Just a few points which may or may not relate to some of the points on this or related threads.
I have to say I was completely blindsided by this latest element of Apple's ongoing programme of retail therapy: How do I feel about it? Enthusiastic!
A lot has been discussed about Emagic's future status and that of the brand. I would think that the "seperate division" thing is a practicality issue as much as anything. Emagic's management might have found it difficult to uproot key personnel from a stable lifestyle in Germany plus something of the company's culture may have been lost in any move to Silicon Valley.
Once you have decided to leave an acquisition in place, some thousands of miles from your corporate headquarters, you may as well continue to run it as a seperate brand, but making it very clear in marketing messages that Emagic is now (very much) A Division of Apple Computer and that the Logic products are highly OSX-optimised (which should be a primary aim).
This has several benefits: The two main ones being a) customers perceive the continuity of the brand and all of its values and b) the personnel continue to perceive themselves as independent free-thinkers whose brand values are recognised by their adoptive parent.
What are the possibilities?
I do think that iSound is a very real possibility Delivering a 4- or 8-track DAW with cut-down sequencing would be a great USP which would partner very nicely with iMovie and iDVD. The logic for this is overwhelming - the i- products (including iBook and iMac) would become the definitive multimedia environment for the K-12 marketplace and the domestic marketplace as well.
Using Apple's HUI team to apply the same quality of ergonomics that can be seen in FCP will result in a range of post-production applications with an integrated look-and-feel, analogous to the same evolution that various Adobe apps have undergone.
Apple could - if it wished - use Logic as a way to help Yamaha bring mLan into the mainstream as a de facto standard, which with Firewire over fibre coming up on the horizon (that Zayante purchase begins to make more sense than ever) would make a combination of Apple computers/Emagic software/mLan-equipped instruments a definitive solution both in studio and live performance environments.
The end-game is a full range of production and post-production tools which can deliver content into a variety of formats, including QT6 (and it's MPEG-4 successors and competitors), DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, HDTV, d-cinema as well as Blu-ray HD media.
If Apple could team up with Sony on the HD and d-cinema front, Apple would be one of the few companies who will be able to offer content producers a complete range of solutions that will allow the repurposing of audio/visual content from the 3G mobile phone to the multiplex cinema.
There are still a few gaps that need to be addressed: Hardware performance is a bete noire for many contributors here; there is still no mainstream multi-channel audio out being actively marketed either on the mobo or as a third-party solution.
If Apple is still interested in making purchases in the creative field, can I suggest <a href="http://www.dataton.se
" target="_blank">Dataton</a> who make interesting hardware and software for controlling multimedia presentations in environments such as exhibitions, museums, and sports stadiums.
Many years ago, I used to work for a company that did multi-image work for people like Toyota and Xerox Corp: I have to admit then when, after a long break away from the marketplace, I went to the launch of Standout I was blown away by the scale of the presentations that it made possible.
Using Firewire over Fibre (it's a noise and distance thing) as a medium for consolidating the control and content of several hundred presentation devices including cinema-class DLP rigs, high-definition audio, plasma displays, plus robotic elements is too neat a possibility not to research. It may not be a vast market, but the visibility and the profile is the thing that counts here.
Just my $0.02, YMMV, etc.