Friday, October 07, 2005

Jupiter: Thoughts on Portable Video Interfaces

As the world awaits whether Apple will launch a video iPod next week, Nate Elliott ruminates on portable video interfaces at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. After viewing some potential fake mockups of the rumored device on the Internet, Elliott wonders whether the:

existing iPod interface design paradigm is suited for a portable video device. In portable video, there will be less to organize (perhaps a few hundred videos, rather than 60,000 songs), and using any space on the face of the device for a visible navigation control reduces crucial screen real estate. The scroll-wheel that serves so well on an audio device, then, could become an unnecessary space hog on a video device.
The best portable video playeri nterface he has seen so far is on the "iRiver U10, which uses what iRiver calls the "direct click system." Want to navigate up or down, or turn the volume up or down? Tap the top or the bottom of the screen. Want to go forward or backward through folders or video? Tap the screen on the left or the right. It's incredibly simple, and incredibly clean."

Elliot doesn't find everything perfect about the iRiver U10, but believes "the "direct click" design paradigm has the ability to change everything for portable video players, the same way the iPod design paradigm did for portable audio players."