iPod Video

2005-10-12 15:50 ☼ post

Well, today after weeks of speculation we learned that the updated iPod now supports video playback capabilities, comes in black and is a little bit thinner as well. The talk has always been about fitting movies into your iPod, but now that it’s here it makes a ton of sense that Apple is initially selling individual television episodes and music videos at their store for $1.99. The videos for sale at the store are only 320×240 unfortunately, but the encoding is H.264 so I’m hopeful that the quality will still be acceptable when viewed on my laptop.

I’ve already run into a couple annoyances though while trying to buy and download one of the new videos. You need to install iTunes 6 and it wasn’t available under software updates yet so I had to download it directly. Not too big a deal, although it was annoying to have to restart OS X after the install. After the install and reboot I ran iTunes and it complained that Quicktimes 7.0.3 was required. Again, not available under software update yet so I had to download it directly and install. Upon completion the installer informed me that I needed to restart my computer yet again! Seriously irritated I let the computer reboot and left it to work on a couple other things.

When I finally got back to my computer I was eager to try one of the new videos so I quickly fired up iTunes and went to the video section. A black screen greeted me. I tried pushing a couple of the different category buttons with no visibile effect. Baffled and annoyed, I decided to go back to the store itself where I saw some nice banner ads for Lost and try from that angle. That almost worked, but unfortunately the store indicated that is was temporarily closed. Doh!

Update Okay, I finally managed to download the first episode of Lost and I have to say that for a 320x240 movie blown up to 1024x768 it looked a lot better than I expected. There were occasionally visible artifacts, but it was definitely totally watchable. The file itself was only a little over 200MB as well based on iTunes Get Info command (I have no idea where the file is actually stored).