What’s next? A 160GB iPod.
I watched Steve Jobs give his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference the other day. I always enjoy watching his presentations. Anyway, he had a couple of interesting things to say. He talked a lot about the switch to Intel processors. What was interesting is that Apple already have Mac OS X running on Intel processors. According to Jobs Mac OS X has been leading a double life over the last 5 years. Since the inception of Mac OS X, Apple have always had it running on Intel “just in case”, as he put it. Apple plan on shipping Macs with Intel inside by June 2006.
The next version of Mac OS X will be called Leopard and will be released around the same time as Microsoft’s Longhorn operating system in late 2006 or early 2007.
What was interesting was that Jobs demoed a new version of iTunes that allows you to search, and subscribe to, podcasts directly from the iTunes store. According to Jobs they already have a directory with 8000 podcasts available for download. There will be no charge for subscribing to podcasts. I find this impressive. When you consider that podcasting first appeared around August of last year (I started listening around October 2004) it’s pretty impressive that a large corporation like Apple has taken notice so soon and have already incorporated podcasts into their products, namely iTunes. Perhaps this is why Apple is doing so well at the moment: it listens to what people want. Microsoft would do well to take note of this.
Well, there are loads of other great Podcasting software out in the market for Mac OS X. Check iPodderX: http://ipodderx.com/. There is a very interesting podcast from the authors of Podcast on the issues for them in porting iPodderX using XCode 2.0 and creating the “Universal Binary”. Check out the podcast at http://thisweekintech.com/. Their weekly podcast is great.
True, there is other podcast software out there. I have used iPodderX, admittedly a long time ago, and in order to use their podcast directory I had to buy the pro version. The basic version didn’t have the directory integration. Without integration into a directory of podcasts, a podcatcher is useless in my opinion. With iTunes I will get the podcast directory for free. Why pay for it when I can get it for free?
I think managing podcasts will be easier too. Most podcatchers I have used on the Mac use Applescript to copy the podcasts into iTunes anyway, which is necessary in order to transfer them to your iPod. For example, I spent about half an hour the other day tracking down podcasts that I no longer wanted. As they hadn’t been categorised properly, they were difficult to find in my library of 2000 songs or so.
I predict that when the new version of iTunes is released it’ll be game over for podcatching software. Sure the iTunes version may not be perfect, but it’ll be good enough. I think development efforts will focus instead on the development of tools for creating podcasts and not tools for retrieving them.