Apple should cobrand iTunes

Lets look at iTunes, and what it offers right now:

  • MP3/ACC Player
  • Media Organizer
  • Media Player (it comes with QuickTime)
  • Music Store
  • It also comes in at aprox. 19MB’s, free from Apple’s iTunes website.

I’ll call it “a rather robust application”. Sounds fair?

Now here’s my theory:
People like Music. People like simplicity. People like easy to use programs. iTunes is all of these. The one thing that’s a drag is that dreaded curse word amongst average computer users “Installing”. That means downloading, over a slow 56k modem, and putting unkempt software on your computer, especially after all the geeks talk about “Spyware“, and “Viruses“. Some are just to afraid to install.

Cobrand iTunes. Allow OEM’s such as IBM, Compaq/HP, Gateway, and even Dell, to include iTunes for low/no cost to them on their computers, Branded/themed with “Powered by Apple iTunes“.

This ensures, everyone who buys a computer, gets a chance to try iTunes. Perhaps even allow the OEM’s a method to throw in a few free downloads. To let the user try, at no obligation, iTunes. Cheap, legal music, without downloading/installing.

What does Apple get?
Giant Audience, free advertising from the OEM’s, getting QuickTime on systems from the factory.

What do OEM’s Get?
All OEM’s today market computers towards home users, in particular as “media” systems. “Play CD’s, DVD’s”, “Games”, “Graphics”, “Music”. All keywords used to sell computers. What would make sense than to contain a built in method to purchase music? Play it with your brand new upgraded speakers on your fancy Computer Make/Model Here

What Users Get?
Chance to try iTunes without wasting time/effort downloading, a few free songs perhaps, and a good media player pre-installed.

Hear me out Apple, I had a point before (look at date on article).


Mini iPod

As Slashdot notes, it’s a rumor.

I think it’s a great idea, might just pick one up myself. Not sure.

What I haven’t figured out yet, is why someone didn’t come up with an mp3 player that you can just plug in standard USB Keychain devices to. Think about it:

Most are aprox. the same size, all relatively small, and compact. Easily you could come up with a size that 99% will fit in.

Could make a nice iPod like device, screen, interface, etc. And leave a battery style bay in the back, that a user could snap open, and put their USB keychain drive into.

Would cut down on the cost of Mp3 players significantly. And the USB storage market is pretty affordable. I got a 512MB Lexar Media stick for slightly under $100. And I’m sure it will go down over time.

You could have several keychains, and snap them into your mp3 player.

Then pop out the keychain, and you can use it as a regular USB drive. The best of both worlds. And cost effective. It would be upgradable, since you can get larger USB keychains. Or just multiple smaller ones. It fits all budgets.

Brilliance is always misunderstood.


Service Manuals

Looking for Apple Service Manuals (PDF format) for:

Power Mac G5
Aluminum Powerbook

Help appreciated.


Apple launches iPod site

It’s been noted that Apple launched an iPod site, around the web.

Yes, it is an Apple Website:

Uses Apple DNS
Resolves to Apple IP Address (Powered by OS X)
Apple tagline on bottom

What more proof is needed?

I’m going to venture a guess, and say it’s going to be part of a marketing push for the Christmas season. Here’s my basis:

Created right in time for the holidays.

Record last updated on:..2003-10-02 13:21:19.783
Record expires on:…….2004-10-02 00:00:00.0
Record created on:…….2003-10-02 13:21:19.163

Apple is planning a big marketing surge on iTunes in January, with promo’s left and right this means, get iPods in peoples hands NOW, and push content on them in a month or two.

I’m going to guess that we will start seeing new iPod commercials, that mention the website in a week or two.

Apple Security Software

Apple’s Life Cycle and Security

I don’t think I need to say I’m a Mac lover. I’ve been very satisfied with my Macs, and love OS X. But I got to agree with CNET about Apple’s recent trends.

Product Life Cycle
Apple’s been pretty firm about the 5 year rule for hardware. After that period, your not really getting hardware support. It’s a pretty solid rule, and one you can depend on (for good or bad). Developers, both hardware and software are well aware of it.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of an official product life cycle for software. Microsoft has a clear product life cycle. I sincerely hope Apple matches Microsoft and adopts a similar policy. For at least that length of time (if not longer), and sticks to it. The mystery involving product life is a real turn off for companies. How can you evaluate what Macs will cost? A good security issue may require the entire office upgrade their OS version. In such cases, a product cycle would allow an IT department to know very well what it will cost to keep Macs afloat. And dispel some cost myths.

I would like to propose a Security/Product Cycle Policy for Apple to adopt:
A product will be officially supported for 5 years after general availability. During this time, full support will be provided. This is the same as Microsofts policy. During this time. All security and bug fixes are available. No new features are required (though could be offered). For example, a WebCore update would fall in this category. Keeping Safari up to date and fixing rendering bugs. New OS X features such as Exposé, would not. That’s for a new product, and new product cycle.

