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Deconstructing a video iPod

Bernard Rappaz has a fake image of a video iPod in one of his recent posts. I don’t know where he got it from but he is shrewd enough to throttle the rumour before anyone can think he’s trying to make them believe it.

Ipod Slider 1

I find this image interesting, though, because it’s so easy and fun to deconstruct it. Let’s have a go at it, step by step:

  • Storage – Considering that video takes a tad more storage space than audio, it would be foolish to pretend that a portable video would use a micro hard disk drive similar to the one found in the iPod mini, that peaks at 6 GB. Even 10 GB would be ridiculously small. One can therefore assume that such a device would use a 1.8-inch drive like the regular iPods.

  • Size – A 1.8-inch hard drive is 1.8-inch wide. The full dimensions, in units meaningful to the readers of this blog, are 5 × 54 × 78.5 mm3. The device shown on the picture unfolds to reveal the display. Folded, it has a square footprint. An iPod with the same hard drive is 10 cm high by 6 cm wide and seeing one open makes it clear that it couldn’t be much shorter.

    There are therefore exactly two ways our video device could contain a 1.8-inch drive. Either it’s 10 cm wide by 10 cm tall or it’s 6 cm tall by 6 cm wide and 10 cm thick. Now take out your iPod and imagine it either as wide as it’s tall or as thick as it’s wide. Would you carry that in your pocket?

  • Display – Unfolded, the device on the picture is shaped vertically, but the display is horizontal, with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Make it 8.5 by 4.8 cm2. This leaves just enough room on the 10 by 10 cm2 square to put the iPod’s 4 cm click wheel. There’s no point to the folded design then. Moreover, how silly does a vertical device with a horizontal display look?

If I were to make a fake video iPod, I would make it the size of a regular iPod, with a 4.4 by 8 cm2 display and the click wheel that unfolds on one side. Folded, it would look just like the iPod and be used as such, with the display rotated so you can hold the device vertically. Unfolded, it would be held horizontally, with a large display and a properly sized click wheel on either side.

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