They’re now calling for them. To quote them:
The rumor business is not always kind. Reliable evidence has corroborated reports of the development of a video iPod, but information until now had pointed to a release date later than October. Recent notes suggest otherwise, however, and tomorrow may in fact see the release of a video iPod, while Mac updates may not be delivered until next week.
It’s great to be in a business that is purely speculative so that the story can change a couple times before an event or even change after.
Personally, I still don’t see much utility in a video iPod as there isn’t any legal way to get DVD video into another format (cracking the encryption on the discs is a violation of the DMCA). Surely Apple can claim that the player is purely for music videos and vidcasts, but the move would be suicide if they don’t support a format that users can easily convert DVDs into (H.264, etc.).
That said, Apple was able to capitalize on rampant illegal peer to peer file sharing to fuel iPod sales. They were able to skirt the RIAA’s vengeful fist because CDs can be legally encoded as MP3s. Not so with DVDs. Will the music video excuse be enough to keep the MPAA placated?
And what about recent problems for projects such as MacTheRipper? Without DVD ripping utilities, would a video iPod be successful? That question is likely to be moot as someone will develop a program to fit the need, but it’s still of concern, particularly if someday we hope to keep all our movies in our pocket, like we do with music today.
That also begs the question about what kind of outputs would such a player have. Could this new iPod have the full assortment of AV output connections to hook up to a television? Could the current dock connector act as a conduit and supply the necessary bandwidth for such data?
I have lots of questions and few answers.