Thinking Different ... again

The world has changed.

Yesterday, Apple held a special event in which it announced the new Apple iPod. No, not the nano, that cute little music player that slips into the smallest pocket … this is the big one. The Apple iPod TV.

Now, and an iPod roughly the size of my iPod Photo, users can play music, display photos, listen to podcasts and now, finally, watch video. And we’re not talking .mov files of movie trailers; we’re talking about whole television shows and (presumably) movies.

And Apple was well-prepared for this innovation, retooling a portion of the iTunes music store to sell video files of popular television shows like “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “NightStalker,” “The Suite Life,” and “That’s So Raven.” Each episode can be downloaded for $1.99, or season packages can be purchased for a discount.

Apple often claims to be on the verge of changing the world, but this is the first time since the introduction of the original iPod that I’ve felt its claims have been justified. Portable broadcast television. Portable DVR recording and playback capability (for the savvy among us, anyway). Truly one is closer to living in an interconnected media world than ever before.

And it didn’t hurt that they announced the whole project with an exclusive U2 music video segment.

Of course, I’m looking at this device for its potential. I care less about transferring all my DVDs or downloading broadcast content to my iPod than I care about the potential for video podcasting. Truly original video content distributed through electronic content services? THAT’s a change our media world has needed for some time.

Allowing cheap distribution technology to the masses gives us one more tool to ensure that more content is produced outside of the executive suites because of the large amount of capital investment needed to launch a new television program or movie. The potential gains for the documentary film industry alone are enough to create excitement.

Thinking locally, I can’t wait for our broadcast journalism students to be able to serve up their news programs through a digital network where individuals in any part of the world can download them automatically every morning for playback on their computer or portable video player.

Oh, yeah. Apple also introduced its new streamlined G5, a digital media center with increased power in a tight streamlined package. But that’s just a new computer …


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M. Joseph said...

Yess Siirrr Things are a-changing, but from what I’ve been hearing the real news isn't the nano, or the new ipod. There is a nation-wide employee meeting for all apple stores, and I don't think its for the new ipod, so what is the cause of this quickening of apple employees? Ohh I wait as a little bit of drool drops from my lips. ~MJ

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Ben Wells said...

Just to let you know - the meeting may be due to the new Apple Cellphone that is set to release pending FCC license, etc.

That is a BIG deal for Apple.