iPod video: The next big thing?
BY OUR TECHNOLOGY EDITOR
23 July, 2005: iPod Video, a new product from Apple Computer which can display music videos from the palm of your hand may be on way, if Mac aficionados are to be believed. Rumours of an Ipod Video has always been around, which received a fillip this week with a Wall Street Journal report saying that Apple is in talks with four big Hollywood music video firms to sell their music videos through its iTunes online music store. The iTunes Music Store is accessed with Apple's iTunes software. The move is seen as a clear prelude to video-friendly iPods on way.
What would the iPod Video look like, if there is one on way? Before that, is there really a Video iPod on way? Living up to its reputation of being a company that talks little, Apple has not responded to rumours of a Video iPod. Earlier, Steve Jobs, chairman of Apple Computer has rubbished rumours of a movie-compatible iPod. But times have changed.
For instance, the iTunes Music Store, which started as online music store selling music for a price, has recently started hosting a few music videos. Apple is believed to have got good response to music video for download from iTunes, prompting it to ponder ways of integrating video onto the iPod.
According to The wall Street Journal, Apple is in talks with Warner Music Group Corp, EMI Group PLC, Vivendi Universal SA's Universal Music Group and Sony BMG, a joint venture between Sony Corp and Bertelsmann AG to licence music for sale through the iTunes music store. For the recording industry plagued of illegally-copied music, legitimate sales trough iTunes have comes as a boon.
For background, the iPod, which started as a handy digital music player, has undergone several metamorphoses, becoming the world's largest selling digital music player in a very short while. Apple has, over time, introduced modified versions of the iPod, offering iPods with larger capacity for music storage, iPod Mini, iPod Photo, and iPod Shuffle. The logical next step now seems to be to integrate video into the iPod.
It is almost a given that if the next iPod comes with video facility, it won't have the same screen, at least. Steve Jobs has earlier said that the iPod screen is too small to display video. Besides, unlike audio which can be delivered with earplugs with the same clarity, there is no such equivalent for video. So, one section of Apple-watchers believes that the next iPod may have a larger screen capable of displaying moving pictures. This is a possibility. The other section waits for the iPod video which can be hooked on to a TV or a computer via cable and dock, which can then play the video content from iPod.
Whether the iPod Video becomes a reality or not, it is clear that digital online entertainment is here to stay. Just this week, the iTunes Music Store clocked the download of the 500 millionth song - that is within just two years. Last week, Intel formed a company which will create an online store for movie downloads the legal way. Then, Apple started making podcasts available through the iTunes 4.9 version. Microsoft is also keen on tapping this booming and lucrative segment.
Being the pioneer in digital online entertainment, one almost expects Apple to take the next big leap. May the cult of iPod spread to the video realm too!!
BY OUR TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT