I couldn't resist - I got the new 30GB White iPod yesterday and it completely rocks. Apple did a great job with this gadget. Much thinner than previous iPods, super-fast syncing over USB, and the screen is *great*. Anyone who complains about the screen size is either 1) blind 2) a whining tempermental jerk 3) someone who hasn't actually seen the screen. It's beautiful.
I'm telling you right now, Video Podcasts are going to be huge. HUUUUGE. I still can't believe that Sony has done so little to push downloadable video for their PSPs. I mean, how hard is it to learn the lesson from the original iTunes? It wasn't just the player itself that made the iPod such a success, it was the whole package. Making it so easy to rip or download new music and sync it to your device made the iPod what it is today. The same functionality for Videos is what is going to make the new iPod the standard bearer for portable video as well, even though it has a much smaller screen than the PSP.
I'm all about context, by the way. The reason that Podcasts never caught on when they were called AudioBlogs was because sitting at your computer is the wrong place to consumer that type of content. Being able to listen to audio while in the "natural" places you listen to audio (in the car, while walking/running, on the couch, etc.) is what accelerated audio Podcasts to the phenomenon it is today. Now that there is a way to view video the same way - either sitting comfortably on your couch while your kid is watching Thomas the Tank Engine for the 20th time or while laying down or on an airplane, or connected to the TV itself with a cable and a extra remote - that's going to accelerate that new type of user generated content as well. I'm positive. It's a no brainer.
Well, and the fact that Apple has a freakin' menu item on the new iPod called "Video Podcasts" will help too, I'm sure. ;-)
I now have various ways to view portable video: my Sony PSP, my GameBoy Micro + PlayYan, my Series 60 smart phone, my ZVue movie player, and now my new iPod w/Video. And yet, the last device has the best content on it already, even though it's the newest. Why? Because ripping my own video content is a time-consuming pain in the butt and Movie UMDs for the PSP are too expensive. Having an inexpensive way to grab movies formatted perfectly for my device is convenient and time-saving for me and well worth the $2 a show. A much easier and more rewarding experience than ripping a DVD or snagging a 4GB movie from BitTorrent and then resampling.
I can't wait for iFilm and AtomFilms and JibJab and all the rest to start creating content for my iPod and other devices as well, available via an RSS feed (do they already?). And I can't wait for the Podcast guys to start ramping up their content like RocketBoom and Mobuzz have as well. And then, once people get used to all this stuff, they're suddenly going to realize they have a decent video player on their mobile phones: Have you seen Verizon's VCast? It's pretty great - and is nothing more than Video Podcasts from established news companies to your mobile phone, really.
It's all related, can you see it? Portable video is really here at least... and it's going to be huuuuge!