Video IPod - Review
So I posted right before christmas about the aquisition of my new Video IPod. Since, I got it, I have been gathering content and working to fill it up with as much as I can.
As a result I have started to build a little IPod wishlist as well as a list of goods and bads about the IPod/Itunes as it stands now.
I am actually really impressed with the video on the new IPod. If you have a good quality video it will look awesome on the little screen. I have always had my IPod linked up through my television at home. I have a 27 inch Sony Vega and the video also looks awesome on it. Certainly at least TV quality in most cases depending on the quality of the video.
Total thumbs up for the video.
2/ Migrating Content....
Unfotunately this is the snag. Moving your own video content to the new IPod is a royal pain. The Ipod only takes mpg4 h.264 at 320x140. ITunes will not allow you to copy the video to the IPod if it is not that format.
Itunes will not do conversion for you either. That feels awkward, compared to how ITunes usually works with content, doing everything in the background for you.
Instead, you either use your favourite video encoder with the above settings, or Quicktime Pro has a built-in IPod export option. I had a tonne of old music videos, clips of my old band playing shows, and just other weird stuff. I proceeded to begin encoding it all, and got really annoyed at how long it takes to do the encoding. It is really slow.
Now even though Quicktime DRM is something that we must live with, it frustrates me when it comes to the IPod. I downloaded a few videos awhile ago that the band(or label) was certainly offering up for free download off their sites. For example, there are quite a few bands on RoadRunner that I really like. They offer a variety of video sizes for each band's video, and it even asks you to right-click to download it.
So I do, and once it is downloaded, QuickTime Pro grey's out the export option, so I am unable to put the video on my IPod even though they are giving it away for free. Argggh!
Migrating Content sucks.....
Video Podcasts are awesome. While there are so few right now, I can certainly see this taking off bigtime. The cool thing about Video Podcasts is that while there are tonnes of news and technology podcasts in video, there are also other types of content that are really cool. There are neat little amateur TV shows like TikiBar. It is a series of short episodes about a doctor that owns a little bar where regardless of the plot, they end up making a drink at some point. They teach you how to make it or whatever.
There are also cartoon series like FlashTV. It seems to be Flash Animations, published as mpg4, in which many Flash Animators contribute to. Very cool idea.
On the same tip is a little Video Podcast called Happy Tree Friends. It is an itchy and scratchy style series of shorts.
They just have to convince the Homestar Runner creators to join the pack.
Anyways, as time goes, I really think some great content will exist in the format of Video Podcasts.
There is one thing that really frustrates me when it comes to ITunes and the IPod. It is actually directly in relation to Podcasts:
My IPod is synched to main computer at home, for Podcasts. At work though, I also may want to download an episode here or there to put on my IPod.
If I try to download at work without the Podcast synched to the IPod, if I copy the episode manually onto the IPod, the files goes on, but is not listed as a member of the actual podcast, just as a standalone file.
If I do temporarily synch a podcast at work, it wipes out all my podcasts synched from the home machine.
The annoyance is that the Podcast listings on the IPod will not work unless a synchronization is applied from ITunes. This makes it really annoying when you are an IPod organization stckler like me.
The IPod does not see ITunes folders.... Again, being an organizational stickler, this really annoys me. It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult of a feature to add to the IPod software.
6/ Music Videos
One extra note about music videos. When you are encoding your own music videos, and applying all of the meta data there is a setting that you have to set to make it behave like a regular song. When you first start putting these videos on, you will notice that they do not show up in your regular music listings, and they do not appear in the "music videos" section under "videos".
To make this work, select the video in Itunes, then "Get Info" on it. In the tab labeled "Options", there is a combo box labeled "Video Kind". Setting this to "Music Video" will make it behave properly.
Anyways, overall I am really happy with the IPod. It is so cool once you get the content on there. My only qualm is that it seems that Apple hasn't made it easy for people to get their own content on there, and that to me is a crucial factor that needs to be addressed.