Apple’s new iMac G5, iTunes 6, iPod video designed to bait Hollywood

“PC makers… have seen limited demand for computers running Microsoft’s Media Center PC software, which represents one of the most overt stabs at trying to find space in the living room,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com. “Until Apple’s announcement Wednesday, it had few living room offerings, including nothing comparable to a Media Center PC, and it was decidedly absent from the race to deliver digital video to couch spuds.”

Wolverton reports, “Apple is getting into that race now. The company revamped its all-in-one iMac desktop computers, which will now include a remote control to let users easily listen to, watch or switch between music, digital videos and DVDs. Added to that, the company is now selling music videos and movies through its iTunes music store. ‘Do I put [the new iMac] in my living room? No, there’s no TV tuner. Do I put this in my home office? No, because it doesn’t quite fit there either,’ says Shim. ‘It seems Apple may have jumped the gun with this device.'”

Wolverton reports, “But these offerings could be even more significant for what it represents outside of Apple. Hollywood has been reluctant to distribute its movies digitally for fear of piracy. And the paucity of video offerings has hobbled the existing online movie market. Apple’s effort is a ‘proof of concept,’ says Roger Kay, an industry analyst with Endpoint Technologies. The company is trying to convince Hollywood that there’s a market for online video distribution that will address the industry’s security concerns, while trying to convince consumers that there’s enough video out there — and accessible enough — to be worth their while.”

Wolverton reports, “The low resolution of the iTunes videos and the limited number of shows available so far are part of an effort to address concerns on both sides, Kay says. ‘Right now, it’s a compromise,’ he says. That compromise might be acceptable to some people, but Apple has plenty of competitors who could offer something better. Who needs to pay $2 for a 10-minute download of a low resolution version of Lost when you can just key up your DVR (or even a humble VCR) to record it for free at a higher resolution? And why buy a low-resolution episode of Desperate Housewives from last season when you can get the whole series plus extras in full resolution on DVD?”

Full article here.

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42 Comments

  1. These naysayers that write this stuff are sooooo dense. They clearly haven’t done more than a cursory examination of the full blown publishing aspects of the iTMS. Oh well .. it’s gonna bite ’em hard when they finally get the picture. I almost feel sorry for ’em. Almost.

  2. Wolverton is on a mission to discount the products and idea of yesterday’s announcement. The point is that these are “baby steps” as Steve pointed out and not get hung about every tiny detail right now. When the Intel powered, OS X set top box comes out we shall see Mr. Wolverton eating his words. There are plenty of media reports that reviewed what was presented, and the overall reaction seems to be “compelling”. This is not the end all. The iPod is a music player that can also play video. Miss a TV show? Watch it on your iPod, Powerbook, or iBook on your next trip. Wait till HBO comes on board. Tony Soprano on your iPod!

  3. why?
    ” when you can just key up your DVR”

    If you missed the episode you can’t record it…. you’d have to wait till it is screened again Duh!

    “why buy a low-resolution episode of Desperate Housewives from last season when you can get the whole series”

    Maybe I don’t want the whole boring season… just one and the crap that goes with DVDs never gets watched anyways for the most part… This is a virtual library the real competion are the video stores and online DVD rental places…

    stupid analyst couldn’t think his way out of a paper dog doodie bag

  4. Who needs Blu-Ray? With Apple’s new revolutionary QVGA (brilliant 320×240 resolution and in stunning 8-bit color…) video downloads, you can fit 3 hours of video on a 3.5″ floppy disk!! Hooray!!

  5. “Do I put this in my home office? No, because it doesn’t quite fit there either”

    Why not? What did Apple do to make the iMac less suitable for the home office? Even if I don’t use Front Row, it’s still a great product.

  6. While I agree with Jobs that people generally want to own, not rent, music, I feel it is just the opposite with TV shows. True, if you’re a fan of a particular show, you may want to own every episode. Personally, if there is an episode of a show that I like, but missed for whatever reason, I would probably want to just see that episode. Period. I’d like to see iTunes offer to RENT the episode at a smaller fee. I wouldn’t want it taking up space in my hard drive, especially if I thought that episode was a real dog. Sure, if I thought that episode was REALLY good, I’d buy it and, yes, I’d end up paying a little more for it than if I had bought it in the first place. But, I’d rather do that and have the option of seeing it first. Then I can decide if I want to keep it or not.

  7. Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but if they sell ANY videos, they make a profit– since the content is made for initial broadcast already. I think that as this is started, they are seeing whether there is reason to ramp things up. Because the content is there, ramping up can happen very quickly.

  8. It’s amazing how much this jughead thinks he knows about the state of affairs and what Apple and Disney are trying do and will do next. He must turn into a fly and stick to walls.

    An excerpt: “Do I put this in my home office? No, because it doesn’t quite fit there either,’ says Shim. ‘It seems Apple may have jumped the gun with this device.”

    Ahh, why not in a home office, you squid?

    Rock on Steve!
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  9. Why do iTunes video downloads have to replace DVDs, VCR/DVR drives. It won’t, it’s ANOTHER alternative, folks, that’ll have its own segment of the market! E.g. those who don’t want to purchase a whole season of a TV series, but missed a few episodes and want to catch up? Or those commuting on the subway/train to work? Or those who only want to see a season/series premier/finale? Or those who missed the show last night, but want to watch it before the following night when he/she gets together with all his/her friends and gabs about the show.

    There’ll always be other segments who’d prefer to have a physical product to put on their shelves – like the whole series of Friends, for example – or a better quality version to watch on their 83 inch HDTV. But for others, a simple $1.99 download is just the ticket.

    Where are all the competent journalists, those who don’t say “yay” or “nay” but actually critique the concept??

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