Thursday, October 09, 2003

Groovy!

Hoo wee! Hang on tight folks, we've got a wild rumor week ahead of us!

In just one week, Apple's hosting an ol' fashioned Music-themed press conference! Hmm...

That's right, iTunes is on it's way to Windows folks! Let the invasion begin!

Okay, we knew that already. But here's what's interesting. At about the same time confirmation of a music press conference arrives, all sorts of iPod and iTunes rumors are popping up (the laundry list of possibilities is over at Mac Rumors Page 2).

Here's a rundown of some of the new speculation:

[iPod]
- Those long awaited peripherals! (Think Secret blames iPod software issues for the delays)
- Recording feature and peripheral (3G iPods have a recording function buried in the debug mode).
- New dock to transfer and view movies and photos on a television (that one sounds a little odd).
- Bluetooth dock and headphones (Bluetooth would be horribly slow for transferring songs, but would be useful for updating calendars or listening to tunes).
- A CompactFlash/SD card reader for transferring photos (again, just a little odd).

[iTunes]
- iTunes 5
- Mac and PC compatible (shucks, why couldn't we just get the new version?).
- WMA (that's the Windows Media Audio format that Microsoft tries to shove down PC users throats) support.
- Music Store "listener loans" (I'm not entirely sure what that means).
- New encoding options (whoo, I guess).
- A new interface (but I like the old one!).

Whew. Take a breather. You've earned it.

iPod peripherals are a real possibility, though some of the ones described in the latest rumors sound a little unusual (Mac Rumors also has a blurb on an iPod-related feature apparently pulled from Panther). Hopefully time will help sort these out.

As for iTunes, a new version would make sense considering the Windows release. Then again, iTunes 4 is less than six months old, and even by tech standards that's pretty young. Then again again, iTunes 3 didn't even last a year.

WMA support, something that will probably be a hot topic (if it's true, that is), is a double-edged sword for Apple. The downside is that it wouldn't discourage use of the file format. On the other hand (or edge of sword... whatever), it would probably speed up adoption of iTunes on the PC (which is pretty important).

Like I said, it looks like we've got a busy week ahead. Rumor Watch has been expanded with some JPEG-based info (you know it's important when it's a graphic). The press event is October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT.

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