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Media Matters: Podcasting, Vidcasting and other Online Media Tools, Tips and Trends » 2008» January

Archive for January, 2008

Wi-fi enabled iPods?

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Wifi iPods

Their announcement about a new pink Nano didn’t really set off any sparks for us, but comments about the future of Wi-fi enabled iPods continues to intrigue. In Apple’s earnings call today, they reported that the company is looking forward to future developments that allow wireless iPod communication. What does that mean? Well, we can tell you what we and alot of other people hope it means. We want wireless content syching. Right now, you want iTunes content, you have to connect to iTunes with a wire. But the pressure is on to allow users to download wireless content direct to the iPhone and other similar devices. If Apple doesn’t do it, someone else (Zune) will.

What excites us is the likely prospect that one day you’ll be able to walk into, say, your neighborhood bookstore and call up a vidcast featuring author interviews. Or visit a museum and pick up an interview with an artist whose work is currently on view. Microsoft (Zune), Amazon (The Kindle) and Google are all working in the same direction. There’s a lot yet to be sorted out, including pesky digital rights management issues, but the future of location-specific content delivered direct to a personal device like an iPod is drawing ever-closer.

When it happens, getting the content right will be key - nobody wants a world where our cell phones and media players are barraged by ads being beamed at us as we walk down the street. But that’s a topic for another post…

Decoding the Kindle

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Amazon’s Kindle

When a new device like Amazon’s Kindle book reader comes out, we can’t help but turn over the possibilities. The device follows a long line of attempts to replace books with digital documents and a screen interface, but there’s a significant difference- the Kindle uses a cell phone-like connection to connect to the Kindle Store from anywhere and deliver instant downloads of thousands of books, magazines, blogs and mp3s.

Those last two are where this gets intriguing. Blogs, digital documents and mp3s can be featured in the Kindle Store just like content on iTunes- for free. This opens the door for all kinds of combinations of media (audio and video) to be delivered with digital “print” books and articles. An environmental non-profit, for example, could feature a report on sustainable farming as a free download on the Kindle, and include mp3s of candid interviews with organic farmers on the benefits of sustainability. A publisher of children’s books could package an theatrical audio version along with the text.

Of course, as with any new media, the Kindle could fail to (pardon the pun) catch fire. But the combination of print and media delivered instantaneously through a searchable interface is cause for excitement. We plan to experiment with this platform in the coming months- we’ll keep you posted.