Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Coming to a tiny screen near you...

In the past few days, if you believe the rumors, Apple and Hollywood movie studios are all oiled up and doing some boardroom greco-roman grappling over a plan to sell movies on iTunes. Businessweek has an excellent article summing up all the points. What? Oh, you want to know the points? Ok, yeah, here they are:

  • Apple wants to sell movies for $9.99, studios want to charge more for recent and hit movies
  • It's still questionable whether anyone is going to watch movies on their iPod
That's about it, everything else is tied into one of those issues. Here's my take on the whole thing. When you try to do something new, it's always a chicken and egg thing. In technology, you frequently have a situation where the chicken is the content and the egg is the device. You with me?

Apple is the master at making eggs. It's pretty much accepted that the iPod started the legitimate music download business. Digital music content had been there forever but nothing significant happened until the iPod hit the market.

Now let's look at movies. Digital movies are around, you can download movies all day long now, illegally and legally. This content is bad chicken, not the chicken we need. What the movie industry needs is for Apple to lay another golden egg. I imagine it to be something like this rumored device. However, I imagine it needs to be more.

May I present to you, Ken's ultimate Apple movie device:
  • Full iPod functionality
  • Video displayed on face of iPod (as shown)
  • iHub Accessory: "Connect to TV Hub" communicates via bluetooth to iPod and has wires out to TV
    • iPod library can then be streamed straight to TV via iHub
    • iPod has built in remote control features for play, pause, rewind etc.
    • When in this mode, the iPod device itself can provide additional content such as director's VO or showing pop-up bubbles.
Yes, this egg will do nicely.

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