I was listening to an old archive of Your Mac Life, the Mac-oriented radio show (check it out, it’s good). The show was the July 29, and the segment that got me thinking was the Chris Breen of Macworld. He’s a iPod-expert, and was there to talk about the 4th generation iPod.
He said that the iPod menu in the 4G has a ‘Music’ item (i assume it replaces the old ‘Browse’ item), and goes on to speculate what will they do next. It surely points to other type of media been supported in the iPod in the near future.
I don’t share the view that the iPod should be able to play video on the screen that it has. A lot of value of the iPod is about its form factor, and getting a display good enough to show movies would probably ruin that.
Chris says that you could probably see photos (iPhoto sync) and that’s also likely but displaying them is still a problem.
So what about this: make a cable that plugs into the Firewire port (with a bit of logic or active components) and outputs S-Video and Audio output. Then you can put DVDs, H.264 encoded movies with some sort of FairView DRM that Apple builds, or even your iPhoto slideshows.
You only need to port the DVD player to the iPod, put all the decoding there, including DeCSS stuff.
This would be a killer feature for those 40Gb and (we assume) 60Gb models coming out sometime this year. I could go into DVD Player, and say “Sync to iPod”, or even, “Compress (H.264) and Sync to iPod”, get to a Hotel somewhere, plug my iPod into the room TV set and watch the movie.
I think some hollywood people would need convincing, but Apple had some success with the music industry, so why not the hollywood industry. Steve Jobs has a feet in both worlds in this case.