Mobile Video

Here are a few more links for one of my current writing projects thanks to the prolific bloggers at Lost Remote. First, they mention that network and studio executives are upset by TiVo’s decision to allow subscribers to download TV shows from their TiVos to their PCs and from there to portable devices such as the new iPods. It’s not hard to guess that the reason the networks are upset is that they are cooking up plans to sell their content on demand (see also PaidContent). Cory at Lost Remote also mentions the new company TVMyPod,whihc will sell you a new video iPod preloaded with your choice of DVDs (again, also see PaidContent).

Since the primary use for iPod video has been television, mobile cinema didn’t feel like the right term to describe this emergent phenomeon. Still sorting through ideas here, but I didn’t want to lose the links. Just out of curiosity, have any of my readers experimented with the new iPod video. If so, I’d enjoy hearing about it (what you watched, where you watched it, etc).

Update: Here’s another take on the new screen culture, “Couch Potatoes Arise,” from The Age. And from the Northwetsern University student newspaper, the university’s School of Communication is offering podcasts and videocasts that among other things, will be used to give prospective students a sense of what life is like at the University.

Update 2: Here’s an interesting article on the quickly booming market of iPod pornography. As with most new media technologies, debates revolve around children gaining increasing access to pornographic material, but the more interesting question in this short article is the degree to which the video iPod seems to complicate sites of public and private viewing. Here’s a similar article reprinted from the Washington Post.

I’ve also been planning to link to this article, originally in the LA Times, on the decline and apparently imminent fall of the studio system (Malcolm Gladwell’s term, “tipping point,” is even being thrown around, so I think it’s pretty serious).

Update 3: Here’s another Washington Post article (originally from PC World). I’ve been trying to find promotional photopgraphs of the video iPod, or more specifically, someone watching the video iPod, and this is one of the few that I’ve seen so far. Not a big deal, but something I’m vaguely curious about.

Even better, here’s a typically snobbish op-ed from George Will on iPods.


  1. David Hudson Said,

    November 22, 2005 @ 3:19 pm

    Chuck, it’s interesting to me that you ask if anyone’s actually watched anything on a video iPod. Myself, I’d like a video iPod, sure, but not for the purposes of watching anything on it. Instead, I’m excited by the prospect of sheer portability. It’s one step – a vital one! – away from having to deal with hard copies of movies. That’s where we’re heading, and suddenly, we’re heading there very fast. Two more news items, just today:

    1. A prediction, re: the Xbox 360.

    2. A possible deal between BitTorrent and the MPAA.

    Same goes with the plain vanilla iPod. I’ve actually got one of those, and yes, I plug in the headphones and listen to music or podcasts, but I also use it to get a song from my computer to the family or a friend’s stereo.

    This will go double for video, I think, because watching video on the tiny screen will be not even half as pleasurable, but getting movies to the screens you want to watch them on will be several times easier than it is now.

  2. Chuck Said,

    November 22, 2005 @ 3:32 pm

    David, the point about portability is an important one. I’d imagine that watching a film on an iPod would be relatively unsatisfying. Beyond the screen size, I’m guessing that there are limitations on what one can watch on that hypothetical bus or subway ride to work, both in terms of content and time constraints….

  3. Scrivener Said,

    November 22, 2005 @ 4:03 pm

    What sounds cool about such a thing is that I could use it for class. We’ve got TiVo, and this semester in my classes we’ve discussed environmental issues and the representation of the environment. I’ve recorded a couple of things that I’d’ve liked to bring into class, including the most recent Duracell battery ad where a group of “natives” use Duracell batteries in their GPS devices to save the rainforest. But I had no way to bring the ad to class since we don’t have a VCR or a DVD burner.

    OTOH, I think I’ve already complained in the past in your comment boxes about the spread of televisions into all kinds of public venues, and if lots of people start carrying around little iPod televisions with them everywhere, the situation will further deteriorate. I guess I’m a curmudgeon on this issue, but I wish people would acually, you know, talk to each other, instead of connecting only to little portable electronic devices.

  4. Chuck Said,

    November 22, 2005 @ 4:13 pm

    Scrivener, I actually agree with you to a great extent about the ubiquity of TVs in public places. For some reason, I was being somewhat contrarian (and maybe a little self-critical) that week.

    But your Duracel example is one very pragmatic version of how iPod video could be used (and of course an ad could be downloaded very quickly). In fact, this could be a way to make it easier to show short clips of films in class, which is fairly clunky on DVD in my experience.

    BTW, I haven’t seen it, but the Duracel spot you mention sounds really, um, weird….

  5. Scrivener Said,

    November 22, 2005 @ 11:10 pm

    Oh, I pretty much understood that you and I weren’t really in disagreement on the basics. I do feel a little conflicted when I complain about that stuff–not so much about whether I’m right about the TVs being negative, but about taking that position of tsk-ing my finger at the mainstream culture in that way jsut seems pointless.

    The Duracell ad is really weird. We had just read an essay on “saving the rainforest” and the way the rainforest and native peoples are portrayed in the media, and then read an essay analyzing ads for Sea World when I saw the ad. I’ve only seen it once all the way through, actually. But the gist of things is that Duracell can be trusted to power the GPS devices that scientists rely on to study and protect the rainforest. But the visual of the ad is of very native-lloking people (painted faces, no shirts, etc.) holding the devices and walking around in some jungle.

  6. Chuck Said,

    November 23, 2005 @ 12:48 pm

    Okay, I’ve seen other commercials in that series, if not that particular one. Good to know that the kind folks at Duracell are out there saving the rain forest….

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