The next big thing?  Apple’s iTunes 4.9 supports Video Podcasts (with example)

Video Podcasts are available via Apple’s iTunes Music Store. Is this the next big thing for iTunes? It is supported in iTunes 4.9.

Video podcasts load in iTunes just like an audio-only podcast and play videos full screen, in the album artwork (main screen) window, or a separate window (see below for how to change your preferences in iTunes 4.9). Video podcasts distribute content via QuickTime streaming video.

Click the link below for the “macTV videocast” to try it out in Apple iTunes 4.9! In iTunes, just choose an episode (#5 is a good one for a test) and click “Get Episode.” Once it downloads, click the play button and it’ll play video and audio in your iTunes “artwork” window. If you wish, you can click on the video itself to bring up a free-floating video window. Also, in iTunes 4.9’s Preferences’ “Advanced” section, you can choose to “Play videos” in various ways: “in the main window,” “in a separate window,” or “full screen.”

Note: make sure you “Show Artwork” in iTunes. In iTunes’ Edit menu: Show Artwork (⌘+G).

macTV videocast:

MacDailyNews Take: It’s hard to image Apple not giving the iPod a way to play back these Video Podcasts, isn’t it? Not so much for watching on the small iPod screen (although that would be useful in some situations), but more for connecting iPods to larger monitors for playback. Apple seems to be laying down pieces of wood here, steel rails there, and driving spikes everywhere in preparation for hurtling a serious locomotive through the media content market of the future.

[Update: 1:32pm EDT, Added “Show Artwork” note.]

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