Posts Tagged ‘iTunes 9’

What I Want in My Next iPhone

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

It was an interesting morning today as I followed in real time the Greg Kumparak Crunchbase coverage of the Apple “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it” launch event in San Francisco.  I think Apple does an amazing job of grouping new features and products into a single launch and maintaining secrecy amongst its employees and suppliers prior to the launch.  Except they don’t really keep secrets right up until the launch.  A few weeks prior to their launch events, Apple masterfully leaks out information to certain key bloggers and members of the press who then build a groundswell of buzz leading up to the launch, where most of what has been rumored to be part of the launch generally is. 

The same was true today.  Steve Jobs made his first public appearance since coming back to Apple full time.  The big rumor that didn’t pan out was that the Beatles’ catalog of music would be available in iTunes.  It’s still not there.   iTunes 9 was announced today and it does allow sharing of songs via Facebook.  The rumors I’d heard were that it would also include Last.fm integration, which turned out to be false.  Instead, it includes sharing of songs via Twitter in addition to Facebook. 

I’ve just tried the Share On Facebook feature in iTunes and I’m frankly surprised that it only works from the iTunes store.  I’m personally much more inclined to recommend a song I already own to all my friends on Facebook than something I don’t.  If I want to recommend a song in my iTunes library, I’d first have to find the identical song in the iTunes store and then right click the “Buy” button and select “Share On Facebook”.  I’m also much more likely to want to share music from my iPhone than from behind my computer where I really don’t listen to much music.   I’m more than a little bit biased, but I still think I’ll be using MMM more than I use this new feature in iTunes 9.  Give both of them a test drive and post your thoughts here.

The refresh to the iPod line was also very interesting.  I’d thought that the iPod Classic might not even be mentioned today.  Instead, Apple has phased out the “one size fits all” 120 GB iPod Classic in favor of a 160 GB version that sells for $249.  I actually bought one of the original 160 GB iPod Classics and am glad to hear they’ve brought it back.    I read that Apple said that the iPod Classic is for people with very large music collections—that would be me.    On their web site, Apple’s calling the iPod Classic the “take everything-everywhere iPod”.  My iPod Classic lives in my car where I listen to a lot of music these days.  When I go on an extended trip whether by car or another means of transportation, I’ll take it with me so I have my whole music collection at my finger tips.

What I really want is all my music at the ready all the time.  I frequently find myself in a situation where for one reason or another I’ll crave listening to a particular song I haven’t heard in ages.  At times I’ll be in a conversation and tell a friend, “Have you heard such and such a song?  It describes exactly the situation you’re talking about.”  When I have my iPod Classic with me, I have all my music.  But my iPhone is the device I carry with me all the time and I have an original 8 GB iPhone.  I’d like to upgrade to the 32 GB 3GS and have a faster iPhone, more storage, and the integrated video camera, but this still doesn’t solve my problem.  Even the $399 64 GB iPod Touch that was announced today doesn’t accomodate my entire 95 GB of music, let alone allow for some headroom for new music, photos, and video.  The fact that Apple launched a 64 GB iPod Touch means it would be relatively easy for them to roll-out a 64GB iPhone, but like I said I want all my music all the time and this still isn’t enough storage for me.  (The Classic is a hard drive based iPod while the Touch and iPhone use flash memory, which still doesn’t easily allow for 160 GB in a small size at a low cost.) 

Recently I’ve been wondering if I wouldn’t be better off just upgrading to a 16 GB 3GS iPhone and storing the rest of my music “in the cloud” that I could access any time I had an internet connection, which is the case in an increasing number of places these days.  This past week I flew on Virgin America airlines for the first time and had my first experience with wifi at 30,000 feet.   It worked flawlessly.   I’m curious about services like Lala, Tunes Bag, Blues Tunes, and imeem and whether storing a 95 GB music collection in the cloud and streaming it to my iPhone when I really want to hear a particular song I don’t have stored locally is a reasonable alternative to carrying my entire music collection on my iPod Classic.  There’s no question in my mind that this is the way of the future.  My question is whether these services are ready for prime time today?  I’d welcome comment from anyone who has experience with these services.

Mobile Music Messenger and iTunes 9

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Over the past several weeks since our launch, I’ve been following all the rumors about iTunes 9.  I’ve heard everything from the Beatles catalogue will finally be included in the iTunes Store to iPod Touches with cameras will be launched tomorrow, September 9th, to the addition of an interface to organize your iPhone apps from your desktop to the inclusion of Facebook and Last.FM integration for social media sharing of playlists.  And oh yes, Steve Jobs is likely to make an appearance at the “It’s only rock and roll, but we like it”  event at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco.

It is the inclusion of Facebook and Last.FM integration in iTunes9 that I have spent the most time pondering.   After all this is a site that is dedicated to the Mobile Music Messenger iPhone app which lets you share music recommendations from your iPhone via Email, Facebook, and Twitter.  Some have asked me whether the launch of iTunes 9, assuming it includes Facebook integration, puts an end to the need for MMM.  I answer with a resounding no.  If there’s anything I hope this blog has conveyed, it’s that music has become more mobile over the last several decades.  Between iPhones and all the lines of iPods, over 200 Million Apple branded portable music players have shipped to date.   It seems obvious to me that far more music is listened to on portable devices than on computers these days.  More of these portable music players are network enabled than ever with the growth of the iPod Touch in additon to the iPhone.  (I’ve even heard rumors that the iPod Classic may start to be phased out and it will certainly take a back seat in tomorrow’s event.)    So once again it seems to me that the logical place to be able to share music from is the mobile music player using MMM, not the desktop using iTunes 9. 

I look forward to seeing what is actually in tomorrow’s Apple announcement.