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Apple deal lacks bit of crunch

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But, hey, it has free YouTube on latest gizmo



Steve Jobs





APPLE CRUMBLE: Apple announced this week that it has made a deal with YouTube to allow the popular user-generated video web site to provide content for owners of AppleTVs, the wireless unit that lets you stream content from your computer to your TV set. The YouTube feature will be part of an iTunes upgrade available next month. The best thing about it, of course, is that it’ll be free.





“This is the first time users can easily browse, find and watch YouTube videos right from their living room couch, and it’s really, really fun,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, in a press release. “YouTube is a worldwide sensation, and Apple TV is bringing it directly from the Internet onto the widescreen TV in your living room.”





Putting aside Jobs’ really, really Pollyannaish tone, it’s the sort of thing that Apple should be doing a lot more of if they want to sell more AppleTVs – the nifty gizmo that was supposed to do for video what the iPod did for music. Since Apple Canada issued the same press release this week, one has to assume that the YouTube content will also be available on iTunes Canada which has only the tiniest fraction of downloadable video content offered on the U.S. version, making the AppleTV little more than a nifty conversation piece in Canadian living rooms – the translucent white version of that black thing the family is staring at on the cover of Led Zeppelin’s Presence.





Of course, offering YouTube videos on “the widescreen TV in your living room” is nice and all, except for the fact that most YouTube videos are in the 3:4 aspect ratio of older TVs, and not 16:9 widescreen. Additionally, YouTube videos are streamed at a resolution that’s about as far from High Definition as a vintage Czech moped is from a McLaren F1 – on your 52-inch 1080p plasma it’ll be like watching old Van Halen videos through a hail storm.





While it’s about time that Apple is taking serious steps toward offering more video content on iTunes – especially in Canada – it would be nice if they looked like they had some idea of what potential buyers want to do with the little white box, which is watch stuff that looks awesome on their big new TV. Home video footage of coeds acting out skits or old episodes of the Hilarious House Of Frightenstein are nice, but they’re not quite what we had in mind. But hey – did I mention that it was free?



rick.mcginnis@metronews.ca


 
 
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