Coming Soon to An iPod Near You

by James R. Stoup Dec 09, 2005

I had planned on making today’s article a continuation of Monday’s topic on operating systems. Thanks to some vigorous input we were able to name several dozen operating systems. And so today I had wanted to explain my views on Singularity, which is a prototype OS from Microsoft. However, these plans have been put on hold for the moment because of Apple’s recent announcement with NBC. So, in light of that I have a different topic today. Namely, which shows should be next? Here are my picks, broken down by network.

ABC (owned by Disney)
Alias - Jennifer Garner on an iPod, need I say more?

And that’s about it. I hate “reality TV” with a passion and the rest of ABC’s primetime lineup just sucks out loud. Sorry ABC, better luck next season.

ESPN (owned by Disney)
NFL - Football is the most popular sport in America. And so if you are willing to pay $50 for a ticket in the nosebleed section and $14 for a beer then $1.99 to watch the game on your iPod doesn’t sound unreasonable.

College Football - There are several cities in the America that, on game day, become the largest city in their state. College football has a huge following and the target audience would be very likely to all ready own iPods.

Maybe if football takes off other sports will follow. But don’t hold your breath for the WNBA.

The History Channel (owned by Disney)
Everything - I love the history channel. And unlike the rest of the shows mentioned so far the programming here actually has some educational value. Teachers, students, and academics of all ages could greatly benefit from being able to instantly buy such knowledge. For example, you are a college student needing to do a paper on Rome where do you go for research? Why the ITMS of course. You then navigate of the history channel and buy a couple of episodes on Roman engineering. Or Roman culture, or war, or a history of the emperors, or anything else the history channel has covered. Want to learn about lasers? The Da Vinci code? Toys? The FBI? Modern Marvel? Egypt? The Bible? Anything at all? Then this is the place for you. I can see myself spending more money here than on practically any other network.

ER - The last couple of years haven’t really interested me much but the first five seasons were great. Who wouldn’t want to see George Clooney back in the ER? This was great television.

The West Wing - One of the best written shows ever this definitely needs to go online and while the first two seasons were the best by far, the cast, led by Martin Sheen, is top notch. The writing is still very crisp and witty and the plot lines still believable. One of my favorite shows of all time, this one definitely needs to be on there.

Third Watch - I am either friends with, or related to, quite a few police officers, fire fighters and EMS personnel. As such shows like this often times find a warm spot in my heart. And while it wouldn’t be top of the list, I still would enjoy being able to download this show.

24 - Interesting premise, non-stop action, decent plots and a main character whom you can root for make 24 a good bet for release online.

Family Guy - Talk about a show with a hardcore fan base this one is it. They managed to bring Family Guy back from the dead and make it one of the most popular shows on Fox in the process. This should be one of the first programs Fox releases for the ITMS.

The OC - No, I am just kidding, I want to make sure you are paying attention. This show is pretty bad, though it has been rumored that detainees in Iraq have been forced to watch the OC in an effort to make them crack.

The Simpsons - Officially the longest running comedy of all time the Simpsons still delivers. Always new, always current and always funny the Simpsons should be right behind Family Guy on the Fox top 10 list.

CSI - I really did enjoy the original CSI, but they have tried to pull a Law & Order and release multiple shows all based off of the same concept. Not sure if it really works for everyone else but as far as I’m concerned the first one was the best. Give me the original and you can keep Miami and NY.

Shows I expect to see soon
These are shows that have ended a long and successful run but are still favorites to many. Winning numerous awards during their day, these programs were some of the best shows on TV.

Sex in the city

Classic Shows
If Dragnet, ADAM 12 and the rest begin to take off then here are some more shows that need to see the light of day.

Outer Limits
Twilight Zone
I love Lucy
The Dick Van Dyke Show
Star Trek

Classic Cartoons
And we can’t forget the kid in us all. The 80’s had a plethora of great cartoon shows. And now is the perfect time to reintroduce them to the kids of today’s generation.

Duck Tales
Thunder Cats
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

These are some of my picks for what should make it onto ITMS in the near future. Hopefully more networks will get behind Apple in the coming year and help expand our viewing choices. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go download Battlestar Gallactica. What are your picks?


  • I agree with a great deal of your picks. 

    Hey, Steve, if you put Star Trek: Voyager on the iTMS, I’ll buy EVERY SINGLE EPISODE!!!  Maybe not the first day, but soon thereafter.  I loved Voyager.

    CajunLuke had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 5
  • I agree with many of your picks. If the “Star Trek” series are offered, they’ll be top picks in a matter of days.

    “But don’t hold your breath for the WNBA.”

    You’d be surprised how popular the WNBA is. And not JUST lesbians.

    breuklen had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 31
  • I am way ahead of you.

    Not that I’m going to, ahem…., mention where I got them, but I’ve been using Quicktime Pro to convert a number of mpeg and avi files to the .m4v format.

    I presently have half a dozen episodes of Galactica, half a dozen episodes of Veronica Mars, a bunch of thresholds and a couple of DS9 (seasons 5-7) episodes on my iPod.

    I am also in the process of converting a number of west wing files, so that I can watch them too!!  grin

    I’m not sure how big sports will go over in the podcast format/iPod viewing channel…. Sports are a very immediate form of information—it’s the fact that they’re live that makes them so compeeling in addition to the athletic performance. Still and all, there will always be a number of sports nuts / fans of a given team who will want to be able to watch a given match over and over again.

