What use would video on the move have in your life?
Apple's new video iPod will allow TV on the move
The video iPod was launched in Britain last night, with 6.35cm screen, available in black or white.
The video iPod will be offered in 30 GB and 60 GB versions, allowing up to 75 and 150 hours of content to be stored, respectively.
Content to be had through the iTunes store will include 2,000 music videos, and day-after-broadcast episodes of ABC television programmes.
Will you buy one?
What content is best made available?
What would be on your video playlist?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
Thank god for the British sense of humour. I've had more fun reading all the comments on this webpage than I think I ever would watching a movie on a 6.35cm screen.
Chris Swallow, Singapore
Apple have missed the boat completely, the PSP walks all over it being cheaper, better, bigger screen, plays music as well and games obviously. Nice try but It'll fall flat I predict.
Pete, Macclesfield, UK
Apple should be questioned on their pricing. Its about time the BBC did some investigations instead of pandering to Apple. US Price for 30GB is US$299 which equates to £171. The UK price (excl VAT) is £186.38 in Portugal its $257.85 or £175. Prices vary across Europe, probably depending on how much Apple can get away with.
Edward, Hungerford, UK
Thank god for the British sense of humour. I've had more fun reading all the comments on this webpage than I think I ever would watching a movie on a 6.35cm screen.
Chris Swallow, Singapore
I've already ordered mine! It's still primarily a music player but the addition of video is brilliant. Not only for being able to watch on the move but for the video out option which enables users to attach the iPod to their TV. Now I can carry around my own movies wherever I go and connected them to TV at will. No more need to cart around DVDs to friends houses. Also great for showing off holiday videos and so on!
I feel cheated by Apple. Just a few weeks ago they brought out the Nano which I instantly bought. Now they're saying they've introduced video, a feature I'd love to have. My question is what was wrong with introducing the Nano and this new iPod at the same time? Or even, why not release software for the Nano that lets it too play video back?
Neil Christie, Burntisland, Fife
Why would I need one? I've owned a 20G iRiver Media player with 10cm display for the last three years! It's so passť!
The Apple podcasting service has been a godsend. I listen to all my favourite radio current affairs, documentaries and archive material. Similar TV material (Plus Soaps) will create an explosive demand for yet another beautiful Apple device.
Keith Watson, Saudi Arabia
As a musician and music lover this is great - now I can finally look forward to having a comprehensive music video library.
Arty, Auckland, NZ
I have an iPod and I've always thought it would be nice to have video. But when it comes down to it - I wouldn't use it. The screen is too small and I like my iPod for the music. I remember when I got my Palm and I found it could play video clips. I think I used it once and I haven't touched that feature since. It's just a fad.
Daniel, Wimbledon, London
It's all marketing. Devices like this already exist (Archos), but Apple is the master marketer. Good for them. I'll take one!
Craig Karp, Texas
The key pull for me would be watching recorded TV footage, episodes of Frasier, Shamless, Early Doors, stuff that you don't go out and get on DVDs like you do films. This is the sort of stuff that you can 'catch-up' on, on the tube, on breaks...this I like the idea of. But can you do that? If the answers yes, I'm penning my letter to Santa now.
Not a chance - there are (as with earlier iPods) better PMPs available already. These also have a much better battery life than the iPods (2-3 hours of video). I wonder why this hasn't been mentioned in any of the reports I've seen about it.
Doug Holmes, Nottingham, UK
This is old technology... I've been using my Ipaq 5550 to watch movies and television for the last two years or more. You can legally buy the software (even offered on HP's own site) to "rip" DVD's - the compressed movies can be transferred to a CF card for viewing on the generous Ipaq screen. 1GB, about 2.5 movies in HQ mode, and the results are fantastic. You can buy 4GB CF cards and the price is dropping everyday. TV progs can easily be recorded on my laptop's hard drive and then ripped and compressed in the same way. This is old technology!
Chris, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Of course not. Moving pictures were gee whizz a hundred years ago, and I found them interesting as a child, but TV (especially) and films to a lesser extent are just dross; all form and no content. And as for staring into space while travelling; try reading a book, much more interesting than any visual medium.
John Knight, Sheffield UK
I don't need any iPod. Why waste money on something so restrictive and no better in quality than many less famous brands?
Sasha, London, UK
What is important here is that Apple is making it easy for people to do what they like with the media they watch. Convincing stations like ABC to allowing their shows to be view without commercials is a masterstroke. Will the BBC be putting Little Britain episodes up for $1.99 too? Go on I dare you.
