Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Zune and the iTV Strategy

Tomorrow will mark the launch of Zune, officially, in the eyes of the press, even though Microsoft has already acknowledged its existence and features for a while now, which I think may have been a marketing problem. Now that we already know most of the story, do people care? Everyone is buzzing about the new iPods, and still will be even after tomorrow unless Microsoft has some really big surprise to reveal, which I somehow doubt. Don't get me wrong, I'd love a great competitor to the iPod, I just don't think that Zune has what it takes. Meanwhile, people are thinking about why Apple announced the iTV so early. I figured it was so that people wouldn't use Amazon Unbox and instead use iTunes in preparation for this device's release, but there's actually more to it than that, according to this blogger. The real reason they're delaying it is to wait for the 802.11n standard to be finalized, which makes sense since they were one of the first to utilize 802.11b and 802.11g. The n standard is really great offering more than quadruple the g standard's speed on average and maxing out at well over that. This would beat out any other wireless media delivery system on the market, and Apple will probably market it so well that they'd come out on top being the first to release such a device capable of HD-quality content. I look forward to hearing more from Apple on this device that should be called the Video AirPort Express (and who knows, maybe it will be).

Back to Microsoft for a second: they've finally pulled Live out of beta (which is commendable since Google keeps things in beta way too long), and it's actually pretty good. Their image search actually beats Google Images in UI and I even created a YubNub command to search it because I like it so much (the command is 'lim'). I'm afraid that all the other news is related to Apple. So a couple more good things about iTunes 7: you can now easily backup your music and you can maintain multiple libraries, both of which I can see coming in quite handy. However, Apple clearly didn't do their homework on the Windows version of iTunes 7 and quite a few users are pretty upset about the bugs, primarily the glitching in songs that occurs sometimes (and has with me). I'm hoping for a patch real soon. It sounds like the movies on iTunes are pretty great quality though and can be viewed within 10 minutes after you begin the download. I also like that they kept chapters in there, which was a feature that was snuck in months ago for normal Quicktime videos. Speaking of videos, Apple put up their really neat iPod Nano commercial, which was premiered at yesterday's event. If you want to see close-ups of the new Nano, you can check those out at AppleInsider.

The trailer for Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is now at Apple Trailers and it actually looks pretty good, but also like it's trying to be creepy for some odd reason. I'm curious to see how he'll be handling the language though, and I wonder how many people will boycott it because of what Gibson has said while under the influence? AICN got a pretty good review of Babel, and now I'm looking forward to it even more. I love it when movies make great use of music, and I think Kill Bill and Batman Begins are both fantastic examples of that. Lastly, we have this amazing image from Fanboys that I have to share with you simply because Kristen Bell is so hot:

Click to enlarge

Now for the Wednesday Mind Hump:

1. What's in your junk drawer, and how many junk drawers do you have?
I have a couple of them here, and like four in Houston. I usually keep stuff I think could be useful but that I don't need immediately or regularly. I'll often find coupons that I wish I had used in them.

2. How often do you clean or rearrange your junk drawers?
Maybe once every four months or so? I'm pretty lazy about it.

3. Name one celebrity whose junk drawer you'd love to go through.
My brain is fried and I've been watching too much Veronica Mars, so I'm going to go with Kristen Bell here. Either her, or Kiefer Sutherland.


Russ said...

Thanks for mind humping!

Jonathan said...

Elton--Thanks for creating the lim command. Love the name.

Jon Aquino