I Have Seen the New iPod, and It Is Beautiful!

October 21st, 2005

2005.10.12-17.30.47/blackipod.jpgCo-worker David brought in his new iPod today. He ordered it last Wednesday, probably within minutes of its appearance on the Apple web site. David had been wanting a new iPod, and following the announcement of the new video-capable fifth generation, I guess he didn’t need to wait any longer.

Yesterday I gave David a CD with three of my music videos on it: the two I made for Dad’s birthday party this summer, and one I made for Wendy on our wedding anniversary last year. I asked David to load them onto his new iPod temporarily, so I could take a look at them to see how they looked on a small screen. (Thanks, David!)

When David brought the iPod in this morning, he said that one of the videos, the anniversary video, had failed to load. iTunes had complained about it not being in the correct format, or something like that. I find this very odd, because I used Quicktime 7.0.3 to generate the video, and used its “Movie to iPod” export command to generate the video. I found this somewhat disappointing because the anniversary video is my favorite of all the videos I’ve made, and is the one I most wanted to see.

But still I had two videos to watch, and they looked very good. The detail in the small screen is amazing. It has a resolution of about 160 pixels per inch, whereas most CRT and LCD monitors are in the 90 to 100 pixel per inch range. I didn’t find the size of the screen distracting, although I thought my videos looked a bit flat. Next time I generate videos for the iPod I will play with jacking up the contrast and saturation. The video played very smoothly, with no jerkiness or jitter, and no “smearing” like you see on some LCD monitors.

David also had three other videos on his iPod: the Eminem commercial that you may have seen on TV, and two movie previews, for “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” and for “The Da Vinci Code”. The Eminem commercial looked the best of any of the videos, including mine. Its colors were bright and vivid. The two movie previews were disappointing. They were rendered at about a 2:1 ratio and displayed in letterbox format. As a result, they used less than half the pxiels in the iPod’s little display, and were too small to enjoy.

Everything else about the new iPod is stunningly beautiful. David bought the black version. It looks every bit as good as the white iPods. I compared it to my three year old 2nd-generation iPod. In width and height, it’s almost exactly the same size as mine. We could see no difference in the width of the two iPods, but mine is perhaps a millimeter taller, hardly worth mentioning. In depth, though, David’s iPod is much thinner, about 60% the size of mine. It’s also much lighter, but with enoguh weight to let you know you’re holding something serious. It felt terrific in it my hand.

David hadn’t loaded any photos onto his iPod. I had hoped to see what a slideshow looked like. I’ve heard that the iPod has some nice-looking transitions to select from for the slideshows. I prefer the traditional cross-fade transition, but Apple’s “rotating cube” transition is also nice.

I was quite impressed with the new iPod. Its new, bigger display is beautiful, and everything else about the thing is as good as before. The new black color looks as good in person as it does in photos. In short, if you liked the iPod before, you’ll like just as much now, if not more. Now all I gotta do is sit back and wait for Santa.

One Response to “I Have Seen the New iPod, and It Is Beautiful!”

  1. Jim Says:

    You are a man possessed.