Video iPod, iTunes 6, and New iMac G5 with Front Row

Apple added some interesting flair to their video offerings this week with the introduction of an iPod capable of playing video, iTunes 6 with support for purchasing music video and television shows from the iTunes Music Store, and the new iMac G5 with built-in iSight video camera, a remote control, and Front Row software for playing back all of your media.

I was going to go poking around to find a good export setting for getting one’s video onto the iPod, but Apple’s already done that work: open iMovie or QuickTime Player, export a video, and you’ll see an option to export “Movie to iPod (320 x 240)”, which encodes in MPEG-4 format (H.264 playback is also supported on the iPod, but MPEG-4 offers higher bitrates).

I’m sure some exporting using Expert Settings might create better results than Apple’s default, but I’ll have to leave that testing for another day: at the beginning of this week while riding my bicycle to work, I collided with a pickup truck that abruptly turned in front of me, resulting in a broken collarbone and my right arm in a sling for four weeks. That has slowed me down this week, as you might imagine.

So, check out coverage of the new gear at TidBITS, and look for my Practical Mac column talking more about the iPod and video in Saturday’s Seattle Times (I’ll post the link when it’s live).

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