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Friday night, I had a discussion with a friend of mine about the iPod and what we thought about it. Yes. I think it’s neat. Yes, I think it’s innovative (it is, after all, a 5-gig firewire hard drive that also plays MP3s). Does it do what I want? Not really.

Sure. I’d like one. Even if it can’t hold all my MP3s.

But there’s something I want more. Imagine this:

What if, just for fun, the headphone jack on the iPod were the same as the headphone jack on the iBook—that is, it allowed for video out. And what if, just for fun, the Quicktime team (which was involved in the production of the iPod) managed to figure out a way to have the iPod pump full-screen quicktime movies out of that little jack? Finally, what if, just for fun, the engineers at Apple made the iPod firmware upgradeable, so that you can add functions to its operating system with a small download (they did).

People always say that this is silly. Who wants to carry around a little movie-player device that you can’t watch the movies on (the screen isn’t for playback)?

I do.

I think it would be incredibly useful to store some .mpeg movies or Divx movies (both, near DVD quality) on the iPod (an hour of mpeg video is about 450 meg) and shuffle them around. Hell, you could plug the thing directly into an LCD projector via the s-video and audio inputs and you wouldn’t even have to bring a laptop with you to a conference. Plug in the iPod and go.

I think it would be brilliant, especially considering how good the compression ratios for video are getting. Just look at Divx, 3ivx (even better, I think) or Sorenson 3 to get a sense of it. Too lazy? Let me put it this way: probably every single movie trailer on the Apple web site—and probably every single movie trailer you see in Quicktime—uses the Sorenson 3 codec for compression. It’s really stunning. Divx and 3ivx are better, but are less popular or compatible across platforms.

So anyway. Apple, get off your butts and make this thing work!


Written by srogers

July 2, 2011 at 2:02 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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