my 512MB iPod Shuffle fits my needs perfectly. It lets me hold about 8 hours of content, which gets me through a day a work. It's not so large that it takes a week to sync over new content. I spent $80 on a new external HD to store my iTunes library on and $100 on the Shuffle. Of course 90% of the time I just leave it on shuffle so the lack of a screen doesn't bother me. Other people want to know what they are playing and want to find certain songs quickly. Maybe instead of getting another big iPod, you should look at a Shuffle or a Nano? less moving parts == longer battery life. :)

Posted by Scott at October 13, 2005 3:36 PM

I like the convenience of having my entire music collection on me at all times, as I don't know in the morning what I'll feel like listening to later that day (and even if I did, I'd hate to have to manually select those songs to sync every morning).

I don't really use the screen to see what I'm playing or to find individual songs, but do use it to select playlists and specific podcasts, and to rate songs (which improves my dynamic playlists). A Shuffle is therefore out of the question. The nano does have a screen and has a great form-factor, but if my current 15Gb iPod is too small already, why would I buy a 4Gb one?

Syncing over new content on a big iPod does exactly that by the way: it moves new content only (as all the old content is already there), and therefore does not take long at all. On a shuttle or nano, since not everything is there to begin with, I would think syncing takes longer as it not only needs to move the new content, but also old content that was previously removed from the iPod due to space constraints.

Posted by Luke Hutteman at October 13, 2005 5:06 PM

Yeah, I've thought about getting a pappy iPod just so I can have my music with me all the time. I'm just too cheap. :( The Shuffle works the same way. If you are syncing over content that is already on the Shuffle, it doesn't re-copy it. But I usually just autofill the entire thing.

My suggestion of a Nano or Shuffle was based on changing your habits to just take enough music with you rather than taking it all with you. That doesn't work for everyone though.

Posted by Scott at October 13, 2005 9:08 PM

The biggest issue with Windows Media Player 9 is that it does not stretch video to the VGA screen.

Channel 9 videos DO play back fine on The Core Pocket Media Player (aka TCPMP). The issue is that Channel 9 sends a MIME TYPE of x-ms-wmv with the enclosure, which TCPMP does not grab currently (even with the File Associations settings). TCPMP can grab the file association of wmv and play those videos if you tap from the File Explorer. I've been a subscriber to Channel 9 for quite some time on my Pocket PC aggregator: FeederReader.

I agree it is a pain to transfer video over USB 1.1. New Windows Mobile devices are starting to come out with USB 2.0. Even more importantly, you can download videos like Channel 9 (and any other RSS feeds) directly to your mobile device using FeederReader. No need for a desktop AT ALL.

You're arguments in numbers 1 and 2 are somewhat personal preference (ever have to stand in line at Walmart? Watching a video there is great!). Your number 3 is not quite correct. And number 4 is mitigated (and lets the Windows Mobile device SURPASS the Video iPod) by using FeederReader anywhere you have a WiFi hotspot or cell phone connection--better get EVDO for Channel 9, many of their videos are over 200MB.

The biggest difference, which you hadn't mentioned, is the disk space. We can get "inexpensive" 4G CF cards and 2G SD cards, but we can't approach 30-60GB of the iPod without great expense and/or inconvenience (external USB drive, anyone?). Still, for many "transient" video and audio, like podcasts and videocasts, 2GB is pretty good (and FeederReader optimizes downloads to conserve space on your storage card).

Just thought I'd point out an alternative with distict advantages compared to the video iPod.

Greg Smith
Author, FeederReader - Pocket PC *direct* RSS text, audio, video, podcasts - Download on the Road

Posted by Greg Smith at October 24, 2005 8:48 AM

Cucusoft iPod Video Converter Suite is an all-in-one iPod video Conversion solution. that helps you to convert video and DVDs to iPod video MP4 formats.

Posted by dove at November 28, 2005 10:35 AM

is the easiest-to-use video to ipod converter software for Apple iPod Movie and iPod Video, convert DVD to iPod Video in 2 clicks, as well as Tivo2Go.

Posted by DVD to iPod Video Converter at November 28, 2005 10:39 AM

3gpconverter does it all for you in one step, just drag and drop basically any video file other than realtime and it will convert it to mp4 and atomatically add it to your itunes library.

Posted by kurto at December 31, 2005 4:59 AM

Your an idiot. Pocket PC's are a fat as piece of shit. If you want one of those just buy a small ibook, which won't suddenly crash on you.

Posted by Steve jobs at December 31, 2005 3:26 PM

hi i have a realy anoying problem with my ipod
i bought a color ipod wich came with a cd and a copy of itunes
however it wont run on my virus infected computer ,, wich i plan to fix but its wone of those things ive been useing my ipod as a mounted e: drive and loading my mp3's onto wich plays great on my 360 but i cant play video's or my mp3's with just the ipod

do I have to convert my mp3's to acc inorder it too work
im realy frustrated so

your help would be much apreaciated

Posted by david at March 11, 2006 3:10 PM
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