The 2″ X 2″, 800 lb. Gorilla

October 8, 2008

They’re really trying to sell us on it.  We’ve got iPod Video and the matching iPhone.  We’ve got Verizon’s V Cast network.  We’ve got Zunes, and Sansa’s and Walkmen err.. Walkmans, whatever.  We’ve got thousands of options for watching our vidcasts, sports clips, music videos or stolen TV shows on the go.

All of these products have an inherent and obvious flaw that no one seems to mention.

I’ve got an iPod, and it plays videos.  My phone came with V Cast.  Aside from testing the functionality, I have never used either to watch a moving picture.  Maybe once, accidentally.  Why?  Very simple, the screen on the iPod is the size of Triscuit.  A Better Cheddar for my phone.  The iPod touch is little larger, about half a graham cracker.  Still as far as screen size goes, I want less Nabisco and more death steak.

I like podcasts and net shows.  I watch them on a semi-regular basis.  But never, after watching one on my 15″ monitor have I said “Oh shit, I gotta see that tomorrow in my friend’s car.”  I love “Goodfellas,” but I’ve never had the urge to watch Joe Pesci shoot Michael Imperioli in the foot while waiting 5 minutes for a triple double soy laté.

Go to the commons.  Look around.  You’ll see a shit-ton of iPods and their clones, most with video capability.  Now look at their people.  You’ll see a lot more head bobbing than eye scanning.  Maybe, just maybe, you’ll see some guy looking at a video on a cell phone.  Bad news V Cast, that’s no music video. The star of that video is himself, or one of his friends; probably intoxicated in some fashion, or maybe just saying some dumb, sober shit.

There’s reasons why music-on-the-move caught on.  You can do it while walking.  You can pay attention to the stops on the subway with your eyes while your ears are occupied.  Assuming you dislike ear trauma, no one really knows what your listening to, so there’s a privacy aspect.  And most importantly, no retina strain.  In all these cases mobile video fails to <insert corny chuckle here> size up.