Industry News

Video Killed the Audio Star

Josh Jobs

So… apparently after the iPod Nano debut on September 7th, Apple has “One more thing…” to unveil next week.

Rumor is, it’s going to be a video iPod.

Well, it may be. Or is may not be. Who cares? I’m not here to speculate about the rumors. Oh, no..

I’m here to talk about what I would be unveiling on October 12th if I were Steve Jobs.

What IS this thing?

I’d be releasing a VIDEO Airport Express!

I’d call it “vTunes” (Honestly? I’d probably call it “JoshTunes”) and it’d let you wirelessly stream HD-quality video from your mac/pc/desktop/laptop via magic (or something faster) to your TV! (FYI, the current Airport Express is a doo-hickey that lets you stream music from iTunes on your computer to your home stereo(s) over 802.11G)

What DO they dream about anyway?

But this is probably all just a crazy coked-up pipe dream of mine.

OR IS IT????!!!!!!????!?!?!!!!!

Apple already claims their new H.264 video codec can do FULL 1920×1080 24p HDTV in just 7-8Mbps!

Fines doubled in work zones!

And as we all know, their Airport Express already handles speeds up to 54Mbs!

(Of course, that’s just the theoretical maximum. Just like the theoretical maximum height for a human is 8′ 11.1″. But we can’t ALL be Robert Wadlow, can we? Similarly, I’ve found it’s usually a good idea to take the theoretical maximum and divide by EIGHT to get a rough idea of the real speeds you’ll experience. Fortunately, that puts us really close to their 7-8Mbps range!)

We also know that iTunes has been able to play video since version 4.8.

Add it all up, and I’d say there’ s about a 98.6% chance that “vTunes” will be announced before or during January 2006. (Maybe as soon as next week!)

Personally, I think they’d sell like hotcakes, be the biggest thing since sliced bread, and have their cake and eat it too! Unlike on an iPod, people seem to already like watching video on their televisions. People also seem to already like the convenience and flexibility digital media offers. And people already seem to think Apple is the gall’s balls.

Here’s how it’ll work:

1. People download movies/tv shows/music video/flash animations/porn from the vTunes Video Store. Alternately, they rip full DVDs to their computer using vTunes (or maybe some other software like DVD Shrink).

2. They watch any video on their hard drive or directly off the Internet(!!) at any time on their 102″ plasma without going to BlockBuster, opening their mailbox, or even standing up!

They won’t have to worry about their DVDs getting scratched, or lost, or disorganized, and they can do things like suck movie info right off IMDB for their whole collection and sort by things like best movie or shortest running time or most Josh Hartnetts.

And it’ll work. And it’ll be awesome. And I know it for sure.

Because I’ve already got one!

The 360 better be hackable too!

You see, I’ve got a modded Xbox hooked up to my TV, and as of September 12th Xbox Media Center finally has full native DVD menu support! Which means I can rip my DVDs to my home computer and then play them wirelessly over the network on my TV via XBMC on my Xbox.

Further still, XBMC connects to IMDB via the Xbox’s ethernet port and lets you do exactly the sort of things I was “imagining” above! XBMC even has python script plugins which let you do things like watch the videos at ebaumsworld or listen to podcasts directly on your Xbox. Just like that!

It’s a weird feeling, effectively creating “Internet channels” on your TV.

But it’s a weird feeling that feels good.

Richard Pryor beats Nick Cannon.. he's HILARIOUS!

Just last night I watched Superman III via windows file sharing from a full-sized DVD rip (no shnazzy H.264 codecs or nuttin’) on my laptop via 802.11G. And it really worked.

Superman III is funny because Richard Pryor is a bum who reads a little matchbook that says “Become a Computer Programmer” and so he does it and he’s really good at it and he falls into working for a bad guy who’s just like every other boss a programmer has ever had asking him to do all these miracle technology things with a computer that he has no idea how to do himself… except his requests are like “Write a program to send all the oil tankers in the world to the middle of the Atlantic” and “Destroy Columbia.”

That may have been a funny way to end this post.

But I’m serious about the vTunes stuff.

And I’m right about it! You’ll see. All of you…

About the author

Josh Jones