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Jobs humors "D" crowd, talks iTunes 4.9, future products

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Exclusive -- A witty Steve Jobs helped kick-off the third annual Wall Street Journal D Conference last night, focusing his comments largely on the digital music arena as it pertains to Apple's iPod and iTunes products.

Jobs partook in the 7:00 pm opening dinner, which consisted of soup and salad, followed by a main course of lobster and steak. Jobs, of course, is a vegetarian.

"In general, Steve was amazing," said an AppleInsider correspondent present at the dinner. "He was sharp and funny. As he was last year, he was very insightful into why Apple did things, and had great observations on the industry."

iTunes 4.9

During his chat, Jobs demonstrated iTunes 4.9, a forthcoming version of Apple's digital music jukebox software. Calling it the "Tivo for Radio for iPod, " he said the new version would incorporate Podcast support -- allowing users to download and subscribe to pre-recorded audio content.

Jobs said the software is slated for released within the next 60 days and that all Podcast feeds and subscriptions will be free. Apple is currently adding functionality to display relevant album art during the Podcasts, he said, which will provide listeners with purchase links to the iTunes Music Store.

Apple will also release a tool that will allow any Podcast creator to easily upload their content to the company's music store.

Future Products

Throughout the dinner, Jobs was pressed quite hard on future products and strategies, but cracked only once. When asked whether Apple would eventually sell movies in the same fashion it does tunes, he responded, "I'll leave the answer to that question to our actions of the future."

Commenting on the highly anticipated iTunes-savvy mobile phone, Steve noted that wireless carriers retained enough power in the industry to practically dictate the specifications of each cell phone being manufactured.

Jobs spoke at length about iTunes and cell phones, giving AppleInsider correspondents the impression that what Apple has in store may not necessarily be an "iPod phone" but something totally different and unique.

Bill Gates

At one point Jobs asked members of the audience to raise their hand if they owned an iPod. The attention of the room was almost immediately turned to Bill Gates, who was also present. As the video cameras panned his way, Gates smirked and shied away -- he owns a Rio.

Competition

Jobs was also pressed to comment on the significance of iPod competitors and their strides towards duplicating the iPod experience. He conceded that some of the rivals were "getting close" to knocking-off the iPod, but that Apple is working on several "great things" in its labs.

Also during dinner, Jobs chatted about the prospect of buying or producing a TiVo-like device, as well as his company's recent legal actions against Apple news sites.
post #2 of 26
Always good to hear Jobs is on form - so a new iTunes by the 22nd July - maybe an Apple iPod even around then. The iPod could do with an update - an iTunes remote would be nice as well.
post #3 of 26
October 2001 1g
July 2002 2g
April 2003 3g
July 2004 4g
October 2004 photo 4g
?June 2005 5g (all photo)?
?July 2005 video 5g?
post #4 of 26
Would the podcast integration allow users to hook to anyone's podcasts, or only those through the music store. Radio streams can connect from anywhere (although you have to supply the path), so you would hope you could just connect to any of your favorite pod sites, not rely on them posting to apple (and apple allowing them).

Of course, podcasts isn't tivo for radio. That would be iTunes recording live broadcasts for later listening, not relying on the original broadcaster doing that for you. Plus, I'd be able to start up the podcast 20 minutes after it started and listen while it was still recording the later segment. Its more "Blockbuster for Radio for iPod" to me.
post #5 of 26
Some thoughts:

1. Direct podcast support seems like a very cool idea. I was expecting this to happen. While Jobs is probably right about the "Wayne's World" thing, and current "professional" outlets will be the biggest players in podcasting, it does open a venue for some "diamonds in the rough" who cannot break into the "pro" business, but still have a lot of talent.

2. Apple is not likely to sit the video market out. I don't think it will be "iPod" (at least we know it...it may be branded this way for some obvious reasons...but it will be something different. Perhaps it will be something that combines the ideas of TiVO and Netflix. Maybe Mac mini is the base platform. Who knows.

3. I'm beginning to wonder what more Apple can add to the iPod without starting to suffer from feature creep. I mean I know there are some things people have been clamoring for...but it seems like we're getting to the top of the mountain on this. What seems more likely is new, different devices in the "iPod universe". Maybe new shapes and forms...there is a lot of creativity to be expressed in that way I suspect.
post #6 of 26
First off what the heck does his quote about selling movies mean. Its like hes taking in another language.

The next version of iTunes should be cool; finally a built in podcasting ability. And maybe some new store featues, but I guess i'll have to wait to hear about all of the new features.

