iTunes is 5 no longer

Almost forgot to mourn iTunes 5, which suffers the indignity of having the shortest major version number life in Apple History. I’m installing iTunes 6 right now, which comes 35 days after the launch of iTunes 5. It still features Scary Installer Pr0n—in fact, the only big change so far appears to be the addition of the Video category in the source list.

Video iPod, new iMac, and selling video through the iTunes store

Well, the rumors were true: Apple’s new iPod includes video support. Now that it’s here, it’s hard to see how it could have taken so long. After all, all full sized iPods now sport color screens and more hard drive capacity than my PowerBook G3 had, and it could play video.

The evolution, though, is still impressive: thinner than the original iPod, a claimed 20 hours of battery life (thought they would have learned not to boast about that), and up to 150 hours of video. Plus an included S-Video cable to play it back on the big screen.

The interesting part of the announcement is the sale of video through the iTunes Store (guess we can’t just call it the iTunes Music Store any more). Episodes of Desperate Housewives are available at $1.99 a pop, as are episodes of Lost (and supposedly others, though the landing page for TV shows doesn’t appear to be there yet).

Music videos will also be available for download, and in yet another example of the music industry’s craniorectal tendencies, they’ll also cost $1.99 a pop. Hmm, let me think: for my $1.99, I could get two songs, one four-minute music video, or 45 minutes of a TV program that I could theoretically Tivo and download to my iPod anyway. Hmm.

Update: Best blow by blow so far is Paul Boutin for Engadget. And how uncool is it that Front Row and the Apple Remote are only available (apparently) with an iMac, and otherwise only work with the iPod? I want that “ten-foot experience” with a Mini. Or for my PowerBook.

October is for antacids.

I was scanning the beer cooler at my local liquor store (which, because Arlington does not allow retail liquor, or beer and wine, sales, is in Lexington), looking for locally produced Märzen-style—okay, Oktoberfest style—beers, when it hit me: pissy weather aside, I actually like October.

This is a heck of a realization for me as there isn’t a whole lot right now that makes me really smile. But October is on the list: the weather gets cooler, you get to break out long sleeves (and tweed!) again, leaves start turning, and yes, there is good beer.

There is also Hell Night at the East Coast Grill. Last year the night left me impressed with the inventiveness of the punishingly hot cuisine. This time, I’m starting to pre-medicate a week early. Should be fun.

(Oh. And for the record? Otter Creek’s version of an Oktoberfest beer is really really good, as is the one from Berkshire Brewing Company.)

Home is where the contractors are

Lisa got stuck in the Logan radar mess this week; a quick day trip down to Richmond via National Airport turned into an extended travel trauma when her flight back to Boston was cancelled. Fortunately her flight was early enough—and she learned that it was cancelled early enough—that she was able to take advantage of the time to drive up to her parents for a day.

I’m looking forward to seeing her tonight when she gets in. I’m also envious, as she got a chance to be with our dogs, who are currently bunking in New Jersey while our bathroom renovations take place. (Aside: I never thought I would be the sort of pet owner who gets teary eyed—hell, occasionally bawls—when his dogs drive away. Don’t tell anyone.)

Demolition for the downstairs shower starts next week. I can’t wait. This will be the last set of major contractor projects (except for the replacement of our front door, which will necessitate a day’s worth of carpentry due to water and sill problems) for a while, and then we get our house back to ourselves again.