A Security Phase would proceed for a period of minimum 2 years, during this time, only security bugs will be fixed. Keeping Safari up to date, and fixing crashes wouldn’t qualify. Only bugs that provide a security risk.

So in theory, a company can have a system for 7 years, and be able to maintain it for the original cost. Of course they will most likely want new features, and would upgrade in that time. But they have a buffer up to 7 years. This compares with Windows XP’s current product cycle.

A very inclining offer for IT departments. Buy a pretty powerful computer, and know for 5 years you have hardware support for new OS versions. For 7 years, your current OS will be secure. And we mean Mac OS X secure. Not Windows Secure πŸ˜‰

Apple needs to use it’s strong point. A solid UNIX security model. Take advantage of the fact that it can do so. Security is a big advantage the Mac platform has. It will cost more to support older OS’s. But in the end, will make the OS much more attractive than it is now.


Safari 1.1 for Jaguar

This is more of a question than a regular post (as if I never ask questions to the net community at large). But does anyone know if Safari 1.1 will be released for Jaguar (Mac OS X.2)? Hyatt notes the release here and here.

I’m not into upgrading to Panther at this point (don’t want to shell out the cash so soon after my Jaguar update, which wasn’t to long ago, and want a few bug fixes to take place of course). But would still like to play with Safari 1.1, which from how Dave plays it, is pretty neat.

People telling me to hit Hot line and download “Free” Panther need not comment. All those comments will be deleted (as much as I hate deleting comments, I regard those equivalent to “spam” like the Viagra ones).

So if anyone (including David Hyatt if you read this) knows, comment email, IM would be greatly appreciated.

I’m also curious if there is anyone else who is a bit hesitant to upgrade to Panther. I’ve got a Beige G3 (unsupported) and a B&W G3. Just upgraded to Jaguar a few months ago. They run perfectly. Not a complaint. I guess they saying is “don’t fix what isn’t broken”. Anyone else waiting a while? Or has everyone left me in the dust?


iTunes for Windows

Among other announcements, Apple released iTunes for Windows.

I’ve given it a bit of a test drive too see how it is. Despite Steve Jobs claim that it’s the “whole thing”, IMHO it’s not as good as the Mac version:

  1. Visualizer is lame compared to the diversity in the Mac version.
  2. iPodService.exe service hanging around sucking up memory, and occasionally attacking my CPU.
  3. Awkward feel. Works perfect in Aqua, but something isn’t right on Windows.
  4. Didn’t find drivers “for importing and burning CDs and DVDs”.
  5. I would think a P4M 1.8GHz would convert a file to an MP3 much faster than a 450MHz G4. But it doesn’t feel that much faster since the last time I did it on a G4. Not scientific. But by feel, it’s slower.

On the plus side, best equalizer (usability + configurability) in a free player for windows. And overall Apple goodness.

Good first shot. But give up the Aqua look. It just feels funny. Apple’s about usability. Make it feel better.

I still prefer the Mac version, though I must admit, I still prefer my Mac.


Panther Coming Soon

Apple Announced Mac OS X Panther ships in a few day (October 24th to be exact). I’m excited, but I doubt I will upgrade very soon. In all honesty, I just moved to 10.2 rather recently. Why you may ask? Because I value my stability, and upgrading always introduces new issues. My system is running great, I don’t get to use it that much (on this Wintel laptop during the week)… So why upgrade?

Mac OS X 10.2 is really good. I love it. The performance is good, so is the stability. As long as I can patch it to meet my needs, it stays.

Not to mention 10.3 isn’t officially supported on my Beige G3 server, and I don’t feel like using unofficial patches at this time. My B&W G3 could take it, but I don’t see a clear advantage to upgrading at this time.

Perhaps Apple would realize that it would be better to do more incremental free upgrades, rather than charge $100+/year to upgrade to the latest. Smaller upgrades to less damage. Giving it’s clientele an OS that’s always updated with no costs is very attractive to home users, especially with MS doing all this “Activation” and licensing stuff.

Home users aren’t very inclined to upgrade, it looks technical. So if it costs money… They don’t want to bother. Leaving users running several versions of OS X, and making work harder for developers.

Free smaller upgrades are more attractive, as they encourage people to upgrade. Making the Mac OS community more consistent with OS version, hence more attractive to developers.

It’s less work to support just 1 version, than several. Keeping users as close to this as possible would be more beneficial, than the current method. Not to mention free OS is very enticing to potential Wintel converts.


1100 Dual 2GHz G5’s

Yummy. Tech Porn. Boy would I like to tap some of that computing power. VT might be the coolest school now that they got a cluster going.

A great quote:

Project started back in February; secret with Dell because of the pricing issues; dealt with vendors individually because bidding wars do not drive the prices down in this case.

I would like to have 1 of those. Just 1. Besides, 1199 is a cooler looking number anyway. What do you say VT? πŸ˜‰

Edit: Math mistake above πŸ˜€ Should be 1099. Damn.


Apple Lawsuit

Looks like Apple and the Beatles are at it again.

/. Has the story as usual.

Sidenote: What would I do without /.?