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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Psych: Video iPod is here

Here are the stats on the video iPod: 2.5 inch color display, up to 150 hours of video, up to 20 hours of battery life.

Apple says, "Choose from over 2 million songs, 20,000 podcasts, 2,000 music videos or your favorite ABC and Disney television shows, download them to your Mac or PC and sync them to your iPod. Add an optional audio cable to play music from the iPod to your home stereo or use an optional S-video cable with iPod to play VJ on your TV."

This is gonna be huge...Time to rename the iTunes Music Store the iTunes Media Store.

And it's fascinating that despite Pixar's well-chronicled spat with Disney over continuing to distribute Pixar's films, Disney committed to being the first to offer content to another Steve Jobs company.

"It's great to be here to announce an extension of our relation with Apple," Disney CEO Bob Iger quipped at the event. "Not Pixar, but with Apple."

A couple links:

  • The must-read story is from John Markoff of the NY Times, who observes that Jobs doesn't have the same broad support from TV networks and movie studios that he had from the music industry when he launched the original iTunes Music Store. He also points out that five shows from ABC and Disney Channel will be available from Apple the day after they air. (This is a deal that Disney could do because it both produces and broadcasts these shows; much harder for, say, NBC to do it with "The Apprentice," since it doesn't produce that show.)
  • Here's Apple's video of the Steve Jobs announcement today, which also featured Wynton Marsalis (much like the bar mitzvah of a millionaire's son on Long Island, you can't have an Apple product announcement without a celebrity cameo)
  • Leander Kahney of Wired News has a dispatch from the unveiling in San Jose, in which he mentions that Disney will be offering shows like "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for $1.99 a show. There will also be music videos and short films from Pixar for $1.99. Video podcasts will be free. (Just as I'd feared: big media companies get to charge for their video, while indie producers and individuals have to offer it for free to get access to Apple's big audience. I'm not sure why Apple is biased in this way. Shouldn't anyone who distributes via their store be allowed to either charge for or give away content?)
  • 'Apple unveils video iPod' from
  • The San Diego Daily Transcript reports that other suppliers of video, like start-up Veoh Networks, are already announcing their compatibility with Apple's video iPod

Finally... just got off the phone with someone I'll call a senior executive at Walt Disney Studios, who told me that he expects the iPod video to "become an important part in the way all consumers are looking at content," and that while the studio may offer trailers for new movies, and older films from the archive, he doesn't imagine Disney releasing new movies to the iPod while they're still in theaters. But could they offer movies via the Apple Media Store once those movies are out on DVD? Stay tuned...


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