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Websites dive into video iPod revolution

Posted by iTech - 2005-12-03

There's a lot more video heading to Apple's new video iPods - from vintage shows to video-flavored podcasts.
On Wednesday, San Diego-based start-up Veoh will announce plans to offer 3,000 different video shows for download for free. Mostly in the public domain, they include shorts of The Three Stooges and Superman and Batman cartoons from the 1930s.

Earlier this week, broadcaster Rush Limbaugh said he would offer video clips of his radio show for download to the iPod beginning Dec. 12.

"We'll see everyone jumping into this arena, just like with podcasting," says analyst Mike McGuire of market tracker GartnerG2. "It's going to be huge."

McGuire, in fact, often appears on fellow Gartner analyst Allen Weiner's blog in video clips that can be downloaded at whatsontonight.blogware.com.

Apple kicked the portable video revolution into high gear with October's release of the video iPod. At the same time, it launched a video section at its iTunes online store, offering music videos, animation shorts and reruns of hit ABC-TV shows including Desperate Housewives and Lost for $1.99.

Apple hasn't said how many video iPods it has sold, though it says it has sold more than 1 million video downloads.

Several independent video podcasts have begun to pop up in the iTunes store's collection of podcasts. But, as McGuire notes, "You have to know it's there to find it."

Veoh hopes to change that with its 3,000 downloadable shows. Users sign up at veoh.com and get links to automatically put the shows into iTunes.

To transfer video onto an iPod, it must be in Apple's QuickTime video format.

Most authorized video on the Web can be viewed only as streaming video and not downloaded. But plenty of downloadable video is out there, much of it not authorized.

File-sharing programs engage in swaps of TV shows and movies, and one new website, Guba.com, offers copyrighted movies and TV shows, along with a link to download directly to the iPod.

In a test Tuesday, USA TODAY downloaded the final episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and an episode of Ted Danson's old Becker TV show on Guba.com.

Veoh CEO Dmitry Shapiro says he hopes to sign up producers and networks to offer their programming via the Web, either for sale or with advertising.

"This is going to be a giant space," he says. "Over the next five years, most consumers will have some sort of portable device. And they'll all be taking their video with them."

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