Apple Thinks Your Video Sucks

Remember when everyone was all excited about user-generated content? Wasn’t that, like, last week? Oh wait, it was today, at CES. Well, nobody told Steve Jobs. His keynote introduction of a couple high-profile digital media devices today featured approximately zero non-pro content. Over at Moscone, it was all about John Mayer, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Office, and Zoolander.

The Apple TV, while it doesn’t support over-the-air downloads, is set to offer the capability to play anything that works in iTunes, we were told at the Macworld demo area today. So yes, video podcasts are compatible. But what about the short clips that have found such fame and fortune lately? Apparently Steve Jobs and co. think they’re not appropriate for the living room.

Jobs is mostly right. On a small screen, amateur moviemakers can deliver “good enough” video that is watchable; while pro video may look better, in a 385×485 pixel window, it’s not that much better. Attention spans at the couch differ vastly from attention spans at the desk.

As for his demo, the perfectionist Jobs prefers to use professional photoshoots of “family vacations” and clean-faced American Eagle-style models for his precious keynotes. The largest Disney shareholder is going to push Hollywood movies and Grammy winners, especially as long as the best of UGC is still kitschy and under-produced.

At the same time, online video has got some real gems, and the usability geeks at Apple would have probably had some interesting insights about getting them into the living room. Maybe next year.


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