Apple today came out with a refresh of iTunes, all their iPods and Apple TV. As I was watching, several things immediately came to mind as to how this could be used in the classroom.
1. New iPods. Wow. Just wow. We went from this old style:
To this new hotness:
The amount of computational power for such little cost is amazing to me. Now ponder this: Most of our students will be walking into class soon with these powerful gadgets in their pockets. While this is amazing on it’s own, ponder this: What will they be bringing to class in 5 years?
2. Apple TV. This is the most important part of the demo in my opinion. Apple has created a nice little set-top box that not only lets you rent movies online (not revolutionary), also connects to netflix (also not revolutionary), and lets you access your content on other devices seemlessly via AirPlay. (pretty darn cool)
So let’s see here. You have an Apple TV hooked up to your classroom projector. The students have made and edited movies on their iPod Touches. They can then play those over the wifi on the Apple TV. Boom, every student can share their content on the projector. I might be missing something, but that seems pretty darn cool!
3. Pricing. Steve said they were dropping the cost to “rent” a tv show from 2.99 to just .99. That’s quite a drop. It reinforces what I have been saying that you can’t charge a lot for things that aren’t scarce. Content is important but the margins are getting smaller and smaller…
One more thing… (I always wanted to say that)
There was one more thing I saw that I think was critically important. Only Fox and ABC are onboard for providing content so far.
Steve said the other networks would see the light. lol All these pretty devices are just paperweights unless you can get content onboard. Google is after them and the TV makers are putting similar functionality right into the TVs so this is a volatile market at the moment. Apple wants to get a monopoly on their proprietary boxes like on iTunes. I get the impression that the other companies are getting a bit tired of Apple trying to dictate the rules in this new market space. We will see but this failure to line up any other major content producers says volumes. We will see.
Well another Apple event. The iPods looked tasty (esp the touch!) and I am sure they will sell well. As for Apple TV, well the price looked right but we will see how they do with content. Watch to see if any networks get onboard in the next few months.
I watched the live blog stream on Engadget who always does an awesome job! I also borrowed a few of their screengrabs since I wasn’t in there. Thanks Engadget!