Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

The “Good Enough” Test: Flip vs. Apple iPod Nano

When Apple added a video camera to the iPhone last summer, the digerati declared that Flip, Cisco’s cheap digital video camera line, was dead. When Apple added a video camera to its cheap and tiny iPod nano last week, the digerati heaped dirt on the camcorder’s grave.

You know what? I think the conventional wisdom is right on this one. Take a look at this clever test from NewTeeVee, which compares the nano’s new camera with a Flip Ultra SD.

The good folks at NewTeeVee declare that the Flip’s camera offers a “MUCH better picture,” and since they did the work here I won’t argue with them.

But I don’t think the gap between the two cameras is big enough to help Flip. If you’re really serious about video quality, you’re probably not carrying a Flip to begin with. And given the choice between a video camera that takes a decent picture and one that also lets you listen to music, watch movies and play games…well, that’s a tough sell, even if you’ve got Cisco’s (CSCO) marketing dollars backing you up.

In other words, Apple (AAPL) has passed my “good enough” test. The nano doesn’t do the job as well as a single-use device, but it’s adequate for my needs. The only question for me is whether I spring for a nano now, or hold off in the hopes that the iPod touch line gets a camera sooner than later.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work