Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Apple Explosion!

I don't want to make this into a "ooh, look at what Apple is doing" blog, but today particularly (and the next few weeks) promise to be some of the coolest announcements this half of the year.

First of all, that "D: All Things Digital" conference I mentioned earlier is happening (look for an interesting discussion between Jobs and Gates tonight) and Steve Jobs took some time during an interview to let loose some noticable announcements (Engadget coverage via Digg). The most important thing he discussed was the introduction of iTunes Plus, which Mac Rumors reports, via Digg again, will have the new ability to strip the Digital Rights Management off of EMI owned music tracks and add about twice the bit rate. The long and short of this tech jargon is that music can now be purchased online from a major music label that is at least somewhat comparable to buying a CD and ripping it. Also, users who had previously bought EMI tracks can now upgrade those tracks for 30 cents each. This give you a new copy and allows you to keep the old file as well.

Interestingly, The Unofficial Apple Weblog shows that the new .m4a format carries the name of the user who purchased the track. This could prove interesting in the world of filesharing, as anyone who shares iTunes purchased music would be easily linked to tracks found on someone else's computer. I believe this type of coding is known as "watermarking."

This announcement follows up an article I wrote for the Broadside's Business and Tech section and can be read on my personal blog here. It is more concise than I will go into here.

Also, in lesser news from the Apple interview, Jobs mentioned that the AppleTV, Apple's computer-to-tv streaming box, will now have Youtube content integrated so one could view Youtube videos from the comfort of their living rooms.

I'll write another post for the Jobs v. Gates interview if anything interesting happens in it.

Edit: Nothing interesting happened :(

Edit Edit: Now that I've actually watched the video (instead summaries online) I think the interview was pretty awesome in its own right. While there are no staggering product announcements to make the geeks drool, I did like the really candid conversation with these two tech icons. I suggest you watch it for yourself (freely available on the iTunes podcast directory, but a warning: it's a 1gb file) and please comment if you too thought there could have been a better pair of moderators.

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  1. There was one subtle, yet major, announcment from Steve Jobs.

    He casually remarked that Apple is looking into the viability of opening up 3rd-party access to the iPhone.

    Coupled with rumors of a development kit being released at WWDC, this could alleviate one of the major 3 concerns of the iPhone -- no 3rd-party apps (the other 2 being lack of GPS and 3G).


    PS. You should turn off comment moderation, it gets you more comments.

  2. Well for one, while many analysts feared that there would be no 3rd party apps, I didn't, and thus it didn't occur to me to include it. Jobs said what I expected he would eventually say: We want to have 3rd party stuff but we want to make sure your iPhone stays secure. Apple has already shown with their many partners on the iPhone that they want outside stuff, but as they like locking down their devices they haven't figured out how to do so without losing some control.
    As I'm sure he saw, he also downplayed the "no 3G" problem by reminding people that it still has EDGE and WiFi connectivity (which is pretty much good enough for me anyway). And does it need to have GPS?...most of the time one can figure out where they are by entering a little bit of info into Google maps, which it does have.

    Also, if I turn off moderation I get more comments and probably more spam (they can beat the CAPTCHA somehow). I'll tinker with it a little and try to make it easier for blogger users...

    Thanks for the comment (FIRST ONE!)

  3. That's actually kind of cool, being the first commenter.

    Regarding the spam, you should think about moving to a Wordpress blog. Combined with the Akismet spam filter, you get almost nothing on your actual pages while leaving the site free of comment moderation.

    You can self-host (requires purchasing webspace, which can be terribly annoying at times, but allows for much more freedom) using or use Wordpress's free service at (similar to Blogger, but better imho).

    Good luck on the blog!

  4. I have looked into Wordpress before, but I really like Blogger, specifically its interface on the web, and because I am very well acquainted with it. I actually host my personal blog on my own web space through blogger so I have learned a lot about how the publication system works.
    As I said before, I'm happy with the comment controls as they are and even if I wasn't I don't think that would justify changing blog providers...

    Feel free to comment on my next article, coming out soon.

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The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.

Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.