Friday, October 14, 2005
Apple has finally released their new video capable i-Pod. While I'm not an i-Pod owner/user (I'm tragically unhip, sorry to say. I always seem to be 3 years behind the curve on stuff like this) and I don't use i-Tunes, this little number intrigues me. Not from a consumer standpoint. I doubt I'd use it much. See when I watch a TV show or a movie I tend to get very immersed in it. If it's a particularly good show or movie I easily get sucked in and get lost in time- I'll emotionally buy in for all it's worth. Which is fine if you're in your home by yourself. Not so good if you're watching the mini-tele while waiting for the elevator to open.
No, my interest in the v-Pod is the new video content distribution system Apple has started. Their deal with ABC/Disney to sell popular shows and such for $1.99 a pop is the video version of i-Tunes. Suddenly the barrier between filmmaker and buying public is much thinner. In response to a content creator driven trend Apple hooked their i-Tunes to handle podcasts natively. Is it a stretch to think that given sufficient creator movement in the independent video vidcasting that their video side of i-Tunes wouldn't hook into vidcasts eventually? Combine a vidcast enabled i-Tunes in conjunction with clever animator type dudes who put out the content and let the world know via a blog and RSS... welcome to self syndication. Podcasts have turned the stoic broadcasting world on its ear. Not that the content available on podcasts is overwhelmingly superior to commercial radio. Like all content that has a low cost of entry (ie: alot of rank amateurs are making a lot of stuff) most of it is trash. (except for The Animation Podcast. That rocks!) No, what kicked commercial radio in the groin in podcating was the freedom of choice for the consumer. Suddenly the power has shifted and commercial radio is still scrambling to catch up. It's the world of the longtail.
Will the v-Pod and vidcasts (anim-casts?) do the same for TV? Sure, making small Quicktimes and putting them on the web is not a new idea. Shoot, I released my first short film on my website over 8 years ago. But there's something about having a consumer product designed specifically for this content that lends a certain amount of critical mass to the movement. MP3's were not invented by Apple. Apple just made a clever gadget that made MP3's stylish, easy and popular. The hope here is that the same can happen for online video.
Have any of you started crafting your master plan to be a self supporting animator who sells their episodes to a faithful fanbase via i-Tunes? You know somebody is gonna be able to do it. Why not you? Heck.. why not me?!
Posted by Keith Lango at 2:28 AM