iVideo is coming

in Future Apple Hardware edited September 2015
I don't have any hard evidence but if Samsung is working on one then I am sure Apple will be to.

I am in the process of selling my product idea to Samsung. I showed them the iPod - they didn't even know it existed. They were astounded. I really went into the quality of the product - the solid feel, ease of use, speed, battery life, etc.

I then introduced my idea - a small HD based DV / MPEG video camera. No clumsy tapes, etc. just click, record, download. Record in high quality DV format or just MPEG for home video / email clips, etc.

I haven't seen my iPod since - last I saw of it, it was completely dissected. The engineers are working on a feasibility study right now. After meeting with them I doubt they can make a package as refined as the iPod - they just don't have a clue.

The one engineer had an idea - let's make an all-in-one device - video, MP3, organizer, dig cam, rem control, etc. At this point I realized I have about a 10% chance of getting this product out the door.

But if Apple were to produce such - it would be done right. Sony hasn't yet produced one because they make money selling tapes - check the prices of their Micro DV tapes.

Apple is looking to make more off the same few customers it has and over time we will be seeing more computer add ons.


  • Reply 1 of 60
    kd5mdkkd5mdk Posts: 81member
    [quote] I showed them the iPod - they didn't even know it existed. <hr></blockquote>

    To be honest, I find that incredibly hard to believe. But even if true, we'll see.

    Apple will capture to DV format if they do this. Why? Because that's what iMovie uses, and it would completely destroy what they're working for if they make a video component that doesn't interface with what is perhaps their most famous consumer program.

    Personally, I don't see it happening. DV format takes too much space to do on a tiny hard drive. Given the cost of the iPod, it's much more effective to just buy a little DVCam.
  • Reply 2 of 60
    jobesjobes Posts: 106member
    what about the QT codec to be used with FCP 3.0 for the offline RT stuff... is it motion-JPEG or something? i remember there being a lot of excitement about it from certain qtrs when FCP 3 was announced before xmas ...

    forgive my memory .. i am drunk ...

    although i don't believe the original post at all it is keeping the flames of fantasy alive for pocket video advocates ... that alone is fun ...
  • Reply 3 of 60
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    I'm sure if Apple does anything along these lines, it will be based on Mpeg4.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    I've read that there is a 20 gig HD available in the form factor used in the iPod. I wonder how much video (home quality) would fit in 20 Gig? What'd be really spiffy is using the 5 gig drive (which should be relatively cheap soon) in a Quality Digital Still Camera. You could take high quality photos of the whole vacation and no rolls of film or little cards to get lost....

    Just my 3 cents shy of a nickel
  • Reply 5 of 60
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    MPEG-4 really wasn't designed for applications like these. MPEG-4's primary application is low-mid bandwidth internet based media distribution.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    a 720x480 pixel DV stream with a 48 KHz, 16-bit audio track will need 3.6+ MB/s of bandwidth. So, a 20 GB HDD will only fit about 90 minutes of video. A MiniDV tap fits 60 minutes of video, and costs a few dollars. A 20 GB HDD the size of the iPod's will cost you a few hundred dollars.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I thought that a standard def DV stream was around 20Mbps. 3.6MB is closer to 30Mbps.

    However, is it really neccessary to use 1.8" drives? You could still make a very small camera using a 2.5 notebook drive. I guess power consumption becomes an issue, but you could make do with a 4200rpm unit backed by a big cache and a moulded li-poly battery.

    It'd still be expensive, but you could get big storage, possibly even upgrade the drive down the line?
  • Reply 8 of 60
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Standard DV stream is 25Mbps plus the audio which brings it up to around 3.6MB/s.

