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Jobs on video iPod

SeattlePi.com posts a lengthy quote from Steve Jobs’ conference call about the one year anniversary of the iTunes Music Store:

Responded Jobs: “You know one of the things that I say around Apple, I paraphrase Bill Clinton when he was running long ago, when he said, ‘It’s the economy stupid.’ I say, ‘It’s the music, stupid.’ We have to stay focused on the fact that people are buying these devices to listen to music. … People love listening to music as a background activity when they’re exercising, when they’re commuting and when they’re just hanging out. Music is a wonderful thing because A, it’s music, and B, because it can be listened to as a background activity. And a lot of these other things that people are talking about building in, such as video and things like that, are foreground activities. You can’t drive a car when you’re watching a movie. You know? It’s really hard. So we really are very focused on music because that’s what we think the revolution is here.”

While I think that Jobs is completely right about the iPod generally, I think he’s also missing something that will be obvious to anyone who (like me) has spent a significant amount of their tine commuting on trains: sometimes, mobile entertainment isn’t a background activity.And the key thing isn’t the idea of Portable Media Center being a video iPod, but instead how it can synchronize with Windows Media Center, and how well that works.
As Joe Wilcox has blogged before, Microsoft sees sycnronization as a key technology for the future. Whether it can match what Apple already has in its first release is unknown, and doubtful given the company’s past record.

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  • reboylin

    I think Jobs is right about the iPod. They will add a model with a color screen for photos, etc.; but the size factor means the iPod is not for video.

    Jobs is likely to be envisioning a different product entirely for video. Apple has been working on positioning themselves as the best Pro plaform for content creation as was evident at the NAB conference. They will be defining a new market when HD is viable. Their Pixlet technology is already waiting in the wings.

  • http://www.danshockley.com Krioni

    Hmmm. Portable entertainment on trains for people who don’t already have laptops or portable DVD players, game systems, or PDAs: big market just waiting to be tapped.

    The video-pod that has no way to get DVDs to play is a waste of time. Linking it to another product (Win Media Center) that hasn’t made serious impact doesn’t help much.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    I have an iBook that I used to carry with me every day on the train, yet I also used to carry an iPod, for two reasons: battery life and convenience (it means I can keep all my music on the desktop Mac).

    However, you’re missing the point a bit: the idea behind Portble Media Center is the synchronisation with Windows Media Center, so that (for example), you can record that episde of CSI that was on late, connect up your PMC to your Windows Media Center, and boom – it’s downloaded and ready to watch when you want. Either on its own doesn’t look that great, but as a pair, they’re pretty interesting.

  • http://www.alternapop.com alternapop

    >>big market just waiting to be tapped.

    yeah, people like carrying a half dozen devices with them. in time, i wouldn’t be surprised if the ipod had a color, touch sensitive screen.

  • http://macartisan.typepad.com Will Parker

    >> yeah, people like carrying a half dozen devices with them.

    >> in time, i wouldn’t be surprised if the ipod had a color,

    >> touch sensitive screen.

    Why, may I ask?

    In my experience — near two years of heavy, daily iPod use — the most common UI interaction with the iPod was a well-worn sequence of one or more button presses while the iPod was in my pocket and my eyes were closed. Mismatch between my mood and the music? A muscle memory kicks in and press-press-press, I’m on a new groove. No thought required.

    Put a color screen on the iPod and you invite the user to leave that emotional, non-verbal world — replace the buttons with a touchscreen and you damn well demand it.

    What are we — Linux users?!

    On a larger note, an iPod equipped with a color touchscreen — and no other functionality — wouldn’t be an iPod anymore: it would be a very marginal PDA.

    Trust me. you won’t find Uncle Steve playing around in the shallow end.

    There may well be an Apple PDA in the future, but if there is, it’ll resemble the OQO “Ultra Personal” (http://www.oqo.com/hardware/photos/photo01.html) a good deal more than it does a PocketPC.

  • http://technovia.typepad.com Ian Betteridge

    The OQO is very sweet.

    (Will, I’ve taken the liberty of editing your post a little to unmangle that URL, as it had got the close bracket appended to it and so was 404’ing – hope you don’t mind!)

  • http://popculture.shaunline.com/archives/2005/03/forecasting-portable-media-center.php Pop Culture Digest

    Forecasting the Portable Media Center

    I was headed out yesterday for a family Easter dinner and unfortunately had to leave right as the Michigan State/Kentucky game was headed to the second overtime. What to do?…