On Apple's Showtime Event
I have mixed feelings about Apple’s announcements today. In general, it was a lot of good, but in the end, I was left wanting.
Specifically, I wanted a widescreen video iPod. You know, the “True” Video iPod. We all do. Why is this device so hard to make? There must be patent issues or something keeping Apple from bringing it to market. The iPod screen is brighter— fine. You can filter for songs by “wheeling” the name in— woo-hoo.
More iPod nano colors. Extreme! The colors are a little much. A light pink would be far more attractive than the flaming pink they went with. The same for the green and blue colors.
Next we have the Shuffle. My personal favorite iPod. They made it even smaller. I totally expected this, but I wish it got a capacity boost like the others did. I also cannot stand the fact that it requires a docking station now. One of the biggest advantages of the Shuffle in my mind is that it requires no wires, no extra accessories to use. You take the cap off and plug it into your computer. That lets you sync, that lets you charge it. Now if I want to use it as a memory stick I have to tote around a dock?
I’m happy to see iTunes support movie downloads. The movies cost less than a DVD (well, typically), but there are some shortcomings here too. When you buy a movie from iTunes, you get the video of that movie, and that’s it. Forget any of the DVD expect— they’re not in there. The video quality is good, but not at DVD standards. And you’re left with a huge movie file that you can’t burn to a DVD and watch in a DVD player. You’ll have to play it on your computer, iPod or on the $299 “iTV” product coming out next year.
But these restrictions and limitations are what allow the movies to be sold through iTunes in the first place. And they’ll attract other studios as they find their DVD/Bluray/HD-DVD sales aren’t endangered.
Finally, Steve showed off the “iTV” set top box. It looks cool, but I already have an Apple set top box— my Mac mini. I didn’t see anything the iTV did that my mini couldn’t do. I just hope they provide the FrontRow upgrades that let me do all that with my mini.
Kudos on integrating CoverFlow into iTunes. Shame it doesn’t go full screen though.
Sigh. Mixed feelings.
Oh… one more thing. I wish I could redownload all my TV purchases in the higher resolution format they now come in. For those of us that would care to do it, tt would be a nice “thank you” for those of us that have helped make the video store a success.