Last week, Apple released a new iMac and a new iPod. I forgot to tell you about the third component released: iTunes 6. Apple has expanded the iTunes functionality to now include Music Videos and TV shows available for downloading. This new functionality supports the new iPod described last week. iTunes also supports purchasing a gift certificate for someone else to download the goods... I did not know that!
Remember when MTV played music videos instead of their current line of programming? I remember watching "Beat It" and some of Madonna's work, along with Weird Al and Van Halen. The video allowed the bands to explore (somtimes they really pushed reality) the music visually. Sometimes they just tried to see how little clothing they could wear, but other times, they were quite creative.
The new video segment of iTunes allows you to download Music videos for $1.99 a clip. When I checked the website on Oct 18, Apple had 200+ music Videos available for download. The videos are ad-free, in MPEG-4 or H.264 formats that may be played over and over again... no limits on how often you show the video. I saw artists like Madonna, U2, and the Beastie Boys. I'll have to fire up iTunes again later and see if some other favorits are out there and available.
The Televison side of iTunes is limited, but should be growing in no-time. Apple has signed deals with ABC Television and Disney to provide episodes just one day after it airs on network television. The cost is $1.99 per episode. I wonder if it is possible to purchase a season (22 episodes / season x $2 = $44) which is less than purchasing the season on DVD. I wonder if someone could collect the shows, digitize them to a DVD, and show them on a normal TV. I don't have the hardware, or I would try it out.
We all knew that iPods could mix music, along with various talk-radio (or sports) pod-casts. With this new musical and television functionality, the iPod really has a lot to offer.