Monday, October 31, 2005

# Posted 8:44 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

OXBLOG JOINS THE PODOSPHERE: I didn't just get an iPod. I got the brand-spanking new video iPod.

If I had been footing the bill myself, I might have lacked the courage to invest in this glorious bit of technological virtuousity. But thanks to my general incompetence as a retail shopper, I never cashed in the "good for one iPod" promise that my father made to me last Chanukah.

Until now. Why? Because one of the very few down sides associated with my new job is the almost hour-long commute. Since I really don't like reading in motion, I knew that the time had come to take the iPod plunge.

Yes, iPod a little too trendy, a little too been-there-done-that. But who gives a sh**? The only thing more conformist than buying something because it's trendy is refusing to buy something because its trendy.

The bottom line is that iPod has transformed the two lost hours of my every day into a chance to catch up on news and politics. But what I really should be talking about is iPod video, since everyone already knows what a plain vanilla iPod can do.

The screen may be just 2.5 inches wide, but the images are crystal clear and when you hold the iPod in your hand, 2.5 inches provides plenty of detail and clarity.

The real question is content. I have no interest in either music videos or network dramas -- although Apple has once again demonstrated its business savvy by focusing on entertainment content first. In just over two weeks, customers have downloaded over one million videos from the iTunes store.

But what I want is free content from the mainstream media of the kind that is so common for audio-only podcasts. The good news is that the WaPo has already stepped up to the plate. Click here to view five samples of what the Post has to offer.

The clear winner among the five samples is the two-minute clip of baby panda Tai Shan getting a check up at the zoo. With its help, I have elicited a chorus of oohs and aahs from my female colleagues at work. (The guys are impressed with the technology alone.)

I also recommend the WaPo vid-pod on the upcoming election in Azerbaijan.

In general, I am optimistic that ABC, NBC, CBS etc. will all step up to the plate and provide video content for the iPod. There is already so much free streaming video available on their websites that content itself isn't an issue. It's just a matter of presenting it in an iPod friendly format.

In conclusion, all I can say is "Thank you, Steve Jobs."
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