Ars Technica reviews Apple’s new video-capable iPod

“The introduction of this video iPod resulted in a few changes in Apple’s offerings as well. Out is the iPod photo and the U2 iPod (which was really just a black and red iPod photo). Apple has effectively reigned in their product lineup right before Christmas, possibly hoping to entice customers with a simple, easy to understand selection with clearly defined price point and feature delineation,” Clint Ecker writes for Ars Technica. “Now we’re looking at the low-end Shuffle for true minimalists, the iPod nano for low storage but some of the premium features (photos, color LCD) and the iPod (large storage space, photos, videos).”

From the box in which it ships, “iPod no longer comes in the traditional ‘cube’ packaging, instead coming in a box similar to that of the nano” right on through to the iPod dissection, this is a typically in-detpth Ars review.

Ecker concludes, “Based on everything I’ve experienced with this new iPod over the past day I’ve have to give the device a solid 8 of 10.”

Pros:
• Amazing form factor (thinner, lighter)
• Plays videos wonderfully
• New features (screen lock, world clock, timer)
• New bezel material
• Bigger LCD
• Can record 44.1kHz encoded stereo audio.

Cons:
• Lack of traditionally included accessories (dock,remote,wall charger,AV cables)
• Low video output resolution for the videophiles
• Is incompatible with some older accessories
• No Firewire support
• Included case has no belt clip, looks like a bad summer camp project.

The full review is highly recommended with photos and detailed info here.

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Related articles:
NY Times Pogue: ‘watching video on new iPod’s 2.5-inch screen is completely immersive’ – October 19, 2005
MSNBC columnist: after initial coolness wears off, Apple’s video iPod will wind up in dresser drawer
Apple’s $1.99 iTunes TV show downloads may be ‘the savior of good television’ – October 17, 2005
Apple opens Pandora’s box for the media business, could have profound long-term consequences – October 17, 2005
BofA analyst: Apple video play an ‘evolutionary opportunity,’ 9.3m iPods to be sold this quarter – October 17, 2005
Apple has the potential to change not just the audio industry, but the whole entertainment industry – October 17, 2005
Advertisers welcome Apple’s iTunes Store commerical-free content – October 17, 2005
New York Times writer can’t think different: ‘video iPod may not be ready for prime time’ – October 17, 2005
Podfather: iPod porn is going to be huge – October 14, 2005
Forrester Research: Apple transformed music distribution, now it is doing the same for video – October 14, 2005
Watching episode of ABC’s ‘Lost’ on 2.5-inch iPod screen surprisingly compelling – October 13, 2005
Get ready for the iPod video torrent search sites – October 13, 2005
Apple’s new iMac G5, iTunes 6, iPod video designed to bait Hollywood – October 13, 2005
Apple video iPod+iTunes could create mass audience for video on the go, despite studios’ misgivings – October 13, 2005
Using QuickTime Pro to create videos for playback in new Apple iPods – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Apple has just produced ‘the tipping point’ for entertainment content – October 13, 2005
Apple’s video play likely to unsettle movie, TV, advertising and retail markets for years to come – October 12, 2005
Apple unveils new 5th generation iPod, now plays music, photos, and video – October 12, 2005

29 Comments

  1. well I can say this..I love my 5G iPod..I’ve encoded two of my DVD’s — I have two full length feature movies and I’ve also, encoded ‘behind the scenes’ , videos that I probably wouldn’t see at home..but on some down time I’d gladly watch on my iPod with video….oh by the way…
    if you are interested in somethign that is simple DVD to iPod..(mac’s only) …try ‘Handbrake’…

    remember to change the data rate to 400
    also change the screen size to 320×180
    audio rate 44.1khz
    using mp4…good luck and have fun!

    (gosh now I gotta sell my PSP)

    – will

  2. MY iPod came with a remote, power adapter, firewire AND usb cables, a case, a flux capacitor, muffler bearings, two tickets to EuroDisney, a roll of Sacagawea dollars, four Cuban cigars, an autograph of Lew Alcindor, a gift certificate for the Bacon of the Month Club, and an envelope filled with Jonathan Ive’s fingenail clippings…

  3. on the no firewire issue: why on earth is it so technically difficult to just make a Firewire <—>USB 2.0 converter cable?

    Griffin? Bueller? Anyone?

    If the size reductions are really due to the space required for a Firewire chip then it seems like a no-brainer for Apple to drop it.

    Also, leave supertim alone. He has unintentionally contributed much hilarious comedy here today. He’s welcome to post anytime he thinks he knows something.

    My 3G 20 GB iPod came with a can of condensed milk, 3 subway tokens, and a brief biography of Leonard Nemoy.

  4. supertim:

    This reviewer is an idiot. the ipod never came with a remote or a wall charger, and it hasn’t come with a dock for years. it is a let down that it doesn’t come with a wall charger though.

    My 3G 30 GB included a wall charger, remote, and a dock. Watch those nevers.

  5. mike k.

    No one can make a firewire/USB converter becuase they operate on different protocols.

    With USB, the computer is the master, and the peripheral is the slave.

    With Firewire, the two devices are peers.
    You can’t have one device set up to be master or slave if the other is a peer

    My iPod came with the goose that lays golden eggs and some strange little beans

  6. Luke unfortunately that makes sense. I wonder if this logic rules out a Firewire powered hub with USB ports on it. I suspect it does.

    I have a 15″ Powerbook with USB 2 but my home iLamp is regrettably USB 1.1 only. Oh well … the good news is that i just checked the box which my iPod came in and i found that in addition to a dock, remote, 2 cases and a firewire cable, it also came with a home breast exam kit, a swingline stapler and a Miracle on Ice commemorative stamp … and some Ovaltine.

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