"Real" video iPod in March/April?
ThinkSecret today updated its rumour
about the coming video iPod to state that it'll have a 4" instead of just a 3.5" monitor. And that its introduction could be postponed due to issues with finalising contracts with the movie industry. Apparently, Apple'd prefer users to buy
movies instead of renting them in a subscription contract.
ThinkSecret has not revealed what resolution the 6G iPod would have. But if this new rumour is true and the device would have about the same form factor as previous iPods (with the wide screen filling its surface up to 1/4" to the edges), it would have to be something like 640*360, which would make the screen even more dense than the 5G iPod's. (That's a good thing.) This would also be the maximum resolution allowed for videos to stay compatible with 5G iPods. (MP4s can be up to 640px wide and have 230400 pixels overall, which results in 360 horizontal lines.) But: The 5G iPod currently only supports MPEG-4 movies in such resolutions, not H.264. Whether that restriction is hardware- or firmware-based is currently unknown.
What is clear is that Apple probably has started development of the 6G iPod even before finalising the 5G version. And while video was only an "added value" for it, it's really going to be the 6G's main selling point. (Besides having a gorgeously large screen for album art and iPhoto slideshows, of course.) One important point considering the touchscreen scrollwheel is still unclear, though: What surface will the screen be made of. Oily fingerprints don't make a good movie experience... ;)