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Steve Jobs’ three act play

This is a bit late and a little anticlimactic but I have been busy for the past few nights and haven’t been able to update my blog.

On October 13, I woke up at 3:30AM to get the latest news from Apple’s “One More Thing…” event. Do I sound obsessive? A fanatic? Not as a fanatic as some, like those who actually take pictures of their Apple’s boxes. Uhhh… Moving on.

Act I:
The curtain opens with the unveiling of the new iMac. It’s thinner, has more hard drive space, and Superdrive comes standard. Apple also has iSight built-in into the latest iMacs and includes the application Photo Booth to complement this latest add-on. Another new application from Apple is Front Row, which is something like a multimedia center for the Mac where photos, videos, movies, and songs can be accessed all in one place. The new iMacs come with an infrared remote control where you can access and control Front Row. Apple has made the needlessly complex into something simple. Oh, the Mighty Mouse is also included.

There are speculations that iSight will become standard in the new Powerbooks which are rumored to be released on October 19 unveiling ‘Apple’s latest pro innovations.’

The surprise of the lot is that after the slimming, the addition of more drive space, Superdrive, and iSight, and the two new apps, the new iMacs in 17″ and 20″ are priced the same.

Act II:
This is act opens with the iPod nano shipping about one million units in the five weeks since it was first introduced. Apple had taken 75% of the digital music player market. The iPod nano has proven to be really popular and the question now was, what wil happen to the original iPod? Will Apple nudged it into the closet and let it slide into obscurity? Not while Jobs is still around.

Steve Jobs called it a “bad user experience,” and Adam Curry recalls the look in Jobs’s face every time the topic was brought up. However, being the master storyteller that he is, Jobs is able to keep his audience at the edge of their seats and still manages to bowl them over. In Act II Adam Curry was dead wrong. Steve ate his words and gives the world the video iPod.

It has the same size at the previous generation of the iPod but is much thinner and sports a bigger screen. The bigger screen makes the iPod video or 5th generation iPod look much bigger. Battery life is supposed to have improved to 20 hours of continuous music playback or 3 hours of video playback.

The video iPod, just like the nano, can only sync songs thru USB 2.0. It would seem that Apple is slowing burying Firewire 400 into obscurity.

Act III:
The iPod isn’t complete without iTunes and iTunes Music Store. After about a month of releasing iTunes 5.0 (problems and all), Apple comes out with iTunes 6.0. What’s new? Playlist for the videos in your iTunes where you can browse through your collections. But wait, there’s video in iTunes? Yes, there is. You have video podcasts or vidcasts, and some artists have included music videos when you buy whole albums in iTMS.

But this three act play is about the parts making up the whole. What’s the use of a video iPod if you don’t have the content for it. The content is readily available in the new iTune Music Store. You can download short films from Pixar, choose from more than 2000 music videos, or download the top 2 shows in the US, Desperate Housewives and Lost. The music videos and TV shows cost $1.99 to download.

The iTMS also has a new feature called “Just for you” where you are given recommendations based on your past purchases. I was pleasantly surprised as I browsed through my Just For You page and saw some songs that I like but forgot the titles to.

And last but not the least is the ability to send a song or video as a gift, as this was a feature that lots of users have been asking Apple to include in iTMS.

My thoughts.
Someone mentioned in one of the forums that it’s going to be a very expensive Christmas and I have to agree. It will be a very expensive holiday season for some Apple afficionados. I just hope to be able to sell my shuffle and perhaps my mini in time to get the latest and the greatest. I probably won’t get the nano until they upgrade it to more than 6GB.

I’m going to get the video iPod in about a month from now. I just have to decide which color to get. Black is the new cool but some people probably have it right. The color will accentuate the scratches on the iPod when compared to the white iPod. But I probably will keep the 20,000 pesos device in a case anyway so I might go get black.

With the help of the iPod family and iTunes, I believe podcasting will become really big. for some strange reason though, I don’t see anybody saying anything about the new iMacs and what it can do to podcast’s cousin, vidcasts. The iMac will probably help make video podcasting is mainstream and the video iPod will drive the demand for it. Some podcasts already have made there own video intros for their podcasts and I am thinking that video podcasts will become either a weekly or monthly feature for some podcasts. Adam Curry, the podfather, might just be thinking along those lines. So after more than two decades, Adam Curry will be in front of the camera again instead of just being behind the mic.

The video iPod and iMac will drive the next generation in content. The first revolution was the emancipation from the networks that forces people to listen to music and content that the networks want and not what people would like to hear. I believe that video podcasts will be the next step. The next evolution in the revolution. Expect more content and more choices.

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