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lectric
 
 
2006-03-26, 00:22

Digital convergence. The buzzphrase has been around for a long time. Steve Jobs is at the cusp of making it real in the entertainment industry, and is starting to make moves that bring his intentions into clearer focus. With the recent revelations about the new iPod interface, the idea of digital convergence suddenly struck me like a bolt of Pixar lightening. Having a clickwheel appear on the touch-sensitive LCD screen of an iPod with a full face display is a great idea. Bigger screen. No need for mechanical input. Brilliant. What next? Here's what's next:

Apple is rumored to be working on an ultra-broadband media delivery system that will use the .Mac iDisk to store and deliver entertainment products to your iPod and Mac as fast as you can bring them in. With Apple's convergence interface Front Row in just its first iteration, we can expect only bigger and better things from Apple in this area. Controlling your discreet video, audio and photo collections through a single interface is great. Remote control of that from the couch is even better with the included traditional remote control. Bid deal, right? Windows Media Centre does this already. Here's where it gets interesting. The next move is to make the iPod the remote control, followed by integrating the different media types into single entertainment offerings. Here's how you do it.

First, the iPod needs to communicate to the Mac via BlueTooth and, ultimately, WiFi. This makes the iPod a nascent remote controller. This is already possible with some cell-phones with Sailing Software's products. With your entertainment collection being constantly synched between the iPod and the iMac, the image on the big screen can be the same as the image on the small screen on the iPod. Whatever you are doing on the small screen should translate to what you are doing on the big screen. The virtual click-wheel on the iPod becomes the virtual click-wheel for Front Row. Fast-forwarding through the movie becomes the same gesture on the big screen as it does on the iPod, with the wheel either being displayed or not, depending on your preference. Clearly, it is ideal to be able to operate the virtual click-wheel without it being represented on the screen. The representation of it should simply be a training mechanism. People will learn to operate it without seeing it. This will keep the screen clear.

Second, the iPod touch screen should become your portal into a converged media experience. Entertainment is being consumed in different ways now. We are building our own converged media narratives now, based on mood and whim. DVD content, for example, is being consumed in chunks as people surf through the DVD and watch different parts via the chapters interface. The special features are becoming as popular as the main feature. Games are being included. On the Doom DVD, for example, when I inserted it into my XBox to view it (I use an XBox as a DVD player on one of my entertainment centers) the Doom game loaded first, not the movie. A bug, but a prophetic one. The iPod needs to do this as well, and it needs the Web and Games to really complete the set. Apple's potential acquisition of Palm makes sense if you think about the need to converge web content into this universe. Palm devices do this well via tiny 802.11 cards, and increasingly well via newer wide area protocols like GPRS EDGE, 3G and 1X. Also, the iPod should eventually operate like a PSP, with game content developed specifically for it. This, when added to photo, video, audio and Web content makes the iPod a complete device. No cell phone is needed because as IP services get better we switch to VOIP and video messaging instead of cell.

The most important aspect of this is that the iPod mirror what you are doing on the larger screen as well. Front Row should eventually operate exactly like your iPod, except much, much bigger and louder. Depending on where you are, the iPod is either your main device, or your remote. If it is your remote, all the functionality is taken over by the Mac and your entertainment/communications experience takes place through your home system with a representation of it on your iPod for remote purposes. This puts the iPod in your hands at all entertainment moments. Talk about brand awareness.

Finally, the entertainment product itself converges. Movies become clickable throughout with the ability to use the iPod interface to select a character or object to get background or supplementary content directly from within the movie itself. Subsequent viewings become treasure hunts. Narrative structure becomes split and parallel, like the additional parallel Matrix narrative shot for the Matrix game. Choose which narrative you want to follow. View a photo gallery of a character or object (plane, car, handbag, etc.). Talk about product placement. Freeze a movie and listen to a soundtrack element in isolation. Learn more about that artist. Buy that artist's music thorugh iTunes. Freeze a movie and enter a game at the same point to participate in the action. Hit the web and enter a discussion about the very scene you are watching, or move from the web into a scene in movie being discussed. The possibilities are literally endless.

We're talking total digital convergence with the iPod as the ubiquitous object controlling the whole experience. The passport to entertainment in the 21st century. The keystone of fun.

That's what Steve Jobs should be doing next. He is our passeur into the next mediaverse. Betcha this is what he is doing.
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Windowsrookie
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2006-03-26, 01:29

ok.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2006-03-26, 01:31

Looks like you've been thinking about this one.

Welcome to AppleNova!
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billybobsky
BANNED
I am worthless beyond hope.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Inner Swabia. If you have to ask twice, don't.
 
2006-03-26, 02:34

Someone needs to spend an equal amount of time coming up with a descriptive thread title...

