Is BlackBerry the new iPod?

12 Comments

Blackberry Lost
Sona’s recent announcement that they’re launching the first-ever BlackBerry Media Player has gotten us at BlackBerry Cool thinking about the issues surrounding using your Blackberry as a media device similar to Apple’s iPod. Although we don’t know much from a technical standpoint right now, there are some general postulations we can make based upon our supreme knowledge of all things BlackBerry.

First of all, the technical concerns. Sona’s Media Player seems like software that’s really going to be limited to the newest and best BlackBerries. If they’re going to allow for OTA streaming of video, this will require an EDGE or EV DO wireless connection to make it worth while, which are predominantly found in newer BlackBerries like the 8700 and the 7130. We’re assuming older model Blackberrys don’t have the bandwidth nor the horsepower to run streaming video or audio. Even then, it still may be long wait times and a HUGE data charge to download last night’s episode of Lost on the daily commute.


If it’ll fit, that is. We’re hopeful that Sona will offer some form of desktop download then have the ability to upload to your Blackberry through Desktop Manager, and while this will definitely reduce download times (and hopefully be as easy to use as iTUnes), there are still some concerns. My hour-long 1up.com audio podcast weighs in at around 20mb (uncompressed mind you). The memory ceiling of the 8700 is 64MB, and half of that is reserved for the BlackBerry OS. Unless Sona is going to utilize serious compression, how is this going to work? Maybe if that rumored new consumer BlackBerry comes out with a removable memory slot…

Now for more practical concerns. Although the 8700 has a bigger and higher resolution screen than most cell phones (and definitely the Treo), that still doesn’t make me wanna watch video on my BlackBerry any more. Do you really want to watch a full episode of Lost on your BlackBerry? We believe that Soma’s relationship with CanWest MediaWorks is key simply because they can offer crackberry addicts two things they would actually want to watch on their BlackBerry: news and sports highlights. Small, quick and disposable content like this will both appeal to their target audience and remove most technical concerns (most people don’t care if a newscast is low res if they’re getting good news).

Please post a comment to let us know what you think about the BlackBerry as a media player. We’ll have more on this interesting topic after WES 2006.

  • Daniel

    I can’t imagine why the blackberry WOULDN’T be a media player. there’s a target market for mobile professionals who need audio files (voice, music and/or video for work) – the primary application i can think of is our Voice over IP phone system – that emails your voicemails to you. Why can’t I get everything from my Blackberry inbox?? It almost makes perfect sense.

    (PS – my Treo can’t play the files – it reboots every time. grrr.)

  • Daniel

    I can’t imagine why the blackberry WOULDN’T be a media player. there’s a target market for mobile professionals who need audio files (voice, music and/or video for work) – the primary application i can think of is our Voice over IP phone system – that emails your voicemails to you. Why can’t I get everything from my Blackberry inbox?? It almost makes perfect sense.

    (PS – my Treo can’t play the files – it reboots every time. grrr.)

  • http://mspong.com/ Matt Spong

    Higher resolution than the Treo? The 8700 has a 320×240 screen, which is higher than the Treo 700w, which is 240×240 due to Windows Mobile limitations, but lower than the 650, which has a gorgeous 320×320 display.

    (for the record, I am a former Treo 650 user who switched to a BB 8700 about 6 months ago and haven’t looked back… but from an aesthetic point of view, the Treo trounces all over the BlackBerry)

  • http://mspong.com Matt Spong

    Higher resolution than the Treo? The 8700 has a 320×240 screen, which is higher than the Treo 700w, which is 240×240 due to Windows Mobile limitations, but lower than the 650, which has a gorgeous 320×320 display.

    (for the record, I am a former Treo 650 user who switched to a BB 8700 about 6 months ago and haven’t looked back… but from an aesthetic point of view, the Treo trounces all over the BlackBerry)

  • aaron

    I thought the same thing about watching movies on my ipod – which is the same resolution of my 8700 but, its actually quite enjoyable. Its all about the audio, thats what puts you in the movie.

    Also with those portable video goggles coming out this summer, sky’s the limit.

    Of course, need a video out option. — ohh the possibilities.

    The treo (pos IMO) opened up the smartphone market. Now its time for BB to dominate

  • aaron

    I thought the same thing about watching movies on my ipod – which is the same resolution of my 8700 but, its actually quite enjoyable. Its all about the audio, thats what puts you in the movie.

    Also with those portable video goggles coming out this summer, sky’s the limit.

    Of course, need a video out option. — ohh the possibilities.

    The treo (pos IMO) opened up the smartphone market. Now its time for BB to dominate

  • SHoe

    I don’t think they are targeting episodes of Lost as the writter states here – that is not the demographic of Berry users anyways. It will be short clips (news, sports, etc), which is – it turns out – what most mobile content is moving to as most people (especially Berry users) want to only watch a few minutes at a time while in line, or on the subway, etc. If they want Lost – they will watch it on a real tv where it is more comfortable to sit for an hour to watch a show. Not my opinion – research shows it which is why mobile phone tv products (ignoring iPods for a minute) have content that is based on short clips (streaming tv yes – but channels like sports and news headlines so u can watch and see something in a few minutes).
    Downloading and storing shorts clips like this will work fine on newer Blackberrys and not break the bank on data usage. Look at services like MobiTV! And thats aimed at consumer users – not professionals – consumers who are less likely to pay for unlimited data then corporate Blackberry users.

  • SHoe

    I don’t think they are targeting episodes of Lost as the writter states here – that is not the demographic of Berry users anyways. It will be short clips (news, sports, etc), which is – it turns out – what most mobile content is moving to as most people (especially Berry users) want to only watch a few minutes at a time while in line, or on the subway, etc. If they want Lost – they will watch it on a real tv where it is more comfortable to sit for an hour to watch a show. Not my opinion – research shows it which is why mobile phone tv products (ignoring iPods for a minute) have content that is based on short clips (streaming tv yes – but channels like sports and news headlines so u can watch and see something in a few minutes).
    Downloading and storing shorts clips like this will work fine on newer Blackberrys and not break the bank on data usage. Look at services like MobiTV! And thats aimed at consumer users – not professionals – consumers who are less likely to pay for unlimited data then corporate Blackberry users.

  • http://www.movidity.com/ Mark Krebs

    My company, Movidity Inc, also has multimedia running on the Blackberry 8700. We have live radio and live streamed video (in the form of a surveillance application). The surveillance application also has actuation controls to control the remote camera. We also have other video streamed to the BB which is confidential – but, we are decoding true MPEG4 video on the BB – I don’t know if Sona is doing that. Our player is a java (j2me) midlet which is both decodes both the video and audio. We support amr and mp3 on the BB; we are able to support aac (since you raise the iPod question) on other platforms.

  • http://www.movidity.com Mark Krebs

    My company, Movidity Inc, also has multimedia running on the Blackberry 8700. We have live radio and live streamed video (in the form of a surveillance application). The surveillance application also has actuation controls to control the remote camera. We also have other video streamed to the BB which is confidential – but, we are decoding true MPEG4 video on the BB – I don’t know if Sona is doing that. Our player is a java (j2me) midlet which is both decodes both the video and audio. We support amr and mp3 on the BB; we are able to support aac (since you raise the iPod question) on other platforms.

  • alexx

    I want 2 watch video on my bb 8700 but I search the web and all it tells me is that I’m not supported my pin is 242f1DDD some body help me

  • alexx

    I want 2 watch video on my bb 8700 but I search the web and all it tells me is that I’m not supported my pin is 242f1DDD some body help me