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Wait, So This iPad Thing Can Play Movies or No?

By | Blog Trends | January 27, 2010 | Comments ()


ipadstartrek.jpg

I'm going to get a jump on tonight's State of the Union address, in which Obama will confirm that it is now a law that all blogs must have at least one post about the new Apple iPad. So here's Pajiba's.

Actually the reason I'm posting about this, despite the fact that you probably never want to hear about it -- and all the feminine hygiene-related jokes its inspired -- again is that I'm confused about why so many movie blogs have written about the thing. Wow, does it really play movies? I have at least ten (as far as I would count) things that do that in my apartment. And I'd STILL rather go to a movie theater to watch them.

The strangest movie blog posts, though, are the ones that don't really explain what this thing even has to do with movies. It's like they just posted about it to post about it. Which is not at all what I'm doing...

Check it out:

  • Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood asks but does not answer:
    How Will iPad Launch Affect Hollywood?
  • Mike Sampson at JoBlo.com may have the answer with his headline "The iPad: What It Means for Movies":
    He did eventually mention going to Fandango to buy tickets for a movie but that's something you can do with relative ease with an iPhone. [...] According to those at the event, the iPad is more 4:3 than 16:9, which leaves watching a widescreen movie on the iPad a little "awkward." (Jobs picked UP as an example of watching a movie on the device.) [...] So really the iPad is designed more for reading and to take on the Kindle than as a kind of mobile movie device. And frankly, I think Apple's missing out on something here. True, people can already watch movies on their laptops and iPhones, but honestly, we can do pretty much everything the iPad is offering already on both of those devices. But with a bigger screen and a much lighter device, why wouldn't we want to carry this around and watch a movie on the train, plane or, hell, the bathroom?
  • Brad Stone at The New York Times wonders while live-blogging the Apple event:
    Mr. Jobs is demonstrating the movie "Star Trek" on the tablet.

    I wonder, will people really want to hold this device, other than on an airplane, while they watch TV and movies?

    My colleague David Carr notes that Mr. Jobs is doing little bit of cross-promotion, showing off Pixar's "Up" movie.

  • David Poland at The Hot Blog might be the best person to explain its relation to movies:
    Having a realistic sized screen for movies, television, and reading is a huge step forward. The joke about watching movies on a 2" inch screen are over. [...] With a max hard drive size of 64g, many of us wouldn't be able to keep our full music library on the iPad, much less dozens of movies and music and images sized for this pad, etc.

    So unless you want to watch Up every day, the expectation will be that you will put the movie (or last season of "30 Rock") on the iPad until you have watched it and then dump it to create room for what you want to watch next. iTunes really would like you to rent movies.

  • J.Ott at Making the Movies itemizes what it means for movies:
    1. Not a revolution, at best a gradual advancement.
    2. This will definitely change the way some people consume movies -- who and how many, it's too early to say.
    3. The iTunes extras format is basically a port of DVD menus. A touch interface for bonus feature menus may open up some new avenues, but I doubt it will set the world on fire.
    4. The increasing individualization/personalization of media. Everyone in the family can be sitting on the couch watching/reading different content.
    5. Controlled/locked down system means big media can get behind it... iTunes store needs to open up more to independent content creators or else indies won't be able to join the gravy train like the independent application developers have been able to do with the App Store.
  • Jeff Wells (and son Jett) at Hollywood Elsewhere note why you can't really watch movies in the park:
    "Forget about taking your iPad to the beach because you still can't see the screen with the glare. How big of a fundamental detail can you screw up, Apple? One of the biggest focuses of the iPad was it's portability, and it can't even light up with in sunlight."
  • Rosa Golijan at Gizmodo has some movie-watching pros and cons:
    Sure there are plenty of movies in the iTunes store, but watching them in widescreen landscape format on the iPad leaves half the device's screen unused as. Bit tacky, but somehow I think we might overlook that considering that the iPad's battery lets us keep watching videos for ten straight hours. [...] We'll listen to our iTunes collection while reading out iBook collection and squinting at the grease marks left from a popcorn-powered ten-hour movie marathon.
  • Ryan Lawler at NewTeeVee believes it will change the way you watch video:

    The iPad might not the first mass market portable media device to come out with the ability to watch digital video on the fly, but it will probably be the most important. Apple has been selling online video for viewing on the iPod and the iPhone for years. But those devices had some serious limitations -- notably their screen size. With just a 3.5″ screen, the iPhone was never an ideal video device, though it was "good enough" for watching video on the go. But with a 9.7″ screen, the iPad is basically a portable TV screen, ideal for consuming video anytime, anywhere.

  • Scott Macauley at Filmmaker Blog sees some sort of importance to filmmakers:
    The focus of Steve Jobs's presentation was solidly on the device as a large-screen multi-media device. Games from Electronic Arts were unveiled, a YouTube HD native app was demo'd and new versions of iTunes and IWorks showed scaled-up, enhanced versions of those apps. (Filmmakers, take note of all of this...)
  • Gabe Delahaye at Videogum imagines a movie being based on the unveiling:
    I could imagine a movie opening with a scene at a fancy industry convention where the Bapple ePad is unveiled, and then it fades to black and a subtitle reads "Six Months Later..." and we fade in on a man in a fancy suit rummaging through garbage. He crouches down in an alleyway to avoid a routine police rousting of the hobo camp where he now finds himself living. With the police bootsteps fading into the distance, the man solemnly takes out a bent, weathered photo of the wife who left him, sitting astride a polo horse. "I'll win you back, Tiffany," he whispers to the photo. "I built a business empire before, and I will do it again." And then a rat steals his moldy sandwich. What I am trying to say is, hahahhaha Apple iPad.


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