iTunes with streaming in June 2010

27 06 2010

It’s only a rumour, but some people say that in June i’ts finally coming…

This is what Gizmodo thinks about it:

It still seems strange, on the face of it. iTunes is the ginormousest force in digital music, beaming out billions of bits a day. Apple paid $80 million (maybe) for Lala, a streaming site you’ve never heard of. Why?

First, let’s look at what Lala is. (Or was.) It’s three things, really: A CD trading site (its original emphasis), a streaming site, where you can “upload” your own music and stream it anywhere (your collection is matched with what Lala’s got, and anything they don’t have is actually uploaded); and a streaming site that’ll let you stream a song once for free, or pay 10 cents to stream it an unlimited number of times. In other words, It’s a music service that’s all about streaming and the cloud, both for the music you already own, and for finding and playing new music.


That obviously looks a lot different from iTunes—you pay for things, you download them, you have a library of stuff. It’s kind of a dated, restrictive model, really. Only being able to listen to the small slice of music that’s banked on my hard drive, it feels cramped and very 2004. Zune feels like a generation ahead with Zune Pass, which essentially expands my library ad infinitum, with full access to most of the service’s 6 million songs (plus I get to keep 10 a month, so the pass just about pays for itself). iTunes needs to refresh itself.

Okay, so Lala obviously fits into that need. But what’s Apple going to do with it specifically? Bring Lala under iTunes? Kill Lala and assimilate its features into iTunes? Keep Lala running? Well, there’s actually some pretty good case studies when it comes to Apple buying up smaller companies, historically, especially when it comes to iPod and iTunes.

iTunes actually began life as an acquisition. In 2000, Apple was looking to buy MP3 software and wound up purchasing a little program called SoundJam MP, along with its lead developer, Jeff Robbin—it was re-engineered into what you now know as iTunes, and Robbin is now the VP for consumer applications at Apple. Cover Flow, which is now slathered on top of basically every app Apple makes, was originally an independent program developed by Steel Skies. Apple bought Cover Flow, though not the company. The iPod itself was mostly developed by a company called PortalPlayer—again, Apple bought the rights to the hardware and software, but not the company (which was later picked up by Nvidia).

Finally, and most recently, Apple bought PA Semi, an entire chip company, likely so Apple can design its own chips for iPhones and iPods (we haven’t seen the fruits of this venture yet, though we likely will soon). So, there’s a couple different models here: Buy the tech, buy the brains behind it; buy the tech; buy the company, the tech and the brains. In each instance, though, the thing purchased became wholly an Apple thing, fully assimilated, as if its past life had never existed.

Looking at Lala, it’s likely true, as the NYT says, that Apple is “buying Lala’s engineers, including its energetic co-founder Bill Nguyen, and their experience with cloud-based music services,” as Apple did with iTunes so many years ago. But that’s not all Apple was after, not if they paid $80 million (or whatever) to outbid at least two other competitors, as some reports say. It seems clear, looking at the history of Apple’s iTunes acquisitions, Lala and its features are going to be integrated into iTunes in a very fundamental way.

After all, one of the central conceits of Lala—streaming your own music library anywhere—is something Apple’s been looking at for a while, and it doesn’t alter the fundamental iTunes model, the one that’s so deeply tied to your own music collection. It just expands it. Lala, actually, was even in the midst of getting its streaming iPhone app approved.

And that’s most likely what Lala is going to look like inside of the iTunes beast: You’ll be able to stream your own library anywhere. The other half of Lala, the true streaming service, with its 10-cent songs, as a part of a new iTunes too, would radically alter the entire iTunes model by introducing one organized around streaming—while still preserving that core tenet of paying for and owning songs. The kind of value hierarchy that Apple is devoted to still works—songs you have more ownership of, that stay on your hard drive, cost more (like when DRM-free songs used to cost more) while ones that stay in the cloud are cheaper—even as it completely changes the way we’d buy music from iTunes, and if history’s any guide, maybe digital music as a whole. (Oh, and iTunes’ new web interface practically begs to be a streaming site.) It’d be a big step, even for a company that killed their most popular iPod, the mini, to introduce a brand new one, the nano.

True, we won’t know precisely what Apple’s going to do with LaLa until they do it. But we’ve got some rough ideas.applelala.jpg


A poll about Mac OS X 10.7’s features

27 06 2010

Steve Jobs’s emails

27 06 2010

Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, doesn’t often answer emails from his customers but when he does his replies are short and blunt. – That’s what says.

Yes, It’s true, he replies. Maybe It’s his secretary, but… isn’t it COOL? Steve Jobs’s email addresses are:, and

Try it, but a reply is very unlikely.heiljobs.jpgSome emails that he replied to:

1. “No.”
Asked whether the forthcoming iPad would support ‘tethering’ to an iPhone, which would allow customers to use the iPhone as a modem for their iPad.

2. “Not to worry.”
In response to a customer who wrote to express his disappointment that Apple has not updated its MacBook Pro and Mac Pro range of computers for a while.

3. “Change your app’s name. Not that big of a deal.”
Replying to John Devor, whose company, The Little App Factory, made a product called iPodRip. Apple’s lawyers asked him to stop using iPod in the name of his app because it’s an Apple trademark. He gotlittle sympathy when he emailed to tell Steve Jobs of the situation. iPodRip is now called iRip.

