There’s no smoke without fire, so the saying goes, and based on the amount of the web rumblings about an upcoming video iPod, we must be on course for a forest fire.
So what exactly are the rumours? Simple really: iPod, upgraded screen, video codec support, maybe larger hard drive. More importantly, what backs this speculation up? Well, to be honest, quite a lot.
For a start the newer incarnations of iTunes have added video playback into their repertoire, which is a rather pointless exercise if it has no future interoperability with the company’s players. Secondly, and perhaps most interestingly, Apple has been in convert talks with EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner about licensing their music videos.
Of course, much in the way that not all good owners buy their tracks legally, not all owners are going to buy their videos legally either. So video codec support will enviably open up the players as pirate movie players long before the feline obsessed, white fetishist concludes the lengthy negotiations required to lawfully take its device to the logical next level.
One could say Apple knows this, much as it knows bittorent and other P2P software supplies many of its players with their content, but why should that be a turn off? After all, legal or not, the content of an iPod is nothing to do with Apple and it wouldn’t half boost the line’s already stratospheric sales.
Furthermore, rivals like Creative and iRiver have already shown they are headed down the video player route and the coolest kid in the playground will not want to find itself sporting last year’s trainers.
The naysayers point to the fact old Jobo has always insisted Apple will not enter the video area, but ask yourself this question: doesn’t he have a track record of saying to something until the very last minute? (Suddenly the name Intel springs to mind...)