Apple Unveils Video iPod & New iMac
Commentary by K. Matthew Dames, executive editor.
There was once this guy called Michael Jordan. He used to play basketball. He was pretty good.
A few years ago — April 20, 1986, specifically — this Jordan guy was in Boston, Mass. to play a basketball game. Jordan had missed most of that season (his second as a professional) with a foot injury, and rushed himself back so that he could play in that game. On that day, in that game, this Jordan kid proceeded to pummel the legendary Boston Celtics with an array of spins, pirouettes, fades, crossovers, and vacuum-inducing dunks that left the best team in basketball dazed and confused with admiration and respect.
Larry Bird, who at that time was probably the best player in the same league as Jordan said after the game, “I didn’t think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us. He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
Steve Jobs is on that kind of roll. “Unconscious,” is the term sportscasters would use.
The iPod hasn’t just become the most important consumer audio product since Sony’s Walkman, it has changed the face of music industry. And now, with the introduction of the video iPod, Jobs and Apple could begin to change the face of filmed entertainment as well. But here’s where Jobs’ current run elevates him from “en fuego” to “unconscious”: not only does he introduce the video iPod, he announces that a deal with ABC to sell episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” two of the hottest shows on television.
I can hear Marv Albert in the background saying “Yes, and it counts!!”
Now for the alleged reality checks:
• The screen is too small for people to really enjoy video on an iPod.
• The file sizes of video are too large to fit into even the largest iPod.
• The iPod screen and color quality, an almost irrelevant concern when playing music, become critically important in rendering video, and recent iPod releases suggest these attributes are weak spots.
• No one — and I mean no one — can stay this hot forever. The bottom must fall out at some point, and Apple hasn’t received enough lift from the iPod so that it can save the companies other products.
By the way, that legendary game that Jordan played? His team lost that game in overtime. The big question now for Apple is will it win some of its larger, broader contests before Jobs flames out or retires. Stay tuned.
Ina Fried and John Borland. Apple Unveils Video iPod, iMac. News.com. Oct. 12, 2005.
Arik Hesseldahl. The New Guns in Apple’s Arsenal. BusinessWeek Online. Oct. 13, 2005.
Leander Kahney. Apple Gives Video the IPod Touch. Wired News. Oct. 12, 2005.
Matt Hines. Apple Beams in Video IPod. PCMag.com. Oct. 12, 2005.
Engadget. Live From the Steve Jobs Keynote — “One More Thing…”. Oct. 12, 2005.
David Lieberman and Laura Petrecca. Deal Has Some ABC Affiliates Feeling Uneasy. USA Today. Oct. 12, 2005.
Walter S. Mossberg. A Screen Test For the Video iPod. The Wall Street Journal Online. Oct. 19, 2005.
Reuters. Unions Seek Video iPod Residuals. News.com. Oct. 17, 2005.
Reuters. Wooing Hollywood To Be a Tough Act for Apple. News.com. Oct. 17, 2005.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.