Paul Reid, Australia
This is great but I'm worried about the movie support (avi, mpeg, codec) will these all be supported or will it be just QuickTime movies? Also it would have been nice to have DAB radio built in! Or will that be released further down the line?
In all honesty I think it's a good idea and will provide a good way to pass time waiting. My main criticism though would be the proposed $1.99 to download TV programmes as they lack the longevity of music and would most likely be watched only once.
Holnrew, Somerset, UK
I've ordered a black one. I commute between Houston and Detroit every week. That's a three hour flight and having a bunch of Simpsons episodes, or Lost episodes will make my flight pass a lot quicker. I'd love to be able to download Nighty Night and watch it. Come on BBC, get with the program!
Jonathan, Houston, USA (originally from Aberdeen, Scotland)
I've been the owner a similar gadget for a few months now; it's about the same price range but plays much more than just music and video. It also allows you to read word documents, view your pictures, listen to radio, and many more things. It also features a touch screen (which is much bigger than Apple's) and built in speaker. All this without any add-ons. The price of purchasing an iPod will cost you more in the long run as you have to purchase the many add-ons for extremely inflated prices. There is definitely a market for this, I wouldn't advise watching video while walking down a street but very useful for long journeys on the train, etc.
Mike, Jersey, UK
I'd love one of these if the battery lasted 75-100 hours! It'd perfect for long flights if you're not keen on the usual inflight selection. 14 hours to/from Tokyo watching movies you saw last week on the same flight drives you mad for something fresh. But can you plug it into the larger display on the seatback on a plane? I bet they missed that trick.
Mark, London, UK
I wonder if the people buying into this realise that they're entering into more digital rights management (DRM) where they can't do anything with what they've "purchased"? It's yet another locked-in proprietary market designed to fleece its customers.
Ali, Nelson, New Zealand
This is an impressive step forward for Apple's mobile-media giant but it seems somewhat short-sighted to scrap the standard iPod in favour of a more expensive one that many people don't feel they need. I own a slightly outdated iPod (the last to not have a colour screen) and was considering buying a newer model in the future. Now, however, I will be waiting for a new music-only iPod to come out that holds enough, a price drop in the new video iPod (to justify buying something with a function I have no intention of using) or switch to a different mp3 player.
Henry Osadzinski, Bristol, UK
Well it's really great that BBC keeps us updated about all the iPod news, simply because its the best invention that's best at its job. Having video on a portable device is so cool. You don't need a TV or anything to watch videos when you are on a trip... man the look of this thing kills me! Keep it up apple.
Milhan, Colombo, Sri Lanka
No I will not follow all the sheep and buy an iPod kind just because it's seen as cool.
Dave, Swindon, UK
Mobile phone service providers are also releasing TV-on-your-mobile early next year. What is the point? Are people that desperate to remain 'square eyed' that they want to walk the streets watching TV? Everyone moans that they're always tired and work is so hard, but watching a screen is a strain on the eyes and the brain. People should shut their eyes more if they are bored on a train or plane - or read a book and develop some imagination.
Paul, Sutton, UK
I already have a Pocket PC for video. This is nothing new or exciting. But, because it's Apple, people will go out and buy it anyway.
Tony S, UK
Forget the video iPod, the bigger news is a mainstream structure for legally downloading complete music videos, TV series and hopefully films has finally arrived. Come on BBC, forget your P2P trials - Launch!
Peter, Leeds, UK
Apple is the latest of many companies to try and get us to watch video on small devices. Casio, Sony and Sinclair (of the ZX80 and Spectrum fame) have all produced portable video which have had only mild success. The video iPod is being launched at the same time that high definition television is becoming increasingly popular in the US, Korea and Japan, and is planned for much of Europe. I expect those purchasing the video iPod will try out video a couple of times, then revert to using the device mostly for audio. Essentially, it would appear that audio is portable but video far less so. As per Ben of Southampton I also want one, and I expect it will end up as serving as an expensive paperweight.
Paul , Benicarlo, Valencia, Spain
What would be great is if Apple offered the video capability as a free software download for those of us who've already purchased an iPod. I bought a 60 gig with photo. I won't buy another just to get video but it would be nice if I could get it for free (or even a reasonably priced download upgrade).
Tim Klassen, Dubai
I don't need one. My PDA has a high resolution screen and can play video. I wouldn't buy Apple anyway, I'd buy Creative - they invented the hard drive music player.
Martin, Coventry, UK
It s just the hype, there are better products at better prices. I really begin to believe BBC is getting commission from Apple.
