Apple Keeps Plugging Away
Not one to rest on its laurels, Apple made three significant announcements today. How well it plays out for the company will depend on the adoption rates, but I certainly like this direction it has taken to empower users to consume the content they want, when they want it.
Apple TV will stream videos directly from YouTube
My biggest concerns about this are the quality and navigability. YouTube users are restricted to certain file sizes, so it's virtually impossible, at least with the current compression capabilities, to fit a feature-length movie in a YouTube film. Part of the greatness of YouTube is how it allows users to bounce around between videos pretty easily. Will AppleTV allow that same sort of discovery, or must the user get up and mess with their computers to push another video through the wireless network? Whatever they do, I can't wait to see reviews on this.
iTunes now officially offers high quality, DRM-free music (EMI only)
We've known this was coming for weeks. Now it's here. I wonder if users without iPods will start using iTunes. I have an iPod, and I don't think I'll be getting the DRM-free versions just yet. Why? To my undiscerning ear, there's not a lick of difference in the two versions that would be worth the extra 30 cents.
iTunes will offer free educational content on iTunes U
This has some possibilities. Others have already mentioned that some colleges are offering course lectures online, for free. The websites, though, are notably and unnecessarily difficult to navigate. The use of a familiar interface such as iTunes could aid in solving this dilemma, but I'm not sure universities see the value in doing it. But then, even putting them online absolutely obliterated my expectations, so anything is possible.
Here are my questions for you:
- What do you think of these announcements?
- What effect will this have on the Apple brand?
- How likely is it that these features will be used by content providers and consumers?
- Will this affect the way the music, entertainment industries and educational institutions look at the distribution of their content?
- Cam Beck