It's Apple Keynote Day!

It's that time of year again - the Apple Keynote at the WorldWide Developers Conference.

Of all the recurring Apple Keynotes, WWDC usually brings the least excitement in terms of new hardware - or even new products.

That's because this is a developers conference.

Apple wants to tell software makers where THEY are headed with the new versions of OSX and iOS, so the devs can be ready with new third-party apps and software.

It's heavily rumored that today will mark a major inflection point for iTunes.

And that's LONG overdue.

At this point, iTunes is the equivalent of a slow-moving conglomerate - bloated, slow, no agility, attempting to do everything, and not doing anything particularly well.

iTunes - and Apple Music - need to be dead-simple to use. They are unfathomably complicated at this point.

With the current version of iTunes, Apple is offering locally-stored iTunes libraries, music sales through the iTunes Music Store, streaming tunes with Apple Music, iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud - and that's just music!

iTunes is also tasked with Podcasts, with video management (and sales and rental), and with iPhone and iPad management - that's backup, settings, the iOS App Store.

I understand that iTunes' integration with the iPod enhanced both products. And yes, the iPhone is the direct successor of the iPod.

But the iPod was a single-function tool - it played music. And iTunes managed and sold music. That made sense.

It's absolutely bizarre that our music management platform is also our mobile phone manager.

Every little addition to iTunes made sense in a vacuum. We sell music here - makes sense to add movies and TV! We manage iPods here - makes sense to manage iPhones. And podcasts are kind of like music - it's just audio files... and for that matter, so are audio books!

But this iTunes "mission creep" led to a "jack of all trades, master of none" iTunes at best - and a confusing mess at worst.

Today - hopefully - that changes. It's time for a Ma Bell-style breakup of iTunes.

And with OSX transitioning into "MacOS", Apple has the perfect opportunity to simplify again.

Help every Apple user understand exactly where and how their music libraries are stored. (And their photo libraries, and books, and so on.)

Create separate, best-in-class manager/player applications for Music, for Video, for Books, and for Podcasts.

Finally - FINALLY - integrate Apple Music with iTunes. (Play locally-stored music by default - don't even give me the option to play (or buy) the streaming version if I own the song!)

Give access to the appropriate Store (App, Music, or Movies) from each manager/player application - and provide a separate "Store" application - ala the "Mac App Store", so that we can browse and discover new content.

(This can and should be curated - but should also "learn" from my library and from past purchases, and should let me know why it's suggesting a certain item, Amazon style. And again, if I own the thing, don't stream it to me, and certainly don't stream it to me!) 

I'm really excited to see what they come up with, and I'll write again this afternoon.

But yeah... fingers crossed for a new Mac Mini, with upgradable RAM.


Post a Comment