In the new iPod I am hoping for an 80GB iPod photo that plays music videos purchased on the iTMS, and better flash games, with perhaps other games you can upload onto it. And finally a new brushed metal interface for the iPod, nothing too eye popping but just a touch.
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post #7 of 26
so where do we get to view the video of this event?
The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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post #8 of 26
dudes, hopefully we'll be streaming/watching episode III thru itunes by next x-mas!
post #9 of 26
What's he going to say when folk start 'podcasting' music? Or, more to the point, copyrighted music owned by the labels Apple deals with. And I'm not talking about shows like http://www.coverville.com/ with 30 minutes of chat and music, I'm meaning each 'program' is just a DRM-free, unlicensed music file?

I've been looking for a way to share what I'm listening to with some close friends. The 21st Century equivalent of a C90 tape/mindisc/burnt CD mix. A spare GMail account with an RSS feed and podcasting support in iTunes might be the way forward.
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #10 of 26
As a teacher, I'd love to have lectures podcasted and have the ability to embed Word or Keynote docs or hyperlinks somehow as well! I know album art and links to the iTMS are what will pay for some of this, but why not add capacity and watch a new market emerge?!

I wonder if I can get DRM on my "convection current" lecture? : )
The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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post #11 of 26
Podcasts with music require licenses - I'm sure Apple will either not support them unless they are licensed or they will sell these with DRMS.
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
Podcasts with music require licenses - I'm sure Apple will either not support them unless they are licensed or they will sell these with DRMS.

Sell? Wait, are these 'podcasts' things we'd have to buy? Well, screw that, why would anyone pay for a podcast when they're generally free now???
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Sell? Wait, are these 'podcasts' things we'd have to buy? Well, screw that, why would anyone pay for a podcast when they're generally free now???

Except, of course, if they are selling podcasts that you cannot get for free.

I read in a different site on this same item that this was basically a built-in way to access podcasts that currently exists. Just adding new features to iTunes.

In the future there could be a market for selling some podcasts of course.
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Sell? Wait, are these 'podcasts' things we'd have to buy? Well, screw that, why would anyone pay for a podcast when they're generally free now???

The BBC are experimenting with iMP a free (at least for UK licence fee payers) download service that allows you to watch/listen to programmes for up to a week after broadcast. Applying DRM to content doesn't imply you have to pay for it.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by zanc
The BBC are experimenting with iMP a free (at least for UK licence fee payers) download service that allows you to watch/listen to programmes for up to a week after broadcast. Applying DRM to content doesn't imply you have to pay for it.

indeed, well put
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Except, of course, if they are selling podcasts that you cannot get for free.

I just can't imagine paying for a podcast. I mean, if it were something truly special that I'd listen to multiple times, sure. But most are just "listen once, throw away" type deals. That's the whole definition, theoretically, of podcasting, timeshifting some audio program for later listening.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
I just can't imagine paying for a podcast. I mean, if it were something truly special that I'd listen to multiple times, sure. But most are just "listen once, throw away" type deals.

Do you buy magazines? Newspapers? Garbage bags? Toilet paper? Rent movies?

Those all pretty much fit the same definition...well "use once, throw away" anyway.
post #18 of 26
What if Apple just provided DRM and paid the license fee for podcasts that included major-label music? They wouldn't necessarily need to charge, and the DRM would make sure that the download was keyed to a specific iTunes account and not being "shared indiscriminately".

Then, for podcasts that were all-talk or only included music that was independent or otherwise freely licensed, the downloads would just be in standard .m4a format (hopefully bookmarkable) but not encrypted.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by jegrant
What if Apple just provided DRM and paid the license fee for podcasts that included major-label music? They wouldn't necessarily need to charge, and the DRM would make sure that the download was keyed to a specific iTunes account and not being "shared indiscriminately".

music ha to be paid for - and what does? advertising or consumers. Virgin radio do a podcast - they have special adverts and take the bloody music out!
post #20 of 26
A Rio! Funny.
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Moscow
dudes, hopefully we'll be streaming/watching episode III thru itunes by next x-mas!

Shouldn't you be in line right now?
post #22 of 26
Will ITMS distributed podcasts be mp3 or locked down AAC for iPod lockin incurance, if it is the latter, it will flop.
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by a_greer
Will ITMS distributed podcasts be mp3 or locked down AAC for iPod lockin incurance, if it is the latter, it will flop.

I doubt it - iTunes only works with iPods anyway and most music is in AAC - my Sony phone will place AAC files as well. And most people downloading Podcasts are using iPods. iTunes is for iPods after all.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by MacCrazy
iTunes only works with iPods anyway

That's not true:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93548
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a flirt with mediocrity comes with heavy penalty
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post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by stupider...likeafox
That's not true:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=93548

Yeah - i forgot about those! Anyway AAC is an open format - but it DRM is applied then it will be a problem - but only for a few.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally posted by zanc
The BBC are experimenting with iMP a free (at least for UK licence fee payers) download service that allows you to watch/listen to programmes for up to a week after broadcast. Applying DRM to content doesn't imply you have to pay for it.

The BBC are also Podcasting some radio programs already.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4447557.stm
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