The Rise of Video

Recently, I’ve found myself spending a stupid amount of time playing around with video. After a couple of years of practically ignoring it, I now tend to find myself softly bumping up against my monthly 12GB bandwidth quota after downloading copious quantities of video content.

Bittorrent is my new friend, a means to access an entire universe of previously unobtainable and now practically real-time, motorsport coverage from Formula 1, GP2, WRC, BTCC, A1GP, DTM, WTCC or anything else that has four wheels, is driven in anger and is broadcast on television somewhere on the planet. Lucky for my quota, I haven’t yet moved on to seeking out the latest sitcom episodes direct from the US, though I’m paranoid about watching any episodes of “Lost” for fear of getting hooked on it.

I’m currently using the excellent Transmission client, after previously labouring with the official client1 and Azureus2. Transmission is quick, resource shy and f-a-a-st by comparison.)

The legalities of encoding and re-distributing what were commercial television broadcasts remain more than a little shady, especially here in Australia where fair-use has yet to be ratified and where, technically, copying your own music to an iPod is against the law. Apple’s move into the video content provider space has opened up a whole new bunch of questions about the future of television distribution, in much the same way that the iTunes Music Store opened the floodgates in the music distribution space.

But alas, the TV distribution is currently US only with little to no hope of being launched down here anytime soon. I’m also sure it’s going to be another millenium before we see any kind of ‘official’ downloadable motorsport content available anywhere.

Anyway, the point of this rant is that with the video floodgates opened I’m now finding it increasingly hard to keep up.

Short of staying up until the wee-hours every night, hunched over the iBook, pouring through the last twelve months worth of track/special-stage action, hoping that my iBook’s smoking 8mb of VRAM keeps up - the only practical solution I saw was to buy either a PSP, with another couple of hundred dollars worth of shudder MemoryStick cards (no thanks) or a 5g iPod (with video).

After reading a couple of glowing reviews for the iPod and after reading about the silly hoops you have to jump through to get video onto the PSP (let along being able to afford enough storage memory to store it), I’ve finally stumped up for the latter option - a white 30GB iPod (model code: MA002X/A)

All I need to do now is re-encode everything to fit the iPod video specs.

(I’m also really looking forward to seeing that little blue dot next to my unplayed podcasts, the schmik full colour interface, goodbye Chicago, hello Myriad Pro, full colour album art, worldclocks, photos, slideshows…)

  1. Very resource intensive, relatively slow dl/ul speeds. 

  2. Written in java, say no more.