Dec 16 2005
When Apple announced the fifth-generation iPod with video playback features, I could do nothing but laugh about the concept of viewing television shows and music videos on its tiny screen. Why would I want to watch videos on my iPod? An iPod is for listening to music while you drive and read. You can’t watch videos while driving and reading. I was skeptical to say the least, but I was wrong.
Those Tiny Videos
Little did I know that I would use my new iPod to watch an entire season-and-a-half of Lost (Where was I when that show premiered?!). In my previously negative speculation about the usefulness of the iPod’s video playback features, I forgot to consider the possibility of connecting my iPod to my television screen. Even though my purchased episodes of Lost were optimized for the iPod’s tiny 2.5″ screen, they still displayed almost flawlessly on my television screen. The only visible quality loss from Apple’s H.264 codec occurred on non-essential elements, such as walls or distant trees. On the other hand, the video quality of the iPod itself is simply stunning. The screen is very bright and crisp with vivid colors. With the videos being optimized for its screen size, there is hardly any visible quality loss. And, what could be more convenient than using an iPod to watch your favorite television shows during your lunch break?
The Audio Quality
There really isn’t much to say here. As always, the iPod’s audio quality is great, but you will need a good set of headphones to truly enjoy it.
With thirty gigabytes of space, video playback capabilities, and a crisp 2.5″ color LCD display, the iPod’s $299 price tag is beginning to make some sense. And, for those of you with an extra $100 lying around, the sixty gigabyte model’s $399 price tag is even more logical.
This iPod feels a bit more flimsy than other models, but I am probably being deceived by its lighter and thinner construction. The screen will scratch easily, and the tiny sleeve that is included with the iPod doesn’t offer very much protection, so I recommend buying a case as soon as possible. I do not know if the iPod Video is capable of surviving a washing machine incident, but if you are willing to try, please let us know.
Farewell to Old Accessories
Apple’s decision to change the design of the iPod was not visually drastic, but it did alienate most of the current iPod accessories. Apple has removed the top-side power port, so the only way for an accessory to receive power now is through the dock connector. If you have any accessories powered by the top-side power port, they will need to be replaced.
Choose a Color
Apple has finally decided to offer the iPod in both white and black. From what I have observed, the white iPods show less scratch evidence than the black iPods. But, if you’re worried about scratches, buy a decent case to protect your iPod. I personally recommend the black iPod. Why? It’s all psychological, my friend. The darker color makes the screen appear to be larger and brighter than it actually is.
Pros: The ability to watch videos and television shows on the iPod’s screen is far more convenient than I would have ever considered. The iPods are now available in two colors (white and black). Finally, the iPods’ price tags are beginning to match their feature sets.
Cons: You will probably need to replace most of your previous iPod’s accessories.