TiVo has updated their TiVo Desktop software to make automatic transfers to your various portable devices (like an iPod or PSP) automatic, just like a Season Pass. The show records, notes that it's supposed to be on your PSP, automatically gets passed off to your computer to do the transcoding and voilå! Plug in your PSP, dump the latest episode of The Daily Show, and you're good to go. While the tech is certainly pretty cool (and easy), there are several notable shortcomings:
- For starters, this isn't free. TiVo owners will need to pony up $24.95 to cover software development and pricey codec-licensing. Yuck!
- Also, the videos will not playback at the PSP's native (delicious) 480x272 resolution. Not a problem for most shows, since they'll be 4:3 anyhow, but it's interesting to note that this isn't due to the frustrating resolution-cap of the PSP's video player. Rather, it's due to considerations made by TiVo to placate content owners. In a brief interview with our good buddies at Engadget last night, TiVo VP Jim Denney said, "TiVo feels by limiting transcoded files to a low resolution of 320 x 240, they further protect the rights of content owners while providing appropriately sized video for portable devices." Well, I guess it wouldn't have worked anyways. Pffft.
- This is Windows-only for now, folks. TiVo's been promising a Mac-client for TiVoToGo for some time now, and this latest iteration is no different. Denney reiterated that they are currently working on it, so that tune hasn't changed. Indeed, all Mac owners should know it by heart.