Over at The Register, I’ve written about Apple’s video iPod announcements in Media Center killer, or shoulder-shrug?.
What explains the press corps’ exuberance for Apple in general and the iPod in particular? After all, the portable video player isn’t a new product category—Archos, RCA, Samsung, and iRiver got there months and months ago. The excitement can’t be due to the undersized screen, which measures only 2.5 inches diagonal, or the skimpy two hours of battery life when operated in video mode. As I paged through a Nexis dump of the V-iPod coverage, I searched in vain for a single headline proclaiming “Apple Introduces Ho-Hum Player” or an article comparing the V-iPod’s technical specs to those of competing brands. At least the techie readers of Engadget, free of the Apple mind-meld, recognize the V-iPod as a deliberately crippled by copy protection, low-res, underpowered video appliance that is merely Apple’s first try in the emerging market of video players.
An intriguing article from Slate (no longer owned by Microsoft, so don’t try that tack. Thanks to Andy for the pointer.). The video iPod really isn’t a great shakes, certainly compared to the PSP, and the DRM on the videos is horrendous. So why is the press so madly positive, in general?
(A footnote: I did forecast back in May, as did most of Planet Earth, that Apple would launch a music video store; here’s the Netimperative article.)
Update: Chuq Rospach (of Apple) has his own take. It’s full of Hints, Interesting Hints.
And here’s another person who agrees with me about the “Media Center iMac”: brilliantdays.com: [what’s wrong with] The iMac PVR or Media Centre
… Look at the picture of the iMac with the new Front Row software again. Four “buttons”: Music, Videos, DVD and Photos. What’s missing? TV. Why on earth isn’t there a TV tuner inside?? Unbelievable. If Apple want people to put their Macs in the living room they have to make the screen bigger and put a TV-tuner inside. I want to record my own TV-shows. I want to pause live TV. I want to use an EPG to program which programs I want to record.