Monday, October 13, 2003

Can I borrow a groove?

(Happy Long Weekend Everyone!)
AppleInsider has tossed more fuel on the fire for the latest musical rumors. According to their sources, iTunes 5 is in fact on the way (both Mac and PC) and new features are in store for the iTMS.

One of these new features would be the ability to "borrow" a track from the Music Store for a set period of time and try it out without being billed. This could be the already rumored "listener loans."

In fact, the parallels between this AppleInsider report and last Thursday's Mac Rumors Page 2 report are quite stunning. Mac Rumors is in fact speculating that there could be a common source between the two sites. Consider that before you take this as confirmation to the still "Unconfirmed" iTunes rumors.

But back to the rumor.
The ability to test out a song before committing to it would definitely be a strong selling point, but would it last? You may remember that the original iTunes 4 had internet streaming for listening to tracks across the web. The problem? You could record those songs with an application like Ambrosia's WireTap. What's to stop us from doing the same thing with these free previews (unless Apple made you pay for those previews with some kind of subscription fee, but that's both highly speculative and very unlikely).

This latest report also fuels speculation that Apple will finally release iPod peripherals. AppleInsider's source points to the new iPod's recording abilities which currently lay hidden in the debug mode, but could easily become a main feature with a simple software update (actually, problems with software have been blamed for the current delay). In my opinion, a recording peripheral seems far more likely than last week's rumored CompactFlash reader and movie transporting dock.

Apple has a press event scheduled for 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday, and Mac Rumors revealed over the weekend that a music (supposedly, but not necessarily, iPod) ad will be airing during Friends this Thursday night.

Damn, I might actually have to watch Friends...

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