A couple of years ago, as some of the more Apple obsessed among you may recall, Steve Jobs, when queried on the possibility of an iPod with video capabilities, was quite dismissive. And truth be known, I was more or less in full agreement. Video, to me, was not the use case that audio was simply b/c it required your full attention, and was therefore unsuitable for everyday scenarios such as commuting. Further, the few people that I observed on planes and otherwise with video capable devices from the likes of Archos seemed exquisitely uncomfortable after about 5 minutes of holding the player in a viewable position.
As everyone is probably aware by now, however, Jobs and Apple reversed course at some point since those comments (assuming, of course, that they were genuine to begin with), choosing some time ago to issue a new generation of video iPods. As some of you might be aware, I was the lucky recipient of one these devices at Christmas time, courtesy of my younger brother. At the time, I was more excited about tripling my storage capacity in less than a third the form factor than I was the video. The possibility of using the iPod as a portable TV had very limited appeal, all the more so since I watch maybe two shows at most (apart from my Tivo watchlists that record anything with ‘shark’ or ‘bear’ in it).
Well, after a month of fairly heavy usage, let me state for the record that I was wrong – dead wrong. It’s not so much that I’m using the video features round the clock – I’m not – but there are more use cases than I’d originally suspected. My heavy travel schedule, for example, has given me ample opportunity to explore the virtues of offline video – and I’ve frankly been shocked at how useful the thing has been in the gym. Not so much for weights and such, but you wouldn’t believe how quickly a half hour on the stationary bike goes by when you’re watching TV – and not the same crappy TV everyone’s watching, but the shows you like – with no commercials.
All of this of course begs the question, what am I watching? Well, while I get a lot of flak for it from friends and family, I’m totally addicted to the new Battlestar Gallactica. There, I admitted it. I was never into Star Trek or any of the other scifi-ish shows – unless you count the X-Files – but I’m completely hooked. I’m not alone – ThinGuy‘s a fan as well. In future, I’ll see about formatting and loading up some old Simpsons and Family Guy videos I have, but at present I’m content with what I’ve got.
Anyway, if you get the chance to acquire a video iPod, the anti-mobile guy (me) gives it two thumbs up.