4. “This is what happens when your MacBook Pro sustains water damage.They are pro machines and they don’t like water. It sounds like you’re just looking for someone to get mad at other than yourself.”
Jobs offers a slightly more comprehensive response to a customer who wrote to complain that Apple wanted him to pay just to see whether it would be possible to repair his water-damaged laptop.

5. “No but iPhoto on the Mac has much better Faces and Places features.”

Jobs can’t resist a dig at Google in reply to a customer who asked whether the iPad would support Google’s Picasa library format.



Mac OS X 10.7 What’s next, Apple?

27 06 2010


After reviewing the various versions of Apple’s operating system since its inception to the present as a special on the history of Mac OS X, it seemed a good idea to say goodbye to the grand finale which is turn our gaze to the future, the next version again to dot the i’s after that revision meant that renewal Snow Leopard. 

Some time ago we know that Apple is working on Mac OS X 10.7 on the foundations that put Snow Leopard “for thousands of additional capacity,” he said at the time Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple. 

“In our constant effort to provide the best user experience, we have operated the pause button on new features to focus on perfecting the most advanced operating system in the world” – June 2008

Well, these are our expectatives…

1. Unified interface. Given Steve Jobs’s obsession to detail is quite amazing how many inconsistencies that exist in Mac OS X. interface Just have to open Safari, iTunes, iPhoto and Finder to the differences hit you in the face so I would describe as very likely to see as the style of Vista Battery quickly and spread to the rest of the system. 
2. Finder with vitamins, smart collections and tags as an alternative to the hierarchical file system. We took him to demand more time since I can remember but if Snow Leopard has given us a Finder re-written from scratch in Cocoa, the Mac file manager still needs an update of the epoch-making. Did you say eyelashes? “Native support for NTFS writing and adoption of once and for all ZFS file system? On the issue of smart collections and labels, Spotlight was a first step in this direction but there is much ground to gain before we move beyond the analogy of the files and folders to make way for something more organic that gives access toinformation in a more efficient, fast and comfortable. 
3. Spotlight squared. Search system introduced in Tiger was a revolution, but since then, has worsened instead of improving with each new version clumsy and becoming more user friendly.Again, there is much in it to improve, starting with such basic details as support the Quick View option. 
4. Stacks back to their origins. When Jobs first introduced this feature at WWDC 2007 was slightly different from its operation finally came to our desks, allowing groups to drag files directly to the Dock to create a stack. We, or at least I want this back … and for that matter, with new features like being able to create stacks with smart folders or, again, Quick Look support. 
5. More multitouch gestures. Both the Magic Mouse and the multitouch trackpad on the Macbook and Macbook Pro have opened the door to move the iPhone user experience and to IPAD his older brothers. We may never see an iMac or a Macbook multitouch (I can think of many reasons for and against this) but that does not mean that the list of gestures available globally throughout the system to grow and settle a altogether. 
6. Despite the Mac store Jobs refusal to raise the controversy this idea believe it would be a very smart move. You just have to see the success they are having different Apple stores (iTunes, App Store and iBookstore) to imagine what could make a showcase of the applications available for Mac OS X. Obviously, we should continue being able to download and install applications using traditional channels, but this catalog would definitely help consolidate the Mac ecosystem also offering a centralized location from which to manage updates, payments, recommendations … 
7. New Front Row and support DNLA. Although the price of the new Mac mini can take a lot of people back, the truth is that the toddler is still the perfect match for the living room of the house. Plex is fantastic and meets hundred percent function make the team in the final media center but I would love to see Apple facing down a new version of Front Row’s most advanced and intuitive. On the other hand, can not understand the lack of support DNLA, a true source of headaches despite existing solutions to share the contents of our team with other devices such as television and next-generation consoles. 
8. MobileMe and integration for all other services in the cloud. It would be great to see further improved integration between cloud services and the Apple operating system while making further efforts to popularize them (I can think of offering a free subscription to many of the existing functions compared to other premium with advanced services such as online backup).If beyond it will provide mechanisms for sharing our videos on Youtube (or service provided) with a simple click, the photos on Flickr (idem), our appointments or anniversaries on Facebook, what we are watching or listening to on Twitter … and would a dream (or nightmare depending on who you ask). 
9. iChat with FaceTime. It appears that the operation of FaceTime is completely foreign to phone numbers, devices and connection methods so it is very likely to be technically possible to make video calls between users walking down the street with his iPhone in April and another sitting comfortably at his iMac. I would be surprised not to see this feature in the upcoming Mac OS X. 
10. Synchronization, and wireless integration with iOS 4. Imagine that you are writing a document in Pages with your iMac and want to complete the review from the comfort of your couch with your iPad you copy the file in the iPad icon on the desktop and ready, as soon you power on the tablet that will detect the application through Wi-Fi home network (or even taking it even further, remotely) and download it so we can continue where we left off without any problems.The applications are endless: syncing iTunes library, summarizing a video from the point where we left off … and that this can happen some photos to the iPad or dragging our friend’s iPhone finger-style Minority Report as if they were windows to the same system?
When will it be available?

Tiger was announced in May 2004 and was released in April 2005, Leopard was launched in June 2006 before being released in October 2007, and Snow Leopard continued the tradition presented in June 2008 and released in August 2009. Following this scheme, we should already have received news of the new Mac OS X but it seems that efforts to IOS 4 could cause delays in the regular schedule. Despite this, I have a feeling we’ve heard before the end of the year and do not say farewell Brand 2011 operating system. 

And now it’s up to you. What do you expect x 10.7 Mac OS? What do you think of the name? Which cat will it be?