Mehmet Icin, Turkey
All for the same price as a normal iPod? Of course! I think that once there is some decent software/freeware out there that will take any video format and easily convert it to the iPod format (certain MP4 and H.264 flavours), then it will be a truly useful and powerful device. The problem at the moment is that there is very little content and the conversion process is quite painful. I've tried it already with Quicktime 7 and it's not simple and certainly not very 'Apple-like'.
The iPod has had its day. They were cool a few years back, when half the western world didn't have one. My PSP plugged the gap for some time, but that too is coming to the end of its reign. Sorry Apple, too little, too late, you lost your crown by failing to launch this 12 months ago.
Matt, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (ex. UK)
If the UK price was calculated directly from the US price (by current exchange rates), I'd be tempted!
Andy, Guildford, UK
To all the moaners out there: have you actually used one of Apple's recent products?
Ever waited in doctors' offices, car repair shops, train stations, bus stops, airports, at restaurants when your friends are late? Ever got called for jury duty? I would love a video iPod at those moments. Beats pulling lint off my clothes. Now if they add wireless connectivity and TiVo capability to auto-capture my favourite shows, then I'd trade my dog for one.
Dennis, Newark, California USA
Excellent! Definitely don't need a video iPod - or a photo one for that matter... so long as it drives down the price of a standard iPod though - I'll be happy and might then consider buying one.
Alan, Glasgow, Scotland
The iPod is a new icon of the gadget fashion arena. It will get success because the mass of the world had become technologically trendy.
Shabir Pechuho, Jacobabad Sindh Pakistan
Cool device - like to have one in my pocket.
Arindam Roy, Pune, India
Hand-held video is nothing new! We have had it for years on the Pocket PC, with much better and bigger screens, and that support a variety of video formats. This iPod media hysteria is unfounded, and besides Apple should be bought to task for only supporting their Quicktime format.
Bruce Gillespie, Johannesburg, South Africa
There is no fast forward, no rewind and DivX isn't supported, it will also be more expensive than current players on the market. So the only thing Apple has on its competitors' models, which have been around for longer, is style. Should be good to see how the market responds to it all.
Yet another overpriced over hyped and over here product. I agree with most of the other people and would want a bigger screen, add another £100 and get a laptop that can play movies better, and has far greater functions. Also, when it's broken it's less effective as a door stop than a laptop would be!
Marz, Wimbledon, UK
I personally wouldn't buy it as I have a PDA (iMate Jasjar) that does video/photos very well. I however see this as the next logical step to the iPod photo (which wasn't meant to be used on the move either). The best use I can see for this is to carry around home videos to show other people as you can use Quicktime 7 to create movies for the iPod. Next version of the iPod should include a 2mp camera capable of photos and videos.
Steve, Ludlow, Shropshire
Kevin, London. If you're stuck on a train for hours why not strike up a conversation with your fellow commuters? Or is interacting with the 3D world too much of a challenge for people these days....
Alistair, Wakefield, UK
I totally disagree with the comments from Bryan in Edinburgh. iPod plays music, podcast, photos and video. The design and the capacity are much, much greater than the existing model on the market now.
Wing Tam, Hong Kong
Portable video and MP3 players are already on the market from manufacturers like Archos. Why all the fuss about iPods? Does the BBC get commission from Apple?
I do not seem to understand the iPod obsession in general; they are notoriously unreliable (with the latest Nano version being the worst). I think Apple should design their products more carefully rather than just trying to rattle off one iPod type after another. I shall definitely not be buying the latest fad they have produced.
Richard Lockington, Leicester, UK
What's all this malarkey about iPods? Back in my day I had a transistor radio which I would tape to my head and listen to Radio 4. If I wanted stereo surround sound I would tape another transistor to the other ear. Happy days. And what's this about Giga Bites? I had my shots when I went to the Isle of White. Will this protect me from being bitten by a Giga? It's all too complicated...
No, I don't need a video iPod. I don't need an audio iPod either. It has to be the most over-rated, over-hyped product in the history of over-hypedom. The sound quality is appalling, reliability is appalling, battery life is appalling and service is non-existent. Apple is a failed computer company and it will be a failed music player company in a couple of years' time.
Andrew Thomas, Blockley, UK
Another desirable gadget to get mugged for...
Need? No. Want? Oh, yes!
Becky, Oxford, UK
I don't think a video iPod is what people need. I think Apple should concentrate on teleportation. In fact I think I'll start a rival company "Banana" to do just that.
Keith Anderson, Edinburgh
What I really need is a handheld fog-horn for warning off idiots who walk down the street paying more attention to their own little world instead of almost knocking my grandson into the road (as happened yesterday). It won't be long before the first case of pedestrian iPod rage hits the headlines!
No, I'm too busy having fun with friends and relatives.
