The big news in the music video world this week isn't some hot new video, it's Apple's announcement that the new iPod plays video content. This wouldn't be a very big deal for music videos if it weren't for the simultaneous announcement that the newest version of iTunes will allow users to buy vids as well as MP3 downloads. Apple has put up 2,000 music videos for purchase (alongside TV shows and animated shorts), including new ones like a exclusive from the Beastie Boys. The effect this might have on the world of videos is difficult to predict. Finally, perhaps, the music industry can start making some money off of videos, and might start making more of them -- and this in turn might breathe some new life into the form. The iTunes store may also serve as an archive of sorts -- it's already added a bunch of old Michael Jackson videos that would be impossible to find anywhere else at as high a quality. At the same time, the move may make it harder and harder to find free videos online, cutting down on interest, and it's hard to tell what effect the decision to sell videos will have on sites like Yahoo! Music and AOL, which basically sell advertising by luring people into watching the videos for free.
Here are two videos for new albums out this week: Alicia Keys performing the slow-simmering "Diary" (Windows Media) live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, off of her new "Unplugged" album; and a very buff Ricky Martin singing his hip-hop-laced single "I Don't Care" from "Life," which came out on Tuesday.
Ashlee Simpson is desperate -- desperate! -- to prove to you she can actually sing. First she was on "Saturday Night Live" last weekend; now she's getting play with two live videos on AOL's Sessions, performing "Boyfriend" and "I Am Me."
The live-drawing animation meme has been a part of music video visual language ever since A-ha's "Take on Me" (Windows Media) -- which, among other things, has shown up as a spoof in "Family Guy" (Windows Media). Two recent updates to the theme: ...And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Dead mixes live footage with drawings by Leonardo da Vinci in their video for "All Saint's Day" (QuickTime). And the Australian rap duo Muph N Plutonic's simple if slightly repetitive "Heaps Good" (QuickTime) fuses flip-book animation with "The Office."
-- Scott Lamb