The big plus and bigger minus of the video iPod

So, despite Jobs' denials and Apple's usual insane secrecy in order to build crazed hype, it was the long-awaited (and delayed) video iPod that was launched yesterday.

Aside from worrying that this latest iPod will suffer the same screen weakness of the recently released Nanos, this is a perfectly logical and lovely extension to the iPod range.

And here's a pic:


Apple has signed a deal with ABC/Disney to let people download episodes of various TV shows for $1.99. It's an interesting approach and it's good old-fashioned ballsy risk-taking that Apple is renowned for.

Will people want TV programmes on their iPod? Who knows? We'll find out. Even the 20 minutes it will take with even a fast Net connection shouldn't be too much of a trauma.

I think a sure-fire winner is the 2,000+ music videos that will be available. Plus, it's now inevitable that people will start producing amusing amateur shorts for people. And why not? In fact, the more I think about it, the more fun this Video iPod sounds.

Except, except, one big problem: battery life.

I have a Photo iPod and I know from experience that if you even leave the colour screen to turn off after 10 seconds, it drains the battery enormously. You go from, I dunno, 20 hours of play to about six.

I can only imagine what playing a colour video will do. We'll have to wait to see, but I reckon, tops, three hours. Three hours is dangerous territory because it starts killing the whole portability. And iPods charge slowly as well, making the problem more pronounced.

Apple has also still only produced a top-end 60GB version of the video iPod – which if you start downloading alot of video is starting to kill that lovely feeling I have with my 60GB Photo iPod that I am really going to struggle filling it. I am up to 26GB with my entire collection. But if I had 100 music videos as well, then I have to start worrying about what to take off.

Apple has also stressed that the new video iPod are smaller. But, like mobile phones, I don't like things too small if they're high-spec. The technology will of course catch up and Apple is doing a smart and brave thing. But is it stretching a little too far a little too early?

I would rather have a fatter video iPod with a bigger hard drive and a bigger battery. Apple can shrink it down *after* it has fulfilled its main function – which will be playing videos for as long as possible on the battery. Mind you, it's academic at the moment, you can't buy em in the UK.

I'm going to sit this one out. But I do like the idea though.

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