Marc, Peterborough, UK
I wonder how many people will buy a car installation kit, so that they can watch while they drive?
The reason I originally forked out a fortune on an iPod was for the massive music storage. It saved me lugging around vast quantities of CD's when I went away, etc. Video is different and I feel it is a lot less sociable. It's an impressive piece of kit that will sell. If I paid out for one, it would be for the massive storage capabilities and the improved battery and not just because it plays video. An interesting new direction for the iPod.
Tony, Olney, UK
It looks good, but what's the point of it! I've got a PSP and watching a film on that gives you headache! No, I don't need one.
Being at university, most of the video that I watch is on the computer, rather than on the TV. The small screen you get with the video iPod is just as big as the one that can be streamed from the BBC website. Also, the possibility of having all videos I've downloaded over the years in my pocket is great. This is certainly on my Christmas list.
How many of us sit on trains or buses and either stare emptily into space or fall asleep - effectively wasting hours everyday? I've been watching movies on my PDA for nearly a year now. Believe you me; it's the best way to kill time when you travel for nearly 3 hours everyday on trains and busses. A recent 12 hour flight to Malaysia went by seamlessly as I brought my own video instead of watching the same film repeated every 2 hours! Watching "what I want when I want" lets me make the most of my time allowing me to do other things when I'm not on the move. If Apple can do to video what iTunes did for audio, I think a revolution is round the corner...
This iPod will hold all my music and I will also be able to visit a friend and plug in the iPod to their TV and watch our favourite TV shows, and all using one piece of software. I will buy one.
OK, it's not going to offer High Definition, widescreen quality - we have home cinemas for that. This is really something new, a portable extension of digital Personal Video Recorders (PVRs). While it's not built-in, it's certainly technically possible to use existing packages to record broadcast shows and then transform them into iPod-friendly formats: it's just an extension of the time-shifting, ad-skipping trend already in place, and as with music, provide an option to piracy and file-sharing. Just as audio iPods spawned podcasting, the new iTunes 6 and video iPods represent a new kind of distribution system for grassroots TV content, all available through an easy-to-use interface. Anyone with a camera and enough hard disk space can, effectively, become a broadcaster now.
AJ Kandy, Montreal, Canada
"Pretty pointless as it such a small screen to watch it on" - people said that about portable gaming, now look how big that industry is.
Elliot Stratton, London
The beauty of the iPod is the big sound from a small device. Visual content, whether it is photo or video just doesn't work on such a small screen. It's bad enough watching films made for the cinema on a 32"screen, but 3"? Now if they were to build a DAB radio into it...
Mark Walker, Camridge, UK
My 3 year old son has a video play list of 8 movies. Why would an adult need to watch the same movies over and over again?
Yannis, London, UK
I think the fears of catastrophic road casualties are a bit over the top. I don't think it signals the breakdown of society, represents everything that's wrong in the world, or determines who "has a life". The new iPod is simply a music player with the option to show some friend a few snaps or clips of home movies... It's a nice product that offers a bit more than it did last week... What'll be interesting to see if video downloads take off in the same way as music....
Justin Andrew, London, UK
Of course not! I've got a perfectly good iPod already. I still want one though...
Ben Lowing, Southampton, UK
I'm sure this device will be very successful. Whether handheld video takes off depends very much on content. Could the fact that the launch happened at TV Centre portend something? Come on BBC! With your back catalogue this could be awesome!
Kevin, New York
No - TV programmes and films can only be watched so many times and they need your attention to do so. Music on the other hand (particularly great music), is virtually inexhaustible in terms of enjoyment and it can be listened to just about anywhere and anytime. Wonderful.
Great! An expensive piece of plastic to carry around self-perpetuating rubbish. I for one will not be buying one. People already lack social skills -this'll just make people's brains mush and not encourage active exercise will it!
Ian Lowson, York, England
I just bought an iPod Nano, which I am very happy with, looks stylish and shows you pictures and gives you loads of music on the go, but I don't see the point for a video iPod, who needs a series or a movie on the go? Sometimes big companies make good plans and bad ones, Nano is a great plan, video is a down hill plan. Why do companies always have a great idea and make millions and then have a bad idea and lose millions?
Farhan Hamid, Manchester
The problem with the iPod, and indeed, most portable video players is the screen is too small. The PSP is a step in the right direction, but I still can't watch for more than about 15 minutes with looking away or getting a headache from squinting. Whilst video playback is nice, it is mostly a gimmick, and practicality is difficult to get used to on the go, unlike portable music, which doesn't require you to hold the device and watch it, thus not taking hold of all but your olfactory senses.
