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2006—the year of Personal Multimedia Tools

Forget 2005. We are already caught up in a wave of hysteria over new game consoles, iPods, and downloadable music to think about much else. What you'll see in 2006 is people wanting to do more with their personal devices.

The top-of-the-line iPods already demonstrate this. The color iPod, or iPod Photo, lets you sync up your digital photo catalog with your iPod. Neat. Now you can see your mom wherever you are. The secret, though, is that iPod Photo lets you sync catalogs of images together with music and, through a connector in the headphone jack, play that back on your TV. Hang on! If you have moving images (there is a visual transition between each image) and music, isn't that the same as video?

When will the iPod support video? I think it might be at the end of 2005 and into 2006.

You can also expect Sony to get heavily into the hand-held video market. As a company, Sony has made it very clear that it wants to be able to do more with distributing video to customers. The PSP is a core element, but there could be more devices.

And don't forget Microsoft. If you have not gathered from its attempts with Windows Media Center, Microsoft wants your TV eyes on its devices. It will be interesting to see who wins this battle of wills.

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