I don’t know what Apple did, or how they did it, but the iPod Nano is a technological marvel. With some kickass free third-party software like handbrake and Videora iPod Converter, you can really bring amazingly clear video to all levels of this little thing.
Wait, I should back up. First of all, the iPod has totally revolutionized my music experience. Back in the old days, all my music was in a shuffled Winamp playlist. Talk about annoying! I took it for granted, though, as there was really no point in using anything else… iTunes was slow, bloated, and useless. I didn’t have any MP3 players either (besides my MP3 CD player – Flash was still a long way off). Then I got an MP3 player – my first real one was a Zen Nano – and I managed music as files, loading cool songs onto it as I felt like it. I actually got used to the portable “17-song” thing, where I could fit 17 good songs onto my 32mb MP3 players (including my Casio WMP-1 watch), so I didn’t think I’d need any more. Then came my Verizon V-Cast phone, where I could load carefully formatted MP3s onto it and enjoy them like that using an adapter cable. Life was good…
Then I got my iPod Nano, 4gb, for free from a contest-thing at work (long story). I hesitantly installed iTunes and “assimilated” myself into the iTunes culture, managing my music with iTunes, etc… but I still used manually-loaded mode for the music. I didn’t trust iTunes – plus, I didn’t want my whole collection on my iPod (hell no). As soon as I pulled the cap off and experienced the whole 4gb of freedom with full USB 2.0 speed, I started making “smart playlists” that would pick songs I hadn’t heard in a while, that I hadn’t rated low (ratings! omg!)… and it would also sync with my iPod. For the first time ever, my music I hear on the iPod can actually be rated and manipulated on the iPod itself, then carried back to the PC and updated – play counts, ratings, and all. Now I can really begin to enjoy my whole collection – hear songs I hadn’t heard in a long time, songs I didn’t even know existed… and… I haven’t even started about videos.
h.264, where do I begin? A whole 45-minute episode of Stargate SG-1 encoded from DVD into 128mb, at amazingly perfect audio and video quality? 128mb? I can fit at least a full season onto my iPod. Not only that, but as soon as I watch the episode (I’m only on Season 2, give me a break), when I next sync it with my PC, it’ll delete it from my iPod automatically. Infuckingcredible?
The video quality is so great on the Nano, I don’t even care that I’m staring at such a “tiny” screen after a while (let alone notice). The battery life (even with its brilliant, flashlight-like screen) is amazing, long enough to watch several episodes without even a thought to the battery – way longer than a portable DVD player, yet this little portable DVD player fits in a DVD case – of course, even your pocket.
Ee! I just can’t say enough awesome about my iPod. It makes me want to get a Mac, because evidently, there is one company that finally got it right. To leverage ever-increasing hardware capabilities to bring joy and happiness to millions, not to make millions buy new hardware just to do the same old shit (i.e. Vista). Mac OS X is far, far beyond anything Vista can do, and its included programs like iMovie (the cheap movie editing software) would allow me to finally overcome the software limitations that have been plaguing the creation of F-16 Video #5 (which is still nowheres even near the timeline yet). And it can, literally, do everything a PC can – because at heart, it is merely a PC with kickass hardware and software.
Go Apple. Apple will be the new computer giant in 2008. I fucking guarantee it.