'The Future' in Rumors and Speculation is about as descriptive as 'Apple Macintosh' in Genius Bar or 'New Game' in Third Party Products or....

You get the picture...

I see a lot of references to the ipod in your post -- no, I will not read it, and most people shouldn't assume that someone will read a post that involved -- personally, i think the ipod is more than likely to disappear before it evolves into any of the things you suggest it should...
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Wrao
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-26, 02:53

Nerds get such a hardon discussing what we can do with media. But yea, I suppose it will be 'neat' when all our shit is converged and compatible and homogenous and easy.
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Franz Josef
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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2006-03-26, 03:52

Hi lectric and welcome. Bit long for this time of the morning, I'll have a read later.

Wrao - you really know how to make a guy feel loved.
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BlueRabbit
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Join Date: May 2004
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2006-03-26, 04:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrao
Nerds get such a hardon discussing what we can do with media.
I think this quote works...from here
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jean-Louis Gassée
We must always give our users pure sex. It's like a rendezvous in the back seat of an automobile with a beautiful girl. One's experience with the personal computer should be better than the greatest orgasm you could have
BTW, welcome to AppleNova lectric!
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chucker
 
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2006-03-26, 04:32

tl;dr
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chucker
 
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2006-03-26, 04:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by lectric
Digital convergence. The buzzphrase has been around for a long time. Steve Jobs is at the cusp of making it real
Incorrect. Apple is strongly against convergence.

Quote:
First, the iPod needs to communicate to the Mac via BlueTooth and, ultimately, WiFi.
Why would it have both? Have you thought about the implications regarding battery times? And why would they use IR for the remote but not use IR for the iPod, if it is to control Front Row?
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2006-03-26, 12:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
Why would it have both? Have you thought about the implications regarding battery times? And why would they use IR for the remote but not use IR for the iPod, if it is to control Front Row?
Personally I wish the whole "remote control" industry would move from IR. I know it is easier on battery life, but I would rather be able to skip a song playing on my media center from another room since it is rare that I actually sit/stay in the same room the media is playing. Video is the only real exception to that other than when I've seen it over and over again and can qutoe the movie to you anyway.

BT is best I would think for something like that. Then again, if you have a WiFi home, that would be cool too. How often would you change the song from across the house? If you have a whole home audio system, or a small house this would be great. Then again, if small house then we go back to BT.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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Franz Josef
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2006-03-26, 12:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
Incorrect. Apple is strongly against convergence.
I'm not sure that's necessarily quite true. Apple seems very keen on convergence in the sense of "The Digital Hub". AirTunes (and later MovieTunes?) is an example of this. iTunes and iTMS are to some degree also a reflection of this, bringing audio (music, radio and podcasts) and video (first music, then shorts, then full length features) together and allowing them to be co-ordinated via a Mac; and even the iLife suite reflects this in its most basic form in the sense of photos becoming slideshows, music added from iTunes and then exported to DVD. It seems a fair bet that we could have seen a PVR by now (and I guess we might still) if this didn't complicate Apple's already tortuous negotiations with the film studios / TV companies.

Where Apple don't see convergence is in a single device becoming the main personal electronic accompaniment (ie a single cellphone/camera/MP3 player etc). Rubinstein is on record on a number of occasions saying he believes this isn't what the market wants (and personally I'd agree with that).
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TednDi
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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2006-03-26, 14:05

Welcome.

As for multiple room remote....

salling clicker.

'nuff said.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-26, 15:18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franz Josef
I'm not sure that's necessarily quite true. Apple seems very keen on convergence in the sense of "The Digital Hub". AirTunes (and later MovieTunes?) is an example of this. iTunes and iTMS are to some degree also a reflection of this, bringing audio (music, radio and podcasts) and video (first music, then shorts, then full length features) together and allowing them to be co-ordinated via a Mac; and even the iLife suite reflects this in its most basic form in the sense of photos becoming slideshows, music added from iTunes and then exported to DVD. It seems a fair bet that we could have seen a PVR by now (and I guess we might still) if this didn't complicate Apple's already tortuous negotiations with the film studios / TV companies.
I don't really consider that convergence. iTunes, iTMS, iPod and AirTunes focus on one thing, music, and they do it great. (Sure, lately iTunes, iTMS and iPod do videos as well, but that's a whole other problem.)

Quote:
Where Apple don't see convergence is in a single device becoming the main personal electronic accompaniment (ie a single cellphone/camera/MP3 player etc).
Which is how I would define convergence. For instance, iLife isn't one app handling creation, organization and enjoyment of photos, music, videos, websites. Rather, it's split into multiple, which all focus on certain things.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-26, 15:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by TednDi
Welcome.

As for multiple room remote....

salling clicker.

