No doubt you are aware of Apples updated iPod line, with the new flagship iPod Touch bringing the iPhone’s touch screen interface to more affordable waters. However, what I find interesting is that every iPod now supports 640×480 video playback and output, and component video output via the new Universal Dock and AV Cables*.

While compressed video with component cables seem like conflicting ideas**, the iPods support fairly high bitrate h.264 and MP4 video. With the new iPod Classics sporting up to 160GB of storage, thats a serious VJ Clip library in your pocket. Add on something like Karl Klomps Dirty Video Mixer and you have an incredibly porable rig. And with two iPod Nanos you might very well have the worlds smallest VJ Mixing rig?


Karl Klomps Dirty & Cheap Non-Sync Video Mixer. Awesome.

While not the most versatile setup, it seems a rather tempting solution just for novelties sake. What seems more fun, two iPod Nanos and a tiny homebrew glitch video mixer in your pocket or a V4, two laptops and a camera, and maybe a triggering midi device. Hm.. The Component video also gives you access to the RGB (or possibly YUV) color information, allowing for some interesting mixing should you feel the urge to get creative. Speculation aside, Portable Media Players are looking quite intriguing for VJs lately. That iPod Touch is looking awfully tempting, especially with homebrew applications and OpenGL acceleration.

Are any Create Digital Motion readers currently using some sort of Personal Media Player or Video iPod for clip triggering in sets, or other similar creative solutions?

*sans shuffle, but, its never really counted now has it?
** Component video cables output a cleaner signal, while highly compressed video is not pristine. If you have highly compressed video, you probably aren’t worried about quality.

  • I was looking at a really portable gig for ages and want to try to build a small mixer. Any ideas where to start ?
    In the meantime i'm also playing with the ION iPOD DJ Mixing Station



  • Thanks for getting on this, Anton; it was the one bit of the Apple announcement that got me excited. The Archos media players are also a way to go, but I like that the new iPods are so cheap — previously, you've been talking easily $400 or so on a PMP to get video out.

    Yeah, we totally need the CDMo Super Simple Portable Video Mixer Kit. And I could see mixing in video with computer rigs in this manner, as well… i.e., using iPod as a video backup.

  • Ha ha…I just got off the phone with JR MusicWorld returning my Archos 504 PMP. I bought it for VJ use, since it can do divx/mpg2, but I was really hoping it could do playback on the lcd AND video out at the same time…no dice. Also, navigation is totally annoying. If you can stand these issues, they are cheap…check dealnews.com. I'm going to pick up the new Ipod 160 for the extra space and higher bitrate video.


  • Oooh, you *can't* do LCD and output? Yeah, that's a deal killer for me. We have to get one of these iPods and find out with these… let us know how yours go.

    Also, what the heck is with Apple charging $50 for a *composite* video cable? I'll have to add that to our DIY list. Then the connector can be hand-carved out of polished teak or whatever. 🙂

  • Yeh, no LCD and Output on the Archos at the same time. Theres a big button to click one or the other.

    You can't do LCD and output on the IPODs either, (at least on the 5th gen)…but thats ok by me.

    I still have a ton of stuff on DVD, so I might pick up another small portable DVD player, and hope that can do LCD + Output…my last one burned out! ug.


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  • I've been using my 5G 30GB Ipod as a video source for awhile. Works well, I prefer it over the DVD route for size/weight, easier access and also I don't have to keep burning DVD's everytime I have something new to show.

    The video out just died but apple happily gave me a brand new Ipod for about $90!
    I've decided to skip the dvd players, I plan to pick up another IPOD soon and use my V-4 mixer along with laptop (running VDMX5). I also use a UC33 midi controller, it can control the laptop as well as the V-4. I think that's more than enough to play with and reasonably compact rig in one hard case( which I haven't gotten made yet).

  • Tim Bright

    Hey Guys interesting stuff,

    Couple of questions that sort of and sort of don't relate. The vj mixer your talking about with LCD output, how does this work? I always thought that to interface with an LCD screen you needed some kind of software intermediate. Admittedly I haven't looked into, or had the option to use LCD screens but have wanted to explore the possibilities. I didn't realise there was a standard way to interface with LCD screens.

    Also the Ipod touch ipods you talk about, with their openGL capabilities what does this mean for the VJ's. does this mean potentially that you could run say quartz compositions on it? Or is openGL just help in delivering fast video in this instance. And are we going to be able to use the ipod as a controller?

    Thanks for your help.


  • Karl Klomp´s glitchism gear is amazing! I´ve bought two pieces of gear from him, and built one myself, following his recipe.

    But you still need a TBC, or the projector goes crazy, so the V4 goes along with it. There´s also this small, German mixer called MFB VJ or something something. Looks pretty cool. And tiny. And has to have TBC so you can destroy the video signal as much as you wanna!

    Been using the iPod video as a backup for whenever I force VDMX or Modul8 into hard crashes (I´m always too eager with layers and fx). Too bad the iPod video don´t loop clips, or it´d be perfect.

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  • Tim Musabay

    Hey ive been trying to get in touch with Karl for a LONG time now…does anyone have an email or any contact info?

    if you do pls hit me up at kotepomegatron@hotmail.com

    KARL! its Tim from toronto!!!!
    WHERE ARE YOU!!!!!!!

    haha…seriously thou…KARL!!!