Convergence. Remember when the big buzz word was convergence? Of course, back then it meant that your digital toolbox would gradually shrink to just a set of Swiss Army knife-like devices. Yes, your toaster would finally be able to communicate with your coffee maker and your alarm clock to prepare your morning breakfast. Well, despite the usual IT industry fluff, the real definition merely involves the concept of multiple things coming together.
Mac rumor sites work the same way. At first, it’s a series of unrefined whispers and gossip. Slowly, these hints and gossip take form and solidify into genuine rumors. The result is that the rumor sites converge on an agreed set of hearsay. If you haven’t been paying attention (which would mean that you weren’t listening to me), the latest buzz is about an Apple music service.
Loose Lips Sink Ships
So at first we just had whispers of a music service. Then the details started to fill in. Major players started to say too much. I imagine the Mercurial One took anger at this, but what can you do? A deal this big would have to involve a good number of people.
In case you’re still in the dark, Apple is rumored… okay, let’s face it, Apple is /going/ to be debuting an online music service. The “facts” thus far point to a service which is of high-quality design and simplicity of use. The service is going to have music from the five major recording labels. Apple’s been in talks with the various record execs and has secured the necessary rights to distribute the music.
Additional details involve the use of AAC for the audio format and tight integration with the Apple Store’s 1-Click (R) sales system. If you’ve never used it, take a look at iPhoto. iPhoto’s print and book ordering system uses 1-Click to simplify payment. Your credit card information is stored on Apple’s systems (both pros and cons from a security standpoint) and gets billed for each transaction.
iCame for the iMusic, iStayed for the iPod
Alongside the release of the music service (and a requisite iTunes update to support the service), rumors point to a new iPod. The rumor site Think Secret reports that these will be 15GB and 30GB units with a new docking station. No thoughts on FireWire 800, but apparently USB 2.0 is going to be thrown in there somehow.
I imagine that to play AAC, an iPod will need a firmware update at the very least. Hopefully Apple won’t alienate its current iPod owners by requiring a new unit to work with the service. Something like that would cripple the debut of the service. They need to build on the success of the iPod, not try to force it to happen all over again.
Music to Our Ears
The big event is said to be this coming Monday, the 28th. Hopefully there will be 10-20 free downloads to whet our appetites. Beyond that, it seems the downloads will be $1 a piece, with little to no control of the resulting file to be imposed upon the consumer. I’m crossing my fingers for that MWNY2002 Rendezvous enabled iTunes, too. Looking forward…
Are we on the verge of Apple reinventing the music industry?