|iPod does video|
by Irina Oroz
Weighing in on iPod’s latest incarnation
Luckily for us, Apple has made Christmas shopping much easier this year – and much more expensive.
Apple has done it again, this time launching a rather revolutionary iPod that is more than just a music machine. Although Apple’s CEO and founder Steve Jobs unveiled this new innovation on Oct. 12 of this year, it has finally come within reach, boasting colourful advertisements on the front pages of both Best Buy and Future Shop flyers.
Apple has taken their most successful product and led it into the new generation of high-tech portable gadgets with their new iPod Video, capable of playing both music and full length TV shows on the same device.
So why would people want to pay so much money to watch shows on a tiny screen? Apple downplayed the shortcomings of the new video iPod by advertising the video option as just a feature of the device and not the focus. The gadget is still described as a portable MP3 player, but with the word “video” thrown in front. It still plays songs and has photo slide show capabilities, but now it’s all done on a bright 2.5 high-resolution color screen,” as described in the Future Shop flyer.
Apple has also kept the appeal strong by keeping the price of the MP3 players the same price as the previous generations. The 30GB model is available from Best Buy for $379.99 and the 60 GB is available from Future Shop for a mere $499.99.
Despite some of its limitations, the iPod video is living up to the high Apple standard. It is simple and easy to use, much like its predecessors. The audio is clear and one can even read the tiny credits at the beginning of each TV show.
This utopian state of screen-gazing can only go on for about two hours, however, before the player runs out of juice and the battery dies.
The online Apple iTunes Music Store has an alliance with Disney, which provides downloads of five of Disney’s hit television shows, including the popular Desperate Housewives and Lost, as well as kids shows like That’s so Raven. There are also Pixar Animation Studios shorts and music videos available for download, all at $1.99 each.
The new iPod already has a large fan base. Student and current iPod owner Erin Ogrady “needs” a Video iPod. “I would use it for listening to music at the gym and especially for traveling. I’ve also listened to [some of the] books on tape that they have. It’s just great for when you go on walks,” she said.
As for the service provided by Apple, she feels that it is both “quick and convenient.”
“If there’s any problem and you need to return the iPod they will provide you with everything. The box, the postage, and even the mailing sticker, so all you have to do is drop your iPod in,” said Ogrady.
Some don’t share such an enthusiastic view of the video feature however. Student Jessica Herrell is still a firm believer in the iPod mini. “I wouldn’t really use the video. It would be a distraction in class because you’d always be watching it, and with everybody attached to their own iPod, everybody would be very antisocial. It’s not something you can do with a bunch of people.” Though the new video iPod is a draw she said,“I have better things to do with my time”.