The Treehouse + The Cave

The Treehouse + The Cave: iControl <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src=""></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: '\x3d9561264\x26blogName\x3dThe+Treehouse+%2B+The+Cave\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLACK\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3d\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3d\x26vt\x3d-2611371644715887499', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Does anyone else think that when Apple debuts the "iPod video" (rumored currently to be fast approaching) it's likely to also double as a touchscreen remote that controls a newly-refreshed Mac mini?

Here's what I predict:

Apple will launch an iMovie Video Store (it may start out as the iTunes Music Video Store) selling content of varying lengths (from music videos to feature-length films (Pixar)). This content will be downloaded in high-definition, FairPlay-wrapped, MPEG4 compressed with H.264 to an Intel-based Mac mini (launched concurrently with the Video Store) which will in turn be connected to an HDTV in the living room.

The mini will be controlled by a widescreen, touchscreen, Wi-Fi remote (also Intel-based (something like the one Apple has already patented, or a slimmer version of my proposed iBook DS)): The iControl.

The iControl will in fact, be the same device marketed to the public as the iPod video. It will dock directly with the mini (via the mysterious vestigial FireWire bus currently included within the mini, detailed here, here and here) to pick up compressed versions of HD content via an effortless sync for mobile viewing (the Wi-Fi connection will still be too slow and unreliable for the transfer of full-length films upon release). The Wi-Fi connection will be fast enough to wirelessly sync music however, and may also allow for direct playback from the iPod video/iControl to an AirPort Express.

As widely predicted, the iPod video/iControl will allow for direct connection to standard televisions via a cable that supports both Component Video and S-Video, as well as viewing on its widescreen display. The Mac mini will connect to HDTVs via DVI (already present in the current configuration).

This pairing of media server and remote client/display also allows for the easy download of video podcasts (already fully supported by the ITMS infrastructure) for viewing at home or on the road. Think of it as open-source television (or as Steve might say "Television Reborn").

Sure would be nice to browse that library of downloaded music, music videos, podcasts and movies with an intuitive, beautiful and living room-appropriate interface, huh?

Have I mentioned CoverFlow?

Blogger Mick thought:

Be the first on your block! TV Guide's demise may be your lucrative ticket to the beach!

CoverFlow goes way beyond covers...


August 16, 2005 at 3:25 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger bedroomprince thought:

I am so behind the times. I just want an regular music iPOD thinging. Maybe I am behind the times because I use words like thinging...

August 16, 2005 at 3:34 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Andy thought:

I've now realized that there is already a product on the market called iControl. I knew this months ago, but totally spaced. The device is a physical interface for GarageBand created by M-Audio (a division of Avid).

In the end, this is of little consequence. Either Apple markets the device simply as the iPod video, as I suspect they will. Or they buy the trademark (they do this all the time).

My guess is, if the iControl trademark is valueable to Apple (and it could be, the phrase "I Control" is pretty powerful and natural, while effectively desribing the functionality it represents) it will be for use in software not hardware.

Picture a new app within the iLife suite, that supports DVR functionality and also allows for configuration of the remote display/input device. In other words, an app that plays an iTunes-like role as host to the remote capabilities within my proposed iPod video.

Speaking of possible iLife apps and trademarks, does anyone think that Apple ought to buy the name "iCast", and create an iLife app that makes the recording and upload of enhanced video and audio podcasts effortless?


August 20, 2005 at 1:21 PM - Comment Permalink  
Anonymous Noah Dylan Goldblatt thought:

Hey Andrew,

This is some great stuff. I love reading it. Fantastic analysis.

October 12, 2005 at 4:05 PM - Comment Permalink  

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