Fortune: With video iPod, iTunes 6, iMac G5 and Front Row, Apple ready for ‘a good holiday season’

“CEO Steve Jobs may have been skeptical about the appeal of such a device, but Apple has nevertheless done an impressive job of producing one,” Peter Lewis writes in his article “The Video iPod: It Rocks” for Fortune. “Not too long ago, Apple CEO Steve Jobs pooh-poohed the idea of a video iPod. Music and video are two different experiences, he noted. You can walk down the street or drive a car while listening to music, he said, but watching a video under the same circumstances could be dangerous, if not lethal. Besides, he said, who wants to watch a video on a dinky little screen? … And on Wednesday Jobs announced here that the first video iPods will ship from factories in Asia this week, and be in stores in time for the holidays. “We are so excited by this,” said Jobs, who has apparently had a change of heart about watching videos on a small screen. And that’s good news, because although Apple has many rivals in the iPod business, none of them I’ve seen have anything to match the new iPod video’s simplicity, capacity or price.”

“There are two new iPod models; one is a 30-gigabyte video iPod priced at $299, and the other a 60-gigabyte model that will go for $399. Both boast what Jobs calls a “giant, high-quality color screen.” Really the screen only has a diagonal of 2.5-inches—about the minimum size for watching music videos or TV shows comfortably—but who am I to quibble? They also have a video-output port for showing iPod content on larger screens like the PC or the TV,” Lewis writes.

In the full article, Lewis calls Apple “the most innovative hardware company around,” talks about the new iMac G5, and writes, “Apple’s new Front Row media-management software, which will be included in the new iMacs, appears to be significantly simpler and more elegant than Microsoft’s Windows Media Center PC software.” Lewis concludes, “It should be a good holiday season for the folks in Cupertino.”

Full article here.

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11 Comments

  1. I can put TV, Music Videos and selected movies along with music on my iPod now. Thanks Apple.

    Poor Aussies can’t even download music for their iPod yet. And people think the US record companies are scum?

  2. The thing I love about apple is that even though they may not be convinced that portable video is a winner in the same way music was and is, their products are so well designed and built, so stable in their function that they can just add in video and it’s seamless. It’s just another natural progression.

    The same goes with their OS. Take Spotlight, it’s good, very good, but it’s not great. However you know that as point releases come along or when Leaopard is released they will polish it, integrate it and so on. It’s all got such good foundations that they can build on it easily. Microsoft are more like a game of buckaroo or something, everything is balanced on top of everything else, it kind of works but push it too hard and it will collapse.

  3. To me, it makes sense to me that the addition of video will also add pressure to the recalcitrant music labels. The party they are choosing to be left out of is getting bigger. The new iPod is a repeat purchase opportunity for those of us who already have older ones; it’s another incentive for those who have resisted buying one or are new to the market. And for most, its primary use will still be music.

  4. With regards to Front Row running on other “consumer” Macintoshes, I wouldn’t expect to see anything until a Mac mini is running a processor that is capable of decoding a full-screen H.264 image in a sustainable manner.

    So, the reality will probably be that you’ll have to wait until Intel dual-core Pentium-D type processors start showing up in a Mac mini, but by that time I would also have expected Apple to have implemented a Blu-ray drive and HDMI output as well.

    Now, if Apple were truly smart, they’d announce a cut-down Power Macintosh G5 with a single processor – especially if they have a dual-core about to ship – and a single PCI slot with built-in AGP/DVI video, and then they’d be able to go after a much larger market.

  5. “I want Front Row now! I wonder how long before it is released for other Macs. It makes sense for the Mac Mini.”

    Uh.. specifically, the eMac is toast.. pure Education now.. so it won’t work and Pro Macs aren’t meant for the living room..

    SO it’s just the Mac mini and the iMac that will use Front Row..

    You know what would be cool? Mac mini Front Row extender.. have a built in iSight and Remote sensor in a skinny flat square that sits right on top of your Mac mini.. so you can put in near your TV…

    Anyway.. i repeat.. no PowerMacs in the living room..

  6. When I saw the Apple Remote up for sale right after hearing the “One More Thing” event news, I put one on order. But I’m glad I went back to find out that it’s not compatable with other Macs and canceled it.

    This is disapointing. Had it been made Bluetooth instead of IR, any Bluetooth-enabled Mac could have used it. But now only 2005 IR-enabled Macs (re: the new iMac) can use it.

    So now we have to wait for Keyspan or some other 3rd-party hardware manufacturer to put together a USB IR receiver to bridge the gap.

    I Want Front Row On My Mac Mini!

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