How the iPod Nano can beat the Flip (hint: a camera's not enough)

The star of Apple's dog-and-pony show today was undoubtedly the iPod Nano, adding so many features that our Twitter live-blogger was wondering if there would be a kitchen sink included. An FM radio on the Nano? The pigs were about to fly when they heard that one.

But the biggest addition was a video and still camera (update, it's video only), knocking on the door of all the other portable camera makers with a clatter so loud that when the Flipmakers peer through their peephole, they might see the Grim Reaper.


In the Pocket

It's common knowledge that the most useful camera is one that you have with you, and given that a large percentage of the population carries around a music player wherever they go, video and still camera possession will soon be almost a given.

Sure, our informal survey of teenyboppers told us they don't care much about having a camera on board their iPods — most told us that they already have cameras on their cellphones. But do they have a video camera in their cellphones? Most don't. New Nano users will soon realize how useful it is to have a camera with them all the time, even if it is only 640x480.


Jack of All Trades, Master of All

Perhaps the most ominous fallout from this announcement will be the fate of camcorders from such companies as Flip and Creative that have made such impressive inroads with tiny camcorders. In waltzes the iPod Nano, a music player that's already a highly desired product, with a camcorder thrown in. If Apple can make it super easy to send videos to YouTube, this'll be a sure winner.

Note to Apple: check out what FlipShare is doing, and then beat that. Or, just do the same thing you did with the YouTube implementation of the iPhone, which is as good as it gets.


No Cam for the Touch?

A camcorder in a music player is such a great idea, we're still scratching our heads and wondering why the iPod Touch didn't also include a camera. It would be a natural, loading up movies to YouTube just as easily as the iPhone does now. Already, iPod Touch users are speaking out. Said one disgruntled Touch user, "Once again Apple screws me over by putting all the cool new features in the iPod Nano, and NONE of them in the iPod Touch."

Was Apple protecting its iPhone franchise? Perhaps the fact that the iPod Touch can only connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi would have frustrated users who'd like to instantly upload their YouTube videos from anywhere. That said, expect the iPod Touch to also include video camera capability in its next generation, hopefully in HD resolution.