If you are looking at choking your iPod with video, the first place you will want to start is Apple’s iTune’s Music Store. You can choose from a collection of Pixar shorts, five different ABC/Disney TV shows, and more than 2,000 music videos. You do need to be prepared that a short movie will be about 22Mb–30Mb and an episode of Lost will be around 150Mb. This means that you need to have a high-speed Internet connection such as RoadRunner cable.
After the excitement of buying and downloading video wears off (which it does very quickly with such a small selection of content), you will want to check out some of the other ways you can download legal video. The key word here is legal—do not be tempted by illegal scams. Unfortunately, if you fall prey to a scam, you are likely to be the one that is hurt.
Places you can buy video online for your iPod include CentralParkMedia.com, or CPM. CPM is for the diehard Manga and Anime fan. There is a lot of content and it is all developed to run on your iPod.
You can also get video content through video podcasts, which are typically MP3 audio files. The reality is that a podcast can be any type of file, including video. Currently there are more than 50 podcasts that are delivering video content. This type of content does range from the bland to banal. There are some interesting experiments such as Tiki Lounge (an adults-only podcast with saucy language and subject matter). This is a really new medium and I expect a lot of change to come with this group. Some experts at Forrester believe that the number of video iPods will grow to hundreds within the next 12 months. I know that I am going to do one—and no, that is not a scary thing.
A very new way to easily get content onto your iPod is through your TiVo set top box. A new test program that is being conducted with select customers right now is an enhancement to TiVo’s TiVoToGo program, in which you can download video content to a Windows Media portable device. The new TiVoToGo will allow you to download recorded shows to your Sony PSP or iPod with video. The details for this program are sketchy at the moment, although TiVo promises that we will have this service sometime in 2006.
There is no doubt that the number of channels in which you can buy content will only continue to grow. For Apple to remain competitive to the alternate solutions available, it will need to increase its library to include content from all the major television networks, including companies such as UK’s Channel 4 and BBC. Ironically, I think I can wait for movies to hit the small screen because DVDs really work for me. What I want is TV content so I can watch shows on my schedule where I want to.