During the recent
MacMania Mediterranean cruise
I witnessed an interesting phenomenon. Where, in the past, instructors and the attending geeks would compare the odd-yet-beloved utilities and applications on their computers or the contents of their computer bags, this time it was all about video. In our off hours after dinner we gathered in the ship’s Internet Cafe or adjoining meeting rooms and whiled away the hours showing each other amusing video clips—“What, you haven’t seen the Italian eyewear commercial? It’s hysterical, check this out!”—and flipping through each other’s iPod video libraries to see what mattered enough to merit the portable treatment.
Besides the insight it gives you into your shipboard companions’ tastes, I thought these sessions were particularly interesting because of what people value in video. Look through most peoples’ iPod music libraries and you’ll find pretty much what you’d expect—a reasonable number of Big Hits in the listener’s favorite genres and a smattering of less well-known material. From what I’ve observed, video is different.
On the 5G iPods I examined (and on my own iPod) I didn’t find blockbusters—no Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Big Budget Movie of the Year. Even mainstream TV shows were largely missing in action (though I’m trying to catch up on
so its first season made the trip with me). Instead, people on the cruise tended to pack far quirkier fare. For example, my iPod contains a couple of dozen episodes of the old TV mystery/supernatural show,
One Step Beyond
as well as the Channel 101 mocumentary,
Yacht Rock. Photographer and Photoshop guru
has packed his ‘pod with every episode of the shortlived Sci-Fi western,
(as well as the spin-off movie,
). Apple employees Janet Hill and Sal Soghoian had their share of rare Apple commercials.
And it makes me ponder the differences between portable music and video. Given a device that can hold up to a solid month of music, one can shovel onto it every bit of music they own—much of which is likely to be of the “heard it, love it, don’t mind hearing it again” variety.
Not so video. Given files that weigh in at over 100MB an episode—with full-length movies taking up more than half-a-gig of storage—you have to be choosier. And, as far as I can see, those choices are wholly different than those you’d make with music tracks. They include: How likely are you to watch this again? Is this something you’ve been meaning to watch but it’s not worth wasting time on at home but definitely worth watching on a long plane flight or with the iPod jacked into the hotel TV? Is this rare and cool enough to show off to folks you encounter on the road? Does this video have such meaning to you that you simply want to have it with you regardless of whether you watch it again or not (and yes, I’m thinking the YouTube model)?
I dunno, maybe I’m drawing conclusions from far too small a sampling from a like-minded group of individuals. That prompts me to ask this:
Prove me wrong or right. What’s on your 5G iPod?
Comment link below. Use it wisely.