I hope everyone knows about the new iPods with video by now… I’ll leave the details for the hundreds of duplicate news items in your RSS reader. What can you actually do with an iPod capable of video, and how does the quality stand up?
The Unofficial Apple Weblog has a great overview of the quality you can expect from the $1.99 television episodes. The tradeoff between size and quality is about the same as you’ve come to know from the iTunes Music Store. Media is compressed enough to be iPod-portable, but not so much that the resulting file is unusable. Apple really manages to hit the sweet spot with both audio and video. For $1.99, I can easily see myself no longer rushing home from work to catch the newest “Lost” episode. While some more show selection is desperately needed, I think the video iPod (which is now the only “iPod” device in the list — you now choose from Shuffle, Nano, or iPod) will be a huge success.
Until more content is available from Apple, you may wish spend your time and processing cycles encoding DVDs for iPod use, using two of my favorite video applications, MacTheRipper and HandBrake. Or you could encode some new (HD) movie trailers to take with you, as well.