    Actually 90 minutes is a perfectly acceptable recording time (the average domestic 60 minute DV tape has Christmas at the beginning, summer in the middle and Christmas at the end). The disc cost compared to tape cost is irrelevant as it is a temporary, not an archive medium.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    This raises the question of How Good can an MPEG-2 stream be? There's the new microMV format which halves the bitrate of DV by converting the image data to MPEG-2 on the fly as it goes to tape. Initial reports indicate that Sony's MicroMV cameras don't deal with fast changing dynamic scenes or huge range very well when compared to MiniDV. But, the tapes are tiny, the machines are tiny and the video is ready for the web. It just isn't the best quality.

    Then you think about it for a bit. A DVD disc has less than 10Mbps data rate and it's picture looks wonderful. Way better than your DV-home movies. OK, so they're pros working from excellent source material, but you CAN do some great things with relatively low bit-rates.

    Apple has some choice MiniDV, MPEG2, MPEG4, QT. All depends on the intended use.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    gizwaldgizwald Posts: 39member
    Offline RT would not be acceptable, because it captures at a low bitrate and at 320x240. But if Apple could come up with a new Codec, or find an elegant way to use an existing codec so that you could get at least two hours of footage on the camera, this would be a feasable Idea. I had the same idea myself. I think that MPEG-4 would work fine, as long as it was used at higher bitrates, and iMovie was modified to use MPEG-4 and remove any evidence of keyframing. When you consider how small the iPod's HD is compared to the tape-drive mechanism in a Mini-DV Camcorder, this idea makes sense. But I wonder how long the battery would last with the HD spinning all the time? The iPod gets 10 hrs, but it relies heavily on a large ram cache. I don't think you could do this with video. The device would likely need a larger battery than the iPod.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    What if they used a 20-40GB 2.5" 4200rpm. They could spec an especially low power version and put a BIG cache in front of it (256MB ?) then it would only write every few seconds. Scratch that, maybe it makes no difference at all. Can a drive's RPM be controlled? What if there were a way to spin the drive to the absolute SLOWEST speed that could still record all the data and use a Big cache as a sort of buffer under-run protector.

    The drive isn't really seeking, reading, and writing in bursts. Its activity is fairly constant, so who cares about seek time or through-put? SLOW the drive DOWN as much as possible. If all we need is about 3.6MBps we could concievably drop the rotational speed down to a constant 1000rpm or so. This might be even better than constantly spinning the drive up and then down.

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
  • Reply 12 of 60
    jasonppjasonpp Posts: 308member
    Could Raycer's chips do this MPEG-4 compression?
  • Reply 13 of 60
    naepstnnaepstn Posts: 78member
    Are you guys listening to yourselves? Do you do any video work (amateur home movies included)?

    Why would Apple (or anyone) build this, or buy this? What could this device do that a current MiniDV camera cannot? I cannot think of a single advantage, and can think of MANY disadvantages.

    1) Size. An iPod HD is really not that much bigger than a MiniDV mechanism. Just look at the Canon Elura2 for an idea of how small you can get a MiniDV camera.

    2) Versatility. Why would you want a HD that is stuck in the camera, and not easily (if at all) replaceable? MiniDV tapes are small, convenient and reliable. (Tape vs. Optical for reliability, shock-resistance, etc.) Many people like to have multiple tapes for different types of footage (and stills/video). You would lose this. Most importantly, what happens when you have filled up your 90 minute HD and need/want to shoot more and don't have a computer at hand? You're screwed!!!

    3) Price. I see no reason why a micro HD-based camera would be any cheaper than a MiniDV, and it would probably be considerably more expensive.

    4) Why would Apple or anyone else write all sorts of new codecs, file formats, etc. just so that they could do this, when it would result in worse quality video footage for a more expensive camera that has no benefits over the current kit? It's not really like anyone wants to watch unedited video or on the web (which is the only benefit I could see to using some modified MPEG4 codec).

    The only benefit I can see would be battery life, which might well be better than MiniDV cameras. A HD spinning likely wouldn't use any more power than spinning DV cassette spindles.