While I think it would be great to have video on the go and watch something while you're on your travels, there are far better devices on the market.
The limiting resolution (less than VHS quality), the relativle high price for each program/video and continued tie-in with their own systems just make it an expensive toy with a last-minute add-on.
Jonathan Wright, Cardiff, UK
The point about this is it's an iPod with longer battery life, more space that also does video. The main feature of this iPod is still the fact that it's an iPod and it plays music on the go for 20 consecutive hours. Now that is incredible.
Great. Now there will people wandering along squinting at their tiny screens and failing to navigate around obstacles and other pedestrians. Please make the video iPod and its headphones a highly visible colour so that the rest of us can spot and avoid those who have too great a use in their lives for video on the move.
Ian W, Hemel Hempstead, Herts
Of course I don't *need* one. In fact I believe that my mobile phone already has the capability to play video.
But I do want one.
Why on earth would anyone want to watch recorded TV on a tiny screen as they travel?
Listening to music only removes one of your senses from your armoury to perceive the world around you. If you are watching and listening to TV as you walk, sit on a train, etc. then how can you be aware of your environment? You are increasing your chances of being a victim by doing so.
Of yes, I really want one of these. I must be the first in the queue to get one... (sarcasm mode off).
I mean... what's the point? How can you watch video as you're walking down the street/cycling/etc. as people who use MP3 players nowadays use them? You can't. If you want to watch video whilst you're away from the TV why not just buy a portable DVD player which will probably be a lot cheaper.
With a screen that small it's going to be meaningless what you see on it anyway as you're not going to see that much detail. It's a bit like the mobile phone companies wanting you to be able to watch video on them - pointless.
Paul, Goole, UK
I've had an MP3 Jukebox player for nearly 5 years and I can safely say that it is the best gadget purchase that I have made. However, I really think that this is one step too far and although a great toy, not really worth it.
For example, how are you going to watch it on your bike as you cycle to work?
I bought a portable TV with a small screen for the last World Cup and wish I bought a small radio and listened to Radio 5 Live instead. Same as watching the small LCD screens on airplanes - to small to enjoy the visual aspect of most programmes or films.
Andrew Coleman, Sidcup, Kent
Hopefully the BBC will get in on the act. The BBC want to release more content online... well here's the perfect opportunity. ABC have released some top shows for download and this will only get better. Sports Highlights, News, Current Affairs, Comedy, Opinion, Soaps (if you're really desperate; no pun intended), etc. would really be great. I'd love to be able to get hold of 'The Fast Show'. This is obviously the future of content... especially through 'FrontRow'. As cable and internet/mobile and satellite providers grow more and more similar this will result in finally decent convergence of digital media. The BBC should get in at the start.
I'm looking forward to the health warnings and the 'do not use video when mobile' legislation that will inevitably arise...
Simon, London, England
I don't think many adults will be going for this unless tied in with some kind of news streaming. They will be targeted at teenagers which I believe is a dangerous thing. Already teenagers walk about distracted, worse if they are listening to personal music. I'd expect an increase in traffic accidents involving teenagers as they cross roads with their hoods up, their eyes glued to a screen and being deafened by the music. Hardly the most attentive way to follow the green cross code.
John, Edinburgh, UK
No, I don't need one, and I also find the relentless and uncritical promotion of Apple products on BBC websites and TV programmes to be somewhat suspicious.
Anthony Jones, Leeds, UK
GMS, San Ysidro, CA, USA
I won't be watching music videos or film on my video iPod rather I'll be watching the 'made for the net' TV shows that are starting to emerge. I think the video iPod is going to help this sort of low-budget home-made independent programming take off in a huge way, it'll be like TV podcasting.
Rodi O'Leary, Dublin, Ireland
Sad gimmick. People who buy these need to get out more and find a life.
Louisa, Edinburgh, Scotland
Nope. I already have a PSP, and a paltry 2.5inch 320x240 screen is no way to view anything!
John, York, UK
Yes, I will be buying a video iPod! Why? It's simply the best iPod to date and the biggest step in technology this decade. I hope TV Shows will come to the UK very soon!
Matt Power, Stockport
I am so annoyed that Apple have brought this out at only £10 more than the 'old' 20Gb Colour Screen iPod - 10Gb more, video playback capability, and 2 months after I bought mine. No fair.
Jason, Folkestone, Kent
It would be good if BBC shows such as Eastenders and Match of the Day were on it.
It's not the iPod that's impressive, it's the fact that for the first time new programming can be downloaded (legally) in a re-useable digital format. This could kill the illegal download market - if the price, quality and distribution rights are sound.