Fwd: Circuits: Jobs Discusses the Future of Portable Video

Rohit Khare khare at alumni.caltech.edu
Thu Jan 8 10:01:11 PST 2004

All valid points.. .what I'd like to see is an Apple/Ives digital 

New 1080p cheap consumer chips should be out later this year... imagine 
something the size of an Airport base station, once you use solid-state 
LED lamps... no color wheels or prisms, either :-)


> Thursday, January 8, 2004
> Jobs Discusses the Future of Portable Video
> At this week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, I accompanied veteran 
> Times tech reporter John Markoff to an interview with Steve Jobs, 
> Apple's chief visionary officer.
> At his keynote address that morning, Jobs had unveiled new mini iPods, 
> powerful new servers and a new software suite (iPhoto 4, iMovie 4, 
> iDVD 4 and a new music-making program called GarageBand).
> But during our half-hour interview, Mr. Jobs answered questions on a 
> wide range of other topics. At one point, Mr. Markoff asked Mr. Jobs 
> about the prospects for a new consumer-electronics category: hand-held 
> video players.
> He noted that at the huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (yet 
> another trade show taking place this week), Bill Gates spoke of 
> Microsoft's initiative to design software for this soon-to-blossom 
> category and displayed early prototypes.
> But Mr. Jobs outlined three reasons he doubted video players would 
> ever approach the success of audio players — not even counting their 
> high price ($700 and up) and the time-consuming difficulty of loading 
> huge video files onto them. It was clear from his answers that Mr. 
> Jobs has done quite a bit of thinking about the topic.
> First, he said, on a video player, "there's just no equivalent of 
> headphones." That is, when you put on headphones and press Play on a 
> music player, the results are spectacular — you get a very close 
> equivalent to the concert-hall experience.
> But watching video on a tiny three-inch handheld screen is almost 
> nothing like the experience of watching a movie in a theater or even 
> on TV. It can't approach the same realism or emotional impact.
> Second, he pointed out that Hollywood has been a much better job of 
> providing outlets for its wares than the recording industry. If you 
> want to see a movie, you can see it in the theater, on DVD, on 
> pay-per-view, on HBO, in flight and so on.
> On the other hand, Mr. Jobs pointed out that until recently, there was 
> pretty much only one legal way to buy music: go to a store and bring 
> home a CD or tape. The debut of legitimate download services like 
> Apple's iTunes store was a huge factor in the popularity of portable 
> music players -- but there just isn't the same kind of pent-up demand 
> for new movie-buying channels.
> Finally, Mr. Jobs noted, people just don't consume music and movies 
> the same way. You might listen to a certain song dozens or hundreds of 
> times in your lifetime. But how many times in your life do you watch a 
> movie? Most people probably wouldn't watch even their favorite movies 
> 10 times in their lives, and therefore are don't buy nearly as many 
> movies as they do songs or CD's.
> (To which I would add: What makes music players so attractive is that 
> you can listen as you work, as you drive, as you exercise. But 
> watching a movie requires your full attention — and, by the way, for a 
> much longer period of time.)
> "Now, I'm not saying we're not working on something like that," Mr. 
> Jobs added. "Who knows what we've got in our labs?"
> But from his comments, he made it clear that he and Mr. Gates were 
> miles apart on their assessment of a technology's future. It wouldn't 
> be the first time.
> Visit David Pogue on the Web at DavidPogue.com.

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