A harmonious future for digital video?

I just started using iTunes in the last year, since (finally) getting my first iPod. On a couple of occasions I’ve acquired music or video from other sources, and boy was I confused when I realized that I couldn’t actually play that media on my iPod without converting it to another format (or in some cases, at all).

Why yes, I did used to ride a dinosaur to school, too. Thanks for asking.

Of course, short of your grandparents, I’m just about the last person in this country to realize that the iTunes format is different than everyone else’s format, and even those so-called “open format” devices can occasionally be bamboozled by a different format (or even a rogue file extension). And—like most people—I mostly just want these things to work the way I want them to with minimal fuss.

All of which I bring up to explain why last week’s news is kind of a big deal:

A group of media industry companies said it is planning to build a digital world where video devices and content websites play together in perfect harmony, and consumers can safely store their digital content and access it anywhere in the world.

The consortium of Hollywood studios, retailers, service providers, and consumer electronics and information technology companies, called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, or DECE, is working on a “uniform digital media experience” but won’t announce details until the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

As for iTunes…?

“This is very different from the Apple ecosystem,” he said. “We encourage Apple to join the consortium. We don’t ever anticipate Apple going away or this consortium replacing it.”

I dunno. I mean, they say “consortium,” but I mostly just picture the guys from the “I’m a Mac / I’m a PC” commercial singing kumbaya together. And then I can watch it on my iPod with a single click, right? While telling the kids how back in my day you had to run it through three different converters, first, and it would crash your computer and still not work…?

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2 thoughts on “A harmonious future for digital video?

  1. I’m skeptical that this consortium will be able to pull off what they plan and be able to deliver enough content to keep it going. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it works because it sounds great!

  2. I completely agree, Jeff, plus I think the whole “we don’t expect Apple to join us but wouldn’t it be swell if Apple joined us?” thing is weird, as well.