    Wish You Were Here, you sure that wasn't Scamsung you visited? Sounds to me like some engineers/teenagers just got themselves a free iPod, by listening to your ideas, and pretending that they'd never seen one before. :-)
  • Reply 14 of 60
    prestonpreston Posts: 219member
    i agree, the disadvantages are far too significant to be ignored by Apple. Just listen to Jobs: Digital Camera and mp3 NEED a computer, DV and DVD are significantly IMPROVED by a computer. This basically explains that DV and DVD have the capability to exist on their own without a Mac, so releasing a product that requires a Mac wouldn't make sense.

    I think a more sensible approach would be to employ DV tapes, but allow the video to also be streamed through a firewire cable to the iPod in the filmmaker's pocket. This would ENHANCE the functionality of the product with Apple's simplicity without limiting it. Then you could synch the iPod to iMovie the same way you synch it to iTunes.

    Another problem I have with the 20gig iVideoCamera is that where the heck are you going to store this 20gig when you want the camera drive free again? certainly not on my 20gig iBook!!!!!

  • Reply 15 of 60
    gizwaldgizwald Posts: 39member
    Yes, I do plenty of home video editing.


    1) Mini DV tapes are Linear. If you want to pull video from a Mini DV tape, you have to search through the tape to find the scenes you want, or download the whole tape and remove scenes you don't want. If you have a HD based recording device you can easily move the scene you want to use without having to search through an hour of tape. Apple could use and indexing / thumnailing system like in iMovie to label the scenes. Linear systems can also only upload footage in realtime, as far as I know... If it was reading from a HD, you could take footage as fast as it could be read from the HD.

    2) DV tapes are 90 min, max. HDs keep getting higher and higher density. I'm not saying that a 10GB drive would be that useful for a camera, but 3 of four years down the road, when iPod sized HDs are at about 100 GB... Whoa, momma.

    3) Who wants to fool around with tapes? If your internal HD was big enough to fit several hours of video, why would you rather carry around a handful of tapes? Then you have to worry about changing tapes, labelling cataloging...The only disadvantage is that when your HD is full, you can't record any more until you remove some footage.

    Which brings me to my last point... Why use MPEG 4? Because it gives great quality at low bitrates. This means many more hours of footage on your HD. Lower bitrates also mean less data output, so the HD would not have to work as hard. Aha, suddenly we have more battery life.

    And what about archiving, you ask? What about DVDs? They seem to work fine for video, last time I checked. Apple could even build software for storing unedited footage, without converting it to MPEG-2, on DVDs. They would not be playable on a DVD player, but you could quickly free up some HD space to shoot more footage. You could plug the camera into your mac and it would burn the data directly to the DVD, so you would not even need any free HD space on your Mac. Then you could edit it later, if you wanted to.

    What's with this comment :

    releasing a product that requires a Mac wouldn't make sense.

    What about the iPod? Looks like it's selling pretty well, even though you need a Mac to use it.

    And what about streaming footage to your iPod? You're going to sit there for an hour while your tape-based camera sends data to your iPod for what reason? So that you have a duplicate of your footage? Or so that you can reuse your tape? Not a good idea with MiniDV. Your tapes will be useless in no time. Once a tape has been recorded over 2 or 3 times, it starts dropping frames like crazy. Why not just put in another tape, and wait until you get home to upload it to your Mac for editing?

    Boy, for Canadians, you guys sure are dumb.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    ape_manape_man Posts: 29member
    The biggest problem with this that I can see is: Have you ever tried to edited Mpeg video 1 2 or 4 or even DivX. Whith mpeg style encodeing you then have to continuosly decode every time you change frames, it is slow and infuriating
  • Reply 17 of 60
    ensign pulverensign pulver Posts: 1,193member
    I agree that a dedicated digital camcorder built around a 1.8" hard drive offers few advantages over existing MiniDV tape based units (other than sheer coolness), but there is one thing we're not considering. What if this camera was a true still image/video hybrid? If it captured 720x480 video AND 3 megapixel stills through the same lens, same interface and most importantly to the same media, it would be revolutionary.