    Any soap opera or soap opera-like show, such as the West Wing, will do well, given that people don’t often have the time to view tv when it airs, and the amount of commuting that so many people do will give them the opportunity to remain up to date with their favourite story lines.

    rogueprof had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 17
  • 1.The Flintstones
    2.All the WB Bugs Bunny, The funny uncensored versions not cleaned up for today’s Politically correct crowd versions
    3. Classic Tom and Gerry
    4. SNL/Second City/Kids in the hall/ Skits/Living Colour/Mad TV- They don’t even have to sell the whole show just Homey the clown skits. Everyone needs a laugh.
    5. The Cosby Show
    6. NOVA-PBS COULD MAKE A FORTUNE-Especially in high DEF.
    7. The Rockford Files. Maybe the best of the bunch

    They do need to up the quality though. At least 720p. I want to own these things forever, not till the Blue-Ray box set.

    mcloki had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 25
  • “Singularity, which is a prototype OS from Microsoft”

    Bwwaaam, I know this is cheap, but putting the “SUCK” element right in the codename is just too much. Waa!

    As for the topic - I am completely with mcloki - for sure all the old material is simply not available in HD, but if anyone expects me to pay for downloadable video content it better be in high quality. So we’re talking 720x480 or 720×576 or 1024×576. Current content should come in 720p. Actually I am quite sick of all this “this is the latest and most wonderful thing since sliced bread” talk about music & video downloads. The quality sucks. Period.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 371
  • Considering the resolution of today’s monitors, and the fact that people would rather watch stuff on larger-than-iPod screens whenever possible, the resolution of downloads must be at least 1024. Even at that, almost no one will be watching at full screen. When it gets to that, I’m in (should it be available in Canada).

    My list (not in order of importance):
    -Movies from the advent of talkies on with particular emphasis on B-Westerns, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Film Noir, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Horror, serials, etc.
    -Wyatt Earp starring Hugh O’Brien
    -All Star Trek (well, except for maybe DS9)
    -The Lone Ranger
    -Superman starring George Reeves
    -I Love Lucy
    -Babylon 5
    -Cheyenne starring Clint Walker
    -Into the West (Speilberg)
    -Have Gun Will Travel
    -Ma and Pa Kettle
    -Martin and Lewis

    Gospel Moody had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 1
  • Does sound a bit dumb spending $ on a tiny screen.  People must lack a lot if they must spend their time watching something they already saw on a reasonably sized screen on a screen no bigger than the bottom of a shot glass.  Unless of course they emptied that shot glass several times before making that decision.

    However, if I were on the ocean with no link to man kind and had to watch t.v., where is HBO?  I go along with the history channel and replays of LeBron James to get my sports fix, but no HBO???

    HBO has the best programming with;
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Real Sex
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    Curb Your Enthusiasm
    and last, but not least,
    Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    I’d also watch a few of Discovery Channels’ programs.  Speaking of the educational value in History Channel, which I agree, any of the 10 or more Disc. Channels would be great.  Starting with;
    American Chopper
    American Hot Rod
    Monster Garage
    Monster House

    And fot the DIY followers;

    The best Sci Fi movie ever would have to be;
    2001; A Space Oddity

    Must also be able to down load at least a thousand comedies or so.

    Oh… and the most applicable show from NBC;
    MY Name is Earl.

    Come to think of it, why not be able to down load anything on to an iPod from tv you want?  After all, we already paid for it with the incredible high cost of cable.

    SirGeorge53 had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 27
  • It’s exciting they’re putting all this content up at such an affordable price (although they should really do some price reductions on a full set/season of something - at the moment it doesn’t even match to DVD box-set’s.)

    But as soon as video came onto iTunes i went straight and downloaded the pixar short: Lupo. I began watching it; “hey this screen is <i>tiny</i! I need to maximize this…” I clicked on the full-screen icon and my face turned to disgust at the sheer joke quality of it.

    I don’t understand how Apple release this new, ‘amazing’ H.246 codec, talk about how amazing the quality is because you can now watch in HI-DEF and show it off in huge 1024 res movies and then… BAM. They use it for iTunes.. but put the videos at a horrendous resolution! It’s ridiculous.
    Of course I understand why they did it - for the iPod. But they should let us download at a high resolution and then when transferring to the iPod, videos automatically get scaled down in the background. I mean JEEZ!

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Dec 09, 2005 Posts: 299
  • Luke, the problem is: H.246 needs *power*. The average consumer does not have a G5 class computer. They have G4s. They have neihter 2GB RAM nor 128MB VRAM,  My G5 iMac (20”, 1,8GHz) can do 720p playback, but it is obvoius that it is at its limits.

    So next year, maybe.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Dec 10, 2005 Posts: 371
  • Good point.  My G5 iMac has only the 17” model, but I l forget, lot’s of people have the slower G4s or even worse… *gasp*  a freaking pc to download from iTunes.  mwahahahahahahaha

    SirGeorge53 had this to say on Dec 10, 2005 Posts: 27
  • Duckman, especially since you can’t buy or rent it on DVD

    sjk had this to say on Dec 11, 2005 Posts: 112
  • Luke, the problem is: H.246 needs *power*. The average consumer does not have a G5 class computer. They have G4s. They have neihter 2GB RAM nor 128MB VRAM, My G5 iMac (20”, 1,8GHz) can do 720p playback, but it is obvoius that it is at its limits.
    So next year, maybe.

    That’s a good point, Bad Beaver, which I didn’t consider. Although I still think the reason is the same as the reason iTunes is at 128kbps and because it’s the iPod’s screen resolution.

    720p runs fine on my 1.5Ghz G4 PowerBook with 512 RAM.

    But it doesn’t even need to be that. I would be happy with normal tv resolution. Anything is better than 320x240!

    Luke Mildenhall-Ward had this to say on Dec 11, 2005 Posts: 299
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