Why there’s no video iPod

Michael Gartenberg at Jupiter Research posts on what he views as the real reason for the lack of a video iPod and it’s actually quite simple – legal.

While there are plenty of ways to convert or simply play video content from a DVD on your home network none are actually legal even though you can do the same thing with music. Ah lobbies…

I saw some interesting theories why three’s no video iPod. I won’t get into the argument about whether consumers want mobile video. There’s clearly a segment that does and I won’t debate that side of the argument. The argument I read today goes since Steve Jobs owns Pixar he doesn’t want illegal movies ripped. Perhaps. But that’s not the reason. It’s because unlike music, it’s illegal to rip a DVD to your hard drive, Pixar or otherwise. Simple. No same company wants to get into that legal issue with the studios and provide those tools. Not Apple. Not Microsoft. In fact, the reason MediaCenter Extenders won’t stream DVDs from your MCE to the device is that in order to do so they need to be decrypted to send the stream. That’s illegal too. Should it be? Of course not, but at the moment, it is. The only other source of legal video content is recorded TV and Apple at the moment has no interest in playing in that market. Should they? Perhaps, but that’s another story. Now there’s always personal created video but the market for that is tiny… really, really tiny. Call me and I’ll show you how small those numbers are. There’s a reason we call them consumers, as they consume content and not create it. There’s no market for the video iPod for Apple’s customers at the moment. No evil schemes. No Machiavellian thoughts behind it. It’s just not a good move for Apple without the sources of content they need. They will be there and we will get a video iPod one day. Just not this one. [Michael Gartenberg: ]

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