'nuff said.
You realize, of course, that when the original poster incorrectly spelt the maker's name "Sailing Software", he was indeed referring to "Salling Software" and thus "Salling Clicker"?
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Franz Josef
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2006-03-26, 15:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
I don't really consider that convergence.
No indeed, but I think the term covers both (such as here)and Apple favours one type of convergence rather than another.
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chucker
 
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2006-03-26, 15:37

Fair enough.
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Anthem
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Join Date: Jun 2005
 
2006-03-26, 20:51

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franz Josef
Where Apple don't see convergence is in a single device becoming the main personal electronic accompaniment (ie a single cellphone/camera/MP3 player etc). Rubinstein is on record on a number of occasions saying he believes this isn't what the market wants (and personally I'd agree with that).
I'm interested to hear your reasons for that.

How many gadgets do you want to carry around with you?
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World Leader Pretend
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2006-03-26, 21:08

I think that the best thing for Apple is competition. The more people that push Apple the better and more ingenious the products become. Look at the cellphone industry! You see all types of new designs that pack more features in smaller packages because everyone wants to be the best.

If Apple enters the cellphone industry they may loose some ground because they aren't 100% committed to making just cell phones. They will have to work harder than other companies to stay afloat in that market.

I highly doubt that Apple will enter the mobile phone industry. Is there a reason? Are we lacking quality phones that make calls whenever we want? No. Are we deprived of technical "life" just because Apple doesn't make a cell phone? No.

The iPod is a gadget that can evolve, true, but I don't see it becoming a phone in the future.
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DMBand0026
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2006-03-26, 21:08

The problem arises when a device becomes too much of too many things and not enough of one thing. It goes back to the "jack of all trades and master of none" concept. When you try to build a digital music player and a PDA and a phone and a video player and a gaming system, you tend to dilute the whole thing. I'm not saying that I want to carry around 12 different things on my belt, but I don't know how well a multifunction device can be done.

I'd love to see an iPhone that is just that, a phone. I already carry a cell phone and my iPod a lot of places and I have no problem with that at all. I also wouldn't mind seeing the iPod go in the direction of PDA/organizer. Although I think the best thing would be to leave the iPod how it is and make an iPhone that's like the Treo or a blackberry. If anyone can do it right, it's Apple.

An iPDA (I know, bad name). 4 gigs of storage, organizer (with iCal like functionality), simple apps, phone functionality, WiFi and bluetooth connectivity.

Come waste your time with me
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mercury7
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
 
2006-03-26, 21:23

I thought the original post was very cool but I can't help but think apple is not thinking this way or else they would not have gone IR on the latest macs, however if the rumour of intergrated wifi pans out then it will not matter much., this would be much better than bluetooth...and also would let you stream from your ipod to a windows machine(provided it has itunes on it lol)
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Brad
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2006-03-26, 22:27

For what it's worth, everybody, that original post is a straight copy-and-paste job from a month-old blog entry.

Just FYI.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
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2006-03-26, 22:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
For what it's worth, everybody, that original post is a straight copy-and-paste job from a month-old blog entry.

Just FYI.
Would that explain why the guy hasn't come back to talk yet?
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turbulentfurball
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2006-03-26, 22:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
For what it's worth, everybody, that original post is a straight copy-and-paste job from a month-old blog entry.

Just FYI.
I guessed as much. lectric posted this, then disappeared. Last activity shortly after posting.
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World Leader Pretend
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2006-03-26, 22:31

Was it the poster's blog??

I was troubled that someone could sit down and type that long of a message as a post, but I guess that lectric didn't.

I would like it better if the poster would have named or cited his source..
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709
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2006-03-26, 22:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulentfurball
I guessed as much. lectric posted this, then disappeared. Last activity shortly after posting.
It happens.
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lectric
 
 
2006-03-27, 03:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
For what it's worth, everybody, that original post is a straight copy-and-paste job from a month-old blog entry.

Just FYI.
Is that a problem? It is from my blog, blurt.info. I posted here for discussion since only my mom reads my blog.
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Bryson
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2006-03-27, 03:35

To be fair, until we mentioned it, he didn't link to his blog, so seems ok to me.
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Brad
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2006-03-27, 03:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by lectric
Is that a problem? It is from my blog, blurt.info. I posted here for discussion since only my mom reads my blog.
Well, to be familiar with our general stance on posts like this, you should at least read the appropriately titled sticky thread in this forum: This is not a blog.

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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oldmacfan
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2006-03-27, 09:34

Please God I do not want my iPod to become a remote control.

My wife always takes out her anger on the poor defenseless remotes.

I have to hide them from her and if I see her getting angry I run and grab any that might be around.

Please God Please.

Mile 1
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Luca
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2006-03-27, 09:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker
tl;dr
qft
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