    Current MiniDV camcorders advertise still image capture, but it's just the same 720x480 frame written to tape over multiple frames. If Apple's iCamera (or whatever) behaved exactly like existing USB still cameras AND existing MiniDV camcorders and auto-synched via firewire with BOTH iMovie and iPhoto, then I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    I don't know. I have a friend who has been video editing for a couple years now building up skills to some day do it professionally. Now, I'm not trying to say that I know exactly what it's like, or that he is some kind of pro. But seeing the stuff he does with his cameras, a hard drive wouldn't last an hour out in the extreme cold and hot weather, let alone the shock abuse he gives it from skiing and running with it, stuff like that. True, they could make it more solid and specific to a video camera, but why mess with something thats already decent enough? It works great for what people use them for. Plus, he constantly changes tapes while out shooting, especially now that he's at a film school. I don't mean to be negative, it may happen some day, but I would say leave well enough alone. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

  • Reply 19 of 60
    moosemanmooseman Posts: 126member
    ...oh yeah, that iPod I use while working out, running, cycling, working, driving,etc. fell apart in minutes from abuse.......NOT.

    If my iPod can handle the abuse, why not a camera?
  • Reply 20 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    It's all digital right? Exactly how many MB/GB's does a miniDV tape hold? You'll know right there whether it's economical or not. Based on 3.6MBps for MiniDV @ 720x480 by a 60 minute capacity, you're looking at 13GB/hour for MiniDV.

    As for the durability, some pros are capturing directly to hard-drives already -- George Lucas comes to mind -- but those guys have unlimited money, so that's not exactly consumer grade stuff.

    Studios will use BIG hard drives and shoot for hours. But again, a big budget studio shoot can afford lots of power and equipment, even on remote locations. Not a problem if you're shooting LoTR or AOTC, but problematic for a lot of other (even pro) uses like documentary, extreme sports, live news correspondence. Still, for these uses a custom enclosure can solve most of the extreme temp concerns. Like I said previously, it all depends on your intended use.


    Can an HDD video device be any good as a small handheld camcorder? I think yes. First off, we loose the 1.8 drive and go with a BIG 2.5" notebook drive modified to spin only fast enough to record the stream and not more than that. Playback and off-loading can utilize a full conventional rotational speed, but recording only needs about 1200rpm or so. You can save a lot of power right there. I still think such a device is a couple of years away (when bigger notebook drives are available and cheaper) but just for argument's sake. The device consists of a moulded Li-poly battery, the HDD, the optics, a viewfinder, and an LCD.

    But I don't know if that's the implementation of an HDD. Tape is still very good, and bound to get cheaper.

    Maybe the 1.8" drive is best suited to a DIGITAL STILL CAMERA with a secondary video function. Right now the only hybrids you can get either take good stills and postage size QTs or they take good video and passable 0.5 - 1.5 MP stills. However, you could get a high quality still 3.3+ MP still camera to do a bit better than the pathetic QT's they now take, which more than anything else are storage limited. Even the 5GB iPod drive could get a couple of hours of decent quality MPEG2 on it. A better codec and 10-20GB drive could make shooting decent home videoo from a digital still camera possible. The advantage would be that you could make the device pocketable.

    You need a good programmable encoder/decoder, and while compressed formats can be a bitch to edit, it wouldn't be impossible to fix the problem. Software could be worked out so that it doesn't degrade the clip each time you process it. The camera would certainly be very web friendly and small. The video would merely exist as a very nice addition to the still camera abilities. Something to take with you on vacation for HQ still and decent ([email protected]) video.

    I think the 1.8" drive could certainly work as a way of putting video on still cameras.

    But it needs some time before cost and battery life will allow it.

    [ 05-13-2002: Message edited by: Matsu ]</p>
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