February 22, 2005 12:10 PM PST
Cameras, iPods need to talk to each other
(continued from previous page)
addition to hard-drive-based music players.
"It goes hand in hand with adding a color screen," Kevorkian said. Plus, she said, device makers will be looking for more features to add to fill up the ever-larger hard drives. "Adding digital photos makes a lot of sense as hard-drive capacities continue to grow."
Apple introduced its photo-displaying iPod in October. However, that device can only display photos by connecting to a PC or Mac. Belkin does make a device that attaches to an iPod and allows photos to be stored on the hard drive. However, photos added in that way cannot be displayed on the iPod today without first uploading the pictures to a computer.
While photo options are one way to beef up a portable player, the other big feature out there is video playback, Kevorkian said. However, such devices, like Archos' new AV4100, still tend to be thought of as a separate category. In general, those devices feature larger screens, making the overall devices considerably bulkier than music-playing devices.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been outspoken in criticizing the idea of a video iPod, though the market may grow more interesting to Apple and others if those who make movies and TV shows begin to release more of their content. Apple also criticized the market for flash- memory-based MP3 players for some time--and then Apple brought out its flash-based iPod Shuffle last month.
Analysts have said Apple is probably keeping its options open and building the necessary technology to offer a video player, should that market become more interesting and a significant threat to the company's dominant position in the MP3 market.
Indeed, PortalPlayer sees things much the same way. "We did a chip about two years ago that did video," Michael Maia, the company's vice president of sales, said in a December interview. "We didn't see a market for it."
Another feature that many have wanted in the iPod is Bluetooth, a short-range wireless technology. That would allow people to more easily listen to the music on their devices through a car stereo or with wireless headphones. They might also easily share their music with friends' nearby devices. That's also technically feasible, Maia said, but runs the risk of irking music labels unless the music was shared in a way that protects copyrighted files from being duplicated.
"I think it's more of an '06 thing," Maia said. "A lot of people are talking to us about that. "It's really not a technology barrier. It's more of a political barrier."
7 commentsJoin the conversation! Add your comment