Tiny Videos

Why do people want to watch videos on their iPods? Maybe I should rephrase that. Do people really want to watch videos on their iPods? Or is that just what Steve Jobs wants people to want?

I had the same question when I saw that you could buy films and TV programs to watch on the Sony PSP. I just can’t understand that people would want to watch films on a screen that small. I have enough trouble watching video on a plane’s in-flight entertainment system. Anything smaller than that (and both the iPod and the PSP have screens smaller than that) would be a complete waste of time.

But when I asked this question to some people who were raving about watching films on a PSP I was told that they really needed to watch films while they were travelling on the train. I don’t really understand that. Don’t these people read books?


  1. This is why you work as a technologist and not a marketer! :)One of the aims of marketing is to make people want the stuff that they didn’t realise that they wanted. (The modern argument goes that there are very few actual *needs*, and so marketers have shifted to satisfying wants.)I wonder if there’s an element of conspicuous consumption here, ie people don’t really want to watch videos, they just want to be seen with the latest gadget.I suppose Apple would argue that if people didn’t want a certain product then that product wouldn’t sell, so we’ll see how sales go.Personally it would be handy to have a mini digital TV receiver on my iPod so that I could watch the news or the grand prix or whatever if I was on the move and couldn’t get to a proper TV.

  2. Seems to me that with iTunes it’s just an add-on. A stupid, pointless add-on, but one that “the market” (for which read “a few vocal bloggers”) has been calling for for a couple of years now.The PSP, with its funky new disc format (“yes, I own all these movies on DVDs, but I’m going to buy UMDs just so I can watch them on the tube!”) and cheeky restrictions (if you rip your own movies at the same size as the screen, it won’t play them; they have to be on UMD if you want that, or so I hear), seems even less focussed on its primary purpose (hello, do you even care about being a games console?).Ian: conspicuous consumption. Good phrase. Have to remember that.

  3. Why do people want to watch videos on their iPods?

    Because the number of people who can cope without something flashing in front of their eyes for more than thirty seconds at a time is rapidly approaching zero?

  4. The PSP has a cracking screen (feels like double the resolution of normal LCDs, much like all the Japanese mobile phones, and the N90). This makes them watchable. I haven’t seen the new iPod, but it strikes me that the form factor is just wrong, and all the iTunes malarkey not mentioning DVDs or films at all – all feels broken. I had hoped that he’d go and stage and say “our software lets you transfer DVDs really really easily”, but no.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.