Blog Post

Apple Mobile Video: Stuck in the Future

A new, very entertaining trailer for “The Expendables” came out last week and I had to show it to my wife. After work, I fired up YouTube on the TiVo but I couldn’t find it there. Anyone who has used YouTube on a TiVo can tell you how horrible it is to search for anything using that remote. I was disappointed but I had other options.

I grabbed my iPad, fired up the YouTube app and did a search. Nothing.  Now I was getting mad. I went to Google on the iPad and did a search. I found the YouTube video on a dozen or so sites but YouTube didn’t have an Apple-friendly version available. Other sites had their own videos but they were all flash versions.

I’m now about 45 minutes into this and I’m loosing it. I use DownloadHelper and Firefox to grab a mp4 version of the trailer off of YouTube and save it to my desktop. I open it up in QuickTime and created an Apple TV version. I then synced it to my iPad in iTunes. After finally being able to show my wife the trailer I throw my Apple friendly version up on YouTube.Why didn’t I just sit her down at my desktop to watch it? Well, I don’t have external speakers and it’s not as casual as watching it on a big TV or an iPad.

[inline-ad]This seems to happen to me quite a bit on the iPad. I see a video at work, I want to show it to someone when I get home, only to find out I can’t, without using a desktop or notebook. If I could just watch flash videos, 90 percent of these issues would be avoided. I usually try the TiVo route first but that’s only because it’s connected to the big screen. With all the different gadgets I own, I still have to use my Mac Pro to watch a simple flash video. There has to be a better way.

This got me to thinking about what I really want in an Apple TV. If Apple would make its device just a 1080p video unit that could have videos thrown to it using an iPad or iPhone as the remote, that would be a good start. Next, give me flash video. I don’t want games or flashy website intros, just flash-based videos. I fear Apple is too proud to ever back-peddle on this and that may force me to seriously look into Google TV. HTML 5 may be the future but I’m stuck here with my device in my hand, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up.

33 Responses to “Apple Mobile Video: Stuck in the Future”

  1. I wish I never would have bought an I pad. Without flash I can’t see the majority of content I want to. I have purchased apple products for the past three years and this was my last. That’s funny it says it’s a copy of another comment so I’m not the first.

  2. I wish I never would have bought an I pad. Without flash I can’t see the majority of content I want to. I have purchased apple products for the past three years and this was my last.

  3. So this is a hit piece right or the case of not being technically inclined?

    I just pulled up 25 videos of Trailers and behind the scenes of The Expendables on my iPhone.

  4. giovanni1975

    I think some of you are being a bit harsh on the author and fail to get his point. You just sound smarmy. Directing someone to watch a trailer on iTunes is not what this article is about, is it?
    A few years ago YouTube became available as an app on the iPhone. Great. But there are so many videos you cannot watch on the iPhone or the iPad. I suppose that is not Apple’s fault; YouTube should be quicker at converting its content. And I’m not talking about dire Hollywood trailers. I’m talking about many videos on YouTube. Only this weekend I tried to watch about a dozen videos, none of which were available to watch while mobile.

    • Right, and, if Apple let Flash in on iOS, Google would stop converting videos to better formats altogether, or at least won’t see it as the priority that it is now.

  5. Andrew, it sounds like you have issues that go way beyond Flash. You need to relax a little and think through problems. Maybe your wife should be waiting with a martini for you when you get home from work.

  6. An option I’ve used is to use LogMeIn to my Laptop or WHS and show the Flash video on my iPad. Less time than converting something that I may only wish to watch once.

    • You mean Google TV, the forthcoming service about which very little is actually known? I’d say that calling something “the way to go” despite having never actually seen or used it to be more a mark of a fanboy than people saying, “Go to this site instead,” or “I don’t mind not having Flash.”

  7. Got to agree with the previous comments. I’m a professional graphics designer, so I know a little bit about Flash. Flash video is everything that Flash was never meant to be. Small, embedded videos within an otherwise appropriate Flash project are good; using Flash as a primary means of video distribution is—uh—not.

    With all due respect, if you don’t want to be stuck in the future, you shouldn’t be using an Apple product in the first place. ;-)

  8. Jeez are you serious? Do you really want to talk about flash now? That ship has sailed buddy. Get over it and start writing stuff I won’t immediately think ‘there’s 5 minutes of my life I’ll never get back’. C’mon are you serious????

  9. My question is… Why didn’t you just go to iTunes on your iPad and watch the trailer for The Expendables there? Or, why couldn’t you have even gone to Safari and gone to (as someone else has already pointed out). The point of writing articles (blogs) like this, is to have people wanting to follow you and hear what you have to say. If you can’t think all of your options through and don’t seem to push your intellectual abilities any further, than why should I (or anyone else) want to hear what you have to say. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not a happy moment running into a flash video on the iPad or iPhone and not being able to run it. But seriously man – figure out all of your alternatives before you get on here and rant about a problem that had so many solutions right in front of you.

    • Agree with Mitch.

      This guy obviously prefers to rant and generate attention rather than do his homework. It’s another reason why opinion pieces fail. For the record, I found the video using the YouTube app on my HTC TP2 and it played back fine.

      I’m not a fan of Apple or Flash. Both have major issues. But I know better than to get hysterical over something that I know having done my research doesn’t quite work.

  10. .. screw Flash, boycotting it is the only way for the world to move along. When you establish a standard, it is very hard to move on and I thank Apple for doing just that.

    I really don’t like Flash, and I like Flash-based video even less!

  11. See the problem is these damn flash containers holding perfectly compatible videos captive in their dungeon of legacy. What we need is a MAJOR push towards websites dropping flash videos and start embracing future technologies like HTML5.. heck if anything it’s a great way of forcing people to upgrade to new web browsers.. finally ditch IE6 eh? :D